Created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, La Mise en Abîme (an idiom that communicates the same thing as “a curveball,” but means, roughly, “to have put into an abyss”) was a visually arresting artwork installed on the floor of the Bellelay Abbey in Switzerland back in 2013. The piece is comprised of two shallow pools of used motor oil that function as mirrors, reflecting the architectural details of the surrounding interior. The crude juxtaposition of recycled oil and the impeccably preserved aesthetic of a 12th century church wasn’t lost on the artist who referred to the piece as “monochrome paintings using a despised substance.” You can see more photos on We Find Wildness. (via We Find Wildness, This Isn’t Happiness, thnx Kathy!)
Although powered by simple rotary engines, these kinetic sculptures by Netherlands-based sculptor Jennifer Townley are dizzying in complexity. Repetitive patterns twist, merge, and cascade as individually sculpted elements rotate on a single axis, an intricate fusion of art and mathematics. From Townley’s artist statement:
The works derive from her fascination with science, with an emphasis on physics, engineering and mathematics. Geometric patterns in Islamic art or mathematical drawings of Dutch artist M. C. Escher often serve as an inspiration. Images where lines and figures match each other so perfectly they could be repeated indefinitely. This infinity, regularity and obedience is what Townley also finds fascinating about mechanical machines; they are robust, strenuous and seemingly immortal. She is captivated by how a machine can convert a simple circular motion (rotary engine) into a very complicated nonlinear or chaotic movement pattern.
First Flakes of Winter; Mixed Media 2010; 9″ x 2″ x 2.5″
Ornate jewelry boxes set the stage for tiny painted scenes filled with nearly-microscopic human figurines. The boxes are meticulously crafted by Canadian-Trinidadian artist Talwst, who uses mixed media to explore the narrative of art history in combination with elements of contrasting cultures. Although his vintage boxes may cast an ancient light on the scene, the boxes encapsulate a present day cultural commentary through their arrangements.
Talwst works out of his studio in Toronto, Ontario and has a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Mississauga through April 12th. TALWST will also be collaborating with VICE magazine this year to produce a body of work that will appear on newsstands this September. (via BOOOOOOOM)
In this new 6-minute film, cave, adventure, and travel photographer Ryan Deboodt takes us on a breathtaking aerial tour of the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong, located in central Vietnam. Deboodt brought a drone and an array of cameras to help capture the cave system, the largest chamber of which is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long, 200 meters (660 ft) high and 150 meters (490 ft) wide. Despite its enormity, the cave was only discovered in 1991 by a local man, and it wasn’t even studied by scientists until about five years ago. One of the most disorienting thing about watching Deboodt’s film was my brain not comprehending the scale of what I was looking at. It’s only once you notice the ant-like people walking through some of the shots that you realize just how massive this place is. You can see more of Deboodt’s cave photography on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)
Just a quick note that two of our favorite toys ever featured here on Colossal are now available in the Colossal Shop! Clemens Habicht’s amazing 1,000 Colors Puzzle just arrived from Australia, and Dan Abramson’s hilarious Yoga Joes have been successfully produced after a successful Kickstarter boost. We have tons of other quirky new things too numerous to mention, see more here.
Illustrator and street artist Diogo Machado (aka Add Fuel) transformed this plain looking electrical box on the streets of Lisbon into a surprising illusion by making it look like a cracked exterior is revealing a blue tile interior. The piece is an extension of Fuel’s ongoing Street Ceramic work, where modern interpretations of tile patterns are installed onto building facades. You can see more views of this piece on StreetArtNews.
Two new species of peacock spiders have been discovered in southeast Queensland, Australia—one appearing with vivid reds and blues while the other’s details exist in stark black and white. Peacock spiders, named after their bright patterns and dancelike courtship, measure in at just under 0.3 inches. Madeline Girard, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, discovered the two species while in the field, nicknaming the brightly colored spider “Sparklemuffin” and the other “Skeletorus” after its bonelike pattern.
Jürgen Otto, an entomologist who specializes in photographing the arachnids said Skeletorus, officially named Maratus sceletus, is completely different than any peacock spider previously discovered. “Despite the large number of species we have discovered just in the last few years, I can’t help feeling that we may have just scratched the surface of this most exciting group of spiders, and that nature has quite a few more surprises in store,” Otto told Live Science. You can read more in depth about these colorful arachnids in Live Science’s article here. (via My Modern Met)