i calll it NOPEville.
Photo by horiyan
This is one of those things you might never believe if somebody told you, and yet even when faced with the evidence in photos, video, or Google Maps, you find yourself questioning reality (and maybe shaking off a serious case of the heebie jeebies). Welcome to Nagoro, a small village tucked into the valleys of Shikoku, Japan, a place where old residents are being replaced by life-sized dolls.
The work is part of a project by longtime resident and artist Ayano Tsukimi who returned to the village after an 11-year absence to discover many of her old neighbors and friends had left for larger cities or simply passed away. The town itself is dying with a dwindling population of about 35 people.
While gardening one day, Tsukimi constructed a scarecrow in the image of her father and was suddenly struck with the idea to replace other friends and family members with similar dolls. Over 350 dolls and 10 years later, her work continues. She places each doll in a place she feels is important to the memory of that person, so strolling through the down you might discover these inanimate memorials working in fields, fishing in rivers, or passing time in chairs along the road.
The statue is a direct response to the state's installation of a Ten Commandments monument outside the Capitol in 2012. State Representative Mike Ritze paid for the controversial statue with his own money, and therefore it was considered a donation and OK to place on government property. Following that line of reasoning, the Satanic Temple submitted a formal application for their monument.
I was offered an early peek at the work in progress by Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves. Greaves told me he has received numerous threats from people who want to attack the sculpture, but that he “wouldn’t expect these outraged and nearly insensible reactionaries to actually know how to assault a bronze monument without severely hurting themselves in the process.” Still, he’s not taking any chances. The Temple is building a mold of the sculpture so they can pop these things out like evil, terribly expensive action figures whenever they need a new one.
Here on this corner of the internet, we see a lot of abandoned places. For some of them, we can even understand how circumstances might have led their abandonment. This however, is a head-in-hands kind of moment.
The Castello di Sammezzano is a show-stopper, a jaw-dropper. Hidden away in the Tuscan hills of Northern Italy, this electrifyingly beautiful Moorish castle was built a whopping 400+ years ago in 1605, but for more than two decades, it’s been sitting empty, neglected, vulnerable to vandalism and to the elements.
There are 365 rooms in the Castello di Sammazzano, one for every day of the year. The Moroccan-style palatial villa is a labyrinthe of exquisitely tiled rooms, each one intricately unique. Originally built by a Spanish noble, Ximenes of Aragon in the 17th century, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the castle would find its arabian identity and be transformed into the etherial palace it resembles today.
(c) Dan Raven
This is all owed to its inheritor, Marquis Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes, a largely forgotten but key cultural, social and political figure in Florence when the city was the capital of Italy. Ferdinando, who lived and died at the property, spent 40 years planning, financing and realizing this exotic castle that would become the most important example of orientalist architecture in Italy– only to be left to ruin at the hands of modern-day investors.
After the Marquis’ death at the end of the 19th century, there was a period of uncertainty for the property and historical records appear to be rather patchy. During the war, the Germans came looting, stealing mainly from the castle’s surrounding park that had once been considered the largest and most exotic in Tuscany. They took many important statues and fountains of Moorish style, as well as an entire bridge and a grotto featuring a statue of Venus. When the war ended, the castle became a luxury hotel, restaurant and bar.
Unfortunately there appears to be no photographs of the villa during this period, I couldn’t even get the name of the hotel, which reportedly closed its doors in 1990. For a decade, it stood without a master of the house until 1999, when a British company ceremoniously bought the Castello di Sammezzano at auction. But still, the castello would remain unoccupied; it’s vaulted rooms and archways empty and unappreciated.
The plan for Sammezzano called for an 18-hole championship golf course and a large sports facility and clubhouse. But construction hadn’t yet begun when the investment company ran into “economic issues” and the castle was forgotten, left to fall into an extreme state of disrepair. The exterior damage by vandals and the weather is fairly evident. On the inside, many windows were broken, railings cut, chandeliers and rosettes stolen.
It wasn’t until 2013 that a local non-profit committee was founded to help raise awareness of the increasingly decaying castle. They have no ownership of Sammezzano but they help to arrange and promote public openings. And while the Comitato FPXA (after the initials of Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes of Aragon) has been doing their part, the property has been quietly sold to the global developer, Palmerston Hotel & Resorts.
On their website, the developer’s to-do list includes several worldwide projects, including the Castello Sammezzano, which they intend to develop into a “luxurious sporting resort, incorporating a boutique hotel, apartments, spa and country club with golf, tennis and various sporting amenities”. They have obtained all necessary planning approvals and claim redevelopment is scheduled to commence in 2014.
