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Your Awesome Nature Photography Could Win You $15,000!


unnamed Derek Burdeny unnamed1


Lover of nature and photography? There are some good news for you! The Weather Channel and Toyota have come together once again to find the most beautiful, stimulating, and jaw-dropping photographs in their “It’s Amazing Out There” photos competition. Both amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit their most spectacular images that best depict the wonder, impact, and beauty of Mother Nature.

You may be asking yourself if pictures of tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning are only applicable for this contest. The answer is “no.” The weather channel recognizes that “weather” is so much more than the forecast or even weather elements, nature alone should do.

We want YOU to submit works that fall under the categories of nature, adventure and/or the elements. The first prize is a whopping $15,000 with a second prize of $5,000, and third prize of $2,500. Three fan favorites will take home $1,000, $750 and $500.

Just think about all of the lenses and photo paper you can buy with that kind of dough!

The deadline for the “It’s Amazing Out There” contest is August 14th at noon ET.  Read the complete rules HERE And enter your photograph HERE.



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Kim Joon

joon big body orgy

Kim Joon utilizes the human body in ways you never thought possible.  Marvel at the wonders he creates through body art!  After the jump, check out some work from his latest show, “Tatoo & Taboo” at Sundaram Tagore gallery in Hong Kong.

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Vik Muniz And Three Other Artists Who Use Unusual Materials To Create Stunning Portraits

Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz

Andrew Myers

Andrew Myers

Ben Durham

Ben Durham

Christian Faur

Christian Faur

A highly traditional artistic activity, portraiture is given new perspective through the eyes of the four artists below.  Each of these artists seeks unconventional means to create a subject’s likeness.

Vik Muniz incorporates quotidian objects and materials, such as diamonds, sugar, thread, chocolate syrup and garbage into his works to create unique portraits.  Often the medium will imply something about the subject, as with his iconic portraits of catadores, self-designated pickers of recyclable materials.  Muniz photographed the catadores in Jardim Gramacho, which is the largest garbage dump in the world, located just outside Rio de Janerio.  He photographed them and then re-created their portraits out of garbage. This process is documented in the film Waste Land

Ben Durham creates portraits of alleged criminals, all of whom attended the same high school as him in Lexington, Kentucky.  Knowing none of the subjects personally, Durham ignites a viewer’s imagination by offering no clue as to their alleged crimes.  The images, sketched on paper Durham handmade, are composed of text and titled after the subject’s name.  Streams of gibberish, the text captures contours and texture impeccably.

Laguna Beach-based artist Andrew Myers creates distinct, expressive and tactile portraits made of mixed media, mainly screws.  In the displayed portrait, Andrew depicts filmmaker Benjamin Pitts using approximately 8,000 screws, oil paint, and phonebook pages. The piece was an experiment in expressing movement with static objects.

Christian Faur’s interest with art lies in the idea that the medium can become the message.  Intertwining form and function Faur’s more recent work incorporates crayons to create mesmerizing portraits.  Three-dimensional and abstract up close, the portraits flatten and emerge the further away from them a viewer gets.

We Have Band- You Came Out

An amazing video for We Have Band‘s song “You Came Out” created from 4,816 still images! Not a single moment was used to make this mini masterpiece. If you don’t believe me just take a look at their Flickr page to view all the hi res images that were used to create the video. Directed by David Wilson in collaboration with Fabian Berglund and Ida Gronblom from Wieden + Kennedy.

Falk Gernegross’ Magic Realism- NSFW

Falk Gernegross’s paintings are executed in the style of Magic Realism, calling forth the likes of such great artists as George Tooker, Alex Colville and Tony Phillips. His figures are often depicted nude with bodies that are polished and sculpted like marble. Soft, contrasted shadows envelop his subjects against a simple, bright hue of color; other times the painting’s surroundings are full of wooded forests, sunny beaches, and lakes. His work is painted in a way that is flat yet realistic, and projects a fluid exchange of feelings that range between awkwardness and eroticism.

