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Rachel Caldwell

Philadelphia illustrator Rachel Caldwell creates charming illustrations with a good sense of humor.

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Josh Reames

 

Not only does Josh Reames write great reviews for New American Paintings and run an odd little basement gallery in Chicago (Manifest Exhibitions), but he makes great paintings too! I’ve personally seen his paintings come a long way in a very short time, and I hope you like them as much as I do. See this young Chicagoan under-compensate for his long-comings after the jump!

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Yuta Onoda

yuta onodaYuta Onoda is a very talented painter, illustrator, and printmaker from Japan. He graduated from Bachelor of Applied Arts Illustration at Sheridan College, Canada, and has been shaping his art aesthetic through various forms of media, hoping to find new avenues to express himself.

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Sr. X

Sir.x graffitiSr. X is a stencil-graffiti artist based in Gijon, Spain. His humorous post-ups are fantastic and will make any graffiti artist say, “why didn’t I think of that?” Although there is a lack of information about him on the internet, the work on his Flickr page speaks for itself.

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Shawn Brackbill on Finding Unique Ways to Photograph New York Fashion Week

As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Roger Kisby‘s interview with photographer Shawn Brackbill.

Shawn Brackbill is a Brooklyn, New York based portrait, fashion and music photographer.

I first came across your work a few years ago on Flickr. It seems like you were shooting mostly musicians then. How did you come to be involved in shooting fashion week?
I was shooting mostly musicians up until my first Fashion Week. I pitched a shoot to Dazed and Confused in July of 2008 to cover an event called Boadrum 88. It was started the year before by The Boredoms, a Japanese band, and that year Gang Gang Dance would be leading the performance of 88 drummers here in Brooklyn. I covered the event using multiple Polaroid cameras and Yashica Electro GSN rangefinder I had acquired from Ebay and refoamed.

A few weeks after delivering the images from that shoot, Dazed contacted me about covering the Spring / Summer 2009 New York Fashion week for them. They basically sent me out with a list of shows to cover and not much direction. That season I started to figure out what and how I wanted to cover Fashion Week and was hooked.

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Studio Visit: Allie Pisarro-Grant

Allie Pisarro-Grant is an artist I was very delighted to have met here in New York.  She attended RISD and has been working in New York City for the past 7 years. One day while commuting to work I saw Allie holding a Pearl Paint bag, so I decided to talk to her. Since then I’ve caught her work at The Brucennial and we’ve been friends ever since. She also coincidentally showed last New Years with some of my friends in Milwaukee. Recently we met up to do a studio visit and I got to know her work a little better.

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Will Cotton’s Decadent Sensuality In A Cotton-Candy Paradise

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Will Cotton - Painting
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Will Cotton has created a very successful career from painting fluffy cotton-candy cloudscapes and supple naked women. His body of work can be divisive, as it can easily be seen as gimmicky. Beautiful/Decay covered his portraits of Katy Perry a few years ago, and did not hold back any punches. In his more recent work in the past two years, though, I think there are some exciting, if subtle, developments taking place. Sentiments that have always been on the periphery of his work, but ones that I hope will begin to come through more strongly.

First, I will say that I do enjoy Cotton’s aesthetic to begin with. I mean, sorry, but I literally want to lick every part of every painting, and I’m not even into women. They’re delectable, and I know that’s his aim. He certainly isn’t challenging anything with his work; he adds a spoonful of sugar, and then another, and then shovels in more after that to seduce you with succulent sweetness. Maybe I’m even a little disgusted with myself for becoming rapt in his opulent fantasies. That said, I think his work is very apropos of our contemporary circumstance, and damn, does he capture our plushy, overabundant lifestyle with imagination and skill.

Honestly, I think the joke is on us for eating it all up. If anything, Cotton’s practice provides a mirror to reflect the image of the art world, at least some of us totally ready to douse ourselves in oozy sweetness so easy to swallow. I enjoy the beastly undertones, though. In the past two years, Cotton has painted two fish-looking creatures ridden by nude women, and I’m curious to see how this narrative develops. I find these works the most compelling, as the women seem to have more depth in their expressions, as well as an air of command. I think it would be tacky to suddenly have ghoulish creatures descend upon the candy lands and their nymph inhabitants, but the gradual emergence of a threatening presence would be a welcome addition to my eyes.

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BARE USA: Photographer Brian Cattelle’s Nation-Wide Project Contrasts Nude Beauty With Manmade Decay

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

Searsboro Consolidated School (Searsboro, IA)

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

The Ghost Town of Welcott (Welcott, WY)

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

Nike Missile Base PH-58 (Swedesboro, NJ)

Brian Cattelle, BARE USA - Photography

Fort Gorges (ME)

Brian Cattelle is an American photographer who has embarked on a nation-wide project to photograph one nude model in each of the USA’s 50 states. Driving his concept is an exploration of the contrast between natural, nude beauty, and the decay of manmade environments; explore his current collection, and you will see female figures integrated within architectural wastelands, the black and white tones highlighting the illumination of soft skin amidst shadowy, shattered rubble. Entitled BARE USA, the project emerged from Cattelle’s desire to challenge himself and his work. In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, he explained:

“I wanted to tackle a project that would prove I was able to work with models in often difficult and uncomfortable situation. I wanted to show I was willing to go to any lengths to get a great shot. I also wanted to show the level of organization, execution, and dedication I was capable of. It seems that my initial intention was to prove these points to others, but in the end the true reward was proving them to myself.”

Part of what makes Cattelle’s project so imaginative and emotionally evocative is his approach to abandoned places. “People often express sadness about some of these great abandoned structures,” Cattelle observed. “They don’t make me feel sad. Change is change […]. I do find myself captivated by a sense of awe and wonder when I soak in my surroundings. I think about how much effort went in to building these places, how much work took place here, and how quickly that can be lost.” By incorporating nude models, Cattelle reinvests desolate spaces with hope and optimism for the future. As he concludes, “I think my work is important because I am creating art and bringing something beautiful to this world by injecting new life into these dead and forgotten structures.”

Last summer, Cattelle completed successful shoots in 30 states, and is working on completing the final 20. If you like his concept, check out his Kickstarter project. There, you can learn more, make a pledge, and receive beautiful fine art prints in return. Visit Cattelle’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see more of his work and follow him on his journey.

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