Textile artist Olek has just completed work on what may be her largest piece ever, a four-car locomotive covered in crocheted technicolor camo in Lodz, Poland. The artist didn’t even stop to change out of a costume she wore at the Animal Ball in London before jumping on a plane to meet four assistants who began a four-day assault on the large train that was completed on July 19th. You may remember Olek’s work from just over a year ago here on Colossal when she crocheted an entire alligator-themed playground in São Paulo. The locomotive will be on view through August 19th, and you can see more over on Hi-Fructose.
Wow! Ick. Oooh. Whaaaaaaat. No. No. NOPE. That pretty much summarizes my reactions while looking at these incredible macro shots of spiders photographed by Nicky Bay who lives and works in Singapore. The boundless biodiversity found on the country’s several islands includes a vast array of insects and arachnids, many of which Bay has painstakingly documented up close with his macro photography and published on his blog and Flickr account.
Despite being creepy crawly spiders, it’s impossible to deny the endless creativity employed by evolution to create such amazing creatures. It’s hard to believe these lifeforms came from the same planet let alone the same country. For instance the Mirror Spider has an abdomen of reflective panels that glitter like a disco ball, or the various colors of Ladybird Mimic spiders that are almost indistinguishable from the insects they are camouflaged to look like. But there’s also the more frightening Two-Tailed Spider or the Bird Dung Spider that would have me scrambling for a frying pan and a quart of poison before I would even consider picking up a camera.
Nadia Drake over at Wired put together an informative gallery of Bay’s work along with a bit more detail than you’ll find here. All images above courtesy the photographer. (via Coudal)
I was excited to discover that mixed media artist Brock Davis (previously) recently joined Vine and started making some fantastic little animated shorts in his clever minimalist style. Definitely worth a follow.
It’s impossible to mistake any piece by Chinese muralist DALeast (previously) as belonging to any other artist. His signature style involves a delicate interplay of unraveling ribbon-like lines that form his animalistic and human forms. The tigers, birds, deer and people he depicts are already bursting with motion, but the added line work seems to create an elevated sense of energy, as if the figure itself is about to explode.
Above is a collection of work over the last year or so, and his most recent mural (top) just popped up at Wall Therapy in Rochester, NY and is by far my favorite piece of his I’ve seen. See much more on his website. (via StreetArtNews)
Self-taught chef Rhiannon over at Cakecrumbs has been working on a fun series of planetary cakes that are designed to be scientifically accurate with different types of cake representing various layers within Earth and Jupiter. For her Jupiter Cake the center is the theoretical rock/ice core (mudcake), followed by a layer of liquid metallic hydrogen (almond butter), and finally the liquid molecular hydrogen (colored vanilla). She layered her Earth Cake similarly and finished it off with some absurdly detailed continent design made with marshmallow fondant.
Due to high demand she just posted an extremely detailed tutorial including a video that explains how to make spherical concentric layer cakes. Which is now a thing. That I will have at my birthdays now and forever. (via I F’ing Love Science)
For the last several years photographer Chris Arnade has virtually embedded himself in an area of the South Bronx called Hunts Point, one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, where poverty and addiction has laid claim to countless struggling individuals. His unflinching and candid documentation of addicts and prostitutes in Hunts Point, Faces of Addiction (warning: graphic and occasionally nsfw), has gained international attention.
One individual Arnade has encountered over the years is a young resident named Jose Garcia, who, along with several of his friends, have a penchant for doing wildly dangerous jumps and flips off of high platforms such as broken-down trucks or buildings. The spectacular photos have grown into a small offshoot of his Hunts Point work called Jose the Amazing. Of his first encounter with Jose, Arnade shares:
Last year I was in a desolate part of Hunts Point, talking to a friend. A group of about ten teenagers came down the street, loud, filled with energy, and seemingly marauding (kicking over cones, jumping on and over stationary cars, etc). I have never had a problem in my twenty years in New York City, but that does not mean I don’t stay aware. As they passed, out of the corner of my eye I spotted Jose do a back flip over a hydrant. Amazed, I yelled out to him. He and his friends, who were also warily eyeing me, thinking I was a cop, were planning to run away but his friend Henry had a sprained ankle, so they stood their ground.
Since then I have come to grow very fond of Jose and his friends, and have done many photo shoots together. Big fans of Parkour, Hip-hop, and Anime, they are fighting against an area where the pressures of poverty, drugs, and limited opportunity weigh heavily.
For me it’s another lesson in expectations. All of my accumulated baggage from popular culture signaled for me to get away from these kids and their bad intentions, all theirs told them to get away from the cop who would treat them unfairly. Neither of us did that, and because of that I certainly have learned a bit more about the Bronx.
As often happens with documentary work like this, Arnade occasionally finds himself drawn into his subjects’ lives as he is unable to walk away after setting down the camera. One such person is Jose, who is filled with optimism, energy and possesses an uncanny physical ability, but is now dealing with extreme adversity. While putting together these photographs Arnade mentioned if anyone connected to any form of acrobatics, circus arts, or stunt work in the NYC area might know of a way to help, they can get in touch. Serious inquiries only. All photos courtesy the photographer.
For the last thirteen years Serpentine Gallery has invited a guest architect to design a temporary structure on the London gallery’s front lawn. In what is billed as “the most ambitious architectural program of its kind worldwide,” designs have come from such visionaries as Ai Weiwei in 2012 and Frank Gehry in 2008. This year, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto (who at 41 become the youngest to accept the invitation) constructed a large network of 20mm steel poles and latticed metal that covers an area of 3,800 square feet.
While the white pavilion is impressive in its own right, the gallery further commissioned London-based United Visual Artists to create a network of LED lights that are meant to mimic the natural forms of an electric storm. At night the normally grounded structure becomes an electrified geometric cloud that flashes and pulsates with light. The installation is further enhanced by an accompanied soundtrack of precisely timed soundbites including the buzzing of electrical plants, effectively creating an auditory effect of thunder. A somewhat similar intervention took place here in Chicago a few years ago when LuftWerk transformed Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. (via Wired, Huffington Post)
It’s been over a year since we last checked in with paper artist Diana Beltran Herrera (previously here and here) whose skill in crafting the fine details of birds using paper has continued to evolve. Herrera’s work has begun appearing in several galleries and exhibitions around the world including Beers.Lambert Contemporary earlier this year and at the Art and Soul of Paper earlier this spring. She’s currently working on a collection of eight sculptures that will be on view at The Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Florida starting September 17th. See more on Flickr.