Stuart Patience’s Ragnarok is a series of illustrations based on the writings of Norse mythology. Each drawing is taken from Ragnarok, the Norse aplcalyptic saga describing the destruction of worldly life. I also included a few delicate self portraits at the end of the post.
You only have 2 more weeks until the new B/D book is revealed! As you read this the latest book is traveling the unknown seas in a cargo container towards the US. There will be only 2000 copies produced (all of which are ad-free) and only subscribers will receive their copy before anyone else does. You also save 33% by subscribing versus waiting to buy at a bookstore (plus you don’t have to go past your mailbox to get it!). Subscribe today and secure your newest addition to the Beautiful/Decay series.
BEAUTIFUL/DECAY BOOK SEVEN COVER PUZZLE CONTEST CONTINUES!
To get you excited and ready for the release of Book 7 dust off your tablets and fire up your copy of Photoshop because today we begin a contest to give away a free copy of Beautiful/Decay Book: 7 to the fastest computer gun in the wild wild interweb! Each Tuesday for the next 4 weeks we are going to be releasing a new piece of Beautiful/Decay cover to get you guys ready for the upcoming issue. The rules are simple: Be the first person to piece together the cover of Book: 7 and email the completed image to firstname.lastname@example.org. Not only will your eyeballs be rewarded by our gorgeous new cover but your speed of hand will be rewarded with a free copy of the book for solving the puzzle. So wrangle up your magic lassos and get busy winning!
Allison Schulnik’s 2014 claymation and stop-motion film Eager is a bizarre dance of the beautifully macabre. At 8 minutes and 30 seconds, it is her longest film to date — and perhaps her darkest, portraying a peaceful, ritualistic world that spirals in and out of violent, psychedelic chaos. The story begins in an opaque, supernatural world, devoid of light, before the viewer is guided into the heart of a strange forest. Traversing these unpredictable landscapes is a cast of misfits: the multiplying, skeletal specters, who open the film with their haunting, synchronized dance; flowers with faces that pulsate and transmogrify into mouths, labia, and cavernous expressions of joy and despair; and the eyeless, fleshy horse, with his lolling tongue and genitalia, who plods along with an almost human ungainliness.
What makes the film so stunning and dark — aside from the endearing absurdity of its characters — is how quickly and easily the world of Eager oscillates between compassion and cruelty. Take the skeletal specters, for instance, who, after completing their ritual, eviscerate each other and don the bloody skins like cloaks. The flowers, too, live in a world of beauty and menace, as they dance and devour each other. Despite the darkness, Schulnik’s treatment of her “monsters” is based in love and fascination; as she said in an interview with Beautiful/Decay in 2012,
“I’m drawn to these characters, for some reason. There’s something about the sad or pathetic kind of character that I like. There’s something sad about them, yet […] it’s comforting to know that [they are] maybe not real.”
In Schulnik’s surreal and metamorphosing universe, she has created a vast creative space wherein she explores the vicissitudes of life, and furthermore, celebrates the heart-wrenching beauty of what is normally seen as “dark,” “forlorn,” or “rejected.”
Schulnik also works in other mediums; her paintings, seen here, reflect the layered, whirling, and melting style of her claymation. Check out her webpage for links to her other films. And, as it has been advised, make sure you turn the lights down and the volume up as you experience Eager. More stills from the film after the jump. (Via Juxtapoz)
Photographer Mark Tuschman’s book, Faces of Courage: Intimate Portraits of Women on the Edge, documents women living in high-risk living situations. He photographs moments that encourage an aura of strength, capturing the true resilience women have. Many of these women face potential life threatening situations on a daily basis, such as arranged child marriages, forced pregnancies, domestic violence, human trafficking, and the denial of education. These are situations that often lead to serious mental and physical health issues — most of which are treatable given access to the correct facilities. Tuschman has been able to work in collaboration with NGOs, foundations, and UN agencies with the hopes to help both educate and empower women. His work documents efforts of grassroots organizations providing basic medical care, recovery surgery from injuries caused by young pregnancies, HIV/AIDS treatment, and shelter ensuring safety. These organizations also offer mentoring and educational programs that help women to learn various skills such as family planning, sexual education, as well as skills to help become business owners and gain financial independence.
