Photography

A Photographer Captures a Decade in the Life of a Single Ukrainian Park Bench

February 5, 2018

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Yevgeniy Kotenko, shared with permission.

One of the most ubiquitous sights in any city around the world is the humble park bench: a meeting spot for friends, a place to grab lunch or perhaps a smoke, and maybe a quick snooze. Usually such mundane activities fade easily into the background of our busy lives and we would hardly stop to notice the goings on around a small public meeting spot, but for Ukrainian photographer Yevgeniy Kotenko, one such bench has turned into rich body of photography spanning over a decade titled On the Bench.

Starting in 2007, Kotenko began to shoot a local park bench outside the window of his parent’s fourth-floor kitchen window in Kiev. Sandwiched between a children’s playground and a walking path, the area proved to be a hotspot of colorful characters. Alcoholics, families, and lovers all congregate on the exact same bench during different times of the day, and when observed with Kotenko’s patient eye an almost Shakespearean drama begins to emerge over a decade of photos.

“I wasn’t thinking of making a series or a project,” shares Kotenko with Colossal through a translator. “I didn’t select any particular time frame or set of situations to capture. Not until 2012 did my friends tell me that I should put together an exhibition of these photos.”

The stark contrast in situations—from a picnic table to an impromtu emergency room—results in a fascinating documentary in the lives of local residents and passersby. “I never invested the photos with any particular intention or idea of what I wanted my audience to see,” Kotenko adds. “They will see what they want to see. These photographs are more like a documentary.”

You can see dozens more photos from the On the Bench series on Facebook, and you can follow Kotenko on Instagram. Thank you to Jen Carroll for contributing to this piece. (via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

 

 



Art

Geronimo Fills Lincoln Center with a Massive Balloon Installation for the New York City Ballet

February 2, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Jihan Zencirli is not your average balloon artist. Based in Los Angeles and working under the moniker Geronimo, Zencirli builds sprawling conglomerations of perfectly spherical balloons in carefully selected color palettes. With vibrant colors and organically-inspired shapes, the balloons draw a contrast to the geometric and neutral toned buildings they are affixed to. The artist frequently installs her work outside, to emphasize its ephemeral nature and to allow as many people to encounter the work as possible.

Zencirli’s latest creation has been produced in collaboration with the New York City Ballet, as part of their Art Series. The annual series invites a contemporary artist to install a site-specific artwork in the heart of Manhattan at Lincoln Center, where the ballet has been based since 1964. This is the series’ sixth year and Zencirli is the first female artist to be selected. In anticipation of the event, an appropriately-over-the-top video introduces audiences to Geronimo, directed by Andy Bruntel.

The artwork was unveiled on January 26, and remains up until February 24th, during which time the Ballet has two special performances. There are also public viewing hours every day of the week from February 17 – 25. More information about performance times and viewing hours are available on NYCB’s website. Zencirli shares updates of her work on Instagram, and you can also find examples of some previous installations below.

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Erin Baiano for NYCB

Photo by Timothy Simons of Echo Market, Los Angeles

Squarespace Headquarters for Pride Parade, NYC

Noisebridge Hackerspace, San Francisco

 

 



Photography

An Illuminated Niagara Falls Captured in a January Freeze by Adam Klekotka

February 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Adam Klekotka, Licensed for use on Colossal

All images © Adam Klekotka, Licensed for use on Colossal

Toronto-based photographer Adam Klekotka had visited Niagara Falls several times during his time in Canada, but never journeyed to the massive waterfall during winter. After two weeks of record-setting temperatures this January (which led the Canadian news to report that parts of the country were colder than the surface of Mars) Klekotka decided to explore the icy waterfall at night, discovering an illuminated scene that appeared more like a deserted alien landscape than natural wonder.

“The temperature was about -20C, but due to cold wind and high humidity, it felt like it was way below -30C,” Klekotka told Colossal. “After some time of shooting, my hands were really frostbitten. Because of the small buttons in the cameras, I had to handle them without gloves. Additionally the drops of water were freezing on the front glass of the lens and I had to clean it every couple of seconds.”

