Straddling a line between 2D and 3D, paper artist Calvin Nicholls forms carefully cut and layered paper sculptures of animals that seem to break free from the surrounding matboard and hover just above the surface. To achieve the haut-relief effect (a process he shares online), Nicholls first works from a drawing which he uses as a template for the various paper components. Using an X-ACTO knife, scalpels, and scissors he then carefully cuts pieces of paper and glues them in place. Each piece can take anywhere from a few weeks up to two years depending on scale and complexity.
Nicholls recently sculpted five birds of paradise as part of a private commission that are currently on view at the Society of Animal Artists annual ‘Art and the Animal’ show at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY. The pieces won both an Award of Excellence and the “Artists’ Choice” awards. You can also keep an eye out for his work at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum later this month for the Birds in Art exhibition.
Seen here is a collection of artworks from the last year or so, but you can explore hundreds of additional pieces on his website and Facebook.
Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz (previously) brings textures and patterns reminiscent of traditional engraving techniques to his murals of phantasmagorical creatures using only a paintbrush. Twisting tentacles, strange fusions of anatomy, beings wrapped in plants, all rendered atop colorful gradients create an unmistakable style Diaz has become famous for. You can see much more of his work here. (via Cross Connect)
Caitlin McCormack creates crocheted animals that appear to decay in front of your eyes, delicate corpses crafted from cotton string and glue. To produce each of her sculptures she must stiffen the string which produces a consistency similar to the bone tissue of the animals she is recreating. These fragile remains appear extremely macabre, a typically cute hobby made somewhat morbid.
Documented on dark backgrounds, the details of her creations are all the more apparent, string dangling from bits of the animals’s arms and wings as if it was truly decomposing. By using a technique inherited from her deceased relatives McCormack says she “aim[s] to generate emblems of my diminishing bloodline, embodied by each organism’s skeletal remains.”
McCormack studied Illustration at the University of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Her work will be featured within Opus Hypnagogia: Sacred Spaces of the Visionary and Vernacular at The Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York which runs through October 15th. (via Laughing Squid and Beautiful Decay)
World Before the World, 2014
World Before the World II, 2014
Bound, As It Were, 2015
The Organist, 2013
Embroidery artist Chloe Giordano (previously) continues to evolve her extraordinary talents with needle and thread in these latest stitched illustrations of small animals. Embracing her background as a traditional illustrator, Giordano is able to layer countless different thread colors as one might do with pencils. The Oxford-based artist is very open about her techniques and often fields questions on her Tumblr. Her latest piece, Sleeping Hare, is currently available through Light Grey Art Lab.
If you’ve been on the hunt for the perfect ceramic capybara planter, look no further. Ceramicist Priscilla Ramos from São Paulo, Brazil, has a fantastic line of animal planters in the form of foxes, whales, anteaters, and yes, even the world’s largest rodent. She’s even working on a sloth! The handmade stoneware pieces are perfect for small succulents or cacti, and you can see more in her shop: Cumbuca Chic. (via NOTCOT)
Turkish sculptor Selçuk Yılmaz (previously) just completed work on three new mask-like sculptures depicting the heads of a lynx, tiger, and fox. Yılmaz uses thin strands of hammered and welded steel that give each piece a beautiful curved musculature. You can see more details of each piece over on Behance.
Don’t show these to your kids unless you want them to be completely underwhelmed by every balloon animal they see for the rest of their lives. Japanese balloon twister Masayoshi Matsumoto makes some of the most intricate balloon sculptures I’ve ever encountered. From prickly iguanas to glowing sea creatures it seems no life form is too difficult for Matsumoto to faithfully interpret using nothing but balloons. You can follow more of his work on Tumblr and on FB. (via Neatorama)