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Intern @ Beautiful/Decay!

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Do you stay awake at night dreaming of the day when you can interact with artists and designers from around the world? Do you get a warm & fuzzy feeling every time you walk by a bookstore or magazine stand? Have you always wanted to work side by side with the an elite group of creative minds who only use the finest office supplies such as golden staples? Do you enjoy nothing more than resizing and cropping a pile of photographs as tall as a 3 story building? If you answered yes to any of these (or none of these questions) then this just may be the internship for you!

Now that you feel excited about our internship opening read the fine detail after the jump!

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Bovey Lee Constructs Whimsical Urban Landscapes By Intricately Cutting A Single Sheet Of Paper

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Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee uses one single sheet of Chinese rice paper to cut and construct her unbelievably intricate urban scenes. The winding compositions she creates with simple positive and negative space forms a topsy-turvy world of concrete jungles, mountains, and wild flora. Even the clouds present in her work are fantastical as they swirl around the buildings like smoke. Bovey Lee’s process begins with rendering the composition digitally on a computer. She then prints these images and hand cuts each little detail into creation. These whimsical, impossible worlds are so complex you can search through the cut paper for hours, noticing small details like a person balancing across a tightrope, or a city floating on a cloud in the distance. Even the trucks passing by have unique patterns on each one.

Bovey Lee explains that her work is full of tension between mankind and our environment; a power struggle between two forces. Her work explores the intensions and actions of humans and the affect it has on our surroundings. Lee’s process can be tedious and time consuming, but at the same time meditative. The artist further explains her relationship with working with cut paper. (via Faith is Torment)

“My work is like drawing with a knife and is rooted in my study of Chinese calligraphy and pencil drawing. Cutting paper is a visceral reaction and natural response to my affection for immediacy, detail, and subtlety. The physical and mental demand from cutting is extreme and thrilling, slows me down and allows me to think clearly and decisively.”

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Sally Hewett Fills Embroidery Hoops with Butts, Breasts, and More (NSFW)

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Sally Hewett is a UK-based embroider who gives new meaning to a sculptural approach to the craft. Instead of stitching subject matter like flowers, puppies, and generally happy scenes, she fills embroidery hoops with butts, breasts, and genatalia. The circular compositions rise from the surface and Hewett uses well-placed stitches to give form to these bulbous shapes. In addition, she’ll use dangling threads to simulate public hair, both trimmed and natural.

In her artist statement, Hewett states that she’s interested in ideas of beauty and the things that people do because of it. She writes:

Men and women almost ritualistically shave and remove hair from their bodies – beards, underarm hair, pubic hair, leg hair etc, whereas other hair – hair on the head, eyebrows, eyelashes – are valued and encouraged to flourish. But there is other hair which not everyone has. Sometimes this special hair seems to be reason to feel ashamed. A large number of women and men submit their bodies to extraordinary procedures in the name of convention or beauty – liposuction, implants, scarification, surgery, laser treatment, electrolysis etc.

Embroidery is often see as an innocuous craft, and part of the reason that Hewett works this way is to see how the medium affects how the content is seen. Is it more shocking, amusing, or beautiful simply because it’s portrayed with a needle and thread?

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I Believe In Unicorns

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C.W. Moss, the Unicorn behind such B/D blog posts as “5 Reasons to Subscribe” and “Godspeed, Unicorn Riding Fei,”  will be in a group show opening tomorrow, June 11 at WWA Gallery.Curated by Industrial Squid, “I Believe in Unicorns” assembles a group of optimistic talents who fearlessly employ rainbows, joy, candy-colors, and yes, even the shining beacons of hope and goodness that are unicorns. I’m sick of self-deprecating hipster irony, bring on the celebration! Word on the street is that Unicorn may be paying a visit and you might even be able to take photos with him. (You can also be his friend on facebook.) Flyer after the jump!

