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Brian Finke Dives Deep Into The Biceps And Six-Packs Of Bodybuilding Competition Contestants

Brian Finke - Photography

Brian Finke - Photography

Brian Finke - Photography

Brian Finke - Photography

The world’s strongest man or woman; you may not even be close to it, but these people might be. Brooklyn based photographer Brian Finke captures an inside look into the pageants of incredibly chiseled muscle men and women of bodybuilding competitions. He not only displays the showmanship of this kind of competition, with the small bikinis and bathing suits, but also the competitors getting ready for their big moment in the spotlight. Men and women that seem to be almost bursting out of their skin with muscle parade themselves proudly for the cameras and judges in this captivating series.

Brian Finke’s photography portrays scenes of interesting happenings of everyday life. His documentary style mixed with a little bit of humor makes his work irresistible. This series of his, titled Most Muscular, can be seen on view at the School of Visual Arts Chelsea Gallery in New York City from August 22nd until September 19th. The exhibit not only features unusual characters with almost unbelievable muscle tone, but also another series of Brian Finke’s titled 2-4-6-8. This slightly offbeat series documents cheerleaders doing their routines, with a slight flavor of humor added in as well. Finke’s photography exhibits vivid colors and dramatic compositions, adding a bit of narrative to his work. Check out more of this artist’s alluring documentary style photography on his Instagram @BrianFinke.

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Dana Tanamachi Chalk Typography

Dana Tanamachi brings the art of dynamic turn of the century typography to the medium of chalk drawing. Her elaborate drawings are not anything short of amazing with some coming complete with QR codes drawn in chalk! Now that’s what I call a mix of old and new! More typographic goodness after the jump!

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Performance Artist Imitates Gustav Courbet’s Painting”The Origin of the World” By Exposing Herself

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On May 29 at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Luxembourgian performance artist Deborah de Robertis, wearing a gold sequined dress, plopped down in front of Gustav Courbet’s painting “The Origin of the World,” and spread her legs and vaginal lips, publicly exposing herself. The artist’s intent was to re-enact the famous painting, but with an open, exposed vagina in contrast to the vagina presented in Courbet’s piece. Eventually, de Robertis was escorted from the premises by police officers, and two museum guards filed sexual exhibitionist complaints against her after the incident.

“This is a typical case of disrespecting the museum’s rules, whether for a performance or not,” the Musée d’Orsay’s administration said in a statement. “No request for authorization was filed with us. And even if it had been, it’s not certain we would have accepted it as that may have upset our visitors.”

de Robertis, of course, disagrees with these accusations (as does Banksy). “If you ignore the context, you could construe this performance as an act of exhibitionism, but what I did was not an impulsive act,” she explained to Luxemburger Wort. “There is a gap in art history, the absent point of view of the object of the gaze. In his realist painting, the painter shows the open legs, but the vagina remains closed. He does not reveal the hole, that is to say, the eye. I am not showing my vagina, but I am revealing what we do not see in the painting, the eye of the vagina, the black hole, this concealed eye, this chasm, which, beyond the flesh, refers to infinity, to the origin of the origin.”

de Robertis says she’s performed this piece, “Mirror of Origin,” more than once in the same museum without causing a hysteric scene, and unsurprisingly, this is not the first time a performance artist has imitated a famous work of art by exposing their body: last year, performance artist Arthur G stripped down and appeared in front of Musée d’Orsay’s parade of male nudes, “Masculin/Masculin.” It is also not unusual for female performance artists to use their bodies as a medium for messages about our culture and the way it conceptualizes female anatomy and sexuality: I’m thinking of recent Beautiful/Decay features, like Milo Moire’s vaginal egg-dropping and Casey Jenkins’ vaginal knitting. The reactions garnered from such performances reflect our culture’s current conception of female anatomy and sexuality and prove that our stripped-bare biology continues to be seen as obscene, threatening, and attention-seeking, even within performance-based contexts. (via art fido)

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Pulse Art Fair 2013 Miami Highlights

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Sculptures by Leandro Asoli – Antena Studio

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Mounir Fatmi, Mecanization No.2, 2011 -Conrads Duesseldorf Gallery

PULSE Art Fair in Miami opened its doors on Dec.5th, 2013. The fifth edition of the fair brings forth an interesting mix of sophisticated, and classic works that offer a critical and progressive edge. Some of the most world-renowned artist are showcasing here, amongst them, William Eggleston, Zanele Muholi, and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Here, I have compiled a short guide of highlights that appeal to the Beautiful/Decay aesthetic:

Guatemalan artist Leandro Asoli creates these decorative, religious icons covered in colorful children’s stickers featuring some of our favorite cartoons and superheros: Superman, Dora the explorer, Spongebob, Lisa Frank, Spiderman, etc. The juxtaposition of these two things, religion and children’s television/book characters, creates interesting parallels between the concepts of idolization, religion, and popular culture.

