Photography

Passport Photos Widened to Reveal Unexpected Chaos Hiding Just Beyond of the Frame

August 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Max Siedentopf was in the process of getting his picture taken to renew his passport. As he sat in front of the camera, he began thinking of all of the ridiculous restraints placed on the small image —no smile, or patterns, or glasses, or anything interesting whatsoever. Siedentopf decided to create an alternate reality for a set of these “boring” identification images, creating regulation passport photos from scenes of intrigue, and often chaos.

The London-based visual artist recruited a cast of friends and strangers to sit for passport photos. Above the shoulders the participants are straight-faced and rigid, yet below they are balancing full wine glasses along their arms, taped to a wall, or even on fire. The humorous series explores the fringes of mundane government tasks, while imbuing some personality in the utterly quotidian. You can see more examples from his Passport Photos series on his website and Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art Documentary

Filmmaker Bas Berkhout Steps Inside Portrait Painter Kathryn Engberg’s New York Studio

August 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A short documentary film by Bas Berkhout profiles third generation portrait painter Kathryn Engberg. In the 6 minute-long film, Berkhout turns the tables on Engberg⁠—usually the observer and chronicler⁠—taking a look inside the artist’s studio and digging into her story. “As a painter of people myself, I tried to give Bas total control to capture what felt compelling to him. As someone so self-admittedly interested in being in the audience, it was strange to see myself as the focus. But I trusted Bas to create a wonderful piece,” Engberg tells Colossal.

The artist is currently working on a series of paintings inspired by the artist Artemisia Gentileschi  (who is perhaps best known for Judith Slaying Holofernes), and will be exhibiting in the group show “Face to Face” at Robert Simon Fine Art in New York City. The show opens on November 14, 2019. See more of Engberg’s paintings and sketches on Instagram and explore Berkhout’s film portfolio on Vimeo. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

 



Art

Stop-Motion Animation Shows a Bird’s POV of the Exotic Pet Industry

August 18, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Animator and director Evan DeRushie‘s recent short film “Birdlime” is about an exotic breed that escapes capture just to find itself injured and caged anyway. Birdlime features handcrafted and stop-motion animated human hands, tropical trees, other birds, and gibberish sounds in place of dialogue. The colorful kid-friendly film shows the versatility of the medium for fun, engaging, and artful storytelling.

Inspired by a trip to Thailand and his introduction to the exotic pet industry, DeRushie had the idea to the tell the story from the bird’s point of view. The characters are made from dyed and painted cushion foam. Working alone, the animator designed everything so that it would last long shoots with limited camera angles and edits.

“Thinking about the way that animals are represented in animation, and the effects in the real world (like how clown fish populations were decimated directly after Finding Nemo), I started seeing animation as a powerful and scary tool,” DeRushie said in a statement. “With this in mind, I tried to portray a respectful relationship between human and animal, and to treat the bird without too much anthropomorphism. I also wanted the film to feel like you were in the cage with the main character, and to be a bit confused by the world.”

DeRushie is the co-owner of the Toronto-based animation studio Stop Motion Department Inc.. Prior to “Birdlime” he animated and set-supervised 2015’s The Little Prince and was a part of the team that animated the short film “The Fox and the Chickadee,” which played in numerous festivals around the world. To see more of his work, click through to his official website.

Images via Short of the Week

 

 



Art

Chrome Face Masks and Hyperrealistic Oil Portraits by Kip Omolade

August 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn X, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. All images via Kip Omolade

Brooklyn-based artist Kip Omolade (previously) uses molding, casting, and painting techniques to create detailed masks and large-scale hyperrealistic portraits. Contrasted against vibrant backgrounds, each chrome face appears to rise from the canvas to meet the viewer. Continuing his Diovadiova Chrome series, Omolade’s recent work explores form, connections, and the basics of what makes us human.

Since we last featured his work in 2017, Kip Omolade’s portraits have evolved to include more than one subject. “In my paintings, I previously presented each mask as a singular portrait,” he told Colossal. “In my current work, the faces are now interacting with each other. They are arranged together on large canvases measuring 13-15 feet long. The masks have become mythological characters having conversations about humanity. I see them as deities pondering age old questions about birth, life, death, identity and love.”

