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Patrick D Wilson

Patrick D Wilson combines an interesting mix of geometry, photography, and sculpture to create new spacial landscapes where buildings are made of clouds and the stars are aligned onto fragmented planes.

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Strange Cams

We love DIY art and design here at B/D, so it goes without saying that home made Strange Cams certainly caught our eye. An ongoing project initiated by Los Angeles artists Aurelia Friedland and Michael Manalo, Stange Cams investigates the affordances of defamiliarized, modified, low technology instruments, and how those instruments can shift a user’s perspective (literally) on the community and environment around them. I love the sketchy approach the artists took in designing these new cameras – who would have thought a good ol’ roll of duck-tape, a can of spray paint, and some CVS brand disposable cameras would lead to a whole new genre of photography?  Check out more of the resulting photographs, and some of the Strange Cams themselves after the jump.

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Life Size Submarine Emerges From The Ground In Milan’s City Streets

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It’s not everyday that you come across a giant submarine surfacing through the historic city streets of Milan. No this isn’t some bizarre new piece of technology gone wrong but in fact an incredibly elaborate installation that’s part of an elaborate marketing campaign imagined by advertising agency M&C Saatchi Milano for insurance group Europ Assistance IT as part of a new campaign called “Protect Your Life” which promotes the importance of safeguarding your possessions through insurance. This may seem a bit over the top to promote something as dull as insurance but this imaginative stunt surely stopped everyone in their tracks as they rushed through the city to work.

The installation also included a large scale performance complete with fireman and police officers rescuing the crew of the submarine. Watch footage from the performance in the short video above. (via designboom)

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Vilde Rolfsen’s Stunning, Etherial Landscapes With Plastic Bags Challenges Societies Perception Of Everyday Objects

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With an interest in merging consumer culture and fine art practices, Norwegian photographer Vilde Rolfsen takes the most ubiquitous piece of global consumerism, a plastic grocery bag, and creates a series of photographs that, with the assistance of modified lighting and colored cardboard, showcase a an ephemeral landscape, reminiscent of snowscapes or dancing oceans. The plastic bags used for this project were all sourced from the street; this is a very minor but important fact that underlines Rolfsen’s ultimate mission:

My findings have showed me that people take everyday objects for granted, for example a plastic bag or a Brillo pad. You use them for a couple of things, carry your groceries or scrub your dishes. By removing the objects from their original function, I am forcing the viewer to look at the object as an aesthetic thing rather than a useful thing. I challenge society’s perceptions of everyday objects, because these objects are of such normality they become surreal in a photograph.

(via Anothermag)

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Artist Carves Life-Size Skull Out Of A Rare 4 Million Year Old Meteorite

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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.

Lee Downey’s meteorite skull will be auctioned at Bonhams on November 24th 2015.

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Tisch Abelow

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I met Tisch Abelow a couple months back, and whenever I’m around her I can’t help but feel inspired by her levelheaded, simple and straightforward attitude. I also continually seem to find myself in a state of deep transfixion, staring deeply into the center of her colorfully precise and exacting work. Tisch can draw and paint with the best, has collaborated with a ton of great artists, and has traveled all over this great country of ours. I recently caught up with this wonderfully talented lady and asked her about making art, living life and eating lunch in the big city and beyond.

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Jess Landau’s Poignant Nude Photographs Amazingly Printed On The Delicate Surface Of Eggshells

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Tragedy can yield new ways of working and thinking, especially in the case of artist Jess Landau. After a lifelong friend committed suicide in 2013, she was struck trying to come to terms with the loss, and it lead her to explore new ways to cope with the event. What resulted was a stunning series that conveys the fragility of life itself as expressed through nude figures on eggshells.

Before she landed on eggshells, Landau decided that the traditional materials of  wood, papers, etc., just weren’t cutting it. She wanted something more delicate. The decision to use the shells coincided with her learning to use liquid emulsion, a chemical that makes paper light-sensitive and allows images to be projected onto it in a darkroom. “Liquid emulsion will only adhere to surfaces that have a tooth — shiny and smooth surfaces like glass and certain plastics don’t work unless you sand-blast them,” the artist explained to Huffington Post. “Eggshells have an appropriate texture for the emulsion to cling to.

First, Landau photographed the models with a 35mm Minolta camera and then developed the images by hand in a wet lab using traditional darkroom methods and a few modifications. Because of the eggshells’ curved shape, Landau applied several layers of evenly-distributed emulsion to to them. The exposure would vary depending on the shape of the shell, making the process for each slightly unique.

The effort that went into the production of this series had therapeutic results in addition to its beautiful aesthetic qualities.  “Life is fragile and temporary, and it should be cradled in the palms of our hands — which is the process that I engaged with as I delicately created each of these works manually, with my hands.” The nude bodies represent vulnerability of its subjects, and printed on a delicate surface demonstrates the fleeting nature of life itself. (Via Huffington Post)

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The Beautiful/Decay Shop Grand Reopening!

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Beautiful/Decay is thrilled to announce the grand reopening of the B/D Shop! At first look you’ll notice a bolder, brighter layout and big crisp photos. Our books, posters, and back issues of the zine are – of course – still available for purchase. In addition, we are very excited to now start releasing limited edition prints and other products on a regular basis.

Our plan is to do multiple releases every month, beginning this month. Each release will be an opportunity to own ( and support ) an artist’s work that has moved and mesmerized you. A generous portion of the sales goes right back to each of the artists we work with.

Stay tuned for more information and announcements, and sign up for the mailing list to get updates on new print releases.

Now, take a few moments and check out the new Beautiful/Decay Shop!

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