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Nicolas Rivals Uses Light To Paint Arresting Portraits

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In a series titled Light Rorschach, photographer Nicolas Rivals paints with light in dark spaces. Using a torch light and a camera with a long exposure, the artist draws and contours an arresting image. When I look at these photographs, I instantly see a face. But, Rorschach can refer to a couple of things. There is the Rorschach inkblot test, which is a psychological test. Additionally, a character, the anti-hero in the graphic novel Watchman has the same name. Knowing this and studying Rival’s work, his interpretation seems to be a combination of the two influences.

According to his website, Rival wants us to question the reality of the photographs.  Could these things possibly exist? And, if they do, what are they?  Rival insinuates that the beings in in Light Rorschach exist, referring to subjects as masks, meaning that they have some sort of identity. And, they observing us as we look at them. He writes:

…turns observer and observed through the eyes of spirited but ultimately see some of your own personality and therefore yourself. Cross between the work and the viewer as an introspection looks these masks seem to shout.

“Tell me what you see and I’ll tell you who you are.”

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the soul of these light masks are serious and demand your attention. The lines of the painted light frame the neon blue, red, and green discs.They definitely aren’t human, and seem like they belong in a sci-fi story.

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Nest Made from 10,000 Reclaimed Wood Boards By Mark Reigelman

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Artist Mark Reigelman‘s new site-specific installation is aptly titled Reading Nest.  The structure was created just outside the Cleveland Public Library using thousands of reclaimed wood boards.  Reading Nest acts as an alternative setting for learning and growth.  In his statement Reigleman says of the installation’s symbolism:

“For centuries objects in nature have been associated with knowledge and wisdom. Trees of enlightenment and scholarly owls have been particularly prominent in this history of mythological objects of knowledge. The Reading Nest is a visual intermediary between forest and fowl. It symbolizes growth, community and knowledge while continuing to embody mythical roots.”   [via]

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Gavin Munro Plants Trees That Grow Into Furniture

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Carpenter, furniture designer and innovator Gavin Munro is heading a project called Full Grown that is achieving incredible things. He and his team have an ambitious and revolutionary idea of growing trees around frames and supports that will shape them into chairs, tables, mirror frames, and light shades. The process takes a few years, but ultimately saves on labor and time when it comes to chopping, harvesting, sanding, polishing and finishing the furniture.

The idea for Full Grown started when, as a young boy, Munro saw an overgrown bonsai tree that looked remarkably like a chair. In a strange twist of fate, he then needed a back brace to help straighten his spine. With the time to mull over a few things, he put these different experiences together with his expertise in furniture making to try something new.

It’s where I learnt patience. There were long periods of staying still, plenty of time to observe what was going on and reflect.  It was only after doing this project for a few years a friend pointed out that I must know exactly what it’s like to be shaped and grafted on a similar time scale. (Source)

So treating wood the same way his own bones were treated, he experimented with growing different prototypes. After a couple of attempts with willow trees, Munro now has almost 3,000 trees growing into furniture on 2.5 acres. The first pieces will be ready in Spring 2016 and you can pre order different pieces here. Obviously, each piece is unique and unrepeatable, all marked and with a Certificate of Provenance. Ultimately Munro hopes to achieve a new understanding of wood and it’s brilliance.

I hope that our work highlights what it takes to make the objects we surround ourselves with, and that no one looks at trees in quite the the same way again. (Source)

(Via The Creator’s Project)

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New Stock – Artist Wallets!

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We’ve added 6 new wallets to our online shop! From the psychedelic and serious to the geometric and saccharine,  there’s sure to be a wallet to tickle your fancy!

Each wallet is made of durable vinyl (double layer for extra strength), containing 3 slots for credit cards, a bill slot, and a change purse. Measuring 8.5″ x 3.75″ when open, each folds perfectly to fit in your pocket (4.25″ x 3.75″). All are limited edition, and online orders come with a matching badge/pin.

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Documentary Watch: Being Elmo

You’re probably thinking “Why is Beautiful/Decay posting about children’s puppets?” Well that’s a good question. Usually we leave Sesame Street for the toddler and mommy blogs but over the weekend I happened to watch  Being Elmo, a documentary about Kevin Clash, the long time voice and puppeteer of Elmo. Since the age of 10 (check out the above image of young Kevin performing for local kids in 1975) all Kevin wanted to do was to be a puppeteer. With tons of ambition, hard work, and creativity Kevin not only became a professional puppeteer but also one of the most famous and iconic figures in the field right along his life long idol Jim Henson.

I don’t want to give away too much of the story but I will say that every artist, designer, and creative person should watch this documentary. You will be touched, inspired, and moved to work harder, push the limits of your craft, and to never give up on your dreams. Watch the trailer for the documentary after the jump and run out and go out and buy the DVD. It will be the best money you’ll spend all week.

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Austin Lee Strips Away And Finds The Core Of His Subjects

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A portrait tries to capture the essence of a subject. By honing in on a solitary figure usually from the chest up, we’re able to delve into the eyes and see beneath the surface. There’s some seriousness involved because the traditional portrait is used to capture a visual record which can act as a long standing account of that subject. Taking this and flipping it, painter Austin Lee creates cartoon-like portraits of re-imagined people and animals. Bursting with neon color and loose line, his subjects have nothing to hide and let it all hang out. His work associates with characterture and gestural expression mostly ending up as vignette laden pictures.

With titles like Dunno, Mr. Worry, Facepalm, and Taboo the idea of community and friends surface as the subject for many of his pictures. In one, two figures appear in the front windshield of a car, the anticipation in their faces is that of a destination thay are unfamiliar with. In another, “Crush” a Mona Lisa type portrait peers out from a cabinet frame portraying someone the artist has a crush on?

Using a similar approach Lee creates heads out of 3D prints and acrylic paint. These look like self-portraits and capture certain aspects of his personality with the least amount of rendering.  To some degree both his painting and prints reference minimalism in their quest to strip away and find the core of its subject.

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Sponsored Post: Snowy Rally Driving Challenge

Formula Drift driver Ryan Tuerck and pro skater Bucky Lasek get together for a snowy rally driving challenge. Watch more vids like this Here.

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