© Franco Banfi / Licensed for use on Colossal
Photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and began to take a synchronized vertical rest. This strange sleeping position was first discovered only in 2008, when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan drifted into their own group of non-active sperm whales. After studying tagged whales the team learned this collective slumber occurs for approximately 7 percent of the animal’s life, in short increments of just 6-24 minutes.
The image, Synchronized Sleepers, was a finalist in the 2017 Big Picture Competition in the category of Human/Nature. You can see more of the Switzerland-based photographer’s underwater photography on his website and Instagram. (via kottke.org)
Australian jewelry designer Britta Boeckmann (previously) is known for her fusion of resin and wood, creating pendants and rings that highlight the contrast between these two different materials. Some of her latest handmade works incorporate a mixture of opaque white and semi opaque blue resin with fragments of Australian Salmon Gum wood, giving the uncanny appearance of waves crashing on shore when viewed from above. You can see more of her recent work in her Etsy shop.
Chicago-based artist duo Edwige Massart and Xavier Wynn (previously) sculpt cross-sections of human heads that are organized into compartments of tiny objects. The series began several years ago as an intersection of sorts involving Massart’s personal collection of found objects that she began at the age of four, and Wynn’s childhood discovery of “split body” models at Chicago’s Field Museum that inspired a lingering fascination with human anatomy. Each sculpture is given only a number (ie. Head 14) leaving the viewer to examine the compartments of objects and draw their own parallels and conclusions. You can see more recent work from the Heads series on their website. (via Colossal Submissions)
Anja Wulfing adds large animals into the black and white scenes of found vintage photographs, turning the attention away from the somber faces of its subjects and to the creatures that pose quite naturally behind their backs. The surprising inclusions are painted in by Wulfing, and often take the form of birds—such as crows, owls, ducks, and the occasional rooster. The animals either join the members of the photograph or merge with its occupants, sometimes replacing the heads of those posing to create hybrid and humorous creatures.
You can see more of Wulfing’s subtle animal additions on her Instagram and Behance. (via Lustik)
New York City-based artist Nicolas V. Sanchez (previously) creates masterful drawings with only the aid of a few ballpoint pens, rendering unbelievably realistic portraits and still lifes in his many sketchbooks. Due to his precise application of highlights and shadows several of his works seem three-dimensional, such as the fruit bowl seen below which looks placed on the page and not drawn.
Sanchez is also a talented painter, working with oil to create blurred familial scenes on canvas or linen. You can see more of his sketchbook-based ink drawings, and browse his collection of paintings, on his Instagram and Facebook.
In 2005 Kito Fujio quit his job as an office worker and became a freelance photographer. And for the last 12 years he’s been exploring various overlooked pockets of Japan like the rooftops of department stores, which typically have games and rides to entertain children while their parents are shopping. More recently, he’s taken notice of the many interesting cement-molded play equipment that dots playgrounds around Japan.
The sculptural, cement-molded play equipment is often modeled after animals that children would be familiar with. But they also take on the form of robots, abstract geometric forms and sometimes even household appliances. Fujio’s process is not entirely clear, but it appears he visits the parks at night and lights up the equipment from the inside, but also from the outside, which often creates an ominous feel to the harmless equipment.
Speaking of harmless, the nostalgic cement molds have been ubiquitous throughout Japan and, for the most part, free of safety concerns. That’s because the cement requires almost no maintenance; maybe just a fresh coat of paint every few years. The telephone (pictured below) is evidence of how long ago the equipment was probably made.
The sculptural cement equipment was a style favored by Isamu Noguchi, who designed his first landscape for children in 1933. Many of his sculptural playground equipment can be found in Sapporo but also stateside at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.
Fujio has made his photographs available as part of a series of photobooks (each priced at 800 yen) that he sells on his website. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)