Shop Limited-Edition Prints of Mia Bergeron's Imaginative Works from Sebastian Foster

May 23, 2022

Sebastian Foster

“Stop Running”

Austin-based gallery and print studio Sebastian Foster has a new addition to its roster, Tennessee-based artist Mia Bergeron. To celebrate her joining the gallery, they’re releasing a collection of limited-edition prints of the artist’s dreamlike, dualistic works.

A classically trained oil painter, Bergeron uses modern techniques and concepts to create layered pieces. She often oscillates between the fictitious and the observed, blending the realities of the physical world with the fanciful and imaginative. Through phantasmic figures and mundane domesticity turned eerie, Bergeron explores seemingly disparate sentiments within a single work, whether through the contrasts between curiosity and loss, longing and presence, or emptiness and saturation.

Add Bergeron’s ethereal renderings to your collection by heading to the Sebastian Foster site. The gallery also represents numerous artists previously featured on Colossal, including Grant Haffner, Jeremy Miranda, Sabine Timm, and Diana Sudyka, who have originals and prints available, as well.

 

“Apparition”

“Vessel”

“Ancestors”

Aurora Living

“Next Year”

“Tranquil Ghosts”

“Remains”

 

 



Art

Hundreds of Melting Ice Figures Echo the Intensifying Threat of the Climate Crisis in Néle Azevedo's Public Works

May 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Minimum Monument” (2014), Lima. All images © Néle Azevedo, shared with permission

Ephemerality has always been at the center of Néle Azevedo’s practice. The Brazilian artist is known globally for “Minimum Monument,” a collection of small ice figures that melt in situ.

First exhibited in São Paulo in 2005, the installation, which Azevedo dubs an “urban art action,” has found its way to cities like Paris, Belfast, Lima, and Porto. In each iteration, the artist carves hundreds of 20-centimeter-tall figures seated with their ankles crossed and places them atop outdoor steps and in public spaces. The faceless sculptures drip and pool into small puddles as time passes, which initially was Azevedo’s way of critiquing public monuments and taking “into account the history of the defeated, the anonymous, to bring to light our mortal condition.” The impermanence of the frozen substance directly contrasts the enduring nature of bronze, stone, and other materials typically used for statues and commemorative works.

 

“Minimum Monument” (2005), São Paulo. Photo © Marcos Gorgatti

With the intensifying climate crisis, though, the piece has acquired new meaning as a literal reflection of global warming and the way life will soon disappear from the planet. A statement about the decades-long project explains:

This urgency requires a paradigm shift in the development of governments of all nations to think of another model of development outside the current level of consumption. These threats also finally put Western man in his place, his fate is along with the destiny of the planet, he is not the “king” of nature, but a constituent element of it. We are nature.

A successor to “Minimum Monument,” Azevedo’s “Suspended State” (shown below) similarly gathers more than 1,000 ice figures and dangles them over pots, bowls, and other kitchenware equipped with microphones. “The sound is very important because it invokes that disappearance,” the artist tells Great Big Story. “The melting sculptures (create) a connection between a subjective self and a collective consciousness.”

Explore an archive of Azevedo’s works, including images of multiple iterations of “Minimum Monument,” on her site, and follow news about upcoming exhibitions and projects on Instagram.

 

“Minimum Monument” (2020), Rome. Image © Néle Azevedo

“Minimum Monument” (2009), Berlin. Image © Néle Azevedo

“Minimum Monument” (2016), São Paulo. Image © Néle Azevedo

“Minimum Monument” (2020), Rome. Image © Néle Azevedo

“Minimum Monument” (2020), Rome. Image © Néle Azevedo

“Suspended State,” São Paulo. Photo © Edouard Fraipont

“Suspended State,” São Paulo. Photo © Edouard Fraipont

 

 



Photography

Lush Canopies of Hundreds of Purple Flowers Erupt from Japan's Wisteria

May 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi, Japan. All images © Ryo Tajima, shared with permission

Each spring, the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Japan, is flooded with bright, blossoming canopies of purple flowers. The area is home to more than 350 wisterias, including one monumental specimen that’s at least 150 years old, and hosts an annual festival that illuminates the lengthy tendrils against the nighttime sky. For the past few years, Ryo Tajima has visited the park, in addition to other locations around the country, to photograph the flowers as they reach peak bloom. His images capture the stunning magnitude of the vines, showing the breadth and density that appear to explode with color.

