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2018-04-26T17:06:55.834Z
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British photographer Luke Nugent captures a wide range of style, beauty, and personal expression in his creative photo shoots, for which he often works with London-based hair stylist Lisa Farrall. Nugent highlights women of color in his varied series, from the more subdued everyday styles in Emancipate to the Afrofuturism-inspired Armour, which was a finalist for the 2016 British Hair Awards.

Nugent studied photography at London’s University of Greenwich, and has been shooting professionally since his late teens. He creates work for a variety of commercial and editorial campaigns, with a focus on fashion, portraiture, and music. You can see more of his photography on his website, as well as Instagram and Behance. (via Scene360)

Robert Proch combines the aesthetics of street art and fine art in his dizzyingly complex paintings and murals. The artist engages multiple perspectives, glitched repetitions of figures, architectural motifs, and tightly controlled color palettes to create his distinctive style. Scenes tend to radiate out from a central perspective point, surrounded by abstracted shapes and atmospheric brushstrokes.

Proch’s artist statement describes his work as mini-narratives that “examine the modern human condition using vivid colors and tangible emotions. Sentimentality, ambition, fear, loss, hubris, greed, and friendship play their roles in snapshot dramas.”

The artist studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, which is where he currently resides. Proch also explores his signature style in the mediums of drawing and wood bas-relief sculpture, which you can view on his website and Instagram. (via Booooooom)

La Nuage is a short film by Russian film student Iulia Voitova which succinctly displays the many frustrations of creative output, including sadness, distraction, and writer’s block. The animated film is composed of two collaged paper characters, an earnest young woman in a bright blue dress, and a brooding male writer hunched over his typewriter. In an attempt to shield the writer from a patch of rain, the female protagonist unintentionally thwarts his rumbling brainstorm. The entire piece takes place in less than a minute and a half, yet perfectly encapsulates several shifts in mood through its playful pastel-colored characters and delightful score by Lawrence Williams.

Voitova created the work with the theme “bad weather” for La Poudrière animation film school. You can see more of her shorts, including 2017’s equally enchanting Minute de Gloire, on Vimeo, Instagram, and Behance.

This short video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology documents the spectacular plumage and mating dance of the Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise. In order to catch the attention of its female counterpart, the male Bird-of-Paradise flips its cape of black feathers into a large ruff that surrounds its head, while also fanning out an iridescent azure blue skirt of feathers from its breast. In a paper published by Timothy G. Laman and Edwin Scholes, this Indonesian bird was recently confirmed as a separate species based on its courtship behavior. You can learn more about the Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise in another video from Cornell and watch more videos about all things avian on the Lab’s YouTube channel. (via The Kid Should See This)

Allan Rubin, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (2017), all images via the artist.

Allan Rubin‘s aptly named series CANON presents a range of famous artists throughout history, all rendered from an amalgamation of tin cans. The works are each painted in the style of the artist’s self-portrait, such as a Post-Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh or Neoclassical Angelica Kauffmann.

The body of work grew out of the painter’s desire to work on a smaller scale in his cramped studio. The can sculptures proved to be a perfect solution, and provided an intriguing challenge for Rubin to transform flat images into three-dimensional works.

Throughout the years he has learned the best formula to build his portraits, like realizing that the shape of tomato sauce cans are well suited for heads. “Cookie tins sometimes make good torsos,” he told Hyperallergic. “Bean cans are just right for arms and necks. Sardine cans make great hands. Lids have rings embossed on them that work perfectly for ears, and also become noses that I have learned to bend, slot, and tab onto the faces.”

Rubin’s solo exhibition CANON continues through May 5 at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in...

Lorem Ipsum, 2017, acrylic on wood panel, 75 x 48 in.

Artist Hope Gangloff captures the personalities of her friends and family in brightly colored large-scale portraits. Gangloff’s acrylic and collage paintings show her subjects in intimate settings—often domestic interiors—in poses of relaxation or quiet focus. The artist’s strong but gestural lines create defined shapes that are filled with repetitive marks and bright patterns. Gangloff gives equal textural attention to all areas of the painting, which draws the viewer’s eye to every detail and also contextualizes each portrait sitter in a unique set of surroundings. (If you’re intrigued by this flat field patterning, also take a look at Édouard Vuillard‘s paintings).

