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Seokmin Ko Camouflages Reality With Mirrors

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The Square is a series of photographs by Korean artist Seokmin Ko.  Someone in each photograph can be found holding a mirror toward the camera.  Given, the mirror is more easily found in some photographs than others.  Still, the mirror in somewhat hides the person holding it, the reflection blending in with the background.  This is essentially a camouflage that works by imitating its surroundings.  Ko alludes to this in his statement, and draws similarities to social situations.  Peer pressure for conformity and social norms compel people to use such a social camouflage.  That is to adopt behavior that mimics surrounding groups in order to hide a person’s individuality.  Still, fingers peek from behind the mirror – perhaps an allusion to the persistence of individuality.

Of course there are several ways to read Seokmin Ko’s work.  Like a mirror it reflects interpretations singular to each viewer.  Ko’s most recent solo exhibition illustrates this.  Interestingly the curater presents an entirely different approach to the series.  In part, the gallery statement brings out:

“Ko is an artist of his own time. The mirrors and reflective glass make more sense as portals to other dimensions—dimensions perhaps similar to ours or radically different.  The patterning reflected in the mirror is never a seamless match with the mirror’s immediate surroundings; these works are not about tricking the viewer. In Ko’s images, the human, as the carrier of artifice, is a kind of discrepancy and belongs neither in the natural world nor in the constructed world. This is obvious in the architectural photographs where the human presence disrupts the dehumanizing machine-made grid. Ko’s is a humanist vision amidst a world that has become foreign to its inhabitants as creators, but as Einstein famously said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Ko’s disruptions offer hope.” [via]

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Kristina Diamond

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Kristina Diamond‘s photography series, “I Will Be Dying and So Will You,” makes you feel like you’re having one of those dreams that you don’t particularly care to wake up from. You know, the one where you’ve finally discovered the other fantastic and terrible world residing just around the corner of your consciousness. You have those dreams too, right?

Well, Diamond does. She has developed a moody sort of wonderland in which man is not king, in fact he, or she in this case, seems to be struggling to maintain her very existence. Falling from rocks, blotted out by shrubbery–I don’t believe our flaxen-haired heroin is long for this world.

It’s this sense of anxiety in Diamond’s photographs that is most intriguing, the sense that something awful is about to happen. Diamond captures that bittersweet lull before the storm with delicate accuracy. But is our heroin simply afraid of waking up? Or is the disquiet caused by something more menacing?

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Daniel Agdad Imagines And Creates Ultra-Detailed Industrial Machines Out Of Cardboard

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Extremely detailed machines made out of cardboard. Australian artist Daniel Agdag creates directly with his hands and scalpel. The industrial machineries he imagines and makes are a mean to raise consciousness on how human beings are powerless and ignorant over the machines they use daily.

In the ‘Principles of Aerodynamics’ series, Daniel Agdag demonstrates his ability to produce an intricate sculpture using just his imagination and memories he collects from details on architectural elements like buildings or monuments. He doesn’t sketch anything before diving for hours into his work. His process is described as ‘Sketching with Cardboard’. He conceives a hot air balloon, reel-to-reel recorder and a radar-dish without planning. The purpose remains the same : to entice the viewer’s curiosity and to generate a reaction.

The artist’s subject matter places individuals in a position of uncertainty. The machines that we use daily are complex and we tend to forget it. Furthermore, we might forget in the process that we are being helped by those machines, and that without them we could no longer pursue our effortless life. Daniel Agdad’s examination of the effect machines have on us is reminiscent of artist Jean Tinguely’s purpose. By building creative machines from garbage and found objects he ‘aimed to satirize the fallibility and unpredictability of machines and our reliance on them’. Daniel Adgad, by manipulating a simple material like a cardboard attempts to freeze time and the world we are living in. And reconnect the viewer with what he is actually capable of achieving thanks to the use of complicated machines.

