Photography

Underwater Photos by Steven Kovacs Frame the Shimmering Unearthly Bodies of Larval Fish

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

A young Ribbonfish off Palm Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs. All images licensed

Set against the stark backdrops attainable only during blackwater dives, larval fish become strange, otherworldly specimens with glasslike bodies and translucent fins that billow outward. Their delicate, still-developing anatomies are the subjects of Steven Kovacs’s underwater photos, which frame the young creatures at such precarious stages of life.

Living in Palm Beach, Kovacs (previously) frequents the waters off the Florida coasts, although he’s also recently explored areas near Kona, Hawaii. Expeditions have brought encounters with both the elusive acanthonus armatu and a type of larval ipnopidae that hasn’t been documented previously. “Of course, we are always hoping to run across a never-before-seen species like the discoverichthys praecox,” he says. “To be the first to ever find and photograph a species in the wild is an absolute thrill.”

Next on Kovacs’s list are a hairy goosefish larva and a crocodile toothfish species. Dive into an extensive archive of his images on Instagram, and pick up a print from Blue Planet.

 

Acanthonus armatus off Palm Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Discoverichthys praecox off Kona, Hawaii. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Flying fish off Palm Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Larval fish off Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

A Caribbean Reef Octopus tending to her eggs off Riviera Beach, Florida. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

Larval flounder off Kona, Hawaii. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

“Fu Manch” Flyingfish off Kona, Hawaii. Image © BluePlanetArchive / Steven Kovacs

 

 



Art Illustration

In Graham Franciose’s ‘Morning Coffee Paintings,’ Dreamlike Watercolor Works Capture the Day’s Unmediated Emotion

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

Day 75, “Always There, Always Changing.” All images © Graham Franciose, shared with permission

Many days, artist and illustrator Graham Franciose sits down with watercolor, gouache, and a small sheet of cotton paper to paint a whimsical scene or surreal moment. A skateboarder carries a tree in a backpack, an anxious figure peeks through a colorful monster mask, and an oversized lion snarls at an approaching man. “I like to do these first thing in the morning when I am still not fully awake and start with a blank slate and no preconceived idea,” he tells Colossal.

Dreamlike in style and subject matter, the works are part of an ongoing series simply titled Morning Coffee Paintings. Since Franciose began the ritualistic project in 2019, he’s created about 450 pieces, which reflect a range of moods through mysterious scenarios and quiet, contemplative figures. “I put my phone on the tripod and start the timelapse camera and just start drawing.  I’ve noticed that by filming them it keeps me from second-guessing myself or spending too much time deliberating about choices like color or composition and forces me to just trust myself and my practice,” he shares.

An exercise in experimentation and releasing perfectionism, the paintings are also a visual diary of the artist’s practice and unfiltered emotional states. “Sometimes recurring themes, symbols, or concepts will come up in different ways, and they do evolve and change over time,” he says.

Franciose is currently based in Seattle where he runs Get Nice. Gallery. There are still a few of July’s original paintings available on the series’ site, and you can shop prints at Sebastian Foster, Austin Art Garage, and Bloom. If you’re in New Hampshire, you can see some of his pieces in the Enormous Tiny Art #33 at Nahcotta Gallery early next year. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram for updates on new paintings.

 

Day 76, “How to Be Brave”

Day 78, “Shroom Shade”

Left: Day 66, “You Haven’t Even Mentioned My New Hat.” Right: Day 26, “You Can Take It With You”

Day 47, “Defense”

Left: Day 52, “Onward.” Right: Day 68, “What Your Rings Will Reveal”

Day 71, “Not Rowing Just Going with the Flowing”

Day 23, “What Was and What Will Be”

 

 



Photography

A Surprising Photo Captures an Osprey Gently Gliding Along the Water’s Surface

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

Image © Andy Woo, shared with permission

Ospreys, the large raptors with barbed talons and dense, oily plumage, feed almost exclusively on fish and are known to completely submerge themselves in the water during a hunt. An unanticipated photo by Andy Woo, though, captures the avian predator in a botched attempt as it skims the surface rather than plunging in to retrieve its next meal. “Although I couldn’t figure out what just happened at the time, in looking at the sequence I captured, it looks to me like the osprey tried to grab a fish out of the water, missed, and then could not get enough lift to quickly get back in the air,” he tells Peta Pixel. The unusual move lasted less than a second, just enough time for the Olympia-based photographer to document the act and the bird’s reflection on the water.

