Artist Frank Gonzales refers to his process as a cross-pollination of elements, a mixture of realism and artificiality expressed through acrylic paintings of birds perched atop plants and crystaline formations. “I like to construct and deconstruct during the process, leaving traces of my journey in the end results,” Gonzales says. His careful depictions of wildlife are somewhat reminiscent of Audubon’s style, but the colorful drips of paint and other surreal elements gives each painting a fresh, illustrative feel.
Gonzales most recently toured around New Mexico with Santa Fe Exports and he has a number of prints and original paintings available through several galleries. You can also follow his work on Instagram.
One hundred miles of twine compose this public sculpture of suspended netting above Boston, a structure that spans the void of an elevated highway that once split downtown Boston from its waterfront. The artist, Janet Echelman (previously), designed the artwork titled As If It Were Already Here to reflect the history of the installation’s location. Echelman also intended the piece to be a visual metaphor—a way to “visually knit together the fabric of the city with art,” she explains.
The installation is 600 feet at its widest, including over 500,000 knots for structural support. Each time one section of the sculpture sways or vibrates in the wind the other parts follow suit, undulating as a single form 600 feet in the sky. As the day progresses the 1,000-pound structure’s webbed surface begins to glow, becoming a beacon in the sky rather than blending into the blue above it. In addition to moving with the wind, the structure also glows in response to sensors that register tension and project light onto the sculpture.
As If It Were Already Here is just one of Echelman’s enormous sculptures, she’s also installed pieces in Montreal, Seattle, and elsewhere. Echelman received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harvard University Loeb Fellowship, a Fulbright Lectureship, and was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” You can see Echelman speak about her other environmentally-responsive sculptures in her TED talk here. (via Beautiful Decay)
Giovanni Stanchi (Rome c. 1645-1672). Oil on canvas. 38 5/8 x 52½ in. (98 x 133.5 cm.) / Courtesy Christie’s
Old master work paintings are frequently cited for their depiction of historical events, documentation of culture, or portraiture of significant people, but there’s one lesser known use of some paintings for those with a keen eye: biology. One such instance is this Renaissance still life of various fruits on a table by Giovanni Stanchi painted sometime in the 1600s that shows a nearly unrecognizable watermelon before it was selectively bred for meatier red flesh.
Horticulture professor James Nienhuis at the University of Wisconsin tells Vox that he’s fascinated by old still life paintings that often contain the only documentation of various fruits and vegetables before we transformed them forever into something more desirable for human use. You can read a bit more about the science behind the changes in watermelons over the last 350 years here. (via Kottke)
Update: Greg Cato writes: “The painting depicts a rare outcome of sub-par growing conditions, known as ‘starring.’ It’s perfectly normal, still happens, and is not the result of selective breeding (although it would be cool if it were).” You can see an example here.
Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz (previously) brings textures and patterns reminiscent of traditional engraving techniques to his murals of phantasmagorical creatures using only a paintbrush. Twisting tentacles, strange fusions of anatomy, beings wrapped in plants, all rendered atop colorful gradients create an unmistakable style Diaz has become famous for. You can see much more of his work here. (via Cross Connect)
Salvador Dali, “The Ship,” 1942-43, watercolor on paper, remake by Justin Nunnink
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “The Day Dream,” 1880, oil on canvas, remake by Tania Brassesco and Lazlo Passi Norberto
Four years ago, Booooooom creator Jeff Hamada asked the internet to join in on an art challenge to recreate their favorite old master paintings as contemporary photographs. The Remake Project sparked many professional and amateur artists to create elaborate sets, paint their bodies, paint their friends’ bodies, and take their own shot at works by artists from Dali to Magritte. This collection of original paintings and their contemporary counterparts has now taken the form of a book released through Chronicle Books titled Remake: Master Works of Art Reimagined.
The book features side-by-side page layouts of a selection of works from the original contest, displaying the photographic re-interpretations next to their old-world inspiration. Photographs range from the strikingly similar to loose interpretations, a grand spectrum of re-creations represented from the project’s open call. Remake: Master Works of Art Reimagined is now available in the Colossal Shop.
Rene Magritte, “The Lovers,” 1928, oil on canvas, remake by Linda Cieniawska
Ramon Casas i Carbo, “After the Ball,” 1895, oil on canvas, remake by Tania Brassesco and Lazlo Passi Norberto
Jacques Louis David, “The Death of Marat,” 1793, oil on canvas, remake by Adrianne Adelle
Edward Hopper, “Nighthawks,” 1942, oil on canvas, remake by Bastian Vice and Jiji Seabird
In a fantastic attempt at urban renewal, the government of Mexico recently collaborated with a group of local street artists called Germen Crew to paint a 20,000 square meter mural across the facades of 209 homes in the district of Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico. The project was intended to bring about visual and social transformation by temporarily providing jobs and, according to some reports, reduce crime and violence in the neighborhood. You can see a few more photos of the endeavor here. (via StreetArtNews)
Photos by the artist and Valentino Bonacquisti
Street artist Blu (previously) just wrapped up work on this monumental mural on the streets of his new home in Rebibbia, Rome. The painting depicts a clump of technicolor greenery as it swallows the facade of a 7-story residential building, and is part of a series of works by a neighborhood group called “Mammut” that is trying to redevelop abandoned green spaces in throughout the city. You can see more photos of the new piece over at Gorgo Magazine.