In an ongoing series by Joana Vasconcelos, the Portuguese artist has been wrapping various animals—wasps, lizards, snakes, crabs, lobsters, frogs, bull-heads, donkey heads, horse heads, wolves and even cats—in five-needle lace, handmade cotton crochet. But these aren’t any old animals. Vasconcelos has appropriated the ceramic artwork of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905), one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 19th century.
Each of the pieces “are ambiguously imprisoned/protected by a second-skin in crochet-work,” says Vasconcelos. At once both beautiful and strange, the work stands as a testament to the extraordinary craftsmanship of the artist but also as a one-upmanship of maternal femininity and domesticity. The use of crochet to mummify the ceramic animals “opens up a vast and rich field of interpretation” that challenges our preconceptions of femininity, as well as our notions of tradition and modernity. (via Trendland, Ghost in the Machine)
Violaine & Jeremy is a graphic design
and illustration studio based in Paris formed by Violaine Orsoni and Jeremy Schneider. The duo collaborate on a wide range of projects including the design and layout of Influencia magazine, indentity projects, and album covers. Among their best work are these astounding graphite drawings of quirky animals adorned with beards of wildlife and other unexpected characters. You can see much more over on Behance.
With a background in woodwork, ceramics, weaving, dressmaking, and even stained glass windows, artist Sophie Standing consolidates her breadth of talent in these explosively colorful textile collages of animals and insects. Standing was born in England but now lives and works in Kenya where she seeks inspiration in African wildlife, namely some of the world’s most endangered species like elephants, lions, and rhinoceroses. To create each piece she first paints or sketches on fabric and then draws from a vast collection of decorative fabrics acquired from her travels around the world to create a dense patchwork of color and texture. The artwork is then finished with dense line work applied with a sewing machine.
Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang creates large-scale murals of animals using charcoal, chalk pastel, and acrylic on paper that at first glance appear 3D. Tang makes use of a technique called trompe l’oeil where shadows and perspective within the two dimensional drawing are used to trick the viewer into thinking the piece is three dimensional. Tang recently graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and you can see more of her work over on Facebook. (via Juxtapoz, My Modern Met)
Artist Faith47 (previously) has been busy the last few months with new works popping up in her native South Africa and in locations around London. The artist is known for her use of existential symbolism to comment on nature and the human condition, specifically the struggle of many South Africans who grapple with injustice, poverty, and inequality. If you want to learn more check out this 2013 interview over on CIMA where she discusses the inspiration behind much of her work, and you can also follow her on Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)
With just a few strokes of his calligraphy pen, London-based designer and illustrator Andrew Fox created this fun series of minimalistic animals. What a great exercise in the constraints of line and color, perhaps most famously illustrated in a similar exercise by Picasso back in the 1940s. See more over on Behance.