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Ye Chang’s Metamorphic Installation Of 10,000 Petri Dishes

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Chinese architect Ye Chang‘s Kong Shanshui/Empty Shanshui is a naturally transforming installation consisting of over 10,000 petri dishes. Part of the “Pavilion of China – Architecture China 2013” exhibition, which recently opened at the Palacio Quintanar in the Segovia, Spain, the piece has a unique, changing quality. The base of the installation consists of layers of white stones which fill the ancient palace’s courtyard, echoing peaceful, meditative gardens. On top of the stones are piles or gatherings of petri dishes, some ten thousand in total, stacked in various forms, resembling miniature hills, mountains and rock formations.

According to Sue Wang at Cafa Art Info, the installation transforms at different stages of the day, citing firsthand that, “…there is dew in the petri dishes in the morning; light is gentle in the morning and the glass is transparent; when there is direct sunlight at noon, the installation is entirely placed in the sun, strongly reflecting, which is in contrast to the dry surrounding environment, making people feel cool; the setting sun is blocked by the house in the evening, so the glass reflects the light from the sky, seen as backlit, it looks like the scales of a huge creature stranded on the beach, with rich tones; the whole glass hills is self-luminous at night, producing a transition effect changing from semi darkness to darkness.”  This daily, natural transformation of the installation not only is a quickly-viewable message of transition, but it’s meditative qualities also call to attention how both art and architecture can effect a viewer’s ability to feel at peace in a home, garden or museum experience.  (via myampgoesto11 and CAFA Art Info)

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Mark Harless’ Haunting Photographs Explore Death, Magic, And Transformation

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Mark Harless (also known as “Bleeblu”) is a conceptual photographer who creates worlds of magic and astounding beauty. Death, mystery, and ritual seem to be recurring motifs in his work; from bodies in bags deserted in the forest, to flowers sprouting from a young woman’s shadowy skin, to hands placed ceremoniously on a bare, narrow chest, each image is an emotional event. Like the calm before and after a storm, there is a sense that something powerful has happened, or is about to happen.

What intrigues me most about his work is the brave and neutral portrayal of death, loss, and transformation. In his Fertilizer series, for example — the images depicting the bagged, naked bodies — Harless explores the erratic cycle of life and death, and how we, and our material forms, are an inevitable part of it. As Harless explained in an interview with Phlearn:

“[D]eath isn’t just the end. It’s not the beginning either. It’s just part of the life cycle. Show me the beginning and end of a circle. After we die our bodies will decompose and the plants and animals will feed off of us in the same fashion a bag of fertilizer would.” (Source)

While the above statement refers specifically to Fertilizer, this theme of death, decomposition, and renewal reverberates throughout Harless’ other works. In La Faune et la Flore, for example — a collaboration between Harless and the French illustrator Moon — a woman (Molly Strohl) wanders naked around the dark shoreline of a secluded lake. Like a wayward revenant, there is something sad, powerful, and lonely about her, but the illustrated flowers sprouting from her face, arms, and torso offer a glimmer of life and rebirth. The image of the dead bird also connects with this theme, for while lying on its flowery funeral bed, the small creature seems on the verge of resurrection as it returns to the earth. In short, Harless’ photographs have an uncanny ability to confront us with the beauty, sadness, and magic that permeates our earthly lives.

Visit Harless’ website, Tumblr, and Instagram and explore his haunting and magical visions.

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Afghan Star

Just watched Afghan Star yesterday and was extremely impressed by this Sundance Award winning Documentary….

After 30 years of war and Taliban-rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Afghan Star – a Pop Idol-style TV series – is searching the country for the next generation of music stars. Over 2000 people are auditioning and even three women have come forward to try their luck. The organizers, Tolo TV, believe with this programme they can ‘move people from guns to music’.

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Mike Carr’s Abstracted Realist Paintings

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Mike Carr, aka China Mike, has previously been known for his photorealistic paintings, but has since ventured into the realm of abstraction. Using a variety of media such as spray paint, acrylics, oil pastels, and charcoal, Carr’s work captures a particular lack of constraint and fluidity that seems to spill out of the canvas, evoking a whimsical energy. Carr started out as a graphic designer, but embraced the medium of paint to escape the limitations of digital based media. “Process is as important as the end result. I don’t really feel a pressure to create realistically defined images these days. I want there to be a playfulness in my work, to not get bogged down in mechanical routines”. Carr is based in Bristol, England.

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