Tag Archives: humor

Quirky Interpretations of Everyday Objects by Vanessa McKeown



For the last few weeks, photographer and art director Vanessa McKeown has been sharing colorful, quirky interpretations of everyday objects on Instagram. McKeown imagines balloons as various fruits and vegetables and oranges are peeled to reveal unexpected objects. Clever visuals all around. You can also follow her on Tumblr.








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Highlights from Artist Tatsuya Tanaka’s Daily Miniature Photo Project


Photographer and art director Tatsuya Tanaka has a fascination with all things tiny and has an uncanny ability to repurpose everyday objects as set pieces or tools for the inhabitants of his miniature world. For his project Miniature Calendar, Tanaka has been stretching his imagination to its limits nearly every day for the last four years. A tape dispenser becomes the bar for a restaurant, a circuit board is suddenly a rice paddy field, and the notes of a musical score become the hurdles for a track race. Individually, the photos might invoke a smile or chuckle as you get the joke, but when viewed collectively they morph into a fascinating study on Tanaka’s breadth of creativity.

New photos from Miniature Calendar are published every day on Instagram and Facebook. Tanaka also published a book of earlier miniature photos in a book titled Miniature Life. (via Spoon & Tamago)







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Japanese Artist Places a Modern Spin on Centuries-Old Woodblock Prints Through Animated GIFs


A Japanese artist is placing a modern spin on a centuries-old technique, animating Japanese woodblock prints in the style typically reserved for TV show recaps and continuously looping memes. The artist, who who goes by Segawa thirty-seven, uses Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to alter the static images and inlay elements of sci-fi and modern culture—bringing in Segways and alien spaceships into the fixed landscapes-turned-gifs.

Other gifs produced by the artist are far more subtle, one in particular showing a crowded street of people lit by moonlight, their shadows traveling from the right to the left side of the screen as the moon travels through the sky. Another shows a scene of people gazing out the window as a high speed train endlessly rushes by.

You can see more of Segawa thirty-seven’s woodblock print animations on his Twitter(via Spoon & Tamago






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Welcome to Dismaland: A First Look at Banksy’s New Art Exhibition Housed Inside a Dystopian Theme Park [Updated 8/22]

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

WESTON-SUPER-MARE — Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a dingy looking Disney-like castle and a gargantuan rainbow-colored pinwheel tangled in plastic—suggested something big was afoot. Suspicion and anticipation surrounding the unusual activity attributed to fabled artist and provocateur Banksy has reached a Willy Wonka-esque fervor. Well, if Banksy’s your bag, continue fervoring. If not, there’s more than a few reasons to continue reading.

The spectacle has since been revealed to be a pop-up art exhibition in the form of an apocalyptic theme park titled Dismaland (“The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction”) that will be open to the public for five weeks.


Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal / CLICK FOR DETAIL

Dismaland legend

Dismaland brochure / Park aerial view courtesy Upfest / Photo of construction

The event has all the hallmark details of a traditional Banksy event from its initial shroud of secrecy to artistic themes of apocalypse, anti-consumerism, and pointed social critiques on celebrity culture, immigration, and law enforcement. However, there’s one major deviation: the bulk of the artwork packed into three main interior galleries was created by dozens of other artists.

So just what’s hidden inside the walls of this derelict seaside resort? A demented assortment of bizarre and beautiful artworks from no less than 58 global artists including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Barminski, Caitlin Cherry, Polly Morgan, Josh Keyes, Mike Ross, David Shrigley, Bäst, and Espo. Banksy is also showing 10 artworks of his own.

Dismaland features a cavalcade of artists featured here on Colossal over the last few years including pieces by Escif, Maskull Lasserre, Kate McDowell, Paco Pomet, Dietrich Wegner, Michael Beitz, Brock Davis, Ronit Baranga, and others.

Here’s some text from the event’s official brochure:

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out? Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park whose big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

In addition to art you’ll also find functional a terrifying carousel, a mini golf park, a ferris wheel, and some ludicrously impossible fair games (like ‘topple the anvil with a ping pong ball’ by David Shrigley), roving occupy protests, and a Star Wars stormtrooper that sulks around the exhibition in a state of complete misery. The park is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who are uninterested in being helpful or remotely informative. Entrance to the event requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque security screening, and of course, you exit through the gift shop.

Just a quick fun note, I had the honor of helping curate a small part of Dismaland: a program of 24 short films shown on a massive outdoor cinema that will play on a loop day and night. Films include shorts by Santiago Grasso & Patricio Plaza, Kirsten Lepore, The Mercadantes, Ze Frank, Adrien M. & Claire B., Black Sheep Films, and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal

Photo by Christopher Jobson for Colossal


Dismaland is open to the public from August 22 through September 27th, 2015 and information about pre-booked and at-the-gate tickets is available here. There’s also a series of events including a show by Pussy Riot and Massive Attack on September 25th.

I think it goes without saying, but if you have the means, get to the UK.

Update: This post has been updated to include additional imagery, clarification, and other small corrections.

Update 2: We understand that there is difficulty with ticketing at the moment, but unfortunately this publication is not associated with the event directly. Please keep an eye on the official Dismaland website for updates.

Update 3: Added a video by Alex Jefferis.

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An Abandoned Indonesian Church Shaped Like a Massive Clucking Chicken

Towering above the trees in a densely forested area of Indonesia lies a giant chicken. The gigantic structure has the body, tail, and head of the bird, even holding open its beak in what appears to be mid-squawk. Although the very old bird is quickly decaying, Gereja Ayam (as the locals call it) attracts hundreds of photographers and travelers to its location in Magelang, Central Java each year who are looking to explore the bird’s bizarre interior.

The building was originally built as a prayer house by 67-year-old Daniel Alamsjah after he received a divine message from God. Although he intended the building to resemble a dove, the locals care more that it looks like a chicken, nicknaming it “Chicken Church.” In addition to a prayer house, Alamsjah also used the building as a rehabilitation center, treating disabled children, drug addicts, and others. Alamsjah was forced to shut the center’s doors fifteen years ago after steep construction costs.

Currently five of the eight pillars holding up the building are crumbling while graffiti covers the inside walls. No longer a place for therapy, the building still serves as a place for worship and travel and according to locals—a private spot for many young couples to hide away from parents or prying eyes. (via Hyperallergic and Daily Mail)


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Calamityware: Mugs That Remind You It Could Always Be Much Worse


Rendered in a style mimicking traditional blue willow pattern design, artist Don Moyer illustrated these fun It-Could-Be-Worse Mugs that remind you that no matter how bad your day is, things could be catastrophically worse. How bad? Think zombie poodles, pirates, attacking UFOs, and aggressive pterodactyls swooping from the sky. The mugs are a companion piece to his ongoing series of Calamityware dishware with similar abominations depicted on fine porcelain plates first featured here last year. The set of 4 mugs are currently funding on Kickstarter. (via The Awesomer)




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Urban Diversion: Playful Street Art Interventions on the Streets of France by OakOak


Street artist OakOak (previously) continues to bring smiles and double-takes to his hometown of St. Etienne, France, an old industrial town with drab facades and cracked sidewalks ripe for his unique brand of visual jokes. He shares his love for superheroes, the Simpsons, Bruce Lee, and other pop culture references through mostly non-destructive, temporary interventions that interact with the immediate environment. Some of OakOak’s best works have been gathered into a new book, Urban Diversion (in French), and the artist had an exhibition earlier this year at le cabinet d’amateur earlier this year.







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