Category: Art

New Sculptural Eyewear Produced From Salvaged Street Metal and Found Objects by Cyrus Kabiru 

Kwa Kubadilishana Utamaduni, Macho Nne: At the Dot, 2017. 59 1/10 × 47 1/5 in

Self-taught Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru (previously) fashions extravagant eyewear from pieces of found metal and other salvaged materials on the streets of his hometown of Nairobi. Kabiru has been building his futuristic glasses since childhood, and dedicates much of his time to producing works for his C-Stunner series of eyeglasses and coordinating photographs. Recently Kabiru has begun to expand his work to include large non-body-based sculptures, installations, and collage.

Kabiru’s practice is deeply tied to Afrofuturism, a genre that combines science fiction, magical realism, and historical fiction with the culture and politics of the African diaspora. His work was featured in the newly released Gestalten publication Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa. You can see more of his eyewear and larger sculptures on Artsy and SMAC.

Kubwa Macho Nne – American Darts, 2015.

Kubwa Macho Nne – Tom and Jerry (2015)

Mali Ya Mfalme, Macho Nne | Nubia Kale (Ancient Nubia), 2016

Njia Ya Maisha Macho Nne Throwback, 2015

Njia Ya Maisha, Macho Nne Egyptian Peacock, 2015

Kwa Kubadilishana Utamaduni, Macho Nne: Catalan Sun, 2017

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Hollow Figurative Sculptures by Park Ki Pyung 

South Korean sculptor Park Ki Pyung creates hollow human works from resin and steel, pieces that appear to express an extreme melancholia with bowed heads and resigned body language. The life-size sculptures are held upright with rebar, and are built to reflect Pyung’s deep existential musings. By stripping the figures’ cores he points towards his own inner turmoil, presenting figurative shells, rather than completed human forms. You can view more of his hollow steel sculptures on his Instagram. (via iGNANT)

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Larger-Than-Life Hyperrealistic Portraits Rendered in Graphite and Charcoal by Arinze Stanley 

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Nigerian artist Arinze Stanley works with graphite and charcoal pencils on large sheets of cartridge paper to render enormous portraits of his subjects. Spending upwards of 200 hours on an artwork, Stanley agonizes over the most minute details of each piece to painstakingly capture reflections of light, droplets of sweat, or tangles of hair.

Where some hyperrealistic artists lean towards idealized perfection, Stanley instead focuses on pure realism, infusing portraits with a raw sense of emotion and drama. The scale of each piece, always slightly larger than life, adds an uncanny three-dimensional aspect.

Stanley recently exhibited work at Omenka Gallery and you can see more of his works (and pieces in progress) on Facebook. (via ARTNAU, Juxtapoz)

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Till He Comes, 2017. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

INSOMNIA, 2017. 27″ X 42″. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper.

INSOMNIA, 2017. 27″ X 42″. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper.

INSOMNIA, 2017. 27″ X 42″. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils on Strathmore 300 Bristol (smooth) paper.

Desolation, 2016. Progress photo. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

Desolation, 2016. Graphite and charcoal pencils.

FAMISHED (Disturbia series), 2016. Progress photo.

FAMISHED (Disturbia series), 2016. 26″ x 36″. Graphite and charcoal on Cartridge paper.

Innocence, 2016. 33” X 23.4″. White and black charcoal pencils and graphite pencils on Lambeth Cartridge paper.

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New Mixed Media Landscapes and Still Lifes That Merge Photography and Impressionism by Stev’nn Hall 

Stev’nn Hall (previously) blends photography and painting together in an impressionistic style, often focusing his works on the rural landscapes of his Canadian home, or images of flowers he takes in his studio. The pieces are built from images shot with a 35mm camera, and feature gestures on the surface in the mediums of acrylic, ink, and pastel. These markings serve as both complements to the landscapes and abstract bits of scrawl, simultaneously pushing the underlying photograph to appear more like a painting, and Hall’s painted additions to seem like photographic errors. You can see more of his mixed media works on Tumblr and Instagram.

Image by Alejandro Collados Nunez

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Minimally Painted Wood Sculptures That Highlight Environmental Decay by Willy Verginer 

Italian sculptor Willy Verginer (previously) creates figurative sculptures from wood, pieces that allow his carving skills to stand out with minimal additions of monochrome bands of paint. The oranges, greens, and blues he adds places his subjects into unseen environments, like his sculpture of a small child who appears to swim through detritus covered in dark blue paint. Other sculptures also point towards environmental decay, such as a figure that clutches a leaking gas can, and a stag that is altered by the oil canisters that serves as its base.

Verginer’s newest work is included in the group exhibition After Industry at Wasserman Projects in Detroit through April, 8 2017. You can see more of his minimally painted sculptures on his Instagram. (via Fubiz)

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The Vanishing Stepwells of India: A New Book by Victoria Lautman Documents the Fading Relics of Subterranean Wells 

Van Talab Baoli. Amer, Rajasthan. c. 1600/19th Century.

Scattered across India’s vast landscape of ancient architecture including temples, mosques, and palaces are an often overlooked relic of historic infrastructure called stepwells. These subterranean buildings, once numbered in the thousands, were originally dug into the landscape so residents could easily access water. Over time, stepwells grew increasingly elaborate in their construction, morphing from modest rock-cut holes into fully functional Hindu temples with ornate columns, stairwells, and shrines. Each well now serves as a fading structural fingerprint, diverse and unique as the communities that designed and built them.

Chicago journalist Victoria Lautman first peeked over the edge of a stepwell some 30 years ago and was immediately transfixed at the idea of staring down into an architectural wonder as opposed to looking up. She has since dedicated much of the last five years criss-crossing India over several years to locate and photograph as many wells as possible. We first mentioned Lautman’s discoveries back in 2015, after which she resumed trips to India to locate an additional 60 wells, bringing the grand total to over 200 sites she’s personally visited and documented.

“Descending into the earth is a profound experience, one in which sweltering heat turns to enveloping cool, and noises become hushed,” she writes about encountering the wells.

After centuries of neglect some stepwells are in perilous condition or have vanished altogether, while others have been thoughtfully maintained by surrounding communities or governments who recognize their significance and possess the will (and funding) to restore them. In an attempt to preserve their legacy, Lautman has gathered a visual tour of 75 of the more unique and interesting wells in a new book titled The Vanishing Stepwells of India. The book includes not only her original photography, but also her impressions about each well and the precise GPS coordinates of their locations.

It remains to be seen if the renewed interest in stepwells, as well as the accompanying tourist dollars, will drive the change to save them. “In the long-run,” Lautman tells Colossal, “I think the most helpful thing for stepwells is simply acknowledging their existence in history and guidebooks, through classes and specialized tours, and finally just seeing them up close, embedded in the landscape.” Another way to explore the wells is through the Atlas of Stepwells, a website where enthusiasts can share their own discoveries.

The Vanishing Stepwells of India with a foreword by Divay Gupta, is published by Merrell and is available now.

Ramkund. Bhuj, Gujarat. Mid-18th Century (c. 700 CE).

Mukundpura Baoli. Mukundpura, Haryana c. 1650.

Ujala Baoli Mandu. Madhya Pradesh. Late 15th/early 16th century.

Chand Baori. Abhaneri, Rajasthan. c. 800 ce/18th Century.

Batris Kotha Vav. Kaoadvanj, Gujarat c. 1120.

Dada Harir Vav. Asarwa. c. 1499

Navghan Kuvo. Junagadh, Gujarat. 4th/6th/Mid-11th Century.


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