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The Whimsical, Eerie World Of Skulls And Narwhals In Joe Vollan’s Paintings

Joe Vollan- Painting Joe Vollan- Painting Joe Vollan- Painting Joe Vollan- Painting

Seattle artist Joe Vollan has an inventive imagination that lies somewhere between Edward Gorey, children’s fairy tales, with perhaps a little Tim Burton mixed in there. Mechanized skeletons of birds, wild beasts, a cat dancing around a fire, all forming splices of what could be either a tall tale or a nightmare, depending on your take. His work involves the dead moving about in a world where they continue to interact, and this playful imagery is embedded in a fictionalized version of Seattle, as the Space Needle is present in one particular painting.

As said on his website: “His works describe tales of heartache and adventure.  The bulk of his paintings take place in the city of Rusted Gallows, a post apocalyptic, rundown factory town populated by secret skeleton societies and strange but friendly creatures. The characters in his works demonstrate that there can be contentment and hope in an otherwise dilapidated world.

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Super Intern Chris Williams Passes Cult Initiation!

It’s always sad to have an intern leave but it’s even more sad when he is….. The Last Man On Earth!  Mr.Chris Williams not only gained the secrets of The Cult Of Decay but he also kicked ass each and every week with every task that we through his way. No box was too heavy to lift, no shirt too hard to fold, no trash bag to smelly to toss out, no car too dirty to wash (okay i’m joking about making him wash my car but you get the idea). Thanks for giving the cult 110% and good luck with the future. Spread the word of decay and live prosperous!

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Book Two Reminder

If you weren’t lucky enough to subscribe to Beautiful Decay in time to get Book One: Supernaturalism, there’s still time to sign up and get our upcoming Book Two! Here’s a sneak peek of what Book Two will feature! But hurry, there’s only two months left to subscribe, so don’t dilly-dally, you don’t want to forget two months from now.

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John Lurie

Bird Falls Near Chinese Garbage

Bird Falls Near Chinese Garbage

Minneapolis born John Lurie is a jack of all trades. He was originally a musician, playing sax in NYC no wave group Lounge Lizards. Later, in the 1980s, he moved on to acting, having a number of memorable roles in Jim Jarmusch movies like Down By Law. Mostly recently however, and especially since isolating himself due to what seems to be Lyme disease, Lurie has been a painter, creating dark, absurdist works with unusual titles. If you like his work, I recommend adding him on Facebook. His online updates are little gems of black humor, just like his paintings.

Hello, Kitty Jelly Beans.

hello kitty jellybeans
Here at Beautiful/Decay, we receive lots of fun stuff in the mail. Yesterday we got a package of Hello Kitty Jelly Beans made by Jelly Belly! For some time, Hello Kitty as been the subject to much speculation. I mean Hello Kitty stands for nothing, but people adore it because it’s cute (and thanks to hundreds of famous icons and the media for embracing it). Hello Kitty is a full phenomenon that starts with it’s simplicity of design. Yuko Shimizu’s design has a mouth-less face that people can use to project their feelings to define Hello Kitty’s character. This depicts entirely different feelings for each consumer. It’s a win, win. So who wouldn’t want to collaborate with that cute little kitty?

Endangered Animals Projected On St. Peter’s Basilica To Raise Environmental Awareness

Racing Extinction - Light Projection Racing Extinction - Light Projection Racing Extinction - Light Projection Racing Extinction - Light Projection

In collaboration with the Vatican, a coalition of artists and humanitarians from the documentary Racing Extinction projected a stunning light show on the edifice of St. Peter’s Basilica. The videos display endangered animals and ecological crises from around the word, including whales, pandas, imperilled rainforests, and melting icebergs. As pointed out on My Modern Met, this demonstration follows a letter released from Pope Francis that makes clear the role humans play in the destruction of natural environments and non-human species. The goal of the light show was to foster awareness from the public, and on a political level, to encourage other influential figures and world leaders to acknowledge the loss and devastation.

Helmed by Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove), Racing Extinction features never-before-seen images that explore endangered species and the threat of mass extinction. Much like the light show—which is part of an ongoing (and vital) campaign to provoke action—Racing Extinction seeks to change the way we view the planet and the global beauty and vitality we will lose in the pursuit of our unsustainable practices. Such projects remind us that no matter where we are situated, even in our urban, human-centered habitats, we are always responsible and capable of changing the world’s grim outlook. (Via My Modern Met)

Middle Boop

Gordon Reid, Middle Boop, Graphic Design

Middle Boop is the alias of graphic designer Gordon Reid. His design work is very colorful and dynamic and some of the work has some reminiscence of science fiction novel covers from the 50s and 60s. Elements of color, shape, imagery and dimension, Middle Boop’s composition are put together in a collage manner and quite enjoyable to look at. He also has a blog and a zine under the Middle Boop name.

Baker’s Dozen Opening @ Torrance Art Museum Sat.

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Eric Yahnker

The exhibition “Baker’s Dozen” will be opening this Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Torrance Art Museum. The show is a really great survey of some of Los Angeles’s  best & brightest contemporary artists- if you haven’t seen the works by the artists exhibiting here yet, you no doubt will soon–many of them have been making some waves around the So Cal art scene for a while. Don’t miss this show if you’re in the area! To give you a taste, I’ve included (no pun intended based in any way off the image above) selected works by my personal faves after the jump including Allison Schulnik, Tia Pulitzer, Jared Pankin, Aragna Ker and Mark Dutcher. The brilliant Eric Yahnker featured above. For the other half of the baker’s dozen, you’ll just have to check out the show yourself!