Illustration

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Art History Illustration Photography Science

A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Carl Chun, Polypus levis, from Die Cephalopoden (1910–15), color lithograph, 35 × 25 centimeters. Image from the Biodiversity Heritage Library/Contributed by MBLWHOI Library, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library, Massachusetts. All images © Phaidon, shared with permission

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth’s surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface.

Spanning 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World brings together a broad array of images and information ranging from ancient nautical cartography to contemporary shots from photographers like Sebastião Salgado and David Doubilet. The volume presents science and history alongside art and illustration—it features biological renderings by Ernst Haekcl, Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock prints, and works by artists like Kerry James Marshall, Vincent van Gogh, and Yayoi Kusama—in addition to texts about conservation and the threats the climate crises poses to underwater life.

Ocean will be released this October and is available for pre-order on Bookshop. You also might enjoy this volume devoted to birds.

 

NNtonio Rod (Antonio Rodríguez Canto), Trachyphyllia, from Coral Colors, (2016). Image © NNtonio Rod

Jason deCaires Taylor, “Rubicon” (2016), stainless steel, pH-neutral cement, basalt and aggregates, installation view, Museo Atlántico, Las Coloradas, Lanzarote, Atlantic Oceanl. Photo courtesy of the artist

Christian Schussele and James M. Sommerville, Ocean Life, (c.1859), watercolor, gouache, graphite, and gum arabic on off-white wove paper, 48.3 × 69.7 centimeters. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Duke Riley, #34 of the Poly S. Tyrene Maritime Collection (2019), salvaged, painted plastic bottle, 30.5 × 18.4 × 7.6 centimeters Image courtesy of Duke Riley Studio

Nicolas Floc’h, Productive Structures, Artificial Reefs, -23m, Tateyama, Japan, (2013). Image © Nicolas Floc’h

 

 



Illustration

Enchanting Vignettes Illustrated by Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou Nestle Inside Small Wood Cuts

July 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou, shared with permission

Encircled in roughly textured bark, thin woodcuts become canvases for the whimsical landscapes and scenes illustrated by Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou. The Greek artist uses a combination of pen, ink, gouache, and acrylic paint to draw outdoor vignettes cloaked in pattern and cosmic details. Nighttime skies are brimming with snowflakes, stars, and light trails that illuminate the natural subject matter and add a dose of fantasy to the heavily patterned works.

Chatzipanagiotou has a number of illustrations on wood and paper available on Etsy, and you can watch her at work on Instagram. Her third coloring book, Enchanting Earth, is slated for release in February, and the previous two, Circle of Life and Nature Mandalas, are currently available on Bookshop.

 

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Figures and Events Are Transfixed by Time in Pep Carrió’s Extensive Daily Visual Diaries

July 21, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Pep Carrió, shared with permission. Photographs by Antonio Fernández

In 2007, Madrid-based artist and illustrator Pep Carrió’s expansive diary project began as a challenge with a simple premise: to draw something every day. No matter what materials were at hand and without any predetermined theme or subject matter, he took a game-like approach to see if he could accomplish filling an entire Moleskine datebook throughout the year. The numerous editions that have followed feature a dazzling array of scenes fashioned from marker, pencil, tempera, pen, ink, collage, and found materials.

Carrió’s stream-of-consciousness process has led to a collection that ranges from abstract flora to silhouetted and patterned figures to surreal vessels and landscapes. Originally, the volumes contained one drawing each day with complementary images on facing pages, but in recent years, the artist has begun to more consistently fill the entire spread with a single image, creating bold compositions that play with the symmetry of the book and the confines of its edges. Imagery of sprawling tree branches, obscured faces and masks, and bodies in precarious circumstances strike a metaphorical chord, exploring human society and psychology. His method of completing a drawing each day is itself an exercise in memory, as the diaries have accumulated records of the artist’s thoughts over time and unfurl into a personal archive.

Carrió currently has work on view as part of From Spain with Design traveling throughout Spain during 2022 and Play with Design at the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporánea in Valencia through October 23. You can find more information on his website and follow the visual diary project on Instagram.

