Art

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Art Colossal

Step Inside the World of Artist Brothers Icy + Sot in an Exclusive Studio Interview

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Icy + Sot (previously) have worked since their youth drawing attention to social justice issues in their artwork both on the streets and in fine art galleries. Through their multi-disciplinary practice, the Iranian-born brothers explore issues of censorship, refugee crises, and economic inequality. We recently visited Icy + Sot in their Queens, NY studio to learn more about their artistic practice as well as the personal experiences that inspire their prolific output. This exclusive conversation is part of our new Interview series, available to Colossal Members. Learn more and join here.

 

 



Art Photography

Moments of Isolation and Belonging Explored in Surreal Composite Photographs by May Parlar

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All images © May Parlar, shared with permission of the artist

Photographer May Parlar punctuates open landscapes with colorful elements like masses of balloons and accessories separated from human wearers. Her work reflects on themes of belonging and alienation, Parlar tells Colossal, and she seeks to “explore the human condition through a feminist perspective.”

To build her fanciful scenes, Parlar explains that she layers frames to build composite images rather than manipulating the content itself. “I work across different mediums such as photography, film, performance art, sculpture, installation, and landscape art; and all of which gets merged in the end and put together with a glue that for me is the camera”. The artist first was first drawn to photography and filmmaking during her architecture and design schooling in the U.K.

Parlar describes herself as a global nomad, and is currently based in Berlin. See more of her imaginative images on Instagram, and purchase limited edition prints on Saatchi Art. (via Tu Recepcja)

 

 



Art Design

An Enormous Smoke-Spewing Dragon Roves the Streets of Calais, France

November 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

La Machine, the group of inventors, designers, artists, and builders responsible for 46 foot-tall minotaurs and massive tarantulas roving the streets of Europe, has most recently unleashed the Dragon of Calais. The moveable beast, complete with articulated limbs and a smoke-spewing snout, was paraded around Calais for 3 days at the beginning of November. It has now been installed as a stationary sculpture, on which visitors can climb up and walk around. Follow the latest projects from La Machine on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

 

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Art Craft

Magnificently Detailed Porcelain Vessels by Hitomi Hosono Are Blossoming with Hundreds of Flowers, Leaves, and Branches

November 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Commission of A Large Dancing Hawthorn Vase” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 15 3/8 x 17 3/4 inches

Stunning new decorative vessels by Hitomi Hosono layer delicate porcelain flowers and leaves into dimensional forms that appear almost alive. The lavishly embellished bowls and vases feature clusters of finely detailed blossoms, ferns, and stylized tree branches in an aesthetic somewhere between realistic and stylized. In a statement on her gallery’s website, the Japan-born, London-based artist explains that she is inspired by walks in her neighborhood. She closely examines each botanical specimen to create models and moulds, and then hand-carves additional details on each pressed sprig.

Since we last covered Hosono’s work, she has been an Artist in Residence at Wedgwood—the video below takes a look inside the artist’s practice during that time. The London-based artist exhibits widely, and most recently had work on view in “A Natural Selection” at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. Explore much more of Hosono’s work on the Adrian Sasson website, and peek inside her studio practice by following her on Instagram.

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 6 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” detail

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 16 7/8 inches

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” detail

“A Dancing Pine Tree Tower” (2018), Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, (L:) 9 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches; (R:) 9 5/8 x 5 3/4 inches

“A Tsubaki and Leaves Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 4 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches

“A Small Dancing Sakura and Michikusa Bowl”(2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 7 5/8 inches

“A Very Large Zenmai Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with yellow gold leaf interior, 11 x 13 inches

 

 



Art Science

Our House is Flooding: a Semi-Submerged Life-Size Home Floats Down the River Thames

November 15, 2019

Christopher Jobson

Photographs by Guy Reece, courtesy of Extinction Rebellion

Over the weekend of November 10, activist group Extinction Rebellion launched a dramatic installation in London’s River Thames. “Our House is Flooding” was comprised of a life-size brick house, complete with flood lights, a security camera, and a satellite dish, sunken into the British capital’s major waterway.

