Art

Eerie Graphite Drawings Encase Aliens and Sci-Fi Experiments in Looming Stacked Towers

September 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Engineering Consciousness.” All images James Lipnickas, shared with permission

New Haven, Connecticut-based artist James Lipnickas conjures towering sci-fi structures filled with futuristic labs, clashes with aliens, and massive laser beams shooting from rooftops. Working in graphite, Lipnickas uses heavy shading to shroud his architectural renderings in mystery and unfamiliarity as tentacled creatures crack through the walls and humans become science experiments. “This series really grew out of my interest in advanced technologies integrating with humans and how it shapes us moving forward,” he says.

Amidst the machines and eerie contraptions, the artist interrupts each building with a level containing a garden bed or an illuminated tree grove. “The future holds many unknowns (technology and lifeforms).  We can’t forget the natural world while we move further from it,” he says.

Before the end of the year, Lipnickas will show some of his works at Chicago’s Vertical Gallery and in a few virtual exhibitions with WOW x WOW. You can find more of his drawings, and keep an eye out for an expansion of the series shown here, on his Instagram. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

“Through Different Identities” (2021)

“Way of the Future” (2021)

“Intelligent Machines” (2021)

“More than Human” (2021)

“A Simulated Reality”

“Techno Human” (2021)

 

 



Photography

Nighttime Skies Serve as the Dreamy Backdrop for Sophia Ahamed's Saturated Flowers

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sophia Ahamed, shared with permission

With illuminated slivers of the moon in the distance, a photographic series juxtaposes clusters of flowers in saturated reds and pink with expanses of cloudy, blue skies. Created by Sophia Ahamed, the dreamy works center on seasonal blooms at their peak, highlighting the soft, paper-thin petals of spring and the deep oranges associated with fall.

Despite their entirely organic subject matter and focus on naturally occurring colors and textures, each work is designed to skew perceptions of fiction and reality: Ahamed shoots all of the elements separately and then layers them into new compositions, positioning genuine images into fabricated contexts. “We associate colour with how we perceive the world around us, memories, and emotion,” she says, “Often at times, these elements can act as well as a gentle escape into something more soothing.”

Ahamed, who’s also the design director at the Vancouver-based agency Monograph & Co., shares that the Dark Night series originated from grief and loss, a theme that continues to veil the works with melancholy. “Sometimes we forget that the magic we are seeking in our day-to-day lives isn’t waiting for us on a lavish trip. That magic is all around us, all the time. We just have to be willing to pause and take a look around,” she says.

Prints are available on Ahamed’s site, and you can find more from the series on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Design

A Virtual Installation Immerses Viewers in a Reactive Environment of Shape-Shifting Architecture

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Medusa.” All images courtesy of London Design Festival, shared with permission

A landmark collaboration between Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto (previously) and Tin Drum, a production studio and technology developer, brings an undulating, reactive installation to the 2021 London Design Festival, but the immersive artwork is only viewable through a headset. Falling at the intersection of architecture and virtual reality, “Medusa” is comprised of monochromatic pillars that appear to suspend from the ceiling in a rippling environment. As viewers move through Raphael Court at the Victoria and Albert Museum where the work is on display, the responsive structure shifts and alters its composition in light and shape.

The work draws inspiration from the dynamic displays of the aurora borealis and underwater bioluminescence, two phenomena that manifest through the animated qualities and shifting patterns of Fujimoto’s curved forms. “This is the first time I am designing architecture with non-physical materials—it’s using light and pure expanse of the space,” he said in a statement. “It’s an architecture experience but completely new and different.”

“Medusa” is on view through September 26.

 

 

 



Art

Evoking Mythology and Urban Culture, Beaded Masks Brim with Geometric Motifs and Embellishments

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Fefe Talavera, shared with permission

From small shells and Amazonian beads, Brazilian-Mexican artist Fefe Talavera strings together elaborate masks that fuse ancient mythologies and contemporary urban culture. The mixed-media works are part of an ongoing series—Talavera shares more on her site and Instagram, along with vibrant silhouettes painted in acrylic and her large-scale murals—that embellish expressive faces with stripes, symmetries, and various geometric patterns. Sometimes spanning upwards of ten feet or featuring a long tuft of straw, the masks are an amalgam of color, motif, and material that blur cultural boundaries and the tenuous distinction between humanity and nature.

The São Paulo-based artist tells Colossal that the series “developed when my government opened the doors to cattle ranchers, when forest fires began, putting an end to Indigenous tribes, exotic animals, and trees,” and initial iterations used açaí seeds, shells, and mirrors to explore birth and death through a mystical lens. “When we looked at our reflection in the work, we would be seeing ourselves with respect and love, and it is this look that we should have with the Amazonia,” she says.

Currently, Talavera is working on a larger-scale piece using 20,000 beads, and she has a solo show planned for May 2022 at Paris’s Bandy Bandy Gallery.

 

 

 



Art Design

Sinuous Branches Envelop Human-Sized Nests and Large Geometric Sculptures by Charlie Baker

September 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Charlie Baker, shared with permission

Brooklyn-based designer Charlie Baker wrangles unruly branches and twigs into large-scale sculptures and installations that highlight the natural curvature of his foraged materials. Whether cloaking a perfectly round sphere in wood or constructing a treetop nest built for people, he envisions discrete spaces, which are sometimes marked with hidden passageways and windows, that tame the gnarly, knotted wood and present it anew. “I like the sense of motion the curvy pieces create because, to me, it gives a sense that the artwork is living, growing,” he says.

Baker has a background in landscape design, a parallel practice that continues to influence his work. “I am constantly considering how my creations interact with their surroundings, how they tie in with nature. With my artwork, it’s no different,” he tells Colossal.

The designer was recently interviewed by Wired, which travels with him from his studio to the forests of Long Island where he gathers materials. Currently, he’s working on a few projects, including an elaborate kitchen garden, a children’s tree platform, and smaller sculptures, which you can follow on his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Hundreds of Digital Illustrations Imagine Enchanting Storefronts and Their Friendly Shop Cats

September 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Angela Hao, shared with permission

Whether adorned with used books, houseplants, or groceries, the tiny shops and corner stores that illustrator Anglea Hao draws are infused with whimsy and admiration for everyday architecture. The digital renderings are part of Hao’s ongoing endeavor to create 365 unique storefronts—she’s already posted hundreds on Instagram that have grown in complexity and depth—and the subject matter is primarily imagined spaces, although some of the earliest works are based on real spots. Prints of the buildings, which frequently feature vine-laden rooftops, pasted advertisements, and a recurring white cat, are available in her shop.