Photography Science

Millions of Monarchs Swarm Fake Hummingbird As It Captures Spectacular Footage of Their Flight

April 30, 2020

Anna Marks

With its clementine-colored wings bordered with black lines and white spots, the monarch, also known as Danaus Plexippus, is a widely recognizable insect. As the weather changes and gets cooler, the monarchs migrate from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northern United States and fly to central Mexico, where they form clustered colonies on oyamel fir trees to conserve heat until the days grow longer and they migrate north once again. 

In this spectacular clip filmed by the PBS series Spy in the Wild, a mechanical “spy hummingbird” flies over a swarm of resting monarchs. Creators chose the flying creature because it feeds on nectar and thus isn’t seen as a threat. As the sun warms the butterflies’ wings to 50 degrees, the insects wake and start to flutter and move. The hummingbird spy finds itself within the very heart of the swarm and captures a spectacular scene in which millions of butterflies take to the sky once more in a mesmerizing confetti-like cloud. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Design

Surging Fractals and Glitches Are Woven into Mesmerizing Blankets by Zouassi

April 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Zouassi, shared with permission

Wrap up in one of Zouassi’s earth-toned blankets, and you’ll find yourself in the center of a complex network of digital glitches and fractals. Each tassel-edged throw appears as if it’s covered in three-dimensional patches of fringe that swell and swirl from one corner to the next. Rather than screenprinting the abstract artworks, Zouassi had them woven directly into the entrancing threads.

Similar to the seemingly infinite shapes and patterns the digital artist shares on Instagram, look closely and see how each varying stitch contributes to the overall intricacy of the blanket’s network. Pick up your own cozy throw from the shop, and maybe even grab a phone case or print from Society6.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Gears and Dials Rendered in Intricate Drawings of Gem-Encrusted Insects by Steeven Salvat

April 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

French artist Steeven Salvat (previously) cloaks his beetles and butterflies in an elaborate armor of rotational gears, jewel-toned gems, and muted stained glass. He tells Colossal that the heavily adorned insects merge his passion for nature, history, and science. They’re “an ode to exceptional craftsmanship and luxury houses. I want to showcase a full range of beetles species wearing some highly detailed goldsmith work, gemstones, mechanical gears, and luxury watch dials—in the style of entomologists’ studies,” Salvat says.

The artist soaks each piece of his 300 gsm watercolor paper in black tea before rendering his ornate pieces with a combination of watercolor, China ink, and white ink. “The smallest piece took me more than 30 hours of work, painting and drawing thousands of black lines with 0.13 millimeter Rotring pen,” he writes.

Salvat has two more insects currently in the works and plans to exhibit a few at DDESSIN 2020. Follow the ongoing series on his Instagram, where he also shows progress shots and deeper insight into his process. Check out his available prints in his shop.

 

 

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Art

Chicago Potholes Are Filled with Pandemic Essentials in Humorous New Mosaics by Jim Bachor

April 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jim Bachor, shared with permission

One Chicago driver got a little too excited about Jim Bachor’s recent tribute to one of humanity’s preferred coping mechanisms. In a COVD-19 themed series, the Chicago-based artist (previously) installed four mosaic potholes on the city’s northeast side, except an anxious motorist drove over the can of Old Style before it was dry. Despite its partial damage, the rest of the cemented works feature the newly iconic roll of toilet paper and bottle of hand sanitizer. A red star from Chicago’s flag fills the fourth as a nod to the local community.

Bachor tells Colossal that since he began his public projects in 2013, he’s realized that the blacktop holes are quite unifying. “Everyone hates potholes—rich, poor, young, old, tall, young. (It) doesn’t matter.” Despite his proactive measures to fix the clunky holes in cities like New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles, Bachor calls them an “unsolvable problem…. I actually have empathy for (the) city government. It’s a no-win situation. Folks assume my work is a bit of a political statement about getting on the city to fix them but it really isn’t.” This is Bachor’s first installation completed on a single street.

The tiled pieces currently make up a small portion of the artist’s overall creative work, although he has plans for additional series and appreciates that their accessibility. “The pothole art campaign also keeps me connected with people that like my work but might not be able to afford an original or print. And like a billboard, they work 24/7,” he says. Bachor also notes that there’s a connection between affluent neighborhoods and well-kept roads. “I’ve had funny concepts for nicer parts of the city but found it impossible to find potholes to do them,” the artist writes.

