Russian photographer Alexey Kijatov‘s DIY camera may not appear to be very sophisticated, but it takes beautiful photographs of crystal clear snowflakes, capturing their icy and delicate uniqueness. To create this camera, Kljatov attached an old and inexpensive 44M-5 Helios lens to his Canon Powershot A650 using a board, tape, a screw, and a piece of glass. (You can read a more in-depth description of the process on this blog post.) These featured photographs were all shot on dark woollen fabric in natural light (typically a grey cloudy sky), but Kljatov also shoots the flakes against a piece of glass. Whichever background he uses, Kljatov captures the elegant geometry of each flake without the use of fancy equipment.
Ana Kraš, born in Belgrade and based in NYC, uses basic structures and everyday materials to design “what people would need and like to use.” Her bonbon lamps or lanterns are handmade and no two are exactly alike. Kraš laboriously loops each bit of thread around the metal frames, creating a color-blocked pattern with a folk sensibility reminiscent of the 1970s.
In a recent feature by Avant Garde Interviews, Kraš suggests such careful repetitious attention is meditative, allowing her room to focus on the details or a “shy little gesture you try to add to a very basic thing.”
Mike Leavitt’s Intuition Kitchen churns out a plethora of playful and multidimensional pieces. From portable homeless shelters to wedding cake toppers and DIY vending machines, his career in the creative world knows no boundaries and ignores all stigmas. He just grabs inspiration and goes for it. For instance, Leavitt pays homage to Christo by shaping his image from polymer clay, a staple at Michaels or any craft supply store. This, and other Art Army Action Figures, embrace a lovely contrast between materials and content in an loveable and pitch perfect manner. It’s not just cheap plastics imported from overseas factories, nor is it about elitism in the commercial art world, nor is it a rebellion against any of it. Each art star figurine is simply built from hand in a limited edition of 10 with a raw passion and appreciation for the entire spectrum.
Yuri Suzuki is an English artist/designer/inventor who has been making some really remarkable objects. They’re not really “art” in a traditional sense, but they’re not products or inventions that would ever be used by The People, nor are they simple design ideas. What they are, is amazing–phonograph globes, flame organs, theremin radios. Yuri is also a big supporter of the DIY community, so if you’re wondering how to make any of his objects, he has instructions for most of them on his website. Suzuki’s is a very special brain. Check out videos of his objects in action after the jump! ( via )
German creative Bartek Elsner has an impressive track record when it comes to both commercial and non-commercial work. Illustration, Art Direction, Graphic Design- he does it all. But I’m most hyped on his sculptures made completely out of cardboard. Dubbed The Paper Stuff, this ongoing series includes cardboard fireplaces (installed on the street), CCTV cameras, automatic weapons, chainsaws, and animals. Taking a look at the project’s page, there is a really evident progression in skill with the medium on Elsner’s part. He keeps getting better and better. Really excited to see what he does next. (via)
FASTWÜRMS is a Canadian artist collective started in 1979 by Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, who are associate professors of studio art at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Their artwork seemingly encompass all disciplines – installation, video, manifesto, performance, drawing, etc – and concerns witch positivity, working class aesthetics, queer politics, and public collaborations. Many of the images after the jump are taken from the FASTWÜRMS: DONKEY@NINJA@WITCHcatalogue that accompanied a 2007 retrospective at the Art Gallery of York University.
This Saturday Beautiful/Decay will be leading an exciting zine workshop at USC for Shelf-Life 2: A Big Day for Small Press, a one-of-a-kind event featuring an influential group of independent publishers, artists, writers, and designers whose voices and images have questioned and pushed the boundaries of popular culture. Celebrating the DIY spirit that Beautiful/Decay champions yours truly will be working with attendants to create a communal zine celebrating the art of the Exquisite Corpse. Attendants will create their own exquisite corpse along with short fictional texts that will be bound into a spectacular zine of awesome proportions!
If that’s not enough Gary Panter, Chip Kidd, and Byron Coley will also be giving various workshops along the way with lots of other talented DIY creatives from around the world.
Did I also mention that this awesome event is completely FREE? Yes good people it’s totally free so you have no excuses for not showing up, giving me a high-five, and having a great ol’ time. See you all at USC from 11am-5pm this saturday! Click Here for more info.
As many of you know Beautiful/Decay was started in 1996 as a black and white zine. We may have gone full color and grown in distribution but at the core we’re still a DIY operation that holds true to all of our original zine roots. That’s why I was so excited to hear that a group of talented LA creatives had put together the LA Zine Fest taking place this Sunday (2/19/2012). Dozens of past B/D featured artists are taking part and they have some great panels (including our pal Katie from Synchronicity Space and Henry Rollins) lined up for you to enjoy. I just wish I had known about it sooner so we could have taken part in some way. Perhaps next year!
I’ll be heading down to check out all the DIY goodness and I hope you will too. Watch a promo video for the fest after the jump!