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Art

Memories Emerge in Stephen Wong Chun Hei’s Paintings as Vivid Saturated Landscapes

January 25, 2023

Grace Ebert

A painting of a natural landscape in vivid saturated colors

“MacLehose Trail Section 4” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200 centimeters. Photos by Bonhams HK, all images © Stephen Wong Chun Hei

Vivid palettes of blues, greens, and pink saturate Stephen Wong Chun Hei’s landscapes, which translate memories of travel into dream-like paintings in acrylic. The artist considers each work a vessel for the impressions of places he’s traveled or hiked. “I never try to capture just one moment in a landscape. The colours are ever-changing through time,” Hei tells Colossal. “This is the reason that the colours in my paintings are not realistic or naturalistic in appearance. I would like them to be more subjective.”

Many of the paintings originate in a sketchbook, which the artist brings along on his adventures and back to his Hong Kong-based studio. “When I work on canvas, I also got the feeling of travel with every brushstroke and colour used,” he shares.

Hei is currently preparing for a show in May at Tang Contemporary, and one of his works will also be on view with Gallery Exit for Art Basel Hong Kong. He’s currently traveling to multiple countries to explore their landscapes, which he hasn’t been able to do since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow those excursions on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

A painting of a natural landscape in vivid saturated colors

“MacLehose Trail Section 2” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 200 centimeters

A painting of a natural landscape in vivid saturated colors

“MacLehose Trail Section 5” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters

A painting of a natural landscape in vivid saturated colors

A painting of a natural landscape in vivid saturated colors

“MacLehose Trail Section 6” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 120 centimeters

A painting of a natural landscape in vivid saturated colors

“MacLehose Trail Uphill at Section 5” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 centimeters

 

 

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Art

A New Monograph Follows the Evolution of Wangechi Mutu’s Mythologizing Practice

January 24, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a woman-mermaid sculpture in a gallery

“Water Woman” (2017), bronze, 91 x 165 x 178 centimeters. All images © Wangechi Mutu, courtesy of Phaidon, shared with permission

A new monograph published by Phaidon delves into the multi-faceted work of Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu (previously). The first of its kind, the volume packs hundreds of artworks, glimpses into Mutu’s Nairobi studio, and her own writings within its 160 pages. Known for mythologizing, the artist often incorporates found, organic materials like soil, feathers, bone, and ephemera into her collages and sculptures. The works broadly explore gender, sexuality, politics, and the natural world through expressive, hybrid figures imbued with otherworldly lore.

To coincide with the book’s release, Phaidon has a limited-edition print available featuring Mutu’s dreamlike “WaterSpirit washed Pelican.” Explore an archive of her works on Instagram.

 

A photo of a woman-mermaid sculpture in trees

“Water Woman” (2017), bronze, 91 x 165 x 178 centimeters. Installation view at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria, 2017

A photo of an open book spread

A collaged work of two figures

“You Are My Sunshine” (2015), collage painting on paper, 61 x 91 centimeters

A photo of an open book spread

A photo of a woman-creature sculpture

“Mamaray” (2020), bronze, 165 x 366 x 488 centimeters

A photo of three figurative sculptures with colorful hair

From left: “Mirror Faced I” (2020), soil, charcoal, paper pulp, wood glue, emulsion paint, gourd, brass beads, mirror, teak base, hair, wrought iron stand, 174 x 37 x 34 centimeters, bust 58 x 28 x 31 centimeters; “Mirror Faced II” (2020), soil, charcoal, paper pulp, wood glue, emulsion paint, desiccated baobab fruit, brass beads, mirror, teak base, hair, wrought iron stand, 168 x 31 x 36 centimeters, bust 50 x 25 x 28 centimeters; “Mirror Faced III” (2020), Soil, charcoal, paper pulp, wood glue, emulsion paint, brass beads, rose quartz, mirror, teak base, hair, wrought iron stand, 176 x 43 x 37 centimeters, bust 60 x 27 x 33 centimeters

A photo of the artist and a sculpture

Wangechi Mutu, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, 2021

A photo of a book cover

 

 



Art Craft Design

Danielle Clough Reimagines Sportswear and Athletic Gear in Vibrantly Expressive Embroideries

January 24, 2023

Kate Mothes

Am embroidered portrait of eyes surrounded by colorful, loose threads.

All images © Danielle Clough, shared with permission

Utilizing vintage tennis rackets, T-shirts, and tie-dyed fabrics as canvases, Danielle Clough’s expressive embroideries (previously) sport summery motifs like flamingo pool floats, bright citrus, and bucket hats. The artist continues to expand upon the traditional hoop as the framing device and considers how the medium translates to unexpected surfaces like surfboards or apparel. And she isn’t afraid to experiment: her design for a surfboard—a bird perched on a large flower with a stem that trails into loose threads—didn’t go as planned when the time came to apply the piece to the physical board. However, the learning experience shaped the way she approaches future projects.

A recent series of vibrant human eyes stitched onto Adidas shirts comprise a collaboration with the brand to produce limited-edition wearable artworks. “The brief was broad: to create a sense of individual expression through the community,” Clough explains. “This collection of ‘expressions’ looks out from the wearer’s chest. Standing alone, but all together; a part of a group, like a bouquet.” She has also been experimenting with different threads and watercolor, focusing on the fabric background as an important part of the overall composition.

