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Jana Brike’s Uncanny Paintings Capture The Strangeness Of True Love And Sacrifice

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In her series Winter of Love, the Latvian painter Jana Brike reimagines the The Biblical Salome, known for the seduction of King Harod and her bloodthirsty demand for the head of Saint John the Baptist, transforming the icon from infamous sinner to innocent wood nymph, small and delicate as a china doll. Subverting the religious, moral text, she creates a poignant story of intimacy, love, and sacrifice.

In Brike’s eerie narrative, Saint John is replaced by a make-believe Deer King, a creature who harkens back to medieval Christian bestiaries, his horns often serving as a metaphor for Christ’s cross and Crucifixion. Here, the Deer King falls in love with Salome, volunteering his body for her pleasure: “he keeps squandering his life forces to grow flowers from his body, for the nymphs to play with,” explains the artist. In the place of a violent, lusty, and sinful Salome, the artist presents a naive, pure-hearted child who is transfixed by her play and the beauty of flowers.

In this touching biblical allegory, love becomes sacred and tragic; the Deer King offers his head to his beloved, giving her sensual bliss in a bitter, cold winter. The season becomes symbolic of his death, until flora miraculously begins to bloom, as with the mythical Resurrection of Christ. The creative powers of the girl blossom; she is seen as fertile, emerging into womanhood, her lips and vital cheeks pink as the roses.

Using the framework of religious text, Brike’s body of work depicts a romance story where love necessitates sacrifice, where lust isn’t sinful but creative. Nurtured by the Deer King’s affections and tragic death, Salome grows into adulthood; in one image titled “Nurseling,” her dress slips, revealing a pair of milk-filled, life-giving breasts. Take a look. (via MondoPop)

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Beautiful/Decay Book: 7 Sneak Peak & Contest!

 

Attention Cult Of Decay! The latest issue of Beautiful/Decay is upon us! Sent to the printers in the last weeks, there will be only 2000 copies produced (all of which are ad-free) and only subscribers will receive their copy before anyone else does. You also save 33% by subscribing versus waiting to buy at a bookstore (plus you don’t have to go past your mailbox to get it!).Subscribe today and secure your newest addition to the Beautiful/Decay series. Details about our contest  & a few peaks at a couple of pages from book: 7 after the jump!

 

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Jorge Miguel’s “Dark People”

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I wear a lot of black and am frequently lumped into a certain black wearing subculture that will remain nameless (hint: it isn’t “dark people”); so I was understandably delighted when I saw these exquisitely polished portraits by Spanish photographer Jorge Miguel.

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Book 4: Exquisite Corpse Release!

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We are proud to present Beautiful/Decay Book 4: Exquisite Corpse! This book assembles a group of artists that twist and contort our understanding of the human body. Ranging from the macabre, grotesque, humorous, sculptural and the beautiful, each artist pushes classical figurative work into brand new forms.  We also invited 26 artists from around the world to play a virtual game of Exquisite Corpse.

If that’s not enough, each copy of the book comes with an original silkscreened artist print of interpreting the theme! To celebrate the release get 15% off Book 4 for one week. Use discount code: BDECAYBOOKCULT

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And, while you’re stocking up on Cult of Decay reading material, be sure to check out our newly re-launched online shop. We’ve stocked up on over 20 B/D back issues. We’ve even made available a select number of previously sold out issues-so grab your copies while they last! Buy HERE.

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SIMON OUWERKERK’S Morphing sculptures Made out of Action figures

Simon Ouwerkerk’s dense sculptures are floating masses of plastic children toys and action figures that come together like Voltron to create something completely anew. Morphing, flying, and swirling in swarms, these piles of plastic are always in flux with a futuristic destination unknown.

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Awesome Video Of The Day: Sasquatch Birth Journal 2

I have absolutely no idea what Sasquatch Birth Journal 2 is this is but you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll WTF! It says that it’s part of the Sundance Film Festival but who knows. It may be a bizarre teaser for a film or some creative agencies latest viral vid. It’s made by Zellner Bros but I’m not really sure who they are. In any case it’s totally bizarre so I thought I’d share. If anyone has any info on what this is all about please do share. I’m officially intrigued. Enjoy!

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Thierry Cohen’s Incredible Images Of Darkened Cities

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Thierry Cohen is seen as one of the pioneers of digital photography. Since 2010 he has devoted himself to a single project – “Villes Eteintes” (Darkened Cities) – which depicts
the major cities of the world as they would appear at night without light pollution,
or in more poetic terms: how they would look if we could see the stars.

Cohen’s method is original and precise and harkens back to the methodologies employed by early 19th century photographers like Gustave Le Grey. He photographs the world’s major cities, seeking out views that resonate for him and noting the precise time, angle, and latitude and longitude of his exposure. As the world rotates around its axis the stars that would have been visible above a particular city move to deserts, plains, and other places free of light pollution. By noting the precise latitude and angle of his cityscape, Cohen is able to track the earth’s rotation to places of atmospheric clarity like the Mojave, the Sahara, and the Atacama Desert. There he sets up his camera to record what is lost to modern urban dwellers.

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Geeky Engagement Rings For Your Sci-Fi Loving Special Someone

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If traditional engagement rings aren’t really your thing, Pittsburg based jewelry designer Paul Michael Bierker has some unique designs that might just float your boat. As the jeweler to science fiction buffs everywhere, he creates custom-made pieces inspired by everything from the Star Wars franchise to Marvel comic books. Bierker has built for himself quite the fan base of young, eager clients, and he is proud to have worked with several US troops over seas in Afghanistan towards creating one-of-a-kind engagement bands.

Popular designs include an R2D2 -inspired engagement ring and a band featuring a diamond encrusted TARDIS from popular television show Doctor Who. Though evocative of these pop culture treasures, Bierker’s collection maintains an elegant subtlety. Rings modeled after the TIE fighter or the X-wing shed the unwieldy bulk of the star ships in favor of clean, sophisticated lines. The X-wing ring becomes a delicate ornament, its bands stylishly crisscrossing in the center the finger. Bierker’s tender references to geek culture meld effortlessly with the maturity of his craftsmanship, appealing both to playful and refined clients.

Bierker occupies a groundbreaking space in a one of our countries biggest industries, subverting elitist limitations on what and what does not constitute an engagement ring. This symbol of lifelong commitment should be as individual and the couple who wears it, and amid the mass of conformity, it’s nice to see something new. As we move into the adult responsibilities of marriage, we hope to carry with us each of our childhood pleasures, and Bierker’s original work certainly reminds us that marriage should be as much of an adventure as a trip into space. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor)

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