Art

10,000 Pigeon Feathers Cascade from a Bookcase in Kate MccGwire's Latest Installation

August 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Discharge” (2020), mixed media installation with pigeon feathers, approximately 480 x 70 x 370 centimeters. All images by Jonty Wilde, © Kate MccGwire, shared with permission

Based in west London, artist Kate MccGwire is known for her serpentine feather sculptures and discomfiting artworks that coil and ooze in every direction. A recent installation follows in that tradition as it pours down like a massive gush of water from a built-in bookcase. Composed of approximately 10,000 pigeon feathers, “Discharge” stands nearly five meters tall and cascades to the floor in feathered ripples. While the plumes lining the main chute are in shades of gray, those at the bottom are lighter, evoking the ways water appears white when it crashes.

The delicate feathers are sourced ethically from pigeon racers who collect the plumes in August and October when the birds molt. MccGwire sorts the materials in her studio, separating the ones that curve left from those that bend to the right, before arranging them in captivating, color-specific patterns. “When visitors see the piece for the first time they are drawn to the phenomenal scale, rhythmic patterning, movement, and perfection of the piece,” she says of the mixed-media installation. “But are often perturbed and revolted when they understand what the material is,” which is exactly her intention. By juxtaposing the raw materials with the finished artwork, she asks viewers to consider the everyday beauty that’s often overlooked.

“Discharge” has been exhibited in an evolution of configurations in South Korea, Berlin, Paris, and now, Harewood House in West Yorkshire until August 14. Take a video tour of the current exhibition—which also includes a massive feather rug and encased sculptures—and find more of MccGwire’s voluptuous projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



History Photography

After Discovering a 120-Year-Old Time Capsule, Photographer Develops Two Cyanotypes of Cats

August 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Earlier this year, photographer Mathieu Stern discovered a time capsule dating back to the early 1900s in his family home. The 120-year-old box held a little girl’s cherished possessions, including a paper doll, seashell, and two glass plate negatives. Stern decided to develop the photographs using Cyanotype, one of the earliest printing processes that was prevalent well into the 20th century, and revealed images of the child’s pets. The photographer chronicled the entire endeavor in a video, which you can find on his YouTube and Instagram, and check out the finished prints of the furry companions below. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Surrounded by Feathers, Birds Clutch Their Bleeding Hearts in Christina Mrozik's Monochromatic Illustrations

August 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Safekeeping,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches. All images © Christina Mrozik, shared with permission

Just as they’d carry a seed to a new location, the birds in Portland-based artist Christina Mrozik’s latest series tightly grasp pulsing hearts in their talons. The graphite illustrations intertwine masses of feathers and avian body parts with the still bleeding organs, suggesting that they recently were ripped from the chests to cause their descent.

Coraticum—cor means heart in Latin—is an exploration of reconstruction, one that’s defined by bringing the heart outside the body. “It represents the beginning place from which feelings unfold, the center, the seed. I see this as the place before the stem or the root, before the flower or the honey,” they say. As a whole, the series considers the difficult emotions necessary for transformation. Mrozik (previously) tells Colossal the project was born out of personal upheaval in their life, which they explain:

I had been undergoing a major rearrangement in my relationship, rewiring my brain’s response to chronic pain and learning about the history of trauma on my nervous system. The way I moved internally was under massive rearrangement and self-scrutiny, and I was doing my best to find where to put things. Then quarantine hit and it felt like the work of rearrangement was happening externally on a global level.

Each monochromatic illustration is connected to a specific step of the reconstruction process: “The Eye of Recollection” to memory, “Safekeeping” to self-preservation, “The Ten Intuitions” to desire and instinct, “Colliding in Reverse” to letting go, and “Untethering Permissions” to questions about authority.

