Art

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Art

Domesticated Root Systems by Diana Scherer Form Twisting and Repetitive Patterns in Patches of Earth

March 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Amsterdam-based artist Diana Scherer investigates the desire for humans to control nature through her series Exercises in Root System Domestication. The project combines design, craft, and science to manipulate plants’ subterranean systems into forming mesmerizing interlocking patterns that are unlike what is found organically. To “train” the roots to grow in such complex patterns, Scherer develops underground geometric templates that the roots grow along and merge with as they grow.

This intelligent behavior of plants below ground, away from humanity’s watchful eye, is another inspiration for Scherer’s work. “Darwin discovered that plants are a lot more intelligent than everybody thought,” she explains on her website. “For contemporary botanists, this buried matter is still a wondrous land. There is a global investigation to discover this hidden world. I also want to explore it and apply the ‘intelligence’ of plants in my work.” You can view more of her root explorations on her website and on Facebook.

 

 



Art

Monochrome Monsters Squeeze into a Former Factory in a New Monumental Exhibition by Phlegm

March 19, 2019

Sasha Bogojev

Photo by Chris Saunders

Photo by Chris Saunders

The historic building of Taylor’s Eye Witness Works in Sheffield, England is currently hosting Mausoleum of the Giants, the newest sculptural installation by Phlegm (previously). The exhibition features a number of large-scale sculptures of the surreal pseudo-mythological characters he’s included in his murals worldwide. Placed inside the spacious interior of a former kitchen and pocket knife factory, these friendly giants welcome visitors to walk between and examine their appearance from every angle.

The largest piece of the show waits for the viewer just beyond the first door. This massive creature lies on the ground in an almost fetus-like position, with large arms and hands clenched as he stares through the space with wide open eyes. Visitors must walk around the monumental body to discover the rest of the exhibition and peek at what other giants rest beyond the first room.

The works are created on skeletons made of wood and wire, with papier-mâché finishing. Phlegm then paints on them in an illustrative style based on intricate patterns and using a shading effect. This technique makes them seem flat when photographed against the architectural elements of the building, yet in person, they seem bigger, heavier, and bolder. By producing the creates at a scale that barely fits inside the space, they imitate how the artist regularly uses every inch of a wall to paint his captivating murals.

Mausoleum of the Giants will be open to the public through April 6, 2019. Phlegm plans to continue his experimentations with scale by putting together a show with miniature etchings he’s been working on in the last couple of years, in addition to releasing a book of etchings. You can follow his worldwide murals and sculptures on Instagram.

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

 

 



Animation Art

A Geometric Light Projection by Joanie Lemercier Invites Viewers to Take a Trip Through the Stars

March 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Constellations is a light-based audio-visual installation by Joanie Lemercier that explores the great expanse of our universe through the presentation of morphing geometric shapes and bright glowing orbs. The three-dimensional light work is projected onto water, which gives it a rippling, holographic effect, further intensified by an electronic soundscape produced by Paul Jebanasam. “It’s an exploration of the stars, constellations and the vastness of the cosmos, suggesting the beauty of geometry, simple and complex structures of the universe,” explains Lemercier. The project was first shown in Bristol, UK in March 2018 at Layered Realities in Millennium Square, and is produced by Juliette Bibasse. You can see a full preview of the Constellations in the video below, and follow the tour schedule on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Art Illustration

Ceramic Dishes Drawn as Rippling Pools of Culture by Brendan Lee Satish Tang

March 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Untitled (Spode) 2012

For his “Swimmers” print series, artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang transformed traditional blue and white ceramic dishware patterns into a symbol for culture: the complex, learned, and shared pool that surrounds us all. Each intricately drawn work features two swimmers (parental figures and children, siblings, and peers) who are seemingly unaffected as they attempt to navigate the rippling waters together.

“Untitled (Ming 1)” 2012

Born in Ireland to Trinidadian parents, Tang received a formal art education in the United States and in Canada, where he is a naturalized citizen. He has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across North America, and his work has been exhibited and collected at museums and galleries across both nations. Currently based in Vancouver, Tang works primarily in clay to explore themes of tradition and culture with a particular interest in cultural appropriation and hybridity, which he says reflects his own “ambiguous cultural identity.”

