The winners and honorable mentions of the 2015 National Geographic Photography Competition have just been announced, and as usual it’s an astonishing collection of brilliant images captured around the world from the streets of Iran to the skies above Spain. The grand prize winner is “DIRT” by Australian photographer James Smart who photographed a dusty tornado as it just barely misses a house in Colorado. We’ve gathered our favorites here, but to see a few more honorable mentions and explore tens of thousands of submissions, head over to National Geographic.
Brooklyn-based furniture and woodworker Daniel Moyer uses leftover scrap wood to build minimalistic toys under the brand fdup.toys. The first series was a quirky edition of superheros to which he’s since followed up with a fun duck sidekick. Moyer calls the project “a small scale production employing oldschool workflow and jig techniques, and a nice way to salvage and purpose the trimmings that would normally end up in the woodshop dumpster.” You can see more in his shop. (via Design Milk)
LEGO-based artist, author, and curator Mike Doyle (previously here and here) has collected another impressive set of LEGO masterpieces in his lastest book Beautiful LEGO: Wild! by No Starch Press, a book that explores natural wonders from undersea landscapes to a family of sea otters produced from over 3,500 LEGO pieces. Unlike Doyle’s last book which featured sculptures depicting sci-fi horrors and ghoulish nightmares, this book collects the works of several dozen artists who capture natural scenes from our planet’s Animal Kingdom and beyond.
One of Doyle’s own pieces that appears in the book is a new piece titled Appalachian Mountaintop Removal (2015), a work composed of more than 10,000 pieces that directly references the act outlined in its title. Mountaintop removal is a form of coal mining affecting the Appalachian Mountains that levels mountains, poisons aquifers, and damages surrounding wildlife indefinitely. You can learn how to help the destruction of these natural resources as well as view more of Doyle’s massive lego sculptures on his blog here.
Three years in the making, we first teased this phenomenal new woodcut print titled Overlook from Valerie Lueth and Paul Roden of Tugboat Printshop (previously) back in 2014—the carving of a single woodblock was intriguing enough to warrant its own article. After thousands of hours of preparation, drawing, carving, testing, and printing, the completed color proof was finally revealed this week.
Overlook is a color woodblock print created from 5 plates including 4 color blocks (yellow, red, light blue, dark blue) that define areas of color in the image with a 5th block (black) on top called the key block. All the woodblocks are entirely different carvings on 3/4″ birch plywood that contain different information. As each is printed in succession on handmade kozo fiber paper, the colors merge to produce additional hues, highlights, shadows, and other details of the final print. The splendidly detailed 46″ x 30″ artwork depicts a mid-day scenic view of a mountain range surrounded by dense forests, groves, and sprawling vegetation in a myriad of colors.
The final limited edition of 100 prints will be completed early next month and are currently available for pre-order on Tugboat Printshop’s website. You can see of behind-the-scenes process photos and videos of Overlook on Flickr.
We’ve seen a number of artists working with pencil leads over the last few years, where the narrow dimensions of graphite are carved into minuscule objects. This recent piece by Nebraska-based artist Cindy Chinn is particularly ingenious, an entire carpenter’s pencil is turned into a tiny train, trestle, and bridge. “This piece was designed using straight lead pieces for the rails, with the tiny carved train placed and securely glued on top of the rails,” Chinn shares. “The train engine is only 3/16″ of an inch tall. The pencil is 5-5/8″ long and mounted in a wood shadowbox frame as shown in the photos.”
The works of Yrjö Edelmann are so precise that they translate without question as photograph. Even with double, triple, and quadruple takes it is nearly impossible to imagine that the pieces have been produced from precisely placed oil paint. The objects Edelmann depicts are not perfectly wrapped pieces, but rather haphazardly taped and constructed, often on irregularly shaped canvases to heighten the trompe-l’œil effect. Scotch tape and twine hold the wrapping paper in place, with wrinkles covering the bright and often reflective package’s surface.
Edelmann was born in 1941 in Finland, and studied at the University College of Arts in Stockholm, Sweden. Edelmann is represented by Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas, Gallerie GKM in Malmö, and Scott Richards Contemporary Art in San Francisco where he has an upcoming solo exhibition in March of 2016. You explore more of his work in detail on Artsy. (via This Isn’t Happiness)