He has also included his three children in his work for the first time. Their portraits, titled Diovadiova Chrome Triumph after a Wu-Tang song, represent “life’s ability to survive despite environmental and societal hardships. Reflections of Times Square New York City are captured within their portraits. In a seemingly eternal sleep, they are depicted with their eyes closed…still innocent to the world.”

Kip Omolade is opening a pop-up art show in New York City on September 9. Titled The Diovadiova – Avoid a Void, the show will be open to the public at 520 West 23rd Street. For more upcoming event news and progress shots of his work, give the artist a follow on Instagram.

Diovadiova Chrome Triumph work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Triumph work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Kip Triptych III detail, Oil on canvas, 74 x 36 in

Diovadiova Chrome Diana IV, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in

Diovadiova Chrome Trinity, Oil on canvas, 120 x 186 in

Diovadiova Chrome Tribunal work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Tribunal, Oil on canvas, 120.5 x 156.5 in

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce IV detail, Oil on canvas, 72 x 34 in

Diovadiova Chrome Kip Triptych I detail, Oil on canvas, 74 x 36 in

Profiled in the video below by filmmaker Jesse Brass (previously), Omolade speaks about immortality, form, universal beauty, and what it means to be a diva.

 

 



Photography

A New Book Compiling Hundreds of Timeless Feline Photos by Walter Chandoha is the Cat’s Meow

August 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

1955. All photographs © 2019 Walter Chandoha, courtesy of Taschen

A new book chronicles over seventy-five years of photographer Walter Chandoha’s images of cats.  Around 1950, Chandoha found a kitten outside in the winter snow. The cat, who he adopted and named Loco (shown in the photo below dated 1951), started the photographer’s affinity for documenting cats, which continued for the rest of his life. The New York-based photographer, who passed away earlier this year, was quite prolific. His archive contains over 225,000 photos, including about 90,000 of his feline friends. Hundreds of these charming, often candid photographs are compiled in a new 296-page book published by Taschen, with writing and editing by Susan Michals and Reuel Golden, respectively. The book was released on August 12, 2019, and is available online. (via Creative Review)

Astoria, 1951

Chandoha’s Long Island home studio, 1955

New Jersey, 1961

New Jersey, 1982

New York City, 1950

 

 



Animation Art

Sparkling Balls of Paint and Glitter Explode and Absorb in a New Experimental Short Film by Rus Khasanov

August 16, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Filmmaker Rus Khasanov (previously) was working on a challenging shoot in Seoul, South Korea when he got the idea for this latest experimental film, Unity. The short work follows hundreds of paint bubbles as they roll, explode, and merge across the screen, creating dazzling bursts in shades of purples, oranges, pinks, and blues set to a soundtrack by Dmitry Evgrafov. Khasanov had been attempting to make two paint balls merge perfectly for his original commercial shoot, which he was finally able to achieve on the last day of shooting by chance and luck.

After several various ingredient experiments, he was able to learn how to get paint balls to absorb without bursting. “When you master the technique,” he explains, “you can already playfully turn the flaws into advantages: now in the bursting paint ball I see not a nightmare, but a bright colorful explosion which reminds me of fireworks.”

The film has elements that are in sharp focus while others imitate the bokeh effect, showcasing the sparkling paint elements in a soft out-of-focus that makes the entire thing seem like the bright spots of a blurred photograph. You can see more of Khasanov’s short films on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Bizarre D.I.Y. Balloon-Destroying Devices by Jan Hakon Erichsen

August 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Don’t invite Jan Hakon Erichsen to your next birthday party. The Norwegian artist is on a mission to destroy every balloon he encounters with an endless array of awkward Rube Goldberg-esque setups. Erichsen documents his inventions in “Destruction Diary” videos, which he posts daily on Instagram, and aggregates into compilations on YouTube. Erichsen’s usual balloon-popping tool of choice is a steak knife, but he has also employed bananas, cacti, and saws to do the deed. The artist explains in a statement that he “works within a variety of media focusing on topics like fear, anger and frustration”. In addition to his balloon-centric video work, Erichson explores other found materials in his structural D.I.Y. projects, which you can see on his website. If you enjoy Erichsen’s creations, also check out Simone Giertz’s robots.

 

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A post shared by Jan Hakon Erichsen (@janerichsen) on

 

 

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