Some of Tajima’s wisteria photos are compiled in a book from National Geographic, and you can follow his travels to document cherry blossoms, cosmos, and fields teeming with lavender on Instagram.

 

Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi, Japan

Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi, Japan

Yamaguchi, Japan

Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi, Japan

Saitama, Japan

 

 



Photography

Vibrant Textiles and Repurposed Eyewear Camouflage the Subjects of Thandiwe Muriu's Celebratory Portraiture

May 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Thandiwe Muriu, shared with permission

From chunky hair beads and rollers to sink strainers and brake pedals, Nairobi-based photographer Thandiwe Muriu (previously) finds fashionable use for ordinary objects. Worn as glasses that obscure a subject’s identity, the repurposed items add cultural flair to Muriu’s vibrant portraits and are connected to both her background and Kenyan life, more broadly. Red fringe evokes the tassel that hung from her uncle’s Toyota Corolla, which transported the artist home from school each day, while the orange plastic drain catcher references the joy found in sharing chores. She explains:

In Kenya, when a group of friends meet, the women usually gather in the kitchen to clean up after the meal is done, and as is part of Kenyan culture, wash the piles of dishes by hand. This routine task suddenly becomes a moment of laughter and stories as the women mingle and bonds are reinforced…(The portrait) celebrates the African spirit of community as it turns humble sink strainers into bright circles of joy.

Shot against bold fabric backdrops printed with dizzying patterns, Muriu’s works conceal her subjects’ bodies under perfectly aligned garments, leaving only their heads and hands visible. The photographs are part of her ongoing CAMO series, which explores how culture both creates and consumes individual identities. Incorporating rich color palettes and traditional architectural hairstyles, Muriu celebrates her African heritage while questioning beauty standards and self-perception.

Some of the photographer’s portraits are on view this month at Photo London 2022 and at 1-54 Fair in New York. In July, she’ll have a solo show with 193 Gallery at the new Maison Kitsuné Gallery in New York, as well. You can explore the full CAMO series on her site and Instagram.

 

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

Image © Thandiwe Muriu

 

 



Animation

A Brilliant Orange Orb Shape-Shifts Through Time in a Meditative Animated Short

May 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

A metaphor for the way fragments of time both accumulate and mutate as they slip from one moment to the next, a glowing sphere is the subject of a calming short film by Argentinian artist Ezequiel Pini, of Six N. Five. The CGI animation follows the bright orb as it expands, multiplies, and transfigures into alternate forms like a sun dropping beneath the horizon and windows evocative of the recently demolished Nakagin Capsule Tower. Although simple in shape, the round object “represents care, calm, and attention to achieve its ultimate perfection. We are a circle, without boundaries, beginning or end. Infinity,” Pini says. Watch more of his poetic works on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art

Cloaked in Bold Motifs, Ceramic Vessels by Ariana Heinzman Sprout Playful Botanical Forms

May 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of J. Reinhart Gallery, shared with permission

From her studio on Vashon Island in Washington, artist Ariana Heinzman channels the lithe forms of the human body into supple clay vessels. Enveloped in quirky botanical patterns and thick outlines, the sculptures twist and bow into elegant shapes that sprout buds and spiked flowers. Bold, dense motifs evoke the Garden of Eden, Heinzman shares, and serve as a metaphor for the impulse to cover the nude figure with layers of garments.

The vessels shown below are on view through June 18 at J. Rinehart Gallery in Seattle as part of the artist’s solo show, It’s Good to be Here. You can shop functional ceramic pieces like cups and planters on Heinzman’s site, and explore an archive of her floral sculptures on Instagram.

 

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins