One of the most influential artists (Did you know Beautiful/Decay is named after a Barry McGee quote) of his generation Barry McGee was recently asked to reinstall a work of his at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for their 75th Anniversary retrospective. What ended up happening was an installation that not only incorporated the original work created in 1996 but also sampled new work created days before the installation. In this piece we talk with Barry about the preservation of impermanent art and how reinvention keeps him excited.
I’m not sure if Pauline Automatique is the artist’s real name, but either way, having the word ‘automatic’ as a last name makes you cool in my book. The colorful dots on graph paper makes me think of an artist bored in geometry class, trying to pass the time. Quite a fun contrast.
“My name is Joshua Abelow. It feels great to write my name. I love the way it looks in print. I like the way the “A” at the end of Joshua lines up with the “A” at the beginning of Abelow. Like This: JOSHUA ABELOW” – Joshua Abelow writes about admiring his own name and his preference to use “Joshua” over “Josh”. Abelow writes often. He makes art, and most importantly lives life often. His works are dark, yet whimsical. Part autobiographical and occasionally asserting historical references, Abelow explores the process of making art and living with the pressures to perform as an artist, a friend and a lover. Works often make fun of themselves and thrive on the failure of existing as beautiful hallmarks for all of art history’s future. If his essay “I Don’t Want To Name Name’s” is in fact honest, he started to make art for the right reasons, and will continue to do so for a long time. Another recommended read would be “DOINGDEKOONING” where he asserts the relevance of Paul McCarthy’s “Painter“. The importance of viewing both Abelow’s writings and visual works lies in understanding Abelow’s humble, honest and somewhat naturally naive philosophy on life and the depth that exists within works far more involved than the headlines they announce.
In 2001 I was in art school, trying to make sense of how one gets into shows, sells art, and gets press. It was a daunting task for my peers and me–none of us knew where to start. Running into the art world’s countless closed doors, however, became the inspiration behind creating Beautiful/Decay. My dream was to expose and support all the great art that I was finding by unknown, young artists. I wanted to celebrate these “underdogs” and give them the credit that they deserved.
It’s been almost a decade since then and our mission hasn’t changed. We still strive to shed light on work that is underrated and unknown. So in the spirit of Beautiful/Decay’s dedication to emerging art, we present to you our first annual edition of “The Underdogs.” Each year, we will open up the magazine to you, our readers, so that you can have a chance to participate in Beautiful/Decay. For this issue, we asked artists to interpret our theme, “The Underdogs,” as they saw fit. Some literally interpreted the theme, while others imagined the concept abstractly to create their works. With just under 100 slots, and over 500 submissions, figuring out who made the cut was anything but easy.
Some of the artists you may have heard of, and others have never been featured in print before. We selected our cover artist, Allison Schulnik, for her beautiful depictions of anonymous, unsung heroes. For all their tragedy and isolation, Schulnik gives form to the world’s “fools and rejects,” who in turn transcend the page to become icons in and of themselves. This process of transformation and redemption, of attaining the spotlight against all odds seemed the perfect concept in which to encase Book 3.
Get your copy of Book:3, the ultimate inspiration/resource of emerging art at the B/D Shop!