Art

Sarah DiNardo: Tape Artist

April 6, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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At a young age artist Sarah DiNardo became fascinated by the tactile sensation of Chiquita banana stickers. Over time the obsession with stickiness translated into one of her greatest passions: creating art by rolling endless lengths of brown masking tape into different sized rolls which she then places into found boxes. The folks over at Gnarly Bay shot this intimate portrait with the artist as she describes how her art creates calm and balance in her daily life. Loved this: “Everyone has their vice and I guess my vice just happens to be rolling tape.”

 

 



Art Food Illustration

Artist Hong Yi Plays with her Food for 30 Days

April 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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For almost every day last month Malaysian artist/architect Hong Yi (who often goes by the nickname Red) created a fun illustration made with common (and occasionally not so common) food. Her parameters were simple: the image had to be comprised entirely of food and the only backdrop could be a white plate. With that in mind Yi set out to create landscapes, animals, homages to pop culture, and even a multi-frame telling of the three little pigs. The project, which still appears to be ongoing, has been documented heavily around the web, but if you haven’t seen it all head over to her Facebook and read an interview on designboom. Photos will also be appearing on her Instagram at @redhongyi.

 

 



Art

Realistic Urban Landscape Paintings of Chicago and New York by Nathan Walsh

April 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Many painters working from photographic source material employ a wide variety of techniques to arrive at a final image. This will involve anything from loose sketching beforehand to complex grids, where a photograph is translated into paint box by box. Such is not the case with British painter Nathan Walsh who instead relies on elaborate drawings reminiscent of architectural blueprints before every committing paint to canvas. This deep reverence for the underpinning geometry and perspective gives each work a sense of life that might otherwise not be present in something created with the mechanical aid of a camera or software.

Walsh tells me his primary source materials are not photographs but pencil sketches drawn on-site, for example the Chicago pieces above began from over 100 drawings he then references in his studio. In this way he can easily alter the position and size of any particular element, a process he likens to “building a world from scratch”. Personally I think the process is more akin to building the entire world in his mind so he can better represent it later in his paintings, each of which takes up to 3-4 months to complete. Via his website:

I deal exclusively with the urban landscape and aim to present a painted world which in some ways resembles the world we live in. I am fascinated by the city, it’s visual complexity and constant state of flux. The act of painting is an attempt fix this information and give vision to our experience of living within it. […] The work aims to create credible and convincing space which whilst making reference to our world displays it’s own distinct logic. This space is created through drawing, which I see as fundamental in establishing a world the viewer can engage with. Drawing allows me to make human pictorial decisions instead of relying on the mechanical eye of a camera or software package. This process is open ended and changes from one painting to the next. Whilst I employ a variety of perspectival strategies, these methods are not fixed or rigid in their application. Working with a box of pencils and an eraser I will start by establishing an horizon line on which I will place vanishing points to construct simple linear shapes which become subdivided into more complex arrangements.

You can see numerous final works at a much higher resolution, as well as initial drawings over on his website. Walsh will have work at the Changing Perspectives technology conference in Paris later this month, and is working on a solo show at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in November.

 

 



Photography

The 2012 Human Tower Competition in Tarragona, Spain

April 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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The sky of human towers

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You’ve probably seen photographs of the Concurs de Castells, the human tower competition held in the region of Catalonia, Spain, but photographer David Oliete got a pretty unique perspective in 2012, shooting the entire event at what appears to be a nearly aerial position. As the throngs of castellers—hundreds of men, women and even children—push forward in a claustrophobic mass to build their best human towers, biological shapes reminiscent of insects or even animal cells begin to form. Oliete shares with me via email about the competition:

The most important Human Tower Competition is called “Concurs de Castells” and it takes place in the city of Tarragona once every two years. Its XXIV edition took place during the 6th and 7th October 2012 with the participation of 32 teams from all around Catalonia and a live audience of more than 20,000 people. During the competition, the higher and difficult to build a tower is, the more points a team gets. Every human tower is usually between six and ten levels high. Teams are made of between 100 to 500 women and men. Young and light members form the top of the tower while heavier members form the base.

The “castells” have also been one of the most important cultural traditions in Catalonia for more than 200 years. “Strength, balance, courage and common sense” is their motto. In 2010, the castells were declared by UNESCO to be amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.

You can see many more shots from Oliete’ shoot of the Concurs de Castells 2012 over on Flickr, and you can also catch up with him on Facebook.

 

 



Photography

Can You Guess the Owner? New Macro Photos of Animal Eyes from Suren Manvelyan

April 3, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Photographer Suren Manvelyan took the web by storm back in 2011 with his Animal Eyes series, where he captured spectacular macro photographs of various critter’s eyes. Manvelyan is back with a new series of extreme close-ups which seem to peer right into the soul of various animals, even though it’s not exactly clear whose soul you’re looking at. I left captions off the photos above, but you can use the list below in order of appearance to check your answers. I got exactly one right.

1. Garden Tree Boa, 2. Gecko eublepharis, 3. Basiliscus lizard, 4. Gecko tokay, 5. Chinchilla, 6. Long-eared owl, 7. Fennec, 8. Raven.

 

 



Art

An Alphabet of Animals Carved from Crayons and Other Miniature Pencil Works by Diem Chau

April 3, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Armadillo, Boy, Cat, Dove, Elephant, Frog

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Girl, Handstand, Iguana, Jellyfish, Koala, Ladybug

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Manatee, Nautilus, Owl, Penguin, Quail, Rabbit, Seahorse

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Tiger, Urchin, Viper, Wolf, Xiphosura (Horseshoecrab), Yoga, Zebra

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An artist’s medium is as varied as imagination allows and you’ll find hundreds, maybe even thousands of them here on Colossal. But occasionally a medium itself is altered to create an artwork, as is the case with Seattle artist Diem Chau (previously here and here) who works within the narrow confines of graphite pencil leads and colored crayons to carve her delicate sculptures of animals and people. A native of Vietnam, Chau and her family came to America as refugees in 1986 and would later receive a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts after which she began exhibiting her works in New York, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles.

Luckily we’ll finally get a glimpse of Chau’s miniature carvings here in Chicago at Packer Schopf Gallery opening this Friday. Almost everything you see here will be on view and the artist will be giving a talk at 1pm the following day on April 6th, 2013. See more of her new A-Z series on Flickr and on her blog.