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We Are Place

Beautiful and experimental typography, illustration, and design from Argentinian based design studio Place™.

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Wolfgang Stiller’s Human Matchsticks

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Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out.  The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery.  A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor.  Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China.  However, Stiller says of the work:

“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.”  [via]

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New work from Matthew Palladino opening at Baer Ridgway tomorrow!

Matt Palladino

If you’re in the SF area, be sure to check out Matt Palladino’s new work at Baer Ridgway, opening from 4-7pm this Saturday. Last month I had the pleasure of visiting his studio (one of the coolest & most conveniently located I’ve ever seen) and watching the artist painting meticulously and chugging down a mountain of Arizona ice teas. No joke, I have pictures to prove it.

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Klaus Pinchler’s Macro Photos Of Dust Transform Your Mess Into Beautiful Images

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Pet Shop

Pet Shop

Police Station

Police Station

Tailor

Tailor

When photographer Klaus Pichler was moving out of his old apartment in Vienna, he noticed something peculiar about the dust on the floor. In the living room, dust bunnies were red while the mitesin his bedroom were light blue. This led to something of an epiphany for Pichler, and he realized that dust isn’t always gray like we so often see – there are varieties. Inspired by that experience, the photographer started a years-long series that chronicles the accumulation of different dust particles. Aptly titled Dust, it recently culminated into a book of the same name.

Pinchler’s dust gathering was similar to collecting specimens to study. He retrieved them with tweezers, placed each in their own Petri dish, numbered,  and inventoried them. Photographing the dust proved trickier, and it required Pinchler renting an expensive 120mm macro lense and capturing them all within 24 hours. They were left unaltered and their tiny, exquisite beauty shines in these up-close images.

From police stations to subway stations and pet stores, each gathering of dust has its own idiosyncrasies. The pet shop, for instance, has tiny, brightly-colored feathers and wood chips for the animals. There’s less hair in it than the police station, which has threads, metal, and leaves swirling around in a matted ball.

Dust was published by Anzenberger Edition. It’s available for purchase on Pinchler’s website or through Anzenberger Gallery Bookshop. (Via Slate)

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A Human Ant-Farm by Snarkitecture

The architecture and Art team Snarkitecture have been in the art news lately for their installation at the entrance of the Design Miami Pavilion 2012.  Dig is an earlier installation from the team featured here.  Often  mixing elements of architecture  design, art, and performance, Dig was at once an installation and a performance.

The team filled the Storefront for Art and Architecture with solid architectural foam.  The artists then excavated a network of tunnels through the foam and inhabited them for the following month.  The performance was an artful investigation of contemporary architecture based on excavating rather than building, as well as building for necessity.

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Skwak joins the Mr. Chiizu crew

If you’ve followed Beautiful/Decay you know that Skwak has collaborated with us dozens of times creating apparel, posters, gallery exhibitions and most importantly his wildly popular cover story in Beautiful/Decay Issue J .  One of his most exciting new projects is his collaboration with our friends over at Mr. Chiizu, an artist’s photo decoration iphone app. He signed on with Mr. Chiizu earlier this year to create a theme that lets his fans get inside his always funny and sometimes grotesque illustrious world. Skwak’s signature style lent themselves well to the photo frames and stickers he created for his theme. We caught up with Skwak to see what he has been up to.

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Tomoo Gotika’s Abstracted Playboy Girls

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Tomoo Gokita’s abstracted erotic paintings have a very nostalgic feel. As a child, Gokita snuck to read his father’s playboys, which he says are still a big influence on him now. His father created the images for advertisements in Playboy for its launch in Japan in 1975. Gokita now keeps the entire collection in his studio, and this influence shows heavily in his work. The curves and teasing stances of his characters are obvious references to such imagery. The forms and colouring make for a very retro feel, but the strange dot-eyes or the patterned zigzag head of the tuxedoed man have more of an Internet age vibe.

Gokita never reveals faces, except for the subtle suggestions in the dots.  Often he flattens them completely or creates intestinal-looking deformities oozing from their head. Gokita says that he doesn’t depict faces because he became tired of them, and now he is instead interested in masks: “to hide a face and to become a different character.” This too seems to relate to his fascination with the women in Playboy. Although the images are extremely revealing, they’re also highly composed, and act almost like a mask of sexuality. Both the paintings and the images they are inspired from are a fantasy or a caricature of a woman’s true and much more deeply complex sexuality. Gokita’s paintings reduce them to be even more elemental, and also reveal their oddity. This is done very acutely due to his respect and love for the imagery. It’s a fascinating way to examine the inner workings of commercial erotic images. (Via Hunted Projects)

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The Funeral Pictures Of Genevieve Blais Studies The Business Of Death

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The business of death is the subject of Genevieve Blais’ photo essay Funeral. In the series Blais looks at how consumerism dominates our lives even after life. Using a mechanical almost step by step process she captures the funerary procedure from start to finish through an itemized set of rules. In catalog fashion she shows what is needed to accomplish the final step of life; flowers, caskets, makeup, embalming machine, credit cards and waiting room. The photos themselves look dated, perhaps on purpose pointing to the fact there really hasn’t been much advancement in the business of death.
A picture of an embalming machine with the brand name Dodge makes you wonder if the popular car company was thinking proactively when designing their product which accounts for approximately 30,000 deaths per year. Turns out there’s no relation to the two and Dodge the funeral provider has been a family business since 1893. The website advertises their formaldehyde-free products and offers seminars and even a magazine for those interested in this type of work.
In her statement, Blais says when she first embarked on the project she didn’t know what to expect but as she went along she began taking a Marxist attitude towards the whole procedure. However, death is big business and those working in that industry make a comfortable living by a simple fact of nature that is both unavoidable and inevitable.

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