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Roger Herman

German born artist Roger Herman creates really beautiful paintings and sculptures.  Check out some of his work after the jump!

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Documentary Watch: Being Elmo

You’re probably thinking “Why is Beautiful/Decay posting about children’s puppets?” Well that’s a good question. Usually we leave Sesame Street for the toddler and mommy blogs but over the weekend I happened to watch  Being Elmo, a documentary about Kevin Clash, the long time voice and puppeteer of Elmo. Since the age of 10 (check out the above image of young Kevin performing for local kids in 1975) all Kevin wanted to do was to be a puppeteer. With tons of ambition, hard work, and creativity Kevin not only became a professional puppeteer but also one of the most famous and iconic figures in the field right along his life long idol Jim Henson.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story but I will say that every artist, designer, and creative person should watch this documentary. You will be touched, inspired, and moved to work harder, push the limits of your craft, and to never give up on your dreams. Watch the trailer for the documentary after the jump and run out and go out and buy the DVD. It will be the best money you’ll spend all week.

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Adam Levene

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Columbus, Ohio based Illustrator, Adam Levene, graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design with a BFA, and attended Illustration Academy for an extended study. His illustrations have a very classic style to them with a very strong sense of narration. Out of everything of his work, I really enjoyed his portraitures. Not only is he consistently generous in story, but character as well.

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Eric Ross Wiley

Brooklyn-based artist Eric Ross Wiley use of traditional materials, such as oil paint and canvas, is subverted with his experimentation with canvas stretching and bullet holes – which underplay the playfulness of the bright hues of his art. More of this work after the jump.

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Camila Valdez’s Sculptures Are Leggy Desserts

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Decadent desserts are paired with sexy legs in Argentinian-based artist Camila Valdez’s series of life and table-sized sculptures.  The faceless beings are placed in public and are posed on benches, seen exiting restaurants, and enjoying a picnic in the park. Despite the fact they can’t convey emotion through eyes or a mouth, Valdez has made their legs expressive. They are straight and together if trying to look pensive, or partially open as if trying to suggest something else.

This series literally objectifies women and compares them to a sugary treat that will rot your treat and should be enjoyed only every-so-often. At the same time, they reference outdated objects from the middle of the 20th century, where legs were attached to things like lamps (as seen in the film A Christmas Story). Valdez pokes fun at this absurd and fantastical objectification of the population. (Via HiFructose)

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Adam Vaudin Eats Nachos

Adam Vaudin makes art about everything that people should make art about like pizza, nachos, aliens, and pentagrams.

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Russell Tyler’s Goopy Shapes

We posted about Russell Tyler about a year and a half ago, and since then some of his paintings have taken a slight minimalist turn. Granted, it’s not trying to be Frank Stella, but instead of the werewolves and all-over smorgasbords of characters and color, he’s giving us more geometric shapes and patterns whose bright pink and blue zig zags give it a kind of LA-gear flare. The goopy application is still there and they’re still joyful as ever, but it’ll be interesting to see if where Russell ends up as he keeps blending Niki de Saint Phalle and more geometric shapes. I can’t wait to see more!

Ps. If you’re in San Francisco check out Russell’s show opening November 9th at Fouladi Projects!

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Ralph Steadman’s Rare Illustrations Of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

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A long-time fan of Ralph Steadman, I still encounter works of his that have somehow missed my radar. Published in 1995, a special edition of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” (currently out of print) features 100 full-color and half-tone illustrations by the artist. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings was able to find a copy of this rare edition, citing quotations from Orwell’s “The Freedom of the Press,” the proposed but unpublished preface to the original “Animal Farm” that accompanies Steadman’s raw and gritty illustrations.

Steadman has long been known as a Gonzo artist, a reputation due in large part to his long partnership with Hunter S. Thompson, but has also illustrated other books in his signature inkblot style including, “Alice in Wonderland,” “Treasure Island,” and most recently, “Fahrenheit 451,” in addition to drawing everything from political caricatures to wine and beer labels. NPR notes that he’s even written an opera libretto.

Of his fluid style, Steadman says, “You don’t pencil in anything; you just start going and see where it leads you. It’s an adventure, a little journey. Every drawing is a kind of journey. There’s an organic quality that is quite potent, you know. You surprise yourself, and that’s quite nice.”

A documentary about Steadman narrated by Johnny Depp, titled “For No Good Reason,” is set to release later this year. The film’s director, Charlie Paul, says,  “I was concerned that Ralph’s art would be the man and that I’d end up trying to make a film with someone who had this kind of aggressive attitude towards the world. But Ralph is such a lovely, warm and generous man, and yet he goes to his table and creates these pieces of art which are dangerous and, to be perfectly honest, quite upsetting sometimes.” ( via brain pickings and npr)

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