The first life size skull hand made from a rare crystallized meteorite ‘Gibeon’. This unique piece has been realized by Lee Downey; an American jeweler artist, whose purpose is the celebrate the mystery of the human skull and its numerous symbols and interpretations. The astonishing piece will be auctioned by Bonhams on November 24th 2015 and has already been estimated at around $400,000.
The process started out by cutting and carving down a block of meteorite (617 lbs) into a 46 lbs skull. The precious artifact is called ‘Gibeon’. A meteorite of 4 million years old, dating from the prehistorical era and founded in the Namibia region. The coveted material is renowned for his crystal structure and its singular ‘Widmanstätten’ pattern. A motif unveilinga repetition of matte and glossy stripes imitating metal. The intricate work of polishing and washing the carved skull revealed an unexpected insertion on its forehead classified as ‘Tridymite’, a rare component.
Lee Downey, now residing in Bali, through his work, has brought out never seen before features on the texture of this particular meteorite. The reflection of the light onto the multi-faceted inclusions creates a shimmery luxurious aspect. The fact that the surface, including the gold insertion, is pure; confers to the skull an exceptional uncommon value. “Of any material I could think of to fashion an accurate human skull out of, this Gibeon meteorite best embodies the “mystery” most acutely. I call him The Traveler… a true time traveler”. The artist’s intention in presenting the symbol of death with an ageless, immortal material is to focus on spiritual consciousness and the definition of eternity.
In a world where there are fanatic fans of all things it should be no surprise that somewhere there is a large group of adults that are fanatical My Little Pony fans who convene once a year to celebrate all things “Brony” (a term used to describe themselves). Amy Lombard recently visited the yearly celebration called Bronycon to document the festivities for New York Magazine. You might think that Bronies are primarily females who are reliving their teenage years but much to our surprise most Bronies are adult males. I have to say that this takes the creep factor up a notch knowing that at least once a year hundreds of grown men cover themselves in glitter and fake horns and gallop around in a convention hall for several days straight. Is this an innocent geeky infatuation or a bunch of covert furries masquerading as My Little Pony fans? (via)
Victor Rodriguez‘s acrylic paintings defy the simplistic categorization of the hyperrealistic or photorealistic. His work includes surrealistic, abstract, and cinematic elements, giving a fresh feel to the realist aesthetic. Portraiture is often his style, though he alternates between representations of still-life objects and human figures. Using realistic imagery within a dream-like context, Rodriguez’s work offers viewers a peek into a finely-detailed, deeply personal narrative.
Natalia Evelyn Bencicova is a Slovakian photographer who creates works of surreal beauty and supernatural unease. Characterized by dark, sterile rooms built of tile and cement, her settings are eerily reminiscent of abandoned hospitals and vacant catacombs. The models are washed-out and almost alien in their beauty, contorting as they pose nude, or draped in cloth with additional limbs that reach from underneath. They appear human, but also inhuman — and no better is this obscuration of humanity demonstrated than in the images portraying piles of nude bodies sprawling on the floors, crawling up against the walls, or aligning themselves in fleshly, geometric structures. With their faces obscured by torsos and furniture, they seem engaged (or possessed by) a strange ritual that is more about the multitude than the individual.
Part of what makes Bencicova’s work so powerful and provocative are the environments and quasi-theatrical narratives she creates. The hospital-like settings foster an atmosphere that is unsettling for the psyche; writhing and embracing on cold floors or groping at sterile furniture, the characters resemble ghosts in an abstract, emotional ballet. In some of the images, the bodies look like they have been stowed away and forgotten, and are struggling to survive. But in all of Bencicova’s works, there is a haunting magnificence, a reverence for the strength of the human body, and an “opening up” of beauty that extends into the alien and absurd.
Bencicova’s Tumblr is a stunning journey into her darkly alluring and innovative worlds. You can also see more of her work on Behance, and be sure to follow her on Facebook.
Beautiful/Decay was recently asked to judge the Jarritos Flavor City art & design competition. Contestants were asked to creatively interpret the slogan “DRINK OUT LOUD,” and the winners are in! #1 was artist Paul Naveda, above. Check out the rest of the winners after the jump!
Have you ever finished a painting and completely destroyed your brushes, wondering if you would ever use your beloved, mangled, crusty tools again? Well, here is one artist that has found good use of old, filthy brushes. Rebecca Szeto takes found, used brushes, especially ones that could never be used again, and transforms them into little masterpieces of their own. The handle of her brushes are carved and painted to appear as fancy women, while the bottom bristles of the brush are left to look as they originally appear. With a little creativity and ingenuity, Rebecca Szeto makes the wider bottoms look like dress skirts. The stained, curled up bristles are now fringes to an elaborate gown, the paint being its silk.
The women Szeto’s brushes magically become many different kinds of women, taking on the form of all different shapes and sizes. They include women of different ethnicities and origins; one even portrays a mother adoringly holding her baby. You may have noticed some of the brush-women looking familiar to you. This is because several of the characters hold an art historical significance. For example, one woman is obviously Vermeer’s The Girl With the Pearl Earring, while another, maybe not so obviously, is the little girl in Diego Velasquez’s Las Meninas. Rebecca Szeto has cleverly taken an object that would normally be discarded, and with a little patience and skills, transformed it into something unique and amazing. Szeto explains further her intent behind these little women and what they convey.
“These works are an homage to an often lost sensibility and quality of touch and thought, not simply the superficial look of Old Masters’ works. The lady-like portraits are a playful strategy I use to introduce the more indelicate and subtler aspects of waste management and working women (underestimated, underpaid, unnoticed, yet unyielding).”
Oakland based artist Christopher Blackstock creates the ‘The Lone Stranger’ a series of illustrations that explore the life of an imagined character who finds himself experiencing the ultimate journey of self-discovery in a hallucinatory, post-apocalyptic remote desert area. The vibrant, cartoonish aesthetic puts emphasis on the surrealism of it all. Finding yourself in a desolated space can become lonely but exciting all at once.
According to the artist, the stranger, the recurring character, has experienced his fair share of tragedy and is now in search for answers, and maybe some sort of redemption through a spiritual quest. His tale, one of existential turmoil, redemption and self-discovery coincides with the collapse of the ecosystem as climate change reaches a more advanced stage and renders California completely arid.
Blackstock, a muiti-media artist who works in painting, sculpture and illustration, rendered these as digital drawings first and then turned them into laser-cut panels which were then placed onto canvas and hand-painted with acrylic and spray-paint.
Blackstock’s ‘The Lone Stranger’ will be on view at Oakland’s Loakal, starting July 4th through July 30th, 2014.