Whoever said that the early bird gets the worm clearly did not know about the Beautiful/Decay online shop. So here we are, in the last fleeting days of 2010, announcing our newly released apparel for all you holiday procrastinators out there! What better way to bring in the new year than by joining the infamous cult of decay. We all know that fashion is a game of staying ahead, so why not update that decrepit looking closet of yours with a little bit of excitement.
And just to further reward all you late birds out there, we are now, through January 5th, 2011,offering free standard ground shipping on all orders to the Beautiful/Decay shop! Just use the discount code SECRETSHIP during checkout to save yourself some cash and worms for the holidays.
Pictures and descriptions of all the new styles after the jump!
Virginia Wagner’s paintings stem from real life events that she manipulates and distorts through lenses of fantasy, dream and theater. The ponds, rock fields and tangled forests in her work are her internal wilderness projected onto the external world. The glass walls, grids and concrete bunkers are attempts to erect something permanent and keep the wild at bay. The clashes that occur at this juncture illuminate the conflict between progress and nature inherent in my state of mind as well as in our contemporary state.
It’s difficult to tell who is the artist in this work. Hubert Duprat began working with caddisfly larvae in the 1980’s. The caddisfly live in streams and use bits from their natural surroundings to create a casing to live in. Typically this is made up of pebbles, wood, plants, and so on. Duprat moved these caddisfly larvae to a new surrounding and delicately removed their outer shells The caddisfly than used the precious metals and stones of their new home to create strangely glamorous shells. It’s interesting to note the particular materials and patterns the larvae tend toward. The flies’ “creativity” and Duprat’s conspicuously absent hand in work makes it extremely intriguing.
Korean artist Kyuin Shim creates work that your pupils will interpret as a straight up science fiction novel. One body of work in particular, “Black Black,” is a series of gruesome depictions of black mannequin bodies gone haywire. As a digital artist and sculptor, he works compiling 3D renderings of real images. These sculptures, with the glossy stature of high fashion, the black mannequins are enrobed in large blisters. In varying states of vulnerability, his sculptures are suffering implosion and meltdown; a person who has ripped his head off gives himself fellatio, another is on his hands and knees, expelling their entire insides. Shim’s creatures come across as gross exaggerations of real emotional states, and it is not always easy to interpret how they are intended, but it is evident that they are referential to the individual struggle that we all face.
Another series of his, featuring only white mannequins, is titled “Small Place,” and references interpersonal relationships and the implied metaphors within them. The white series emanates an atmosphere of tranquility and calm. Mannequin lovers with bowls for heads pour water between one another, while others sit pensively. There is not the searing prospect of suffering that “Black Black” encompasses. “Small Place” is meditative and inviting. Although parts of Shim’s series have been cited as representing dysfunctional relationships, there is no real hostility in the work. It is interesting to look at both series of his work side to side and to take note of the drastic shift in tone.
Photographer Joshua Hoffine is interested in the psychology of fear. His series of horror-centric images called After Dark, My Sweet, focus on what lurks behind us, underneath the bed, and below the stairs. Hoffine’s frightening, realistic-looks photos offer not only a compelling narrative, but are awe-inspiring in their craftsmanship and attention to detail. They look believable, making them even more scary. “I stage my photo shoots like small movies, with sets, costumes, elaborate props, fog machines, and special effects make-up,” Hoffine explains. “Everything is acted out live in front of the camera. I use friends and family members, including my own daughters, as actors and crew.”
The photographer also writes about his fascination with horror:
We are all born with certain inherent and instinctual fears, such as fear of the dark, the fear of lurking danger, and the fear of being eaten. As we grow older these fears lose their intensity and are slowly shuffled away into our Unconscious.
Horror, as an art form, draws its strength from the Unconscious.
I believe that the Horror story is ultimately concerned with the imminence and randomness of death, and the implication that there is no certainty to existence. The experience of Horror resides in this confrontation with uncertainty. Horror tells us that our belief in security is delusional, and that the monsters are all around us.
Cyriak Harris is an artist living in Brighton. He makes splendid videos that remind me of the sensation of sugar on my tongue. I feel the urge to push and push, but each video tells me to sit down and understand that “everything is going to be okay.”