A Full-Scale Demolished Car Constructed From Silk, Aluminum Mesh, and Tulle by Jannick Deslauriers

March 16, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Montreal-based textile artist Jannick Deslauriers builds elaborate and often life-size pieces of machinery by sewing together yards of silk, aluminum mesh, and tulle. Each fabric she uses is transparent, which speaks to the hidden politics lurking behind commonly used objects and goods. One of her latest works, Sentence, souffle et linceul, is a full-scale replica of a demolished car. The translucent vehicle is slumped to the right, its broken form further exaggerated through a composition of soft and easily manipulated materials.

The sculpture is currently displayed at Art Mûr Montreal for the artist’s solo exhibition, which shares the same name as the sewn automobile. Also included in the exhibition are two miniature sculptures which depict a damaged model train and a segment of broken telephone lines—their transparent appearance similar to that of the nearby vehicle. The exhibition runs through April 28, 2018. You can see more of Deslauriers’s work on her website.





Banksy Emerges in New York and Calls Attention to Imprisoned Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan

March 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Banksy (previously) has emerged this week on the streets of New York, creating at least two new artworks, his first pieces in the city since his ‘residency’ five years ago. In one large work spanning the length of the famed mural space at the corner of Houston Street and Bowery in Manhattan, tally marks form prison bars, symbolically counting the days of imprisonment for artist Zehra Doğan. The Turkish painter is currently serving a nearly three year prison sentence for the creation of a single painting. The mural is a collaboration between Banksy and street artist Borf.

Doğan, who also worked as a reporter for the now defunct Dicle news agency, created the painting in 2016 which depicts operations carried out by Turkish security forces against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The artwork, derived from a photograph, shows buildings reduced to rubble, plumes of smoke, and gathered military trucks, all part of a multi-year effort in Turkey’s southeastern towns and cities to clear out PKK militants. 

The aspect that the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court deemed a crime are the Turkish flags that Doğan included, draped over the facades of some of the standing buildings, elements that also appear in the original photo.

As a result of her artistic rendering of the destruction in Mardin province Doğan may the only person in the world imprisoned for the act of painting. In Instagram posts about his depiction of Doğan’s sentencing, Banksy is encouraging people to repost her work and tag Turkey’s president, who is also active on Instagram. 

Zehra Doğan’s painting

The photograph that Doğan’s painting is based on

Update: A previous version of this article did not attribute Borf as a collaborator.




Sculptural Mandalas Built From Found Organic Specimens by Shona Wilson

March 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

For the last twenty years Australia-based artist Shona Wilson has intimately collaborated with nature by building sculptural assemblages that incorporate a myriad of found organic specimens. In her 2016 body of work, Offering, she formed mandala-like pieces from objects such as seedpods, twigs, and bones that were intended as gestures of gratitude to her practice’s source—nature.

“I hope these Offerings resonate as healing or therapeutic objects in their own right,” Wilson explained in the press release for her solo exhibition at Arthouse Gallery in New South Wales, Australia. “They are embedded with the vibrational patterns and tones of the natural world, of the very materials they are made from, and thus they emit the frequencies of the materials within them.”

Wilson hosts a series of Ephemeral Art Workshops that invite participants to engage with the natural environment in creative and playful ways. You can learn more about her collaborations with nature, and sign up for a class on her website.




Open Mind: New Warped Face Sculptures by Johnson Tsang

March 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Sculptor Johnson Tsang (previously) continues to push realism’s boundaries in his sculptures of faces that are stretched and opened up in surreal ways. In his latest series, Open Mind, Tsang incorporates hand gestures and metaphorical materials like growing leaves and rippling water to convey a sense of open-mindedness in his sculptures.

The artist shares with Colossal that he has always been creative, but due to an impoverished upbringing and poor grades in school, he initially focused on trade work, including as an air conditioning assistant and a potato chip fryer.

Tsang first took a clay modeling class in 1991, during his thirteen-year career as a policeman. He describes his first experience with the material to Colossal: “The clay seemed so friendly to me, it listened to every single word in my mind and did exactly I was expecting. Every touch was so soothing. I feel like I was touching human skin. I found peace and joy in it. I’ve felt in love with it ever since.”

Tsang, now 58, is a prolific creator, and reports that he completes about a sculpture a week. He shares new work on his website as well as on Instagram and Facebook, where he also chronicles works in progress.



Art History

Archaeologists Discover What May Be the World’s Oldest Crayon

March 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Archaeologists working on a site near an ancient lake in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK say they may have discovered one of the earliest examples of a crayon. The reddish-brown piece of ochre is thought to have been used 10,000 years ago to color animal skins or produce artwork during the Mesolithic period.

The oblong discovery is just 22 mm long and 7 mm wide, yet shows a heavily striated surface where it was most likely scraped to create red pigment. One side of the tool is sharpened, another hint that the piece was used to draw or color. Dr. Andy Needham from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology explained the discovery helps archaeologists understand how significant color might have been to the hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic period.

“For me it is a very significant object and helps us build a bigger picture of what life was like in the area; it suggests it would have been a very colourful place,” said Needham in a press release.

This has been a year of many art historical firsts. Within the last few months our knowledge of Greek civilization has been completely altered by the discovery of this tiny carved stone, and archaeologists found the first known use of a smiley face on an off-white jug in Southern Turkey. You can read more about the discovery of the ochre crayon, and other pieces found near the ancient lake in North Yorkshire, in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. (via Hyperallergic)




Art Illustration

Wondrously Detailed Paintings by Alice Lin Show the Complex Relationship Between Self and Surroundings

March 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In the Ocean #2, 35 x 28 inches

Illustrator Alice Lin uses watercolor and pigment on rice paper and silk to create intricately detailed worlds. Human and animal figures are enveloped in pastel-toned bursts of swirling flowers, mushrooms, oceans, and rock formations. Despite their storybook-like quality, many of Lin’s works are fairly large, with some spanning more than three feet wide.

In an interview with Wow x Wow, Lin describes the intention behind her work: “It’s about exploring the internal and external, about the relationships between the two; self and surroundings; human beings and the world… Our body is a container, connected to the outside world and our breath, blood, thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams, etc. are the content; through this content we are able to experience life, and we are able to learn about art, the world or ourselves.”

The Beijing-based artist shares her work on Behance, and you can also follow her on Instagram.

Mystery / 秘境, 31 x 47 inches

What we talk about when we were talking / 我们在谈论什么, diptych, 43 x 36 inches

Faramita / 彼岸, 83 x 41 inches

Faramita, in process

Toadstool Spirit / 毒蘑菇精, 17.5 inches



Art Illustration

New Mesmerizing Oil and Graphite Portraits That Peer Into the Subject’s Inner Mind by Miles Johnston

March 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The Return

London-based illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) produces graphite drawings and oil paintings that examine the inner thoughts of his female subjects. His piece Withdraw literally presents a woman’s face retracting into her own head, her wide-eyed stare sinking deep into her skull. Another, Dualism, shows a woman crouched on top of a chasm in the earth, a similar fault line continuing through her body.

Johnston will exhibit these works and more at an upcoming solo at Last Rites Gallery, a gallery known for showcasing surreal and macabre works in New York City. His show will run from March 31 to April 21, 2018. You can see more of his drawings, paintings, and prints on his Instagram.

Process shot of Miles Johnston’s The Return






A Colossal


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