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Haunting Photographs Of Jakarta Street Monkeys Wearing Dolls’ Faces

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Finnish photographer Perttu Saska has created this unsettling series of Jakarta street monkey photographs titled “A Kind Of You.” These monkeys are captured as they are: dressed in children’s clothes and wearing doll faces, their chains often visible. Apparently, training and dressing monkeys to act like humans to ask for money is an Asian tradition – one that has escalated to dire conditions and circumstance for these poor creatures.

Thankfully, upon searching for more information about these monkeys and this tradition, I stumbled across a BBC article published yesterday that cites the removal of the first 11 out of 350 monkeys from Jakarta streets. They have been quarantined where they will likely remain for a few months before they can be released back into the wild. Since 2009, animal rights activists have been campaigning against this cruel tradition, and hope that this initial removal will set the stage for complete banishment of this cruel practice.

Of his series, Saska writes, “Modern city culture has turned the old tradition in to eerie and haunting act of cruel street theatre where animals become something else, never able to reach our expectations.” With the awareness created by people like Saska and animal rights activists, these Indonesian monkeys hopefully won’t have to be subjected to the unreasonable expectations of their human handlers any longer. (via ufunk)

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Reinvigorating Wonder at The Venice Art Walk

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In the current state of Reality TV and backstage blogs, we as a world have lost our sense of wonder. And it’s because of one brave artist, Jon Bernad, that we will get it back. He was part of the Venice Art Walk AUCTION, not just as himself, but as an offer for an experiential possibility that attendees could bid on for a good cause, since the money would go directly to The Venice Family Clinic. What that means was that he fearlessly walked up to strangers with a bid sheet around his neck, as opposed to on a table or wall like the other artworks in the auction, and pitched to each new person a different adventure he felt they would want to go on. Everything from skydiving to dinner came up and during his time there he was offered to join unfamiliar faces on white water rafting trips and treks in the Amazonian Rain Forest. I like to say that Jon takes people on Art Adventures, but it’s really so much more than that. He is the only artist that embodies the ultimate truth. For he is only but himself, but his self is great.

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Lothar Hempel

Lothar Hempel

Best known for his series of painted portraits, Lothar Hempel goes far into the idea of art as three dimensional- he plays the role of director in arranging space in order to create a script. Mixing larged diamond shaped photomontages, sculptures and painting, the whole with flashy colors and geometrical shapes, “Kats, Nerves, Shadows & Gin” plays with the mind of the viewer, to whom he offers to create his own story, in relation with his own psychological character.

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Fresh Perspectives

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As a sneak peek to the knock-out exhibition “Fresh Perspectives” at Mark Moore Gallery surveying a selection of young, emerging artist opening September 12th, Beautiful/Decay conducted an exhibition preview extravaganza. Read an interview with Catlin Moore about her process of selecting artists, putting the exhibition together and more, as well as five mini interviews with each of the featured artists. In keeping with the theme “Fresh Perspectives,” we gave each artist the same three questions- with surprisingly different answers from each artist! Full article after the jump!

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The Surveyor Tape Installations of Megan Geckler

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The slick site specific installations of Megan Geckler beam and bounce of walls like lasers.    Her installations’ ultra clean geometric forms and bright colors nearly hide the personal quality to the work.  The plastic rays are actually made of flagging tape – the kind you find just off the sidewalk typically used by surveyors.  Her installations intentionally bounce between art and design, industrial and hand made, cold and personal.  Also, just as her work shifts conceptually, it also shifts in shape from angle to angle.  Strands at one angle interact with strands at other angles as a viewer moves through the space. [via]

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Suehiro Maruo

FUNERAL PARTY - "DREAM OF EMBRYO", 1985.

FUNERAL PARTY - "DREAM OF EMBRYO", 1985.

The graphically sexual and violent nature of Suehiro Maruo’s illustrations has over the years catapulted him to stardom in the underbelly of Japanese art. There’s quite a few prominent blogs (Baby Art run by Trevor Brown, for example) that revolve around the genre which he is so big in: nightmarish manga (the Japanese term for comic books, meaning literally “whimsical pictures”) fall into the Japanese category of “erotic grotesque”. The stories often take place in the early years of Showa Era Japan. Maruo also has a fascination with human oddities, deformities, birth defects, and “circus freaks.”

Some of the images I’m posting here were from his collaborations with Japanese punk and hardcore records- many having to do with Fascist imagery that we at B/D in no way endorse! Nonetheless the artwork is beautiful. I especially love the line work and color juxtaposition in this cover he did for Funeral Party.

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The Surprising Beauty of Yvette Meltzer’s Tumbling Clothes

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When you think of fine art, one of the last places you’d probably consider finding it is in the laundromat. Photographer Yvette Meltzer, long fascinated with the transformation of soiled to clean clothes, first sought to explore her fascination by visiting many different laundromats in Chicago. During these visits, she documented various aspects of the laundromat experience, but it wasn’t until she saw the images of dryers tumbling clothes on her computer that she knew she had captured something beautiful – animal and human forms were revealed to her through the compositions of color and texture being tossed around in the machines. Thus, Meltzer’s “Revolution” series was born, a series that transforms an everyday, mundane image into an experience of abstract mystery. Meltzer says, “What I see is not what someone else does. But people do seem mesmerized by the images and attempt to discern what it is they are looking for. People seem to have such a need for definition and tend to be uncomfortable with the ambiguous.” (via slate)

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Justine Khamara Hides Faces In Her Fractured Wood Sculptures

Wood Sculpture

Wood Sculpture

Wood Sculpture

 Wood Sculpture

Australian artist Justine Khamara embeds portraits of people in fractured wood sculptures. By cutting the photographs into pieces and then assembling them either on plywood or weaving them through one another, Khamara changes the experience of the portraits. Taking what is usually one dimensional and making it approachable in a whole new level, Khamara brings a sense of life to the pictures she takes.

“Khamara says she used to cut up photographs and rearrange them into montages that she would rephotograph, ‘but I eventually found the montages to be more interesting as sculptural objects,’ she explains. The act itself, slicing up photos and piecing them back together, has always been something Khamara relished. ‘I loved the butteriness, the physicality of the photographic paper a quality that reveals itself when one slices into the surface of it with a very fine, sharp blade,’ she says.” (Excerpt from Source)

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