In his continued forays into experimental botany that blur the lines between art and science, artist Makoto Azuma (previously) has reimagined the bonsai tree, one of the oldest Japanese artforms. This latest work titled Water and Bonsai, began with a dead branch from a juniper tree which was carefully attached to java moss meant to simulate the form of leaves. The entire piece was then submerged into a modified hydroponic environment similar to some of his earlier aquatic plantscapes replete with LEDs, a filtration system, and C02 emissions that encourage photosynthesis. See more over on Spoon & Tamago.
Since 2004 England-based Simon Beck has strapped on a pair of snowshoes and lumbered out into the the freshly fallen snow at the Les Arcs ski resort in France to trample out his distinctly geometric patterns, footprint by footprint. Each work takes the 54-year-old artist anywhere between 6 hours and two days to complete, an impressive physical feat aided from years of competitive orienteering. The orienteering also helps him in the precise mapping process which often begins on a computer before he’s able to mark landmarks in the snow that guide his precise walking patterns. All of the works above (with the exception of the portrait) are from the last few weeks, you can see several years worth of work over on Facebook.
Designed by Sotirios Papadopoulos the Full Moon is a beautifully designed credenza with an overlaid photo-realistic treatment of the moon that glows in the dark, an effect achieved by an eco-friendly luminous surface developed by Papadopoulos (the image above appears to be a rendering and may not be the actual piece). The furniture is available online through Generate LE. (via laughing squid)
Nuremberg-based graphic designer and photographer Jan Erik Waider has traveled on numerous expeditions north to Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, and the Faroe Islands off Denmark where he shot these beautifully surreal landscapes of icebergs, glaciers and cliffs. I first stumbled onto his Icebergs in Fog series shot earlier this year in Ilulissat and Disko Bay in Greeland and then found his website where you can see all of these photographs in much higher resolution, really, go look, just incredible work. Despite the foreboding, harsh climate depicted in these photographs Waider seems to transform the landscapes into something strangely peaceful and idyllic. If you’re interested he has prints available on request and you can also follow him on Facebook. (via behance)
Firewall is a new interactive artwork by New York media artist Aaron Sherwood created in collaboration with Michael Allison. The presentation is relatively straightforward but still visually stunning: different ‘modes’ of light are projected onto a taut membrane of spandex which then reacts kinetically in response to touch. Firewall was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect that work in tandem to create the experience and will be used in an upcoming performance art piece involving dancer Kiori Kawai who will interact with the piece on stage. Learn more over on Sherwood’s blog. (via designboom)
These cement figures dangling from umbrellas within a narrow space inside the EBC office center in Prague are part of a installation titled Slight Uncertainty by Czech artist Michal Trpák. Check out much more of his sculptural work on his website.
Artist Olaf Breuning is the subject of this colorful and quirky video examination of the world he inhabits. It is a devastatingly nuanced cultural commentary that uses his characteristic humor as a lens on the world.
The Avant/Garde Diariesrecently traveled to Olaf Breuning’s getaway house in upstate New York where the artist finds time to breathe fresh mountain air and take a load off from the hustle and bustle of the contemporary art world. And, of course, he’s always having fun in the process.
It was a phenomenal year on Colossal and it’s all because of the extraordinary work by the artists, designers, photographers and filmmakers featured here every week. To recap an amazing 12 months, here are some of the most shared/visited/tweeted posts this year. Enjoy!
