Tag Archives: plants

New Portraits of Fashionably Dressed Wildlife and Floral Bouquets by Miguel Vallinas 

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In his long-running portrait series Second Skins, artist Miguel Vallinas (previously) uses photographic portraits of wildlife as a starting point to construct fictional wardrobes that he imagines each animal might wear if it were dressed as a human. Vallinas has an uncanny ability to select the perfect colors and textures for each outfit he photographs, bestowing the animals with a clear sense of character and an unusual authenticity.

On the surface, Second Skins is a humorous series of portraits guaranteed for a smile, but dig a bit deeper and Vallinas suggests the images reveal a more about human nature than the animal kingdom. Specifically, how we perceive people based on appearance and how we create narratives in our mind based wholly on what we see. Vallinas says he is also examining elements of self-perception, specifically “what we believe we are, what others think we are, what we really are, and what we would like to be.”

For his latest body of work titled Roots, Vallinas again explores identity through similarly dressed boquets of flowers or plants matched with remarkably fitting attire. You can see much more on his website.

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New Toadstool Sculptures Crafted From Vintage Textiles by Self-Taught Artist Mister Finch 

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All images by Patricia Heal

Mister Finch (previously here and here) returns this holiday season with brand new specimens, toadstools produced from vintage fabrics that capture the mushroom-capped fungus is elegant detail. Like those who enjoy the hunt of a dedicated mushroom forage, Mister Finch likes the adventure of finding the perfect fabric, utilizing materials from wedding dresses to curtains rich in history to sew his hauntingly accurate works.

In additional to mushrooms—flowers, insects, and birds also capture the creative attention of the UK-based artist due to their lifecycles and the British folklore that surrounded the particular flora and fauna. Although he has no classic training in either sewing or sculpture, Mister Finch’s sculptures beautifully capture the fine detail inherent to his small subject matter, delicately crafting everything from root systems to subtle hints of rot.

For his current exhibition, Mister Finch has included sculptures and photographs taken by the photographer Patricia Heal. These images place the toadstools against black backdrops, bringing attention to the superb craftsmanship of his work and its relationship to a Victorian era aesthetic. These works will occupy Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City through December 23rd, 2015. To see more of Mister Finch’s vintage textile crafted works visit his Instagram and Facebook page here. (via Wallpaper*)

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Circular Framed Planters Add Living Art to Your Walls 

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All images by Anne Liles Photography

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A floral designer and gardner, Kim Fisher has moved the pleasures of garden creation indoors, producing vertical planters that decorate the wall rather than tabletop or window sill. These round, transparent planters surround the greenery inside with a simple aluminum frame, focusing attention on the air plants and succulents inside rather than a large or distracting pot.

Each planter is meant to be filled like a classic terrarium—rocks and moss creating the foundation of the minimalist arrangements rather than dirt. Each hangs at 22 inches in diameter and remains light and easy to hang. You can find Fisher’s designs on her Etsy, each planter shipped with two included air plants to give you a head start to your space’s new vertical terrarium. (via My Modern Met)

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Polymer Flower Sculptures and Tiles by Angela Schwer 

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Working from a tiny table in the nook of her living room, California-based artist Angela Schwer crafts explosive dahlias, gardenias, poppies, fungi, and sea creatures all from a custom blend of polymer clays. Meant primarily as decorative objects, the dense handmade pieces are surprisingly detailed, assembled from hundreds of perfectly formed clay pieces and formed into large tiles that can be hung from a wall or set on a table. You can see more in her online shop, Dilly Pad.

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Fossils from Everyday Life: Plaster Cast Plant Tiles by Rachel Dein 

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London-based artist Rachel Dein of Tactile Studio has spent the last few years perfecting the art of plaster casting, an admittedly straightforward process of pressing objects into clay and then filling the voids with combinations of plaster and concrete. However Dein’s time spent as a prop making apprentice for the English National Opera, The Globe Theatre, and The Royal Opera House, has greatly influenced her techniques, elevating a simple craft process into something else entirely.