Another luxury hotel development might not be the fairytale ending we were necessarily waiting for, but here’s hoping this arabian castle will finally be restored to its former glory– and maybe they’ll let us come round for a mint tea under those otherworldly ceilings.
Stay tuned for updates on the Comitato FPXA facebook page.
reminds me of Katamari.
2Pac’s All Eyez on Me takes the top spot with 905 swears.
The number crunchers over at Best Tickets have used their analytic toolkit for a study that would make the Parents Music Resource Center blush: a comprehensive look of the most profane artists and albums in popular rap music.
Using the five rap albums deemed more influential or important (based on sales figures, name recognition, “hit density” and more) from the years 1985 to 2013, the study found an average of 217.7 “cuss words” per album.
While 2Pac notched the top two spots on the rap album list (for All Eyez on Me and Until the End of Time), Too $hort’s Raw, Uncut & X-Rated lives up to its title with the most profanity per song. Southern rap heavyweights Geto Boys, Scarface and Juvenille were named most profane artists.
The study also graphed profanity, use of “the N-word,” homophobia and misogyny over the same period. Unsurprisingly, Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP not only made 2000 the most lyrically homophobic year, but it was “BY FAR the most homophobic album” in the study. Similarly, Raw, Uncut & X-Rated was the study’s most misogynistic album, with 26.4 misogynistic profanities per song.
Check out the full study (with charts and downloadable data) over at Best Tickets.
you have to click the article then click the link to play
If you ever wanted to get your hands on Sesame Street’s Bert or Elmo or Cookie Monster and beat them to a pulp – for whatever sick reason you might have – now’s your chance! ‘Sesame Street Fighter’ is now a free playable online game thanks to game developer Cocoalasca. This genius concept started with DeviantArt user gavacho13 when he illustrated ‘Sesame Street’ characters in the style of ‘Street Fighter’. The internet loved it, and now we can get back at Oscar for all his grouchiness through the years, by typing in the random words that appear on the screen.
It’s a fun and addicting game where you’ll see Bert as Ryu, Cookie Monster as E. Honda, and Elmo as M.Bison, to name a few. The game only has six characters as of now, but we’re hoping they expand it soon, because I would love to Hadouken Big Bird to bits.
You can play the game here.
lol. will get wasted and watch.
Coming to Cinemas this Summer...(Read...)
Here's a terrific gallery of images from NASA's archives imagining life in space colonies. They were made in the 1970s so everything and everyone looks like they are from the 1970s.
Yang Maoyuan is a Beijing, China-based multidisciplinary artist noted for his shaping and misshaping of the human form. Born in Dalian, China in 1966, the artist has been witness to one of the most massive cultural shifts ever to occur in human history, so it is not surprising that historical relics and remnants, loaded with archaeological connotations, become source material for Yang.
In a series of work created in 2009, replicas of classical sculptural busts are created in bronze, and systematically sanded, smoothed and rounded out, giving the once easily recognizable faces a new and updated quality. The mirrored effect of these bronzes contemporarizes the pieces, but also forces viewers to see their own reflection in history. Some of the series became Look Inside, while other replicas took their titles from their original source inspirations.
When photographed in their installation environments, the resulting images look similar to 2-Dimensional collages, with smooth cut lines and rounded edges. It is this new verbal language that not only consumes classical sculptural, but also affects the way contemporary audiences will continue to consume culture. (via notshakingthegrass)
The post Yang Maoyuan’s Mirrored Alterations Of Classical Sculpture appeared first on Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design.
Artist Jesse Krimes stands in front of his 39-panel mural Apokaluptein:16389067 (federal prison bed sheets, transferred New York Times images, color pencil) installed, here, at the Olivet Church Artist Studios, Philadelphia. January, 2014.
In 2009, Jesse Krimes (yes that is his real name) was sentenced to 70 months in a federal penitentiary for cocaine possession and intent to distribute. The judge sentenced Jesse to a minimum security prison in New Jersey, close to support network of friends and family, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) opted to send him to a medium security facility in Butner, North Carolina.
His way of coping with the life-changing sentence went a bit more differently than you would expect. He got by with a little help from federal prison bed sheets, hair gel, The New York Times, and some color pencils. Although money was limited in prison, he never struggled to gather enough money to purchase these objects. You might be thinking these are random, but, in fact, they are what made prison life a somewhat more passable experience.
