Art Design

A Project to Immortalize David Bowie in Traditional Woodblock Prints

June 7, 2018

Johnny Strategy

David Bowie, who passed away in 2016, had a very special connection – some may even call it a “love affair” – with Japan. He originally developed his affinity after taking an interest in Kabuki and was heavily influenced by the exaggerated gestures, costumes and make-up. He later went on to work with fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto on many iconic costumes, as well as with musicians like Tomoyasu Hotei and the filmmaker Nagisa Oshima. In a sense, the love affair has come full circle and now a project has been announced to immortalize David Bowie in the form of ukiyo-e woodblock prints that depict Bowie in elements of kabuki.

Two unique prints were announced last month from Ukiyo-e Project, an organization that creates contemporary Ukiyo-e based on elements of pop culture. Each of the prints are inspired by iconic photo shoots of Bowie, which have been translated to woodblock print by ukiyo-e artist Masumi Ishikawa.

One of these is inspired by Brian Duffy’s photograph of a bare-chested Bowie with a red lightning bolt scrawled across his face the cover of “Aladdin Sane” (1973). For the ukiyo-e print, the artist imagines Bowie as Kidomaru, a fictitious snake charmer from the Kamakura period.

The second print was inspired by Terry O’Neill’s “Diamond Dogs” promotional photograph (1974) in which Bowie is posing with a large barking dog. For this ukiyo-e print the artist imagines Bowie as Takezawa Toji, a magician and entertainer who was often depicted by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

The prints will be on display, and available for sale (priced at 100,000 yen) at the Marc Jacobs-owned BOOKMARC in Omotesando from June 23 – July 1, 2018. The final prints will be displayed alongside photos of David Bowie, as well as other materials that show the process of creating the woodblock prints. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

left: David Bowie, Aladdin Sane, Eyes Open, 1973© Courtesy of the Duffy Archive | right: Terry O’Neill – David Bowie Diamond Dogs, 1974 © Courtesy Mouche Gallery

 

 



Art Design

An Olafur Eliasson-Designed Building Only Accessible by Footbridge in a Danish Fjord

June 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Fjordenhus is a recently completed structure built on the Vejle Fjord in Denmark only accessible by footbridge. It is the first structure fully designed by the studio of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson (previously), and was inspired by the harbor’s architecture. The 970,000-brick building is built several yards into the water from the shore, with the surrounding body of water acting as its moat.

The complexly curved form contains four intersecting cylinders which are carved to present a pattern of concave and convex walls, and is dotted with several arched windows and openings to the sea. “The outer walls, which are normally seen as a membrane between inside and outside, are spaces in Fjordenhus,” explains the studio. “You are offered the opportunity to be both inside and outside.”

The structure will hold the offices for investment company KIRK KAPITAL, yet will contain a ground floor open to the public with site-specific art installations designed by Eliasson. Fjordenhus took nearly a decade of planning to implement and build, and is considered both an architectural structure and a work of art. You can learn about more projects designed by Eliasson’s studio on their website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Photography

Vivid Rainbow Roads Trace Illuminated Pathways Across Forests and Beaches

June 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Daniel Mercadante has a slate of unique films under his belt, made in partnership with his wife Katina, as The Mercadantes, including Ball and Breathe. More recently, Daniel has been exploring the still image in a colorful series called Rainbow Road. The Mercadantes were based in California for many years, but after a move to rural Connecticut, Daniel looked for a way to add some warmth to the chilly blue hour during the Northeast’s long winters.

Using long exposure photography and a  custom built lighting rig covered in colored gels, the process of creating the images is surprisingly simple: the roads are created by Daniel running around with the lighting rig. No other post-production manipulation occurs, other than basic color and exposure balancing. The photographer explains to Colossal, “after so many years focused on the moving image, I’ve struggled with singularly caught moments in still imagery—so I love how this project still requires images to be captured over 15sec-1 minute, so in some way they require the same passages of time that a shot in one of our short films might.”

In addition to their Connecticut Rainbow Roads (which Daniel divulges may have a distant relation to the Mario Kart pathways of his youth) the Mercadantes have taken this colorful project to Guatemala, where local kids chose the photo shoot locations. Daniel reports that they hope to continue traveling with their low-tech, high-color Roads. You can see more from the Mercadantes on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Art Photography

Giant Humans Overtake Landscapes in Guillaume Chiron’s Clever Collages

June 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Collage artist Guillame Chiron combines myths of the wild west and mid-century domestic life in humorous collages. Playing with scale and context, Chiron inserts oversized humans into urban landscapes, or shrinks down people to fit astride cats or on meteors in the galaxy. Chiron has also published a book of 250 collages. You can see more of the French artist’s collages on Tumblr and Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 



Animation

A Five-Part Stop Motion Anthology Tests the Limits of Short Film

June 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

This Magnificent Cake! is a new stop motion animation by Belgium-based filmmaker pair Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels (previously) which tests the physical limits of short film. The 44-minute, 5-chapter anthology is just over the cut for what can be considered a short film, yet is far more condensed then one that is a traditional longer format. Described as a “mid-length film,” the work follows five different characters through colonial Africa in the late 19th-century which include a “troubled king, a middle-aged Pygmy working in a luxury hotel, a failed businessman on an expedition, a lost porter, and a young army deserter.”

The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will be screened at the upcoming Animafest Zagreb 2018, Annecy Festival 2018, and Anima Mundi Brazil 2018. You can see the trailer for the animation above, and more short films by de Swaef and Roels on Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Art

Astonishing Origami by Robby Kraft

June 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Designed by Robby Kraft

Brooklyn-based polymath Robby Kraft currently teaches coding to artists and designers at Parsons and the School for Poetic Computation, but his love for the connected worlds of art and math began at a young age; he started folding origami in elementary school. More recently, Kraft was introduced to the algorithmic aspects of origami. Around 2013, he began to learn more through Erik Demaine’s origami lectures at MIT, and Robert Lang’s books. In addition to folding increasingly intricate works designed by others in the origami community, about two years ago Kraft started using algorithmic code to design new origami patterns.

Kraft is also a classical musician, and describes the similarity between sheet music and origami: “the crease pattern and diagrams are instructions on a mathematically flat 2D manifold, impossible in the real world, so to fold an origami is to capture it into the real world and add imperfections.” Kraft is working on releasing the code he created to the public, and he shares with Colossal that in the future he hopes to publish a book on origami design. You can follow his work on Instagram and Twitter.

Designed by Brian Chan

Designed by Jun Mitani

Design credits clockwise from top left: Bernie Peyton, Pham Dieu Huy, Beth Johnson, H.T. Quyet

Designed by Roman Diaz

Designed by Robby Kraft

Designed by Tom Hull

Designed by Yutaka Naito

Designed by Fumiaki Kawahata

 

 



Illustration

Swirling Lines and Swaths of Charcoal Form Dramatic Portraits by Lee.K

June 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Seoul-based artist Lee.K creates incredibly dynamic portraits using combinations of charcoal, pencil, and ink. The artist layers fine cross contour lines over broad swaths of charcoal to build hair, cheekbones, noses, and eyes with a strong sense of life despite the grayscale palette. You can see more from Lee on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

 

 

 

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