Monthly Archives: May 2019

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Design History Illustration

Cross-Sections of Geological Formations and Views of the Cosmos Bring the World to Life in 19th Century Educational Charts

May 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In 1887 Levi Walter Yaggy published the Geographical Portfolio – Comprising Physical, Political, Geological, and Astronomical Geography with his publishing company, Western Publishing House of Chicago. The popular set of maps and charts (an expanded second edition was released six years later) was intended for teachers to use in classroom settings. The two by three-foot sheets used clever composite images to convey the range of topography and animals around the world, resulting in dense caves and steep mountain peaks that could be straight out of a fantasy novel.

In addition to their imaginative designs and eye-catching color palettes, Yaggy made strides in the teaching aid field by incorporating interactive elements. Each set included a 3-dimensional relief map of the United States and latches revealed hidden diagrams on individual charts. Unfortunately, despite his forward-thinking designs, Yaggy did include the era’s all-too-common racist depictions of non-white populations on some of his cultural maps.

You can explore the full range of Yaggy’s Geographical Portfolio via digital scans on David Rumsey’s map website (where they are available as on-demand prints and as high-resolution downloads), and learn more about the charts on National Geographic. (via this isn’t happiness)

 

 

 

 

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Craft Design Music

Classic Compositions Performed on a Miniature Paper Piano by Aliaksei Zholner

May 22, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Aliaksei Zholner (previously) is known for making fully functioning models from cardboard and paper. His latest piece is a miniature 18-key piano that is tuned to play popular and classical pieces such as Fryderyk Chopin’s Polonez b-moll, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Für Elise, and Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer. The “strings” of the piano are created from paper strips connected to a tension mechanism similar to a guitar and struck by hammers made from paper and cardboard. The black cardboard body is branded with Zholner’s name above the keys in the style of popular piano makers such as Bösendorfer and Bechstein. A more detailed explanation of the construction (in Russian) is available on the Only Paper forum, and you can view more of his paper demonstrations on his Youtube channel.

 

 



Art

Banksy Sets Up Amongst Venice Street Vendors to Share a New Multi-Panel Painting

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Over the past month, the art world’s attention has been focused on the Venice Biennale, one of the most notable international shows on the planet. Many artists who are not in the invitation-only exhibition come to Venice to share their work in unaffiliated gallery shows and take advantage of the Biennale-boosted foot traffic. One such artist chose a more unorthodox setup for his Venice sideshow. Banksy (previously) joined the hordes of street vendors selling paintings to pedestrian tourists with a salon-style setup that merged several paintings together. Titled “Venice in Oil,” the multi-panel work depicts a gas-guzzling cruise ship towering over the ancient city as gondoliers in traditional dress row by.

Last week, many media outlets speculated that a stenciled artwork on a canal wall, depicting a migrant child holding up an S.O.S. flare was created by Banksy. But the British artist verifies his own work by sharing it on Instagram and his website, where the piece has yet to appear. The video below offers an on-the-ground view of the artist’s guerrilla street stall.

Update: The morning of May 24, 2019, Banksy claimed the rumored migrant child stencil in addition to his streetside setup.

 

 

 



Art

Mercurial Emotions Carved into New Glitched Sculptures by Yoshitoshi Kanemaki

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki (previously) captures the emotional complexities of youth in his glitched 3-dimensional portraits. Kanemaki carves tree trunks into figures—often young women—whose faces are multiplied in expressions that range from distressed to joyful in a single sculpture. The figures’ casual, natural poses seem to capture them in real time: some of the artist’s characters perch on chairs mid-conversation, and others gesture with their arms to express confidence or bashfulness. In his finished works, Kanemaki usually uses lifelike coloring, but for one recent sculpture shown in detail below, the artist experimented with creating the sensation of an out-of-focus image by using soft, blurred shapes and colors to complete the expression. See more of the sculptor’s finished and in-progress works on Instagram and Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 



Photography

Bruce the Eagle Gets his 15 Minutes of Fame in a Symmetrical Glamour Shot by Photographer Steve Biro

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

An eagle named Bruce, resident at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Ontario, recently took a dive over open water at the conservancy. Amateur photographer Steve Biro happened to be there at just the right moment, with camera in hand. Bruce’s arced wings reflected in the water below form a an almost perfect oval, and the bird’s bright yellow beak and piercing gaze are directed squarely at the camera. Bald eagles can have a wingspan ranging from six to seven and half feet.

“I snapped a couple images from the side and decided I wanted to get a vantage point where I might be able to shoot him more straight on,” Biro explains to Colossal. “There was a large rock right at the water’s edge were I laid down beside and rested my upper body on trying to get as low as possible.” Biro notes that Bruce was flying close enough to him that he could feel the draft from the bird’s wings, so he was able to a macro lens to capture the moment.  Follow along with Biro’s nature explorations on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Dance

Neon-Clad Ballet Dancers Take the Streets of Hong Kong by Storm in Celebration of Their 40th Year

May 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a new brand video from the Hong Kong Ballet, swarms of brightly dressed ballet dancers demonstrate traditional techniques in a contemporary urban environment. The 40-year-old dance company underwent a dramatic rebrand in 2018 courtesy of Washington, D.C. based-agency Design Army, and the recent video builds on their new identity. Sporting a mix of classic tutus alongside contemporary athleticwear, the dancers pas de deux across basketball courts and stroll en pointe through crosswalks to the remixed tune of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. Find more moments of dancers in motion on the Hong Kong Ballet’s Youtube channel and take a peek behind the stage curtain on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)