Animation

Dozens of Expressive Puppets Encourage Kindness and Acceptance in a Series of Sing-A-Long Short Films

February 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Irish director and animator Johnny Kelly (previously) is known for his puppet-based films, most notably his 2011 piece for Chipotle titled Back to the Start. His most recent project, Right on Tracks, is a series of short sing-a-long videos for Cheerios. Kelly worked with the art collective Nous Vous and Andy Gent, who was also the lead of the puppets department for Isle of Dogs.

The catchy anthems have an inclusive message that focuses on building confidence in yourself while practicing kindness to all. Walter Martin of The Walkmen created songs such as Just Be You which teaches acceptance of your own quirks and unique traits, and It’s All Family which showcases a look at familial structures in a much broader light than we typically see on TV.

“We wanted to show diversity,” Kelly told It’s Nice That. “Nous Vous’ characters are so otherworldly and abstract that they could be anyone and everyone. It was important that people empathize with them too. With such simple designs, you can read a little more into their expressions, project your own loneliness onto a lonely character, or warmth onto a happy character.”

The cast of puppets are large, small, and every size in-between, with characteristics that range from colorful tufts of hair to necks that extend out like tree branches. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek at how Kelly created the four-part series in the video below, and view more of his short films on his website and Vimeo. (via The Kid Should See This, It’s Nice That)

 

 



Amazing

Freediving Champion Guillaume Néry Swims Across Several of the World’s Oceans with One Breath

February 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In the newest film by Guillaume Néry (previously), the world champion free diver swims across the world in one breath, or at least creative editing and camera tricks present the illusion of this great feat. One Breath Around the World follows Néry to the spectacular scenes he explores without a snorkel or air tank, like a variety of underwater caves or a pod of clustered whales. The film is shot by his wife Julie Gautier (previously) who was also free diving as she filmed Néry throughout France, Finland, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, and other oceanic destinations. The film was created through the pair’s production company Les Films Engloutis. You can see more of their spectacular underwater films on Vimeo. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Photography

Freshly Cut Flowers Make Sparks in Electrically Charged Images by Hu Weiyi

February 18, 2019

Anna Marks

Image credits: Hu Weiyi and A+ Contemporary

Image credits: Hu Weiyi and A+ Contemporary

In The Tentacles project, by Chinese artist Hu Weiyi, bright sparks and fiery electrical waves flow through a series of freshly blossomed flowers against matte gray backgrounds. To produce the images, Hu uses high-voltage capacitors to create electrical currents that run through the pink and maroon roses, showcasing the power of electricity in all its beauty and danger.

The photo series was inspired by a previous project Hu created in 2014, called Flirt, which introduced cold light to various objects to manipulate viewers’ perception without using digital software. “I then began to study the high-voltage arc and made a high-voltage capacitor which can instantaneously penetrate through the air,” says Hu. “The principle is similar to that of the electric baton, but much stronger.”

The research behind The Tentacles took Hu over a year. He worked with various technicians to try different types of electric discharge devices that would exert the right amount of electrical flow to be captured by his camera. In this experimental phase, Hu used dozens of roses and took hundreds of photographs before finding the right images and settings for his final collection. “My studio is therefore filled with the unpleasant smell of rotten flowers, just like a morgue,” says the artist.

Hu’s work illustrates the aesthetic beauty and diversity of physical forms; the softness and stillness of the spongy rose petals in comparison to the dangerous allure of the electrical spark. “The moment of discharge is wonderful and sexy, but it can also be a cold-blooded tool for torture and execution,” he explains. Hu’s combination of materials illustrate the impermanence of natural plant matter, much like the fragile nature of the human body when exposed to lightning. “The flowers in full bloom remind me of my own fragility and powerlessness,” says Hu.

In comparison to manipulating photographs with software such as Photoshop, the time, precision and research in Hu’s work gives the subjects in his images more weight, their electricity more tangible. You can see more of Hu’s photographs on A+ Contemporary’s website.

 

 



Art

Intricate Metal Root Sculptures by Sun-Hyuk Kim Take Human Form

February 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

South Korean artist Sun-Hyuk Kim (previously) cuts, welds, melts, and curves pipes and wires into structures that are part human anatomy and part twisted plant root systems. The branch-like metal blood vessels create the outline of limbs, abdomens, and heads, as well as the trees that appear to have sprouted from them. Made entirely of stainless steel, the sculptures are meant to signify our imperfect and incomplete existence in relation to the natural world.

“My art is a tool to discover the truth and remind myself [and] viewers through various media,” Sun-Hyuk told Colossal. From large head-shaped root sculptures connected at the nose, to full body works with large trunks protruding from the head, back, and torso, the sculptures are often dramatic depictions of the human experience and what the artist considers truth.

New sculptures and drawings will be shown at Sun-Hyuk’s upcoming solo show at the Suhadam Art Space in South Korea from June 7 through August 5, 2019. To see more of his current and future works, you can also follow the artist on Instagram. (via Ignant)

 

 



Art

New Mural Masters Book Offers a Colorful Tour of Contemporary Street Art Around the World

February 16, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Mural by Felipe Pantone. All images via Gingko Press

Not everyone is lucky enough to travel the world to witness the evolution of street art. Luckily there are books like Mural Masters: A New Generation published by Gingko Press to close those gaps. Authored by Kiriakos Iosifidis, the new book is over 260 pages long and showcases walls painted by more than 90 established and emerging artists.

With the help of many talented photographers, Mural Masters takes viewers on a non-linear journey across the planet, hitting Arkansas and Zurich and all points in between to check in on Alexis Diaz, Hyuro, Nychos, ETAM, and several others. Individual artist bios reveal details about where the creators are from, how long they’ve been honing their craft, and where in the world their pieces can be found. The book also includes a handy index filled with contact information and social media handles (for those who have them), as well as the locations and photographer credits for each mural included in its pages.

Mural Masters: A New Generation is available on shelves now, but you can save a trip and grab a copy here.

Mural by Okuda San Miguel

Mural by James Bullough & Li Hill

Mural by WD

Mural by Fintan Magee

Mural by Agostino Iacurci

Mural by Agostino Iacurci

Mural by DULK

Mural by Hendrik Beikirch

 

 



Art

Historical Paintings Get a Pixelated Update

February 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Based on “Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, Princesse de Broglie” by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Greek artist and art director Dimitris Ladopoulos (previously) continues to use the Houdini algorithm, referred to as treemapping, to interpret paintings from the art history canon. The program calculates the density of information in a user-provided image and then divides it based on selected parameters, creating a pixelated effect that forms distinct color tiles of varying heights. In a statement about the project, Ladopoulos draws a comparison between treemapping and the original painter’s use of varied brushstrokes to bring fine detail, color variation, and texture to select areas of the canvas. You can see more of Ladopoulos’s work on Behance and Instagram.

Based on “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci

Based on “Portrait of a Young Man” by Titian

Based on “Vincent van Gogh” by John Peter Russell

Based on “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher” by Johannes Vermeer

 

 



Art

Cows, Moose, and Camels Contort into Yoga Poses and Other Surprising Positions in Paintings by Bruno Pontiroli

February 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bruno Pontiroli creates mind-bending explorations of the relationship between humans and animals, painting limber cows doing impressive handstands or an over-eager man embracing a large walrus, much to its chagrin. The artist shies away from labeling his work as Surrealist or Dadaist, instead proposing a new version of reality without categorization. Pontiroli will exhibit work with Galerie Klaus Kiefer at art KARLSRUHE from February 21 to 24, 2019 and with Fousion Gallery at Urvanity Art Madrid from February 28 to March 3, 2019. You can peek further inside Pontiroli’s bizarre world of shape-shifting humans and balancing bovines on his website and Instagram.

 

 

A Colossal

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Sailing Ship Kite