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CLICK TO COLLECT- AFFORDABLE ARTIST ORIGINALS Presents: Ben Tegel

Ben Tegel,  Helter Skelter 1, 2008
22″ x 30″,  ink on paper

Welcome to the second week of Click To Collect, Beautiful/Decay’s new campaign to help art lovers start their collection of original artists works at affordable prices. Our second featured artist is Ben Tegel whose gorgeously rendered drawings have graced the pages of our print publication, apparel, and website dozens of times. Ben’s iconic Helter Skelter drawing which depicts the faces of Charles manson through the ages was one of the most popular  Beautiful/Decay t-shirt graphics ever made. Now you can purchase the original piece and add it to your collection today! See the rest of the available work by Ben Tegel and read more about our Click To Collect project after the jump!


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Meet The Families Who Live Among The Dead In Cairo’s Cemetaries

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In her project “City of the Dead”, Iraqi-Canadian photojournalist Tamara Abdul Hadi  documents the lives of families living in the cemetery of Bab al-Nasr in Cairo. For the past 60 years, generations have been residing in this modern day necropolis among their deceased ancestors. Children were born and raised in the ruins of the graveyard, they attend schools nearby and even work in the area.

“This is a cemetery of the living”, says one of the residents, Mohammed Abdel Lateef.

Such illegal settlements as the City of the Dead, date back to the 1980’s. They were a primary coping method for local poor and “ultra-poor” inhabitants. Despite unsanitary conditions with no electricity or running water, workers were moving to the urban slums in order to stay close to employment. Overall, there are five main cemeteries like Bab al-Nasr and the whole area was said to have a population density of a whopping 12,000 inhabitants per square mile.

Abdul Hadi is already widely known for her documentary photographs of the Middle East, giving us a close-up look at their controversial culture and society. She states that the Arab world faces many misconceptions, such as oppressing patriarchy, ignorance and others. In her work, Abdul Hadi tends to bring up the softer and peaceful side of the communities which is rarely shown by the mass media. (h/t Middle East Revisited and The New School)

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Interview: Deb Sokolow

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Deb Sokolow creates a vertiginous world of invented narratives. Her large-scale, ink on paper installations are hung in a kind of methodized-madness that call to mind police investigations bulletin boards, a mad scientist’s chaotic formulas and revelations, or the bedroom of an obsessive-compulsive conspiracy-obsessed fanatic. Sokolow leads viewers into the tangled web of an information-saturated schematic, leaving viewers at once disoriented and exhilarated. Sokolow talked to us about her creative process and sent us a bunch of behind-the-scenes shots, including her “research binders” detailing subjects such as “Ghosts, Email Scams, Pigeons & Squirrels.” Full interview after the jump.

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Click To Collect: Lyndsey Lesh

Shady Trails, 2010
13.5 x 18 inches, Acrylic, colored pencil, ink, & graphite on paper $400
Sneaky Tree Girl, 2009
12 x 16.5 inches, Colored Pencil, graphite, & acrylic on paper, $250

Welcome to another release from Click To Collect, Beautiful/Decay’s campaign to help art lovers start their collection of original artists works at affordable prices! This week we bring you an amazing selection of drawings by LA based illustrator Lyndsey Lesh whose works mix quirky scenarios with Lesh’s masterfully drawn multimedia aesthetic. Based on fictional stories as well as real world observations these drawings open the door to Lesh’s creative world and beg you to join in on her humorous surreal adventures.  See all the available works by the talented Lyndsey Lesh and read more about our Click To Collect project after the jump!

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South African’s Beaded Weaponry Series Addresses International Arms Trade

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Haunting and provocative, “Ghosts” South African artist Ralph Ziman’s recent photography exhibition addresses the international arms trade. The series features 200 beaded gun and ammunition sculptures created by 6 Zimbabwean artisans who were commissioned by Ziman. The sculptures are made from traditional African beads and wire and are replicas of AK-47s and general purpose machine guns (GPMGs). The artists are also the subjects of Ziman’s photographs, alongside some construction workers, and a member of the South African Police Services who just wanted his picture taken. The idea for the project began as a series of murals in Venice that were a response to the international arms trade and Africa. The result is a powerful representation of the intimate relationship between Africa and arms trading.

“In bringing his exhibit to the US, ‘the world’s biggest arms exporter,’ Ziman goes some way to redirecting the one directional flow of the arms trade, inviting viewers to consider the original source of the guns on display.” “Ghosts” features the gun sculptures, installations, and photographs, and is on display from February 8 through March 2 at C.A.V.E. Gallery in Los Angeles. (via hi fructose and okay africa)

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Artist Creates Dolls Based On Children’s Drawings

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Pablo Picasso once said, “every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” The owners of Oh’ My Neko take this quote to heart, honoring children as artistic masterminds behind some pretty unique dolls . . . and this goes for everyone, not just a select few, as this would negate the purpose: each young vision is valuable and translatable. For only 35€ each, your child’s hipster princess, lunatic lady monster, or clowny bug can spring to plushy life. Check out the gallery after the jump to see some more pretty adorable examples.

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Magic Mushrooms In Stop Motion Action Will Leave You Breathless

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Generally speaking, mushrooms are fascinating organisms. As part of the fungi family, they are neither plant nor animal and have an incredible capacity for growth. As evidenced in these stop motion gifs, we witness the mushroom cap or fruit, sprouting out of the ground in various shapes and sizes. The fruit is made up of 92% water allowing for its rapid maturity and part of the fungi you would normally throw onto pizza and salad. It’s this top section, which makes for an interesting visual specimen, as seen here in phallic, veiled and bumpy shapes, credited to nature’s grand design. The part you don’t see, called the root or mycelium, can remain dormant and underground for years. These are the real heroes, acting as nature’s garbage disposals, devouring all that is dead and decaying. Some fungi lore to speak of, includes the toadstool known for its red color, and white dotted spores. Those who grew up playing Nintendo, will remember these colorful blobs as part of the landscape in Super Mario Bros. and incarnate to “Toad” a figure in the game. Psilocybin or “magic mushrooms” are the rebels. In existence since prehistoric times, the fungi first appeared during the mesolithic period as evidenced on rock paintings taken from archaeological finds. Known for its pleasant, hallucinatory effects, studies have shown psilocybin can not only give you a nice high but help with OCD and clinical depression. (via boredpanda

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Vincent Olinet

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Call me a little girl still, but I am kind of in love with these fanciful Parisian fairy tale Cinderella story-book sculptures by Vincent Olinet. Check out his pictures of giant, candy-colored pastel pastelles after the jump. Like, really? You single-handedly designed my dream canopy Rococo Marie Antoinette-inspired princess bed floating atop a lake of water lilies, AND my birthday cake? Who are you and how have you tapped so deeply into every woman’s secret Princess psyche? Or not. Still, I love these sculptures, for their overt magic. And yes, I probably needn’t say it, but he is French.

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