San Francisco-based paper artist Kanako Abe creates elaborate, stylized portraits of animals and children using Ise-katagami, the traditional Japanese paper stencil technique for patterning kimono fabric. Abe learned Ise-katagami in 2012 and her creative interpretation treats paper as the finished product rather than simply a material in the process of image-making. The artist’s silhouettes of youth are also reminiscent of the Western tradition of creating silhouette portraits of a child’s profile. Abe fills these youthful outlines with plant tendrils, blossoming flowers, and moonlit forest scenes.
As seen in the photos below, many of Abe’s works are small, not much larger than the artist’s hand. However, she does occasionally venture into larger territory, as with her life-size wolf and bear paper cuts. Abe most recently exhibited her work in a solo show at the Little Lodge in San Francisco. You can find more of the artist’s work on Instagram. (via Scene360)
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A tiny, man-made island floats near the center of Copenhagen Harbor. Rooted inside of the wooden platform is a single linden tree, which gives the 215-square-foot pentagon the appearance of a park rather than a stray dock. Australian architect Marshall Blecher teamed up with Magnus Maarbjerg from Danish design studio Fokstrot to build the public gathering place as a prototype for their project Copenhagen Islands.
The project aims to build a series of similar platforms throughout Copenhagen Harbor with a variety of public purposes. Despite its diminutive size, the current island has already hosted a few small events including a lecture series regarding the future of harbor cities like Copenhagen.
The team has proposed nine islands, each of which can connect to form a larger island, or what the architect’s refer to as a “parkipelago.” Currently there are plans for a stage, coffee shop, sauna, diving board, and mussel farm which will all be accessible via boat. With an increase in large-scale apartment buildings filling the area, Maarbjerg and Blecher hope their plan will bring more cultural opportunities to the expanding coast.
“It was developed to introduce life and activity to Copenhagen’s rapidly developing harbour and to bring back some of the whimsy that has been lost in its development,” said Blecher in Dezeen.
This first stage of the project was funded by the Statenskunstfond and Havnekulturpuljen, a local organization that promotes the expansion of cultural and sporting events in the surrounding harbor. The two are working with Statenskunstfond and other not-for profits to help fund their next stage. The island is currently located in Slusen, in Copenhagen’s South Harbor, but will move north to the area of Refshaleøen later this spring. (via Dezeen)
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Earlier this month in the city of Valencia, Spain, the annual five-day Falles Festival hosted the construction and burning of some 400 sculptures in neighborhoods across the city amidst fireworks, parades, and enormous bubbling skillets of paella. The festival is so large it requires year-round preparation. Neighborhoods raise money to hire artisans to build each falla, and plans are made for eardrum shattering pyrotechnic displays called Mascletà that occur daily at 2pm.
For 2018, the Falles Festival invited Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel (previously) to build the Falla Mayor, the largest and last falla to be burnt during the celebration. With the help of renowned falla designers Pepe Latorre and Gabriel Sanz, as well as a monumental effort from his team at Ink and Movement, the team submitted a winning design that incorporates the artist’s trademark colorful geometric style. Okuda says the 25 meter (82 foot) piece loosely addresses the relationship between people and animals, while incorporating various symbols the local community might find familiar.
“I’m inspired most by surrealist Salvador Dali and by Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights,” Okuda shared with Colossal. “I mostly describe my work as surrealism.” In an interesting twist, Dali designed and built a falla during the festival in 1954. Instead of indulging in surrealism’s darker side, Okuda’s work seems to shine a bright, happy light on the creatures and figures who populate his multicolor murals and canvases.
The festival may date back to as far as the Middle Ages when carpenters and woodworkers burnt wood scraps at the end of winter to celebrate the spring equinox, though it is now generally known as a celebration of Saint Joseph. In its present day form, the trash heaps have morphed into elaborate artworks that feature celebrities, various current events, and even abstract conceptual sculptures. Caricatures of political figures like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Kim Jong-un appeared frequently this year. Two years ago the event was designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
During the festival Okuda also opened a large retrospective of work titled “The Multicolored Equilibrium Between Humans and Animals” at the Centre de El Carme in Valencia. The expansive exhibition gathers paintings, sculptures, photos, and video works from the last 20 years. The show is free, open to the public, and runs through May 27, 2018. You can follow Okuda on Instagram, and pickup some of his original works in the Ink and Movement Shop. Video courtesy Chop Em Down Films.