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Maurice Mikkers’ Stunning Photographs Of Tears Reveal Their Crystalized Magnificence

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Dutch photographer Maurice Mikkers’ latest project “Imaginarium of Tears” shows that tears, much like snowflakes are all different. His series explores the magnificence of tears on both an aesthetic and molecular level. By placing tears under a microscope, he provides us with a close examination of crystallized tears in such a way that allows you to observe the different sections and patterns present within each tear. Mikkers’ series is based in his interest in tears from a scientific perspective and the way they are each composed of different elements and each have their own chemical structure.

His fascination for the individuality of tears I all the more interesting given the way in which he has chosen the tears to use for his project. Mikkers selected a group of his friends and asked them “what they would like to cry from”. He then gave them a selection of tear inducing activities such as cutting onions, looking into a fan, or eating hot peppers. He says he was highly interested in examining the ways in which each individual tear looks different when examined closely.

The process itself includes capturing the tears with a micropipette, placing them on a microscopic slide, and then letting them settle. The result of his project is a series of tears that are so meticulously different in all their details and, on a larger scale, a merging of science and art.

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Josh Vanover / SPACEKNUCKLE

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Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, visual artist Josh Vanover (a.k.a. SPACEKNUCKLE) combines geometric wizardry with a frenzied collage technique to explosive effect. Something about that darkly epic aesthetic seems to scream contemporary design. Outer-space overload can be a beautiful thing.

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A Letter from the Editor…

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Dear Beautiful/Decay Readers-

We’ve had some exciting news as of late- we’ve recently wrapped up Book 3, which was quite a task, compiling hundreds of reader submissions from around the globe. Book 1 has already sold out, and Book 2 is nearly there. This month, we also released our latest apparel line for Spring 2010 , of which many styles are already sold out. We’ve also watched our online readership more than triple in under a year. So, whether you are a B/D subscriber, B/D Apparel t-shirt wearer, or avid B/D blog reader, we’d like to thank you for your support of Beautiful/Decay!

We’d also like to take a minute to encourage you to subscribe to Beautiful/Decay. It’s one of the best ways to stay up to date with the creative world, for inspiration, and in return support us and the emerging artist community! By now, you’ve seen the quality, attention to detail & design that the new and improved B/D book has to offer. You know that every book in the limited edition series is lovingly hand-numbered, and stocked full of special artist giveaways and personal touches. From hand-drawn covers to signed silkscreen poster inserts, we strive to make each and every copy of Beautiful/Decay a unique, collectable art & design sourcebook.

You’ll also know by now that instead of cramming our pages full of advertising, we dedicate B/D entirely to the continued support of emerging artists.

So please- subscribe today. We rely on you, the subscriber, to support not just Beautiful/Decay, but the community of up-and-coming creatives from around the world!

Thanks for all your support- expect more surprises to come!

Sincerey,
Amir H. Fallah

Editor-In-Chief

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Kasia Domanska’s Summer Time

The slick and shiny paintings by Kasia Domanska of dreamy summertime beach fun makes me want to play hookie  and run off to Malibu for the day.

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David Szauder’s Finds Parallels Between Computer Glitches And Failed Human Memories

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David Szauder, a German digital artist, takes interest in the glitch phenomenon. Failed Memory, the name of the compilation of images, showcases photographs that are purposely altered. Precisely, the photograph’s flow is interrupted by the sudden ambiguity of lines and distortions occurring in certain parts of the subject’s body.

His ‘glitch’ technique literally translates to the themes he is working with here: memory and the possible failure to reconstruct them. Much like the files on our computer’s memory, human recollection of events might get distorted throughout time.

“Our brains store away images to retrieve them later, like files stored away on a hard drive. But when we go back and try to re-access those memories, we may find them to be corrupted in some way.”

His work is more than just visual; Szauder provides text to go along with the images. On his Behance profile, the artist expresses that the images recollect failed memories related to family moments. (via IGNANT)

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