Art

Multi-Color Murals by Aryz Depict Dynamic Gestures in Large-Scale Sketches

September 12, 2019

Sasha Bogojev


Continuously evolving his style from early surreal comic-like renderings, to subdued portraits, all the way to abstract assemblages, Catalan artist Aryz has built his reputation as a multi-talented muralist. More recently, Aryz has reduced the quantity of new mural projects and has focused his imagery on figurative compositions built from seamlessly integrated elements.

Often leaving the brushwork as visible as possible and mixing vibrant, sometimes clashing colors, he is now fully focused on creating work that aims to translate the unmediated feel of sketching into large-scale murals. “I think, with time, you need to get rid of the technique and at the end go to the basic and go to the essence of the composition of the colors,” Aryz shares with Colossal about his unique manner of building images. “I don’t know if I’m succeeding on that, but that’s my goal at the moment.”

One recent mural, painted earlier this summer in Angers, France, depicts a shirtless man working with a large mallet. The image is constructed from various elements taken at different moments, with loose limbs suggesting energetic action. Sourcing his inspiration from propaganda posters and classical paintings, Aryz is reinventing this imagery with his own style. “I feel comfortable with it, because I like that aesthetic, instead of maybe portraying a contemporary character with jeans and piercings,” the artist explains.

A similar concept was used for a new mural in Berlin, where he conveyed a dynamic scene of wrestlers fighting. “It’s all about painting these humans that are fighting against humans as a reflection of the nowadays society,” Aryz tells Colossal. While having the rough, almost careless aesthetic of pencil drawing on paper, this four stories-tall composition is broken up by the existing window on the building. With fists, legs, and even bones appearing unexpectedly inside the composition, and expressive brushstrokes filling up the surface, the image freezes a moment of great tension.

Aryz is showing his work in several places around France this fall, including in Rouen, France at Temple Saint-Eloi through September 22, 2019, and then through November 24, 2019, in partnership with Hangar 107. In Paris, the artist’s new work is on view starting November 8, 2019. Aryz’s final French stop is at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, opening 14 Novembre 2019, and closing February 16, 2020. Follow along with Aryz’s whirlwind tour and see more of his fresh work on Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Art

Old Books Become Craggy Mountains and Waterway Channels in Otoniel Borda Garzon’s Mixed Media Sculptures

September 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Colombian artist Otoniel Borda Garzon (previously) manipulates outdated volumes of maps, reference texts, and newspapers to form abstract sculptures. The multi-part artworks juxtapose the paper pages, carved into topographical shapes that allude to cliffs and mountains, with geometric wooden trusses and smooth, water-like glass channels. You can explore more of Garzon’s wide-ranging art projects, which often incorporate reclaimed materials, on his Behance portfolio.

 

 



Documentary

A Look Inside the 45,000-Piece Collection of Trashed Treasures Curated by Sanitation Worker Nelson Molina

September 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

If, like me, you live in New York City, you’re confronted on the daily with mounds of trash on the sidewalk. While the appliances, antique furniture, clothing, and houseplants are a passing novelty for pedestrians such as myself, for Nelson Molina, the trash was his daily focus for 34 years. The veteran New York Sanitation worker, who retired in 2015 from his East Harlem route, has collected over 45,000 items of interest, all culled from his professional immersion in what New Yorkers discard.

His curatorial efforts have been widely chronicled over the years, including a 2012 profile in The New York Times, and particularly at inflection points when the collection’s future is uncertain. A new short documentary film by director Nicholas Heller meets up with the contagiously enthusiastic Molina for a look inside his curatorial process and the present state of the collection. There is currently a fundraising effort to create a permanent home for Molina’s ‘Treasures in the Trash,’ which you can contribute to here. If you’re interested in more anthropological trash projects, check out Jenny Odell’s Bureau of Suspended Objects, an archive created out of Odell’s time as an artist in residence at a San Francisco dump.

