Art

Gargantuan Felt Masks of Beautifully Disturbing Characters by Paolo Del Toro

February 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Paolo Del Toro uses needle felting to create massive masks and sculptures out of wool and foam. His creations depict mythical faces in expressions that range from grotesque grimaces to contemplative introspection; all of his works feature open mouths. While Del Toro’s work is not tied to any particular cultural visual heritage, the shifting personalities of his characters are reminiscent of Japanese Noh theater masks, which are designed to show different emotions from different angles. The artist tells Colossal that viewers describe his work as ugly and beautiful with equal frequency, which is exactly what he hopes for.

I try to find a place in my sculptures that unifies beauty and ugliness. That’s not to say finding somewhere in the middle, but rather finding the place where both coexist at the same time… I hope that by challenging our perspectives, we might look upon one as also the other, and, through that notion, become able to encroach further into the otherness of our dreams and imagination than we might otherwise fear to tread.

Del Toro originally hails from the UK, and began sculpting in 2011 as a hobbyist wood carver. Since settling in the United States in 2015, he has begun to explore larger and more involved work: his most recent felt sculpture is nearly seven feet tall and took four months to complete. The artist currently calls eastern Pennsylvania home, where he is an Adjunct Professor at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. You can see more of the artist’s work, including his woodcarving, on his website, as well as on Instagram and tumblr. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Textile Bodies Reveal Branched Systems of Veins, Flowers and Roots by Raija Jokinen

February 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Finnish artist Raija Jokinen creates sculptural bodies out of flax which attempt to reveal the complicated relationship between the mind and body. Webs of flowers, veins, and roots cover her textile torsos, shape-shifting between plant and human forms. Jokinen invites the audience to get lost in these visual similarities, as she makes no distinction between whether the pieces are actually nerves or sprouting tree branches.

“It is fascinating how body-related details, such as skin, blood vessels, and nerve tracks resemble the forms of roots or branches, as well as many other organic things,” Jokinen told Colossal. “I am excited in their apparent similarity, infinite variation, and how these visual allegories can be found almost everywhere. These forms are optimal for the life-support functions, and maybe also for our mind.”

Jokinen compares her sculptural practice to painting, using handmade flax rather than paint. An upcoming solo exhibition of her fibrous sculptures opens March 14 at Galleria Uusi Kipinä and runs through April 8. You can see more of her body-based works on her website.

 

 



Illustration

Quirky Illustrations by Virginia Mori Blend Melancholy and Surreal Humor

February 23, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Using simple line drawings and pared down images, Virginia Mori captures complex human emotions. Though many of Mori’s illustrations lean toward the melancholy with themes of isolation and anxiety, moments of levity and escapism can be found, especially in her works that feature books. Mori’s artworks tend to feature just one person, often a young female protagonist, or a few people who aren’t quite interacting.

The artist lives and works in Italy, and in addition to her pencil and pen drawings, she also is an animator. Recently, Mori’s illustrations were the inspiration for a photo series with the fashion brand Gucci. You can see more of her work on her website, as well as Instagram and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Design

A National Park-Inspired Chapel Composed of Branching Fractals by Yu Momeoda

February 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Agri Chapel is located within a national park on the northwest coast of Japan’s island of Kyushu. The chapel was constructed by Japanese architect Yu Momoeda, who wanted to reflect the surrounding forest by bringing tree-like forms into the building.

To create the structure’s central dome, Momoeda stacked wooden pillars in the shape of simplistic tree branches. This nature-based support system imitates the branching fractals found in trees, with ascending symmetrical patterns spread throughout the light-filled space. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art Photography

An Experimental Short Film Captures the Dramatic Dance of the Seasons

February 22, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

French film director Thomas Blanchard (previously) is known for his video work with oils and inks. In his most recent video, DANCE DANCE, Blanchard uses flowers as the contextual framework for his signature coils and swirls of color. Flowers have long been used as symbols of vitality and mortality, and the fire and ice these blooms are subjected to suggests a literal interpretation of those concepts. In the dramatically scored video, flowers and foliage light on fire, freeze and melt in icy pools, and are consumed by billowing clouds of colorful smoke. You can see more of Blanchard’s work on Vimeo, Behance, and Facebook. (via We and the Color)

 

 



Art

Complex Moiré Patterns Created by Mechanical Drawings Machines by James Nolan Gandy

February 22, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist and metalworker James Nolan Gandy creates elaborate drawing machines that easily put your childhood spirograph to shame. The machines are engineered from relatively simple mechanisms that when combined, produce mind-boggling shapes and interconnected moiré patterns.

Although the gears and pulleys are crafted in a way to make some of the work on their own, Gandy has not yet manufactured a system to lift the pen at specific intervals. Therefore many of his works are collaborative studies, equally created from the talents of man and machine. Some of my favorites are those created with a high contrast between paper and ink, such as the brilliant blue form seen in his drawing below.

You can view more of Gandy’s drawing machines in action on his Instagram. (via The Awesomer)

A post shared by James Nolan Gandy (@gandyworks) on

A post shared by James Nolan Gandy (@gandyworks) on

 

 



Craft

Elaborate Paper Origami Tessellations and Kusudamas by Ekaterina Lukasheva

February 21, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Moscow-based paper artist Ekaterina Lukasheva first tried folding paper at the age of 14 when a mathematics professor brought in a book on kusudamas. The traditional paper sphere technique requires an understanding of geometry to ensure the individual units fit together perfectly with the help of glue or string. A few years later she began to explore much more complicated designs like tessellations, aided by a university degree in mathematics and programming. Through her experimentation and commitment Lukasheva has become so proficient with paper that she’s authored several DIY books featuring some of her original designs. You can follow more of her work on Flickr and Instagram. (via Twisted Sifter)