Street artist and illustrator Daan Botlek is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands and is known for his strange form of character-driven street art. His generally simplistic, site-specific figures often interact with the space around them, passing in and out of unseen dimensions, shedding skin in the process. Kind of like morbid Keith Haring, no? You can see much more of his work over on Flickr. (via Lustik)
Happy Halloween folks. Here’s a pretty spooky animation of a pumpkin carved by Brooklyn-based artist and pro pumpkin carver Chris Soria based on an illustration by Jason Smith. The piece took about 15 hours to carve. If you liked this, don’t miss Rot from last year. (via And is Better)
Update: The clip was created and directed by Joe Vaughn.
Designed by Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan of Brookyln-based BitBanger Labs, the Pixelstick is a fancy new gadget for creating long-exposure light paintings. The device reads digital images created in Photoshop (or any other editor) and displays them one line at a time through an array of 198 full-color RGB LEDs. The images can be any height up to 198 pixels tall and many thousands of pixels wide creating huge possibilities for visual effects. You can see more example images created with the device here and learn more about it on Kickstarter.
Switcheroo is an ongoing portrait project by Canadian photographer Hana Pesut where fashionably dressed couples are asked to swap clothing for a pair of portraits sent against an identical backdrop. While the premise is pretty simple, the results are often highly amusing because of all the subtle details and unusual juxtapositions. Giant feet crammed into tiny high heeled shoes, the seemingly nervous faces of cross-dressing in public, or even the genuine grins of subjects who clearly enjoy the project as much as the photographer.
The portraits shown here are among the most recent from a trip to Japan, and you can see many more on her Tumblr. Pesut also gathered many of the best portraits into a book. (via My Modern Met)
Time is quickly running out to sign up for the 2014 Sketchbook Project, the world’s only crowd-sourced sketchbook library that goes on mobile tours around the world. Anyone can participate from any background, any location, or artistic skill level, from an artist seeking motivation or an art teacher using the Sketchbook Project as a learning assignment. It’s a great way to participate in a collaborative art project, and you even get emailed when somebody checks out your book on tour or in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Library.
This year Colossal will be along for the ride as part of the Central Tour with stops in Brooklyn, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Madison. But there are several other ways to participate so check it out. You have until midnight on November 1st, 2013 to sign up, and you have until January 15, 2014 to finish your sketchbook and submit it for the tour. The Sketchbook Project is run by the Art-House Co-op in Brooklyn, and if you’re ever in New York stop by the Brooklyn Library and checkout a few of the 27,747 Sketchbooks from 135 countries (yours truly has looked through about 4,000 of them and I highly recommend it).
Segmentation, a distinguishing feature of the annelids is clearly visible here. Photo by Alexander Semenov.
Nudibranchs, together with a huge variety of other marine molluscs, are commonly known as sea slugs (Coryphella polaris). Photo by Alexander Semenov.
Many tube-dwelling polychaetes have elaborate, colourful tentacles for filter feeding and gas exchange. The funnel-shaped structure (operculum) seals the tube when the animal retreats inside (unidentified serpulid). Photo by Alexander Semenov.
The compound eyes of a cynipid wasp (unidentified species). Some insects have simple eyes in addition to compound eyes, three of which can be seen on the top of this wasp’s head. Photo by Tomas Rak.
The spherical test and impressive spines of a sea urchin. Coelopleurus floridanus. The mobile spines offer protection from predators. Since this species lives in relatively deep water, the purpose of the bright pigments in the skin and underlying skeleton is unknown. Photo by Arthur Anker.
A jellyfish (Bougainvillia superciliris) with a hitchhiking amphipod (Hyperia galba). Photo by Alexander Semenov.
In the cnidarians, what looks like a single individual is often a colony of polyps with specialized functions. In this floating colony (Porpita sp.) there are polyps for providing buoyancy, feeding (tentacles), digestion and reproduction. Photo by Arthur Anker.
The colors and patterns of the sea slugs warn predators of their toxicity. This nudibranch is Chromodoris annulata. Photo by Arthur Anker.
A sea angel, Clione limacine. In this image the grasping tentacles and chitinous hooks are retracted. Photo by Alexander Semenov.
We’ve all grown up learning about familiar animals like fish, tigers, elephants and bears, but this new book from Ross Piper takes the opposite approach: exploring the diversity in size, shape and color of the world’s most obscure and rarely seen organisms. With photography from Alexander Semenov, Arthur Anker, and other animal specialists and researchers, the 320-page Animal Earth promises to open your eyes to a variey of truly bizarre species from deepest oceans and the most adverse climates. The book is set to be published mid-November from Thames & Hudson.
For many, reading a good book can be a religious experience, but this new bookstore in Zwolle, The Netherlands takes that idea to a whole new level. Architects BK. Architecten were tasked with converting this 15th century Dominican church into a modern bookstore with the addition of 700 square meters of shopping space. But there was one major catch: all the historical elements of the 547-year-old building including stained glass windows, pipe organ, ceiling paintings and expansive arches had to remain intact.
Incredibly, BK. Architecten managed to add three levels of retail space to the side wings of the church in a manner that the entire structure can one day be removed in order to restore the church to its original design. In addition only three colors of building materials were used to mimic the existing palette of the cathedral’s interior to further ensure that the bookstore would pay reverence to the original space.
A great new piece by artist Ernest Zacharevic (previously here and here) on the streets of Singapore. The artist made several stops in Europe this year with his trademark photo-based murals showing up in Italy, Lithuania and Norway. Zacharevic says of his art:
Most of my work is photography based and site-specific, so I photograph my subjects and later choose angles for painting. Working with children allows more anonymity, I don’t consider my artworks to be portraits of a specific person, rather a universal experience.