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Beautiful/Decay Presents…5 Reasons to Subscribe

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“Why should I subscribe to Beautiful/Decay,” one may find themselves wondering, “when I can pay over 33% more to purchase it on newsstands? And besides, running the risk of Beautiful/Decay selling out before I get a hold of my hand-numbered, limited edition copy is so exhilarating, it’s practically legalized gambling!”

In addition to the popularly publicized reasons of saving money and never missing a copy, Beautiful/Decay has actually closely guarded, for centuries now, a highly secret set of reasons to subscribe. Until today, that is. In collaboration with artist  C.W. Moss, Beautiful/Decay is proud to present a hand-painted watercolor series, illustrating 5 new reasons to subscribe.  Stay tuned every this week for 4 more great reasons to subscribe!

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Amy Douglas Restores 19th-Century Staffordshire Figures Into Eccentric Versions Inspired By Present-Day Life

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Amy Douglas is an English artist who restores old Staffordshire figures into eccentric recreations. Staffordshire figures were found throughout British homes in the 19th century, often bought at county fairs and collected as “toys” for the mantelpiece. When they arrive to Douglas—broken and eroded away by time—she modernizes the pieces by adding touches of present-day quips and scenarios. Each one has been given a title that makes them humorously unique; for example, “I Lost My Head” depicts a beheaded man joyously swinging a wreath decorated with various craniums; “Chicks Rule” features a chicken-headed figure riding a horse with a human face.

The humor of Douglas’ work is often subtle, fostered in the cultural disparity between past and present. Part of the fun is also tricking the viewer into believing they are seeing a bizarre original work. Douglas works with the destroyed objects to seamlessly blend modern relevance with a traditional, domestic art object. “Many of the techniques, materials, and recipes I use have been in the hands of the craftsman for centuries,” she writes on her About page. “In our more increasing, intangible, fleeting, [and] modern existence, I think people do not look properly and do not acknowledge the craftsmanship of work. I like the idea of making people look twice” (Source).

Douglas’ works are currently on display in a solo show titled The Art of Salmagundi at the Jack Hanley Gallery in New York. The show runs until February 7th. You can learn more about Douglas’ work on her website. (Via The Creators Project)

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Worlds Largest Kaleidoscope Made Of Swarovski Crystals

Built in 1995 in the Austrian village of Wattens, Swarovski World is perhaps the worlds most unusual Flagship store/theme park. Designed by multimedia artist André Heller, the site features 14 underground chambers of wonder dedicated to the versatile artistic interpretation of the material crystal. The result is a universe of discoveries and a simply unique experience that is a must see for your next Austrian vacation.

Some of our favorite Attractions at Swarovski World include:

Crystal Dome: With 590 mirrors covering its walls, the Crystal Dome offers a kaleidoscope rich with colours: light is reflected in all facets. This breathtaking spectacle is stylishly accentuated with music by Brian Eno.

Mechanical Theater: The desire for transformation, passion and erotic fantasies excites people – and also the mechanical world of Jim Whiting. An Adonis and the graceful Walking Woman represent the male-female relationship and form the central motif of the British artist’s stomping, leaping installation. However, the mechanical theatre could also be described as a surreal fashion show in which rigid things suddenly spring to life and clothes fly and dance through the air as if by magic.

Crystaloscope: The crystaloscope is the biggest kaleidoscope in the world. Upon taking a look inside, the harmonizing power of crystal becomes perceivable to body and soul. The installation, designed by André Heller and therapist Peter Mandl, casts endless variations of images that appear from the ever emerging crystal formations.

Watch a video of Swarovski World and see more pictures after the jump! (via)

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Daniele Papuli Swirling Bent Paper Installations

Daniele Papuli’s incredible installations and sculptures at first glance seem like a pool of foaming and rippling water but upon closer examination reveal that they are simply bent and cut sheets of delicate paper. Thousands of sheets of paper bend, fold, and move together in unison creating a dialogue between the spaces and places that they are exhibited in. (via my modern met)

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Denise Kupferschmidt’s Crude Idols

Denise Kupferschmidt lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. We have featured her collage pieces here in the past. Her new body of work consists of sumi ink and acrylic paintings as well as concrete sculpture. These are explorations into what she calls “Crude Idols”. Using a monochromatic palette she presents the viewer with anonymous objects and artifacts of manufactured significance.

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Studio Visit: Mark Schoening

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Mark Schoening has been busy in the studio lately working on a brand spanking new series of paintings and a new sculpture for a show opening this weekend at Blythe Projects in Culver City, Ca. He was kind enough to document the process and give you a sneak peak.

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Oscar Bolton Green

I’m absolutely loving London based Oscar Bolton Green’s quirky illustrations of figures and objects set up in dense compositions.

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Rebellious Chinese Artist, Ren Hang Creates Raunchy Photographs With Attention To Detail

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Chinese artists Ren Hang creates provocative staged photography that focuses on exposing highly fetishistic, mind bending scenes. Hang’s attention to detail and great sense of composition deem the photographs as visually stunning even if it subjects are a bit raunchy and bizarre at times.

Ren Hang’s work is not all about just about naked men and women in weird poses, however. It powerfulness as a political tool is probably the most redeeming quality of his work. Hang’s homeland of (China) is highly conservative and its conventional codes in art and communication will not, and will probably never accept Hang’s work. You are probably thinking that his story is very similar to that of dissident Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei. Consequently, Hang’s rejected work was found to be a reinvigorating addition to the newly flourishing group of young Chinese artists, and because of that, Hang was invited by artist Ai Weiwei to collaborate with him. Hang was part of one of Shanghai’s most pivotal group show to date, ‘Fuck Off’ (2000), which showcased the new wave of 21st century Chinese artists. Ren Hang was also included in ‘Fuck Off:  2’, which took place in the Netherlands back in 2008; the show has been traveling around the world since its debut.

Although Ren Hang’s work has been banned in many parts of China, he is still part of some Chinese galleries. He has also been exhibited widely in Russia, Italy, France, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Austria. (via Juxtapoz)

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