Art

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Art Illustration

Layered Paintings by Betsy Walton Build Memory into Colorful Explorations of the Pacific Northwest

January 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Betsy Walton loosely imitates the landscape of Portland, Oregon in paintings infused with geodesic rocks and female subjects dressed as spellbinding goddesses. Walton works in layers, leaving some areas of the paintings bare with minimal sketches, while others have been painted, mixed with new media, or patched over multiple times.

“I paint over old versions of images so that there is a kind of memory to the painting,” she explains to Colossal. “I like being able to create an image that slowly unfolds. My hope is that a person looking at the finished work is able to have a long relationship with the image—lots of nuance to discover over time.”

Although Portland’s winters have become a primary point of inspiration, Walton likes to also bring in elements of travel by including flora that exist outside of the Pacific Northwest. She also includes natural phenomena or invisible structures that we might not see in everyday life, such as winding tree roots or the ribs of a female subject. “In each painting I am working through a kind of mindfulness process wherein I try to stay faithful to my ideas as they arise, even if I can’t explain it or it seems like a hard turn from where I started,” she explains. “It’s a delicate dance between unconditional acceptance of new ideas and subsequent editing phases where I try to refine the image and gain more clarity in the expression of the image’s story. ”

Walton’s first solo exhibition will open in May 2020 at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland. You can view more of her paintings on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Sunlight Casts Shadows of Phrases Exploring Theories of Time in a Street Art Installation by DAKU

January 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Pseudonymous Indian street artist DAKU recently installed an immersive text-based work in Panjim, Goa. Placed along 31st January Road, a fishnet structure suspends letters above pedestrians. The region’s abundant sunlight pours through to cast shadows on the street, spelling out tropes about the passage of time. Some of the phrases include, “Time works wonders. Time moves. Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind. Time fades. Time is an illusion.” The temporary installation, titled Theory of Time, was supported by the public art nonprofit St+art India, as part of the Start Goa festival.  DAKU often integrates language into his urban interventions. You can see more from the artist on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Head Instructor: A New Glass Sculpture by Thomas Medicus Analyzes the Human Mind Through Four Anamorphic Images

January 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Thomas Medicus (previously) is a master of illusion. The Austria-based artist builds sculptures from segments of painted and hand-cut glass which present a different image depending on which angle you view the rotating cube. In his most recent work, Head Instructor, concept follows form. The piece presents several viewpoints of an androgynous human’s head, showcasing the hidden thoughts and viewpoints that might occupy one’s mind.

“In Head Instructor I tried to show that when you look at a person, a brain, or the world, what you will see always depends on your perspective and the method you use,” he explains to Colossal. “There are always facets that will remain fragmented or hidden when you only approach from only one side.” You can take a look behind-the-scenes of how one of his hand-painted panels is constructed on Vimeo, and see more of his perspective-altering work on Instagram and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Discarded Books Get a Second Chance in Mike Stilkey’s Towering Installations

January 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photo c/o Starfield Library

Photo c/o Starfield Library

While libraries are certainly safe havens for books, the always-evolving taste of readers and the inevitable wear and tear on each tome means that many books are eventually phased out and destined for the dumpster. Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey (previously) works with local libraries to give those books a second chance with his massive art installations. Stilkey arranges the faces and spines of books in groupings of varying size, ranging from a half dozen staked together to thousands-tall-towers that fill public spaces. With a combination of colored pencil, ink, paint, and lacquer, he then paints lively characters using the books as his canvas. The colors, sizes, and titles offer unique blends of backgrounds for dancing couples (both human and feline), dapper birds, and bicycling bears.

Stilkey uses fanciful colors and anthropomorphized animals to add a sense of timeless whimsy to his paintings, which have been exhibited throughout the US. The artist has also traveled the world to create site-specific installations in South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, China, and the Philippines. He will be installing a new work at the LA Art Show in Los Angeles, California from January 23 – 27, 2019. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Design History

Contemporary Cartographic Explorations Fuse with Historic Maps in Digital Works by Scott Reinhard

January 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Yellowstone National Park, all images courtesy of Scott Reinhard

Yellowstone National Park, all images courtesy of Scott Reinhard

Scott Reinhard combines contemporary land elevations with historic maps to create three-dimensional environments of a specific region, city, or state. To produce the digital maps, he pulls elevation data from the United States Geological Survey, which he then embeds with location information and merges with the original design of the old maps.

