Icy + Sot (previously) have worked since their youth drawing attention to social justice issues in their artwork both on the streets and in fine art galleries. Through their multi-disciplinary practice, the Iranian-born brothers explore issues of censorship, refugee crises, and economic inequality. We recently visited Icy + Sot in their Queens, NY studio to learn more about their artistic practice as well as the personal experiences that inspire their prolific output. This exclusive conversation is part of our new Interview series, available to Colossal Members. Learn more and join here.
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Since launching Colossal nine years ago, I’ve taken great pride in focusing the site entirely on art and artists. For the first several years Colossal didn’t have advertising—the site was a labor of love. We were lucky to see traffic skyrocket, but with that increased audience came increased server costs and it became necessary to introduce a few ad banners. Colossal quickly grew into a flourishing arts publication that employs several full and part-time staff as editors, contributing writers, and (always paid) interns. Every single day I wake up to write, edit, curate, and publish. It’s a dream realized.
We have so much to be fortunate about. Our advertising partner Nectar Ads keeps sponsorships running smoothly and supports our decision to have only three ad units per page where many large news and culture publications have 10-20 units including unreasonable auto-play video and pop-ups. With this cornerstone of advertising, a quirky online store, and a few fun projects, we’ve been able to devote ourselves to exciting stories in contemporary art, design, modern craft, photography, and literally hundreds of other topics.
It’s time for Colossal to grow in new areas to continue sharing the work of incredible artists into the next decade. There’s a deep cost for independent publishers when behemoth social media companies limit reach, siphon advertisers, and rake in record-breaking profits. We’re working quickly behind the scenes on projects large and small, including several upcoming exhibitions and forays into print, video, and audio. Honestly, it’s an exciting time, and I have discovered enormously positive benefits when forced out of complacency.
Today we would like to invite you into our next chapter with Colossal Membership. We thought long and hard (literally years) about whether this was the right step for us, and after speaking with many talented and wise people, we decided to take the plunge.
You can choose from a monthly, annual, or lifetime membership that will give you immediate access to a bevy of new content and programs including our bi-weekly interview series (we’re launching with Ai Weiwei), a brand spanking new newsletter (details on what’s coming up!), a new artist grant available to members (get your money!), school supplies for classrooms (hook up the kids!), and a variety of special offers and perks from partners.
To be clear: Colossal will never charge for daily articles or anything you’ve been accustomed to seeing over the last nine years. We believe that art should be accessible for everyone and we plan to keep it that way. Your membership gives you all sorts of ins to new information, and supports Colossal’s writing staff and day-to-day costs moving forward into our second decade.
It’s impossible to thank you enough for reading. In a time when it feels like we’re all running from darkness, we publish Colossal as a way to turn on the light. Please join us by becoming a member and support independent arts journalism. We can’t wait to share the stories of another 6,000 artists who also see the hope, wonder, and joy in this beautiful, complicated world.
P.S. Thank you to artist Zaria Forman for giving us permission to use her extravagant pastel iceberg drawings on our membership and page social media channels for a few months. She’s the absolute best.
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Submit Your Idea For an Artistic Mini Golf Course Hole by October 31st for ‘Par Excellence Redux’ at the Elmhurst Art Museum
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.
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Open Call: The Elmhurst Art Museum Resurrects ‘Par Excellence,’ an Artist-Designed Mini Golf Course from 1988
In a unique collision of recreation and art, the Elmhurst Art Museum will commission an 18-hole artist-designed golf course in homage to the wildly popular 1988 exhibition Par Excellence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The fully playable course will be conceived and fabricated by a new group of contemporary artists, designers, and architects selected through an open call process. Designed to fill the entirety of the museum’s interior galleries, the course will be comprised of a surprisingly varied collection of themes and forms, promising an unusual twist on a familiar pastime.
The extraordinarily popular exhibition was the brainchild of sculptor Michael O’Brien and opened to lines down the block. The show sold out daily and found its way to the pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, CNN, and the Chicago Tribune among others. The course went on tour to downstate Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial miniature golf course called ArtGolf at 1800 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park (currently the site of Goose Island Brewery).
Artist-designed golf courses are now a popular addition to many Midwest museums such as the Walker Art Center, The Sheldon, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but Par Excellence is widely believed to be the first.
Par Excellence Redux is curated by Colossal’s founder & editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. To learn more about the open call process and submit your ideas for a hole, head on over to the Elmhurst Art Museum for more info.
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We’re hiring a talented full-time managing editor to help write and edit the majority of articles appearing on Colossal as well as oversee a small number of contributing writers during the week. This role will also assist with the production of large-scale special events & exhibitions, work on occasional brand partnerships, and offer input and direction on various Colossal projects, both internal and external. The position opens this fall and is on-site in Chicago. Learn more here.
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A heartfelt thanks to the 60+ contributing artists and hundreds of attendees all helped make Mother & Child Vol. II a huge success. The benefit gallery show, which we co-produced with Sugarlift, has raised over $15,000 and counting. 100% of proceeds will be split between three non-profits who provide direct aid and legal support to separated children and families at the U.S./Mexico Border.
We are proud to help further the causes of Kids in Need of Defense, The Young Center, and The Florence Project, and couldn’t have done it without the generosity of the following artists: Aaron Li-Hill, Adam Lupton, Ali Cavanaugh, Alonsa Guevara, Amanda Scuglia, Amber Lia Kloppel, Anna Park, Annie Wildey, Antonia Barolini, Chiaozza, Chris Herrera, Collin van der Sluijs, Danica Lundy, David de la Mano, Dina Brodsky, Elicia Edijanto, Ericka Jeffries, Erik Hougen, Faith47, Grace Lang, Guno Park, Helen Robinson, Hillary McCarthy, Icy and Sot, Jacob Brooks, Jaime Molina, James Razko, Jen Gennari, Jess X. Snow, Jonny Sun, Joshua Henderson, Klone, Kristin Texeira, Lauren Matsumoto, London Kaye, Lujan Perez, Lydia Fu, Marcelo Daldoce, Mark Powell, Marshall Jones, Maude White, Melanie Vote, Michael Meadors, Michelle Doll, Nicolas V Sanchez, Pat Perry, Patty Horing, Pepe Salgado, Pixel Pancho, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Rubin415, Seth Globepainter, Shamona Stokes, Shana Levenson, Sonni, Swoon Studio, Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio, Tiffany Bozic, Valerie Lueth, and Vicky Barranguet.
Missed the opening but interested in shopping incredible art? All available works are framed, priced between $100 and $1,000, and ready to ship worldwide at motherandchild.shop. Help us reach our goal of $20,000!
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Preview Artworks Available at Mother & Child Vol. II Fundraiser to Aid Families Separated at the U.S./Mexico Border
It’s been a year since the trauma of separated families at the U.S.-Mexico border shocked people around the world. Tragically, this humanitarian crisis continues, as documented by journalists and photographers, as well the detained children themselves. Please join us in New York City on July 15, 2019 from 6-9pm for Mother & Child Vol. II, a fundraising gallery show. Colossal is partnering with Sugarlift and a slate of talented and generous artists from around the globe to support three vetted non-profits: Kids in Need of Defense, The Young Center, and The Florence Project provide direct aid and legal support to affected families.
Original artworks, prints, and photographs have been donated by over fifty artists including Valerie Lueth, Luján Pérez, Pat Perry, Maude White, Elicia Edijanto, Lauren Matsumoto, Michael Meadors and more. If you can’t make it to Manhattan, artworks are also available for purchase in the Mother & Child web shop, starting on July 15. RSVP for free here so we can send you a quick one-time reminder: bitly.com/motherandchild2019.
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.