While experimenting with these four materials, Krimes discovered that he could transfer the newspaper images onto the prison bedsheets. At first he used water to do this, but that did not work. Hair gel, on the other hand, had the requisite viscosity to do the job. He was not aware that three years after, he would end up with a 39-panel mural. Each transfer took 30-minutes. Thousands make up the mural. Krimes only worked on one bed-sheet at a time, each of them matching the size of the tabletop he worked on. The laborious routine kept Krimes sane, focused and disciplined.
“Doing this was a way to fight back, the system is designed to make you into a criminal and make you conform. I beat the system.”
Apokaluptein:16389067, the title of the piece, derived from the Greek root ‘apokalupsis’ which means to uncover, or reveal; 16389067 was Krimes’ Federal Bureau of Prisons identification number.
“The origin [of the word] speaks to the material choice of the prison sheet as the skin of the prison, that is literally used to cover and hide the body of the prisoner. Apokaluptein:16389067 reverses the sheet’s use and opens up the ability to have a conversation about the sheet as a material which, here, serves to uncover and reveal the prison system.”
The content of the mural varies but, for the most part, it is a meditation on heaven, hell, sin, redemption, celebrity worship, deprivation and the nature of perceived reality. According to Krimes, his entire experience of prison is tied up in the artwork.
“The work is a depiction of represented reality as it exists in its mediated form, within the fabric of the prison. It was my attempt to transfer [outside] reality into prison and then later became my escape when I sent a piece home with the hopes that it could be my voice on the outside in the event that anything bad ever happened and I never made it home.”
During the three years it took to complete the piece, Krimes was able to put his artistic talent to the service of others, as he established art classes for fellow prisoners in an institution that was devoid of meaningful programs. The men, compelled by Krimes’ work, helped him complete some parts of the project. (via Prison Photography)
Psychogeography 45 (2014) | all photos courtesy the artist
Psychogeography 42 – detail
Psychogeography 45 (2014) – detail
Psychogeography 45 (2014) – detail
Psychogeography 43 (2014)
Psychogeography 43 (2014) – detail
Psychogeography 43 (2014) – detail
Untitled Small Figure 07
Psychogeography 41 (2013)
Psychogeography is the act of exploring an urban environment with an emphasis on curiosity and drifting. Or, more colloquially put, a “toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities.” For the Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin, his toy box is full of everything he finds on the street—flowers, leaves, bugs, and even dead rats, which are then composed into three-dimensional collages and sealed behind resin.
In his most recent series “Psychogeographies,” Yellin uses multiple layers of glass, each covered in detailed imagery, to create a single intricate, three-dimensional collage with a mix of magazine cut-outs and acrylic paint. When pressed to describe what he does, Yellin struggles, but not with a lack of words. Here is an excerpt from a mini-essay “concerning the difficulty of saying something about what I do.”
“Is it a copout to say “the work speaks for itself”?
I feel like it is
But I’m also awful talking about what the work is.
So sometimes I say “it speaks for itself”
But what does that even mean?
However, he does offer some advice:
First and foremost, they’re massive see-through blocks
And that’s one way to read them, listen to them “speaking”
As massive see through blocks.
Another is to listen to what’s inside them
The forms, the clippings, the dead things, the painted things,
Frozen between the layers of glass, what I’ve called
The captured and frozen “dynamism” of culture.
Chances are that you’ve probably never seen a dog made to look like Disney’s Pluto. Well, it exists. Photographer Paul Nathan captured the odd world of creative dog grooming in his series (turned book), Groomed. It features professional groomers who use semi-permanent hair dyes and blowouts to style pets. Last year, Nathan traveled to Intergroom, one of the largest international dog and cat grooming conferences, and documented dogs that look like leopards, flamingos, and even people.
Groomed is strange, unexpected, and even shocking if you’ve never seen a dog made up like this. It might seem a bit cruel to subject these animals to this type of star treatment, especially when it comes to coloring their fur. The photographer explains in an interview with Feature Shoot that the priority is to make sure the dogs are comfortable. “In most cases the colors are done in stages on different days, usually in sessions of no more than three hours with plenty of breaks for the animal.” He states, later adding, “There is a vast variety of hair coloring products for dogs. They are all non-toxic and semi-permanent. Depending on the kind of coat the dog has it can last from a few washes to a few months.”
