Washington-based woodcarver Jeffrey Michael Samudosky has been creating elaborate figural works from a variety of Pacific Northwest trees since he started his company JMS Wood Sculpture in 1998. One of his most recent projects is a replica of an Enteroctopus dofleini, or Giant Pacific Octopus, carved from a fallen Redwood given to him by Redwood Burl. The cephalopod’s tentacles curve and twist their way across areas which Samudosky left natural, including the entire back of the trunk which gives the illusion that the octopus is on top of the tree, rather than a part of it. More
Ceramic artist Keiko Masumoto is intensely interested in the intersection of art and craft, whether a craft object can simply be decorative or if an artistic work can still remain functional. Her questions have resulted in a series of traditional ceramic plates, bowls, and vases embedded with unlikely objects from wriggling octopi to entire buildings. More
Monuments and vaguely descriptive plaques are commonplace around cities and heavily trafficked tourist areas, giving just enough insight into an historic event or landmark. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial blends in with these weathered monuments, except for the fact that all details on the work are completely false. The monument, which is located in Battery Park, Manhattan, was created by artist Joe Reginella and honors the 400 victims who perished during a giant octopus attack of a Staten Island ferry named the Cornelius G. More
Dutch wildlife artist Esther van Hulsen was recently given an assignment unlike her typical drawings of birds and mammals from life—a chance to draw a prehistoric octopus 95 million years after its death. Paleontologist Jørn Hurum supplied Hulsen with ink extracted from a fossil found in Lebanon in 2009, received as a gift from the PalVenn Museum in 2014. After several millennia Hulson was surprised to find that the color had remained so vibrant, preserved all of this time in the cephalopod’s ink sac. More
Inspired in part by his graphic-designer friends disparaging comments about the lowly ballpoint pen, artist Ray Cicin took it upon himself to collect all their discarded pens and embarked on this drawing of a mammoth octopus. The piece is inspired by German naturalist Ernst Haeckel’s famous illustration of squid and octopi, and is part of Cicin’s ongoing Deep Blue series. You can follow more of his work on Instagram. More
As part of the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s annual California Sculpture SLAM, Oakland artist Courtney Brown unveiled this unweildly typing device titled “Self Organization,” that went on to win first place. Brown used a 1938 Underwood typewriter affixed with sculpted bronze tentacles. We can’t wait to read its first book. All of the sculptures from the event are still on view through November 15, 2015. More
The Octographer: An Octopus Was Trained to Take Photographs of Aquarium Visitors in Just Three Tries
The octopus is a fascinating creature. And its well-documented intellect has led more and more scientists to believe that humans may not be alone in their ability to comprehend and solve challenging problems. In addition to opening jars and predicting the outcomes of soccer matches, we can now add ‘taking photographs’ to the ongoing list of skills these 8-legged invertebrate can learn.
To promote their water-resistant camera, Sony recently teamed up with the Sea Life Aquarium in New Zealand to teach an octopus named Rambo to take pictures of visitors from inside her tank. More
Artist Keng Lye whose work we explored earlier this year recently completed a new painting that blends sculpture and layers of acrylic paint to create this near lifelike red octopus. Lye often uses an egg shell to form the body of his cephalopods which then merges seamlessly with alternating layers of resin and acrylic to create an incredible sense of depth and dimensions. If you liked this, also check out the work of Riusuke Fukahori. More
This awesome hybrid elephant-octopus was just completed this week by Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz. Comprised of thousands of tiny brushstrokes, the mural took a week to paint and you can see it yourself on Hanbury Street off Brick Lane. Chicago artist Phineas X. Jones also conceived of an “octophant” which has had numerous incarnations over the years. (via StreetArtNews) More
This latest music video for Wax Tailor featuring Aloe Blacc was shot by the crew over at Australian firm Oh Yeah Wow (previously) who spent over three months carefully moving a crocheted, four-legged octopus (a quadropus!) by hand using stop-motion. The end result is technically incredible despite a somewhat gloomy ending, the team’s ability to create the illusion of being underwater using just a few sparse props is commendable in and of it itself. More
Editor's Picks: Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.