The crosshatching and subdued blue tone give Tang’s drawings a sketch-like quality, while the morphing of the ceramic waves show a deeper level of planning and precision. A play on the idiom “a fish out of water,” Tang writes on his website that “we are the fish,” adding that humankind is “always finding our way through our greater culture.” Brendan Lee Satish Tang is represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver and Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland. Check out his website to see where he will be showing next, and follow him on Instagram for closer looks at his latest work.

“Untitled (Delftse Pauw)” 2012

“Untitled (Ming 2)” 2012

“Untitled (Royal Delft)” 2012

 

 



Art Illustration

Loneliness and Belonging Explored in a New Children’s Book of Poetry and Mixed-Media Illustrations

March 16, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Enchanted Lion

Author JonArno Lawson and artist Nahid Kazemi recently collaborated to tell a largely visual story about a young bird contemplating its own existence and trying to find its place in the world after losing its flock. Titled Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon and published by Brooklyn-based Enchanted Lion Books, the children’s book features poetic writing by Lawson which provides the framework for its complex themes. Kazemi’s colorful illustrations—a mix of pencil, colored pencil, chalk pastel, and collage—pull young readers into the colorful and curious world.

After studying painting at Art University in Tehran, Kazemi worked as a graphic designer for literary magazines, published children’s books in Iran, and participated in illustration festivals around the world. Kazemi tells Colossal that the collaboration with JonArno Lawson happened by chance, shortly after a move and career restart in Canada.

While looking through books at a library for publishers and authors, the artist came across one called Sidewalk Flowers. “It made me hopeful that publishers in North America were interested in publishing wordless books,” she said. “I searched for JonArno’s other books in the library and felt that his work was close to my own style. I found him through social media – he really liked my work as well, and after a short while, we started to think together about this project.”

The new book is available now on Amazon. To see more of Kazemi’s mixed media illustrations, follow her on Instagram. (via Brain Pickings)

 

 



Art

Human-Powered Clocks by Maarten Baas Physically Mark the Passage of Time

March 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch artist Maarten Baas produces artworks that lie at the intersection of visual art, performance, and design, creating manual clocks that are erased and redrawn on the stroke of each minute. In pieces like Grandfather Clock and Schiphol Clock Baas places himself within the structure of the time-telling devices, functioning as the works’ human mechanism. Other pieces from his Real Time series use the assistance of another performer to create 12-hour films, such as a line of perpetually swept trash doubling as a clock arm. Baas began the time-based series in 2009 at the Salone Del Mobile in Milan, Italy, and has a current piece in the group exhibition Design by Time at the Pratt Institute through April 13, 2019. You can see more of his works on his website, Instagram, and Vimeo, and in the videos below.

 

 

 



Art

Colorful Ceramics Accented by Gravity-Defying Drips

March 14, 2019

Anna Marks

Photo courtesy of Bian Xiaodong

Rain falls through the air in smooth curvaceous orbs, instantaneously splitting as it splatters to the ground. Chinese artist Bian Xiaodong’s glossy ceramics resemble these falling droplets, however their inverted forms drip upwards rather than down. The artist crafts his gravity-defying artworks from kaolin clay derived from Jingdezhen —a part of east China’s Jiangxi Province known for its history of crafting porcelain.

After adding the clay to silicone moulds, Bian turns the pieces upside down and lets the natural flow of the clay create a unique shape. In the high-temperature firing process, this ultra-thin clay body further morphs into different forms. Once his ceramics are formed, the artist paints them, using an array of colorful pigments including metallic grey and sunflower yellow. “My work attempts to discover the special texture of ceramic materials, and the beauty that is brought to me by the natural forces,” he explains to Colossal. To view more of Bian’s raindrop-like artworks, visit the China Design Centre’s online gallery.

Photo courtesy of Bian Xiaodong

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

Photo courtesy of Bian Xiaodong

Photo courtesy of Bian Xiaodong

Photo courtesy of Bian Xiaodong

Photo courtesy of Bian Xiaodong

 

 

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