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Jim Houser Narrates Life Experiences Through Boldly Symbolic Paintings And Installations

Earth Seemed

Earth Seemed

Dosage

Dosage

Blue Dirges (detail)

Blue Dirges (detail)

Andenken/Battalion installation

Andenken/Battalion installation

Jim Houser is an American artist who combines lifestyle, experiences, and visual art into the creation of a personal iconography. Comprised of acrylic paintings on canvas and wood, his works are bold and symbolic: in blood reds and cool blues, images of severed heads and pill cases radiate anxiety, while elsewhere a drummer sits meditatively on the edge of a black pond. By arranging the paintings into installations, Houser narrates an inner dialogue that explores the interrelated joys and challenges of living, speaking to us through his art in poetic and metaphoric ways.

The images featured here are from his current exhibition called HUSH, featured at Andenken/Battalion in Amsterdam starting June 5th. In a recent interview with Hyland Mather, the owner of Andenken/Battalion, Houser explains his personal motivations in the creation of his art, beginning when he was a child:

I like that my art making is therapeutic for me. What is inspiring to me is that it contains a problem that never completely solves itself: me. From childhood on, I’ve used art to escape my reality, to help me define or explain my reality, and to meditate on my reality. […] I sort of lucked into it, making art. I was just as happy drawing as a kid as I was throwing rocks at cars. Anything to get out of my own head for a bit, skateboarding, taking drugs, all that stuff does the same thing to varying degrees of success, but luckily for me I was wired to have art making be the thing that quieted me down the most on the inside. (Source)

Scattered throughout Houser’s eye-catching colors, geometric forms, and clever assemblages are artifacts suggestive of personal means of “escape” — the pill cases and skateboard, for example. The simplicity and fearlessness of these images speaks to Houser’s brilliant distillation of life into one symbolic plane; in a holistic, meditative practice, he has arranged his personal story in a way that is courageously honest. As viewers, Houser’s works inspire us to imagine how we would visually narrate our lives, using pictorial language to explore emotions and unique personal histories.

Check out Houser’s website and Instagram to see more of his works. HUSH is being exhibited from June 5th to 22nd.

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LALA ALBERT

Lala Albert has consistently drawn the most beautiful multi-eyed freaks for years now. I’ve never seen theme and variation work this well before, and I don’t believe I will get tired of her work any time soon. Catch her sprawling comics at Vice , in Chameleon and Gang Bang Bong, and on Arthur Mag. She tumbles, flicks, textiles, and twits. Sassy. Oozy. Gals.

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Made With Color Presents: Terence Hannum’s Minimalist Paintings Created Out Of Cassette Tape

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MasterDetail

CrystalThe good folks at portfolio site builder Made With Color have teamed up with Beautiful/Decay yet again to bring you exclusive artist features. Each week we team up to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Website builder Made With Color doesn’t just help artists create minimal and mobile/tablet responsive websites but allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work of talented artist and long time B/D friend Terence Hannum.

Terrence Hannum has always been consumed by music. When Terence isn’t in the studio creating his next work of art he can be found releasing zines, designing and releasing limited edition vinyl, and playing in his acclaimed minimalist black metal band Locrian. So it should come as no surprise to discover that Terrence’s artwork also explores the world of  music. Using the magnetic tape found in cassettes as raw material, Hannum creates glossy and lustrous paintings that explore the world of minimalism and geometry.

Hannum states about this body of work:

“Typically one does not engage with the material of the  cassette. Unless it was being eaten by a tape player, the average consumer never gazed upon its reflective spool. To this point most media requires a certain precious handling of it, the CD, DVD and LP require the listener to hold only the edge. Perhaps speaking to the ubiquity of the digital file these days, the MP3, FLAC, WAV and others have no real handling instructions. I want to focus on the surface. Hence, everything is the surface and in my pieces I try to construct a quiet void.”

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Jae Rhim Lee Invents The Mushroom Death Suit To Allow Our Bodies To Decompose Through Mushrooms Feeding Off Of Them

Jae Rhim Lee - Mushroom Death Suit

Jae Rhim Lee - Mushroom Death Suit

Jae Rhim Lee - Mushroom Death Suit

Do you ever wonder what will happen to your body after you die? Thanks to Jae Rhim Lee, our bodies could go out of this world in a way that helps the environment. This ingenious artist has breeched the lines of art, design, science, and death to create something that could change the way we think about burials. Concerned with the alarming amount of harmful toxins and artificial chemicals that human bodies hold even after the point of living, Lee was determined to invent a sustainable way for our bodies to be disposed of during our burials. This led her to start the Infinity Burial Project, where she worked to create, through selective breeding, an infinity mushroom that decomposes bodies and clean toxins while still delivering nutrients to plants.

