Photography

Mexican Guardians Haunt Familial Portraits by Photographer Diego Moreno

November 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Diego Moreno incorporates ancestral imagery with a familiar contemporary universe in his series “In My Mind There is Never Silence.” The artist shares with Colossal that the characters that populate the series draw from his personal family history along with pre-Hispanic Mexican traditions. Each photograph depicts a normal domestic scene: gathering around a table for coffee, getting a hair cut, or playing in the living room with television on in the background. Moreno’s grotesque guardians are participants in or witnesses to these everyday tableaux, which doesn’t seem to surprise or alarm the humans in the room.

Each large, monstrous character, the Panzudo (which translates roughly to “paunchy”) guards a neighborhood in Chiapas, Mexico, and their size and grotesqueness reflects each individual’s scale of sin. He explains, “This work gives new meaning to the intricate tangle of the concealed and the visible, the individual and the collective subconscious, on the highly complex map of coexisting cultures and beliefs in contemporary Mexico.”

The series will be released as a photobook in 2019. The images will also be on view, representing Latin America, in the 5th African photo biennial in Ethiopia in December, 2018, in the Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, Italy on November 15, 2018. (via Lens Culture)

 

 



Animation

Children’s Blocks Take the Form of Simplified Animals in Animations by Lucas Zanotto

November 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

MINIMALS is a new short film by Helsinki-based animator and director Lucas Zanotto (previously) composed of fictionalized kinetic sculptures based on real animals. The series of short animations catch each simplified creature in a repetitive loop that imitates the extension of an elephant’s trunk, a crab’s sideways walk, or the incessant pecking of chickens. The animals appear to be formed from children’s blocks with colors that hint at their actual breed. Pink spheres with snouts are an easy give-away for pigs, while other configurations, like a flat mauve disk rolling across a slender beige cylinder, are a little bit harder to place. Zanotto’s second book, EVERIMAL, was published earlier this year. You can see more of his short animations on his Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Design History Illustration

Hundreds of Japanese Firework Illustrations Now Available for Free Download

November 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In the early 20th-century English fireworks company C.R. Brock and Company (now known as Brocks Fireworks) published colorful catalogs displaying designs from Japanese companies such as Hirayama Fireworks and Yokoi Fireworks. Six catalogs of diverse pyrotechnic diagrams have been digitized and made available for download thanks to the city of Yokohama’s public library. If you don’t read Japanese, you can download each publication’s PDF by visiting their website, clicking one of the book’s English titles near the bottom of the page, and then clicking “本体PDF画像” link below the image. Each catalog is a tremendous and varied selection of the firework shapes and colors of the time, with several designs you might recognize no matter where you view contemporary fireworks displays. (via Open Culture)

 

 



Design

A Green-Tinted Aluminum Canopy Inspired by Florida’s Mangrove Trees

November 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Form of Wander is a new project by Mark Fornes of THEVERYMANY studio (previously) which was recently installed on a pier above the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida. The winding aluminum structure was built to subtly imitate the form of the native mangrove, and extends the city’s Riverfront Park recreational space onto the waterway. Its shape encourages playful wandering through the seven trunks secured along the floating bridge, and its branches imitate the mangrove’s tangled roots. Despite the thickness of the green-tinted structure being just a few millimeters, the canopy was built to withstand hurricane force winds. It held up to its first major storm this October when Hurricane Michael traveled through Florida’s Gulf Coast. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography

A New Book Reveals a Colorful Side to Vivian Maier’s Renowned Street Photography

November 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Nanny and self-taught photographer Vivian Maier (1926–2009) (previously here and here) kept nearly 150,000 photographic images, including street photography and self-portraits, hidden from the world until an estate sale in 2007 revealed a large bulk of her secretive hobby. Since 2010 her photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, and were the subject of the 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Although her mostly Chicago and New York-based photographs have become infamous in the decade since their discovery, her color images have been less prevalent due to the technical challenges involved in their development and recovery. This month the largest monograph of her full-color photographs was published by Harper Collins, which includes images pulled from the roughly 40,000 Ektachrome color slides spanning the last 30 years of her life. Vivian Maier: The Color Work explores over 150 of her colorful images with details that have been gathered about her story and photographic process. The book also features a forward by photographer Joel Meyerowitz and text by Colin Westerbeck, a former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Maier was a self-invented polymath of a photographer,” writes Westerbeck in the book. “The one advantage Maier gained from keeping her photography to herself was an exemption from contradiction and condescension. She didn’t have to worry about either the orthodoxy or the approval of her peers.”

Vivian Maier: The Color Work was created in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City, who will be presenting an exhibition of the same title opening November 14, 2018 and running through January 5, 2019. Several of the color photographs included in the exhibition will be presented for the first time. You can see more of Maier’s black and white and color photography on this portfolio site dedicated to her collection, and you can purchase a copy of the new book on Amazon. (via Chicago Magazine)

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

 

 



Art Colossal Design

Chain Reaction: An International Print Show Featuring Bike-Centric Artwork

November 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

The Road by Eleni Debo

This Friday we’ll be kicking off Chain Reaction, an international print show featuring artists, designers, and printmakers from all over the world. Chain Reaction includes works by seventeen artists, including many previously featured on Colossal: Eleni Debo, Alex Senna (previously), Arna Miller (previously), Mart Aire (previously), Lydia Fu, Moniker, Fran Labuschagne, and Vance Lump.  We’re sharing half the show in this article—stay tuned for part two next week!

Each piece included in Chain Reaction was made exclusively for the exhibition and will be available in person at the Design Museum of Chicago, as well as online in The Colossal Shop. 10% of each print sale will benefit the non-profit organization Blackstone Bicycle Works. Chain Reaction is part of the Design Museum’s winter exhibition, Keep Moving, which explores the history and culture of bicycles in Chicago.

If you’re in town we’d love to see you at the opening at the Design Museum’s HQ at Block 37. You can find out more on our event page, and RSVP on to the event on Facebook. Kids are welcome and the opening is free and open to the public.

Life on Wheels by Alex Senna

Joy-Ride by Arna Miller

ANDAR by Mart Aire

Small Revolutions by Lydia Fu

Keep Moving by Moniker

Let’s Ride by Fran Labuschagne

The Rider by Vance Lump

 

 



Art

Symbiotic Assemblages by Amy Gross Combine Animals and Insects with Fictionalized Habitats

November 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

South Florida-based artist Amy Gross creates hand-embroidered and beaded fiber sculptures that contain colorful nods to the natural world. Bees dot the surface of a work formed from leaves, honeycomb, and moss, while other works contain kaleidoscopic arrays of birds, mushrooms, and other fungi. Although the sculptures reflect a natural symbiosis, their structures are fictionalized in both their color and composition. None of the elements of her pieces are found objects, but rather each handmade from craft store supplies and objects like yarn, beads, wire, and paper.

“Making objects is my way of turning thought into something solid and real, and in a way, slowing time,” Gross tells Colossal. “I never use anything in my work that was ever alive, I collaborate solely with manufactured materials. They mimic living things but will not wither or die. It’s a very human desire to slow or control disintegration, to try to have a say in a volatile, uncontrollable world of change.”

Gross is included in a group exhibition titled Small Works, Big Impact which opens on November 15, 2018 at Momentum Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. You can see more of her nature-inspired assemblages on her website.