Art

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Art Colossal

Submit Your Idea For an Artistic Mini Golf Course Hole by October 31st for ‘Par Excellence Redux’ at the Elmhurst Art Museum

October 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Submissions close on October 31, 2019 for next year’s Par Excellence Redux. If you’ve been sitting on a great idea, now’s the time to send it in! The 18-hole artist-designed golf course will be fully playable, installed in 2020 at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Par Excellence Redux is a contemporary reimagining of the landmark exhibition in 1988 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, curated by Colossa’s Editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. Find out more and submit your idea here! Selected artists will be allotted $1,300 as a combined honorarium and materials budget.

 

 



Art Illustration

Meticulously Painted Portraits by Miho Hirano Fuse Introspective Women with Plants and Animals

October 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Solitary female figures command the canvas in oil paintings by artist Miho Hirano. The Japanese artist creates detailed portraits of her human protagonists, who avoid direct eye contact with the viewer. Hirano’s women stare off into the distance as fish and butterflies swarm and flower blossoms and vines seem to grow from the figures’ hair. In a statement on Gallery Sumire’s website, Hirano describes the mission of her work as “to express the changing situation of life’s ugliness and maturity.”

Hirano draws inspiration from her upbringing, noting that her mother cared for plants and animals, and those motifs have continued in her work even though she does not currently reside in a nature-filled place. She also explained to WOW x WOW that she has long found painting a resonant medium to express her thoughts, explore ideas, and escape reality.

Hirano graduated from Musashino Art University’s department of Oil Painting and currently resides in Chiba, Japan. The artist had her first solo show in the U.S. at Corey Helford Gallery in 2017. Hirano’s newest body of work, Recollection, is on view in a two-person show at Corey Helford in Los Angeles from November 2 to December 9, 2019. See more of Hirano’s ethereal paintings on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

100,000 Hand-Arranged Stamps Form Complex Mosaics by Elisabetta Di Maggio

October 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In “Greetings from Venice, Italian artist Elisabetta Di Maggio used thousands of stamps to create colorful mosaics on the floor of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Di Maggio created repeating geometric patterns with the varied designs, shapes, and color palettes of each miniature government-commissioned artwork. The paper mosaics were placed below a transparent floating floor, allowing visitors to walk over the artwork, located on the fourth floor of the historic building, which has been repurposed as a contemporary shopping destination.

To create the elaborate repeated patterns, Di Maggio studied St. Mark’s Basilica’s floor and Venetian palazzi and sorted 100,000 stamps by color to prepare the designs. The artist then worked with a team of high school students to arrange the stamps in complex patterns. “Greetings from Venice” was on view in autumn 2018.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the process for “Greetings from Venice” on Irenebrination’s blog and explore more of Di Maggio’s other projects on her website.

Research and process documents via Irenebrination

 

 

 



Art

Toothpicks and Found Objects Form Amorphous Sculptures by Chris Soal

October 20, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Lament (We thought the good times would never end) (2019), birch wood toothpicks, polyurethane sealant, ripstop fabric, board. 67 x 91 x 24 inches. All photographs by Matthew Bradley unless noted

South African artist Chris Soal combines concrete and other industrial materials with found objects such as toothpicks and bottle caps to create conceptual sculptures. Often set in contrasting textural elements, thousands of single-use objects take on a new identity and aesthetic as part of a collective. The works are a commentary on the destructive relationship humans have with nature while also reflecting notions of value and perception.

Birch wood toothpicks are held in place using polyurethane sealants on ripstop fabric and board. The toothpicks, some raw and others burnt, fill spaces in concrete slabs and appear to form soft dripping patterns as they snake down to the floor. The artist tells Colossal that his use of these “mundane everyday objects” began after he snapped a photo of some in a jar while having dinner. After initially dismissing the toothpicks as “stupid and worthless,” experimenting with them a couple years later changed how Soal perceived the material. “I was immediately amazed by how they transcend their appearance as hard and sharp objects to appearing soft and luscious when arranged in mass,” he says. “I then began to question the fact that I dismissed them upon first encounter, and the work led me to interrogate notions of value and perceptions through the works.”

Lament (We thought the good times would never end), detail

Soal says that growing up in Johannesburg has had an impact on his work. “It is a city in tension, and I think my work is often about locating oneself within that space, both as a response and a critique.” He doesn’t, however, see himself as the only force that determines how the three-dimensional sculptures are realized. “I am merely a facilitator of possibility for the works,” he explains. “I created the conditions for existence, and the material then morphs and develops as gravity and other forces move it to. As laborious, time-consuming pieces the process is also very contemplative and meditative, very much about a connection between my body and the object and how the shaping of form is related to touch.”