 

2013

2007

2010

2018

2020

 

 



Craft Illustration

Vivid Contours Conjure Hope and Resilience in Yulia Brodskaya’s Quilled Paper Compositions

July 12, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Phoenix” (2022). All images © Yulia Brodskaya, shared with permission

In Greek mythology, the sacred phoenix, with its characteristically striking plumage in flaming yellow, orange, and red, is known for its ability to resurrect. When the bird’s long life is nearing an end, flames engulf its body, and the being is reborn as a chick in the ashes of its predecessor, giving it the distinction of resilience, regeneration, and immortality. As Yulia Brodskaya began to apply the curled and crimped tendrils of paper to her latest work, she tells Colossal that the firebird portrait “started as a visual representation of a powerful feeling rising from the deep,” adding that “it felt like this portrait has been ‘channelled’ through me.”

Brodskaya captures the subtleties of individual expression and character in her elaborate portraits (previously) and depictions of flora and fauna. Through boldly colored papers that are rolled, folded, and layered, she reveals a flurry of feathers or the contours of a face in intricate detail, like the sense of serene contemplation that permeates “Samurai Dreams.” She wants every piece to send a message, suggesting viewers “pay attention to what emotion or feeling comes up for you in the first moments you see it—until the mind begins to dissect the details and offer loud opinions about why you like or dislike it. That initial quiet voice is the whisper of intuition. That’s the place I create my best work from.”

You can find more information about Brodskaya’s work on her website, and she regularly shares videos of her process on Instagram.

 

“Phoenix” (detail)

“Phoenix” (detail)

“Samurai Dreams” (2022)

“Samurai Dreams” (detail)

“Samurai Dreams” (detail)

“Parrots” (2022)

“Parrots” (detail)

“Butterflies” (2021)

“Butterflies” (detail)

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Jurassic Nature: Botanical Assemblages by Raku Inoue Recreate Dinosaurs in Leafy Layers

July 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

Dilophosaurus. All images © Raku Inoue, shared with permission

In his ongoing Jurassic Nature series, Japanese artist Raku Inoue layers sprigs of kiwi vines, white spruce, and boxelder maple into miniature sculptural dinosaurs. The ribbed, veiny textures of the leaves mimic the reptilian skin of some of the most recognizable characters from the 1993 classic. Minimal in form and lush in construction, the creatures include a dandelion-headed brontosaurus, a stegosaurus with spiky raspberry leaves defining its back, and a velociraptor laced with forget-me-nots.

Inoue is adding a few more dinosaurs to the series, so keep an eye on his Instagram for updates. You can also find prints of a variety of his botanical creatures in his shop. (via Lustik)

 

“Triceratops”

Stegosaurus

Velociraptor

T-Rex

Brontosaurus

Stegosaurus

 

 



Illustration

Simple Lines and Shapes Comprise the Lavish Yet Minimal Animal Drawings of Jochen Gerner

July 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jochen Gerner, shared with permission

Lines and basic shapes are the basis of Jochen Gerner’s distinct, almost paradoxical style that’s sometimes referred to as “abundant minimalism.” The French artist, who lives and works between Lorraine and Burgundy, draws birds and dogs that are sparse in form and yet rich in color and texture: checkered patterns overlaid with a chaotic array of markings create a shaggy fur coat, while variegated patches of feathers distinguish the tail from wing or breast.

In a note to Colossal, Gerner shares that he’s working primarily with vintage schoolbooks, a substrate that serves as much as a vessel for his drawings as it does a limitation on the work itself. He explains:

I like to work with simple shapes and lines. The simplest images are often the most effective and direct…The paper texture and format of the notebooks are important to me. The very graphic and varied lines allow me to integrate them by transparency in my drawings. It is a constraint from the start but it helps me to structure the forms and it is an integral part of the drawing.

If you’re in France, you can see Gerner’s works at La Métairie Bruyère in Parly, Anne Barrault Gallery in Paris, and Musée Buffon in Montbard. Otherwise, head to Instagram to explore more of his stylized characters. You also might like Albert Chamillard’s crosshatched geometries.