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Anton Van Dalen

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Stylistically speaking, Anton’s drawings hark back to Italian Futurism- glorification of youth, violence, and fantasies of what pleasure advances in science could bring to humanity. It would seem though that instead of elevating technology (can’t we invent another word for this already?) he is mocking it by celebrating the very icons it is now embodied by. Or better yet, the empire that now belongs to Steve Jobs.

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Leif Podhajsky

Leif Podhajsky
From vagabonds to physchonauts, Leif Podhajsky has some pretty awesome designs. Leif is an artist and designer from Melbourne, Australia, were she is currently co-running a design studio called And. We love the work, keep it up!

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Camilo José Vergara Documents Camden New Jersey’s Crumbling Economics

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Camilo José Vergara’s 40-year project, “Tracking Time,” chronicles urban transformation in some of the poorest and most segregated communities in the Northeastern United States. In Camden, New Jersey, one of the poorest cities he regularly visits during his documentation, he captures what he calls “Paired Houses”: two dwellings that share a wall, one of them occupied, the other empty. Because each dwelling is part of the same building, Vergara is able to capture the stark contrast between deteriorated and maintained habitats, reflecting the declining state of Camden’s housing market. For some of the photographs, Vergara returns to a building he’s previously documented in order to chronicle the absence of formerly dilapidated buildings.

In his photo essay for Slate, Vergara writes,”If a resident of a middle-class neighborhood dies or moves to a nursing home, or if a dwelling burns, the empty house is usually guarded or secured by the owner’s family. The police keep an eye out for it. Neighbors, well-aware of the impact of a deteriorating eyesore on property values, alert city officials whenever they see a house falling into disrepair. The situation is quickly brought under control.

It’s different in a crumbling inner city like Camden. Even Walt Whitman’s old house at 328 Mickle St.—the only home he ever owned—was by the 1980s adjacent to a vacant three-story dwelling and just two houses away from a ruin. House values in Camden are low and likely to remain so since the population of the city is declining, unemployment is high, and there is little new demand for houses. The number of vacant houses is likely to increase; many will eventually be acquired by the city, which is too poor either to board them up or to demolish them.”

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Mildred & Pacolli

I recently stumbled upon this seriously amazing artist duo, Mildred & Pacolli.  Their work is AWESOME!  I love it. They recently had an exhibition at the Lower Haters gallery in San Francisco called WE ARE US.  You should check out some of their work!

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Maciek Jasik’s Portraits

Haunting portrait photography by brooklyn based Maciek Jasik.

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Australia’s Alpine Ready Their US Debut, A Is For Alpine

Alpine performing at Bardot (School Night) on March 4, 2013

As I write this, Alpine just wrote on Facebook that while on tour in the US, their video for Villages went past two million views. With solid reports coming out of SXSW about their many performances and KCRW picking their songs Lovers 1 and 2 as a recent double header Top Tune, it won’t be long before this Aussie six-piece finds their way into your ears.

I was lucky enough to catch them live at both Bardot in Hollywood and at Brooklyn’s Glasslands and both shows had me dancing from the first beat. Filled with energy, singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James get the crowd moving with their catchy tunes and lovely harmonies. I guarantee that once their album is released in the US, you’ll be hearing a lot more of them.

Alpine’s debut album, A is for Alpine will be released in the US on May 21st on Votiv Records. Check out the video for one of my favorites, Gasoline directed by Kris Moyes and be sure to catch them when they’re stateside again.

 

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Dina Goldstein

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For women everywhere who grew up with Disney princesses, at one time or another have been disappointed to find out that “happily ever after” is a very rare occurrence, and even then life cannot be consistently easy or good without a few hardships. I feel that a small part of me is avenged through Dina Goldstein’s harshly realistic series “Fallen Princesses.” In this series, Disney’s version of princesses find themselves introduced to the real world, and battling a world their previous audience live in. Everything from a stressful married life, obesity, depression, illness, etc. Just like everyone else they must address their conflict, and confront whatever the outcome may be.

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Smoking Guns And Feathers: Steven Spazuk’s Drawings Made From Smoke

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Artist Steven Spazuk really is a master of smoke and mirrors. Well, definitely of smoke. He literally makes his unique images from the burning grey stuff. Using an open flame candle, Spazuk places paper above the heat, collecting deposits of carbon and leaving marks of smoke on his canvas. He then uses feathers, brushes and scraping tools to build his incredibly detailed images of gas masks, dying birds, weapons and soldiers.

His new series of work has just opened at Reed Projects Gallery in Stavanger, Norway (runs until Aug 23rd) Called Smoking Gun and Feathers, the exhibition is a haunting collection of warning images. They are a glimpse into our possible future if we keep abusing the world we inhabit.

Spazuk exposes our collective and institutionalized hubris: the arrogance and entitlement that leads to overconfidence, abuse of power and a distorted vision of success. The plight of birds is contextualized in harsh, yet stunning image compositions, symbolizes the vulnerability of all species in the face of such human egotism. His current work provokes a reflection on the drastic and global impact of our lifestyle on the Earth’s ecosystems. (Source)

 
We have also previously featured Spazuk’s work here on Beautiful/Decay, so even if you can’t make it to the exhibition, be sure to check out the back catalog of his amazing work.

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