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Monki Style

Loving the look book imagery from fashion label Monki. Great mix of sets and digital illustrations.

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Robin Rhodes Brings 2D Drawings To Life With Street Smarts

Robin Rhodes - street art Robin Rhodes - street art Robin Rhodes - street art Robin Rhodes - street art

South African born Robin Rhodes has a very special talent of bringing 2-dimensional street art drawings to life. Not only does he animate materials like chalk, charcoal and soap, but he inserts a very strong political and economic agenda into his work. He chooses to show his “performative drawings” in rapidly changing environments (Berlin and Johannesburg), commenting on luxury, privilege and gentrification. These two cities in particular are central to these ideas, and he feeds off the energy and grittiness of both places.

His work features imagery of everyday and consumer objects, such as paper clips, light bulbs, and champagne flutes, found in desolate urban settings as a reference to his upbringing, but also to broader universal ideas including desire, luxury, and the influx of consumerism into South African society. (Source)

In his latest show “having been there” (on now at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Hong Kong), he exhibits photographic documentation of his unique street drawings. Rhodes not only brings to life simple linear sketches, but also includes himself in the process, adding to the whole dreamy feel of the scenarios he animates. His marks and gestures transform into quick, simple ideas surrounding his topics of focus: he pours champagne over a pyramid of glasses, he goes fishing on a blue wall, mounts and attempts to ride a bicycle – all acts linked into ideas of exuberance he could not afford as a child.

Rhode has also created a new animation that examines aspects of established Chinese myths, weaving a tale of struggle, of growth, and ultimately of evolution… highlighting themes frequently referenced in the artists’ work such as reinvention and transformation. (Source)

Rhodes is a quietly out-spoken street artist who stands out from your standard political activists. See more of his effective visual protests here and here.

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Artist Interview: Rachel de Joode


Rachel de Joode is a Dutch artist living in Berlin. Recently, she’s produced a prolific number of sculptural works that break down common perception through the use of unique materials, concepts, and execution. Her work is patently of our time, drawing on themes of technology, isolation, and highly saturated levels of information exchange. But her commentary remains singular, even in the face of some fairly evident influences. De Joode is also the co-founder and art director of  META magazine.

We asked the artist a few questions about what she’s been up to lately and the various processes surrounding her sculpture-making. You can find her thoughtful answers after the jump.

All images courtesy of the artist.

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Studio Visit: Alexandra Grant’s Bold Text Paintings

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Alexandra Grant. See the full studio visit and interview with Alexandra and other West Coast artists at

Alexandra’s studio is in the historic West Adams district of Los Angeles, just a short distance from Koreatown and Downtown. From the outside her building looks like a non-descript, kind of funky commercial space that in no way expresses how big her studio actually is. The place is huge with a cavernous feel to it— cold, shadowy, and resounding with echoes, it heightened every one of my senses. Everything I took in seemed exaggerated: the damp air, the bright fluorescent lights, the vibrant colors of Alexandra’s paintings, and the steady rhythm of her voice. Long after our visit those impressions continued to linger, as did much of my conversation with Alexandra. She is a force to be reckoned with— her brain is agog with ideas that she expresses in a continuous flow of conversation, often jumping from one thought to the next as they wildly run through her mind. Her energy is infectious and inspiring, and makes you feel like the world is in fact full of promise, insight and adventure. Many of Alexandra’s paintings are collaborations with writers and their ideas, which makes sense because she appreciates the complex nature of dialogue: the exchange of both concepts and language, the act of deciphering and interpreting, the twists of subtext, and the inevitable losses in translation and how we make up for them. By borrowing writers’ poetic language she utilizes the format of dialogue to create “conversation” between image and text. In engaging text and image this way, the work then becomes a liminal space that challenges the viewer’s ability to perceive and hold both elements at once.

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Pieter ten Hoopen’s Photographs Of Exotic Lands In Turmoil Are Raw And Powerful

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Swedish photographer Pieter ten Hoopen has worked within all aspects of photography, from journalism to commercial. At this point in his career he is a well known and distinguished photographer: he has received many prestigious awards, amongst them the Photographer of the Year in Sweden, and the World Press Award; he has published books of photography on Tokyo and Stockholm, and is currently working on a film project about Hungry Horse, Montana, through MediaStorm.

