Samsara: 5 Years, 25 Countries, 100 Filming Locations

Samsara is the first film by director and cinematographer Ron Fricke (Koyaanisqatsi, Baraka) in nearly 20 years. Following in the footsteps of his earlier work, it will be completely devoid of dialogue and text, relying solely on compelling visuals shot on 70mm film.

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

I am ridiculously excited to see this film. It opens in the U.S. on August 24th in a few cities and then has a larger release on September 7th so check release dates. Do yourself a favor and watch the trailer above full-screen.

A Raven and Elephant Carved from Graphite Pencil Tips by Diem Chau

Artist Diem Chau (previously) just posted these two wonderful sculptures of an elephant and raven carved from the tips of a carpenter pencils. Love the detail of the elephant’s shadow. You can see many more of Chau’s pencil and crayon carvings on her blog and on Flickr. (via super punch)

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Big Appetites: Miniature People Living in a World of Giant Food by Christopher Boffoli

The miniature people inhabiting the fine art photographs of Christopher Boffoli live in a world of enormous food. A place where towering ice cream cones are turned into camping tents, where a field of peppercorns becomes a soccer match, and a savage crawfish threatens a group of men. The photos are as absurd as they are delightful. Based in Seattle, Boffoli says his work comments not only on our fascination with miniature things, but on “the American enthusiasm for excess, especially in the realm of food.” To view more of his photos you can simply scroll through his website, and to see them in person you can check out his Edible Worlds exhibition at Winston Wächter Fine Art in New York through August 24th. All images courtesy the artist.

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Urban Origami Installations on the Streets of Hong Kong and Vietnam by Mademoiselle Maurice

This summer French paper artist Mademoiselle Maurice (previously) took her unique style of urban origami installation to the streets of Hong Kong and Vietnam where she created some of the pieces shown here. To be clear, the hexagonal pieces above were created in Paris just prior to her trip to Asia which you can learn more about (plus see many more photos) on her website.

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Banksy Goes to the Olympics

It looks like a potential crackdown on graffiti artists prior to the 2012 Olympics in London didn’t involve the world’s most famous street artist. Two new pieces by Banksy were posted to his website this morning featuring his personal take on the games. I feel the same as Bobby over at The Fox is Black in hoping there’s more to come.

Update: There’s a great article over at The Atlantic Wire about Banksy and the politics of street art during the 2012 Olympic Games.

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Murals Created with Thousands of Buttons, Pins and Beads by Ran Hwang




East Wind from Old Palace. 180 x 360cm. Three panel, buttons, beads, and pins. 2012.




Healing Blossoms. 170 x 826 cm. Buttons, beads, pins on wooden panel.




Empty Me. 210 x 360cm. Buttons, beads, pins. 2010.

Part mural, part sculpture, with elements of tapestry and painting, it’s almost impossible to define the work of Ran Hwang who uses thousands of components including pins, buttons and beads to create these enormous wall-sized images. The works require numerous repetitive motions and Hwang compares her process to a monk achieving zen. Via her artist statement:

I create large icons such as a Buddha or a traditional vase, using materials from the fashion industry. The process of building large installations are time consuming and repetitive and it requires manual effort which provides a form of self-meditation. I hammer thousands of pins into a wall like a monk who, facing the wall, practices Zen.

Starting July 26th Hwang will be exhibiting with Leila Heller Gallery at Art Southampton, featuring one of her newest works, Healing Blossoms (above). The 27-foot long piece is made from paper buttons, beads and sequins that have been gently hammered into 7 large panels. All imagery courtesy Leila Heller Gallery, and if you enjoyed this also see the work of Laurel Roth.

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Face Reality As It Is: Anamorphic Typography by Thomas Quinn

When viewed head on, what at first looks like typography on top of a simple photograph reveals itself to be well-executed anamorphic typography by Chicago designer Thomas Quinn. The illusion is created using a standard light projector that projects the intended design on an uneven surface which is then carefully painted. From every other angle the work looks skewed and almost illegible, but when you stand at just the right spot everything seems to pop into place. You can see many variations of anamorphism right here on Colossal, and don’t forget the absolute master of the art form, Felice Varini. (via this isn’t happiness)

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