Coraticum is currently on view at Portland’s Antler Gallery, which will be sharing virtual tours of the solo show in the coming weeks. You can find prints, pins, and books of Mrozik’s surreal compositions in their shop, and follow their work on Instagram. (via Supersonic Art)

 

“Colliding in Reverse,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches

“Untethering Permissions,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches

“The Ten Intuitions,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches

“The Eye of Recollection,” graphite on paper, 15 x 17, graphite on paper

“Good Morning Moon,” 14 x 21 inches

 

 



Art Food

Plump and Peeled Ceramic Bananas Shape Koji Kasatani's Evocative Sculptures

August 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Koji Kasatani, shared with permission

Long before the infamous banana sent waves through the art world last year, Koji Kasatani was forming playful sculptures with the yellow produce. From a couple of peels mid-waltz to another fruit flattened into a puddle, the ceramic-and-resin artworks are evocative and humorous. Kasatani shares with Colossal that while the banana is a recurring motif, its purpose is light-hearted and is a form of idiosyncratic expression.

At 40 years old, the Japanese artist first started sculpting ceramic pieces after a residency in Florence, where he learned traditional Italian techniques. Since 2010, Kasatani has created an extensive body of work inspired by the fruit, which you can find on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Monumental Ballpoint Pen Portraits Are Rendered on Vintage Collateral by Artist Mark Powell

August 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mark Powell, shared with permission

From his Brighton-based studio on the seafront, Mark Powell (previously) pieces together crinkled book pages and postcards laden with travel dispatches. The vintage collages serve as backdrops for the artist’s oversized portraits of older folks, whose pensive stares and deep wrinkles are rendered gently in ballpoint pen. Often magnified, the subjects complement the weathered, ephemeral surfaces that span multiple feet. “I’m currently working on a series of larger works because they have much more impact on the viewer, more confronting yet comfortable I’m hoping. It is also much more tricky because by just using a ballpoint pen no mistakes can be made, and it would be a terrible shame to ruin a map, document, or letter that has survived hundreds of years only to be destroyed by me,” he shares with Colossal.

Each enlarged illustration—which sometimes depicts famous subjects, like Basquiat and Hunter S. Thompson— takes about a month to complete, and Powell generally works on more than one simultaneously. Recently, he’s started to slow down his artistic production as he shifts away from creating for dozens of shows every year. “The past two years, I’ve taken a step back from shows slightly to allow that evolution space to breathe. It has meant that the quality of the work has increased immeasurably (still much room for improvement of course),” he says.

Powell’s detailed illustrations will be included in an upcoming show at Hang-Up Gallery in London. Until then, dive into his repurposed projects on Behance and Instagram, and check out the available prints in his shop.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

A Massive Compendium of Tarot Cards Explores 600 Years of the Divine Decks

August 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

By Mina Mond, Wild Men Tarot, 2014, France. All images © Taschen, shared with permission

Compiling more than 500 cards, a new book sequences an incredibly diverse array of metaphysical decks from medieval to modern times. Tarot is arranged in order from the Major to the Minor Arcana and examines the meaning behind the varied illustrations, considering who created them and when. From a whimsical, black-and-white rendering of The Lovers by Madison Ross to French occultist Jean-Baptise Alliette’s pastel series, the compendium explores the collaborations between mystics and artists that have been happening for centuries. Many of the pieces included in the 520-page book are being shown outside their respective decks for the first time.

Tarot, which you can purchase on Tashcen’s site, is the debut tome in the publisher’s ongoing Library of Esoterica series. You also might enjoy paging through Salvador Dalí’s surreal deck.

 

Madison Ross, The Lovers, 2019, Canada

From Visconti-Sforza, Yale Deck, mid-15th century, Italy

Elisabetta Trevisan, Crystal Tarot, 1994, Italy

By Jean-Baptise Alliette, France

By Olivia M. Healy, The Fool, 2019, England

By Jean-Baptise Alliette, Etteilla, France

By Minka Sicklinger, Bryn McKay, Eve Bradford, Strength, United States

From Visconti-Sforza, Yale Deck, mid-15th century, Italy