As 2018 draws to a close we decided to take a look back at the most popular artworks, photographs, and yes, hydraulic press pieces we’ve published over the last 12 months. Although 2018 was the year Banksy shredded a painting in front of a live audience, hundreds of other incredible feats of films, art, and design have also caught our attention, including Julie Gautier’s beautiful choreographed video inside the world’s deepest pool, the concentric earth-based mandalas of James Brunt, or our continued admiration of Reuben Wu’s drone-assisted landscape photography. Take a look below to see top posts from this past year, from our tenth most viewed piece, to the design object that takes the spot at number one.
This year we discovered our obsession with hydraulic press videos, specifically clips from Finnish factory owners Lauri and Anni’s Hydraulic Press Channel. The pair sets their press to exert over 2,175 pounds of pressure per square inch—smashing crayons, cheese, soap, and other semi-malleable objects into unrecognizable and often colorful tubes that spring out from the every direction.
Using glass cylinders and a variety of vessels, photographer Suzanne Saroff fractures the perspective of foods like eggplants, fish, and ripe bananas. The unique viewpoints shorten or elongate the provided edibles, creating distorted scenes that produce a creative glimpse at common fruits and meats.
Street photographer Jonathan Higbee walks the street of New York City prepped to capture unique and coincidental moments. Often graphic elements from vans, murals, and signage will be the key features that interact with everyday passersby, like the wide-mouthed shark and what appears to be a frightened pigeon in the snapshot above.
Although we covered LEGO projects or products five times in 2018, our most popular piece that looked at the stackable bricks was a campaign developed by Asawin Tejasakulsin, a senior art director at Ogilvy & Mather in Bangkok, Thailand. The designer imaged playful scenarios in which LEGO bricks interact with the real world, such as a whale bursting from the side of a bookshelf, or a fire-breathing dragon heating a pot of soup.
Our sixth most popular post came just days after the New Year when photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh captured Jamie Briard surfing on partially frozen waves just off the shore of Nantucket. Although the rare phenomenon of slurry-like waves might only be seen once in someone’s lifetime, Nimerfroh has been able to shoot the effect twice over the last few years.
British land artist James Brunt arranges and balances rocks, leaves, sticks, and other natural materials he finds within the landscape near his home in Yorkshire, England. After arranging each object into mandala-like spirals and concentric circles, Brunt photographs his creation and allows nature to again take hold of the materials.
Moments after Sotheby’s sold a previously unseen version of Banksy’s Girl With Balloon for over 1.3 million dollars, the canvas begin to shred itself into strips as it fell through its ornate frame. After the surprising incident, which had been orchestrated by the infamously secretive artist, he took to Instagram for a follow-up statement to the event saying the piece was “Going, going, gone…”
We are longtime fans of photographer Reuben Wu, who uses the aide of drones as aerial light sources to create incredible images of natural and manmade landscapes across the globe, including the brilliant blue rivers of molten sulfur in Indonesian volcanoes, and the thousands of glistening mirrors that compose Nevada’s SolarReserve. For his ongoing series Lux Noctis, Wu used light from his GPS-enabled drones to create a halo effect around cliffs and crests which are only perceptible in the resulting photograph.
This year Julie Gautier released AMA, a short film which is directed and performed by the deep sea diver and filmmaker. Gautier dives, twists, and dances within the world’s deepest pool, presenting captivating choreography nearly 130 feet underwater.
And finally, our most popular post from 2018 was a paper product created by the Japanese company Triad, whose main line of business is producing architectural models. Omoshiroi Blocks are stacks of laser-cut paper that when removed, reveal fantastic sites such as Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera Temple, Tokyo’s Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Tower.
Our editors want to extend a thank you for reading all of the pieces we have explored, obsessed over, and covered in 2018. We look forward to the spectacular artworks, science discoveries, short films, and other intriguing visuals that will be created and discovered in 2019!
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Without further ado, the second half of Chain Reaction, an international print show featuring artists, designers, and printmakers from all over the world. Chain Reaction includes works by seventeen artists, including many previously featured on Colossal: Daniel Jamie Williams, Rafael Esquer (previously), Little Friends of Printmaking, Janice Chang, Ovadia Benishu, Jay Ryan (previously), Mara Piccione, Lisa Congdon, and Tanner Woodford.
Each piece included in Chain Reaction was made exclusively for the exhibition and will be available in person at the Design Museum of Chicago, as well as online in The Colossal Shop. 10% of each print sale will benefit the non-profit organization Blackstone Bicycle Works. Chain Reaction is part of the Design Museum’s winter exhibition, Keep Moving, which explores the history and culture of bicycles in Chicago. Find the full collection in The Colossal Shop.