Woo is currently selling prints of the short-lived glide, and you can find the entire sequence on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

In a Patterned Menagerie, Artist Anne Lemanski Stitches Printed Papers into Animal Forms

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Painted Wolf” (2019), copper rod, archival pigment print on paper, artificial sinew, 39 x 47 x 15 inches. All images by Steve Mann, © Anne Lemanski, shared with permission

Constellations, butterflies, and bold checkered prints overlay the animalistic forms by Anne Lemanski. Beginning with a copper armature, the North Carolina-based artist stretches vintage paper or patterns of scanned objects across a minimal metal form and stitches the edges together into a geometric patchwork.

Ranging from abstract shapes to illustrations and photos, the printed motifs evoke each character’s temperament, presence, and overall essence. “Stella Terra,” for example, is sheathed in white paper, and images of animals and objects speckle the ephemeral material similar to the spotted coat of the live Appaloosa counterpart. “My interest as of late has been pattern and color and the way it juxtaposes with the form when I take a three-dimensional object (like matches, toothpicks, or straws), make a new two-dimensional pattern with that object, then compose the two-dimensional pattern onto the three-dimensional form,” Lemanski says.

Some of the artist’s animals are on view in a group exhibition at Penland Gallery through September 17, and others are included in a forthcoming book devoted to North Carolina’s art culture. Find more of the ephemeral creatures on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

 

“Fennec Fox (Dog Star)” (2009), copper, ink on paper, artificial sinew, 17 1/2 x 14 x 12 inches

“Gaudy Sphinx” (2014), copper rod and paper, 7 x 16 x 13 inches

“Camoufleur” (2014), copper rod, vintage paper targets, epoxy, 17 1/2 x 15 x 8 1/2 inches

“Tigris” (2018), copper rod, archival print on paper, artificial sinew, epoxy, plastic, 64 x 61 x 30 inches

Detail of “Tigris” (2018), copper rod, archival print on paper, artificial sinew, epoxy, plastic, 64 x 61 x 30 inches

“Mink” (2021), copper rod, archival inkjet on paper, artificial sinew

“Stella Terra” (2022), copper rod, Mohawk cover board, inkjet print on paper, artificial sinew, 80 x 80 x 20 inches

“Jackrabbit” (2015), pigment print on paper, copper rod, 27 1/2 x 26 x 9 inches

 

 



Art

A Playfully Grotesque Monster Peeks Out of Danaé Brissonnet’s Ravenous Mural in Montréal

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Thierry du Bois, © Danaé Brissonnet, shared with permission

A grotesquely beautiful monster with monarch wings, long feathered lashes, and a curiously large mouth has taken over a corner building in Montréal. The cheeky puppet mural is by French-Canadian artist Danaé Brissonnet in collaboration with Poncili Creacion and stands at the intersection of Boulevard Saint Laurent and Rue Marie Anne. Centered around the theme of digestion, the massive public work is a playful, metaphorical interpretation of the bodily process. “These days I’m intrigued with exploring the ways in which I nourish myself… the who and what I let inside,” Brissonnet writes on Instagram. “On the outside, he seems cute and inviting, but he will ferociously protect himself, deciding just who may enter his house.”

A boxy character with outstretched arms swivels atop the roof, and a rainbow chute evocative of a digestive track emerges from one side. Flora and fauna surround the anatomical parts, which the artist explains:

His yellow eyes are positioned in the center of his face and crowned by an echinacea flower, a really special flower for the immune system, a symbol of hope and strength. The arms transform into roosters, (which honors) the Portuguese park and the neighborhood’s delicious Portuguese roast chicken… The long crane holding a house is a little message to myself to find a home somewhere that I can set roots!

Brissonnet, who’s based in Guadeloupe, is currently working on a mural in Québec before she travels to Detroit for City Walls. Find more of her projects that blend puppetry and public art on her site.

 

 

 



Colossal

Make, Learn, and Share Creative Skills in Colossal’s Monthly Virtual Workshops

August 11, 2022

Colossal

Image courtesy of Hollie Chastain, shared with permission

We’re thrilled to announce our monthly series of workshops that explore incredible creativity from leading visual artists. We even have a shiny, new way to stay in the loop about upcoming events with our Colossal Workshops newsletter. Following the remarkable response to our forthcoming session with Hollie Chastain—which is now sold out—we look forward to inviting you to a new class next month! Colossal Members always receive a discount on registration and have access to a growing library of recordings.