Art History

A Friendly Octopus Found Within Ancient River Pebble Mosaics in Greece

August 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photos: Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta

Pebble mosaics dating from the 4th century BC have been unearthed in Arta, Greece. During excavations at the Small Theatre of Ancient Amvrakia, the floor of a 12-foot wide bathhouse was revealed. Achaeologists discovered carefully laid mosaics of swans, octopuses, and winged cherubic figures  surrounded by a spiral border. Each design was formed using smooth river pebbles in white, off-white, and dark tones, with amber and red pebbles acting as accents. The dig was conducted by the Ephorate of Antiquities, in the town of Arta, which has been occupied on and off since ancient times.

According to Archeology News Network, “the pebble floor is linked with a similar one located in an earlier excavation in the 70s and partly covered by the east part of the Small Theatre’s koilon/auditorium. This pebble floor had been removed from the site during the 1976 excavations. It depicts similar scenes with flying cupids, swans and dolphins and at present is in the storerooms of the Archaeological Museum of Arta.” (via The History Blog)

 

 



Sponsor

School of Visual Arts Division of Continuing Education Fall 2018 Information Sessions (Sponsor)

August 14, 2018

Colossal

Image Credit: Dominick Bedasse

Learn about School of Visual Art’s courses, get the inside scoop on career opportunities, meet their faculty and discover the latest on what they have to offer. These special events begin at 6:30pm and are open to the general public, free of charge. All events will take place at School of Visual Arts’ campus in New York, NY.

Advertising Job Fair: Wednesday, August 29, 136 West 21st Street Street, room 418F
Computer Art: Wednesday, August 29, 133/141 West 21st Street, room 301C, 3rd floor
Design: Thursday, August 23, 209 East 23rd Street, room 311, 3rd floor
Film, Video and Animation: Wednesday, August 22, 209 East 23rd Street, room 502
Fine Arts: Tuesday, August 28, 133/141 West 21st Street, room 602C
Illustration and Cartooning: Thursday, September 6, 209 East 23rd Street, room 311, 3rd floor
Interior Design: Thursday, September 6, 133/141 West 21st Street, room 1104C, 11th floor
Photography: Thursday, August 30 /214 East 21st Street, room 205A
Visible Futures Lab: Wednesday, September 5, 132 West 21st Street, 7th floor
Visual Narrative: Wednesday, September 12, 136 West 21st Street, 11th floor

For more details on each information session please visit sva.edu/ce.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world.

School of VISUAL ARTS, Division of Continuing Education
sva.edu/ce | [email protected] | 877.242.7200

 

 



Photography

New Synchronized Photographs of Swimmers by Mária Švarbová

August 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

New photographs from Slovakian artist Mária Švarbová (previously) continue her exploration of strangely melancholy poolside scenes. Coolly detached young swimmers in matching outfits are frozen in synchronized positions, a surprising diversion from the usual youthful exuberance of kids in pools. A statement on her website describes Švarbová’s unconventional work: “Maria’s postmodern vision boldly articulates a dialog that compels the viewer to respond to the mystery, loneliness, and isolation of the human experience.” The photographer has published a book of this series, titled Swimming Pool. You can see more of her work, including non-aquatic subjects, on Instagram.

 

 



Animation

Billions of Color Changing Particles Create Amorphous Waves in a New Art Film by Maxim Zhestkov 

August 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Volumes is a new 4K experimental art film by artist and director Maxim Zhestkov (previously) which explores the laws of nature through the interactions of billions of spherical particles. As the digitally produced elements collide they transform into a series of brilliant colors, morphing from black and grey orbs to pink, blue, and white balls and back again. The spheres combine to create sweeping waves that disperse and meld back together in large, amorphous forms. You can view more of the director’s projects on Vimeo, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Art

New Multi-Colored Sculptural Blobs Covered in Spongy Spikes by Dan Lam

August 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Amazonian,” all images provided by Dan Lam

Dan Lam (previously) creates brightly colored sculptural blobs that appear to drip from their installation on shelves. The polyurethane foam and epoxy resin works are covered in thousands of tiny spikes which are applied using a piping bag and acrylic paint. Lam creates time-lapse videos of this application, which offer satisfying peeks into her labor-intensive process. Lam has an upcoming solo exhibition at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland, Oregon which opens on October 5, and will be the artist-in-residence from October 8 to November 9, 2018 at Teton Art Lab in Jackson, Wyoming. You can see more of Lam’s soft, spike-covered sculptures on her Instagram.

