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Documentary Watch: Black Gold

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker (chocolate soy milk is my beverage of choice for me) but Black Gold had me wanting to kick down the doors to my local coffee shop and spray paint “Fair Trade Now” all over the walls. Black Gold documents one mans efforts at bringing fair pricing to the coffee farmers of Ethiopia who make less than a dollar a day growing al that delicious coffee that we pay $5 a cup for. It’s depressing to know that the farmers of one of the worlds most popular drinks are literally starving to death and can’t afford the basic necessities that we take for granted like shelter, water, and education.

Watch this documentary, only buy fair trade, and demand that your local coffee shop only support coffee brands that pay a fair wage.

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Fabio Lattanzi Antinori

I’m loving these layered and bizarre digital collages by Fabio Lattanzi Antinori. Also make sure to check out his Madonna series after the jump.

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Uplands Gallery, Part 1: Nadine Christensen

Nadine Christensen: Mix Up Table, 2009

Nadine Christensen: Mix Up Table, 2009

We’ve stumbled across Uplands Gallery of Melbourne Australia, a gallery that continually exhibits some noteworthy artists. Since cramming these artists into one post wouldn’t do them justice, B/D is presenting another 3-part series to spotlight the best of Uplands.

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Jennifer Greenburg Seamlessly Inserts Herself Into Vintage B&W Family Snapshots

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As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing this interview by Jenna Garrett with Jennifer Greenburg.

Photographer and Indiana University Northwest professor Jennifer Greenburg has been gathering vintage negatives for years. In her work Revising History, Greenburg appropriates these black and white images by digitally inserting herself as a main character, mimicking the gestures of the moment and the clothing of the period. By circumventing someone else’s photographs and calling them her own, Greenburg exhibits the innately false nature of memory and the family snapshot.

I think a lot of artists collect old photographs as there is a sort of mystery and unknown to them. What made you decide to insert yourself into someone else’s memories?
“When I look at someone else’s life though the lens of someone else’s camera, I create my own stories. I have done this as long as I can remember. Usually when someone shows you their photographs, they cannot help but narrate the images. I ignore that narration. Instead, I make up a fantasy in my own mind. I idealize everything– becoming quite nostalgic– even if the subjects in the photos are completely unknown to me. I prefer a wistful interpretation. Photography is an interpretation of what is in front of the lens. Yet, as a culture, we rarely acknowledge that. We still believe that what we see in a photograph is truthful.

“The fantasy of all photographs is what I am commenting on through my work. By placing myself in a time and place that could not possibly be real, I address the concept that the lens does not hold much, or any, truth.”

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Artist Collective DOMA’s Insane Output of Fun, Creative Work

 

Argentinian collective DOMA (Julian Pablo Manzelli, Mariano Barbieri, Orilo Blandini, Matias Vigliano) have a long track record putting on absurdist installations, performances, “happenings”, etc. They also run Turbo Gallery in Buenos Aires. They design characters and toys, and direct videos as well. Insane. Even with such extraordinary output, DOMA doesn’t seem to have overly serious ideas about their work. Even worksfeaturing severed limbs or raw meat and blood splatters take on an air of fun, creative freedom. Check out some of their previous projects below (furry dudes, robots, futuristic machines- all the good stuff). (via)

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Colorful Abstractions Transformed Into Street Art

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Xuan Alyfe street art8

Xuan Alyfe street art7

The pieces of Xuan Alyfe arrive from a variety of influences rarely found in street art.  His work is largely abstract, but peppered with figures and other recognizable objects.  The murals seems to subtly reference minimalist, surrealist, and even graphic design styles.  Aylfe’s art even seems to piece together various influences of other street artists into his own distinct style.  Perhaps appropriately, then, he has exhibited and painted murals worldwide.

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Haroshi’s Recycled Skateboard Deck Sculptures

 

We first posted the work of Haroshi back in 2010 but we couldn’t resist giving you an update of this artists incredible sculptures created out of used skateboard decks. His creations are born through styles such as wooden mosaic, dots, and pixels; where each element, either cut out in different shapes or kept in their original form, are connected in different styles, and shaven into the form of the final art piece. Haroshi became infatuated with skateboarding in his early teens, and is still a passionate skater at present. He knows thoroughly all the parts of the skateboard deck, such as the shape, concave, truck, and wheels. He often feels attached to trucks with the shaft visible, goes around picking up and collecting broken skateboard parts, and feels reluctant to throw away crashed skateboards. It’s only natural that he began to make art pieces (i.e. recycling) by using skateboards. To Haroshi, his art pieces are equal to his skateboards, and that means they are his life itself. They’re his communication tool with both himself, and the outside world.

The most important style of Haroshi’s three-dimensional art piece is the wooden mosaic. In order to make a sculpture out of a thin skateboard deck, one must stack many layers. But skate decks are already processed products, and not flat like a piece of wood freshly cut out from a tree. Moreover, skateboards may seem like they’re all in the same shape, but actually, their structure varies according to the factory, brand, and popular skaters’ signature models. With his experience and almost crazy knowledge of skateboards, Haroshi is able to differentiate from thousands of used deck stocks, which deck fits with which when stacked. After the decks are chosen and stacked, they are cut, shaven, and polished with his favorite tools. By coincidence, this creative style of his is similar to the way traditional wooden Japanese Great Buddhas are built. 90% of Buddha statues in Japan are carved from wood, and built using the method of wooden mosaic; in order to save expense of materials, and also to minimize the weight of the statue. So this also goes hand in hand with Haroshi’s style of using skateboards as a means of recycling. Also, although one is not able to see from outside, there is a certain metal object that is buried inside his three-dimensional statue. The object is a broken skateboard part that was chosen from his collection of parts that became deteriorated and broke off from skateboards, or got damaged from a failed Big Make attempt. To Haroshi, to set this kind of metal part inside his art piece means to “give soul” to the statue. “Unkei,” a Japanese sculptor of Buddhas who was active in the 12th Century, whose works are most popular even today among the Japanese people; used to set a crystal ball called “Shin-Gachi-Rin (Heart Moon Circle)” in the position of the Buddha’s heart. This would become the soul of the statue. So the fact that Haroshi takes the same steps in his creation may be a natural reflection of his spirit and aesthetic as a Japanese.

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Jillian Ludwig’s Fam Farm

Jillian Ludwig’s series Fam Farm reflects in a calm, gentle manner the loss of natural farming within westernized culture. Genetic modification, factory farming, as well as deceitful packaging and misguided labeling results in confusion and a disconnection between customer and the source of their food.

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