Through hard work, Jae Rhim Lee’s goals were realized with her creation of the Mushroom Death Suit. This suit, which she so confidently wears while giving her TED talk on the subject, offers an alternative burial method. If wearing the suit while buried, the mushrooms spores that are infused in the lines on the suit decompose and clean your body, forming a whole new green way of death. Lee hopes that this will be a symbol of a new way of thinking about death. She explains that this project is

“A step towards accepting the fact that someday I will die and decay.”

This unique and strange invention may not be appealing to everyone, but shines light on a subject that many may not want to confront. An important lesson about the realities of our bodies decomposing underground can be learned by watching her captivating TED talk.

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RARE PRESENTS: Zenvironments Apparel By Zach Johnsen

zach johnson rare

absolute citrus tee mens2

zach johnson rare

studio spread2

Beautiful/Decay has been a friend and supporter of artist and illustrator Zach Johnsen for many years. We’ve seen Zach go from humble beginnings to launching his first clothing line Tank Theory, to taking over the art world with his inventive smoke flare paintings. Johnsen’s art career is always in a state of progression so it’s no surprise to see his inventive style making a comeback in apparel with his latest collaboration with curated online marketplace RARE. Launching this week, Johnsen is releasing his Zenvironments brand which will be home to book bags, apparel, and accessories covered with his signature colorful artworks. When asked to speak on his work Johnsen states:

” Sketching is a big part of my day, both for fun and when starting a new project. I am constantly making lines and splashing watercolor. I wanted my initial Zenvironments capsule collection on RARE to showcase the fun and spontaneity of the creative process and make that process the focus of the garments. “

Expect to see many of Johnsen’s trademark techniques like his watercolor soaked “ Splash tee or the head exploding Absolute Citrus tee. For the ladies Johnson has created the Splash leggings and the Sketch leggings which transforms pages out of Johnson’s sketchbook into premium cut and sew leggings!

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Funk Rumble Block Party!

Beautiful/Decay - Funk Rumble Block Party

Join Beautiful/Decay as we celebrate the 1st Annual Funk Rumble Block Party in LA’s own historic Chinatown. Get ready for THE block party of the summer!

Flock Shop & Spectrumega Media Present…
The Funk Rumble Block Party
Saturday, July 11th, 2009
12 pm – 10 pm
$5 before 4 pm, $8 after
Kids under 10 years old in free
All ages, fenced event
947 N. Broadway, LA 90012
Street & Lot parking available

More details after the jump!

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STRANGE/LOVE

POVevolving Gallery

939 Chung King Road

Los Angeles, CA ~ 90012

Reception:February 12th, 2011, 7 to 11pm.
Closes: March 12th, 2011

Preview of the show after the jump.

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Brutal Photographs Of Teen Boxers Before And After Fights

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For his powerful series 141 Boxers, photographer Nicolai Howalt shoots young amateur boxers in Denmark before and after their first brutal fight. The artist, known in part for his elegant images of car wrecks, once again finds an eerie beauty in violence, capturing sweaty faces sprinkled in fresh blood. On the left, his subjects present their game faces, poised in a moment of calm determination prior to the battle; on the right, the violence and competition has ended, leaving their faces bruised and swollen.

For these teenage athletes, the first foray into the ring presents itself as a rite of passage out of childhood and into manhood. Afterwards, they are irrevocably changed, as if all of puberty were condensed into a single test of machismo. As viewers, we might be unsettled to see these round, blushingly cheeks marked by punches; though outwardly baby-faced, Howalt’s subjects possess a knowingness and understanding of aggression that transcends their youth. Thrust into the environment of the controversial sport, these pimpled, wide-eyed adolescents are aglow with their own glistening sweat and an uncomfortable sense of adult virility.

Arranged neatly in a grid as they are in gallery installations, Howalt’s violent images are paradoxically sterile. Set against a pale gray background, his subjects seem restrained in a way that contradicts the nature of their sport. Many of the photographs look like clean mugshots pinned cleanly and simply on a wall; the young boxers are at the mercy of our judgement. Do we condemn or celebrate this ruthless sport? Take a look. (via Agonistica)

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