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Welcome To The New Beautifuldecay.com

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From the start, Beautiful/Decay has always focused on emerging artist and designers.We dedicated ourselves to promoting the next generation of creatives through our apparel, our magazines, our website, and now our books. Trying to do so much without the luxuries of rich parents, trust funds, and corporate backing has always been a challenge, but we pushed ahead, always striving to do as much as possible to promote our creative community.

We’ve always had a soft side for artists that pushed the envelope, but until recently, I didn’t realize that skateboarding, punk rock, underground comics, zines, and DIY culture so heavily influenced the type of artists feature and collaborate with. Whether exploring Heavy Metal & the occult in Issue S, psychedelia for Issue T, or working with Jim Callahan on a shirt graphic of a 3D barfing skull, we’ve always gone off the beaten path to work with a community of creatives who rebel against the norm and create powerful images that aren’t watered down for the masses.

So, when we sat down to discuss the B/D website 6 months ago, we decided we wanted to redefine the look and feel of the site to pay homage to all of our influences.

So what’s new in the new site you ask? Well, everything! We knew that we wanted to add new social networking features to make it easier to share posts on Twitter and Facebook. You can now like a post or retweet it with one click of a button, located at the bottom of each post. We also wanted you to be able to find various pages easily, so simplifying our navigation and columns was a big project. We’ve managed to minimize the number of pages and menu buttons so that you can easily find the info you need. (Without having to click a hundred different links!)

On the visual side of things, you’ll notice that we have hand lettering peppered through out the site. B/D started as a black and white ‘zine, so what better way to pay homage to our DIY beginnings than to have one of our past featured artists, Kyle Thomas, create a killer hand typeface for the site!

Last but not least, our biggest change is to the B/D shop. For the last year, we had a different website for B/D Apparel, but now Beautifuldecay.com is your one-stop shop for all things Cult Of Decay: from the latest books we’ve released, to new T-shirts from your favorite artists. Not only is our shop now fully integrated into Beautifuldecay.com, but it also allows us to give you better, more personalized service. We know that YOU are our most important asset so we’ve added free shipping options, better discount code functionality, better images, and a whole gang of new features to help with your shopping experience. We’ll be adding new product weekly to the shop and will be doing several promotions to celebrate our relaunch, so get ready for lots of exciting releases from us!

We want you to enjoy this new site as much as we do, so if you have any comments, problems, questions, suggestions or issues let us know in the comment section below! We want to give you a bigger, better Beautiful/Decay so your feedback is important.

Long live the Cult of Decay!

-Amir

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Otto Duecker’s Hyperrealist Celebrity Paintings Look Like Photos Taped To Your Bedroom Wall

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A picture of a celebrity taped on a cracked wall. Otto Duecker not only depicts portraits, he also paints the surrounding that goes with it. Like all artists part of the hyperrealism movement (or photorealism) from far, the whole image can be misled for a photograph.

Otto Duecker depicts celebrities from the 20th century such as Mick Jagger, Basquiat,  John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and more surprisingly Yoda. The black and white photos are represented crumpled and torn. Hung by random pieces of tape on a contrasted colored wall, the faces appear naturally brightened and alive. The artist painstakingly reproduces the details of the faces’ features and the cracks which makes the nature of the piece even more confusing to determine.

Hyperrealism allows the artist to guide the viewer to a new intimate examination of the piece. How did the artist depict the whole thing? Did he tape a picture of the celebrity on the wall and reproduced exactly what he was seeing? Do this wall exist in reality? Through this process, the artist gets in the way and the dialogue is not between the painting and the viewer anymore, but between the artist and the viewer. We are seeing the subjects through the artist’s eye and that’s what make the experience unique. (via Faith is torment)

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Stuart Haygarth Transforms Found Objects Into Beautiful And Functional Designs

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Stuart Haygarth constructs beautiful sculptures out of recycled and found materials. He typically finds large quantities of one object, like eyeglasses, plastic bottles, eyeglass arms, mirrors, or picture frames, and builds large chandeliers or other functional installation sculpture work. Some of his work that is composed of seemingly random objects has been arranged to highlight the myriad of colors and forms that encompass his sculptures. Haygarth’s ability to recontextualize the mundane into the magical is uncanny. In an interview with Design Museum he says,  “I think there is a certain ‘power’ in a collection of specific objects. A large grouping of a carefully chosen object – be it by colour or form – gives the object new meaning and significance.”