"Convincing"

“Convincing”

"Damsel"

“Damsel”

"Healthy Glow"

“Healthy Glow”

"Spontaneous"

“Spontaneous”

"Under Your Skin"

“Under Your Skin”

 

 



Art Design

Sinuously Curved Benches Made with Thin Strips of Steam-Bent Hardwood

August 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based furniture designer and sculptor Matthias Pliessnig creates sumptuous, twisting benches by steam-bending hardwood. He first developed the process in 2006 while studying wooden boat building techniques at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when he realized that by flipping his boat-inspired creations over, he could use the hollow form as a sturdy bench. Once he has designed his works using Rhinoceros 3-D software, Pliessnig places a strips of wood into a tube filled with hot steam. After ten minutes the wood is malleable enough to bend into his desired shape, but only for about 30 seconds. In eight hours, the wood is fully hardened, and back to its original strength. You can see more of the designer’s undulating furniture on his Instagram.

Photo: Sam Amil

 

 



Art

Multiple Perspectives Form Elaborately Detailed Cityscapes by Nathan Walsh

August 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Pier 17" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 50 inches

“Pier 17” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 50 inches, all images via Nathan Walsh

British artist Nathan Walsh (previously) creates oil painted cityscapes by combining reference images from a range of perspectives and angles. His latest work Catching Fire was created from a combination of photographs taken during three visits to New York City over a two year period. The painting more accurately captures the feeling of Times Square rather an exact representation, presenting multiple horizon points to make the viewer feel as if they are at the center of the neon-washed environment.

In addition to taking numerous photographs of his chosen location, Walsh also spends time sketching his surroundings in a series of thumbnail drawings. “Of late I’ve found the sketchbook to be of increasing importance even for notes on color or whatever I happen to be thinking about at the time,” he tells Colossal. “This immediate personal response to the environment plays an important role when I’m back in my studio in the United Kingdom and reliant on the photographs taken.”

Once he’s decided on the subject and scale of the painting, he draws in elements in a fairly loose and intuitive way. “Freehand drawing is fundamental to all of my work, allowing me to take full ownership of photographic material,” he explains. “Rejecting the mechanical transfer of imagery forces me to construct each object from scratch and allows for a fluid and inventive approach.”

By selecting segments from a variety of photographs of each scene, Walsh is able to construct his own reality of a space within an urban environment. This includes shifting key elements of his paintings into what he describes as different perspective “zones,” which he explains allows his works to more closely relate to how we experience a city while we are walking through it.

Over the last three years, Walsh’s paintings have begun to focus more heavily on the weather conditions present in a particular location, homing in on the reflective sidewalks produced during a rainstorm or the geometric bands of light that infiltrate an urban space during a bright, cloudless day. You can view of a selection of Walsh’s New York City paintings in his upcoming solo exhibition at Bernarducci Gallery in Manhattan, which opens September 6 and runs through September 29, 2018. More of Walsh’s cityscapes can be seen on his Instagram and Twitter.

"Catching Fire" (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

“Catching Fire” (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

Drawing for "Catching Fire" (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

Drawing for “Catching Fire” (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

"Lake Street' (2017), oil on linen, 34 x 52 inches

“Lake Street’ (2017), oil on linen, 34 x 52 inches

"ZBAR" (2016), oil on canvas, 51 x 115 inches

“ZBAR” (2016), oil on canvas, 51 x 115 inches

"Ed Koch" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

“Ed Koch” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail of "Ed Koch" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail of “Ed Koch” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail drawing of "Ed Koch" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail drawing of “Ed Koch” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

"Peninsula" (2017), oil on canvas, 69 x 133 inches

“Peninsula” (2017), oil on canvas, 69 x 133 inches

 

 

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