Ronald Kurniawan’s illustrations are inspired by ideograms, syllables, letterforms, beasts and heroic landscapes. He slowly but surely continues to create a visual language where the wilderness and civilization could merge happily together. With the belief that the sublime and nuclear age could coexist, he paints romantic environments and breaks the quiet scene with juxtaposed imagery taking the shape of icons and letterforms. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles where he paints meticulously and happily accompanied by his pug Ruffles, an avid artist himself.
Early morning at the hotel in Wales. ‘Shadowman’ wakes up with his doll Carly. He has 2 adult daughters with another woman. Besides Carly he has 4 other dolls. Bianca is one of them. His dolls are not part of a daily life with his family, but everybody knows of their presence. Shadowman recently got divorced from his second wife.
Phil stopped smoking for a year to be able to afford his doll Jessica. He is aware that she’s a doll, but simply doesn’t care what anyone thinks about his choice of lifestyle. Phil’s friends all know of her existence.
Rebekka and June in the backyard of Everard. He has 12 dolls and often takes them to the garden for a photoshoot. His neighbours go inside when he enters with his dolls. Everard has only had one relationship with a living woman and has difficulties understanding women. He is lonesome but his dolls give him kind of a comfort by their presence. The men are in general vain towards the dolls; they use a lot of time to make the hair and make up right before they picture them. That is also the reason why Rebekka and June are wearing summerhats – not to have the sharp sun in their face.
In 1986, after having their first child, Chris Zacho’s wife filed for divorce. He was refused contact with his daughter for years. Every now and then he would try to search his daughter’s name on different social medias to get back in touch and a few years ago he managed to find her, now married and a mum of 2. It has been very painful for Chris not to have been a part of his daughter’s life, so it was big when they finally reunited.
While, since its popularization in the 1990s, the phenomenon of sex dolls—life-sized and lifelike synthetic figures intended both as erotic objects and as stand-in companions—has been riddled with condemnation, Danish photojournalist Benita Marcussen seeks to shed these judgments through her series, Men & Dolls.
Following a group of six male doll-owners, Men & Dolls documents the individuals’ relationships with the anatomically-correct mannequins and provides an intimate glimpse into this controversial lifestyle. While the identities and situations of the subjects greatly vary—two men are married with children, two have been through a divorce, one was once betrothed in a dead-end engagement, and one has never had a girlfriend—they have one very apparent thing in common: they each consciously turn to dolls as a means to alleviate their loneliness.
This is why, in the photoseries, Marcussen does not solely focus on the sexual aspect of neither the dolls nor the relationships that they facilitate. She presents, rather, images that convey the ways in which the men incorporate the dolls into their daily lives and treat them as sentient—albeit intimate—companions.
Ultimately, whether clad in a sun hat and seated outdoors, dolled up in formal attire, carried around on a romantic pseudo-stroll, or wrapped in an embrace on a bed, it is clear that each doll featured in Men & Dolls is so much more than a sex toy. (Via Feature Shoot)
San Francisco-based artist Michelle Fleck creates slightly minimalistic acrylic paintings that deal with the “relationship between man and the landscape”. In the paintings, decaying natural environments are sullied by the trappings of construction work and neglect. What’s great about these, in addition to Fleck’s nice illustrative sense of texture, is the artist’s intelligent handling of her subject matter. It’s so common, whenever drawing on environmental themes, to be heavy-handed. To sort of say, “I’m talking about the environment now, and it’s very important so look at what I’m doing.” Instead of taking that route, Fleck just paints what she sees (of course taking care to include pointed compositions and visual appeal). Some situations don’t need extensive commentary, just a skilled storyteller to show you just enough of what you need to know.
Enter the universe of Jonathan Beer. He paints surreal magic that explodes through your eyes into your subconcious realm. Jon creates “a cosmological system from the contents of [his] private mental universe – depicting mental processes constantly in transition; actions associated with cognition and memory. When working [he becomes] both cartographer and naturalist, exploring and documenting the dislocated, quasi-architectural planes of memory.”
Mark King creates photographs that document every day life in his hometown of Barbados. What I am particularly drawn to within the works is their overarching sense of point-and-shoot honesty, as well as their glossy/gritty vibe that could almost be high fashion editorial Vice essay- its sort of like a candid, William Eggleston approach meets Terry Richardson. Mark’s work seems to capture the culture around him and highlight them in new, surreal and fascinating ways. Discoered on the Beautiful/Decay Creative Pic Pool– be sure to upload your work there today and it may just end up on the B/D blog!
Maine-based artist Matt W Moore is a favorite of mine, and here’s why. For one thing, this guy is into a little bit of everything. The multi-talented, multimedia artist founded and runs MWM Graphics, a studio specializing in illustration and graphic design. More recently, he started Core Deco, a brand that lets him bring his signature style to more functional design objects. But that’s all business – let’s talk more about that signature style. From large aerosol murals in Brazil or France to brightly colored, boldly patterned digital illustrations in a style the artist calls “vectorfunk,” the mark of Moore is instantly recognizable. Sculptural installations – like those done for his ‘Sun Ray Ricochet’ solo show in Moscow – are similarly characterized by well-placed angles and lines, as well as vibrant colors. Lately, it seems that Moore has been moving away from the strictures of more formal geometry and embracing a more organic, flowing style. I’m definitely liking the results so far. Check out more of his works after the jump!
Sølve Sundsbø is a London-based (Norway-born) photographer whose highly stylized shoots bring an experimental edge into the world of high fashion. This particular series — called Points a la Ligne — was shot for Numéro magazine’s May 2008 issue. The concept is simple, yet powerful; patterned shadows of stripes and circles are cast across the body of a nude model (Edita Vilkeviciute). Between the model’s painted-white skin and the pitch-black shadows surrounding and traversing her, the photos are strongly contrasted. Her lipstick — in varying bright shades — is the only source of color that punctuates the series, attracting the eye to her mouth.
The result of Sundsbø’s experiments with light and shadow is a photo series that lends a sensual geometry to the body. In some images, the shadows — which appear painted on, initially — give her body a feline appearance, and in others, almost a pop-art/film noir aspect, or even more abstractly, the way sunlight reflects off of sand dunes. The interpretations are varied, but the illusory effect on her form is beautiful.
Sundsbø has shot for a number of fashion publications and beauty brands, including Vogue, NYTimes, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and H&M. You can explore the rest of his imaginative, sensual, and highly polished work on his website. (Via Art Fucks Me)
I know, I know, this is a bit cheesy. But try to look past the terrible music, the Yanni style haircut, and even the cheesy artwork. What I’m into is the technique. I challenge you, loyal Cult Of Decay members to use this painting technique to make something amazing. Watch the full video after the jump, turn off the computer and get going!