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Art

Surreal Paintings by Matthew Grabelsky Take the New York City Subway for a Wild Ride

June 12, 2018

Andrew LaSane

New York City is sometimes affectionately (or disaffectionately) referred to as a “concrete jungle,” but for Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky it’s more of a big cageless zoo. Using the New York City subway system as the setting for his work, Grabelsky paints surreal portraits of people who are seemingly normal from the neck down, but who have had their heads replaced by animals, both wild and domesticated.

Having grown up in New York and being fascinated by the imagery of Greek mythology as a kid, Grabelsky’s paintings are an exploration of human nature and of the way that animals represent various parts of the human subconscious. “The characters are symbolic of the kinds of thoughts that lie under the surface of people’s minds, and they reveal that the most extraordinary can exist in the most ordinary of everyday settings,” the artist told Prohbtd in an interview. “This theme is communicated through the juxtaposition of these ostensibly irrational images with otherwise completely mundane scenes. My idea is that my creatures are not original but are ultimately part of a much larger cultural continuum.”

Since graduating Cum Laude from Rice University in 2002 with a BA in Art and Art History (and a BS in Astrophysics), Matthew Grabelsky has shown in dozens of group exhibitions and solo shows around the world. In 2017 he was tapped by electronic musician Moby to paint an album cover featuring a father cow reading a book to his calf. To see more of Grabelsky’s work, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Not a Petting Zoo: Fish, Dogs, and Monkeys Comprised of Shimmering Glass Shards

June 4, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All images courtesy of Berengo Studio

Polish artist Marta Klonowska (previously) continues her unique sculptural technique of using thousands of shards of glass to form colorful animals. Many works are based on animals found in paintings from the past, and the artist often situates her sculptures in proximity to the inspiring artworks. Klonowska resides in Warsaw and is represented by Berengo Studio in Venice and Lorch+Seidel Contemporary in Berlin.

Photo credit: Peter Cox. Still Life With Flowers, Fruits and a Dog, After Abraham Van Strij, 2016, Glass

Photo credit: Peter Cox. Still Life With Flowers, Fruits and a Dog, After Abraham Van Strij, 2016, Glass

Photo credit: Francesco Allegretto. The Fish, 2013

Photo credit: Francesco Allegretto. The Fish (detail), 2013

Photo credit: Francesco Allegretto

 

 



Art

Fierce Feathered Portraits of Brooding Birds by Josie Morway

May 29, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Josie Morway creates fierce portraits of wildlife set in abstracted apocalyptic environments and interspersed with geometric linework, colorful paint drips, and mysterious Latin text. Morway often features birds in her oil and enamel paintings, using the graceful shapes of the animals’ elongated necks and sweeping wings to draw the viewer’s eye around the artwork. Many of Morway’s works also interweave plants: ferns, succulents, and blossoming flowers emerge from around her animal subjects’ bodies.

The artist shares with Colossal that the Latin lettering that embellishes some of her paintings is heavily abstracted from old mottos. “I don’t mean for them to be read too literally, but rather hope they lend a certain feeling of portentousness to the pieces,” Morway explains. “I like referencing religious icon paintings and other forms of ‘serious’ historic painting, but using animals and birds in the place of saints, etc. I’m going for the feeling of narrative realism, but working with a narrative that’s mysterious, missing some information, open to the viewer’s interpretation.”

Morway will have a piece on view at Antler Gallery in Portland starting June 9, 2018, as part of PDX/LAX II, a collaborative exhibit with Los Angeles gallery Thinkspace Projects, as well as a two person show in October. You can also find her work in Australia at Beinart Gallery’s group show starting July 13. The artist shares updates on her work via Instagram.

 

 



Art

The Magnetic Force of Urs Fischer’s Life-Size Metallic Rhinoceros

May 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

URS FISCHER, "Things" (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Robert McKeever. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, “Things” (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Robert McKeever. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

Things stands poised as the singular sculpture in a new installation by Swiss artist Urs Fischer, yet like its title might suggest, the lone work is composed of several disparate parts. At the piece’s core stands a life-size aluminum copy of a rhinoceros with a magnetic presence that has attracted several man-made objects into its grand orbit. A vacuum cleaner, step stool, toilet, car door, and frying pan all cling to its wrinkled metallic skin.

The work questions one’s attraction to and use of everyday objects, considering how and what we accumulate as we move through our individualized worlds. “‘Art’ has always been a word for this thing that can’t be rationalized, when you see or hear something that you struggle to explain,” says Fischer in a press release about Things. “But that’s its strength, of course.”

