Art

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Art

Candid Murals by Street Artist Escif Cleverly Respond to Political Issues and Current Events

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Espoire” in Lozzi, France. All images © Escif, shared with permission

Street artist Escif (previously) utilizes muted color palettes and straightforward motifs to convert walls around his home city of Valencia and other locations throughout Europe into perceptive ruminations on capitalism, politics, and society. He paints sparse scenes and objects with ties to their environment and current events, often relying on humor and wit to convey an underlying message. Although the Spanish artist has spent much of the last year in his studio working on drawings with his two-year-old son, some of his more recent artworks include a brick shattering an already damaged window, a military officer armed with a vaccine like a bazooka, and a touching tribute to the late street artist Hyuro, who died last November.

Escif just completed a series in Corse and is headed to Lithuania and northern Italy in the next few months, which you can follow on Instagram. Shop available prints on his site.

 

“Aguja” in Valencia

A tribute to the late artist Hyuro in Valencia

“Break” in Charleroi, Belgium

Left: “Low Cost” in Valencia. Right: “Brote”

“Underground” in Barcelona

 

 



Art

Digital Renderings Collage 3D Objects into Futuristic Self-Portraits by Artist Omar Aqil

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Omar Aqil, shared with permission

Lahore, Pakistan-based artist Omar Aqil (previously) digitally assembles technology, 3D objects, and textured masses into figurative collages for his series Self-Portraits 2050. The futuristic characters all sport a pair of glasses but are otherwise distinct, sometimes conveyed through sleek geometric shapes stacked into facial features and others sprouting whimsical florals and various organic elements. Experimentation and play are at the heart of this new series—which Aqil refers to as “profile pictures”—and his practice overall, resulting in an eclectic collection of self-portraits rooted in the current digital era.

Find more of the artist’s sculptural renderings, which include a variety of abstracted figures and colorful assemblages, on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

Delightful Characters Spring to Life in Hand-Cranked Wooden Automata by Kazuaki Harada

May 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada (previously) has spent the last few years designing these playful automata that activate with a simple hand-crank. Watch miners work in tandem, a figure cackle with unparalleled enthusiasm, and the devil aggressively play the fiddle, and make sure to turn your volume up, too—Harada often pairs an audio component with the mechanical movements for an additional dose of whimsy. For more of his quirky designs, which include many of the character-based works shown here in addition to more elaborate, abstract pieces, check out his Instagram and YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

A Monumental Book Printed on Uncut Paper Celebrates Hokusai's Iconic 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji'

May 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Taschen, shared with permission

A forthcoming volume from Taschen is an homage to renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and his iconic woodblock print series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Compiling Hokusai’s original 36 artworks and the ten pieces he created following the success of the initial collection, the XXL edition celebrates the lauded artist and his fascination with Japan’s highest mountain.

Encased in a cloth box with wooden closures, the 224-page book is layered with Japanese history and tradition in both content and form and features uncut paper and customary binding. The vivid, art historical works are paired with 114 color variations and writing by Andreas Marks—the director of the Clark Center for Japanese Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is also behind Taschen’s volume chronicling more than two centuries of woodblock prints—who offers background on the exquisite body of work Hokusai produced throughout the Edo period when a local tourism boom positioned Mount Fuji as an enduring cultural landmark.

Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji will be released in June and is available for pre-order from Bookshop.

 

South Wind, Clear Weather (“Red Fuji”). Image © TASCHEN/Philadelphia Museum of Art

Sekiya Village on the Sumida River. Image © TASCHEN/The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

 

 



Art

Vibrant Dream States Trap Oversized Characters Mid-Slumber in Millo's Paintings

May 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Mare Incognitum” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 27.5 × 27.5 inches. All images © Millo, courtesy of Thinkspace Projects, shared with permission

“Just before the beginning of a new day, there’s a fleeting moment where dreams remain alive,” says Italian muralist and artist Millo (previously) about his new series At the Crack of Dawn. On view through May 22 at Thinkspace Projects in Los Angeles, his acrylic paintings center on oversized subjects who embody the transitional state between deep sleep and waking. The artworks are rendered in Millo’s signature black-and-white, cartoon style and trap the slumbering characters in stark architectural settings. Flashes of color delineate their lulled and curious imaginations, showing a model solar system, sloshing sea, or quiet forest path that capture the “unconscious feelings passed through the haze of the shadow till the glimpse of light, shaping what is silent.”

