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RONALD VENTURA’S OCCUPYING POWERS

One of the most highly acclaimed contemporary artists from the Philippines, Ronald Ventura has garnered enormous international attention in recent years. He is noted for paintings featuring complex layering, combining images and styles raging from hyper realism to cartoons and graffiti — as well as for a significant body of sculptural work.

Ventura takes the layering process in his work as a metaphor for the multifaceted national identity of the Philippines. Over the centuries, the profound influences of various occupying powers – Spain, Japan, and the United States – along with the underlying indigenous culture, have produced a complex and at times uneasy sense of identity. Ventura explores this historical and psychic phenomenon through a dialogue of images evoking East and West, high and low, old and young – seen, for example, in allusions to Old Master paintings or Japanese and American cartoons. He draws our attention to the “second skin” of cultural signifiers that each person carries with him, however unwittingly. Ventura views skin as an expressive surface – written on with tattoos, concealed under layers of imagery, or exploding outwards to reveal an inner world of fantasy and conflict.

 

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Ward Roberts

Ward RobertsWard Roberts was born in Australia and currently lives in Hong Kong and Australia. His work of quiet images depicting various lonesome landscapes are impressive. His contemporary eye has caught active locations and made them obsolete. Pretty neat.

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Smuttgrinder – NSFW

At first glance I was like “wow these are nice little collages.” Then I realized why this artist calls himself Smuttgrinder.

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Made With Color Presents: Terence Hannum’s Minimalist Paintings Created Out Of Cassette Tape

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CrystalThe good folks at portfolio site builder Made With Color have teamed up with Beautiful/Decay yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we team up to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work of talented artist and long time B/D friend Terence Hannum.

Terrence Hannum has always been consumed by music. When Terence isn’t in the studio creating his next work of art he can be found releasing zines, designing and releasing limited edition vinyl, and playing in his acclaimed minimalist black metal band Locrian. So it should come as no surprise to discover that Terrence’s artwork also explores the world of  music. Using the magnetic tape found in cassettes as raw material, Hannum creates glossy and lustrous paintings that explore the world of minimalism and geometry.

Hannum states about this body of work:

“Typically one does not engage with the material of the  cassette. Unless it was being eaten by a tape player, the average consumer never gazed upon its reflective spool. To this point most media requires a certain precious handling of it, the CD, DVD and LP require the listener to hold only the edge. Perhaps speaking to the ubiquity of the digital file these days, the MP3, FLAC, WAV and others have no real handling instructions. I want to focus on the surface. Hence, everything is the surface and in my pieces I try to construct a quiet void.”

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Shop: Restocked B/D Shirts!

Back by popular demand we have restocked some of your favorite T-Shirts. Meltdown, Beautiful Tears, Another World, and Time Warp are all back in the shop with limited quantities – at 55% off the regular T-Shirt price! Get on that sale now while it’s still around!

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Made With Color Presents: Wendell Gladstone’s Fabricated Myths

Wendell Gladstone

Wendell Gladstone

Wendell Gladstone

Beautiful/Decay has partnered with website building platform Made With Color to present the works of some of the most exciting contemporary artists around. Made With Color is committed to providing a service to the creative community that allows them to easily  create a website that is professional and accessible. Visit them and start building your new website today!

We’ve been long time fans of Wendell Gladstone’s work since we first featured him in Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue: T. Last week Wendell opened “Cave to the Grave”, a solo exhibition of new paintings at Kravets/Wehby Gallery in NYC.

In Cave to the Grave, Wendell Gladstone debuts a new series of paintings that depict the life of a man from his youth through his death. Referencing the allegory of Plato’s cave, the story begins with a boy immersed in darkness and continues to trace the boys’ life after he emerges from behind the curtain. Gladstone uses a collage sensibility by mining ideas and images to create his own fabricated myths. His paint handling is also diverse, a wide range of techniques are employed from very thick geometric hard edge areas, to subtle mists of airbrush, to organic veils of transparent stained color.

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Mario Hugo

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New York-based designer/illustrator/art director/what have you Mario Hugo is a talented guy. Working mostly in print, he creates work that utilizes his painting skills in a way that feels very sophisticated and contemporary. Mr. Hugo is also the co-owner of an artist management firm called Hugo & Marie.

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Marc Quinn Creates Haunting Self-Portrait Sculptures Made Out Of His Own Blood

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Sculptures of the artist. By himself. Made from his own body. Marc Quinn creates self-portraits with his blood. Every five years he makes a fresh one. Keeping track of his aging throughout the years. The process can appear gory and frightening but it is as close to reality as a portrait can be.

He repeats the operation by making a plaster mold of his face and by going to the doctor to get his blood drawn. The equivalent of a pint is drawn every week (not at once). The blood is injected into the molded face and preserved in a frozen environment. It could not sustain another way.
The first realization that blood is actually sitting in front of us can be disgusting and intolerable. It’s really the process that is intimidating. Once it’s understood then the concept behind this idea can be perceived, analyzed and accepted.

Marc Quinn’s intention is not only to make an organic piece but to keep it alive. By manipulating the scientific world to obtain what he wants he opens a new angle. He is redefining the limits in terms of means of expression. Ice and blood in that case coming from the same person making his auto-portrait dematerialize the notion of infinity. There’s also a melancholic feeling. When an artist depicts a self-portrait, the tone is usually neutral or positive. Considering that Marc Quinn chooses to represent himself as a volume of blood interrogates on what are the real motivations behind such a work and the artist’s inner self-regard. (via Ignant)

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