Absurd Animated Portraits by Romain Laurent

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As a way to temporarily break free from a routine of personal and commercial projects, photographer Romain Laurent (previously) challenged himself to create a looped animated portrait each week since last September. He says the bizarre and often laugh-out-loud experiments are a low-pressure way to experiment and be creative without expectations. “As far as the intention of the series, it’s a way for me to explore a hybrid medium, experiment and being spontaneous while still sticking to a short weekly deadline. There isn’t a common concept between each loop, I just ‘go with the flow’ and see what comes to my mind each week.” You can see many more loops from the series over on his Tumblr. (via Lustik)

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Dutch Paintings Recreated Using Thousands of Photographic and Scientific Specimens

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Dutch specimen MT1639, 2013. 28″w x 34″ h x 3.5″ d. Photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, painted canvas, cast resin, pill organizer, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread, costume jewelry, sequins.

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Dutch specimen MT1639, detail.

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Dutch specimen MT1639, detail.

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Dutch female specimen: J, 2013. 28″w x 34″ h x 3.5″ d. Photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, test tubes, paint samples, cast resin, magnifying boxes, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread.

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Dutch female specimen: J, detail.

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Case no. 1627, female-Dutch, 2013. 29″w x 13″ h x 3″ d. Photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, optometrist lens, paint samples, modeling clay, dried botanical matter, fabric, magnifying box, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread.

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Case no. 1627, detail.

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Case no. 1627, detail.

With hundreds of tiny photographic fragments, gelatin capsules, magnifiers, plastic bags and insect pins, New York artist Michael Mapes (previously) creates collages that are equal parts portraiture and scientific specimen. For his latest works Mapes used photographs of paintings by Dutch masters Rembrandt, Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy and others as inspiration for large scale specimen boxes. The deconstructed photos along with myriad other materials have effectively been transformed into a collage of a painting of a person. Of the work Mapes shares:

The samples are part of my most recent series of work examining Dutch Master Portraiture. In this work, I deconstruct the original subject, in both a figurative and literal sense by dissecting photos of a painting and considering ways in which the parts might serve to inspire new parts within the reconstruction to suggest unique and complex meanings. I’ve done these works with the use of a visual metaphor suggesting a pseudoscientific method specifically working with materials and processes signifying entomological, biological and forensic science.

Three of these works will be on view as part of an exhibition titled ‘Face to Face’ at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Montana starting March 20, 214. (via Juxtapoz, Designboom)

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Graphite Portraits of Friends by Thomas Cian

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Milan-based artist Thomas Cian is extraordinarily talented with a pencil, and lucky for us he has chosen to open the pages of his sketchook to share a wide variety of drawings and experiments online. Of particular note is his Moleskine sketchbook reserved solely for drawings of friends, where the 24-year-old renders faithful interpretations of individuals closest to him using nothing but graphite. You can see much more of his work on Behance and over on Facebook.

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360° Visual Stories Cut into Paper Books by Yusuke Oono

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Jungle Book

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360°Book Jungle Book

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360°Book In a Cheese

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360°Book In a Cheese

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360°Book Christmas Version

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360°Book Christmas Version

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360°Book Christmas Version

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This fun set of paper books was created by Japanese graphic designer and architect Yusuke Oono who conceived the idea as a clever way to illustrate scenes from individual stories in three dimensions. The 40-panel books are laser cut from paper and assembled into a booklet that can be viewed page by page or fanned out as a sort of layered diorama of silhouettes. You can see dozens of additional views from each book right here. (via Enoqi)

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Optimist: Artist HOTTEA Uses Miles of Yarn to Create a Field of Color Over a Neglected Tennis Court

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Sean Dorgan

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Sean Dorgan

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Sean Dorgan

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Sean Dorgan

I’m thrilled to announce that Colossal has teamed up with our friends over at Threadless to create a new series of artist profiles called Paid in Full. The premise is simple: we find amazing artists and commission a new project of their choosing and film everything for you to see. Our only goal is to promote the creation of new art and to tell the stories of our favorite creatives working today.

For this first installment we approached Minneapolis artist Eric Rieger aka HoTTea (previously) who works with miles and miles of yarn to create non-destructive street art installations. For Paid in Full he transformed this neglected tennis court into a giant translucent rainbow-like structure. Watch the video above to see it all come together and learn more about HoTTea.

Last week I learned the city and local community in Minneapolis enjoyed the piece so much that for the first time they began locking the tennis court at night to protect the artwork. So great! A huge thanks to Sean Dorgan, Craig Shimala, and Collin Diederich for putting this all together.

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Polar Vortex 2014: Photos of a Chicago Deep Freeze

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Brian Clay

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Brian Clay

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Pilot Hank Cain courtesy Shawn Reynolds

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Aaron Firestein

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Brian Clay

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Nick Ulivieri

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Angie McMonigal

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jnhPhoto

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Ken Ilio

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Tommy Moore

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Kevin Roche

A quick local news segue, the wintry assault here in Chicago as a result of the Polar Vortex has been bitterly cold and dangerous as temperatures plunged to historic lows over the last 48 hours. Despite the life threatening temperatures, it’s also been strangely beautiful. The landscape, especially along the Lake Michigan shore, has been transformed into an Arctic wonderland the locals are calling CHIBERIA. Here’s a collection of some of the best photos I’ve seen from Chicago’s most intrepid photogs who braved the absurd weather to snap a few amazing photographs. Am I missing any great shots? Get in touch. A huge thanks to all of the photographers for providing images for this post.

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Elaborate New Portraits Drawn on Vintage Maps by Ed Fairburn

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Peak District, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of the Peak District. 47 x 35in (120 x 90cm)

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Colorado Geological, 2013. Pencil on a geological map of Colorado, the first of a series of works exclusive to the Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado.

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Bristol Envelope, 2013. A small portrait, produced in ink on an original street map of Bristol (UK) – this was later cut and folded to form an envelope, combining the current map works produced by Fairburn and a previous project—postal art.

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Yr Ods EP Cover, 2013. Pencil on contoured maps showing parts of Wales, produced for Welsh Band Yr Ods.

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Shrewsbury, 2013. Progress shot, ink on a street map of Shrewsbury.

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Innsbruck, 2013. Ink on a contoured map of Innsbruck/surrounding area, 20 x 20in (52 x 52cm) approx. Lines of elevation have been followed with a pen, the width of each line has been altered accordingly to build the different tones.

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Pontypridd, 2013. Pencil on a contoured map of Pontypridd, South Wales (UK).

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Solihull, 2013. Progress shot of a past experiment in inks.

Using a wide variety of canvases including railroad blueprints, star charts, geological and street maps, Welsh artist Ed Fairburn (previously here and here) uses additive and subtractive techniques to create portraits that seem pefectly integrated with the topography of streets, mountains and rivers. It’s been almost a year since we last checked in with Fairburn whose process and approach to creating these stunning portraits continues to evolve. One of his most striking methods is to carefully follow map contours with a pen creating rows of lines that vary by width to create individual forms and shadows. The final portraits are so entwined with the map, it becomes hard to imagine one existing without the other.

You can see Fairburn’s work for yourself at Mike Wright Gallery in Denver, Colorado and he also has prints available here.

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