Art

New Book Collects ROA’s Black-and-White Creatures in Photographs from Around the World

December 11, 2019

Grace Ebert

All photographs © ROA, shared with permission. Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Those unable to experience the black-and-white murals of Belgian artist ROA (previously) in person can admire photographs of his works in the recently published Codex. Released by Lannoo Publishers, the 352-page book contains four chapters centered on Eurasia, Africa, America, and Oceania, regions where ROA’s depictions of local animals blanket building walls. The photographs portray a snake wound around itself, six different species perched on vertical ledges, and an alligator on its back with its tail scaling a fire escape.

ROA works directly on the building, foregoing sketches and projections, and uses the architecture to inform the ways he paints birds, rodents, and other native creatures. Captivated by anatomy, the artist attempts to animate his paintings, giving energy and life to species often disregarded by humans. “Exploration of nature, more specifically of the animal world, can lead to increased empathy,” he says. “It teaches you something substantial about how one should live a good life.” The monochromatic murals’ scale often makes animals larger than their real-life bodies, securing and emboldening their monumental presence.

Codex, which is available now, also incorporates writing from RJ Rushmore, Lucy R. Lippard, Johan Braeckman, Gwenny Cooman, Robert R. Williams, and Kathy De Nève.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Puerto Rico

Vardø, Norway

São Paulo, Brazil

Perth, Australia

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

 

 



Art

Wildlife Intertwine in Finely Rendered Mythological Worlds by Lauren Marx

December 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Offerings” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen and colored pencil on paper. 26.75 x 42.5 inches

Sinuous, intertwined wildlife bridge worlds of the living and the dead in Lauren Marx’s intricate multi-media work. Twisting fox heads, disemboweled deer, and lambs bursting with flowers and birds are rendered with watercolor, ink, pen, and colored pencil. Marx often places her animal compositions on semi-abstract backgrounds, awash with grey tones that give a sense of weightlessness to the dense drawings by evoking fog or clouds.

The artist, who resides in her hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, cites frequent trips to the Saint Louis Zoo, biology classes, and National Geographic television shows as cultivating her lifelong interest in animals. Her latest body of work debuts December 14, 2019, at Corey Helford Gallery. The show, titled Chimera, is an evolution from her previous pieces, combining multiple animals into each artwork to combine their symbolic meanings.

“From Our Flesh” diptych (2015), Pen, ink, colored pencil, graphite, and gel pen, 17.75 x 10 inches

Chimera further explores my concepts of fauna representations of emotions, personal mental health, family, and self,” Marx shares in a statement. “I am creating a mythological world, centered around North American flora and fauna, to better expresses my image of who I am, how I am perceived, my struggles with mental health, and to explore self-healing.”

Marx studied Fine Art at Webster University and draws inspiration from zoology, mythology, scientific illustration, and Northern Renaissance themes. The artist shares with Colossal that in 2020 she wants to continue to challenge herself technically and conceptually, and that works in the Chimera show brought her practice to new levels in terms of scale and complexity.

See Chimera through January 18, 2020, at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and explore more of Marx’s intricate illustrative artwork on Instagram. The artist also offers prints and stickers on Etsy.

“Honey” (2019) Pen, watercolor, ink gel pen, gouache and colored pencil on mixed media paper, 31 x 37.25 inches

“Self-inflicted” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, and gel pen on paper, 20 x 20 inches

“Nested Fawn” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen, gouache, and colored pencil on mixed media paper, 25.75 x 40 inches

“The First” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, and gel pen on paper, 20 x 24 inches

“Snake-Bird” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen and colored pencil on mixed media paper 20 x 38 inches

“The Second” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, gel pen, and acrylic on paper, 20 x 24 inches

“Lovely” (2018), Pen, watercolor, ink, colored pencil, gel pen, and graphite on paper, 17.5 x 22 inches

 

 



Art

8th Annual Light Festival Illuminates Amsterdam with Glowing Sculptural Installations

December 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Butterfly Effect” by Masamichi Shimada. All photographs, unless noted, © Janus van den Eijnden

This year’s Amsterdam Light Festival, running November 28, 2019, to January 19, 2020, lights up the European city with illuminated art installations. The festival, now in its eighth year, attracts tourists and engages locals at a time when the city is cloaked in darkness for about sixteen hours each day. Visitors to the Light Festival use a phone app to guide themselves through Amsterdam’s city center, perusing twenty light works by artists from around the world. This year’s show theme was “DISRUPT!” and artists reflected the concept in pieces that ruminate on climate change, national history, technology, and more. See some of our favorites here, by Masamichi Shimada, UxU StudioSergey Kim and others. You can explore the full line-up and programming on the Amsterdam Light Festival website.