You can find more of Bachor’s civically-minded work on Instagram, and check out the prints and wearables available in his shop. You might also like these humorous “Coronavirus Tourism” posters and a game of Pandemic Lotería. (via Block Club Chicago)

 

 

 



Food Photography

Domestic Perfectionism Overwhelms Faceless Women in a Satirical Series by Photographer Patty Carroll

April 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Patty Carroll, shared with permission

Patty Carroll’s homebound snapshots are the epitome of domestic pressure: A high-heeled working woman tries to cook and chat on the phone but ends up amid scattered kitchen supplies with her head stuck in the oven. Mops and rags knock another figure down into a sea of neon sponges and cleaning sprays. Two seated women are obscured by constricting drapes and an inordinate amount of fresh produce.

The photographer’s four-part Anonymous Women series is comprised of highly stylized scenes featuring a faceless mannequin attempting—and failing to complete—a range of duties. They’re humorous commentary on the pressure modern women continually face to achieve domestic perfection while excelling professionally and caring for others.

The interior of the home is comforting, but can also camouflage individual identity, especially when the idealized decor becomes an obsession, or indication of position or status…. The “constructed” images in the ongoing series are of home turned inside out, where things are topsy-turvy and scale is variable. Decoration is out of control, and the woman of the house is lost in her own madness.

Carroll began the satirical project after moving to Britain and finding her professional accomplishments disregarded. “Being known as Mrs. Jones rather than the independent, teacher, photographer Patty Carroll sent me into a small identity crisis. I made photographs of vulnerable, stark heads hiding behind various domestic objects as my initial response to this predicament,” she said in a recent interview with Aint-Bad.

 

One installment of the series, “Domestic Demise,” touches on contemporary issues of consumption, as well, and “is when the woman becomes a victim of her own obsessions and activities. She is no longer in control and life is a series of mishaps and mayhem,” the photographer said. Having too many books, too many items lining the pantry shelves, and too many alcoholic drinks overwhelm the women.

Carroll previously employed models for her drapery series, but as her scenarios got more complex and took longer to shoot, she switched to mannequins. She constructs each chaotic scene within an 8 x 8 frame. Her influences include “colorful vintage movies, traditional still-life paintings, decorating magazines, my suburban upbringing, the game of clue, and even Victorian writing,” she wrote in a statement.

 

Since being confined to her home due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and because of a recent appendectomy, Carroll says the mundane and oppressive requirements of domestic life are inescapable. “It is hard to ponder larger issues when we are confined to our homes and are concerned with the everyday, seemingly meaningless issues of cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping, and what is on Netflix for entertainment,” she said. “Nevertheless, all of my photographs are about those simple, ordinary, yet overwhelming tasks that we carry out every day.”

For more of Carroll’s identity-questioning work, pick up her recently released monograph that’s available from Aint-Bad and or a photograph from Catherine Couturier Gallery. Watch videos of the draped women as they attempt their domestic duties on Vimeo, and follow Carroll’s upcoming projects on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Food

Toast Slices Undergo Edible Makeovers into Rock Gardens, Pantone Swatches, and Flower Beds

April 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Manami Sasaki

While many of us slather our toast with butter day-after-day, Manami Sasaki is transforming thick slices of bread into Zen Japanese rock gardens and Pantone swatches that make breakfast into the most jubilant meal of the day. A watercolor artist turned toast connoisseur, the Japanese designer combines the stocks available in her fridge and pantry to assemble delightful bread-based creations.

In a patch of flowers, she adorns a tomato-sauce base with margarine petals and mint leaves that are finished with mustard details. Another dense slice is torn and reassembled with edible gold before being smothered in sour cream and garnished with ketchup to resemble Kintsugi, the Japanese art of pottery repair.

To see the latest in Sasaki’s delightful series of nourishments, follow her on Instagram. You also might like this candy garden. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Animation Photography

Artist François Vogel Turns His Unaware Cat into a Wriggling Jellyfish

April 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

Based on a recent cameo, François Vogel ’s cat actually might enjoy a dip in the ocean despite his feline instincts to avoid it. The Abyssinian has been stretched and distorted in a series of humorous clips made by his French owner, including one that lengthens and spirals the cat’s legs like flowing jellyfish tendrils. The unsuspecting pet also is stretched across the dining room and launched into an expanding sea of fish that he slowly swims through.

Vogel, who lives and works in the Parisian suburb Meudon, used slit-scan photography and time displacement in After Effects to twist and warp his cat’s figure. Head to Instagram to see his extensive backlog of comical distortions that includes turning his daughter into a seagull. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

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