If ever a designer could be labeled Cult Couture, Aoi Kotsuhiroi would be it. Kotsuhiroi’s “body objects” blur the line between fashion and fine art, with each handmade, one-of-a-kind piece embodying a sense of primal energy, like relics of an ancient gothic warrior tribe. Through her juxtaposition of precious materials like cherry tree wood, phantom crystals, and pit-fired porcelain with once living, borderline grotesque elements like human and horse hair, lacquered horns, and elephant, buffalo, and crocodile leathers, Kotsuhiroi breathes animalistic life into her wearable sculptures, imbuing the wearer with a spirit of strength, mystery, and a little bit of danger. Her most recent collection, entitled “Exotic Regrets,” is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, featuring talon-shaped rings that could double as primitive weapons in an end of the world showdown, and a pair of sinewy, scorpion-like shoes which give new meaning to the term “killer heels.”
Powerful, funny, inspiring series of pictures by French photographer Sacha Goldberger of his 91-year-old grandmother. She is definitely a heroic personality; as a young woman in World War II Hungary she helped to save her Jewish friends from the Nazis, and survived living under both Nazism and Communism before moving to France.
Human Empire is a multidisciplinary design collective that creates playful and iconic works. Beautiful/Decay recently interviewed them about how their collective was started, their influences, and recent projects.
Lucia Scerankova lives and works in Prague and London. Without the use of digital manipulation, Scerankova’s photographs often feature a single reality bending oddity within a mundane setting. In one image a marble slab appears to fold while walked upon, elsewhere a drip of coffee remains frozen in time. These subtle works are comforting and disorienting all at once and allow the viewer to question the nature of time, gravity, and memory. In her own words: “I am interested in active physical approach to photography, to deal with the relation between photography and spaciousness. Outcomes are then home to handmade analogue special effects without use of digital manipulation. Illusion, fiction and myth are the themes which are attractive for me in my practice. I deal with the relationship to perceived, experienced and imagined reality.”(via)
The lovely Catlin Moore of Mark Moore Gallery was so kind as to provide Beautiful/Decay with a sneak-peak at Kiel Johnson’s upcoming exhibition entitled “Publish or Perish.” If you’re unfamiliar with Kiel Johnson’s work, his work, he creates transmorphic drawings, paintings and sculpture that seem to synthesize the ever-expanding media explosion through a kind of personal narrative. Really lovely line work, almost animation-like. Check out tons of amazing studio shots and the artist at work after the jump.
In a place usually left to stillness and silence, black waters churn ceaselessly. Anish Kapoor, a London-based artist known for his sculptural installations using stainless steel, PVC, and other media, has created a whirlpool beneath the wooden floorboards of a former movie theater in San Gimignano, Italy. With a spine-tingling power that seems to suck your gaze to the center of the earth, the vortex pulls endlessly downward into a lightless void. Darkly beautiful and hypnotic, the waters evoke feelings of both admiration and fear. Appealing to the fascination we have for black holes and infinite space, Kapoor has created an existential zone of disturbing liminality, a place which exists between presence and absence, here and there. Speaking of his fascination for spatial emptiness in the press release, Kapoor explains:
“All my life I have reflected and worked on the concept that there is more space than can be seen, that there are void spaces, or, as it were, that there is a vaster horizon. The odd thing about removing content, in making space, is that we, as human beings, find it very hard to deal with the absence of content. It’s the horror vacui. This Platonic concept lies at the origin of the myth of the cave, the one from which humans look towards the outside world. But here there is also a kind of Freudian opposite image, that of the back of the cave, which is the dark and empty back of being. Your greatest poet, Dante, also ventured into a place like that. It is the place of the void, which paradoxically is full – of fear, of darkness. Whether you represent it with a mirror or with a dark form, it is always the ‘back’, the point that attracts my interest and triggers my creativity.” (Source)
By creating this zone of dread — a vacuum of inverted reality that threatens our mortal existences with its apparent soullessness — Kapoor’s whirlpool unveils a special form of significance. The whirlpool is a world “which is paradoxically full,” for instead of beauty and safety, we are confronted with a vital impulse: a void brimming with life-affirming fear that destabilizes our constructions of reality. The whirlpool evades all concrete meaning by always moving, existing beyond our knowledge, troubling us with the notion of infinite absence.
One of the best things about publishing a magazine is having packages from distant lands (Canada) show up in our PO Box. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes we get complete junk…. but once in a while, we hit the jackpot with something that you want to hang on to. Case in point: this cool mini ‘zine by T. Reilly Hodgson called C inical Depression. Not only is this a great example of what a few bucks and some time at your local copy center can create, but I also love getting packages with hand written notes. Even our address is tricked out on the envelope! Reminds me of B/D’s humble beginnings when we hand wrote notes to subscribers. Maybe we should go back to that?