Incorporating aspects of South American folklore, mythology, and religion, Berlin-based artist Olaf Hajek depicts thoughtful portraits of women and men infused with elements of life—often in their hairdos. Over the last few years Hajek’s illustration work has appeared in major publications from the New York Times to the Guardian, but he also exhibits his acrylic paintings on wood and cardboard in galleries around the world. His most recent collection of work is being published in a forthcoming book titled Olaf Hajek: Precious, and one of his pieces was selected for the Communication Arts Illustration Annual 58. You can see more of his work on Saatchi Art.
Working with a mixture of cold porcelain and polymer atop a metal wire armature, artist Ellen Jewett (previously) creates wildly intricate sculptures of animals covered in a tangle of surreal embellishments. The artist describes her works as “anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis,” where tiny clues left in the feathers, fur, and tentacles of each piece lead to a greater story of its meaning. From her artist statement:
Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand. Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound. Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured. Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery.
Jewett most recently exhibited at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco for a group show titled Hindsight, and just wrapped up work on a body of 10 new artworks. You can see some great behind-the-scenes process photos on Instagram.
Tokyo-based industrial designer Duncan Shotton (previously) is known for his unique approach to houseware and stationery design, where he takes common objects from pencils to bookmarks and conceives of a novel twist. His latest creation is a series of push pins designed to look like the solar system called Planet Pins. The set includes the 8 planets (sorry Pluto fans) and an optional moon pin cast in concrete. Planet Pins just launched on Kickstarter and 100 sets are available as a signed limited edition.
For their brand new advertisement, Finnish coffee roaster Paulig asked director and animator Lucas Zanotto to brew a cup of coffee from a single bean. Using a nail file to create the grounds, Zanotto then boils water over a single tea light, and finally pours the freshly brewed java one drop at a time into a thimble-sized mug. The video has a direct relationship to recently popularized miniature cooking videos on Youtube, which have produced everything from miniature deep-fried chicken to tiny shrimp tempura. You can watch more of the Helsinki-based director’s videos on his Instagram and Vimeo, and take a look at Zanotto’s miniature coffee brewing techniques above.
Fusing ancient techniques with contemporary aesthetic, Dual Bowls are one-of-a-kind vessels forged from a mixture of recycled brass, copper, zinc, or nickel in this new project from artist Kawther Al Saffar. The bowls are made in partnership with the Alwafi Foundry in Kuwait who utilize a variety of sand-casting methods
with sand acquired from the nearby Nile river. Instead of masking or eliminating imperfections left behind from the casting process, Saffar chose to highlight them, giving each bowl a unique design while referencing the inherent complexity of forging a single object from two different materials.
Saffar was born and raised in Kuwait and attended the Rhode Island School of Design where she studied industrial design, and you can see more of her work in her portfolio. Dual Bowls are currently funding on Kickstarter, and it looks like they smashed their funding goal almost immediately.
Australia-based illustrator Vladimir Stankovic has created several series of GIFs depicting his fantastical portrayal of the natural world, animating subjects such as Cepharthropoda (animals with characteristics of both cephalopods and arthropods), Cephalopodoptera (his cross between mollusks and insects), and the Lepiodoptera Obscura (seen here). Within this series he illustrates the lifecycle of a “hidden butterfly,” extravagantly colored insects that exist in some of the most remote areas of tropical rainforests.
You can see more of his fictional additions to natural history on his Instagram and Behance, and find fine art prints of his subjects on his Etsy.