Art

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Art

Crystal Hearts and Translucent Tongues Shaped Into Sculptural Works by Debra Baxter

August 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Cross My Heart” (2019), Glass, Crystal Geode, 4.5″ x 5″ x 3″

Santa Fe-based sculptor and jewelry designer Debra Baxter combines glass, bronze, crystal, wood, and found objects to create ghostly sculptures of human forms. In one piece titled “Cross My Heart” (2019), a purple heart sits on top of a rough cluster of geodes, while in ‘First Taste” (2017), a glass tongue protrudes from a slab of quartz crystal.

For many of her recent works Baxter, shares with Roq Larue Gallery that she drew inspiration from the phenomenon of the “Ghost Heart.” In this medical procedure, a heart is cleansed of all of its blood cells and then injected with hundreds of millions of new blood steam cells which cause the heart to begin beating again. Baxter is interested in how this concept explores the complexity of existence, walking the line between life and death.  You can see more of her sculpted hearts and wearable artworks on her website and Instagram.

“Crystal Brass Knuckles (Aura Blow)” (2017), Aqua Aura Crystal and White Rhodium Plated Bronze, 7″ x 5″ x 2″

“Ghost Hand” (2019), Glass, Smoky Quarts, 13″ x 11″ x 12″

“First Taste” (2017), Glass and Quartz Crystal, 6″ x 8″ x 4″

“Silver Heart” (2019), Silver, Quartz, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

“I’m Your Venus” (2017), Cast Glass, Bronze, 5″ x 5.5″ x 2.5″

“Wind Knocked In” (2017), Amethyst, Bronze, Mopany Wood, 9.5″ x 15″ x 6.5″

“Heart of Gold” (2019), Bronze, Thunder Bay amethyst, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

 

 



Art

Intricate Beadwork Adorns Handmade Mardi Gras Suits by Demond Melancon

August 11, 2019

Andrew LaSane

For the past three decades, Louisiana-based artist Demond Melancon has created highly detailed Mardi Gras Indian suits using millions of hand-sewn small glass beads. Each suit takes several months to create and features custom patches that tell stories about African and American history.

Images of Nyabinghi warriors, Haile Selassie, African nature scenes, and slavery are strung together bead by bead to form decorative costumes that weigh up to 150 pounds and are worn from 9am to 6pm on Mardi Gras. Frills and feathers frame the complex beadwork and sequins to complete the one-of-a-kind single purpose suits.

Melancon tells Colossal that in junior high school his friends “masked Indian” and that he followed them into the craft. He was chosen by the elders to learn sewing techniques as well as the history of Black Masking Culture in New Orleans when he was 14 years old. After masking as a Spy Boy for 15 years with the Seminole Hunters, Melancon earned the distinction of becoming Big Chief to his own tribe. In addition to leading his community and passing on traditions to the next generation, the honor is expressed through the size and intricacy of his suits, which can take over 4,000 hours to complete and are only worn once.

“I study our history and historical narratives to create my pieces [with] many different references,” Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters explained. He added that as a “bead master,” his style involves using the smallest beads available to pack in as much detail as possible.

Melancon’s work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. A new documentary short about his life and art titled “All on a Mardi Gras Day” (dir. Michal Pietrzyk) was the Documentary: Grand Jury Prize Winner at Seattle International Film Festival and has been shown at other festivals across America, Germany, and Denmark. For a list of upcoming screenings and to see more of the Big Chief’s suits, visit his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

AfroArt Photo Series Challenges Beauty Standards with Young Black Models

August 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All Images: Kahran and Regis Bethencourt. Styling by LaChanda Gatson, Shanna Thomasson and Angela Plummer

Husband and wife photography duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography capture images of children that celebrate the beauty, culture, and heritage of afro hairstyles. Often dressed in ornate African-inspired garb, Black girl and boy models are crowned with afros, twists, and braids as symbols of strength and grace.

