Daniel K Sparkes started his career in the British street art scene since the 2000s. His work is a juxtaposition of photographs, paintings and drawings that combined depict burlesque portraiture, illustrations and landscape. As if eaten alive, the portraits remain anonymous and faceless, yet there is plenty detail where the face or limbs should have been. These faceless and limbless portraitures are playful, disturbing and interesting, especially when done in large scale, as example of some of his murals.
Photographer William Mortensen (1897-1965) was known throughout his life as someone who took pictures of Hollywood Stars. These were during the 1920s and depicted celluloid figures in a pictorialist romantic style. In his spare time, Mortensen would create images featuring semi-nude women engaged in various acts of witchcraft and debauchery. Mortensen’s practice of creating elaborately staged scenes and technical effects were ahead of their time. They set certain standards and became popular trends in fine art photography still valid today.
By using different elements in his pictures, Mortensen also turns these unique creations into storyboards filled with narrative. There’s movement and action in these stills which add to their beauty.
Despite the apparent influence, Mortensen would have great debates with Anselm Adams, the great naturalist who would call him a heretic and the anti-Christ. Funny be known now and probably back then too that the anti-Christ would always be much more interesting a subject to ponder in the realm of ideas.
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Greta Rybus’ interview with Photographer Anton Kusters.
Anton Kusters is a Belgium-based photographer specializing in long-term projects. In 2011, he published his first photobook on the Yakuza, the Japanese organized crime families, that he photographed for two years.
Tell us about your Yakuza project.
‘YAKUZA is a personal visual account of the life inside an inaccessible subculture: A traditional Japanese crime family that controls the streets of Kabukicho, in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. Through 10 months of negotiations with the Shinseikai, my brother Malik and I became one of the only Westerners ever to be granted this kind of access to the closed world of Japanese organized crime.
‘With a mix of photography, film, writing and graphic design, I try to share not only their complex relationship to Japanese society, but also the personal struggle of being forced to live in two different worlds at the same time; worlds that often have conflicting morals and values. It turns out not to be a simple black versus white relationship, but most definitely one with many, many, many shades of grey.’
Joining 3D printing and digital textile printing, the idea of a sprayable, wearable and fabric has the inventors of Fabrican LTD imaging the possibilities which go beyond its initial usage in the fashion industry. Fabrican’s ‘Euraka!’ moment came from another famous canned sprayable, Silly String. The science of the process involves the creation of a liquid suspension which is then applied using a spray gun or aerosol canister. The resulting sprayed fabric has natural, synthetic and recycled fiber options, and when applied typically feels like a breathable suede.
Practical applications have ranged past fashion shows into automobile interiors, furniture upholstery and even entire rooms (the material is easily washable). The fabric can be embedded with a variety of supplements and additives which make separate colors, patterns and (which also opens up the possibilities of quick-creating medical applications such as casts, bandages and even antiseptic-wound cleansing).
According to Fabrican-inventor, Spanish fashion designer Manel Torres, “As a non-woven material, Spray-on Fabric offers possibilities for binding, lining, repairing, layering, covering and moulding in ways previously not imaginable.”
Watch a slightly NSFW video of Fabrican LTD in action after the jump!
Sarah Roesink from across the pond in London, photographs her surroundings. We really enjoy her series, as they seem to be so… not spontaneous, but .. normal. In a good way. Like she takes her camera and her skills with her wherever she goes and photographs with a series in mind that she decides while she’s walking past a field.
Alright I’m doing it…We at Beautiful/Decay are sorry to see you go, Michael Jackson. And you will never know of the times I, personally, used to watch your music videos in VHS form on repeat while making PB&J sandwich towers while talking to myself, but you will live on forever in our hearts! And also in the form of a gold sculpture by Jeff Koons. This further proves my agreeing with the apocalypse taking place in 2012: Michael Jackson would definitely not stick around for that. The King of Pop also exists forever around in the form of wax figures that our lovely intern Greg posted about earlier (foreshadowing today’s events??). But you will no longer be able to purchase his memorabilia that was set to be auctioned off in April.
Despite my joking tone, I am truly sad- a certain part of me has died along with him : (.
Ryuta Iida is a Japanese artist who cuts out thick volumes of paper [i.e. magazines and books] to form sculptural objects. I had only seen this done once before by the artist Tim Hawkinson at his solo LACMA exhibit in 2005 and it has boggled me ever since. So, I was thrilled to find out about Ryuta, who is picking up where Hawkinson left off and doing it in their own way. Whereas instead of taking personal photos of themselves to cut into, Ryuta uses popular magazines, thus adding an element of pop culture to their practice. (via)