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The Romantic Melancholia Of Katie Eleanor’s Elegant, Historically-Influenced Photography

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Katie Eleanor is a London-based photographic artist who creates visions of Victorianesque romance and melancholia. Complete with elaborate costumes and set designs, her works have a theatrical presence; serene-faced maidens wearing gowns—or in various states of undress—pose in dimly-lit rooms, often with esoteric props, such as a magpie, a fox, and a white crown. Mixing sensuality with darkness, the chill of death creeps in on the periphery, taking the form of dead branches, wilted leaves, and a shroud. There are signs of injury and endurance; one woman leans on crutches, while another stoically leaks blood from her eyes.

In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Eleanor talks about her work. “My style is fictional and narrative based, away from the confines of our shared earth,” she writes. “I am influenced most heavily by the past, [. . .] as I am intrigued by both its links and disconnect from the way we function in the present.” Her influences arise from several creative sources, such as books, performance, Victorian illustration, and costume collectors. As a visual storyteller, set design is integral to conveying her meaning and absorbing the viewer into her ethereal dreamscapes; narrative and emotions speak through the costumes and staging. In addition to this complex process, each image is hand-colored, which allows her to “push more of [herself] into [her] works” by incorporating more of her physical being.

Be sure to visit Eleanor’s website, Facebook page, and blog and follow her work. She also creates haunting videos, which can be viewed here.

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Katelyn Reece Farstad

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Katelyn Reece Farstad is a fine artist currently based in Weimar, Germany studying at Bauhaus University for a semester. She’s got a kooky blog with lots of bizarre collages, gifs, and drawings. Really fun and random.

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Toy Stories – Children With Their Most Prized Possessions

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Photographer Gabriele Galinberti‘s series Toy Stories is a simple concept revealing a complex story.  Over the course of 18 months the artist photographed children throughout the world with their most prized possessions.  He would often play with the toys along with the children prior to arranging them for the photographs.  It is surprising how much the toys can reveal about each child.  Often children would prize toys that reflected the occupations of their parents – a large collection of cars for the son of a taxi driver or rakes and shovels for the daughter of a farmer.  Also, Galinberti relates that poorer children’s play focused more on friends and activities rather than possessions.  He says:

“The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them.  In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

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Artist Talwst Makes Unique Miniature Worlds Inside Antique Ring Boxes

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Toronto based artist Talwst is a master of the miniature world. He patiently builds tiny fantasy scenes referencing the world of music, pop culture, films, climate change, conspiracy theories, sports stars, current events, and everyday experiences. Seven years ago, the artist was gifted an antique ring box by a Vancouver street vendor and given the challenge to make something with it. Talwst grabbed a hold of that idea and ran with it.

His miniscule realms feature Kanye West singing to an imaginary audience and Kim Kardashian in the background taking a selfie; a homage to his favorite painter Edouard Manet’s 1864 work La Muerte del Torero; a recreation of Japanese erotic art of the 1700’s; and a contemporary version of a Dutch landscape complete with a McDonalds restaurant in the background. His unique blend of art history, contrasting cultures and traditions are a witty comment on contemporary life. He cleverly draws us downward, and into his dioramas, immediately commenting objectively on the world we inhabit.

This form is calling me. I can make these feel like a poem; I can make these feel like a movie; I can make them feel like all the other mediums I was working in. (Source)

Talwst developed his love for piecing together mini worlds after growing up in the Canadian winter. For weeks at a time, the temperature wouldn’t be higher than minus 40 and he would sit in his room hibernating and entertaining himself by building models. The obsession certainly paid off – his skill and attention to detail is definitely something worth looking at. And you will get an extra chance to view his work – this September, a collaboration with VICE magazine will bring Talwst’s work to a newsstand close to you. Keep your eyes peeled! (Via Design Crush)

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Last Day Of Our Massive Biannual Subscription Sale!

This is it! It’s the very last day of our Biannual Subscription sale extravaganza.  You have until tonight at midnight to reserve your copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 7 by subscribing. Not only will you get 3 gorgeously designed books but you’ll get intimate access to hundreds of creatives from around the world via our indepth articles and interviews.

So drop what you’re doing, use discount code discountdecaysub and get a one year subscription for the discounted price of $34.00!

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Hargreaves + Levin Explore The Beauty Of Symmetry With Their Mesmerizing Photos Of Patterns Made With Fruits And Vegetables

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Shapes that appear familiar displayed in a symmetrical manner and playing with our imagination. Photographer Henry Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin have come together once again under Hargreaves + Levin to collaborate on a food project. This time using only fruits and vegetables and grouping them by monthly harvest.

January: endive, radicchio, kale, turnips, leeks
February: papaya, radish, onions, clementine, oregano, passion fruit, chive flowers
March: asparagus, artichoke, broccolini, greens, string beans
April: spring onions, purple potatoes, fingerling potatoes, carrots , herbs
May: carrots, limes, peas, garlic shoots, zucchini
June: fava, chives, apricots, cherries, plums, sugar snaps, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, radish
July:, figs, plums, oregano, ochre , greens, raspberries, onions
Aug:, tomatoes, basil
Sept: corn, garlic, beans, Mexican sour gherkins, ground cherries , sunchoke, dill
October: mushrooms, greens
November: purple cabbage, bok choy, shallots, cauliflower , tangelo, pomegranate seeds, sunchoke
December: pears, potatoes, sage, rosemary, brussel sprouts, persimmons, shallots, nutmeg, mandarins, cranberries

From far, the whole picture looks like a perfectly arranged combination of shapes and harmonized color tones. Some of the shapes seem familiar until we come closer and discern the fruit and veggies one by one. We’re then able to see every curve, nook and cranny in detail. The mirrored images help create a symmetry. This process allows the fruits and veggies to become a design, a pattern within the picture.

The rendering is both astonishing and intriguing. On each small surface of the photograph, with the help of imagination we can envision creatures, insects and creative characters. Acting just like the Rorschach test, the combination of fruits and veggies trigger the mind to explore the picture and come up with a unique vision. The purpose of the project designed by Hargreaves and Levin is to ‘explore symmetry, natural beauty, and the way imperfections and inconsistencies often become the most breathtaking examples of nature’s artistry’.

The photographs above and below this text have been displayed to match the monthly order of the year.

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Landscapes Made Of Human Bodies

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We often think of bodies as opposed to landscapes.  The figure belongs to the portrait and natural scenery to the landscape – bodies inhabit the landscape.  For Carl Warner‘s series of photographs, though, the bodies make the landscape.  Twisting torsos, bent limbs, crevices, and folds are given finer than the typical attention.  Layering of bodies and parts with such focus on detail create landscape like images.  Mountains, caverns, and valleys seem to rise out of the figures and become a land of skin.  [via]

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Ah, nostalgic Pyromania…

If you smoke like I smoke…then you miss the good ol’ days of decorative matchbooks. James Lileks has put together an impressive gallery of retro matchbook covers.

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