The Bethencourts, based in Atlanta, have been working together for 10 years and began photographing children with natural hair in 2013. The “AfroArt” series began when they noticed a lack of diversity in the industry. The way the children in the series are styled and posed against warm backgrounds recalls the regal oil portraits painted of upper class men and women during the Renaissance movement. “We decided to showcase kids with natural hair to empower them (and others in the industry) to embrace it and for the kids to be proud of their culture and natural curls,” the photographers tell Colossal.

“When we first started out we were primarily working with child models, but now more than half of the kids have never modeled before,” they added. “Many parents hire us so that their child can get the experience of feeling empowered for the day. We will typically guide them on set to make them feel comfortable. Most of them just see it as a fun experience, but they usually leave the studio feeling a little more proud and self-confident.”

CreativeSoul Photography has an online shop where images from the AfroArt series can be purchased as prints, calendars, and other products. They also recently signed a book deal, so keep an eye out for that at your local bookstore. In the meantime, follow CreativeSoul Photography on Instagram for more striking images and future updates.

 

 



Art

Animals Evolve into Islands Teeming With Coral, Succulents, and Tropical Fish in Hyperrealist Paintings by Lisa Ericson

August 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Anchor,” 20”x24”, Acrylic on panel

Lisa Ericson (previously) deftly paints animals in scenes that reach outside of their natural environments, creating unique relationships that defy the natural order of the animal kingdom. In her newest series a deer, flamingo, and multiple turtles form miniature ecosystems in glassy blue water. Coral sprouts from the hooves and legs of the two larger creatures, while brilliant flowers and butterflies surround the smaller turtles. These paintings are featured in Ericson’s current exhibition Islands, which runs through August 25, 2019 at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon. You can see more of her beautifully rendered plants and animals on Instagram.

“Pollinate,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

Detail of “Pollinate,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

Detail of “Pollinate,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

“Bleach,” 16”x20”, Acrylic on panel, all images via Antler Gallery

“Harvest,” 20”x24”, Acrylic on panel

“Pollinate II,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

 

 



Animation Art

An Amusement Park-Themed Animated Short by Fernando Livschitz Goes Off the Rails

August 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The fate of riders on roller coasters and ferris wheels takes an unexpected turn in “Beautiful Chaos”, a new short from Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films (previously). We won’t give too much away, but the minute-long animation uses digital editing to make amusement park rides perform stomach-churning tricks. Let’s just say… don’t try this at home.  Watch more of Livschitz’s animations on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Landscapes by Jason Anderson Blend Precise Pixelation and Hazy Abstraction

August 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Platform”

U.K.-based artist Jason Anderson creates abstract urban landscapes using pixelated patches of pastel-toned oil paint. Each work on linen has a single focal point of bright yellow usually representing the rising or setting sun, though in the painting above the illumination comes from an approach train. Anderson balances the natural and manmade by primarily featuring infrastructure—ships, marinas, trains, buildings—that appears small and distant within each pastel haze.

Anderson’s career began with stained glass restoration projects at cathedrals and he shares in a statement that his training in the jigsaw-like aspects of stained glass design and repair continue to inform his style as a painter. See more of his paintings on Instagram and Twitter. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

“Embankment”

“Axis”

“Ternary”

“Frontier”

“Galleon”

“Advance”

“Spectrum”

 

 



Art

Four Seasons of Flowers Appear to Blossom and Wither in a Responsive Installation by teamLab

August 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Illuminated columns protrude from the ground of bath house ruins in a new installation by teamLab (previously). The structures, which the Japanese collective refers to as “megaliths,” feature moving images of waterfalls and flowers in a constant state of change. Over the course of an hour, visitors will experience one year of seasonal flowers bud, grow, blossom, and wither away. Incorporated into the megaliths is also imagery of flowing water that adapts to the movement of nearby viewers. Each element of the artwork is computer generated, unique, and will never appear in the same state again.

Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins was created for a new exhibition titled A Forest Where Gods Live, in Mifuneyama Rakuen Park on the Japanese island of Kyushu, which runs through November 4, 2019. The soundtrack for the piece was created by Hideaki Takahashi, and sponsored by Grand Seiko. You can view more computer-animated sculptures and installations on teamLab’s website and Vimeo. (via designboom)