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Art

Assembled Sculptures by Artist Willie Cole Cluster High Heels into Expressive Masks

May 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Street Dragon I” (2018), shoes, wire, and screws on a metal stand, 64.5 x 16 x 15.5 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse. All images © Willie Cole, courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York

New Jersey-based artist Willie Cole juxtaposes readymade footwear and African tradition in his series of sculptural masks. The figurative assemblages stack women’s heels into clusters that are expressive and distinctly unique, an effect Cole derives from the shoes’ material, color, and pattern rather than a preconceived plan or sketch. Depicting exaggerated toothy grins, pointed brows, and outstretched tongues, the sculptures span more than a decade of the artist’s career and influence a new collaboration with Comme des Garçons that’s comprised of headpieces made with black pumps.

Each piece is layered with cultural and societal markers, including those that comment on mass consumerism, fashion trends, and notions of femininity. This context is situated in time and place, which Cole describes as “a subtle catalyst for perception. I have discovered that high heels purchased in New York are very different than high heels purchased in Georgia,” he says. Cole explains:

I guess you could call the high heel both an anxious object and a readymade aid. ‘Anxious’ because as a symbol, it is fully loaded with history and a story all its own even as just a shoe. ‘Readymade aid’ because that history adds so much to your interpretation and/or reaction to these pieces. As for fashion, these pieces speak about the abundance of discarded high heels in the world as well as the various styles and trends.

The artist is involved in a variety of projects at the moment, including a commission for Kansas City International Airport that’s an homage to Charlie Parker and a series of sculptures made with 75 acoustic Yamaha guitars that’ll raise money for music education. His work is currently on view at Alexander and Bonin in New York City and Beta Pictoris Gallery in Birmingham. This summer, he’s participating in a show at Hauser and Wirth and is involved in an installation celebrating a former Black neighborhood that’s opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall. See more from his expansive body of work that largely explores Black identities on his site and Instagram.

 

“Sole Brother 1” (2007), shoes, wire, washers, and screws, 18 x 18 x 19 inches. Photo by Jason Mandella

“Ashley Bickerton” (2016), shoes, wire, and screws on a metal stand, 63.5 x 16 x 15.5 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Street Dragon II” (2018), shoes, wire, and screws, 19.5 x 15.5 x 10.25 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Shine” (2007), shoes, wire, washers, screws, and shelf 16 x 15 x 16 inches. Photo by Jason Mandella

“Fly Girl” (2016), shoes, wire, and screws on a metal stand, 65.5 x 15.5 x 15.5 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Sole Brother 2” (2007), shoes, wire, washers, and screws, 19.5 x 16.75 x 18 inches. Photo by Jason Mandella

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

Shantell Martin Designs Two Decks of Playing Cards with Her Signature Black-and-White Drawings

May 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images via Theory11

The Whitney Museum and luxury playing-card company Theory11 are teaming up on a series of artist-designed decks, and their first edition deals in British artist Shantell Martin (previously). Titled “LINE,” the same combination of Martin’s signature patchwork drawings and affirmational messages inscribe the dual deck, which is available in both a black and a white version. The line drawings are mostly monochromatic with the exception of bursts of color on the joker and face cards, which feature mirrored characters encircled by words like “wisdom” and “joy.”

Each deck is printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable inks and starch laminates, and the cards are canvas textured and blind embossed. Both the black and white versions launched yesterday and are available from Theory11 and the Whitney Shop. You also might enjoy UNO’s sold-out collaboration with Nina Chanel Abney and this revolutionary deck from Studio LO. (via Artnet)

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Miniature Scenes, Cross-Stitch Flowers, and Works from Art History Nestle into Eva Krbdk's Tiny Tattoos

May 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Havva Karabudak, shared with permission

Havva Karabudak, who works as Eva Krbdk, thrives on inking minuscule details. Focusing on innumerable lines and dot work, the Turkish tattoo artist (previously) illustrates textured florals in cross-stitch, realistic portraits of animals, and micro-paintings in the likes of van Gogh, Magritte, and Fornasetti. Many of the vivid renderings are small enough to fit into a perfectly round circle or a skinny stretch of a client’s upper arm.

Karabudak’s background coalesces in her tattoos, including her formal education at the Fine Arts Academy of Ankara in Turkey and her love of textiles. “It’s pretty customary for young women to learn (embroidery) from their grandmothers in Turkey,” a statement about her work says. “As a result, tiny cross-stitch patterns were among the first tattooing styles that Eva embraced.”