Colombian Student Asphyxiates To Death In Performance

Art turned fatal for John Jairo Villamil, a thought provoking 25-year-old Colombian university student, who asphyxiated himself amidst a performance. For his act, Villamil covered his head with a garbage bag and placed his feet inside a bucket of water. His actions served as a personal critique of his hometown of Bogotá, Colombia which has been considered one of the most violent cities in the world. Since he had previously executed this piece without incident, many thought the heavy breathing and convulsion were part of the act. Villamil died at an ICU five days after being pronounced brain dead immediately following the incident. His mother, who at one point is said to have provided tips on how to make the performance more shocking, is now blaming the university for neglect.Huffington Post

Short video from Columbian TV about the incident after the jump.

Crowds of Protest

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Some nice work by Scott David Johnson depicting aerial views of crowds and protests. More images can be seen on the Tinlark Gallery website or better yet in person at the gallery if you happen to live in the LA area.

ALICE GIBNEY


Meet Canadian artist Alice Gibney. Her work has a hauntingly beautiful presence, layering intimate charcoal lines on large scale paper panels. Her recent series are filled with imagery depicting self vs nature and human manifestation of grief. She’s currently spending some time in Berlin, hopefully gathering up loads of inspiration for her next series of work when she returns to NYC to finish her MFA at Parsons.

Diana Scherer’s Photographs Exposes The Secret Root Systems Of Potted Plants

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In artist Diana Scherer’s series Nurture Studies, she used soil, seeds, and photography to produce her work. Letting flowers grow in vases rather than the ground, she matured the plants and later broke the glass, exposing the dense roots that took the shape of their containers. They were then photographed at the peak of their lives; Flowers had bloomed, plants grew tall, and nearly all the flora was green.

Scherer’s work is visually very tight. The dirt is packed against the roots, and even out of their containers, the plants hold their shape. Although the plants look highly controlled, there is very little that Scherer can actually manipulate.  Aint-Bad Magazine wrote about this Scherer’s photographs, highlighting this fact. They state:

There is an inherent contradiction in Scherer’s working method. Although she is dedicated to the project and keeps a close eye on whether the roots are developing as desired—checking them carefully and with the utmost precision—her ability to manipulate the plants’ growth is limited. She has to accept the impossibility of total control. This contrast between almost obsessive monitoring and an inability to fundamentally influence events becomes an intense, almost ritual presence in her work. Scherer’s photos are carefully rationed, showing a single moment as the culmination of a long process of growth.

Scherer’s presentation of the plants is very straightforward. There is no extreme lighting and the background is devoid of anything but a color. With the a series with the word “studies” in the title, I see Scherer’s work as specimens, the result of an exercise in timing, and, for lack of a better word, nurture. (Via Aint-Bad magazine)

Harrison Roberts Visits B/D

DSCN1995Say hello to Harrison Roberts. Harrison stopped by our offices to drop off his work for the upcoming Art Works Every Time exhibit. He was a bit flushed and out of breath – having lugged his pieces, many of them quite large, up several flights of stairs on a muggy Los Angeles afternoon – and then we made him pose for our camera! I’ve been admiring his collection of 2 and 3-dimensional works. They speak so boldly from afar but I can’t help inspecting them from very close in order to take in all the unexpected details; his concoctions speak equally well – albeit with altered voices – from both perspectives. You can see Harrison’s complete collection next Saturday, June 12th, at the Art Works Every Time opening reception at L.A.’s Synchronicity Gallery. Thanks Harrison!