The first life size skull hand made from a rare crystallized meteorite ‘Gibeon’. This unique piece has been realized by Lee Downey; an American jeweler artist, whose purpose is the celebrate the mystery of the human skull and its numerous symbols and interpretations. The astonishing piece will be auctioned by Bonhams on November 24th 2015 and has already been estimated at around $400,000.
The process started out by cutting and carving down a block of meteorite (617 lbs) into a 46 lbs skull. The precious artifact is called ‘Gibeon’. A meteorite of 4 million years old, dating from the prehistorical era and founded in the Namibia region. The coveted material is renowned for his crystal structure and its singular ‘Widmanstätten’ pattern. A motif unveiling a repetition of matte and glossy stripes imitating metal.
The intricate work of polishing and washing the carved skull revealed an unexpected insertion on its forehead classified as ‘Tridymite’, a rare component.
Lee Downey, now residing in Bali, through his work, has brought out never seen before features on the texture of this particular meteorite. The reflection of the light onto the multi-faceted inclusions creates a shimmery luxurious aspect. The fact that the surface, including the gold insertion, is pure; confers to the skull an exceptional uncommon value. “Of any material I could think of to fashion an accurate human skull out of, this Gibeon meteorite best embodies the “mystery” most acutely. I call him The Traveler… a true time traveler”. The artist’s intention in presenting the symbol of death with an ageless, immortal material is to focus on spiritual consciousness and the definition of eternity.
At Beautiful/Decay we have been partnering with Craftsy, an online art class company and community that offers hundreds of different arts and crafts e-guides, online classes and other tools for sparking your inner creativity and honing new skills. This week we have another Craftsy resource to share! How To Draw With Perspective is a free PDF e-guide available exclusively on Craftsy (available on this link) that features 24 pages of tutorials, demonstrations and tips on perspective drawing.
Developed and drawn up by artist Paul Heaston, an accomplished illustrator who also teaches Craftsy classes on sketching, the downloadable and printable e-guide incorporates step-by-step guides on mastering drawing space. This guide is suitable for the advanced beginner to intermediate drawer, and is a great reference for any artist to have on hand in their studio.
Ted Tucker’s paintings are magnificent homages to drunk frat boys, cheerleaders, trophies, and friday night keg parties with a dash of cheesy tv show from the CW network thrown in. Not only are Ted’s paintings fantastic but he also has made the package complete with his choose your own adventure website for the series. Make sure to select the Flash option and let the good times roll!
The art of Christopher David White seems like it could be found decaying in the forest at the end of your street. However, the gnarled wood, patina copper, rusting metal is all meticulously worked ceramic. White’s work is at once quietly peaceful and playful dealing out a subtle surrealism. He offers curious find on objects that would normally be passed over. Regarding his ultra-realistic style and themes of deterioration, White explains:
“Through the use of trompe l’oeil, we look closer; we rediscover the amazement, joy, and tranquility that come from our environment…Neither good nor bad, decay is simply a natural process of our world that at times can produce deeply moving and beautiful effects.”
So last week, B/D teamed up with MSTRKRFT & SPRFKR to present a creative giveaway. All you have to do is send us your COOLEST drawing of two dudes sporting mustaches and shades! You can draw MSTRKRFT if you want- or any other two guys sporting this incognito look. Three lucky winners will receive a MSTRKRFT prize package of a SPRFKR poster & MSTRKRFT’s latest cd, “Fist of God.” Winning submissions will also be featured on the Beautiful/Decay blog! So get creative- submissions can be digital, painted, crocheted, Bento boxes, whatever!
Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or send hard copies/CD’s with images/fake mustaches to:
Attn: Mustache & Shade Competition
PO Box 2336
Culver City, CA 90231
(All snail mail submissions will not be returned unless a self-addressed stamped envelope is included.)
-1 copy of MSTRKRFT’s latest album, “Fist of God”
-Feature on Beautiful/Decay blog
Only 3 more weeks til the contest ends May 20th!
The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles has not one, but two very appealing magic-related exhibitions opening April 28. The first, Houdini: Art and Magic, travels to us from New York. Featuring tons of Houdini-ana, the exhibition looks not only at the historical Harry Houdini, but also at his enduring legacy. To that end, the exhibition includes a number of artworks by contemporary artists inspired by the Houdini legend, including such luminaries as Matthew Barney, Petah Coyne, Vik Muniz and Raymond Pettibon. The Skirball has created a second exhibition to give context to Houdini. This is called Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age, and it focuses on Houdini’s predecessors, colleagues and competitors in both Europe and the US, focusing on the years 1875 to 1948. The exhibition examines more than 40 fascinating careers, largely forgotten, and contains many outstanding objects, all displayed in “period” environments meant to evoke vaudeville stages, Victorian magic parlors and the like. Both exhibitions feature vintage photography, gorgeous promotional ephemera, original props and costumes, and rare documents, and Masters of Illusion includes four renowned automata.
Designer Bilge Nur Saltik creates stunning objects that magnify beauty by playing with light and geometry. Featured here is Op-vase, a series of glass vessels crafted in Istanbul that are cut to produce kaleidoscopic effects. Once a flower is placed inside, its image is dispersed across the concave, faceted surfaces; a single rose is transformed into an illusory bouquet that shimmers and proliferates behind the glass. With human perception as the catalyst, each angle produces a unique and subjectively experienced pattern. Watch Dezeen’s video above and see how the flowers magically change as the vessel turns.
Saltik’s fascinating oeuvre includes similar works that create enchanting effects by distorting and multiplying reality. In 2014 she created a wall light containing layers of textured panels that reflect light and warp patterns as they rotate; similar to the Op-vases, Saltik also crafted a collection of glass objects carved with geometric surfaces that trigger optical illusions as they move. With a keen eye for contemporary design and a knowledge of the seemingly limitless capacities of human perception, Saltik’s work unfolds worlds of mystery and hidden beauty.