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Three Women Get Historical Makeovers That Explore Their Cultural Pasts

makeovers BuzzFeedVideo - Makeup/Fashion BuzzFeedVideo - Makeup/Fashion

Last week, BuzzFeed published a video featuring three women who were given complete makeovers based on “diverse traditions of beauty,” transforming them into figures from their cultural, historical pasts. Their backgrounds — which were Indian, English-Irish-Scottish, and Chinese-Taiwanese – were researched, and then clothes, accessories, hairstyles, and makeup were selected to recreate the looks. The women are fascinated and excited by the stylists’ creative interpretations of their heritage, and as one participant expresses, “It’s traditional, but at the same time, there’s an edge to it.”

A possible criticism of this video would be that it risks essentializing ethnic identities and notions of beauty; it’s always important to remember that cultural histories and traditions are infinitely diverse and nuanced. However, BuzzFeed’s goal to creatively explore a range of backgrounds is valuable, in that it aims to celebrate cultural difference and disparate histories. The video provides positive representation to alternative-and-equal cultural understandings of traditional beauty, which is important in a world wherein the media is so often dominated — or at least influenced — by Western standards and ways of thinking.

Check out the video above, and share with us your thoughts. What do you think about these depictions of diverse, traditional beauty? (Via designboom)

 

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BD Apparel & Insight Sample Sale

Beautiful/Decay has teamed up with Insight to present a Sample sale Friday, March 27th from 12-6pm, & Saturday, March 28th from 9-6pm! The event will take place at 8940 Ellis Ave, in Los Angeles (90034). We will be selling rare, limited run and unreleased samples, as well as never before seen Beautiful/Decay prototypes! Some of these have as limited a run as 5 shirts made, ever! The sale will feature the insane discount of 50%- 80% ALL stock, including shirts and hoodies. Some come out, meet the B/D crew and get your hands on some great deals.

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Performance Artist Imitates Gustav Courbet’s Painting”The Origin of the World” By Exposing Herself

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On May 29 at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Luxembourgian performance artist Deborah de Robertis, wearing a gold sequined dress, plopped down in front of Gustav Courbet’s painting “The Origin of the World,” and spread her legs and vaginal lips, publicly exposing herself. The artist’s intent was to re-enact the famous painting, but with an open, exposed vagina in contrast to the vagina presented in Courbet’s piece. Eventually, de Robertis was escorted from the premises by police officers, and two museum guards filed sexual exhibitionist complaints against her after the incident.

“This is a typical case of disrespecting the museum’s rules, whether for a performance or not,” the Musée d’Orsay’s administration said in a statement. “No request for authorization was filed with us. And even if it had been, it’s not certain we would have accepted it as that may have upset our visitors.”

de Robertis, of course, disagrees with these accusations (as does Banksy). “If you ignore the context, you could construe this performance as an act of exhibitionism, but what I did was not an impulsive act,” she explained to Luxemburger Wort. “There is a gap in art history, the absent point of view of the object of the gaze. In his realist painting, the painter shows the open legs, but the vagina remains closed. He does not reveal the hole, that is to say, the eye. I am not showing my vagina, but I am revealing what we do not see in the painting, the eye of the vagina, the black hole, this concealed eye, this chasm, which, beyond the flesh, refers to infinity, to the origin of the origin.”

de Robertis says she’s performed this piece, “Mirror of Origin,” more than once in the same museum without causing a hysteric scene, and unsurprisingly, this is not the first time a performance artist has imitated a famous work of art by exposing their body: last year, performance artist Arthur G stripped down and appeared in front of Musée d’Orsay’s parade of male nudes, “Masculin/Masculin.” It is also not unusual for female performance artists to use their bodies as a medium for messages about our culture and the way it conceptualizes female anatomy and sexuality: I’m thinking of recent Beautiful/Decay features, like Milo Moire’s vaginal egg-dropping and Casey Jenkins’ vaginal knitting. The reactions garnered from such performances reflect our culture’s current conception of female anatomy and sexuality and prove that our stripped-bare biology continues to be seen as obscene, threatening, and attention-seeking, even within performance-based contexts. (via art fido)

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Lesbian Beds

Photographs of beds belonging to lesbians by Tammy Rae Carland.

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Geoff McFetridge

Geoff McFetridge

Geoff McFetridge is an artist based in Los Angeles California. Born in Canada, he was schooled at the Alberta College of Art and the California Institute of the Arts.  From poetry to animation, from graphics to 3D work, from textile and wallpaper to paintings, McFetridge has complete control over these various mediums. McFetridge’s work is all about inviting the viewer to participate. He gives the viewer an opportunity figure out his puzzle , a puzzle that has more than one answer. Often imitated, but never equalled, McFetridge has created a double helix of personal and commercial art projects, blending disciplines and purpose in almost every project he does. In the past ten years, McFetridge has created  a unique imagery through his work, which is detailed and abstract at the same time. Full of hats, animals, hands, heads, teeth.