His photographs capture moments from three continents, spanning between seventeen countries including; India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador and Trinidad. Mark Tuschman has been an international photographer for over 35 years and has actively been an advocate of global health and human rights for women. His work has received various awards and has been featured during multiple international health conferences. He is hoping to raise additional funds through book sales in order to donate copies to high school libraries with the aim to “inspire a new generation of activists, and to motivate those already working toward equality, to continue empowering women and girls.”
Stratis Tavlaridis is a Greek artist who constructs perforated objects out of paper. His works are inspired by everyday life, and with his eye for geometric patterns and flowing designs, he transforms ordinary items into ethereal manifestations of themselves. Featured here is a selection of his fashion pieces—shirts and vests that have been immaculately hewn with overlapping shapes and twisting, snake-like outlines. The use of negative space in each object gives it a silky, luminescent quality as light filters through the gaps.
Tavlaridis’ other works include other “textile” objects, such as carpets, tablecloths, and drapery. Often these pieces are included in larger installations, such as Perforated: Weavings of Cohabitation, a homage to his ancestry and culture. Another remarkable piece is his recreation of King Phillip II’s funerary monument—a gauzy, layered entranceway intended to evoke the experience of entering a hallowed space. Whatever he creates using his masterful technique, each of Tavlaridis’ papercut objects is imbued with an awe-striking presence and divine beauty.
Alana Dee Haynes is a Brooklyn-based artist who turns the bodies of her photographed subjects into illustrated surfaces, transforming blank skin and clothing into undulating patterns and shapes. We featured some of her works a couple years ago, but since then, Haynes has been continuing to create intricate and whimsical pieces. Peruse the flowing imagery and you will see kneecaps split open into eyes, collarbones overlain with lips, and torsos swarmed with circular, overlapping patterns that transform models into scaled, serpentine creatures. In a fascinating interview with Juxtapoz, Haynes explains how she uses individual physical characteristics to inspire her illustrations, thereby exploring alternative forms of bodily representation:
“Everyone has a certain way they see the world. Some things jump out at people, while others pass them by. I see faces and patterns everywhere. When I look at people, I connect their beauty marks, and find faces in their knuckle lines. It’s just the way I live. So, naturally, I see these things in photographs too. It is not synesthesia, but it is a similar way of viewing multiple layers in things.” (Source)
Fashion also plays a significant role in Haynes’ work. Just as clothes can be creatively worn to signify individuality, her illustrations transform the models’ entire bodies into expressive surfaces. “When it comes down to it, I believe fashion should bring out emotions and be relatable, as if wearing your own skin and mind,” Haynes explained to Juxtapoz. “And my skin is definitely full of faces and patterns” (Source). Whereas the face is so often read as the sole locus of emotional and cognitive display, Haynes’ brilliant line work illuminates the dynamism and individuality that exists everywhere: in our arms, legs, hands, clothing, and more.
Japenese artist Ishibashi Yui’s sculptures are both unsettling and serene. Using a variety of materials, such as wood, resin, cloth, clay, steel wire, and stone powder, she often depicts figures whose roots extend and project outward in many directions. These figures appear passive and complacent to these protruding branches, aware of the lack of control they have over this organic process. Some of these protrusions seem painful or unexpected, but ultimately inevitable. Often her figures are off-white, while their protrusions are green or red-hued. These figures are human-like, but their soft, round and white bodies give the viewer a sense they are also of the earth, resembling a plant’s bulb. Yui’s work makes us deeply aware of how we are intertwined with the natural world, and the balance and cycle of nourish and depletion that living and dying requires. (via hound eye)
Jennifer Ziliotto is a Los Angeles based photographer (and happens to be a good friend and bandmate of mine!) One of my favorite shots is the David Lynch-ian inspired portrait, above, of Zachary James. I love its flickering, dramatic spot- lighting, its textural qualities; the soft focus, played against the cool, hard steel of the sword, the interplay of velvet on velvet, and its stunning jewel-tone palette – a beauty! Could almost be an out take of a surreal performance from Mulholland Drive or an unexpected hallway in Twin Peak’s black lodge. If her stunning, surreal photography that fuses psychedelia with glamour isn’t enough, she’s also an amazing make-up artist, having worked with the likes of Kat von D and Full Metal Jackie of Indie 103.1 fame.