Beautiful/Decay began as a humble, black and white, DIY photocopied ‘zine while founder Amir H. Fallah was just 16. Over time, the publication grew into a full color, internationally distributed magazine. Today, Beautiful/Decay takes the form of a limited edition, hand numbered, advertising free art book series. Though Beautiful/Decay has grown into an internationally recognized design-driven lifestyle brand, the publication still carries that same youthful sense of rebellion and experimentation that influenced the very first issues.
Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Pride, and Envy have been explored—and challenged—for centuries by artists, scholars, and writers. This issue of Beautiful/Decay features artists who explore these themes through a contemporary lens, either by explicitly calling out those deemed guilty of committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins, or by turning the sweeping notion of sin right on its head.
Something is different lately. The Earth has shifted its axis and now everything seems to have moved to the right by a couple of inches. A dark wind blows. The birds aren’t flying south like nature normally commands them to, and you can tell the animals know something we don’t. These are Strange Daze, Beautiful/Decay’s revelation of the phenomenal and paranormal minds of artists. In a world-surreal, where every night holds a full moon, strange has become an adjective that plagues and ponders our daily existence.
Laughter is universal; it transcends culture, trends, and time. The art world, however, is not considered to be droll. Galleries and museums are stoic, intellectual spaces and works of art are discussed in academic terms. Yet in this scholarly world there are artists that buck conventions and use humor to engage us and make us laugh and think. Art is a medium of communication and the artists in this issue have found that humor is the most powerful way to engage their audience and convey their message.
We asked artists to “show us what your ideal future would look like.” and over 300 submissions poured in, spanning every medium, technique, and style. From the 300 submissions, one Grand Prize winner was selected and over 100 finalist’s work will be featured throughout the publication. The book also includes a feature length article with notable, emerging, New York artist, Robin Williams whose surreal paintings give us a view into her very own Future Perfect. Only 1,500 copies were made, all of which are ad-free and hand numbered.
In Beautiful/Decay Book 5: Psychonauts we raise our anchor and set sail on an unknown voyage with seven featured artists whose work pushes the possibilities for consciousness within contemporary art. They each work in various mediums and conceptual frameworks but all share a common interest in the human condition. In addition to the features, we also invited 14 artists from around the world to create original work for our psychonaut project pages. The results are extremely unique and anything but predictable. Book 5 also includes a die-cut sticker created by artist, Gunsho. Limited edition print run of 1,000 copies, hand numbered on the back.
Beautiful/Decay Book 4: Exquisite Corpse assembles a group of emerging and established artists that twist and contort our understanding of the human body. Ranging from the macabre, grotesque, humorous, sculptural and the beautiful, each artist pushes classical figurative work into brand new forms. The editors of Beautiful/Decay also invited 26 artists from around the world to play a virtual game of Exquisite Corpse. If that’s not enough, each copy of the book comes with a silkscreened original hand-signed artist print interpreting the theme. The result is a brand new “body” of work (no pun intended) that is quite…..well, exquisite.
Once a year, Beautiful/Decay turns over its pages to a creative round-up of reader submitted work. Book 3: The Underdogs” features over 100+ submissions from around the world interpreting the book’s title. Each piece was created uniquely for this issue of Beautiful/Decay, and was not been displayed anywhere else before its release! B/D’s mission statement has always been to give exposure to up-and-coming, unknown artists, and Book 3 exemplifies a one of a kind creative platform. Front and back lining gatefold features the stunning artwork of Allison Schulnik.
The artists of “Book 2: What a Mess!” all interpret the idea of “messiness” whether through disorganized methods of displaying work, rough hewn aestheticsor conceptually “messy” approaches. The result is a book that compiles artists that cause public outrage, manipulate typically taboo imagery or themes and beyond. In the spirit of the theme of the issue, Beautiful/Decay used a playfully “messy” approach to the page layouts, incorporating crumpled photos and a custom typeface of childhood favorite construction materials: googly eyes, popsicle sticks and puff balls. Includes features on José Lerma, Moritz Schleime, Asgar/Gabriel, Aaron Curry, David Altmeid, Mindy Shapero, Julien Ducorthial, Melanie Bonajo, Ryan Travis Christian, and Tom Huck.
So, what comes after Issue Z? Beautiful/Decay completely revamped its design, eliminated all ads and bulked up content to create a magazine/book hybrid that is limited edition, hand numbered, and a timeless collector’s item. Cover artist Kyle Thomas hand drew a one of a kind drawing for each and every cover, taking nearly a hundred hours to complete! Book 1, “Supernaturalism,” heralds in the new era of B/D and gathers a collection of artists who explore otherworldly topics: Laura Brothers, Elizabeth Higgins O’Connor, Maja Vukoje, Mat Brown, Frank Magnotta, David Jien, and Yvonne Todd.