“Sadly, climate-change is something that affects every one of us. We want to respectfully raise awareness of the severity of the impending human-made disaster,” said Katey Burak and Rob Higgs, who co-built the house. “We wanted to make something that people can visually connect to, whilst leaning on the government and the experts to make the changes that need to be made. Until they make the big legal and financial changes, it’s very hard for people like me or you to make significant changes to protect ourselves and the world around us.”

The impact of climate change on the oceans is inextricably linked to the safety and health of land-bound humans and animals as well. In another chilling example of the immediate effects of climate change and rising sea levels, the world’s foremost art event, the Venice Biennale, was shut down just a few days after “Our House is Flooding”, due to damaging sea surges and floods in the fragile Italian city.

Keep up with Extinction Rebellion’s actions that fight for ecological and social justice on Instagram and Twitter, and find ways to get involved on the organization’s global website. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Art

Site-Specific Installations Accentuate the Geometric Architecture of Mies Van Der Rohe

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

German Pavilion. All photographs: Kate Joyce

Chicago-based duo Luftwerk (previously) partnered with architect Iker Gil and sound designer Oriol Tarragó for “Geometries of Light,” two coordinated installations celebrating the architectural forms of Mies van der Rohe. Both displayed in 2019, the shows were separated by one continent and approximately eight months; the German Pavilion display was on view in February 2019, and the second installation took place this fall at the Farnsworth House outside of Chicago.

The concept was was inspired by the structure’s apparent weightlessness, as it “seemingly floats perfectly on its pedestal”, Petra Bachmaier of Luftwerk tells Colossal. After an initial site visit to Barcelona in 2018, the artists decided to use “a specific tool to accentuate the clarity of the architecture with the laser level, a tool mainly used for construction sites to keep things level,” explains Backmaier. (Bosch Powertools provided the bluetooth-enabled three-plane lasers for both installations.)

Farnsworth House

For both sites, the designers were inspired by the history and context of each location. The German Pavilion was built in 1929 and demolished a year later; in 1986 it was rebuilt based on drawings. With bright red lines cutting through rooms and wrapping around walls, “Geometry of Light heightens the illusion of physical and material boundaries,” says Bachmaier. This effect also reflects the morphed history of the building, and retracing its form, from physical to two-dimensional drawing, to physical once again.

In the autumnal installation at the Farnsworth House, the artists explored the relationship between the architecture and its rural setting. “It uncovers the forgotten history of the site and remnants of earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the renowned house to its river floodplain, topography and key trees that no longer exist,” the artists tell Colossal.

Explore more of Luftwerk’s site-specific installations on their website and Instagram, as well as projects by Gil and Tarragó.

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

German Pavilion

German Pavilion

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House

 

 



Art

120,000 Ribbons Wave Across the Former Footprint of the Berlin Wall in an Installation Marking 30 Years Since the Peaceful Revolution

November 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

On November 9, 1989, German officials decided to allow residents of Communist East Germany to cross over and visit the Western, democratic half of the divided country. Though the complex process of physically and ideologically reunifying the country took about a year in total, November 9th is considered a landmark day. To celebrate 30 years since the Berlin Wall began to break down, artist Patrick Shearn (previously) was commissioned to create a large-scale installation that integrated the reflections and hopes of 30,000 people.

Visions in Motion was on view November 4th through 10th in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, a location that had previously been a demarcation of division. A statement from Poetic Kinetics explained, “the artwork’s rectangular shape conjures the form of the wall; but instead of a heavy, impenetrable border, the form takes flight.” The massive installation spanned 20,000 square feet and was comprised of 120,000 fabric streamers, a quarter of which featured hand-written messages that were collected in the months leading up to the display.

Shearn is a resident of Los Angeles, Berlin’s sister city, and is renowned for his large-scale kinetic installations, which he calls “Skynets”. Tying the German installation to its sister city, the Los Angeles-area Wende Museum, which houses Cold War artifacts, invited Los Angelenos to contribute messages to Visions in Motion as well.

Shearn and his team at Poetic Kinetics are prolific creators. You can explore much more of their archive on the Poetic Kinetics website, and follow them on Instagram to keep up with their latest projects around the world.

 

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