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The Flowing, Often Colorful Compositions of Matthias Duwel

 

Matthias Duwel’s abundantly colorful paintings and black and white drawings operate in dynamic transition between clutter and streamlined clarity. Düwel’s work centers on the idea of flux, excess and superabundance. At first glance, the environmental issues addressed in his pieces deflect recognition, due to the skillful use of unique color spaces-from chromatic grays to highly saturated pinks, greens, blues and violets.

The worlds Düwel constructs are reminiscent of amusement parks, camouflaging so to speak the seriousness of the subject-matter. His chaotically vivid, whirlwind compositions spin out of control, however upon closer inspection, little areas of respite, little Edens appear: a snow globe, an Airstream trailer, a suburban enclave.
These idealized enclaves produce the realization that only deep inside ourselves, within the confines of our own inner sanctum, can we find the stability that we as humans inherently seek…our personal Eden.

Martha Otero Gallery in Los Angeles opens a solo exhibition of Duwel’s work entitled Eden on August 4th.

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Nicko Straniero

These awesome’s just opened at Whitecross Galleries new salon exhibition in London. Phototoxins: Straniero’s ongoing series of manipulated photograpic images (fried in oil, dipped in hot lava). Stay tuned. The next series is film AND digital manipulation. Please fry your computer in hot oil. ;D

 

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Chris Gentile

Chris Gentile currently has a show of fantastic photos up at Jeff Bailey Gallery. The show is up until March 12th so if you are in the NYC area make sure to stop by and check it out.

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Messing Up Ideas Of Beauty: The Queen Of Afro-Kitsch, Mickalene Thomas Challenges Us All

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Mickalene Thomas arranges collages, stages photographs, places rhinestones, directs art films and layers up oil and acrylic paint, all in the name of beauty and feminism. Her glittering artworks are a homage to black culture, cubism, portraiture, ideas of the still life and what it is to be a woman. Initially inviting women into her studio and coercing an energy out of them, she aims to represent these ladies as “beautiful, sexual, desirable, stylish and fierce”. (Source) Thomas says she, as well as other black women have had to consider this question of beauty often:

Beauty has always been an element of discussion for black women, whether or not we were the ones having the conversation. We’ve had to contend with the element of our hair. Beauty pros and cons have changed the world of how we perceive each other. Some people go to great lengths to bleach themselves to conform to the norm, the whiteness, and all the complexities. (Source)

Thomas’ artwork is an exploration of how one presents themselves – the images we create of ourselves, how we chop and change our appearance, and why. She has been involved in a couple of different projects lately as well. Including designing pop star Solange Knowles’ EP cover and airing her directorial debut on HBO called “Happy Birthday To A Beautiful Woman” earlier this year. This art film is a kind of love letter to her mother – and an extension of her research into women and their identity. While her work is undeniably beautiful and luscious on the surface, she is concerned more with what that exterior is hiding. Thomas says:

I am drawn to objects and people that have undergone some kind of a hardship. They are beautiful and there is an artifice to them, but if you dig deeper, there’s another layer. (Source)

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Joey Reyes

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In the ongoing iPhone/Blackberry feud I must admit I sit comfortably in the Blackberry camp.  Nevertheless, I like iPhone – especially when I see it’s full, non-game potential come shining through the front lines.  That being said, Joey Reyes, a photographer in NYC, has taken some particularly spectacular images, shooting and editing them on his iPhone in a collection called LOMOSNAPS.

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Travis Stearns

Graphic Designer, Travis Stearn, is sporting a really nice portfolio of poster design work. I’m loving the kind of messed-up, digi-punk, aesthetic to his work. As platforms for creating digital artwork become more and more accessible, it is interesting to see how the aesthetics of “DIY” have potentially evolved from scissors-and-glue to photoshop-and-MSpaint. Check out a compilation of our favorites after the jump!

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Last Chance To Subscribe & Get Book 6!

Hey B/D Member! As you may have heard, the Beautiful/Decay book series highlights the most extensive interviews, and in-depth features with upcoming artists today. And in with the latest arrival of Book:6 upon us, this is your last chance to start your subscription and not miss out. With 164 ad-free pages of image heavy articles and collectible art inserts, this hand-numbered book is a source of inspiration you can re-read time and time again. So don’t, wait until it’s too late,subscribe today!

 

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Tracks of the Year

 

Lists are one of those things that just are, things few think to improve the experience of — ever-changing content with little change to the framework. With a simple layout and clean design, Tracks of the Year is a definite format upgrade. Billing itself as a “collection from those best-of lists, minus the reading,” it’s exactly what we want from a music best-of list: less words, more sounds. Each track was selected and illustrated by Montreal-based art director Michael Hagos

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