Alongside artist Michele Mathison, Chris Soal will be showing a new body of work at the Artissima art fair in Italy with WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery from October 31 through November 3, 2019. He is also preparing for a large project in Brussels in the near future. For a closer look at Soal’s sculptures, follow the artist on Instagram. (thx, Anna!)

Lament (We thought the good times would never end), detail

Climb into someone else’s skin and walk around in it (2018), toothpicks, polyurethane sealant, Milkwood (Sideroxylon inerme/”umbhobe” (zulu)) branches. Approximately 28 x 18 x 14 inches. Photograph: the artist

The Fourth Circle (The Demise of Frank Lucas) (2019), birch wood toothpicks, burnt and unburnt, polyurethane sealant, ripstop fabric, board. 75 x 57 x 12 inches

The Fourth Circle (The Demise of Frank Lucas), detail

In the face of overwhelming opposition (2019), concrete, and birch wood toothpicks, polyurethane adhesive, ripstop fabric. 34 x 35 x 3 inches. Private collection. Photograph: Mike Taylor

In the face of overwhelming opposition, detail

 

 



Art Photography

London’s Imperfect Geometry Revealed in Aerial Photography by Bernhard Lang

October 19, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Munich-based photographer Bernhard Lang (previously) recently shared aerial views of famous squares and landmarks throughout London, England. By presenting the metropolis from the sky, Lang offers a more dynamic look at the capital city’s unique geometric patterns and iconic architecture.

Lang produced the Aerial Views: London series from inside a helicopter during a trip to the United Kingdom in July 2019. Locations including Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and Trafalgar Square were chosen because they are “stored in our visual memory,” Lang tells Colossal. For the photographer, the unusual perspective of familiar sites reveals the atmosphere and charisma of the city in ways that can’t be seen from the ground. The flyover views of the city make it appear more like a detailed model of itself, complete with cars, double-deckers, boats, and tiny people frozen in places like figurines.

Fine art prints of Lang’s photographs are available by request via his website. To see more of the award-winning photographer’s work, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft History

Discarded Ceramic Shards Are Celebrated in Multi-Part Assemblages by Conservator and Artist Bouke de Vries

October 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Bouke de Vries works with ceramic assemblage to reinterpret historical pottery in multi-part sculptures. The Dutch artist studied at the prestigious Central St. Martin’s in London and worked in high fashion before pivoting to ceramics conservation and restoration in the early 1990’s, which he learned at West Dean College. Confronting the moral dilemmas around valuation of imperfect artifacts in his vocational practice, de Vries challenges the value of imperfection, damage, and cultural history in his exploded artworks.

Broken blue willow plates amalgamate into a map of China, a shattered turquoise vase finds a new function as the contents of a clear glass vessel, and small shards of porcelain become the thorns on a blossoming rose. In a statement on his website, the artist explains:

Instead of hiding the evidence of this most dramatic episode in the life of a ceramic object, he emphasizes their new status, instilling new virtues, new values, and moving their stories forward… Where even an almost invisible hairline crack, a tiny rim chip or a broken finger render a once-valuable object practically worthless, literally not worth the cost of restoring. There’s something incongruous about the fact that such an object, although still imbued with all the skills it took to make it – be it first-period Worcester, Kang-xi or Sevres – can so easily be consigned to the dustbin of history.

De Vries’s work has clearly struck a chord with viewers: he exhibits widely and in 2019 alone has shown work at Hillwood House in Washington, Mesher Gallery in Instanbul, The Museum of Fine Art in Montgomery, Alabama, the Kuntsi Museum in Vaasa, Finland, the Museum of Royal Worcester, and at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale in Yingge, Taiwan. The artist is represented by galleries in The Netherlands, U.S., and U.K. Explore more of de Vries’s work and stay up-to-date on his latest exhibitions via Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Art Craft Design

Elaborate Geometric Origami by Arseni Kazhamiakin Tessellates Sheets of Colorful Paper

October 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Dried Water Lily”

Gomel, Belarus-based origami artist Arseni Kazhamiakin creates transfixing tessellations using colorful sheets of paper. The artist has been creating his own designs since 2013, and notes that he uses everyday paper “of questionable quality.” Each completed work is meticulously documented from above, and some works are illuminated from behind to show the hidden interior layers. Kazhamiakin explains that there is not much of an origami community in Gomel, and he hopes that by connecting with other folders online to build more of a local network. The artist shares his finished work on Flickr and shows more details and in-progress projects on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

“Chandelier”

“Pierced Stars”

“Void Pinecone”

“Meth Mesh”

“Acacia Wreath”

“Autumn Leaves”

“Wild Rose”

“Riptide”