The annual Las Fallas Festival ends with a grand display of fireworks and the burning of hundreds of elaborate sculptures in neighborhoods all over Valencia. Okuda’s Falla in front of city hall was the last to go up in flames after midnight to the cheers of a huge crowd that had waited in the street for hours. Swipe for fire photo. Thanx to @diegobarrachina16 and crew for the best balcony view! @okudart @inkandmovement #streetart #fallas2018 @instagrafite #lacrema
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The second annual Nuart Aberdeen kicks off next month, celebrating the work of international street artists with workshops, guided tours, and film screenings throughout the course of the four-day festival. The public art platform aims to activate its local art scene while also encouraging visiting artists to collaborate with its twin city of Stavanger, which has hosted the original Nuart Festival for the last 17 years.
In 2017 the Scotland-based festival presented site-specific murals and interventions by Fintan Magee, Martin Whatson, Add Fuel, Jaune, and more. This year’s installations and temporary exhibitions will center around the theme “A Revolution of the Ordinary,” and include work by international artists Bordalo II, Bortusk Leer, Carrie Reichardt, Dr. D, Elki, Ernest Zacharevic, Glöbel Bros., Hyuro, Milu Correch, Nimi & RH74, Phlegm, and Snik.
The opening of Inky Protest, a collaborative exhibition between Nuart and Peacock Visual Arts, kicks off the festival on Thursday, April 12. The exhibition will feature work by artists such as Brad Downey, Mike Giant and Ralph Steadman, Futura, Martha Cooper and Jamie Reid. You can view a preview of the upcoming festival in the video below. (StreetArtNews)
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Toronto-based textile artist Amanda McCavour uses thread and a sewing machine to construct sculptural installations that dance between two and three dimensions. McCavour stitches on a special fabric that dissolves in water to create the surfaces of thread. Through renderings of objects like sofas, kitchen tables, and backpacks, as well as arms and hands engaged in work, she explores connections to home and the fibers of the body. In an artist statement McCavor states she is interested “in thread’s assumed vulnerability, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together.”
McCavour holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and she exhibits widely. Currently, her Floating Garden installation is on display at the Cornell Art Museum in Florida as part of their Flora exhibition, which opens today, March 30th, and is on view through September 9, 2018. Flora also includes Tiffanie Turner (previously), and Miya Ando (previously). You can see more of McCavour’s work on her Facebook page and via Instagram.
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In 2011 Tomiyasu Hayahisa started photographing a ping pong table located in a public athletic field across from his dorm in Leipzig, Germany for a series titled TTP. Tomiyasu had first noted the location after observing a white tailed fox perched near the legs of the table, and after waiting several days for the animal to return, he began to photograph the other life forms that congregated or paused near the outdoor game. Rather than spotting the fox, he captured families, partiers, and lonesome daydreamers using the area as a bench or bed.
“At the time I had been living in a student doom in Leipzig and it was possible to photograph from window the table tennis table, how people from different countries use it in their way,” Tomiyasu told Colossal. “And it could be the message of this work that the place could be everywhere.”
If you enjoyed this series, you might also enjoy Yevgeniy Kotenko‘s On the Bench, a project which observed the daily life of a park bench in Ukraine for over a decade. TTP has been shortlisted for the 2018 MACK First Book Award. You can see more of Tomiyasu‘s work on his website. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck creates life-size figural sculptures and immersive environments from materials such as coated wood, polyester, and pigmented plaster. These chosen materials turn his constructed figures and installations into a uniform shade of matte gray, which makes the viewer feel as if the world around them has been zapped of color.
In his 2016 work The Collector’s House, Op de Beeck produced a 2,600-square-foot monochrome space in which visitors served as the only element of color. The museum-like installation contained several life-size sculpted figures in addition to a library, grand piano, furniture, scattered still lifes, and a lily pool positioned squarely at the work’s center. This work, like many in his practice aimed to stimulate the viewer’s senses and to “create a form of visual fiction that delivers a moment of wonder, silence and introspection,” he explained in an artist statement.
Op de Beeck currently works in both Brussels and Gooik, Belgium. Over the last decade, Op de Beeck has mounted institution-based solo exhibitions at museums across the US and Europe, including the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (2010), MOCA Cleveland (2014), and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2017). You can view more of his lifelike figures and installations on his website.
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