Producing these hybrids allows the Brooklyn-based graphic designer to gain a better sense of the topography found in large areas without aerial photography, while also developing a story from the cartographic information. He often selects locations he has personally visited or is generally curious about for his digitally produced works. “I am from Indiana, which always felt so flat and boring,” he explains to Colossal. “When I began rendering the elevation data for the state, the story of the land emerged. The glaciers that receded across the northern half of the state after the last ice age scraped and gouged and shaped the land in a way that is spectacularly clear.”

By visualizing the history that shaped a location’s composition at a large scale, Reinhard is able to notice trends in the environment in a more localized way. These forces affect how we traverse our daily environments, but are hard to comprehend without taking the time to zoom out, or look at from above. “As a visual person, I was most intrigued by the ability to visually harness data and create images that helped me gain insight into locations,” he continues. “I felt empowered by the ability to collect and process the vast amounts of information freely available, and create beautiful images.”

Reinhard was introduced to the methods he uses in his digital maps through Daniel Huffman’s website Something About Maps. You can see more of Reinhard’s digital works on Instagram and buy select high-quality prints, on his website. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Teton Range

Teton Range

Yosemite

Yosemite

State of California

State of California

Southern California

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Glacier

Glacier

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

Acadia

Acadia

 

 



Art Illustration

Sketchbook Vol. 1 Provides an Intimate Look into the Minds of Fourteen Contemporary Artists

January 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Sketchbook by David Morales Hernandez

Sketchbook by David Morales Hernandez

Dina Brodsky (previously) started keeping a sketchbook at the age of 18, when most of her content was a collection of scattered thoughts and scribbles. Today, the artist and curator has transformed this practice into wildly detailed pages that combine architectural watercolors with notes written in an organized script. As curator-in-residence at Sugarlift in Long Island City, New York, Brodsky has organized an investigation into other contemporary artists’ notebooks in an upcoming interactive exhibition titled Sketchbook Vol 1.

The show presents sketchbooks as art objects rather than artist’s preliminary plans, giving the audience a chance to thumb through the notes and images of artists such as David Morales Hernandez, Diana Corvelle, Nicolas V. Sanchez, Paul Heaston, and Brodsky’s own sketches. “I think an artist’s sketchbook is integral to their process—it’s where ideas are born, where their days and thoughts are documented,” Brodsky tells Colossal. “It’s a living, breathing record of their life, both as an artist and a human being. They also tend to be something private, that artists make purely for themselves, and rarely part with.”

Full-sized works from the artists will also be on display, so one can look at how sketches and notes provide context for a final piece, while also appreciating each sketchbook as a artwork on its own. “Together the books amount to more than the sum of their parts,” she continues, “they are rather an intimate look into the mind of an artist.” Sketchbook Vol 1. opens Saturday, January 19 at Sugarlift, and runs through February 8, 2019 by appointment. You can also peek inside Brodsky’s sketchbooks on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions) 

Sketchbook by Paul Heaston

Sketchbook by Paul Heaston

Sketchbook by Nicolas V. Sanchez

Sketchbook by Nicolas V. Sanchez

Sketchbook by Dina Brodsky

Sketchbook by Dina Brodsky

Sketchbook by Evan Kitson

Sketchbook by Paul Heaston

Sketchbook by Paul Heaston

Sketchbook by Diana Corvelle

Sketchbook by Diana Corvelle

 

 



Art Craft

Deadstock Rug Materials Transformed into an Immersive Coral Garden by Vanessa Barragão

January 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Vanessa Barragão (previously) recycles unused yarn from the textile industry to produce wall hangings and rugs that imitate the structure of coral reefs. Her recent work, Coral Garden, addresses the scale at which this massive industry pollutes the environment by forming an immersive installation created from an artisanal rug factory’s deadstock supplies. In the production of her sculptural rugs and tapestries Barragão attempts to be as ecofriendly as possible. The Portuguese artist utilizes ancestral and handmade techniques like latch hook, hand-tuft, embroidery, felt, and crochet in order to form each colorful element. Coral Garden is currently installed in the Art and Interaction section of Domotex 2019 in Hannover, Germany until January 14, 2019.