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Hasan Elahi Gets Naked

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Well, not literally, but in Hasan Elahi’s project, “Tracking Transience,” he lays bare an almost overwhelming amount of personal information on the internet. Inspired by an intensive FBI investigation (brought on by false accusations of a misinformed neighnor), Elahi records and makes available everything from his exact whereabouts in the world via Google maps, his bank statements & history, photographs of every meal he eats on planes, etc. The result is a Kafka-esque experiment that examines a post 9/11 Orwellian world with a kind of depressing humor. Elahi’s excercise in self-disclosure seems both dangerous in its honesty, but also symbolic of our information-overload and the question of privacy in the digital age.

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Will Ellis’ Haunting Photographs Of Broken, Muddied, And Forgotten NYC Treasures

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For Lost and Found, the photographer Will Ellis photographs objects collected from the deserted buildings, parks, and bays of New York City. Dating back to the first half of the 20th century, each recovered object is shot with the utmost care, regardless of condition or value. The artist’s long journeys in search of his discarded relics— traversing less frequented city spots with haunting names like Dead Horse Bay and North Brother Island— give historical and totemic meanings to each possession. Once relevant only to a forgotten child, a plastic toy shoe from the 1920s is studied under lights, archived by a seemingly objective lens, and repurposed as evidence of some imagined urban ancestry.

Ellis’s choice to incorporate animal bones into a few of the images strengthens the work’s genealogical impulse; a set of hospital keys, ripped from their locks and rusted beyond recognition, stands alongside a raccoon bone separated from its socket in time. Similarly, a horse bone from the city’s industrial age is visually equated with a pair of plastic doll arms; shot from the same angle, the eroded bone and muddied plastic occupy similar portions of the frame, each lit with expert precision.

As if part of a museum catalog, the series of 30 photographs provides a cohesive, if subjective, vision of history. Through the eyes of Lost and Found, the city’s children narrate its evolution, telling a visual story that begins with doll, touches on music book, and culminates in senior portrait. Ellis’s choice of a stark white backdrop and harsh lighting brilliantly avoids potential sentimentality; as the artist invites us into a distinctly nostalgic space, we are instructed to view the work with the utmost seriousness. Take a look. (via Feature Shoot)

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Amazing Photographs Capture The Strange Eyes And Hair Of Insects

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The lens of the Indonesian photographer Donald Jusa has miraculously allowed us to see into the eyes of tiny, wholly bizarre creatures; with his macro camera, the artist is able to capture the most minute details of the insect body. At times, the faces of these beings seem entirely foreign; as viewers, we search for marks of human feeling and features, but the multiple eyes and strange limbs transfix and confound our perceptive powers.

Unlike some macro photography cataloging the lives of insects, Jusa does not capture the  surrounding environment or even the entire body. Instead, his photographs read like strange portraits; against a colored backdrop, the miniature creatures seem absurdly to sit for the artist, proudly displaying their features. Fixed perfectly within the boundaries of the frame, Jusa’s non-human subjects are magically motionless, as if frozen between periods of buzzing and flight. At such close range, the viewer experiences the texture of insect flesh and bone; our eyes scan coarse, moistened hairs.

Jusa’s insects, magnified many times over and seen in such fine detail, tone, and resolution, resemble strange beasts, unrecognizable as the tiny creatures that they most certainly are. As we peer at them and their multiple eyes stare back, we might feel affrighted or startled by their clarity, the very fact of their largeness. It is unnerving to imagine our own faces reflected a thousand times over in these complex, repeating ocular lenses, and yet magically, we can interpret the tiniest hint of recognition within the insect eyes. Take a look. (via Demilked)

Sin-Eater Illustrates Ancient-Looking Visions Of Unearthly Beasts And The Dark Arts

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Sin-Eater is a UK-based artist who draws murky scenes of ancient beasts and the dark arts. Like fable illustrations or tarot cards, his works are replete with eerie-yet-powerful symbols, such as the moon in various phases, leaking hourglasses, human skulls, and obscure runes hidden amidst fog and fur. His intricate linework and grimly religious imagery recall the works of Albrecht Dürer, one of Sin-Eater’s influencers; in a similar style to Dürer’s 1513 engraving “Knight, Death, and the Devil,” for example, Sin-Eater depicts his own esoteric, dream-like sequences wherein the underworld seeps through the surface of the earth, manifesting in visions of twisted forests and unearthly beings.

The name “Sin-Eater” comes with its own fascinating mythologies. From Mesoamerica to the English countryside, the concept has arisen in folklores across the world, referring to people who eat or drink the sins of a deceased person, thereby purifying the spirit’s soul. Through images of death, rot, and consumption, Sin-Eater’s artwork hearkens back to these ritualistic practices, using a traditional medium and ancient imagery to figuratively dissolve the “sins” of humanity across time and space. Like polished bone beneath the rot, the result is a series of illustrations that fester in the imagination before splitting open into near-transcendent beauty.

View more of Sin-Eater’s works on Tumblr. Prints and other merchandise featuring his work can be purchased on his shop. Sin-Eater has also designed items for the Irish clothing company Nine Lives, viewable here.

Urban Decay Storybook-Like Street Art

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Hyuro has a very peculiar style of street art.  Her work is highly detailed and uses subdued colors.  It is her artwork’s narrative quality that makes it stand out.  Each mural seems to be a very small piece of a much larger story.  The viewer passing the mural almost feels like an interruption to some mysterious goings-on.   The influential fellow Spain based street artist ESCIF poetically says regarding Hyuro and her work:

“Hyuro doesn´t paint on the street. Hyuro talks to the street. And she does it with such respect and affection, which are the others who, as we approached, we paint the walls that she just whispers.”

I’m Gaga for Philip Treacy

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Philip Treacy takes millenial millinery to new heights! His outlandish creations play with conceptual implication of hats- which, in Treacy’s world are more like bizarre sculptures that people can wear on their heads. Hats don’t just hide bad hair days, but transform into rococo floral landing pads for butterflies, the moon and stars, or….another face?  His heshin’ haberdashery is favored by everyone from British Royalty to Lady Gaga, pictured above rocking a Victorian mourning veil inspired face-lace.  You may now kiss the bride….of Frankenstein.

Halloween-Inspired Beauty Photographed by John Midgley

As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Jennifer Kaye’s article on John Mdgley.

Cosmetic giant MAC put their in-store makeup artists to the test this Halloween to create the most compelling looks. Artists from stores in Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York will be judged by MAC’s facebook followers for their annual “Halloween Face-Off.” The portraits, which range from glamorous to macabre, were shot by photographer John Midgley. “The passion of each of the artists was a lot of fun, and it was infectious,” says John. They lived for it—they lived for the look. They lived to have their picture taken. It took it back to the simplest form of photography, which is flattery and escapism.”

Misty Groenendijk’s Gone Ape!

Monkeys and apes parody humanity in sculptures by Amsterdam based artist Misty Groendijk.