Art

Children’s Imaginations Materialize as Cartoon Chaos in Paintings by Artist Kayla Mahaffey

June 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Picking Up the Pieces” (2019), acrylic on aluminum panel, 36 x 36

Chicago-based artist Kayla Mahaffey captures the vivid reveries occupying young minds. She juxtaposes realistically rendered figures with chaotic scenes of two-dimensional cartoon characters as they emerge from amorphous clouds and pastel commotions. Each central figure wears a distinct expression that’s reflected through the fictional world.

Many of Mahaffey’s pieces portraying children’s imaginations shown here are part of the series Off to the Races, which serves as a hopeful narration of change, she said in a statement.

As we travel through life we experience the daily trials and tribulations that help shape us into the people we are today. During this journey, we may end up hitting some bumps or may experience some rough terrain, but it’s how we deal with those situations that make the difference. We are all on the journey to greatness, each individual racing to the finish line in hope of reaching goals and prosperity. With the race may come with it mistakes and regret, but not taking part in the race leads you nowhere.

The artist shares many of her playful works, in addition to a virtual tour of her recent solo show titled Deconstructed at Thinkspace in Culver City, on Instagram.

 

“Safety First” (2019), acrylic on board panel, 36 x 46

“Stranded” (2019), acrylic on wood panel

“Race to the Finish Line” (2019), acrylic on wood panel, 16 x 20

“Short Fuse” (2018), acrylic on wood panel, 12 x 12

“Enjoy the Ride” (2019), acrylic on aluminum panel, 36 x 36

“Take Action” (2019), acrylic on aluminum panel, 36×36

“Daily Distractions” (2018), watercolor and acrylic on Arches watercolor paper, 18 x 24

 

 



Art Design History

Prominent Figures of the Harlem Renaissance Featured on New USPS Stamps

June 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © USPS

For those who aren’t keen on emblazoning their rent checks or letters with an American flag, the United States Postal Service recently released a stamp collection dedicated to one of the most influential periods in the nation’s history. The new set features pastel renderings of four prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance, a profound artistic and intellectual movement that spanned the 1920s. This year marks a century since the period began and became a turning point for Black culture.

Nella Larsen is recognized most often for her two novels Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), which explore race relations at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and class; Educator, poet, and avid gardener Anne Spencer exemplified the far-reaching effects of the Harlem Renaissance by hosting artists and intellectuals at her home in Virginia; Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was an Afro-Latinx historian dedicated to furthering recognition of Black artists, writers, and intellectuals. His collections now are housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City; and writer, philosopher, and educator Alain Locke is one of the most prominent thinkers of the period. He also edited and contributed to the foundational text, The New Negro.

Designed by art director Greg Breeding with art by Gary Kelley, the 55-cent forever stamps are available for purchase in sheets of 20 from USPS. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 

 



Photography

Watch the Earth Rotate for 24 Hours in an Entrancing Timelapse Centering the Sky

June 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

With a camera peering out over the landscape of Tivoli, Namibia, Bartosz Wojczyński focused on the sky. The Polish photographer created a hypnotic timelapse spanning 24 hours that has a focal point in the atmosphere rather than on the land. Each minute, he snapped a frame that subsequently was looped 60 times to create the final 24-minute version that’s a mesmerizing look at Earth’s cycles.

According to PetaPixel, Wojczyński’s camera was attached to an SW Star Adventurer, which is designed to assist in celestial photography. For more of the photographer’s space-centric projects, head to YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

From Minneapolis to Syria, Artists Are Honoring George Floyd Through Murals and Public Artworks

June 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

A mural in Minneapolis by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez

In honor of George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a White police officer in May, artists have been painting murals and sharing messages in what now is a global movement supporting the victim. From Minneapolis to Los Angeles to Syria, the public artworks are drawing attention to the horrific killing, in addition to the larger issue of police perpetrating state-sanctioned violence.

A collaborative project by artists Xena GoldmanCadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez, the Minneapolis mural centers Floyd within a sunflower. Herrera told Hyperallergic that the “idea was to depict Floyd not as a martyr but as a social justice hero.” He’s surrounded by the names of others killed by police, in addition to protestors. The 20-by-6.5-foot project is located near the Cup Foods where Floyd died.

