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.
The issue that started it all! Printing capabilities were not so high tech back in the day….so in the introduction of this issue, there are some awesome hand-written mistake cover-ups where typefaces accidentally went missing. Features essays on veganism, graffiti, and public space. Years before Banksy was made notorious for installing illegal works at New York’s The Met….founder Amir and his friends were installing some not-so-legal works at the National Museum of Art themselves.
Issue 2 features articles “Frisco Graff,” “When Hip Hop Wasn’t Rap,” and “Cast on Lock Down.” Amir and cohort Jay Littleton attempted to interview infamous graffiti writer CAST in maximum security prison three times. Each time they were turned away, because A) they were 16, and, B) you have to be on a visitors list. Of course they didn’t know that at the time…but eventually perservered by securing the interview via good old fashioned snail mail! (The prison has since shut down.)
Issue #3 was created as a project for Amir high school advanced art class. The issue features art from the US and Canada, including Toronto, Cali, Washington, DC, Virginia and Atlanta. At the time, Amir used a dialer at the local post office to call long distance and interview all of the out-of-state artists! Hey, when you’re on a less than $100 budget, phone calls add up. (Check out the awesome AOL email address in the title page’s masthead.)