For the past four years, 16-year-old artist Shania McDonagh has participated in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition, an art contest for children in Ireland held every year since 1955. Just looking at the astounding portrait above, it may come as no surprise that McDonagh has won the top prize for her age category every year since she was 12, and today snagged the top prize for the 2014 competition with this hyperrealistic drawing of a man titled Coleman.
The judging panel chairman, Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art & Design, remarked that the girl’s work could position her “as one of the most talented artists of her generation, and one whose skill could see her become one of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists of the future.” We would be inclined to agree.
For her talent McDonagh snagged a $2,075 (€1,500) award which she will receive next month. You can read more and catch a video over at The Irish Times. (via PICDIT)
Update: The original photo was taken by James Fennell, depicting fisherman and seaweed harvester Coleman Coyne.
French illustrator Thomas Lamadieu recently made stops in locations around Germany, Canada, Belgium and France where he shot several aerial views from inside claustrophobic courtyards which he then turned into quirky illustrations. We first shared Lamadieu’s work a year ago to the day, and I really like the progression he’s made since.
I’m really enjoying the work of tattoo artist and illustrator Jan Mráz who is a new regular artist working at Bobek Tattoo in Prague. You can see more of his recent work on Facebook and in his sketchbook.
Japan is a country full of amazing art. Some of it is housed within museums and galleries while others are right underneath our feet. I’m talking, of course, about Japan’s peculiar obsession with manhole covers. Just about anywhere in the country you can find stylized manhole covers, each more beautiful and intricate than the next. For the past several years photographer S. Morita has traveled around Japan photographing artistic manhole covers.
As to why this phenomenon developed, signs point to a high-ranking bureaucrat in the construction ministry who, in 1985, came up with the idea of allowing municipalities to design their own manhole covers. His objective was to raise awareness for costly sewage projects and make them more palatable for taxpayers.
Thanks to a few design contests and subsequent publications, the manhole craze took off and municipalities were soon competing with each other to see who could come up with the best designs. According to the Japan Society of Manhole Covers (yes, that’s a thing) today there are almost 6000 artistic manhole covers throughout Japan. And according to their latest findings, the largest single category are trees, followed by landscapes, floral designs and birds – all symbols that could, and surely did, boost local appeal.
Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker (known collectively as Hari & Deepti) are an artist couple who create paper cut light boxes. Each diorama is made from layers of cut watercolor paper placed inside a shadow box and is lit from behind with flexible LED light strips. The small visual narratives depicted in each work often play off aspects of light including stars, flames, fireflies, and planets. The couple shares about their work:
Paper is brutal in its simplicity as a medium. It demands the attention of the artist while it provides the softness they need to mold it in to something beautiful. It is playful, light, colorless and colorful. It is minimal and intricate. It reflects light, creates depth and illusions in a way that it takes the artist through a journey with limitless possibilities.
What amazes us about the paper cut light boxes is the dichotomy of the piece in its lit and unlit state, the contrast is so stark that it has this mystical effect on the viewers.
Using a black Isograph 0.10mm pen, French illustrator Xavier Casalta draws a cluster of dots the size of a speck of dust and follows with a few hundred thousand more to create swooping letterforms, shadows, and gradients. Only 21 years of age the artist already possesses a commendable sense of typography and composition as is exemplified in his ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ project that involves a visual interpretation of the phrase in 10 different designs. You can see more of Casalta’s work on his website and pickup limited edition prints in his shop. (via Fubiz)
It’s been over two years since we last featured the work of French duo Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann of Zim&Zou (previously here and here). The pair of graphic designers create paper sculpture, installations, and illustrations for leading luxury brands, books, magazines as well as their own edification. Collected here are a number of works from the last few years and you can explore much more over on their website and on Behance.