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Ryan McLennan

Picture 5 Richmond artist Ryan McLennan’s new inaugural art book, “The Cost of Comfort,” goes on pre-sale today to be officially released July 1st. The book is a loose-leaf art book featuring 20 prints. McLennan’s paintings explore the dualities of nature: innocence and savagery combine to create a world that we, as humans, have become increasingly out of touch with. The book is published by Triple Stamp Press.

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Carly Fischer’s Litter Replicas Made From Paper and Glue

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The installations of Carly Fisher may at first appear to be trash strewn galleries.  However, closer inspection reveals that none of the items are actual garbage.  Rather, Fisher carefully recreates litter from little more than paper and glue.  The meticulous attention she  gives to sculpting trash replicas, so to say, may seem odd.  However, the familiar international name brands dotting the gallery floor raise the question: do these corporations possibly give the same meticulous attention to the branding of litter as Fischer?  As one of her gallery statements puts it, “Perhaps there is a marketing edge to trash?”

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Made With Color Presents: Tanya Batura’s Delightfully Grotesque Busts

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It’s time for our weekly exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website builder Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to build their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color is a website builder that helps artists create gorgeous mobile/tablet optimized websites in only a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work and website of Tanya Batura.

Los Angeles artist Tanya Batura is known for her delightfully grotesque busts that reference a wide array of subject matter such as BDSM, fashion, serial killers, human deformities and classical 15th Century sculpture. Working in ceramics, a medium that has both its detractors and supporters, Batura’s large-scale heads defy even their own materiality, transforming the often staid and predictable parameters of the medium toward a more cohesive and deliberately forceful sensibility.

Batura’s work is at once monumental and delicate, geometric and languorously sensual in their fluidity, starkly devoid of color yet strangely shadowed from within. Pushing both material and content, Batura’s agenda is clearly less about pleasing any perceived “viewer,” and much more about complete absorption into her own process.

An exclusive interview with Tanya Batura is available in Beautiful/Decay Issue:V available on the B/D SHOP.

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Jess Riva Cooper’s Beautifully Grotesque Ceramics Celebrate Death And Decay

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The ceramics of Jess Riva Cooper are gross, majestic, fragile and poetic. Her Viral Series is a collection of clay heads bursting with groups of insects, tree roots, branches, leaves, flowers, stems and buds. Mostly white with a heavy glaze, Cooper subtly decorates areas of her sculptures and adds accented color. The pieces show a beautiful understanding of the circle of life, or rather how things are destroyed and created simultaneously. Cooper talks about how something seen as destructive and parasitic is no different from the form it is overtaking. She treats all areas of life as equal, and each creepy crawly is as beautiful as a lotus flower.

My work, Viral Series, is a continued exploration into the death and regeneration taking place in deteriorating communities. Places and things, once bustling and animated, have succumbed to nature’s mercy. Without intervention, nature takes over and breathes new life into objects, as it does in my sculptures. (Source)

Cooper has researched heavily into different cultures and how this same idea is treated. In most eastern philosophies, the idea that birth and death are part of the same spectrum rings true. She takes that idea further and looks a bit deeper into one culture in particular:

I also study the foundation myths of the Golem and Dybbuk spirits in Yiddish folklore and reinterpret these traditional stories through a female lens. I see a direct parallel between my interest in insidious plant life and a malevolent Dybbuk spirit, which takes over the human body. In both situations a loss of control is suffered as the parasitic entity subsumes the host. (Source)

Cooper’s ceramics remind us that even though things of beauty are there to be admired and celebrated, it is also a fine thing when those things are disrupted and replaced by other things.

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Takashi Iwasaki

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Takashi Iwasaki definitely has a flair for the playful. Each piece is a kaleidoscopic explosion of all things optimistic and innocent, from vibrant colors to minimal, intimate shapes. Equally as amusing are the titles of these paintings, collages, and embroidery work, which consist of fragments of Japanese, English, other languages, and sounds.

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∆ (Alt-J) is Heading Back to the West Coast with a Bigger Venue to Accommodate Their Growing Popularity

Recently nominated for a Mercury Prize, ∆ (Alt-J) is stepping up venues on their next tour of the West Coast. LA’s Fonda Theatre will have them on December 12th which is sure to be a quick sell out. I recently saw them at the Bootleg Theatre and they have really come a long way since their US debut at School Night in Hollywood earlier this year. I’ve been listening to their album, An Awesome Wave since it was released in the UK this past May, thanks Rough Trade! Even though one of my friends thinks the singer sounds a little like Elmer Fudd, the music is infectious. Check out the video for Breezeblocks after the jump and buy your tickets ASAP for their show at the Fonda at Ticketmaster.

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Chad Hagen’s Nonsensical Infographics

There’s been a lot of talk of 2012 being the “Year of the Infographic”: visual representations of data as aesthetically pleasing as they are informational. Chad Hagen welcomes us to “the world of fictional information” with illustrations that explore what we’ve come to accept as infographic staples — a visual key, multi-dimensional shapes, a vibrant color selection — with none of the facts. Without the burden of telling a story culled from factual data, various dimensions, planes and colors are free to tell whatever story they choose. (via)

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Art Basel Miami: Day 1

Any attempts to describe the madness that was Art Basel Miami 2010 in a few sentences will undoubtedly fall short. Put succinctly – lots of art, lots of people, lots of sun, lots of fun. People go to Art Basel Miami for many different reasons, but yours truly went in search of the ever-exciting, awe-inspiring, never-before-seen, knock-your-socks-off, kick-ass kind of art that makes me say YES! Did I find what I was looking for? It’s hard to say my friends, so loyal B/D reader you be the judge. Here are some of the highlights from Day 1: Art Basel Miami Beach…

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