Next, we have Moroccan artist Mounir Fatmi whom constructs lively collages out of used prayer rugs. This particular work, lends itself to heated controversy, as the usage of said rugs to make artworks is pretty much an atrocity within the Muslim faith. By using prayer rugs as his material of choice, the artist violates the religious object, leaving his audience to be exposed to a deconstruction of religious dogmas and ideologies.

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Thousands Of Metal Disks Come Together To Form Valay Shende’s Moving Political Sculpture

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For over 4 years, Indian artist Valay Shende put together his politically-loaded sculpture, now on show as a part of the group exhibition Migrating Histories of Molecular Identities at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai. Transit is a life size truck with 22 people standing on the back of it and has intensity to it, with a very moving back story. The structure is an intricate piece, made up out of thousands of metal disks all soldered together, and printed with the faces of the farmers who committed suicide from the Vidharba region and their families on them. The wing mirrors on either side of the cab have video footage of London, Mumbai and Dubai playing, to give the impression the truck is literally in transit. Shende says:

It gives a feeling that the truck is moving, but the people are actually not going anywhere, just like in real life. (Source)

Aimed at raising awareness of the increase in farmer suicide and starting a conversation about the larger political issues in India, Shende has created a powerful visual statement. This social awareness is the backbone of his practice.

Valay’s works are in subtle ways, his attempts to question the maladies afflicting urban societies and humans today. He is a keen and sensitive observer of his surroundings and is concerned about the common’s mans trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. He feels an artists owes a responsibility to the society and firmly believes an ideal world can be re-created. He wishes the audience to reflect upon the social issues plaguing man today. (Source)

(Via This Is Colossal)

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B/D Subscriptions Discounted- One Week Only!

We only have one week until we ship out Beautiful/Decay Book 5. To celebrate the occasion we are offering a discounted subscription rate for the first time ever. We have never discounted the B/D Book subscriptions in the past and we will most likely only do this one more time this year so if you’ve been putting off getting that subscription now is the time to do it. Use discount code Discountdecaysub and get a one year subscription for only $34.00! This deal will only be good for one week and will expire on February 23rd.

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Behind the Scenes at Kiel Johnson’s Studio


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The lovely Catlin Moore of Mark Moore Gallery was so kind as to provide Beautiful/Decay with a sneak-peak at Kiel Johnson’s upcoming exhibition entitled “Publish or Perish.” If you’re unfamiliar with Kiel Johnson’s work, his  work, he creates transmorphic drawings, paintings and sculpture that seem to synthesize the ever-expanding media explosion through a kind of personal narrative. Really lovely line work, almost animation-like. Check out tons of amazing studio shots and the artist at work after the jump.

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Powerfully Disturbing And Certainly Controversial Art By The Kid

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Powerfully disturbing, and certainly controversial, the art that 22-year old artist The Kid creates spans genres. He describes his work as “forever caught between innocence and corruption,” and the well-executed pieces are compelling with their huge, detailed, Bic pen-drawn faces and hyper-realistic sculpted bodies. Photos of his sculptures, made from materials such as platinum silicon, glass fiber, oil paint, human hair, cotton, and mixed fabrics, force you to look, and look again, in order to believe that they are, in fact, inanimate objects.

In his latest work, The Kid is influenced by bullying inflicted on him by fellow students and teachers when he was younger. The sculpture “Do you believe in God?” which depicts the artist kneeling and holding a gun in his own mouth, was in response to the Columbine killers, who he feels he understands and sees as “victims of a social context.”

“All subjects of my drawings for the exhibition “endgame” really exist and are currently being held in prison-even in the United States-with exactly these tattoos. They are not imaginary and no detail is invented. They are all serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, until they die in prison. There is no other hope for them-a life in adult prison at the beginning of their sentence, that’s all, even though they have been convicted of violent crimes they committed before the age of 18.” (Source)

It’s clear that The Kid empathizes with these stigmatized subjects and hopes to give them back some humanity by evoking compassion from the viewer. Many share his view that social determinism condemns people from birth because of their familial circumstances, but by depicting, in such a graphic way, a sampling of those who are affected, he brings attention to the issue. It’s not empty sentiment, either. The Kid donated a portion of the profits from this work to the non-profit organization Human Rights Watch, which defends the rights of people worldwide. (Via yatzer)

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