Clough says, “I’m currently working with a South African clothing brand called Poetry on creating a collection for spring using a variety of techniques to translate my work onto apparel,” and shares that she is also collaborating with Florida-based boxing glove maker 1V1 to create embellished mitts. Toward the end of this year, Clough will also present a series of workshops at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia. Find more of her work on her website, and follow the latest updates on Instagram.

 

A series of tennis and badminton rackets that have embroidered flowers in the nets.

A series of tennis and badminton rackets that have embroidered flowers in the nets.

Am embroidered portrait of eyes surrounded by colorful, loose threads.

Embroidered flowers in the net of a vintage tennis racket.

A series of portraits of eyes embroidered onto t-shirts which are rolled up to display all of the portraits.

Two images of embroidered flowers in the nets of vintage tennis rackets.

An embroidered portrait of a young woman wearing a bucket hat in profile, on a blue and purple watercolor base.

Embroidered lemons on a colorful watercolor base.

Am embroidered portrait of eyes surrounded by colorful, loose threads.

A pink flamingo embroidered on a blue fabric.

An embroidery of a bird perched on a large flower, on a blue background.

A detail of an embroidered bird.

An embroidery of a bird perched on a large flower, on a blue background.

 

 



Art Science

‘Glass Microbiology’ Magnifies Viruses, Bacteria, and Other Organisms to 1 Million Times Their Actual Size

January 23, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a glass vaccine sculpture

“AstraZeneca vaccine.” All images © Luke Jerram, shared with permission

Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram (previously) continues to add delicate specimens to his Glass Microbiology collection. The ongoing project is a collaboration with scientists at the University of Bristol, who aid Jerram in scaling three-dimensional renderings of avian flu, papillomavirus, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and other tiny organisms into sculptures approximately one million times their actual size. Transparent and impeccably detailed, the models are designed to showcase the structures of each microbe without distorting the viewer’s perception with non-existent colors, which are often used to distinguish various parts in illustrated renderings.

Jerram documents the process behind his swine flu sculpture in the video below, which begins with two artists hand-blowing the larger structure. The team then shapes hundreds of individual proteins that will later be fused to the virus’s exterior. Find more of the scientifically minded project on the Glass Microbiology site, and follow Jerram’s latest works on Instagram.

 

A photo of a glass virus sculpture

“Papillomavirus”

A photo of three glass virus sculptures

A photo of a glass virus sculpture

“Avian Flu 2012”

A photo of a glass virus sculpture

“EV1 (Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease)”

A detail photo of a glass vaccine sculpture

Detail of “AstraZeneca vaccine”

A photo of a glass parasite sculpture

“Giardia”

A photo of a glass ameoba sculpture

“Ameoba”

 

 



Art Design

Shantell Martin’s Signature Lines Grace a Meditative Limited-Edition Candle Collection

January 23, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a cande and line drawings on a table

Photo by Eli Schmidt. All images courtesy of Shantell Martin, shared with permission

The ever-optimistic artist Shantell Martin (previously) brings her meditative, joyful line drawings to a collection of limited-editions candles. Minimal faces, birds, flowers, fish, and pithy affirmations like “You Time” and “Relax” grace the glass and ceramic vessels made in collaboration with Joya Studio. With burn times of 3,000 and 8,7000 minutes respectively, the candles release uplifting, stimulating scents with notes of shaded green tea, ocean air, heliotrope petals, and vanilla flowers.

Both designs are hand-poured in Joya’s Brooklyn studio, and the porcelain edition contains layers that emit different fragrances after 10, 30, or 60 minutes, making each piece both a timekeeper and a source of warm light. “My wish is that these candles can burn in the background during your creative process, much like a playlist, invigorating your senses and bringing you back to self,” the artist says.

Shop the collection on Joya’s site, and follow Martin’s latest collaborations on Instagram.

 

Two photos of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

A detail photo of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

A detail photo of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

A detail photo of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

Two photos of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

A detail photo of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

A photo of a cande and line drawings on a table

Photo by Eli Schmidt

A detail photo of the bottom of a candle with black-and-white line drawings

Photo by Joya Studio

 

 



Art Craft

Dramatic Flora and Fauna Emerge from Maude White’s Exquisitely Detailed Cut Paper Sculptures

January 23, 2023

Kate Mothes

All images © Maude White, shared with permission

Created from single pieces of paper, Maude White’s sculptures (previously) reveal the veins of petals and leaves, braided locks, and vivid animal portraits. Making countless tiny incisions on archival sheets with a size 11 blade, the artist begins by referencing a photograph and creating a loose sketch to maintain general dimensions. She then carefully selects the location of the first cut, telling Colossal that “every cut expands outward from there, and I have to make sure that the piece can maintain its integrity when complete and not fall apart.”

White continues to pursue nature as a subject, focusing on expressive animals and diverse flora. “I will always come back to my love of elephants and flowers,” she says, sharing that she has been experimenting with new forms that are less visually literal. The net-like, “sketchy” composition pictured below appears at first glance like a bird’s nest, but upon closer inspection, an elephant’s eye and trunk emerge. “I really enjoyed this piece, and it was quite a challenge to design and execute!” she says.

In December 2022, White published Resilience Alchemya deck and guidebook featuring her artwork that focuses on creative self-discovery and empowerment. “I’m really proud of this project, and even though it’s a departure from the more intricate cut-paper work, it explores resilience in a way that I think can be helpful and hopeful for a lot of people,” she says. Find a copy on Bookshop, and keep an eye out for a new deck slated for release this December. Follow White’s updates on Instagram, and explore more work on her website.

 

Photograph by Melissa Hope