Falk Gernegross’s work is represented by Galerie Kleindienst in Germany.


As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Annie Vought. See the full studio visit and interview with Annie and other West Coast artists at

Often on our way to studio visits or coming back from them, Klea and I will get into big, questioning conversations about life. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but it’s true. In part, I think it’s because we are either warming up for or winding down from encounters that frequently take on a philosophical, ruminative tone. It’s also just how we like to talk to each other. As we drove across the bridge to Annie’s North Oakland home and studio (where she lives with her lover, performance artist Scott V.) we were having one of these conversations— specifically about secrets and how everyone has them. Our car-ride conversation wasn’t about Annie’s art, but about halfway through our visit with her it dawned on me that unintentionally it was a very apt preface to her work. Annie takes fragments of written correspondence – from handwritten letters to text messages – that she has found, received, or written, enlarges and reworks the text on large paper, and then meticulously goes about removing the negative spaces with an X-acto knife. Because of the precision involved, Annie changes her X-acto blade after every five or six cuts, so she can easily go through close to 500 blades just to finish one piece. When I asked Annie how she goes about choosing her source material, she said she’s most interested in text that reveals “those in between moments” of humanity and language in which she can identify subtext — typical and commonplace communications at first glance, but that somehow express a human frailty and an underlying element of truth. We talked about how personal many of these correspondences are, and her willingness to expose herself and others through them. So much is revealed inadvertently— in hesitant language, in the pauses and empty silences between words, in muddled expressions, and overwrought sentences, and it’s these details that Annie seems to be after in her work. As we sat out in Annie’s lovely garden talking, with her big dog Moses lazing nearby in the sun, I kept thinking about how full of secrets we all are and what rich and complex inner lives we lead. And yet we can’t help but lay ourselves bare through language, in everything we say and everything we leave unsaid.

Claire Rosen Inserts Herself Into Dark Version Of Classic Fairy Tales

Quest Fairie Catching A Mad Tea Party Narcissus

Photographer Claire Rosen uses self portraiture as a way to transport the viewers into a world of fairytales. Through her aptly named series Fairy Tales and other Stories, she creates fantastical worlds where the isolated subjects surround themselves with scenes of nature, piles of books, and more. Often, their faces are obscured in the darker, more introspective version of these classic stories.

Rosen’s work mirrors her unconscious, and she explains in her artist statement:

Inside my dreams, I am someone else.  I create characters, like alter egos, presented as recognizable archetypes.  The figure inside the image often looks away from the viewer, the face hidden by the turn of the body or by a mask.  I hope that the viewer will imagine themselves inside fairytale, and interpret the narrative of the image as one might interpret a fairytale, searching for hidden meeting inside the story.


This series speaks to living in the 21st Century, a time when we are constantly bombarded with noise, information and moving images.  Still imagery, by contrast, allows us to shut out the noise and hear ourselves.  I use photography to both escape and convey the overwhelming nature of our modern reality.


The pastoral setting of this work recalls a simpler time, while reminding us of humanity’s attempt to conquer the enormity of nature.  I draw on themes in classic fairytales – beauty, chastity, and passivity – not as a comment on post-feminism, but as an expression of a more universal experience.  My aim with the use of folklore is to suggest the continuity of the human condition: outside, the physical world changes with dizzying speed; inside, our cerebral world remains timeless.

Visit Rosen’s website to see even more of Fairy Tales and other Stories, and follow her Instagram to see more whimsical imagery.

Nick Cave

nick cave head explode

Chicago artist Nick Cave is currently showing at the Fowler Museum. We got a chance to interview him last year. Nick transforms found objects into what he calls “Soundsuits”.  These suits are not just sculptural works but meant to be worn.  Imagine wearing one of these to the next costume party you attend? Performers inside the suits emit noises, hence the title “Soundsuits”.  The above image reminds me of our BD shirt: Explosion.  Apparently Cave, an Alvin-Ailey trained dancer, plans to eventually have a world-traveling show with 90 Soundsuit-creatures.