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Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny

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Check out Tomáš Gabzdil Libertiny’s human honey comb sculpture. The honeycomb skin was created by the use of a swarm of 40,000 bees!

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Book: 3 The Underdogs- Available now!

In 2001 I was in art school, trying to make sense of how one gets into shows, sells art, and gets press. It was a daunting task for my peers and me–none of us knew where to start. Running into the art world’s countless closed doors, however, became the inspiration behind creating Beautiful/Decay. My dream was to expose and support all the great art that I was finding by unknown, young artists. I wanted to celebrate these “underdogs” and give them the credit that they deserved.

It’s been almost a decade since then and our mission hasn’t changed. We still strive to shed light on work that is underrated and unknown. So in the spirit of Beautiful/Decay’s dedication to emerging art, we present to you our first annual edition of “The Underdogs.” Each year, we will open up the magazine to you, our readers, so that you can have a chance to participate in Beautiful/Decay. For this issue, we asked artists to interpret our theme, “The Underdogs,” as they saw fit. Some literally interpreted the theme, while others imagined the concept abstractly to create their works. With just under 100 slots, and over 500 submissions, figuring out who made the cut was anything but easy.

Some of the artists you may have heard of, and others have never been featured in print before. We selected our cover artist, Allison Schulnik, for her beautiful depictions of anonymous, unsung heroes. For all their tragedy and isolation, Schulnik gives form to the world’s “fools and rejects,” who in turn transcend the page to become icons in and of themselves. This process of transformation and redemption, of attaining the spotlight against all odds seemed the perfect concept in which to encase Book 3.

Get your copy of Book:3, the ultimate inspiration/resource of emerging art at the B/D Shop!

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Erik Parker Paints Subversive, Psychedelic Visions In B/D’s Magazine About The “Public Enemy”

Erik Parker - PaintingErik Parker - PaintingErik Parker - Painting Erik Parker - Painting - B/D Issue O

Erik Parker is a German-born, New York-based artist who paints mashed-up characters in psychedelic landscapes; from graffiti, to comic books, to hip-hop, his work represents a synthesis of subculture that has taken on a rebellious life of its own. His work is part of Beautiful/Decay’s Issue O: “…Is the Public Enemy,” a magazine dedicated to artists who critique—through different mediums—mainstream structures. Other featured artists include Anthony Hernandez, a photographer who documented over 40 years of marginalized people and disregarded places in Los Angeles, as well as Imaad Wasif, a singer-songwriter whose passionate, eclectic style traverses the realms of folk and psychedelic/postmodern rock.

Parker’s approach to the “public enemy”—normative society—is to animate cultural expressions of dissonance into grotesquely expressive beings. Order is twisted into madness; human bodies are melted into sensation-filled lava pools of eyeballs, mouths, and viscera; and playful, biomorphic shapes swell into the suggestively sexual. In true graffiti style, many of Parker’s works include words resonating with rebellion and discontent, such as “rize,” “torn,” and “sink/swim.” With their amorphous and infinitely unpredictable shapes, Parker’s paintings signify a fluid form of resistance that undermines structures of constraint.

To learn more about Parker, check out B/D’s Issue O, which includes a feature-length interview with the artist. Limited copies can be purchased in our shop.

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Desolation And Dreams: Michael Massaia’s Haunting Photographs Of Abandoned Amusement Parks

Michael Massaia - Photography Michael Massaia - Photography Michael Massaia - Photography Michael Massaia - Photography

Michael Massaia is a photographer from New Jersey whose black-and-white imagery has an uncanny way of making the familiar seem unfamiliar: ordinary scenes are transformed into stunning portraits of isolation, desolation, and mystery. Two series are featured here: Afterlilfe and Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts. The former documents vacant amusement piers along the New Jersey coastline, and the latter comprises vertical portraits of people sleeping in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. While the subject matter is drastically different between the series — urban landscape photography and portraiture, respectively — both convey Massaia’s unique style: the haunting documentation of ordinary things that resonate with a deep sense of reflection and a yearning for connection.

Started in 2008, Afterlilfe features amusement piers in states of vacancy and ghost-like deterioration, photographed in the quiet hours between 4 and 6 o’clock in the morning. Most of the images were shot in FunTown and Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. In environments usually known for noise and elation, silence prevails; carousels lie dormant, and the architectural bones of roller coasters and ferris wheels loom against cloudy, darkened skies. Many of these structures were destroyed by hurricane Sandy in 2012. Shooting before and after the catastrophic event, Massaia’s unearthly photographs trouble us with their radiating atmospheres of stillness and absence.

Sheep Meadow: Vertical Abstracts is an extension of an earlier project titled Deep in a Dream. Massaia photographed people as they lay alone or in pairs on the grass. None of the subjects knew that they were being documented, allowing for candidly peaceful, reflective, and intimate postures. Vertical Abstracts sees photos of sleeping couples turned vertically and flipped backwards, making it appear as if they were floating or dancing through an otherworldly void. Massaia describes how the final prints “are gold-toned silver gelatin prints . . . [and] the grass is severely ‘burnt in’ to isolate and give the look of suspension to the subject” (Source). The strong contrast between the bodies and the surrounding darkness illuminates moments of beautiful (and strangely anxious) connection between the reclining couples.

Visit Massaia’s website and Facebook page to follow his hauntingly beautiful work. More photos after the jump.

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Ken Garduno

Los Angeles-based artist Ken Garduno studied illustration at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, graduating in 2006. Since then, he has been hard at work as a freelance illustrator and gallery artist. His paintings and illustrations are one part psychedelic, one part the occult, a pinch of old-timey goodness, and flavored to taste with science fiction. The end product? Delicious.

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Over 130 Gallons Of Paint Dumped In Busy Intersection

Iepe Rubingh street art2

Iepe Rubingh street art4

Dutch artist Iepe Rubinigh and the  Anonymous Crew took the term “street art” very literally with their piece Painting Reality.  The group, equipped on bicycles, purposely spilled over 130 gallons of eco-friendly water soluble paint in a Berlin’s busy Rosenthaler Platz intersection.  The cars then acted as brushes spreading the various colors through street.  An abstract painting detailing the fluid-like flow of traffic unfolded over the next several minutes and 2,000 cars.  Painting Reality introduced pleasantly bright color to otherwise drab asphalt.  More than that, though, the “strokes” of paint documented the moving life of a city.  Check out the video to the see paint drop and spread.

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Souther Salazar’s Textured, Playful Paintings

Souther Salazar‘s works are full of life and narrative. He uses a variety of techniques really well, putting everything in it’s right place. His personal style allows you to jump right in and, even with so much going on, you feel like you get what’s going on. Salazar recently closed a show at NARWHAL Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto. See more paintings after the jump.

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Josh Dorman

Whisper (all images via Mary Ryan Gallery)

Whisper (all images via Mary Ryan Gallery)

Josh Dorman paints on old topographical survey maps, tinted with age and layered with meticulously arranged shapes and images, colors flowing within and outside of existing contours, combining histories and facets of the past to embrace a dream that is reflective and inquisitive of the real world. His current show at Mary Ryan gallery was a refreshing reminder of my great enthusiasm for all things collage, especially if it invokes looking at and thinking about the world with fantasy inducing stories while incorporating an undercurrent of criticism, passive yet incisive questioning, and a loss of order or norm.

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