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Fabian Oefner’s Gravity Induced Paint Explosions Create Liquid Orchids

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when captured from the side, you can see how the individual layers of paint appear out of the white surface.

Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner’s latest “Orchid” series of paint actions depicts the ephemeral nature of gravity and fluid paint, frozen in time. In each image Oefner captures a fleeting moment with his camera which appear to look like sculptural floral blooms when in fact they are explosions of paint set into motion by gravity.

In his unique process Oefner filled a tank with several layers of different colors of liquid paint with the top layer being either black or white. Then, a sphere was thrown into the paint. As the falling object splashed into the tank, the paint was forced upwards, shaping the individual layers of paint into a blossom-like structure.

“Orchid” is about preserving ephemeral beauty. Photographed with high speed devices, these images capture structures of sublime elegance, which appear only for a fraction of a second before disappearing beneath the surface again. (via designboom)

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Nick Smith’s Recreates Classic Paintings With Pantone Swatches

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Nick Smith‘s playfully arranges Pantone swatches to paper to re-create famous paintings from “Girl with a Pearl Earring” to “Mona Lisa.” Though his work uses broad swaths of colors, the pictures are still recognizable, looking almost like 8-bit art. He takes classic pieces and brings them into the 21st century, adding a little twist of tongue-in-cheek pop art to it along the way.

Smith’s previous work has also been largely representative, such as his “Shades of Lust” series, which labels various shades of pink Pantone swatches with suggestive yet simple titles such as “NIPPLE” and “BOUNCY.” (via I Need a Guide)

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Extremes Of North Korea’s Developing Capital Recorded Beautifully In This Time-Lapse Video

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Videographer Rob Whitworth together with city-branding pioneer JT Singh create a stunning flow-motion panorama of the mysterious capital of People’s Democratic Republic Of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. “Enter Pyongyang” is their another collaboration combining the stunning effects of time-lapse photography, HD and digital animation, acceleration and slow motion.

According to the creators, North Korea, which is mostly imagined as a country “immune to change”, is rapidly developing. Besides the uplift in tourism, the whole infrastructure is rising with new railways being planned and special economic zones launched. Whitworth and Singh accurately capture this shift in their video filmed with the help of Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based travel agency who provided the team with exclusive access to the city.

“As is standard for all foreign visitors to the country, we were not allowed to shoot any construction sites, undeveloped locations or military personnel. Other than that we were given relatively free reign.”

North Korean society is highly enclosed and lifting the curtain, especially for a video, is a truly unprecedented behavior. However, “Enter Pyongyang” captures the controversial reality of this multimillion capital: from its high-end golden statues and modern glass skyscrapers, to the humble and earnest citizens. The fast-paced video conveys what is essentially Pyongyang’s biggest wealth – the dynamism and energy driving it to the new heights. (via The Awesomer)

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Studio Visit: Serena Cole’s Glittery Paintings Tap into our Dark Desires

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Serena Cole. See the full studio visit and interview with Serena and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.

Serena’s studio is in her Oakland apartment, a modest space that she has efficiently rigged to accommodate her needs. She’s set it up so that her studio takes up most of the apartment’s square footage, but she keeps things flexible with furnishings that are easily moved and rearranged. I’m always impressed with resourcefulness and am appreciative of the kind of ingenuity that comes out of necessity and that manages to circumvent a set of limitations. In fact, the idea of limitations kept coming up for me in thinking about Serena’s artwork because her pieces are very much visually dictated and confined by her reference material. Her work directly appropriates the fashion imagery of advertising campaigns and editorial spreads, highlighting the patterns and tropes used to elicit desire and encourage consumerism. In taking on this imagery, her work attempts to examine what is revealed about our collective psychology, the culture of consumption and escapism, and the complexity of fantasy. In our conversations, she acknowledged that she isn’t so much trying to create something new, but instead aims to deconstruct already existent imagery in the appropriation of it. But this is a slippery slope— in being so tightly tethered to the aesthetics of the fashion world, Serena’s work runs the risk of coming off as analogous instead of questioning. Serena is aware of this risk— in creating art within a framework already heavily loaded with well-established associations, value, and perimeters, she knows the trick is to get the viewer to recognize that there is actually a lot at stake amidst the glitz and glamour.

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Marco Cuevas

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Moon Hoon’s Home Library Slide

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If you were similarly a nerd-child, this home library would have been better than any I could conjure.  Architect Moon Hoon designed this extremely family friendly house.  The spaces throughout the house are very versatile with this library being its highlight.  Embedded in the bookshelves is a wooden slide.  Also, the shelves double as tiered seating for the home theater.  Moon Hoon says of the feature:

“The multi-use stair and slide space brings much active energy to the house, not only children, but also grown ups love the slide staircase. An action filled playful house for all ages.” [via]

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Dominik Tarabanski’s Editorial Photography is Surreal yet Minimal

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New York based fashion photographer, Dominik Tarabanski, creates surreal editorial photographs that evolve around the notion of a ‘modern human’–minimal and sophisticated yet weird and edgy. Think of it like this: a mix between the early surreal photographs of May Ray and Lady Gaga’s outrageous closet and styling.

My interest and inspirations evolve around the modern human, photography is always the ultimate form of reflection. I hope that my visual sensibility will one day lead to a simple, pure and perfect organic form. I want to talk about the phenomenon of fashion in my own conceptual way, which leads to a smooth transition into the art domain. – Tarabanski

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Studio Visit: Tom Sanford

Tom Sanford had me over to his spacious basement studio in Tribeca this past Saturday.  I became aware of Sanford’s work in 2008 when I saw his show “Mr. Hangover” at Leo Koenig, Inc.  Tom’s main project is capturing our rapid-fire digital culture in the slow language of painting.  If it’s in the news – it’s likely fodder for his paintings.  When we watch TV, a pop star’s recent public tantrum is covered with the same attention as the death count in a war zone.  Tom doesn’t try to adjust the playing field between pop culture and world events – he conflates them.  But when that happens in a painting the dissonance is in your face in a way that it isn’t on TV.  For instance, in a new large-scale painting, Bill Murray (as a red capped Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic) is being held at gun point by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  It’s inexplicably poignant – maybe because I care about the character from a movie?  Sanford speaks eloquently about how painting is slow media, and how we’re all enmeshed in fast media – he has a sign up in his studio that sums it up as “The worse the better.”

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