With that off your conscious, you can focus on how amusing these dogs are. They represent a relatively unknown subculture in grooming, and it’s only at events like Intergroom where groomers flex their creative muscles. They are responsible for their designs and take pride in them. And, the campy fun doesn’t end there – the people are often dressed to match the dogs they’ve styled. (Via Feature Shoot)
The post Paul Nathan Captures The Strange World Of Creative Dog Grooming appeared first on Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design.
French artist Gilles Cenazandotti constructs life-size animals out of litter he’s combed from beaches, recycling a variety of plastics and other detritus. Titled, “Future Bestiary,” this series of sculptures directly addresses problems related to throw-away culture and the waste that results from conspicuous consumption. When the creatures are inserted into natural landscapes, they almost appear digitally rendered because the contrast between natural and man-made elements is so pronounced. Of his work, Cenazandotti says,
“Impressed by everything that the Sea, in turn, rejects and transforms, on the beaches I harvest the products derived from petroleum and its industry. The choice of animals that are part of the endangered species completes this process. In covering these animals with a new skin harvested from the banks of the Sea, I hope to draw attention to this possible metamorphosis – to create a trompe l’oeil of a modified reality.” (via laughing squid and junk culture)
The post Animal Sculptures Created Out Of Plastic Beach Litter appeared first on Beautiful/Decay Artist & Design.
Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki chisels these life-sized figurative sculptures out of giant pieces of camphor wood, a kind of evergreen. The strange pieces frequently involve two or more characters merged into a single form, which could been interpreted as commentary on mortality, or multiple personalities/perspectives. You can see much more over on Fuma Contemporary, Art Emporer and Elsa Art Gallery. (via Empty Kingdom, Juxtapoz,
In life, there are few things one can predict with accuracy, even after years of training. Just ask a financial analyst who works for 80 hours a week studying the intricacies of stock price movement only to finally manage a fund that consistently underperforms the market. Just ask a couple divorcing after 30 years of marriage. Just ask a NCAA tournament Cinderella team that makes it to the Final Four against all odds. But there is one thing, in this world of uncertainty, that can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy: a Michael Bay-produced remake of an Alfred Hitchcock movie is going to gargle goat balls.
Zao Dao is a Kaiping, China based illustrator who does manga-esque illustrations that are full of personality and lots of little details. There’s this graceful fluidity to everything that makes each piece look like it was so naturally done. And I love the ornamentation and many of her figures, adorned with lovely beads and ornate jewels. You can see much more of her work by clicking here, and looking below.
I’m completely in love with these bicycle murals from Argentinian artist Mart who began painting on the streets of Buenos Aires in the 1990s at the tender age of 12. His whimsical imagination is expressed through vibrant colors and stunning line work that flows freely from cans of spray paint. You can see much more of his work on Flickr, and read more about him over on Graffitimundo.
oh. sup nightmares.
Estudio Guto Requena partnered with luxury carpet manufacturer Tai Ping to create, Tea Hug, a carpet designed through a process that combines memory, music, and traditional Chinese manufacturing with new digital technologies. A painting became the starting point, and with the help of digital tools, the rug was designed using data from the melody of a traditional Chinese song about separation.
Research on the connection between China and Brazil led to the discovery of a painting that depicts the first Chinese immigrants. In 1812, they came from Macau to Rio de Janeiro to introduce the cultivation of green tea to Brazil.
The results of the process show a contemporary visual narrative that reflects a part of China’s and Brazil’s history.
An illustration by German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802-1858) that depicted the Chinese tea cultivation in Rio de Janeiro, in the region of Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), was the inspiration.
First, they turned the color image into a grayscale image.
The grayscale image was then pixelated.
They then limited the grayscale gradient to just five shades.
The brightest shade was isolated.
Points were triangulated so that no point would be inside the circumference of any of the triangles.
The result is a geometrical abstraction of the painting.
The original composition and the abstraction overlay to show how they’re related.
They created a color scheme by selecting five colors from the painting.
The colors were then filled in by using data of the melody of a traditional Chinese song that is about separation – ‘Silk Road’ from Yo-Yo Ma and Tan Dun.
If these adorable photos don’t melt your heart, then your middle name must be ‘Polar Vortex’. In a kitchen in Juilongjian Forest Park, Ruchen County, China, puppies huddle around a staff canteen stove to keep their cold little bodies warm and toasty. Despite their thick and fluffy fur, it’s still not enough to protect them from the freezing cold of winter, forcing them to stand as close to the ember as possible. The chefs who work in the kitchen even say these pups won’t stop barking until the fire is lit!