The New York-based artist’s large body of work consists of a substantial number of these vibrant portraits. In an interview with Vogue, Gangloff describes her choice of subject as akin to rock climbing:

An outsider who doesn’t look at a lot of art might not understand why I paint similar things over and over again… But there are always micro movements. I’m always working through problems. Rock climbers look for little changes in rocks to help them climb and keep going. When I look at a painting, I’m also looking for the move that’s going to set off something else. The whole painting is like...

Artist Dylan Martinez combines several glassblowing and sculpting techniques to form hyperrealistic plastic bags from molten glass. Through these works, Martinez creates scenarios that obscure the viewer’s interpretation of reality and illusion. His curiosity in this subject matter is sparked by the fact that he was born red-green colorblind. This has presented Martinez an alternative way of seeing, and encourages his fascination with obscuring common perception in his glass-blown works.

“The trapped movement of the rising bubbles and the gesture of the forms convince the eye that the sculptures are just as they seem,” says Martinez in his artist statement. “What is fascinating is that our desires often override our true perception of reality and you believe what you think is visible as the truth.”

To begin, Martinez sculpts the solid glass or “water” that appears within each bag. Next, he adds a blown bubble to the top which is then smoothed out before he begins to hand sculpt each fold and wrinkle. Once complete, the sculpture is placed in an annealing oven at 950° F and allowed to cool for 120 hours.

Martinez recently opened a glass studio in White Salmon, Washington near his home in Hood River, Oregon. He has an upcoming self-titled solo exhibition at Echt Gallery in Chicago which opens on July 13. You...

Miranda van Dijk, from the series Sensitive Survivors

Poet and textile artist Miranda van Dijk prints found images onto delicate faux floral arrangements made from canvas, cotton, or voile. The vintage images are transferred onto the textile plants using a digital printing technique, and are either hidden in the curve of a petal or are displayed prominently on one of the plant’s leaves. These works are then imbedded in a natural environment, allowing her sculptures to blend into wildflower gardens and other lush scenes.

For her series Sensitive Survivors, van Dijk modeled her pieces on twelve different forms of weeds. “Before the idea came up, I was obsessed by weeds,” the Dutch artist tells Colossal. “I saw them everywhere. Between my tiles in the garden, the playground. I found them so strong yet so fragile at the same time.”

Recently van Dijk published a book titled Sensitive Survivors (written in Dutch) which presents poetic connections between her handmade plants and the individuals printed on their forms. You can buy select pieces from Miranda van Dijk from her Etsy store, and learn about about her work on her website and Instagram. (via Anna Marks)

Exhibition image of Yayoi Kusama’s Flower Obsession 2017 on display in NGV Triennial at NGV International 2017. Photo: Eugene Hyland

Famed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (previously) is known for her color explosions, light matrices, and proclivity towards covering many of her works in a dazzling layer of dots. In one of her most interactive installations, the artist hands her interest in dot making over to the visitor. The Obliteration Room invites guests to “obliterate” a domestic interior by placing colorful stickers onto the walls, furniture, and floors.

For her recent commission for the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, the artist transformed this concept to include a flower motif. For Flower Obsession (2017) guests were given artificial gerbera daisies and flower stickers to place on any surface of their choosing, completely covering the faux-apartment by the end of the triennial’s four-month run. This floral theme taps into the beginning of the artist’s art-making, referencing a memory from her early childhood.

“One day, after gazing at a pattern of red flowers on the tablecloth, I looked up to see that the ceiling, the windows, and the columns seemed to be plastered with the same red...

SOUP – Refused © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic oceanic debris affected by chewing and attempted ingestion by animals. Includes a toothpaste tube. Additives; teeth from goats.

Photographer Mandy Barker creates deceptively eye-catching images to document the pandemic of plastic debris in the world’s waterways. Barker, who is based in Leeds, UK, works closely with scientists to collect trash from our oceans and beaches on the edges of nearly every continent. One research expedition covered the debris field (stretching to Hawaii) that resulted from Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake; she has also explored the Inner Hebrides in Scotland with Greenpeace.

