Japenese artist Ishibashi Yui’s sculptures are both unsettling and serene. Using a variety of materials, such as wood, resin, cloth, clay, steel wire, and stone powder, she often depicts figures whose roots extend and project outward in many directions. These figures appear passive and complacent to these protruding branches, aware of the lack of control they have over this organic process. Some of these protrusions seem painful or unexpected, but ultimately inevitable. Often her figures are off-white, while their protrusions are green or red-hued. These figures are human-like, but their soft, round and white bodies give the viewer a sense they are also of the earth, resembling a plant’s bulb. Yui’s work makes us deeply aware of how we are intertwined with the natural world, and the balance and cycle of nourish and depletion that living and dying requires. (via hound eye)
Yi-Hsin Tzeng uses various mediums to construct and communicate her sense of black humor and outside viewpoint. Her recent series on defacing and appropriating public images (magazines, political figures, fashion, etc.) is an attempt at regaining some control over the surreal absurdity that comes with the fake, posed, and plastic nature of public images.
Born in Los Angeles, Justin Blythe now lives and works in Amsterdam. He continues to create strong visual work through a variety of outlets and has recently updated his website. His body of work strikes a balance between hyper-colored juxtapositions and darker informed themes. Equally proficient in original illustration and reappropriation, Justin’s visual vocabulary enlivens clothing design, motion graphics, editorials, the music industry, and more.
Dear Cult Of Decay,
For those of you who just joined the cult and those of you who haven’t seen us in a while, we wanted to give you a refresher and keep you in the loop on all the changes we made since 2009.
As you know Beautiful/Decay started as a magazine featuring art & design. We had a traditional advertising model like most other mags on the stands. After publishing a successful 26 issues (issues A-Z) we decided to shake things up in order to bring you a superior product.
Starting in 2009 we re-launched Beautiful/Decay to have all the benefits of traditional magazine subscribership, while taking the form of an expanded, limited edition, more voluminous publication.
In keeping with the spirit of our independent DIY philosophy, we decided to break the mold of traditional magazines and change the way we do business. In this economy, most publications are either going out of business or watering down their content to appease advertisers. Rather than conform to the publishing industry’s new rules, we’ve decided to create our own business model that allows us to flourish and increase the quality of our content.
One thing we’ve always disliked about the mainstream print industry is that it can be wasteful. Newsstands throw away all unsold magazines, averaging a 40-60% waste rate. In keeping with our commitment to staying green, Beautiful/Decay will instead send issues straight into the hands of subscribers, rather than dumpsters.
Here’s what the new B/D looks like:
• No traditional advertising
• 50% increase in page count, meaning 164 pages of pure, unfiltered content
• Features now have double the page space, with more full-color images & articles
• Articles now run 16-20 pages, providing some of the most in-depth coverage of emerging artists available today
• Released in limited edition format of only 1,500-2000 copies, each one hand numbered.
• Each issue comes with a limited edition collaborative artist project ranging from inserts, stickers, posters, to original artwork.
• Presented in new format & size, including French flaps and multiple printing processes within
• Released 3 times a year (once every 4 months)
We’re looking forward to 2011, where we’ll keep doing things our way, innovating indie publishing and bringing members of the cult the best of art and design.
Long live The Cult Of Decay!
New York artist Bill Durgin’s photographs reflect a fascination with the body as form. The complex figurations, undulating arrangements of flesh, as the body seems to collapse onto it self, image an almost abstracted figure lacking appendages and hair. The physical structure becomes not just a shell, but a moving sculpture of skin, muscle, fat, and bone.
The gesture within each photograph is created through exploring his own physical limitations and collaborative improvisation with dancers and performers. Often Durgin will come up with a pose and demonstrate it and then ask the model to repeat or respond to it. Each pose transmogrifies the figure towards abstraction; exaggerating or diminishing the skeletal structure until it approaches an amorphic form. Durgin wants the bodies to be recognized as bodies, but also to be detached from common perceptions of the figure. Bound within each singular view, the uncanny figures convey the body as both abject and marvelous.
Jen Mann, a friend from up north in Canada, inspires with her new series “Fera” (Latin origin of feral, we’re interested to learn). Jen paints with grace a harmony between women and wild creatures. Or perhaps this is a common practice in her homeland, but either way, the illustrations are beautiful.
Katie Eleanor is a London-based photographic artist who creates visions of Victorianesque romance and melancholia. Complete with elaborate costumes and set designs, her works have a theatrical presence; serene-faced maidens wearing gowns—or in various states of undress—pose in dimly-lit rooms, often with esoteric props, such as a magpie, a fox, and a white crown. Mixing sensuality with darkness, the chill of death creeps in on the periphery, taking the form of dead branches, wilted leaves, and a shroud. There are signs of injury and endurance; one woman leans on crutches, while another stoically leaks blood from her eyes.
In a statement provided to Beautiful/Decay, Eleanor talks about her work. “My style is fictional and narrative based, away from the confines of our shared earth,” she writes. “I am influenced most heavily by the past, [. . .] as I am intrigued by both its links and disconnect from the way we function in the present.” Her influences arise from several creative sources, such as books, performance, Victorian illustration, and costume collectors. As a visual storyteller, set design is integral to conveying her meaning and absorbing the viewer into her ethereal dreamscapes; narrative and emotions speak through the costumes and staging. In addition to this complex process, each image is hand-colored, which allows her to “push more of [herself] into [her] works” by incorporating more of her physical being.
Joseph McVetty must think it’s Halloween every day. His subtle pencil drawings are littered with groups of scantily clad people carrying out strange ceremonies and rituals. He sketches masked girls sitting on top of a circle of mushrooms, assisting a floating diamond deity. We see gatherings of people holding skulls above their heads in formation, trying to harness their collective power. There are also Shamans wearing skulls who seem to be about to begin some sort of exorcism or are absorbing energy from the people wearing skulls circling them. No matter the scenario, McVetty’s work is rooted in new-age spiritualism, occult ritual, and psychedelic culture.
Living in Portland, Oregon, McVetty’s work draws on his own experiences with rituals of being in the woods on the east coast. He talks of the powerful effect nature has on him:
I remember going to the Bagby Hot Springs with my wife soon after we relocated here and having a really magical experience. The very existence of these hot springs is a lovely idea to me, but being out in that old growth forest with all of the accompanying sights and smells was overwhelming. Then to come upon a group of strangers, naked, getting high, filling up those old log tubs and laying in that steaming water blew my mind. (Source)
He says even though his work is connected to these personal stories and memories, his drawings also are concerned with events from the wider world:
A perfect example is the recent wave of civil resistance movements central to the successes of the Arab Spring. These sustained campaigns involving strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies are exactly the kind of energy gathering rituals that inspire me. (Source)
Hopefully you all are inspired to go and create your own energy gatherings this very night. Happy Halloween!