Colossal Interviews

In our ongoing interview series, Colossal goes deep with some of our favorite contemporary artists, designers,
and creative personalities from around the world. These conversations are supported directly by our members.

Jacob Hashimoto On How Layered Narratives and the Legacy of Landscape Abstraction Inform New Ways of Thinking About Space

August 23, 2022

In the suspended worlds of upstate New York-based artist Jacob Hashimoto, a multitude of undulating forms and layers begin with a single element: a kite. Each screen-printed disc is inspired by his surroundings, pop culture, and current events, and the individual components are assembled into fields in a vast range of vivid colors, patterns, and sizes, from wall works to elaborate architectural installations. His interest in the legacy of the gestural landscape abstraction associated with painters like Mark Rothko or Helen Frankenthaler translated the brushstroke into a repeating module or disc shape. More

Liz Toonkel On Creating the Adorable Universe Behind the New ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’

August 16, 2022

A tiny mollusk with a big personality, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On captivated audiences more than a decade ago with his quirky antics and endlessly entertaining use of human-sized objects. The adorable character returned this summer for a feature-length mockumentary with brilliant world-building by Liz Toonkel. The production designer joins Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson to discuss building a realistic micro setting within a life-sized house, the challenges of blending live-action with stop-motion animation, and why the tennis ball scenes are as impressive as the internet thinks.

Swoon On Finding Compassion Through the Act of Looking and Unearthing Her Own Vulnerability

August 1, 2022

In some ways, Caledonia Curry’s work as a public artist has come full circle. She debuted as a New York City street artist known as Swoon right around the turn of the last century, and today, she harnesses that same energy into intricate—and intimate—installations set in museums and galleries. Swoon spoke with Colossal contributor Paulette Beete about how the act of looking is at the center of her practice, why she’s started to address her own trauma in addition to that experienced by others, and why her body of work to date is like a lifesaving yarn, a map of both where she’s been, where she’s going, and everything she’s learned along the way.

Sho Shibuya On Ritual, His Impulse Toward Minimalism, and His Love for Ubiquitous Objects

July 25, 2022

Since March 2020, artist and designer Sho Shibuya has fostered a ritualistic creative practice of painting the morning sunrise on the cover of The New York Times. In this conversation, Shibuya speaks with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about the ongoing series and the addition of more sculptural, conceptual works that respond to politics and current events. They discuss his pared-down, measured approach to conveying complex subject matter, the fluctuating relationship between concept and visual, and his fascination with humble, everyday materials.

The Tempestry Project On the Importance of Knitting Tangible Records of Climate Data

June 23, 2022

It can be difficult to grasp the magnitude of the climate crisis, which is why Asy Connelly and Emily McNeil began The Tempestry Project. At the intersection of craft and activism, the initiative’s name is a portmanteau of tapestry and temperature and its goal is to make such large-scale shifts more accessible and relatable through tangible, data-rich works. In this conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, they discuss the slow, insightful process of crafting a Tempestry, why it’s important to standardize yarn colors, and the power a single knit has to change someone’s mind.

Heidi Gustafson On How She Established an Archive of Hundreds of Samples of Humanity’s Oldest Art Material

June 7, 2022

As its name suggests, the Early Futures Ochre Sanctuary collects and preserves hundreds of samples of ochre that vary widely in hue, ranging from deep rust and gold to cool robin’s egg blue. The ever-growing archive is the project of forager, artist, and researcher Heidi Gustafson, who spoke with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about the multi-sensory and sometimes uncanny nature of her process, the threat the climate crisis poses to the earth’s stores, and how ochre’s legacy reaches far beyond its alluring color.