MICA 2012 printmaking grad James Bouché is doing some really dark, meditative work touching on themes of history, death, and decay. Yeah- it’s something we’d like. Bouché’s lithographs and screen prints of desolate wastelands, crumbling artifacts, and dead soldiers hit the tone pretty well. There’s almost like an arcane magic at work here, as though the artist is in touch with the ancient Mayans, transmitting 2012 death knells via ink on paper. But even if such sinister implications are completely imagined, the works’ ability to generate them in the first place is pretty special. But I’m still hoping that James is talking to the Mayans anyway. That’d be pretty cool.
In 2012, Paris-based photographer Floriane de Lassée was in Ethiopia when she came up with her “How Much Can You Carry?” series. While there, she took notice of the varieties of weight that people would carry above their shoulders. Since Ethiopia, de Lassée has traveled to 6 other countries – Rwanda, Nepal, India, Japan, Indonesia, Bolivia, and Brazil – documenting an even more diverse array of humanity and its essentials. de Lassée says, “‘How Much Can You Carry?'” is above all a tribute to the bearers of life; those whose life is heavy and where smiles and laughter become the key to a livable existence. This series can be read on two levels. The first refers to these modern caryatids; the second, more secret, talks about various weights we all carry, whether physical or psychological (the weight of tradition, education, family, etc).” (via junk culture)
Todd Knopke weaves strange and wonderful quilts with heavy titles like “A Powerful Force,” “Stoner,” and “Conservation and Revelation (A Certain Solidity).” What?! I love the top image, of shrouded woodland mystics proffering ancient staffs and unknown orbs in the midst of whitelight/white heat/energy. I want to wrap my (technically) unborn black metal son in it while I sing him Sabbath to sleep! Who says quilting bees are just for fussy old ladies! Knopke’s sewn tableuxs shred! (Literally!)
From the start, Beautiful/Decay has always focused on emerging artist and designers.We dedicated ourselves to promoting the next generation of creatives through our apparel, our magazines, our website, and now our books. Trying to do so much without the luxuries of rich parents, trust funds, and corporate backing has always been a challenge, but we pushed ahead, always striving to do as much as possible to promote our creative community.
We’ve always had a soft side for artists that pushed the envelope, but until recently, I didn’t realize that skateboarding, punk rock, underground comics, zines, and DIY culture so heavily influenced the type of artists feature and collaborate with. Whether exploring Heavy Metal & the occult in Issue S, psychedelia for Issue T, or working with Jim Callahan on a shirt graphic of a 3D barfing skull, we’ve always gone off the beaten path to work with a community of creatives who rebel against the norm and create powerful images that aren’t watered down for the masses.
So, when we sat down to discuss the B/D website 6 months ago, we decided we wanted to redefine the look and feel of the site to pay homage to all of our influences.
So what’s new in the new site you ask? Well, everything! We knew that we wanted to add new social networking features to make it easier to share posts on Twitter and Facebook. You can now like a post or retweet it with one click of a button, located at the bottom of each post. We also wanted you to be able to find various pages easily, so simplifying our navigation and columns was a big project. We’ve managed to minimize the number of pages and menu buttons so that you can easily find the info you need. (Without having to click a hundred different links!)
On the visual side of things, you’ll notice that we have hand lettering peppered through out the site. B/D started as a black and white ‘zine, so what better way to pay homage to our DIY beginnings than to have one of our past featured artists, Kyle Thomas, create a killer hand typeface for the site!
Last but not least, our biggest change is to the B/D shop. For the last year, we had a different website for B/D Apparel, but now Beautifuldecay.com is your one-stop shop for all things Cult Of Decay: from the latest books we’ve released, to new T-shirts from your favorite artists. Not only is our shop now fully integrated into Beautifuldecay.com, but it also allows us to give you better, more personalized service. We know that YOU are our most important asset so we’ve added free shipping options, better discount code functionality, better images, and a whole gang of new features to help with your shopping experience. We’ll be adding new product weekly to the shop and will be doing several promotions to celebrate our relaunch, so get ready for lots of exciting releases from us!
We want you to enjoy this new site as much as we do, so if you have any comments, problems, questions, suggestions or issues let us know in the comment section below! We want to give you a bigger, better Beautiful/Decay so your feedback is important.
What do you get when you combine underwater sea creatures with elegant and sophisticated lighting? You get the weird and whimsical octopus chandeliers of artist Adam Wallacavage. The Philadelphia based artist uses traditional ornamental plastering techniques to create working chandeliers in the shape of octopus and fantastical sea life. Each chandelier is created from a wide range of materials such as epoxy resin, iridescent powders, spray paint, and glitter. His inspiration and ideas come from a very eclectic range of sources such as flashy church decoration, tales of underwater adventure, and, not surprisingly, taxidermy. His absurd style is both gaudy and Victorian while still being absurdly fun.
Wallacavage’s childlike imagination turns a seemingly normal object into wonderfully gaudy and kitschy chandeliers full of shiny colors and tentacles. Each chandelier Wallacavage constructs is unique with their wide array of pastel, glittery colors and their endless ocean-life motifs. These include green seashells, purple tentacles, pink pearls, and even big, round eyes starring straight at you. Some of his chandeliers seem to be inspired by the pastel colors and ornate design of the Rococo period, while his other chandeliers have a louder palette with strange faces and eyes. His octopus creations create a surrealistic atmosphere as each sea monster is suspended from the ceiling, reaching out its tentacles, which happen to hold the chandelier lighting. After seeing Wallacavage’s highly imaginative and extravagant chandeliers, you realize how much chandeliers already looked like octopus! Not only can you find the artist’s octopus chandeliers in several New York City galleries, Wallacavage is also an accomplished photographer. He even has a book published on his photography titled Monster Sized Monsters available in many museum stores.
Jodi.org (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans) has always been the pioneers of the net art movement subverting websurfing logics and breaking your browsers since the mid ’90s and have been deconstructing web platforms such as Google Maps, Blogger, and now Twitter too has fallen victim. Taking place last Monday in the Netherlands, “Sk8monkey” involved a group of skaters using wheeled wireless keyboards instead of regular boards which were connected to a number of computers logged-on to a Twitter account, which was subsequently overloaded with nonsense “tweets”, made solely of random characters. Maybe these nonsensical keyboard mash sessions are actually more interesting than some users’ sensical ones, ha!
Natalie Arnoldi grew up in Malibu. Deeply enriched by such coastal experiences, her oil paintings, however, are not so much picturesque, as they are quietly treading with fuzzy emotional frequency. Ranging from the momentary bliss of a fading firework over water to the lonesome bending highway long after dusk, each piece captures a certain hypnotic and unsettling obstruction of weather and abstraction of shape: a familiar interlude before the abyss.
Of her work, Arnoldi states, “Both processes, science and art, are a form of exploration, at once (both) highly emotional and analytical, but always inquisitive. The methods might be different, but the goal is the same—seeking truth in the most authentic way I know how.”