To see more of Millo’s soothing body of work, check out his site and Instagram. (via Supersonic Art)

 

“Karman Line” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 27.5 × 19.6 inches

“Dusk” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 27.5 × 19.6 inches

“Origin” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 70.8 × 51.1 inches

“Protection” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 39.3 × 47.2 inches

“Memoria” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 31.5 × 31.5 inches

“The Sound of the Waves Collide” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 39.3 × 39.3 inches

“In Reverse II” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 27.5 × 39.3 inches

“Disappear” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 23.6 × 31.5 inches

 

 



Art

Thousands of Discs Are Suspended in Immense Cloud-Like Formations in Jacob Hashimoto's Installations

May 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The Sky” at Portland International Airport (2020), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, screenprints, and fiberglass rod, 40 x 30 x 18 feet. Photo by Mario Gallucci

Artist Jacob Hashimoto (previously) hangs thousands of individual orbs in undulating, cloud-like masses that transform atriums and open spaces into monumental landscapes. His site-specific installations layer organic elements—some of the components are printed with waves, galactic dust particles, and other motifs suggestive of nature—in formations “that climb, wavelike, above the viewer, dwarfing them in almost a cathedral of humble little objects,” he says.

The artist began creating such large-scale works in the 90s, and although they’ve evolved from simple “sculptures of the sky,” Hashimoto continues to draw on the connection between landscape and abstraction, a recurring theme that’s been increasingly informed by technology, virtual environments, and data mapping. An eclectic array of references like Japanese screens, Super Mario Bros, and the Digital Universe inform how the artist conceptualizes his compositions, in addition to the ways spatial coordinates are utilized in 3D environments. “Simply, if you build a cloud out of paper and wood and configure it in a strict x, y, z grid structure, the resulting sculpture or object or experience tells us something about how we see the world and allows us to meditate a moment on the digital/analog dialectic that is so much a part of every aspect of our lives,” he says.

Hashimoto is currently based in Ossining, New York, and has a few upcoming solo shows, including one opening on June 4 at Makasiini Contemporary in Turku, Finland, and two others slated for fall at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago and London’s Ronchini Gallery. See more of his artworks on his site and Instagram, and read his recent interview with designboom for a deeper look at his practice.

 

Detail of “The Sky” at Portland International Airport (2020), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, screenprints, and fiberglass rod, 40 x 30 x 18 feet. Photo by Mario Gallucci

“The City” at Portland International Airport (2020), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, screenprints, and fiberglass rod, 40 x 30 x 18 feet. Photo by Mario Gallucci

Detail of “The City” at Portland International Airport (2020), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, screenprints, and fiberglass rod, 40 x 30 x 18 feet. Photo by Mario Gallucci

Detail of “The City” at Portland International Airport (2020), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, screenprints, and fiberglass rod, 40 x 30 x 18 feet. Photo by Mario Gallucci

“This Infinite Gateway of Time and Circumstance” at San Francisco International Airport (2019), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, stainless steel, acrylic, and Spectra, 9 x 39 x 9 feet. Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Arts Commission

Detail of “This Infinite Gateway of Time and Circumstance” at San Francisco International Airport (2019), bamboo, resin, UV Prints, stainless steel, acrylic, and Spectra, 9 x 39 x 9 feet. Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Arts Commission

“In the Heart of this Infinite Particle of Galactic Dust” in Willis Tower, Chicago, (2019), bamboo, resin, screen prints, acrylic, stainless steel and Spectra, 16 feet 5.75 inches x 42 feet x 18 feet 6 inches. Photo courtesy of EQ Office, by Ed Knigge

Detail of “In the Heart of this Infinite Particle of Galactic Dust” in Willis Tower, Chicago, (2019), bamboo, resin, screen prints, acrylic, stainless steel and Spectra, 16 feet 5.75 inches x 42 feet x 18 feet 6 inches. Photo courtesy of EQ Office, by Ed Knigge