Karabudak just opened her studio Atelier Eva in Brooklyn, and although she’s currently booked, you can watch for openings on Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art

Art Advancing Justice: A Chicago-Based Artwork and Book Sale Raises Money to Build Racial Equity

May 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Terry Evans, “Lake Michigan Morning. Lakefront on north side of Chicago. July 23, 2003,” archival inkjet print on Hahnamuhle paper, paper size 13 x 15 inches, image size 12 x 12 inches. All images courtesy of CAAU

Following a horrifying number of anti-Asian hate crimes in recent months, a group of artists and activists in Chicago have teamed up for an ongoing fundraiser, Art Advancing Justice. The artwork and book sale is organized by  Chicago API Artists United (CAAU) and launched last week with a wave of support—many of the pieces sold within the first day—with proceeds going toward Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, an organization that’s been hosting bystander training and other advocacy and civic engagement endeavors as a way to build racial equity.

CAAU director and co-founder Greg Bae tells Colossal that the fundraiser and broader organization grew organically from a network of artists and art writers who had been in conversation prior to uniting formally. “We’ve long been affected by anti-Asian sentiment, both the recent spike, its consistent regularity throughout our lives, and historically—but after the Atlanta shootings some of us got together and decided to mobilize our collective art networks and practices to try to make a direct impact,” he says.

Drawing on the experiences of its sibling organization Chicago Art for Black Futures, CAAU solicited  137 donations from 79 contributors, an unexpected outpouring of support that Bae says quickly raised the fundraising goal from $5,000 to $15,000. “Chicago art communities responded with a lot of love. Our friends and allies, too, are very sick and tired of hate and were happy to support us,” he shares.

Art Advancing Justice coincides with Asian Pacific American Heritage month and runs through May 22. Shop available pieces on the CAAU site, and follow the organization on Instagram to stay up-to-date with its efforts, which include plans to partner again with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago and other activist projects focused on building anti-racist communities.

 

Ali Aschman, “Locus” (2020), graphite on paper, 16.5 x 23 inches

Kimberly Kim, “Red Bottoms” (2021), glazed stoneware, two objects, each 3 x 5 x 5 inches

Ellen Rothenberg, “SHE IS DEFIANT!” (2008), signed silkscreen poster with a personal dedication, 18 x 24 inches

Hana Jiang, “A Fishy Girl” (2019), woodcut print on rice paper, 11 x 14 inches

Megan R. Diddie, “Time Moves” (2017), colored pencil on paper, 8 x 11 inches

 

 



Art

A 15-Meter-Tall Squirrel Rests on Its Bushy Tail to Peer into a Chongqing Botanical Garden

April 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Shiny Squirrel” (2021) in . All images courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman, shared with permission

The oversized animal menagerie by Florentijn Hofman that includes a fox, octopus, and reclining bunny now has a new member. The Dutch artist recently completed a 15-meter-tall squirrel caught peeking into a botanical garden in Chongqing, China. Covered in 16,500 metal discs and propped up by its extraordinarily bushy tail, the cheerful creature waves at the visitors indoors and even flashes a peace sign with its paw.

“Shiny Squirrel” was commissioned by Hongkong Land Chongqing and produced with Art Depot. Check out Hofman’s Instagram to see photos of the playful installation in progress.

 

 

 



Art

Trompe L’oeil Textiles Billow Across Murals by Rosie Woods in Iridescent Ripples

April 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese. All images © Rosie Woods, shared with permission

As if lifted by a breeze, oversized ribbons and bunches of fabric float across the trompe l’oeil murals by London-based artist Rosie Woods. The gleaming, prismatic textiles sway and subtly twist into folds and ripples in the spray-painted works. Through the flowing movements, Woods explores the fluid, ever-changing nature of the human experience by synthesizing abstraction and realism. She explains:

I often wonder what my soul would look like if it manifested itself as an object I could see and touch on this earth.  My artwork today looks to express the depth, growth, and complexity of the mind as well as its ability to encompass both light and dark spaces emotionally. I’d like to think you can “feel” my artwork with your eyes.

Woods translates her massive, lustrous textiles to smaller canvases, which she sells in her shop. Although she’s sold-out at the moment, you can watch for upcoming releases on Instagram, where she shares a variety of process shots and news on where she’s headed next.

 

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

“Veils of Knowledge” at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

Woods working at Grenoble Street Art Festival in France. Photo by Andrea Berlese

 

 

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