Louisiana-born artist Jammie Holmes created typographic banners with Floyd’s last words that emblazoned the skies of U.S. cities. Bold statements reading, “Please I can’t breathe,” “My neck hurts,” and “They’re going to kill me,” flew over Detroit, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York.

We’ve gathered some of the most recent projects below, including work from Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun, Fayetville-based Octavio Logo, and Barcelona-based Tvboy. (via Artnet News)

 

Fayetteville mural by Octavio Logo. via Clarissa Bustamante

 

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A message that was flown over Detroit by Jammie Holmes

A mural by Jesus Cruz Artile, also known as Eme Freethinker, in Berlin

 

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A mural of George Floyd in Dublin, painted by street artist Emmalene Blake. | Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

Posted by RTÉ News on Monday, June 1, 2020

 

 

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Design

Six Students Design Solar-Powered Lamps From Collagen, Black Beans, and Agave Plants

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Six lamps designed by Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey students

A 2019 study notes that 1.8 million residents of Mexico live without electricity, while some sources say an additional five million have limited access. In an effort to provide affordable, sustainable solar power, six students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey have designed lamps that can be constructed easily with materials commonly found throughout Mexico’s rural areas. Using wicker, agave plants, coconut bark, adobe, collagen, and black beans, the designers have created hand-held vessels powered by reusable solar cells and LED lights.

Inspired by artist Olafur Eliasson’s (previously) similarly sustainable Little Sun, Moisés Hernández, who led the project,  told Dezeen that students were tasked with creating lamps with easily reproducible exteriors. “With these new material ideas that came from different sites across Mexico, where the weather and context are so different, the students visualized new scenarios where these type of technological objects can be assembled and distributed to local people,” Hernández said. When the lamps need to be replaced, users simply can remove the solar and LED components and position them in new vessels.

 

Black bean lamp by Oscar Andrés Méndez Hernández

Adobe, recycled paper, and cactus slime lamp by Luis Fernando Sánchez Barrios

Coconut lamp by Rafael Sánchez Brizuela

Lamp of wicker made by craftsmen in Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, designed by Aniela Mayte Guerrero Hernández

A lamp of collagen spread over a coconut shell form by Naoto Ricardo Kobayashi Utsumoto

Agave-plant waste lamp by Viridiana Palma Dominguez

Coconut lamp by Rafael Sánchez Brizuela

 

 



Design

Four Adorable Prairie Dogs Peek Out of Kinetic Sculpture Constructed with LEGO

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Designers Jason and Kristal Allemann, of JK Brickworks (previously), understand that prairie dogs have a tendency to scramble into their burrows at first sight of a threat, so the two LEGO enthusiasts have designed a kinetic sculpture that captures the rodents’ most endearing actions while above ground. The articulate animals are shown popping out of their holes, checking for predators in the distance, and wagging their black-tipped tails on a grassy platform constructed with the iconic building blocks.

The duo shares full parts lists and instructions for how to create the animals and their burrow on YouTube. Keep up with their dynamic projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A 20,000-Square-Foot Tribute to Healthcare Workers Emerges at Queens Museum

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Somos La Luz” (2020). All images © Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada, by Eduardo Amorim/Greenpoint Innovations

In the Queens Museum parking lot, Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada (previously) has painted a 20,000-square-foot mural as both an act of gratitude to Latinx healthcare workers, who have risked their own safety to care for others, and a nationwide call to action.

These are the people that make our city move, the people that care for us. These are the people that contribute socially, culturally, and economically to the nation… In the year 2020, where hindsight should not be clearer, it is amazing to me that we must continue to ask ourselves…how it is that minorities today still have to suffer the same injustices of the minorities of the past(?)

Somos La Luz,” or “We Are The Light,” is a large-scale rendering of Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo, a pediatrician who died when fighting the virus in New York City. Rodríguez-Gerada hopes to draw attention to the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among Latinx and Black populations across the United States, in addition to the alarming rates of infection in Queens, one of the city’s epicenters for the virus.

In an Instagram post about the project, Rodríguez-Gerada said presenting the masked figure on such a massive scale reflects the enormity of the issue. “This artwork ‘Somos La Luz’ strives to give deeper meaning to the loss of each life,” the artist writes. “It strives to make evident the importance of every life as well as to value the amazing contribution of migrant people.”

Best viewed aerially, the mural was commissioned by the immigrant healthcare organization SOMOS and Make the Road New York, an advocacy group. (via Hyperallergic)