The massive aluminum work is on view at a disused bank at 511 Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan through June 23, 2018. This installation coincides with Fischer’s exhibition of new paintings titled Sōtatsu, which also runs through June 23 at Gagosian Gallery's 980 Madison Avenue location. (via The New York Times)

URS FISCHER, "Things" (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, “Things” (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, "Things" (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, “Things” (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, "Things" (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, “Things” (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, "Things" (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, “Things” (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, "Things" (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

URS FISCHER, “Things” (2017), Milled aluminum, steel, power magnets, two-component epoxy adhesive, 125 1/4 x 204 3/8 x 118 1/2 inches (318 x 519 x 301 cm), Edition 1 of 3 & 1 AP, © Urs Fischer. Photo: Stefan Altenburger. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

 

 

 



Art

Satirical Images of Virtue and Vice Painted by Toni Hamel

May 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"The Impostor (George's Zebra)" (2017), oil and alkyd on cradled panel, 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches, all images via Toni Hammel

“The Impostor (George’s Zebra)” (2017), oil and alkyd on cradled panel, 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches, all images via Toni Hammel

Toronto-based artist Toni Hamel works across mediums to create drawings, paintings, and sculptures that analyze human behavior. In her two-dimensional work the artist often incorporates animals and icebergs being treated as art objects by men in lab coats and smocks. The male subjects are seen analyzing or altering the zebras, giraffes, and whales, painting over their spots or pinning on stripes with a marked precision.

Hamel describes her art practice as an “illustrated commentary of human frailties,” seeking to highlight peculiar behavior in humans. “Drawing from personal experiences and outward observations, I point to historical, social, and psychological references,” she tells Colossal. “Virtues and vices, the holy and the profane, the good and the bad, all share equal weight and supply as infinite source material for my investigations.”

Hamel received her BFA from the Accademia di Belle Arti of Lecce in 1983, and a post-graduate certificate in Computer Graphics from Sheridan College in 1991. You can see more of her satirical works on human behavior on her website and Instagram.

"The Heist" (2017), oil and alkyd on cradled panel, 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches

“The Heist” (2017), oil and alkyd on cradled panel, 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches

"The Watch" (2017), oil and alkyd on cradled panel, 24 x 24 x1.5 inches

“The Watch” (2017), oil and alkyd on cradled panel, 24 x 24 x1.5 inches

"Now You See Me" (2016), oil on Arches oil paper, 15 x 22 inches

“Now You See Me” (2016), oil on Arches oil paper, 15 x 22 inches

"Opening night"(2016), oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

“Opening night”(2016), oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

"The Pretender" (2016), oil on Arches oil paper, 15 x 22 inches

“The Pretender” (2016), oil on Arches oil paper, 15 x 22 inches

"Ceci n'est pas un arbre (pour Charlie)" (2016), oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

“Ceci n’est pas un arbre (pour Charlie)” (2016), oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

"Weathermen" (2016), oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

“Weathermen” (2016), oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches

 

 



Illustration

New Psychedelic Tattoos Splashed with Neon Detail by Joanna Swirska

May 21, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Wrocław-based tattoo artist Joanna Swirska, aka Dżo (previously), produces nature-based tattoos through her own psychedelic lens. In one work a crystal-studded snail inches across ombre leaves, while in another, a ginkgo tree sprouts from the palm of a poised hand. Human forms are often overlaid with plants or animal motifs, such as her Frida Kahlo tattoo above which features the detail of a deep red bird mask inked across the painter’s face.

Dżo initially studied painting, and made her switch from canvas to skin about five years ago. You can follow more of her recent work on Instagram, and buy prints and other merchandise based on her tattoo designs from her online shop. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

 



Art

Unusual Animals Brought Together in New Hyperrealistic Paintings by Lisa Ericson

May 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Flock

New work from Lisa Ericson (previously) continues the Portland-based artist’s hyperrealistic compositions of animals. Set on deep black backgrounds, her paintings showcase unusual combinations of peacefully co-existing fauna. Pelicans support rabbits, snakes, and ocelots, while tree frogs and songbirds find homes on the shells of turtles. Her most recent paintings are on view through May 25 at Antler Gallery in Portland, in a show titled Invisible Promise, alongside work from Scottish artist Lindsey Carr. You can see more from Ericson on Instagram.

After The Flood

Stowaway

Distant Shore

Uneasy Truce

Oasis

Haven

 

 

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