“Butterfly Effect” by Masamichi Shimada

“Neighborhood” by Sergey Kim

“Neighborhood” by Sergey Kim. Photograph courtesy of the artist

“Nacht Tekening” by Krijn de Koning 

“Big Bang” by UxU Studio

“Big Bang” by UxU Studio

“Order Disorder” by Lambert Kamps

“Order Disorder” by Lambert Kamps

“Atlantis” by Utskottet

“Surface Tension” by Tom Biddulph and Barbara Ryan

“Surface Tension” by Tom Biddulph and Barbara Ryan

 

 



Art

Dramatic Brush Strokes Energize Trees in Paintings by Adam S. Doyle

December 10, 2019

Grace Ebert

All photographs (c) Adam S. Doyle, shared with permission

Artist Adam S. Doyle (previously) is known for his paintings of birds and other animals that call attention to, rather than mask, his brush strokes. In his latest series, “Night Fall Trees,” Doyle shifts his focus to a different living entity. “By putting trees front and center as subjects, instead of relegating them to the background where they usually are, I’m saying these silent sentinels of our planet deserve our full attention and respect,” the artist shares with Colossal.

Like his other series, “Night Fall Trees” centers on Doyle’s obsession with energy. The swirling tree branches are wound tightly within each other, the tufts of leaves envelop the top branches, and the widespread roots bury themselves into the ground. Inspired by a nighttime glimpse of a well-lit tree last October, Doyle also says this series is about the seasons and the resilience the trees have.

Fall is often associated with colorful foliage, which is best seen during the day. But fall is also a season about transition, heading in for the long nights and bone-chilling cold. Winter is a hard time. Trees get through it, though. These paintings reflect on being ready for what’s to come and like the trees knowing we’ll get through it. There will be blossoming once again in the spring.

Doyle tells Colossal his creative plans include writing fiction and nonfiction. You can keep up with the artist’s latest energized paintings on Facebook. He even has another site for his children’s projects.

 

 



Animation

‘The Bird & the Whale’ Tells a Short and Sweet Tale Using Paint-on-Glass Animation

December 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

An animated short film written and directed by Carol Freeman uses an old-fashioned technique called paint-on-glass to form each luminescent frame. At seven minutes long, The Bird & the Whale is comprised of 4,300 paintings created by a small team of female artists in Dublin, Ireland. The animated film tells the story of a young whale, struggling to find its voice, who finds a caged bird that is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. The Bird & the Whale has been lauded at festivals worldwide, including the Silver Screen Award for Best Animated Film at Cannes’ Young Director Awards. Freeman, who majored in animation at the National Film School of Ireland, also co-founded Paper Panther Productions. Watch the making-of inpthe video below and follow Paper Panther on Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

‘Joy of Reading’: A New Book of Illustrations by Christoph Niemann Promotes Free Press

December 9, 2019

Grace Ebert

Illustrator Christoph Niemann (previously) has released The Paper, a book celebrating what he calls “the joy of reading magazines and newspapers.” The wordless book totals 194 pages and features pink, black, and white illustrations that depict people engrossed in magazines and newspapers. One couple lays with a large piece of newsprint covering them like a blanket, while another image depicts numerous hands and arms coming from all directions to grab and hold on to pages. Niemann says his intent for the book was to highlight the problems surrounding attacks on the media and press freedoms.

The world is facing countless pressing issues. I don’t know how to solve them, but I’m convinced that in order to find out, we need a press that can ask the relevant questions, without fear of threats, persecution and violence. We need to protect reporters who take risks to shine light into the darkest corners of the world and to bring us the truth about sensitive subjects involving our health, our safety and our geopolitical environment.

All of the proceeds from The Paper will go to Reporters Without Borders, an organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the freedom of information. The book, which is published by Abstractometer Press and features design by Ariane Spanier, is available for purchase on Niemann’s site. Find more of Niemann’s illustrations that are at the crossroads of humor and activism on Instagram.

 

 



Craft

A Paper Monster Named Musgor Inhabits a Future World in ‘Urban Mutations’

December 9, 2019

Grace Ebert

Musgor, an angular green monster, roams a futuristic paper world in “Urban Mutations.” The exhibit, which originally was on view at the Museo del Humor in Buenos Aires in November 2018, showcased work from 17 artists—including Estudio Guardabosques (previously), a Buenos Aires design studio by Caro Silvero and Juan Elizalde. The artists reinterpreted historical components of La Plata and presented them in futuristic terms. The series depicts Musgor, its world of origin, and a few of the fictional space’s other creatures, including a beetle whose face appears on its body and a ten-legged insect that resembles a leaf.

With a focus on the Natural Museum of La Plata, the artists say they wanted to maintain the influence of a science museum, which included incorporating the research and speculation central to interpreting unknown beings. Combining this idea with the large monsters of Japanese kaiju films brought the group to these paper figures. Explore more of Estudio Guardabosques’s geometric paper creations on Instagram.