Category: Art

Delicate Glass Sea Life Sculptures by Emily Williams

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Glass Seaweed, 2014, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 20″ x 20″ x 20″

American artist Emily Williams draws inspiration from the sea and other aspects of organic life for the creation of her fragile glass sculptures that mimic seaweed, jellyfish, and coral. Each piece begins with a selection of perfectly straight borosilicate glass rods in various diameters which she carefully melts with a glass torch to form patterns similar to veins and branches.

As a child, Williams’ grandmother was a docent at the Smithsonian leading to many artistic and scientific discoveries at a very young age that would deeply influence her decision to pursue an artistic career. She went on to receive her MFA in sculpture from Washington University in St. Louis and a BFA in sculpture from V.C.U. in Richmond. She is currently working on an impressive glass coral piece shown in the video below (and discussed in this blog post), and you can see more views of her work both on Facebook and in her portfolio.

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Glass Seaweed, detail

Coral Skeleton
Glass Coral Skeleton, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 20″ x 22″ x 10″

Coral Skeleton_DetailCoral Skeleton, detail

Glass Nest
Glass Nest, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 20″ x 20″

Jellyfish
Glass Jellyfish, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 14″ x 14″

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Glass Petal, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 15″ x 12″ x 4″

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Petal, detail

Burst
Burst, 2013, Flameworked borosilicate glass, 12″ x 10″ x 10″

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A Technicolor Swimming Pool Painted by HOTTEA on New York’s Roosevelt Island

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In a departure from his large-scale color field yarn installations, Minnesota-based artist HOT TEA is back in New York and was given the opportunity to transform a swimming pool on Roosevelt Island with whatever colors he saw fit. Apparently he took the ambitious approach and decided to use them all, spread between 120 gallons of paint.

The private commission produced by K&CO and Pliskin Architecture is called Asylum, a title the artist chose “because the act of creating it pushed my mental and physical endurance so far that I wasn’t sure I could complete the task,” he shares with Brooklyn Street Art. For almost a century starting in 1839, the island was also home to the New York City Lunatic Asylum. The vibrantly luminous gradients that define the area around the pool contrast starkly when viewed against the rest of the surrounding landscape, creating a surprising oasis of color.

The pool, located in Manhattan Park, opens for swimming Memorial Day weekend. You can read a bit more about it on Brooklyn Street Art.

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Photo by Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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Photo by Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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New Historical Portraits on Flattened Cans by Kim Alsbrooks

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Kim Alsbrooks (previously) began painting historical portraits on crushed cans in 2004 while living in the South. The series “My White Trash Family” was born out of the frustration of prevailing ideologies of class distinction, ideas she decided to challenge by placing portraits of the past onto everyman’s consumerist leftovers. These paintings are typically depicted straight from 17th to 18th centuries, and tend to match the material environment they are placed upon (either through color choice, content, or both).

For each painting a gesso layer is applied first, followed by a drawn image in graphite, and finally oil paint and varnish. Alsbrooks only uses detritus she finds on the streets, faithfully sticking to cans that have already been trampled and crushed flat. Difficulty comes in finding the perfect cans, as they must be free of wrinkles that would impede upon on the paintings she places within the center of each surface.

Alsbrooks estimates that she has painted more than 700 of these portraits over the last 11 years, and the series will culminate with an exhibition at the Racine Art Museum in September of this year alongside jewelry maker Nikki Coupee. Alsbrooks often elaborates on the background of the portraits she paints, descriptions behind the portraits’ selection can be found on her blog here.

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Treats in the Streets: Artist Jim Bachor Fills Potholes with Ice Cream Mosaics

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For the third year in a row Chicago artist Jim Bachor (previously here and here) has taken it upon himself to preemptively fix city potholes by filling them with themed mosaics. This year Bachor decided on a series of 10 pothole mosaics called Treats in the Streets featuring different kinds of ice cream. At the latest count, four artworks have appeared in locations around Chicago, and he traveled all the way to Jyväskylä, Finland last week to do three more mosaics including a local popsicle-like dessert called Amppari-mehujaa. Bachor says to keep an eye out for three more pieces back home in Chicago sometime before spring is out.

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Erosion: Layered Porcelain Sculptures Sandblasted to Mimic Biological Forms

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British ceramicist Tamsin van Essen is fascinated by what she describes as the “the fragile boundary between attraction and repulsion,” a place where tension is created by the visible and the obscured. For her Erosion series Essen created layered blocks of alternating black and white porcelain which she then sandblasted to mimic biological forms similar to a parasitic virus in the process of devouring a host. In a even more literal example, she created a series of ceramic vessels that appear to be infected with specific bacteria.

Essen just spent three months working on a new body of work currently on view at Siobhan Davies Studios in London, and you can see additional pieces over on Saatchi Art. (via Coroflot)

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Artist Alexey Kondakov Imagines Figures from Classical Paintings as Part of Contemporary Life

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For his ongoing series “Art History in Contemporary Life,” Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov takes scenes and figures lifted from classical paintings and drops them into modern-day life. Bouguereau’s Song of the Angels appears to take place on an empty subway car while a pair of men from Holbein’s famous The Ambassadors are transported to the table of a seedy bar. Much like Etienne Lavie’s billboard series and Julien de Casabianca’s recent Outings Project, the series creates an interesting and playful new context for artworks usually only encountered in museums and art history books. You can see more over on Facebook. (via Supersonic)

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PaperBridge: A Load-Bearing Arch of Paper Sheets Spans an English Creek

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all photos by Steve Messam courtesy the artist

While it’s certainly not the longest, this weight-bearing structure is definitely one of the more interesting bridges we’ve come across. Unveiled earlier this month, PaperBridge is the latest site-specific installation by environmental artist Steve Messam. It was constructed using 22,000 sheets of bright, red paper. And despite weighing in at over 4.2 tons, the free-standing structure doesn’t have a single screw, bolt or swab of glue holding it together.

On an aesthetic level, PaperBridge acts as focal point that creates a stark contrast between the bridge and the lush landscape. But on a conceptual level, Messam explains the key relationship between the bridge and its surroundings:

Paper is a simple material made from wood pulp and water. The intensity of colour used in the bridge contrasts with the verdant landscape making a bold statement of form and design. Alongside this the materials used have a resonance with the natural environment and the construction of the bridge also reflects local architectural forms, specifically pack horse bridges found throughout the area. All of the paper used in PaperBridge will be recovered and returned to the Burneside Mill for recycling into new paper once the project ends. This transparent cycle is part of the overall environmental narrative of the piece.

PaperBridge was part of the ‘Lakes Ignite’ project. It was located in the Grisedale Valley, near Patterdale and the public was invited to walk across it before it gets taken down today. (via Designboom and The Kid Should See This)

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