Klekotka captured the glowing waterfall from several angles, including an observation deck encrusted with a thick layer of icicles. You can see more of Klekotka’s otherworldly images on his Instagram and browse a selection of his small prints on his online shop. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Amanda Parer’s Giant Inflatable Rabbits Invade Public Spaces Around the World

February 2, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Amanda Parer examines the relationship between humans and the natural world in her massive inflatable artworks. The Tasmania-based artist works with a team including New York based co-producer Chris Wangro. Together, Parer Studio realizes her larger-than-life versions of translucent rabbits, a series of works called Intrude.

The white fabric appears opaque during the day as it reflects sunlight. After dark, the creatures take on a different dimension: they are illuminated from within and reduce surrounding humans into diminutive silhouettes. Parer grew up in Australia, where rabbits are a non-native species and are considered a serious pest as opposed to a domestic pet; since being introduced by settlers in the late 18th century, their overpopulation has caused substantial ecological destruction. Parer describes the further cultural contradictions:

They represent the fairytale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields. Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humour, to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work. They are huge, the size referencing “the elephant in the room”, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored.

Intrude, which Parer has created in a variety of sizes ranging from Small to XXL, has been exhibited at museums around the world, as well as installed at several music festivals. She encourages viewers to engage with the works, describing her smallest rabbits as “very huggable.” You can see part of the installation process in the video below, and find more of the artist’s work on her website and Facebook.

 

 



Art Design

Collaborative Lamps That Weave Traditional Fibers With PET Plastic Waste

February 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Spanish designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón started the PET Lamp Project in 2011, collaborating with communities from all over the globe to transform plastic waste into unique and functional works. Over the past five years Catalán de Ocón has worked with artisans in Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopia to produce the collaborative lamps, most recently working with eight Yolngu weavers from Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The collaboration was prompted by the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial who commissioned the designer to create woven lamps that express the craft traditions and visual languages of weavers from the Australian community. Catalán de Ocón worked with Lynette Birriran, Mary Dhapalany, Judith Djelirr, Joy Gaymula, Melinda Gedjen, Cecile Mopbarrmbrr, and Evonne Munuyngu from the Bula’Bula Arts Centre in Ramingining to produce a series of circular ceiling-mounted lamps. The works combine PET plastic bottles with naturally dyed pandanus fibers, and are inspired by patterns seen in traditional Yolngu mats.

A work from the project, PET Lamp Ramingining: Bukmukgu Guyananhawuy (Every family thinking forward), is currently on view as a part of the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial through April 15, 2018. You can see more of Catalán de Ocón’s past collaborations with artisan weavers on his website. (via Yellowtrace)

     

 

 



Colossal Design Illustration

Enamel Pins by Nia Gould Reimagine Famous Artists as Cats

February 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

When creative design manager Nia Gould isn’t busy running an arts venue, she dreams up ninth lives for famed artists from throughout history. A declared feline fan herself, Gould reimagines painters like Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe, and Jean-Michel Basquiat as creative cats. She includes iconic elements of the artists’ personality and painting styles in each pin, like Kahlo’s flower crowns, van Gogh’s lopped-off ear, and Dali’s over-the-top mustache and look of perpetual surprise. Artist Cat Pins are available in The Colossal Shop.

 

 



Art

Soaring Murals of Plants on Urban Walls by Mona Caron

February 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Muralist Mona Caron (previously) has continued her worldwide Weeds series, with colorful renderings of humble plants growing ever taller on buildings from Portland and São Paulo to Spain and Taiwan. The San Francisco-based artist often partners with local and international social and environmental movements for climate justice, labor rights, and water rights, and selects plants, both native and invasive, that she finds in the cities where she paints. Caron also integrates tiny details into the main visual elements of her murals:

Several of these murals contain intricate miniature details, invisible from afar. These typically narrate the local history, chronicle the social life of the mural’s immediate surroundings, and visualize future possibility, and are created in a process that incorporates ideas emerging through spontaneous conversations with the artwork’s hosting communities while painting.

Caron regularly shares process videos and photos of completed works on Instagram, and she delves into the narratives behind several of her murals on her website.

Collaboration with Liqan

 

 

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Animal Multi-Tool