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Frédéric Fontenoy’s Erotic Alien-like Photography Of The Human Body In Motion

Frédéric Fontenoy - photographs Frédéric Fontenoy - photographs Frédéric Fontenoy - photographs Frédéric Fontenoy - photographs

French artist Frédéric Fontenoy is enamored with the human form. In his striking photography, he explores different representations of the body and eroticses, or ostracizes it’s different parts. In his new series Metamorphosis, he manipulates his photographic medium and produces images of bodies that are stretched, extended and disfigured. His snaps look like they are of weird aliens passing through earthly landscapes.

Being raised surrounded by artistic and political family members, Fontenoy quickly identified with a particular artist that he felt embodied his own ideals. Hans Bellmer’s The Anatomy of the Image, continues to be a major inspiration for the artist. Here he reflects on his own practice:

I always created erotic work, since I started taking pictures: first more intimate, then evolving into a more conceptual work, a photographic fiction, referring to our collective unconscious. The mindset of my photography is erotic, but a photo itself doesn’t have to arouse lust. (Source)

Throughout his 20-something year career of taking photos, Fontenoy not only works with different narratives that are connected to the body, he also includes himself in the situation and reflects on his own involvement as a fellow person. He sees the relevance of having himself somehow reflected in his images:

[The] crucial point of these “scenes of the darkroom”: the photographer is also in the frame, the main male character. Grand officer of these stagings, this double devilishly imaginative and wicked madness seems to make its most ambitious expression, which is Art. (Source)

(Via But Does It Float)

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Megan Mosholder’s Luminous Twine Installations

Megan Mosholder installation Wassaic, NY Megan Mosholder installation Wassaic, NY Megan Mosholder installation Wassaic, NY

Megan Mosholder creates work from the simplest materials, and then illuminates the installations to give the work a unique visual depth and a lasting sensory experience. Mosholder explains, “My practice is centered around site-responsive, sculptural installations that emphasize obscured elements within recognizable objects. Through the utilization of materials such as light, twine, eyelets and wood, I articulate space and present a multi-sensory experience.”

In her work, Support and Seizure (above), the Ohio-born, Brooklyn-based artist immersed herself in the history of the buildings during her Wassaic Artist Residency. By installing to a former livestock auction space, Mosholder visually connects the past of the local’s agrarian history to the current artist residents. The artist says, “I was interested in the revival of the Wassaic, once a forgotten hamlet plagued with home foreclosures. Many of the community members told me how happy they were that the residency was in existence because it brought new life and interest to the area.”

In her previous work Gossamer (below), nylon cord is hand-painted with light-reactive, glow in the dark paint and blacklit to create a radiant blue field of three-dimensional lines. Installed underneath a Hilton Head Island, South Carolina barn, the work was the artist’s largest to date. Built of 15,000 feet of nylon cord, 2000 screw eyes, and taking over 150 hours to construct, Mosholder responds to the utilitarian construct and architectural forms of the site. Explaining that there is more to each piece than just the visual stimulation, viewers should also understand the creative reaction to the implied histories of the building.  “These “three-dimensional drawings” bind the social and literal landscape and reawaken for a moment the simple intrigue of looking. They are a visual dialogue about movement, time and dimension and encourage the viewer to appreciate spaces for what they are but also examine their hidden meanings.” (via designboom)

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Art and Fashion Collide In The Psychedelic Dreamscapes Of Marina Fini

Marina Fini - Photography/Design

Marina Fini - Photography/Design

Marina Fini - Photography/Design

At the intersection of fashion, photography, film, stagecraft, and design, artist Marina Fini creates hallucinatory, alternative worlds. Based in California, she collaborates with friends and artists alike in the staging of these otherworldly scenes, using colorful costumes and her own handmade, plexiglass jewelry to turn her photographic subjects into ethereal cyber goddesses. When asked how she builds these characters, Fini remarked, “there’s something about transforming someone into someone they wouldn’t normally be … that is, creating an extension of themselves that I see in them.” All of her characters exude a captivating power, like the whimsical and intangible figures seen through a psychedelic dream. By exploring alternative selves in familiar contexts – a convenience store, or the Californian seaside, for example – Fini explores how subjecthood is fluid, and how such creative “shape-shifting” can alter they way we perceive our immediate reality.

While beautiful, there are also darker and more satirical elements in Fini’s work; in her own words, there’s something compelling about “juxtaposing what we associate as innocent with something horrific or insane.” In her short film Tree Temple, for example, a group of forest sprites — their faces eerily obscured by their colorful hair — dance feverishly around an altar made of Apple computers. Shortly after destroying the altar in their frenzy, they fade into mourning and death. As this film exemplifies, integrated throughout Fini’s scenes are emblems of our contemporary cyber culture — the Apple logo, wifi symbol, hand cursor, and so on. Speaking to this, Fini says that the use of such icons “specifically pokes fun at our internet-obsessed culture,” thereby producing a playful — and sometimes dark — cultural critique of our digitized existences.

In addition to her photographs and videos, Fini is well-known for her aforementioned jewelry, as seen on many of the models in these photos. In pursuit of new projects, she has recently announced that she will be phasing out her jewelry, but her Etsy shop will remain open until mid-January 2015. If you enjoy immersive art and playful reconfigurations of reality, check out the surreal worlds she has created on her website and Tumblr pages.

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