Dein’s plaster cast tiles can be quite large, measuring nearly 16″ square (40 x 40cm) and are composed of unusual plant life including iberis, Welsh poppies, lilac, dicentra, hellebore and others. Each cast can only be used once, so every object is one-of-a-kind. “I enjoy the magic of plaster casting to create fossils from everyday life, whether it’s a shell found on holiday, your grandmother’s treasured lace, a Christening gown, or the flowers from your wedding,” she says.

Many of her plaster tiles are available for sale in her shop, and you can explore an archive of work in this gallery. Photos by Gerard Wiseman, Rachel Dein and Andrew Montgomery. (via Lustik)

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Awesome Aquariums: Winners of the 2015 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 

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#1 (Grand Prize) Takayuki Fukada, Japan / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

While most people are satisfied with giving their pet goldfish some colorful gravel, a plastic plant, and maybe one of those bubbly treasure chests, the entrants to the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) have turned aquarium design into an artform. The massive tanks require years of preparation and are focused almost entirely on the aesthetic presentation of plants using only natural elements.

The art of aquascaping is still a fledgling endeavor, first started in the 90s by Japanese wildlife photographer Takashi Amano. The annual IAPLC competition has grown dramatically since, with the 2015 contest seeing 2,545 entries from 69 countries. Japan, China, Brazil, and France dominate the top finalist spots (only 13 entries were from the United States). Finalists were announced in September.

The scoring of each aquarium is based on a complex matrix of six criteria: the recreation of natural habitat for fish; the creator’s technical skills; the long-term maintenance of the habitat; the originality and impression of the layout; presentation of natural layout; and the overall composition and planting ‘balance’. Participants face severe penalties for reconfiguring elements from their own past entries, stealing ideas from others, and using plants that may not last long-term in the environment presented.

This year’s grand prize winner was Takayuki Fukada from Japan with his aquarium titled Longing. You can see our previous coverage of the IAPLC here. All images courtesy IAPLC and AquaA3. (via Vice)

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#2 范博文, China / Courtesy IAPLC & AquaA3. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#4 Paulo Pacheco, Brazil / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#5 叶毅, China / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#7 刘勇, China / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#8 タナカカツキ, Japan / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#10 Luis Carlos Galarraga, Brazil / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#12 Ana Paula Cinato, Brazil / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#16 张大东, China / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#19 薛海, Taiwan / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#21 Andre Longarco, Brazil / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#22 Olivier Thebaud, France / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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#23 Michaël Leroy, France / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd.

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Artist Stan Herd Plants a 1.2-Acre Field Inspired by Van Gogh’s 1889 Painting “Olive Trees” 

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We’ve seen a number of interesting projects lately that attempt to bring art from inside museums into the outdoors. Artist Stan Herd has been doing just that for years by using fields as his canvas for both original compositions and interpretations of historical art. His latest work is a monumental 1.2-acre interpretation of Van Gogh’s 1889 Painting “Olive Trees” planted in Minneapolis. The piece was commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and involved weeks of mowing, digging, planting, and earthscaping to create the piece viewable from the air near the Minneapolis airport. If you happen to see the piece when flying into the city, you can head to the museum to see the real thing.

Herd’s first outdoor land art piece (he refers to them as “earthworks”) was an ambitions 160-acre portrait of Kiowa Indian chief Satanta, that he physically carved into a Kansas prairie in 1981. He’s since created dozens of works around the world, and notably inspired Japanese artists in Inakadate province north of Tokyo to plant a series of incredible rice paddy artworks.

The Van Gogh field will be on view through the fall in Minneapolis, after which Herd plans to mow it down in concentric circles similar to the Dutch artists’s iconic painting style. You can read more about the piece in the StarTribune. (thnx, Randy!)

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