Barker manipulates her findings in Photoshop, mimicking the manner in which ocean water holds these objects in suspension. Swirls of colors and patterns draw in the viewer’s eye, only to realize that these visually appealing compositions consist of garbage that animals have attempted to chew, plastic pellets, tangles of fishing line, and water-logged soccer balls. The artist describes her work in a statement on her website:

The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. The research process is a vital part of my development as the images I make are based on...

This past February architectural photographer Andres Gallardo Albajar traveled to the Great Wall of China where he was able to take in a rare sight—one of the seven wonders of the world without a single soul in sight. Albajar had expected to create the same tourist-filled images as others who visited the architectural feat, however when he arrived he found a thick fog encapsulating the structure. The dense cover may have been a deterrent for tourists, but this particular weather added further mystery to the deserted landscape Albajar captured in this recent series.

“I was expecting big amounts of people, even lines to access or things like that, but for my surprise there was very few people, which allowed me to capture the wall with no people, which in my opinion helps to create a more surreal and magic feeling,” Albajar tells Colossal.

You can view more of the Spanish photographer’s work, including his multi-part series on urban geometry, on his website, Instagram, and Behance.

Mural by @ADW

For the past several months, a collective of artists in Dublin known as Subset has been coming up against the letter of the law, as the Dublin City Council (DCC) issues orders requiring Subset to paint over their colorful murals with swaths of monochromatic paint. Blindboy Boatclub, a Dublin comedian and hip hop artist who was the subject of a Subset mural, points out the conundrum in an interview with JOE:

Subset have been brightening up dull spaces all over Dublin. People were engaging… taking selfies, having craic [fun conversation]. That’s what art is supposed to be, socially engaged. A genuinely engaging spectacle for real people, not just hidden away in a gallery for those with an art education. Dublin council have disappointed me. How is it OK to paint a wall one dull color of paint? But it’s illegal to paint the same space with multiple colors.

The sweep of mural removals began in late 2017, despite previous successful collaborations between DCC and Subset, as cited in the Irish Times. Although the murals are created on private property and with explicit permission from property owners, under current law the artists are still required to apply for permits for each painting. These permitting fees are calculated by...

James Clar, Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! (2015), neon, 125 x 155 cm

Artist James Clar creates sculptural light systems that interpret the ways modern technology has altered our perception of reality and time. His multi-colored works often imitate society’s relationship to the screen, such as in his work Increasing Resolution, which shows the rapid incline of digital resolution on our TVs, computers, and phones, or his 2015 sculpture Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! which expresses the loosening of language structures due to an increasing dependence on communicating through technological devices.

“The majority of our daily experience and information comes from the artificial light sources of our screens and phones, shifting our habitat from the physical space around us to the non-physical space of online digital systems” explains Clar in an artist statement.

Clar received his masters in interactive telecommunication from New York University. He has an upcoming solo exhibition at Jane Lombard Gallery in NYC later this year. You can see more of the artist’s work on his Instagram and website.

Fantastic Planet by Amanda Parer. Photo credit: Parer Studio

In partnership with Hyperallergic and the Exploratorium museum, we’re giving away a trip to San Francisco to see the museum’s summer exhibition, ‘Inflatable’, curated by Colossal. One lucky reader and a plus-one of their choice will be provided with hotel accommodations, airfare, and tickets for the exclusive preview night of Inflatable on Friday, May 25. Read more about the exhibition here;  the prize package and how to enter are detailed below. This giveaway is available only to US readers.

Prize includes hotel, flight, and admission for two to the preview event on May 25, 2018:

Hotel accommodations include three nights at the Hotel Zephyr at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

Flights to be awarded with two $500 Visa gift cards.

Tickets for two to exclusive preview event on Friday, May 25, 2018, including meet and greet with the artists and curator of Inflatable.

$500 in gift certificates to The Colossal Shop and the Hyperallergic Store ($250 each).

Enter to win below or via this link.

The small fishing village of Houtouwan on the Chinese island of Shengshan has been abandoned since the 1990’s. Due to increased competition with nearby Shanghai and a depleted fishing supply, residents were forced to find work in other towns, leaving their own coastal village to the whim of Mother Nature.

