With a name like Daniel Danger, well, a certain excess of awesome is expected of you. Danger delivers. The product of an artistically-inclined family, Danger is an illustrator, printmaker, and musician working out of New England. His works feature mysterious figures wandering the midnight-shaded streets of cities in decay. Spirits rise in unison from old houses and barns where now dreams of daylight lie interred. Shadows loom, larger-than-life (or death?) in urban sprawl and twisted forest alike. Each piece tells its own dark tale.
Alex Guiry is a photographer who wields his camera in the passionate exploration of untamed environments and the people that inhabit them. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Guiry’s images are drenched with the rain, beauty, serenity, and intensity of the Pacific Northwest. This particular photo series, entitled Naked Nothing, embraces nude portraiture— male and female — in natural and urban landscapes, framing it not as an object of sexualized desire, but rather as a means to celebrate selfhood and let go of inhibiting insecurities; whether running through a field, arching between trees, or balancing on urinals, each body is strong, confident, and standing up with an identity that needs only itself for validation. In a fascinating and eloquent statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Guiry further explained his socially-informed approach to photography:
“All genders have a tough time with body image, and a number of my models have opened up to me about battling with an eating disorder. For a lot of them, this is their first time undressing in front of a camera — or a stranger for that matter — and I’d like to think when I shoot with these girls, something brilliant happens: they realize how liberating it is to be naked, happy with themselves, and to not give a fuck. […] I want to portray these girls as someone who wants to be there, behind the camera, not overpowered, submissive, fragile, or backed into the corner by the male gaze of the photographer and audience. The nudity draws the viewer in, and holds their attention long enough to rethink why they came here in the first place.”
Furthering the images’ ability to heal and empower, Naked Nothing also holds a personal significance for Guiry. His father died shortly before he began the project. Explaining the series’ connection to this event, and how photography can reconcile trauma and restore peace, Guiry writes:
“Naked Nothing is where I could secretly curate my feelings of pain, loss, love, depression, and the rebirthing cycle. My largest anxieties are about my relationships with people, so in my work I’ve romanticized three key figures that are vaguely present in most of my stories: my father, an ex, and the girl I can’t have. Being active in nature, paying attention to light, and listening to zen philosophy, have all helped to calm the constant commentary. Learning to use photography as a tool has been a large part of my healing process as well.”
The combination of nudity and photography as a means to spiritual and bodily healing has appeared in some of Guiry’s other series; Running on Empty, for example, is a photo essay of a young woman’s journey through bulimia towards self-love and acceptance. And whether documenting the body in its nude state or not, all of Guiry’s lifestyle portraiture is infused with the same passion and search for the subject’s empowerment. Check out his website, Tumblr, and Facebook for more examples of his beautiful and heartfelt work.
Chris Gray is a UK based designer and illustrator currently working in the studio at Love Creative working with clients like BBC, Christian Aid, Playstation, Bollocks to Poverty, Absolut and Dr Martens. His whimsical, iconic aesthetic reduces complex thought systems to catchy graphics that evidence a strong sense of color and play. Chris Gray recently designed Beautiful/Decay’s smash hit “Sex” (pictured above, for purchase here) and “Casual Apple” shirts. Read his full interview after the jump!
Now that i’ve covered spooky looking kids why don’t we enjoy the work of British painter Mary Jane Ansell who has stepped it up with her series of teenage girls complete with glossed over sinister looks in their eyes.
For the last 4 years I’ve made a pilgrimage to Mammoth Lakes for the holidays to get a break from work and get some quality snowboarding in on one of the best mountains in the world. I didn’t do much work during my trip but lucky for you I managed to photograph a handful of vintage signs that can be found in tiny towns between Los Angeles and Mammoth. I’m not sure what it is but these old signs have a certain character that you just don’t see in signage these days. Here are a few of my favorites.
Artist Peter Combe transforms household paint swatches to create stunning 3D portraits. Using the full color spectrum of 1,100 colors, the artist prepares his palette material by manipulating the swatches either into tiny discs by punching or miniature strips by shredding. He often works in series of repetitions, allowing him to recreate the same image with the aim of experimentation. The potential of each renderings is endless as he uses color based on tonality and not on hue and can transform each work quite drastically depending on his choices. Combe is interested in “how the implementation of a single colour, when applied to a small incremental tonal range, can transform a work either subtly or substantially.” His work, formulated through an intense and meticulous layering process, can be compared to a pointillistic method of translating color, tone, and space. His work is also reminiscent of early printers, xerox and copy machines, in which images are built through a separation of color, resolving the picture one hue at a time. Another aspect of the work, Combe explains, “is the constant change and flux that is mostly produced by the viewers changing vantage points, an effect that is difficult to imagine whilst not being present before the work. These artworks do not photographer well. It is Impossible to capture the kinetic element – an element whereby the viewer’s motion or movement dictates the artworks transformative component.” There is a notion of fleeting reality when experiencing the work— just as each portrait is in of itself physically fragile — each image, as it becomes manipulated through movement, light, and space, becomes precious, as the viewers’ experience of the work is consistently shifting, making every interaction with the work unique.
Bjorn Veno was nice enough recently to send me a bunch of unreleased, unviewed new works that are under way right now- and he’s given me permission to unveil a little “teaser” for what is to come. The above image may form part of a new triptych series- but will not be unveiled for the next year or so. I’ve been a long time fan of Bjorn’s quixotically expansive photography that taps into the mostly unexplored genre of masculine psychic spaces within self-portraiture. Often set within Edvard Munch-like Scandinavian emotionally charged landscapes, Veno’s photography is at once enigmatic, seductive, and playful. He was recently the only man to win the Xto Nude Image Awards! Prior works after the jump!