In his largest artwork to date, Chinese artist Yang Yongliang (previously here and here) just unveiled From the New World, a sprawling digital collage depicting an overpopulated, futuristic landscape completely overrun with construction, debris, and high-rise skyscrapers. The new artwork is a continuation of Yongliang’s ongoing commentary about the devastating effects of unchecked development and industrialization through the use of dense, photography-based collage. From the New World measures almost 26 feet wide (800cm) by 13 feet tall, and while it’s impossible to truly appreciate it online, you can see many more detail shots over on his website.
A few months ago we featured a number of collages by artist Joseba Elorza (previously) who merges stock historical footage, photography, science fiction, and humor to create surreal worlds that are both strange and nostalgic. Now we get to see his collages in motion. Dallas-based band Air Review commissioned Elorza to make this beautiful music video for their track Young. (via ★Stellar)
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.
Assembled from hundreds of cutout plants and animals from repurposed textbooks, artist Andrea Mastrovito created a striking installation where a colony of bats clings to the ceiling, a flight butterflies swarm the gallery walls, and all matter of insects, mamammals and plants intermingle across the floor. The sprawling artwork spans the realms of collage, diorama and trompe-l’œil and was inspired in part by H. G. Wells’ science fiction novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. Titled The Island of Dr. Mastrovito and The Island of Dr. Mastrovito II the piece was first installed at Governors Island in New York back in 2010 and again last year in a different configuration at Mudac in Lausanne, Switzerland. Via the artist:
His starting points for this site-specific work are the two most common forms of home recreation—books and television. The title of his installation refers to H. G. Wells’ famous novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, in which the archetypal “mad” scientist experiments upon animals in order to give them human traits. In this “Island,” the artist substitutes himself for the doctor, trying to instill a new life into that which was once alive in a different way (books from paper, paper from wood, and wood from trees). Mastrovito imagines that the outside fauna take control of the abandoned house and become its proper inhabitants. Approximately 700 books were brought under the artist’s knife to cut out real-size images of animals. This trompe-l’oeil, or paper diorama, also suggests the strength of images, the infinite possibilities that knowledge—through books—can give us in order to create and re-create the world that we can only imagine.
You can see much more of Mastrovito’s work over on his website.
Belgium-based artist Catherine Nelson (previously) just unveiled a new series of works titled Expedition. The digitally “painted” collages are made from hundreds upon hundreds of photographs that Nelson meticulously assembles into sprawling worlds that straddle the line between real and imagined. The five pieces you see here were nearly 10 months in the making.
Unlike her previous collages that resemble tiny planets, the pieces from Expedition subvert traditional landscapes with a horizon and single vanishing point and instead seem to sprawl in every direction, as if being viewed from multiple vantage points at once. Each landscape is quite large, measuring 60″ tall by up to 115″ wide and is rich with details like hidden snakes, bats and lizards, all elements influenced by Nelson’s memories of her natural surroundings growing up along the east coast of Australia.
With hundreds of tiny photographic fragments, gelatin capsules, magnifiers, plastic bags and insect pins, New York artist Michael Mapes (previously) creates collages that are equal parts portraiture and scientific specimen. For his latest works Mapes used photographs of paintings by Dutch masters Rembrandt, Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy and others as inspiration for large scale specimen boxes. The deconstructed photos along with myriad other materials have effectively been transformed into a collage of a painting of a person. Of the work Mapes shares:
The samples are part of my most recent series of work examining Dutch Master Portraiture. In this work, I deconstruct the original subject, in both a figurative and literal sense by dissecting photos of a painting and considering ways in which the parts might serve to inspire new parts within the reconstruction to suggest unique and complex meanings. I’ve done these works with the use of a visual metaphor suggesting a pseudoscientific method specifically working with materials and processes signifying entomological, biological and forensic science.