Art

Historical Paintings Get a Pixelated Update

February 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Based on “Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, Princesse de Broglie” by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Greek artist and art director Dimitris Ladopoulos (previously) continues to use the Houdini algorithm, referred to as treemapping, to interpret paintings from the art history canon. The program calculates the density of information in a user-provided image and then divides it based on selected parameters, creating a pixelated effect that forms distinct color tiles of varying heights. In a statement about the project, Ladopoulos draws a comparison between treemapping and the original painter’s use of varied brushstrokes to bring fine detail, color variation, and texture to select areas of the canvas. You can see more of Ladopoulos’s work on Behance and Instagram.

Based on “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci

Based on “Portrait of a Young Man” by Titian

Based on “Vincent van Gogh” by John Peter Russell

Based on “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher” by Johannes Vermeer

 

 



Art

Cows, Moose, and Camels Contort into Yoga Poses and Other Surprising Positions in Paintings by Bruno Pontiroli

February 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bruno Pontiroli creates mind-bending explorations of the relationship between humans and animals, painting limber cows doing impressive handstands or an over-eager man embracing a large walrus, much to its chagrin. The artist shies away from labeling his work as Surrealist or Dadaist, instead proposing a new version of reality without categorization. Pontiroli will exhibit work with Galerie Klaus Kiefer at art KARLSRUHE from February 21 to 24, 2019 and with Fousion Gallery at Urvanity Art Madrid from February 28 to March 3, 2019. You can peek further inside Pontiroli’s bizarre world of shape-shifting humans and balancing bovines on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Amazing Science

Extreme Temperatures Breed Glassy Hollow Forms Called ‘Ghost Apples’

February 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

You’ve seen the perfect arcs of boiling water solidified mid-throw, and perhaps this frozen speeding sign that duplicated itself over 2019’s Polar Vortex, but have you seen ghost apples? Thanks to a Facebook post by farm manager Andrew Sietsma, the phenomenon has captivated the internet, leaving commenters to marvel at the sight of these glass-like specimens that remain after apples have rotted from their icy exterior. Sietsema told CNN that this winter the weather in western Michigan was “just cold enough that the ice covering the apple hadn’t melted yet, but it was warm enough that the apple inside turned to complete mush (apples have a lower freezing point than water).” Jonagolds are one of Sietsema’s favorite apple varieties, but on the farm they are now referred to as “Jonaghosts.” (via Reddit and Bored Panda)

 

 



Art

Swirling Abstract Portraits by Firelei Báez Explore Identity in Diasporic Societies

February 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Sans-Souci” (2015), acrylic and ink on linen, 108 x 74 inches (274.3 x 188 cm)

Using acrylic, gouache, ink, and graphite, artist Firelei Báez creates intricate portraits that blur the boundaries between abstraction, realism, and surrealism. Báez forms human figures with skin comprised of swirling bursts of color and pattern, while meticulously rendered strands of hair and piercing eyes anchor the vibrant abstracted shapes as people. In a statement on her website, the artist’s practice is described as “a convergence of interest in anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity and women’s work; her art explores the humor and fantasy involved in self-making within diasporic societies.”

Báez was born in the Dominican Republic and now lives and works in New York, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Cooper Union’s School of Art and Hunter College, respectively. She was recently commissioned by New York’s Metro Transit Authority to create an elaborate mosaic mural. The colorful multi-part work is part of a station redesign in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.

Báez has exhibited widely and her first solo show in the Netherlands is on view through May 12, 2019 at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. You can keep up with her latest work and creative endeavors on Instagram.

“Memory Board Listening (June 7th)” (2015), acrylic and Sennelier ink on YUPO paper, 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

Vessel of Genealogies” (2016, acrylic), graphite and ink on paper, 40.5 x 70 inches (102.9 x 177.8 cm)

“To See Beyond It And To Access the Places That We Know Lie Outside Its Walls” (2015), Gouache and ink on paper, 84.5 x 50 inches (213.4 x 127 cm)

L: “Wanderlust Demanding Recompense” (2016), acrylic and ink on paper, 93 x 52 inches (236.2 x 132.1 cm) / R: “Ciguapa Pantera” (2015), acrylic and ink on paper, 95 x 69 inches (241.3 x 165.1 cm)

“Becoming New (A Tignon For Mami Wata)” (2016), acrylic on canvas 48 x 34 inches (121.9 x 86.4 cm)

“Patterns Of Resistance”

Of Love Possessed (Lessons on Alterity For G.D. and F.G At A Local BSS)” (2016), acrylic on Yupo paper
71 x 56 inches (180.3 x 142.2 cm)

 

 



Photography

Intertwined and Contorted Figures Form Surreal New Portraits by Brooke DiDonato

February 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based photographer Brooke DiDonato (previously) poses bodies in twisting forms, skewing the viewer’s perception of where one body ends and the next begins. DiDonato also combines subjects and scenes in surreal ways that question the division between human and nature, presenting limbs popping up from a field of sun-baked crops, or capturing a stream of bountiful flowers spilling generously out of an open spout.

The above image of two men’s intertwined bodies was inspired by a previous image DiDonato made for a shoe campaign that featured two separate subjects wearing the same pair of shoes. She wanted to revisit this concept while incorporating full bodies to play on the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

A selection of DiDonato’s images from her series “As Usual” is included in The Fence, one of the largest traveling photography exhibitions in the world. Upcoming locations for the open-air experience are Boston, Denver, Houston, and Calgary, Canada. You can keep up-to-date with her portraits and other images by visiting her website or Instagram.

 

 



Art

Colorful Strands of Thread and Beads Highlight the Contours of Human Skulls

February 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Jim F. Faure, who goes by Jim Skull, introduces his decades-long practice with his pseudonym. The Paris-based sculptor focuses exclusively on human skulls. Using innumerable strands of colorful thread, Murano glass beads, rope, and even porcupine quills, Faure creates an entirely new “skin” for the skeletal forms. Each skull’s covering also trails off into dramatic cascades that shape-shift depending on how the skull is displayed.

Faure transforms the surface of an object that often strikes fear into a visually enticing decorative object, inviting the viewer to study the divots and contours of our shared anatomical structure. In an artist statement, the sculptor cites his upbringing in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, followed by wide-ranging international travels in New Zealand, India, and Hong Kong as informing his fascination with the ritual and cultural aspects of the human experience. You can see more of Faure’s work on his website.

 

 



Design History

A Dozen New Stamps Celebrate Leonardo da Vinci’s Drawings

February 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The head of Leda (c.1505–08), on view at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The innovative yet timeless drawings of Leonardo da Vinci will soon be arriving in mailboxes around the U.K., thanks for a special stamp release marking the quincentennial anniversary of the Italian artist’s death. In tandem with the special stamp edition, twelve cultural institutions throughout the United Kingdom will be showcasing a total of 144 of da Vinci’s works in the dispersed show Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. The exhibitions opened at the beginning of February and are on view through May 6, 2019 in Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, and other U.K. cities. Stamp sets are available from Royal Mail. (via artnet)

The skull sectioned (1489), on view at Ulster Museum, Belfast

A star-of-Bethlehem and other plants (c.1506–12), on view at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Studies of cats (c.1517–18) on view at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

The skeleton (c.1510–11) on view at Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff

The fall of light on a face (c.1488), on view at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The head of St. Philip (c.1495) on view at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

The skeleton (c.1510–11) on view at Cymru/National Museum Wales, Cardiff