An Extraordinary Glimpse into the First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life in 60 Seconds

In an attempt to better understand exactly what happens as a bee grows from an egg into an adult insect, photographer Anand Varma teamed up with the bee lab at UC Davis to film the first three weeks of a bee’s life in unprecedented detail, all condensed into a 60-second clip. The video above presented by National Geographic doesn’t include commentary, but Varma explains everything in a TED talk included below. The primary goal in photographing the bees was to learn how they interact with an invasive parasitic mite that has quickly become the greatest threat to bee colonies. Scientists have learned to breed mite-resistant bees which they are now trying to introduce into the wild. Learn more about it in this video:

(via Reddit)

Treats in the Streets: Artist Jim Bachor Fills Potholes with Ice Cream Mosaics

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For the third year in a row Chicago artist Jim Bachor (previously here and here) has taken it upon himself to preemptively fix city potholes by filling them with themed mosaics. This year Bachor decided on a series of 10 pothole mosaics called Treats in the Streets featuring different kinds of ice cream. At the latest count, four artworks have appeared in locations around Chicago, and he traveled all the way to Jyväskylä, Finland last week to do three more mosaics including a local popsicle-like dessert called Amppari-mehujaa. Bachor says to keep an eye out for three more pieces back home in Chicago sometime before spring is out.

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Erosion: Layered Porcelain Sculptures Sandblasted to Mimic Biological Forms

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British ceramicist Tamsin van Essen is fascinated by what she describes as the “the fragile boundary between attraction and repulsion,” a place where tension is created by the visible and the obscured. For her Erosion series Essen created layered blocks of alternating black and white porcelain which she then sandblasted to mimic biological forms similar to a parasitic virus in the process of devouring a host. In a even more literal example, she created a series of ceramic vessels that appear to be infected with specific bacteria.

Essen just spent three months working on a new body of work currently on view at Siobhan Davies Studios in London, and you can see additional pieces over on Saatchi Art. (via Coroflot)

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Artist Alexey Kondakov Imagines Figures from Classical Paintings as Part of Contemporary Life

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For his ongoing series “Art History in Contemporary Life,” Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov takes scenes and figures lifted from classical paintings and drops them into modern-day life. Bouguereau’s Song of the Angels appears to take place on an empty subway car while a pair of men from Holbein’s famous The Ambassadors are transported to the table of a seedy bar. Much like Etienne Lavie’s billboard series and Julien de Casabianca’s recent Outings Project, the series creates an interesting and playful new context for artworks usually only encountered in museums and art history books. You can see more over on Facebook. (via Supersonic)

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PaperBridge: A Load-Bearing Arch of Paper Sheets Spans an English Creek

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all photos by Steve Messam courtesy the artist

While it’s certainly not the longest, this weight-bearing structure is definitely one of the more interesting bridges we’ve come across. Unveiled earlier this month, PaperBridge is the latest site-specific installation by environmental artist Steve Messam. It was constructed using 22,000 sheets of bright, red paper. And despite weighing in at over 4.2 tons, the free-standing structure doesn’t have a single screw, bolt or swab of glue holding it together.

On an aesthetic level, PaperBridge acts as focal point that creates a stark contrast between the bridge and the lush landscape. But on a conceptual level, Messam explains the key relationship between the bridge and its surroundings:

Paper is a simple material made from wood pulp and water. The intensity of colour used in the bridge contrasts with the verdant landscape making a bold statement of form and design. Alongside this the materials used have a resonance with the natural environment and the construction of the bridge also reflects local architectural forms, specifically pack horse bridges found throughout the area. All of the paper used in PaperBridge will be recovered and returned to the Burneside Mill for recycling into new paper once the project ends. This transparent cycle is part of the overall environmental narrative of the piece.

PaperBridge was part of the ‘Lakes Ignite’ project. It was located in the Grisedale Valley, near Patterdale and the public was invited to walk across it before it gets taken down today. (via Designboom and The Kid Should See This)

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New Trompe L’oeil Sculptures of Flowing Dresses and Leaves Constructed from Plywood by Ron Isaacs

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When looking at these wall-mounted sculptures depicting wrinkled dresses that sprout leaves or butterflies by artist Ron Isaacs (previously), you would be forgiven for thinking they were constructed from anything other than their actual materials: plywood and acrylic paint. Isaacs uses pieces of layered Finnish birch to construct every detail of these architectural clothes which he then covers in trompe l’oeil painting to create the illusion of depth. “I am still fascinated by the old simple idea of resemblance, the very first idea of art after tools and shelter: That an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and therefore some of the ‘reality. of another,” says Isaacs. You can see his most recent collection of work as part of his second solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee through May 23, 2015.

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Miniature Hand Blown Glass Vessels and Scientific Instruments by Kiva Ford

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Glass artist Kiva Ford draws from his vast experience in scientific glassblowing to create perfect miniatures of wine glasses, beakers, and ribbon-striped vases, some scarcely an inch tall. A member of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society, Kiva creates instruments for scientists who require one-of-a-kind designs for various experiments. The same techniques and tools used for scientific equipment also apply to his artistic practice including the miniature works you see here, as well as larger sculptures, and ornate drinkware.

This week Kiva will be doing several demonstrations of both artistic and scientific glassblowing at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York as part of GlassFest. You can also purchase many of his miniatures on Etsy, or follow on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions, Art is a Way, thnx Rachel!)

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