Today the ghost town is only visited by tourists curious to see the vine-wrapped homes and other buildings swallowed by untamed greenery. Shanghai-based photographer and videographer Joe Nafis visited the area last year with fellow photographer Dave Tacon. It took them nearly 36 hours to reach the village due to lack of ferries or connection with other towns in the area. Once in town, Nafis explored the area on foot, as well as from above with his drone.

“Using the drone to explore the village first was a good idea as the paths were not well maintained and overgrown,” Nafis tells Colossal. “Some of the buildings were in tatters, while others looked like they were going through a remodel. It was all very strange. On the Sunday there were a few tourists, about ten to fifteen, and then on Monday we were the only people in the village other than the three to four that still lived there.”

You can view drone footage from the photographer’s visit to the overgrown village in the video...

Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel (previously), has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.

The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.

Media artist Refik Anadol’s work Melting Memories combines data paintings, light projections, and augmented data sculptures to visibly demonstrate how the brain recalls memories. The installation was created with a custom 16 x 20 foot LED media wall and CNC milled rigid foam, and was shown earlier in 2018 at Pilevneli Gallery in Istanbul. In the work, seething swirls move across the work’s surface, resembling cresting ocean waves, blossoming flowers, and shifting sand.

To generate the data, Anadol conducted experiments at the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. An artist statement describes the technical process: “Anadol gathers data on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control from an EEG (electroencephalogram) that measures changes in brain wave activity and provides evidence of how the brain functions over time. These data sets constitute the building blocks for the unique algorithms that the artist needs for the multi-dimensional visual structures on display.”

Anadol is a media artist and director who specializes in site-specific public art that explores the intersection of physical and digital reality. Born in Istanbul, the artist is now based in Los Angeles, where he is a visiting researcher and lecturer at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. You can see more of his work on his website, as well as on Instagram, Vimeo, and Behance.

Elana Goren

From one-day workshops to semester-long courses, take the opportunity to immerse yourself and be inspired with School of Visual Art’s summer 2018 continuing education coursework. Develop your skills in interior Design, Photography, or Fine Arts; hone your visual acumen with Visual Narrative, Design, or Visual and Critical Studies; advance your creative career with Film and Video, Illustration and CartooningAnimation, or Computer Art and Visual Effects; and stay on the cutting edge through studies in Advertising, Professional Development, and the Visible Futures Lab.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. SVA represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world.

Visit sva.edu for details on how to register or for advice on courses.

School of Visual Arts, Division of Continuing Education
sva.edu/ce, E-mail: ce@sva.edu, Toll-free telephone: 877.242.7200

Fantastic Planet by Amanda Parer. Photo by Parer Studio

Colossal is thrilled to announce the summer show, Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a museum dedicated to science, art and human perception. Led by our founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Colossal has worked closely with the Exploratorium team to curate the museum’s summer 2018 exhibition. Inflatable brings together artists from around the world who work in the mediums of textiles, technology, and air.

Jason Hackenwerth (previously), renowned for his massive balloon sculptures that often simulate the universal biology of living things, will be building an inflated sculpture comprised of thousands of hand-tied balloons. Cauldron Veil will be built in front of the public at the Exploratorium in the days before the exhibition opening, and hoisted up to the ceiling where it will be suspended over visitors.

Tasmania-based artist Amanda Parer (previously) examines the relationships between humans and our natural surroundings in her large-scale white inflatable sculptures. Parer’s series, Fantastic Planet, includes two enormous humanoid figures that will be hard to miss as they tower over gallery walls.

Jimmy Kuehlne taps into interactivity, wonder, and humor in his diverse range of artworks. For Inflatable, he’ll be building a forest of glowing air-filled columns that invite...

American designer and illustrator Jenna Barton combines watercolor and digital processing to create mysterious anthropomorphic scenes of dogs, foxes, deer, and other four-legged beings. These eerily rendered creatures often have blank glowing eyes which suggest the animal is possessed or hiding a deep inner world.

Barton is based in Utah, which translates into her work through broad sweeping pastures and farmland illuminated by twilight. These settings add to the heightened tension presented in the animals’ demeanor, while providing a fitting background for her editorial illustrations, album art, game artwork and custom tattoos. You can buy select prints through her online store, and view more of her animal-based illustrations on Instagram and Tumblr.