 

 



Art

Powerful Portraits of Women by Painter Robin F. Williams

September 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

New York-based painter Robin F. Williams captures figures—often women—in powerful poses. Her canvases usually center on one figure, whose broad shoulders and dramatic gestures fill the frame. Williams works with a range of painting styles, including more gestural, layered techniques as well as building slick, flat fields of color.  In an interview with Juxtapoz (she is also on the cover of their Summer 2019 issue), Williams shared her approach to creating her unique paintings:

I am interested in micro-expressions and how we read each other’s cues. There seems to be a lot of illiteracy around body language and not enough acknowledgment that non-verbal cues can be, and sometimes have to be, very complicated. I want to compress time in these paintings by using multiple markers within one piece, either through form or narrative. The goal is not to make a painting that feels timeless, but to make a painting that feels outside of time. It’s a way to discuss how images of women have consistently been so problematic.

Williams’ solo show, With Pleasure, recently opened at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, and runs through October 26, 2019. In addition to creating her own work, the artist has been an adjunct faculty member at the School of Visual Arts since 2013. If you enjoy Williams’ intimate, dynamic approach to female portraiture, also check out Hope Gangloff and Kathryn Engberg. Follow along with Williams on Instagram. (via this isn’t happiness)

 

 



Photography

Murderous Hippos, Thirsty Birds, and Snoozing Seals are Highly Commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

September 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Touching Trust” by Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

Photographers from around the world submitted their best snapshots of wildlife for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London and now in its fifty-fifth year, the showcase received over 48,000 submissions from 100 countries for the 2019 edition. All photographs shown here were designated as highly commended across a range of categories including plants and fungi, mammal behavior, wildlife photojournalism, and more. Winners will be announced on October 15 and photographs can be viewed in person at the Museum between October 18, 2019 and May 31, 2020. You can also follow the annual contest on Instagram and Facebook.

“Big Cat and Dog Spat” by Peter Haygarth, U.K.

“Cool Drink” by Diana Rebman, U.S.A.

“Last Gasp” by Adrian Hirschi, Switzerland

“The Freshwater Forest” by Michel Roggo, Switzerland

“The Climbing Dead” by Frank Deschandol, France

“Sleeping Like a Weddell” by Ralf Schneider, U.S.A.

“Beach Waste” by MatthewWare, U.S.A.

“Jelly Baby” by Fabien Michenet, France

“Lucky Break” by Jason Bantle, Canada

 

 



Art

REWILD: A Short Film by Splash and Burn and ESCIF Chronicles Rainforest Restoration Efforts in Sumatra

September 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

To draw attention to the ecological devastation wrought by palm oil farming in Southeast Asia, the Splash and Burn project (previously) creates and documents large and small-scale art activations. The initiative’s most recent endeavor, titled REWILD and executed with Spanish artist ESCIF, involved carving a rewind symbol into a palm oil plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia, and creating a short film documenting the effort. ESCIF explains, “the idea of going back, of rewinding, is an invitation to reconnect with ourselves; to recover awareness and respect for the earth, which is the ecosystem of which we are a part.”

The land art intervention took place on an acquired plantation within a new forest restoration site made possible by the Sumatran Orangutan Society. After clearing the palms, diverse vegetation has been re-planted. In a release about the project, Splash and Burn explains that the restoration site is located on the borders of the Leuser Ecosystem, one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Sumatra’s forests—and the wildlife populations within—have shrunk by 40% in the past two decades, replaced by palm oil, paper pulp, and rubber plantations. Though not commonly known in the U.S. as a cooking oil, palm oil is the most widely consumed oil on the planet, found in everything from chocolate and instant noodles to lipstick and laundry detergent.

You can watch the trailer of REWILD below. It features an abstract soundscape by Indonesian composer Nursalim Yadi Anugerah. If you are interested in contributing, head to moretrees.info, and follow Splash and Burn (comprised of Ernest Zacharevic and Charlotte Pyatt) on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Finely Wrought Metal Flowers and Leaves Form the Bodies of Mammals and Birds in Sculptures by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Taiichiro Yoshida’s metal sculptures (previously) are so meticulously crafted and impossibly delicate that one could be forgiven for thinking they are digital renderings. However, Yoshida is an accomplished metalsmith who uses silver, bronze, and copper to form the leaves, flowers, and butterflies that cover the bodies of each mammal or bird. Every petal, leaf, and wing is hand-formed, with the coloration created by heating and cooling the metals at specific temperatures. The 29 year-old Japanese artist earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in metal carving at Tokyo University the Arts. He has exhibited widely and most recently had a solo exhibition at Gallery Kogure in Tokyo. See more of Yoshida’s sculptures on the artist’s website.