Ten Hoopen shoots mainly on a Nikon but also uses Yashica box cameras and a Widelux. He has worked all over the world, and travels out of known safety to deliver raw and emotionally jarring footage from places far away, many in turmoil. In the past, he has worked in Pakistan, composing images from the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake, an intimate glimpse into the pain and hardship as families continued digging through rubble in search of buried survivors. He shot the small village Vladimirskoe, Russia, which, lying next to the mythically invisible town of Kitezh, occupies a strange grey area of being juxtaposed next to a national attraction while being invisible and struggling itself; problems with alcohol and unemployment make life difficult for most of its inhabitants. In Japan, ten Hoopen visited a forest that lies below Mount Fuji, known informally as the “suicide forest,” where, yearly, nearly a hundred people travel there to commit suicide. The forest is dense with vegetation and stands on the remains of a volcanic eruption, making compasses completely useless and getting lost in the woods very easy. People tie ropes to trees to prevent themselves from getting lost, and many go in there with the intention of never coming out.

There is a stillness in his images, the composition forms its own poetry, and the emotional charge of the situations he encounters stand squarely in the frame. Within the same vein of documentary photography as Sebastião Salgado, ten Hoopen brings an unprovoked sense of art to the frame; providing a visual means with which we can connect to these feelings as viewers, even halfway across the globe, even never having stepped out of our own country. That is the most powerful aspect of this kind of a photographer, he gives voice to what he witnesses, and brings forth the unexplainable beauty and devastation that words cannot do justice to.

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Claire Colette’s Subtle, Cinematic Pencil On Paper

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At a time when makers have more tools at their fingertips than ever before, it’s intriguing to see an artist dedicated to perfecting the use of the most basic, universal medium: pencil on paper. The delicate, slowly unraveling works of Bay Area artist Claire Colette showcase a deep understanding and intimacy with her chosen medium. The works are an investigation of fragmentation—reminiscent of destroyed VHS film, magazine clippings or even slightly fragmented memories. The works reveal the artist’s interest in capturing, remixing and representing an instantaneous moment, despite the fact that each piece is slowly and meticulously rendered in graphite.

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Street Artist JR’s Installation For The New York Ballet’s Art Series


image by stephanie szerlip

image by stephanie szerlip

French artist JR, previously covered by Beautiful Decay, has recently created a series of posters and floor-bound installations for the New York City Ballet’s Art Series.  The NYCB Art Series commissions contemporary artists to create original works of art inspired by the ballet’s unique energy, spectacular dancers, and one-of-a-kind repertory of ballets.  Having worked with artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel in the past the tradition has a high standard and is a special example of collaboration between dance and contemporary art.

JR’s installation involved coordinating dancers’ bodies in complicated, intricate arrangements.  Interested in the unique qualities of dancers’ bodies juxtaposed with the texture of paper JR sought to explore the “interaction” one experiences when viewing the ballet, or in his case when actually creating his work.  Both experiences are ephemeral, not something that can be wholly captured by a singular work of art.  Yet JR’s temporary installation does capture beauty, grace, and the sense of a fleeting moment by portraying many dancers arranged in the shape of an eye.  Encouraging a viewer to look at both his piece and the performance JR’s installation acts as a reminder to keep our eyes open so as not to miss a thing.

JR will share his Art Series installation during three special performance evenings — January 23, February 7, 13 — when every seat in the house is available for just $29. On these evenings, every audience member will receive a takeaway created specifically for this event.  More information about public viewing hours here.  (via designboom, hahamag)

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Breanne Trammell is Larger Than Life

Breanne Trammell’s work is categorized by oversized every day objects created in monumental proportions. Her work is playful, inspiring, and just plain intriguing. Her candy cigarette installation is genius with giant cigarettes decorated like rainbow sprinkles, Reese’s cups, Sweettarts, Swedish fish and Junior Mints. In addition to her larger than life sculptures, she also incorporates patterns, prints, and 2D expertise into her body of work. 

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