1. This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids
Yayoi Kusama’s legendary installation, Obliteration Room, where thousands of children were given colorful stickers and unbridled freedom in a stark white room. January 1, 2012
2. Riusuke Fukahori Paints Three-Dimensional Goldfish Embedded in Layers of Resin
Magnificent pools of three-dimensional goldfish painted layer-by-layer in resin by Riusuke Fukahori. January 9, 2012
3. A Cathedral Made from 55,000 LED Lights
Towering 28 meters high, the Luminarie De Cagna was the centerpiece at the 2012 Light Festival in Ghent, Belgium. January 31, 2012
4. Rashad Alakbarov Paints with Shadows and Light
Using strategically suspended translucent materials and other objects, artist Rashad Alakbarov paints using shadows and light. January 20, 2012
5. This is Not a Photograph: Amazing Portrait Drawn with Ballpoint Pens by Samuel Silva
Nope, not a photograph. This amazing portrait was drawn by 29-year-old Portugal-based attorney Samuel Silva based on a photograph by Russian photographer Kristina Tararina. According to the artist he used nothing but colored BIC pens. August 22, 2012
6. A Canopy of Colorful Umbrellas Spotted in Portugal
This beautiful installation of umbrellas was recently spotted in Águeda, Portugal by photographer Patrícia Almeida. Almost nothing is known about the artist behind the project or its significance, but it’s impossible to deny the joy caused by taking a stroll in the shadowy rainbow created by hundreds of parasols suspended over this public walkway. August 21, 2012
7. Hilariously Ferocious Underwater Dogs
These completely absurd photographs of dogs swimming underwater by photographer Seth Casteel took the internet by storm. The collection is now available as a book. February 10, 2012
8. Mysterious Underwater ‘Crop Circles’ Discovered Off the Coast of Japan
There’s nothing that captures the imagination like mysterious underwater lifeforms, and the discovery of these bizarre ‘crop circles’ off the coast of Japan this year was no exception. The artistic culprit turned out to be nothing more than a tiny puffer fish looking for a hot date. September 19, 2012
9. Gale-Force Winds Directly to the Face
Lithuanian photographer and artist Tadao Cern created this series of hilarious portraits entitled, Blow Job, that depicts individuals enduring extremely high speed wind directly to the face. He even followed up with a disturbing video. May 16, 2012
10. Gravity-Defying Land Art by Cornelia Konrads
German artist Cornelia Konrads creates mind-bending site-specific installations in public spaces, sculpture parks and private gardens around the world. Her work is frequently punctuated by the illusion of weightlessness, where stacked objects like logs, fences, and doorways appear to be suspended in mid-air, reinforcing their temporary nature as if the installation is beginning to dissolve before your very eyes. April 24, 2012
11. Remarkable Portraits Made with a Single Sewing Thread Wrapped through Nails by Kumi Yamashita
Constellation is an ongoing series of portraits by New York artist Kumi Yamashita. Each image is constructed from a single unbroken black thread wound through a dense array of galvanized nails mounted on a painted white board, meaning that the darker areas within the portrait are formed solely from the density of the string. June 12, 2012
12. New Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramée
Artist Guy Laramee completed a number of new sculptural works where he transformed thick tomes into incredible topographical features including mountains, caves, volcanoes, and even water. Many of the works are part of a project titled Guan Yin, a series of work dedicated to the forces that enable individuals to endure grief and pain, or in his words “the mysterious forces thanks to which we can traverse ordeals.” June 12, 2012
13. Bloom: 28,000 Potted Flowers Installed at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center
In one of the years most popular articles, artist Anna Schuleit sat down with us for a brief interview regarding her 2003 installation titled Bloom at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center which she filled floor by floor with 28,000 potted plants prior to the buildings demolition. March 12, 2012
14. Giant Fish Sculptures Made from Discarded Plastic Bottles in Rio
As part of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) an enormous outdoor installation of fish was constructed using discarded plastic bottles on Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. June 21, 2012
15. Anatomical Cross-Sections Made with Quilled Paper by Lisa Nilsson
For her Tissue Series, artist Lisa Nilsson constructs anatomical cross sections of the human body using rolled pieces of Japanese mulberry paper, a technique known as quilling or paper filigree. Each piece takes several weeks to assemble and begins with an actual photograph of a lateral or mid-sagittal cross section to which she begins pinning small rolls of paper. February 1, 2012
Thank you so much for stopping by Colossal this year, some huge things are coming in 2013 and I can’t wait to share them with you. To make sure you don’t miss anything be sure to follow Colossal on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and our upcoming weekly email digest. And as always you can subscribe via RSS.