Paint Showers: A Thunderstorm of Stop Motion Paint by Miguel Jiron

Paint Showers: A Thunderstorm of Stop Motion Paint by Miguel Jiron stop motion rain paint animation

Paint Showers is beautiful animated short directed and animated by LA-based Miguel Jiron. Filmed back in 2011, the piece was made by photographing sequences of paint drips and splashes which were then set to sounds of rain creating an otherworldly thunderstorm of paint. You can see much more of Jiron’s animation work right here. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

It goes without saying that one of the most ubiquitous sightings on the web are millions upon trillions of pet photos. Cat gifs, funny dog videos, puppy memes, and even an entire currency. But every once in a while an animal (or group of animals), paired with the right photographer, rises above the mammalian fray and enters the realm of art. We’ve seen it here on Colossal with the works of Carli Davidson, Seth Casteel, Theron Humphrey & Maddie, and Sonya Yu & Trotter. Enter the latest contenders: self-taught photographer Elke Vogelsang and her three dogs Noodles, Scout and Loli.

Based in Hildesheim, Germany, Vogelsang is a professional photographer who mostly shoots portraits of people and pets, but in her spare time spends plenty of time with her trio of rescue dogs who frequently find themselves in front of the camera. Two of the dogs are Galgo Español mixes and the youngest, Loli, is a bonafide mut. Regardless of their pedigree, Vogelsang has a knack for capturing the dogs at their most expressive moments, resulting in photos that are equally heartwarming and humorous.

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

Absurdly Expressive Dog Portraits by Elke Vogelsang dogs

You can follow Vogelsang’s work on Facebook and 500px and she has prints of almost every photo available in her shop. (via Bored Panda)

Update: Vogelsang shares some tips with SLR Lounge on getting the most out of your pet photoshoot.

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 45 (2014) | all photos courtesy the artist

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 42 – detail

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 45 (2014) – detail

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 45 (2014) – detail

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 43 (2014)

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 43 (2014) – detail

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 43 (2014) – detail

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Untitled Small Figure 07

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography 41 (2013)

Psychogeographies: 3D Collages Encased in Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin sculpture glass collage

Psychogeography is the act of exploring an urban environment with an emphasis on curiosity and drifting. Or, more colloquially put, a “toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities.” For the Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin, his toy box is full of everything he finds on the street—flowers, leaves, bugs, and even dead rats, which are then composed into three-dimensional collages and sealed behind resin.

In his most recent series “Psychogeographies,” Yellin uses multiple layers of glass, each covered in detailed imagery, to create a single intricate, three-dimensional collage with a mix of magazine cut-outs and acrylic paint. When pressed to describe what he does, Yellin struggles, but not with a lack of words. Here is an excerpt from a mini-essay “concerning the difficulty of saying something about what I do.”

“Is it a copout to say “the work speaks for itself”?
I feel like it is
But I’m also awful talking about what the work is.
So sometimes I say “it speaks for itself”
But what does that even mean?

However, he does offer some advice:

First and foremost, they’re massive see-through blocks
And that’s one way to read them, listen to them “speaking”
As massive see through blocks.
Another is to listen to what’s inside them
The forms, the clippings, the dead things, the painted things,
Frozen between the layers of glass, what I’ve called
The captured and frozen “dynamism” of culture.

You can follow Dustin Yellin on Facebook or Instagram, or read more about him in this NYT article.

Colossal Welcomes Johnny Strategy to Editorial Staff

This weekend Colossal saw the publication of its 3,000th post, an extremely satisfying milestone for a blog helmed for nearly four years by a single person. Though as the site has grown, my time has become stretched thin across a multitude of projects and lately publishing has hit a wall in the middle of the week as other pressing things have arisen. It’s time for some help.

Please join me in welcoming writer and artist Johnny Strategy who will become a contributing writer here on Colossal starting immediately. Strategy was raised in Tokyo and now lives with his family in Brooklyn where he has edited the very fine Japanese art blog Spoon & Tamago for the past 7 years. He’s already helped out quite a bit here on Colossal the last few months, contributing articles about ROA, textile artist Mr. Finch, and today’s piece on Japanese manhole covers. Johnny brings an extensive art background to his writing and will be a refreshing new voice here on the blog each week. Welcome Johnny!

The Beauty of Japan’s Artistic Manhole Covers

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration
All photos courtesy S. Morita

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

The Beauty of Japans Artistic Manhole Covers manholes Japan illustration

Japan is a country full of amazing art. Some of it is housed within museums and galleries while others are right underneath our feet. I’m talking, of course, about Japan’s peculiar obsession with manhole covers. Just about anywhere in the country you can find stylized manhole covers, each more beautiful and intricate than the next. For the past several years photographer S. Morita has traveled around Japan photographing artistic manhole covers.

As to why this phenomenon developed, signs point to a high-ranking bureaucrat in the construction ministry who, in 1985, came up with the idea of allowing municipalities to design their own manhole covers. His objective was to raise awareness for costly sewage projects and make them more palatable for taxpayers.

Thanks to a few design contests and subsequent publications, the manhole craze took off and municipalities were soon competing with each other to see who could come up with the best designs. According to the Japan Society of Manhole Covers (yes, that’s a thing) today there are almost 6000 artistic manhole covers throughout Japan. And according to their latest findings, the largest single category are trees, followed by landscapes, floral designs and birds – all symbols that could, and surely did, boost local appeal.

You can see hundreds more of Morita’s photos right here. (via A Green Thought in a Green Shade)

Update: Remo Camerota has an entire book on the design of Japanese manhole covers, aptly titled Drainspotting.

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Illuminated Cut Paper Light Boxes by Hari & Deepti paper illustration dioramas

Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker (known collectively as Hari & Deepti) are an artist couple who create paper cut light boxes. Each diorama is made from layers of cut watercolor paper placed inside a shadow box and is lit from behind with flexible LED light strips. The small visual narratives depicted in each work often play off aspects of light including stars, flames, fireflies, and planets. The couple shares about their work:

Paper is brutal in its simplicity as a medium. It demands the attention of the artist while it provides the softness they need to mold it in to something beautiful. It is playful, light, colorless and colorful. It is minimal and intricate. It reflects light, creates depth and illusions in a way that it takes the artist through a journey with limitless possibilities.

What amazes us about the paper cut light boxes is the dichotomy of the piece in its lit and unlit state, the contrast is so stark that it has this mystical effect on the viewers.

Hari & Deepti are originally from India but now live and work in Denver. Their work most recently appeared at SCOPE New York through Black Book Gallery. (via Hi-Fructose, My Modern Met)

Felted Veggies Dangle from Embroidered Leaves

Felted Veggies Dangle from Embroidered Leaves vegetables textiles food embroidery

Felted Veggies Dangle from Embroidered Leaves vegetables textiles food embroidery

Felted Veggies Dangle from Embroidered Leaves vegetables textiles food embroidery

I promise Colossal won’t turn into a full-time embroidery blog, but Munich-based Veselka Bulkan from Green Accordion created these fun felted veggies that dangle hang from embroidered leaves. Currently available in two different designs. (via Whimsebox)

The Essence of Sound: Lycopodium Powder on a Subwoofer

The Essence of Sound: Lycopodium Powder on a Subwoofer video art macro audio advertising

In her second experimental clip exploring the effect of sound waves on lycopodium powder, filmmaker Susie Sie just released this new promotional video for high-end audio system manufacturer Burkhardtsmaier. The super fine (and super flammable) powder made of clubmoss spores creates fascinating patterns and forms as it vibrates due to a subwoofer positioned just below the surface. If you liked this you’ll also like her previous short Cymatics.

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