Photography

Phenomenal Skies and Animals in Action Top This Year’s Nature TTL Photography Contest

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Astonishing,” Godafoss, Iceland, Mauro Tronto

The annual Nature TTL Photographer of the Year contest garnered more than 8,000 submissions this round, with some of the most impressive images focusing on fauna in the wild and stunning light-based phenomena that illuminate nighttime skies. Taken around the globe, the winning photos demonstrate both acts of stealth and moments of serendipity. Images range from Matt Engelmann capturing an unaware dog fox as it creeps over a Swiss mountain to Mauro Tronto framing a rainbow shooting upwards from the misty Godafass waterfalls in Iceland, the glowing northern lights overhead. See some of our favorite photos below, and visit the competition’s site to view all of the top entries.

 

“A Moment of Wilderness,” Mountains of Switzerland, Graubünden, Switzerland, Matt Engelmann

“City Hare,” Kassel, Germany, Jan Piecha

“Sunset Ray,” Tuna Factory, Maldives, Andy Schmid

“Vantage Points,” Hosanagara, Karnataka, India, Achintya Murthy

“Pretty in Pollen,” Mutter’s Moor near Sidmouth, Devon, U.K., Tim Crabb

“The Top of Australia,” Kosciusko, Australia, Josselin Cornou

“Nature Fights Back,” Loxton, Northern Cape, South Africa, Bertus Hanekom

“Ice Bear,” Klukshu, Yukon, Canada, Geoffrey Reynaud

 

 



Craft Food

Kitchen Stitching: Pies, Pastries, and Chicken Wings Are Crocheted into Delectable Fiber-Based Cuisine

August 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Healthy fibers meet delicious decadence in Normalynn Ablao’s crocheted provisions. The California-based crafter and pattern maker is cooking up spring rolls, pies, and party-sized platters of chicken wings, crudites, and dip, all made with yarn. Like her pastas, Ablao continues to serve textured designs that mimic their edible counterparts, although she tends to have a taste for cakes, pies, and other baked goods that you can find on Instagram. Whip up your own by grabbing a pattern from Etsy.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Sports and Art History Team Up in a Playful Twitter Account That Matches Life and Art

August 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Top: “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” (1675) by Mattia Preti. Bottom: Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photo. All images courtesy of ArtButMakeItSports, shared with permission

What do an injured Kelley O’Hara and “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” by Italian Baroque artist Mattia Preti have in common? The exasperated soccer star and 1675 religious masterpiece find unexpected synchronicity thanks to LJ Rader, the creator behind the wildly popular meme account ArtButMakeItSports.

Since 2015, Rader has been cleverly pairing photos from professional sports with art historical works. What began as a personal project that involved visits to museums and some of the week’s most intensely emotional images from soccer matches or basketball games has evolved into Twitter and Instagram accounts with considerable followings.  “At first, it was starting with the art and then thinking about what it could be if it were sports,” he says. “As time went on, I realized the ones that resonated the most were the mashups—and using sports images that were in the moment/news cycle played the best.” A running Megan Rapinoe might imitate Apollo chasing Daphne, for example, or a long, lean leg might evoke that of an Alberto Giacometti sculpture.

 

Left: A photo of Bill Russell by Dick Raphael. Right: Patrick Henry (1775), Panel 1 from “Struggle Series” by Jacob Lawrence (1955)

Beyond the obvious visual similarities, though, Rader’s mashups tend to go a step further as they masterfully draw the two seemingly diametric fanbases and cultures together. One comparison features an image of the late Celtics player Bill Russell and Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series, for example, because both the basketball great and American painter were highly active in civil rights work.

Now numbering upwards of 1,000, the all-star pairings are an internet sensation in their own right, and ultimately, Rader’s goal is to dive into “what art means and (explore) the intersection of culture between two sides—art and sports—that rarely meet.”

 

Top: Photo by Tom Stillman. Bottom: “Christ Healing the Blindman” (1725-30) by Gerardus Duyckinck I

Right: “Neptune and Amphitrite” (1691-94) by Sebastiano Ricci

Top: “Apollo pursuing Daphne” (1616-18) by Domenichino and assistants. Bottom: Photo by Nikita

Right: “L’Homme qui marche II” (1960) by Alberto Giacometti

Bottom: “Abstraktes Bild (649-2)” (1987) by Gerhard Richter

 

 



Art Science

An Enormous ‘E.coli’ Floats Through the National Museum of Scotland at 5 Million Times Its Actual Size

August 10, 2022

Kate Mothes

“E.coli”. All images © Luke Jerram. Photo by Neil Hanna, courtesy of the artist and National Museum of Scotland

In the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, an enormous single-cell organism floats among the Victorian iron colonnades of the cavernous Grand Gallery. Bristol-based multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram often explores the nature of scale and perception in his pieces (previously), and the latest installation of his inflatable sculpture “E.coli,” which has been displayed in locations around the U.K., spans 90 feet, representing the bacterium at 5 million times its actual size. (If humans were to scale up just as enormously, they would be about 5.5 miles tall!)

Escherichia coli (known as E.coli) is a group of mostly beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines of animals and humans. Some types can occasionally cause severe illness, usually transmitted on food. Jerram’s sculpture prompts visitors to re-examine their relationship with “germs,” elevating and celebrating the importance of bacteria for both health and science.

“E.coli” is on view as part of Edinburgh Art Festival through August 31. You can find more of Jerram’s work on his website.

 

Photo by Luke Jerram

Photo by Luke Jerram

Photo by Neil Hanna

 

 



Art Craft

Delicate Lace Patterns Overlay Facades in Ornate Large-Scale Murals by NeSpoon

August 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

Yffiniac, France (2022). All images © NeSpoon, shared with permission

Polish artist NeSpoon (previously) continues to add to her expansive collection of murals that merge local craft traditions and street art. Having traveled around Europe in recent months, she’s completed pieces in France, Spain, and Italy, to name a few, and each oversized motif recreates a lace pattern sourced from a museum or resident at a massive scale. The resulting works, which are spray-painted in white, are intricate studies of the region’s florals, ornamental styles, and tatting methods and how they differ throughout cultures and eras.

NeSpoon, who is based in Warsaw, generously shares in-progress and production photos on her site, and you can follow her latest pieces on Instagram.

 

Montpellier, France (2021)

Corsica, France (2022)

Brescia, Italy (2022)

Penelles, Spain (2022)

Montpellier, France (2021)

Detail of mural in Montpellier, France (2021)

Mendicino, Italy (2022)

 

 



Art

Glass Pitchers and Vessels Encase Architectural Paper Sculptures by Ayumi Shibata

August 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Ayumi Shibata, shared with permission

Tucked inside clear glass vessels are Ayumi Shibata’s regal architectural vistas and layered cities enveloped by trees and vines. The Japanese artist is known for her elaborately constructed paper sculptures that fill small spaces like books and jars or occupy entire rooms, all of which are alluring and immersive as they draw viewers in to the enchanting, dream-like environments. Because the artist uses solely white paper, each sculpture highlights the intricacies of her cuts, and the details are enhanced even further when illuminated. That soft light source creates depth and shadow, as well, and Shibata describes the latter as adding a spiritual dimension to her works.

The artist recently finished two large commissions, one to accompany singer Ryoko Moriyama on stage and another for the KITTE shopping mall next to Tokyo station. You can follow updates on those in addition to other pieces on Instagram.