Beautiful/Decay is pleased to announce to release of 8 brand new prints from our ever-growing poster series. Each poster is printed on full, heavy-weight, archival quality paper. The new prints, “Darkness,” “Bathead,” “Satellite,” and “Space” are a bold cocktail of the amazing and beautiful images you’ve come to expect from us. And if owning Issue: K and Issue: T weren’t enough, now you can have the mind-bending cover art of Alex Trochut and Aya Kato. So what are you waiting for? Pop on over to the shop and legitimize your walls already!
Dreams, memories, and bodies melt together in the hazy, surreal work of Los Angeles-based photographer Davis Ayer. We featured his otherworldly landscape and double exposure shots last year, wherein Lindsey Rae Gjording eloquently describes him as a “true nostalgist” whose timeless work “allows the viewer to insert their own subconscious desires into the narrative” (Source). In regards to Ayer’s ability to compress emotion, time, space, and consciousness into his photography, this stunning series, entitled Time Travel, is no exception. Here, Ayer again pulls on the magic and semi-lucidity of dreamworlds, using nude bodies as a projection screen for vintage images; among them, you will see trees, beaches, rushing street lights, and the moon, all mapped onto the surfaces and contours of the nude body, turning skin into a visual narrative, like the one that plays in our heads as we close our eyes to sleep while remembering the past and visualizing our feelings.
What makes this series even more curious for discussion is the idea that the images and memories projected onto the bodies are not the models’ own. Certainly, our bodies are vessels of our own experience, but how much can we embody or touch the past? When we feel nostalgia for the “old days” and vintage culture, what are we missing or mourning? By projecting foreign memories (“foreign,” in that no one’s inner experience can ever be exactly simulated), Time Travel moves the human body — vulnerable, powerful, and honest in its nudity — through time and space, transcending memory and lived experience, and connecting a present lifetime with a past one in moments of intensity and reverie.
In a daring undertaking, MoMA’s curator Klaus Biesenbach has pulled together an immersive exhibition concentrating on the last twenty years of Björk’s musical career, her eight full length albums and also features the launch of her new video Black Lake. Taken from her new album Vulnicura (2015), and filmed in Iceland in the summer of 2014, the 11 minute long video uncharacteristically explores the personal life of Björk and her break up with long time romantic partner Matthew Barney. The video was commissioned by the gallery and gave Björk another chance to work creatively with director Andrew Thomas Huang, whom she teamed up with on her previous video Mutual Core. For Black Lake, she also worked with the talented Erna Ómarsdóttir – a choreographer who gave life to Björk’s emotional journey through the break up. The video moves through the different stages of separation, including grieving, processing, and reincarnation.
The exhibition also features a retrospective of her music videos, from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011) across from the screening of Black Lake. In the lobby of the gallery, there is a showcase of the instruments used on Biophilia: a gameleste, a pipe organ, gravity harp and a Tesla coil. And to compete the experience,
…Songlines presents an interactive, location-based audio experience through Björk’s albums, with a biographical narrative that is both personal and poetic, written by the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón, along with many visuals, objects, and costumes, including the robots designed by Chris Cunningham for the “All Is Full of Love” music video, Marjan Pejoski’s Swan Dress (2001), and Iris van Herpen’s Biophilia tour dress (2013), among many others. (Source)
In an incredible series of photographs titled Surreal Stormchasing Portraits, photographer Benjamin Von Wong visually connects the ferocity of a storm with the growing threat of climate change. To capture these images, Von Wong spent two weeks traveling across seven states, bringing along models and a collection of household objects. He staged people doing ordinary things, such as ironing cloths, lounging in a chair, and playing video games. In each scene, the models act as if they are oblivious to the storm behind them, even as the wind rips at their hair and clothing.
“We live in a rapidly changing world, and whether we admit it or not, our lifestyle is pretty unsustainable for the environment around us,” Von Wong states in the above video. He wanted to use his photography skills to comment on “it’s-not-happening” attitudes towards environmental disaster, and storms became the perfect symbol. He quickly learned of the challenges and dangers of storm photography, however; working alongside Kelly DeLay, the two photographers had to remain alert to developing storms, and when they arrived (all the while navigating dangerous roads), they had no more than 10-15 minutes to set up and tear down the scenes.
For Von Wong, these epic photos are justified by the responses they inspire. “The intent of the series is really just to get people to think—think about the world, think about what’s happening around us, be aware of it,” he says. “And if I can ignite that conversation regardless of the reaction on the series, then I think project will have been a success” (Source). Blending together powerful backdrops and images of ordinary life, Von Wong’s call to attention is clear, unsettling, and ultimately motivating.
Dean Zeus Colman’s artwork has given us his drug of choice, which is hand molded Ecstasy tablets cast in plaster. His series Love Is A Drug includes sculptures of Ecstasy tablets of all different shapes and sizes that actually exist in real life. Knowing this bit of information, it is shocking to see how many different designs and even logos are imprinted on these little tablets. There are more common images like smiley faces, money signs, and stars on the drug, but a few have images that may be of surprise to you. The Mortal Combat symbol, the UPS logo, and even the beloved Bart Simpson’s head has also been included in this eclectic variety of Ecstasy tablets.
Zeus, based out of London, grew up involved in a subculture where Ecstasy tablets were often present. The drugs were readily available, not surprisingly, while working in the Rave scene. Zeus has long been working as a street artist and has been tagging since the 1980’s, which has influenced and led to the making of Love Is A Drug. Other sculptures of this artist reflect this lifestyle and draw off inspiration from graffiti such as his three-dimensional graffiti text constructed from glass and wood.
Love Is A Drug is currently on view at Prescription Art in Brighton, England, which focuses on street and graffiti art. The exhibition features thirty-six limited edition, larger than life Ecstasy tablets. (via The Creator’s Project)