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year in The Colossal Shop as we stock up with best-sellers and discover new favorites for gift-giving season. Four of our top picks, all newly added to the Shop: Butterflies of North America, a data-driven poster by Pop Chart that features organized illustrations of over 500 butterflies and the phenomenal re-issue of Color Problems by Victorian-era color theorist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (which you may remember from our article earlier this year). Plus, Matthew Hoffman of You Are Beautiful releases an unforgettable calendar each year filled with daily affirmations and inspirations for creative minds, and Yoga Joes goes bold with a new set of Rainbow Joes. Best of all, you can save 20% with code HOLIDAZE, now through Monday November 26th. (Not valid on Chain Reaction prints, gift cards, or Richard Clarkson clouds.)
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This Friday we’ll be kicking off Chain Reaction, an international print show featuring artists, designers, and printmakers from all over the world. Chain Reaction includes works by seventeen artists, including many previously featured on Colossal: Eleni Debo, Alex Senna (previously), Arna Miller (previously), Mart Aire (previously), Lydia Fu, Moniker, Fran Labuschagne, and Vance Lump. We’re sharing half the show in this article—stay tuned for part two next week!
Each piece included in Chain Reaction was made exclusively for the exhibition and will be available in person at the Design Museum of Chicago, as well as online in The Colossal Shop. 10% of each print sale will benefit the non-profit organization Blackstone Bicycle Works. Chain Reaction is part of the Design Museum’s winter exhibition, Keep Moving, which explores the history and culture of bicycles in Chicago.
If you’re in town we’d love to see you at the opening at the Design Museum’s HQ at Block 37. You can find out more on our event page, and RSVP on to the event on Facebook. Kids are welcome and the opening is free and open to the public.
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In partnership with our comrades-in-arts, Booooooom and 20×200, we’re giving you a chance to win a $300 credit in The Colossal Shop, $300 to spend on art at 20×200.com, and two years of membership plus some sweet swag from Booooooom. You can sign up for the giveaway right here. It’s totally free to participate, and by entering to win you’ll be signed up for Colossal’s Daily newsletter, as well as news from 20×200 and Booooooom’s Secret Email Club.
20×200, which has been selling art online since 2007, offers a curated collection of limited-edition, museum-quality prints and artworks by emerging, established, and legendary artists. It’s art for everyone! Colossal picked out one of our favorite images, a magical capture of fireflies at night in upstate New York by photographer Pete Mauney as an example above. (See some of our other editor’s picks here.) It’s just one of hundreds of artworks by present and past photographers, fine artists, designers, and printmakers in 20×200’s impressive roster, from Debbie Millman and Paul Octavious to Dorthea Lange and Ansel Adams. With your $300 credit, you can load up on small, unframed prints, or invest in a larger work with a custom frame (an add-on service 20×200 conveniently provides).
With a two-year membership to Booooooom, you’ll get unlimited submissions for editorial features, exclusive creative commissions, and other opportunities available only to members. And if that’s not enough, membership also gives you access to Booooooom’s private slack community, where you can connect with creatives and art-lovers for advice, support, feedback, and idea-sharing. Oh, and did we mention you’ll get a swag pack, too? A branded T-shirt, cap, stickers, and camera strap are all included.
For over ten years, Booooooom has been an influential voice in the emerging art scene, dedicated to promoting the best young artists. Founded by Vancouver based writer and curator Jeff Hamada, Booooooom has published over 12,000 articles with a focus on photography and illustration, and works as a connector between creatives and brands, galleries, and festivals around the world. Booooooom got started a couple years before Colossal, and it’s been a privilege to learn and grow alongside them for the past eight years (you can even read a fun interview we did together here).
Plus, with $300 to burn in The Colossal Shop, you can pick up books on art and creativity, quirky toys, quality art supplies, and beautifully made design objects, many of which have been featured on Colossal. And we heard something about gift-giving season coming up…
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As part of a unique collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago, Colossal asked some of our favorite poster makers, illustrators, designers, and artists from around the world to make prints featuring bicycles. The international exhibition is in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Keep Moving: Designing Chicago’s Bicycle Culture.
Participating artists include Arna Miller (previously), Janice Chang, Alex Senna (previously), Ovadia Benishu, Lisa Congdon, Fran Labuschagne, Jay Ryan, Eleni Debo, Mara Piccione, Brent Couchman, Mart Aire (previously), Daniel Jamie Williams, Vance Lump, Lydia Fu, JW and Melissa Buchanan, and Rafael Esquer (previously).
Prints will be available for purchase online in the Colossal Shop and at Design Museum Chicago’s Block 37 location, starting November 16, 2018. A portion of all proceeds will benefit Blackstone Bicycle Works, a local community bike shop and youth education program. If you’re in Chicago, join us for a free, all-ages opening party from 6 to 8pm on Friday, November 16th! Keep an eye on our event page and RSVP via Facebook for details.
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We’ve got lots of new items falling into the shop this autumn including new DIY Butterfly Model Kits in sunset yellow from Assembli, a pair of colorful new socks, and a new 1,000 piece puzzle featuring 120 birds of Eastern and Central North America. Also just in time for Halloween, illustrator and paper engineer Helen Friel has just released her latest pop-up shadow book: Midnight Monsters. But that’s not all, see what else is new in the Colossal Shop!
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Editor's Picks: Sculpture
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.