Graphic designer Matt W. Moore has always been attracted to the infinite possibilities of mandalas, spending a great deal of time producing graphically-oriented grids on both canvases on walls. When Moore had the chance to take an artist residency in Eden, Utah he decided that he would like to reconsider the motif, gathering elements found scattered on the mountains and nearby valley. The result of his foraging is a series of neatly organized designs, concentric elements composed of bark, cattails, shale, and river stones.
“At first it felt like playing caveman Tetris, somewhat of a flashback to building block castles I made as a child, but as the configurations evolved to be more complex I very much felt like a graphic artist or bricklayer, every measurement had to be dialed and every pebble or twig needed to be carefully placed,” said Moore in a description of the project. “By the end of the series it no longer felt like assemblage art, instead it was more of a painterly process, with the palette to my left and my paintbrush replaced with elemental expressions and flourishes, kind of like painting with mother nature’s paintbrush.”
You can see Moore’s painted mandalas on his website and see a selection of both his natural and graphic work on his Instagram. (via Synaptic Stimuli)
Oakland-based artist Gabriel Schama (previously) continues to produce intricate relief sculptures by layering pieces of laser-cut mahogany plywood. Some of his most impressive new works see mandala-like shapes contained within the silhouettes of people’s faces, a striking idea that imbues each portrait with an unusual sense of motion and personality. Other pieces seem to utilize religious iconography or patterns from nature like reptile scales or leaves. Schama is soon to release a new collection of work for sale and you can learn more via his website.
Japanese artist Mr. Riu takes paper cutting to an intricate extreme, crafting mandalas and elaborate figures with a precision work tool called the swivel knife. This tool allows him to cut curves more fluidly, as the head of the knife can turn 360 degrees. With this movement, Riu produces asymmetrical imagery that is often filled with hidden details—winged horses that sprout from points in a star and snakes that wrap themselves around the eyes of his figural works.
Riu’s captions for his Instagram images are often inspirational and speak to the dedication and patience he has developed during his paper cutting practice. “It’s not that I can do it because I originally have a great patience,” says Riu in one of his captions, “I think that my patience grows stronger gradually because I want to do it.”
You can see more of Mr. Riu’s work on his Instagram and blog.
Far more than just popsicle sticks and yarn, Jay Mohler‘s Ojos de Dios or “God’s Eye” mandalas update the craft often seen at sleepaway camps and elementary classrooms. Upwards of 15 colors of yarn are included in his elaborate mandalas, producing pieces that span up to 48 inches in diameter.
Mohler has been crafting Ojos de Dios since 1966, inspired by both Huichol natives of Mexico, and monks from Tibet. The Asheville, North Carolina-based artist began making 8-sided pieces when they grew in popularity as folk art in the 1970’s American Southwest, selling them at tourist gift shops around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most recently Mohler has been producing 12-sided works that he recognizes as potentially spiritual objects, but explains, “I create these for artistic satisfaction rather than as any sort of spiritual talisman.”
Not only does Mohler sell his own elaborate pieces, but he also creates DIY kits for fans to make their own work. You can buy both his finished pieces and kits on his Etsy page and find detailed instructions for making your own mandalas here. (via The Jealous Curator)
Artist Joe Mangrum (previously) was just in Zuidlaren, Netherlands, where he was commissioned by the Doe Museum to create 8 temporary sand paintings over a period of 11 days. All of Mangrum’s paintings are spontaneous and evolve as he works, a grueling physical process that involves dozens of revolutions around the artwork as he adds new details and flourishes by pouring brightly colored sand. All eight artworks were photographed as he worked and turned into time-lapse videos, three of which are included here. The sand paintings will remain on view through October 30, 2015. You can follow more of Mangrum’s work on Facebook.
Working with precisely cut 1/8″ pieces of laser-cut mahogany plywood, Oakland-based artist Gabriel Schama creates densely layered wood relief sculptures that twist, intersect, and overlap to create various mandala-like forms. Each piece begins as a vector illustration which is fed into his laser cutter (which he named Elsie), and is then glued and finished by hand. Collected here are a number of recent sculptures produced after a successful Kickstarter project, and he has several new pieces in his shop. If you liked this, also check out these laser-cut works by Eric Standley and Martin Tomsky. (via Hi-Fructose)