Art

Light Shines Through a Rainbow-Tinted Geometric Panel Installation by Art Duo Luftwerk

June 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Photographs: John Faier and Peter Tsai, courtesy of Luftwerk

Chicago-based art duo Luftwerk recently opened a site-specific exhibition titled Parallel Perspectives inside of the McCormick House, the Elmhurst Art Museum’s contemporary art center and historic house designed by Mies van der Rohe. Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero installed acrylic panels, RGB LEDs, and diffusers that interact with the light in the space to create a kaleidoscope of colors and geometric shapes that respond to Mies’ architecture.

The McCormick House was designed with modularity in mind so that duplicates of the structure could be built in other locations. The plate glass walls are where prospective owners could flex their individuality by taking advantage of various color tint options. Luftwerk began the design process by moving the tinted surface idea to the interior. The conceptual pieces fill the space with blues, yellows, reds, greens, and other layered hues, which change as the light and color alter perspective.

Parallel Perspectives is a step in our own direction using his basic philosophies,” Luftwerk said in a statement. “This exhibition combines ideas of Johannes Itten’s color theory and the basic concepts of the Bauhaus: with the geometry of a square as a prevalent form and playing with one-point perspective and 90-degree angles. It has given us an opportunity to elaborate on the ideas of Mies and develop them into our own shape and format.”

Parallel Perspectives is on view at the McCormick House now through August 25, 2019. To see more of Luftwerk’s continued exploration of light and color, follow the duo on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Shadowy Animals Infiltrate Desolate Spaces in Illustrations by Jenna Barton

June 8, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“Stairwell” – Images courtesy of Jenna Barton

Utah-based illustrator Jenna Barton (previously) creates shadowy portraits of animals inspired by her dreams, travels, experiences, and the aesthetic and emotions of the rural environments where she grew up. While she does integrate watercolor into some of her illustrations, Barton’s work is primarily digital. The style she refers to as “magical-realism-animal-gothic” came about around 2017, after she completed her BFA in Illustration and decided to take some time to escape the constraints of school and to focus on art that she cared about.

I hark back a lot to my childhood in Idaho, as well as looking to my current environment in Utah, to inform my work. I’d like to capture the strange emotions that I always felt in rural and empty places, and the daydreams I’ve had there. It’s those liminal spaces that I like best, and I’m interested in the structures that bring the human world into nature—radio towers, houses, power lines—especially in the absence of humans themselves.

Barton tells Colossal that many of her subjects are mammals because they share traits with humans, “while at the same time existing in a very different world from them.” Lurking big cats and silhouetted dogs and deer stare blankly with white eyes and stoic postures against relatively simple backgrounds—a window, a staircase, clouds—which give the illustrations a sense of mystery. “Animals with elegant silhouettes, like canines and deer, are special favorites for their graceful looks and sense of motion,” Barton explains. “I give most of my subjects glowing white eyes to indicate the presence of a supernatural element and to suggest that the figures pictured are something between animals and spirits, or gods.”

Barton’s otherworldly works are available as prints via her webstore, and you can also check out more of her animal portraits on Instagram.

“Tracers”

“Gone Cold”

“Grease and Smoke”

“Sentinels”

“Black Lamb”

“Shiver”

 

 



Art

Textural Installations by Shoplifter Immerse Visitors in Furry Neon Caves

June 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, who goes by Shoplifter, cites her primary medium as hair. But rather than working with the expected range of browns and blondes that naturally grow on humans and animals, Shoplifter uses a range of hair that seems to draw its color palette from Muppets. Neon yellows and pinks, deep blues, and vivid greens commingle in massive installations that coat gallery walls, floors, and ceilings. Shoplifter’s immersive works often create cave-like spaces where visitors explore around, under, and through her textural worlds.

Shoplifter, whose moniker stems from a stranger’s mishearing of her given name, cites themes of vanity, self-image, fashion, beauty and popular myth as inspiration for her work. In an interview with artnet, she shared, “It started out with my fascination with humans and the things we mass produce for obscure reasons. Hair extensions are trying to beautify yourself and be unique. I noticed that layering the hair together and having it flow around created a very painterly tapestry feeling.”

Shoplifter exhibits widely and most recently showcased her work as Iceland’s representative to the  the Venice Biennale. Her solo show Nervescape VIII is also on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland through September 15, 2019. Explore more of Shoplifter’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Over Fifty Artists Showcase Work Within Notebook Spreads for the 8th Annual ‘Moleskine Project’

June 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Juan Travieso

Back for an eighth year, the annual Moleskine Project, curated by Rodrigo Luff and Spoke Art, brings together a diverse slate of artists all working within the confines of a Moleskine notebook. Featuring over fifty artists from around the world, this year’s exhibiting artists include Laura Berger (previously), Kevin Peterson (previously), and Martine Johanna. Luff describes the mission of the show as “a tribute to how artists have developed and grown by using sketchbooks to dive deeper into the personal realms that fuel their artwork. An energetic visual dialogue of imagery flows from frame to frame, forming a collective sketchbook that allows us to appreciate the radically individual approach taken by each artist.”

The Moleskine Project show opened on June 1 and runs through June 22, 2019 at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco. You can keep up with the bi-coastal gallery’s upcoming events on Instagram and Facebook.

Loribelle Spirovski

Martine Johanna

Jayde Cardinalli

Laura Berger

JP Neang

Kevin Peterson

Hope Kroll

Zach Oldenkamp

 

 



Art

Textiles and Board Games Inspire Large-Scale Murals that Span Sidewalks, Streets, and Staircases

June 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Baltimore-based artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, known as Jessie and Katey, started creating murals because of the sheer accessibility of public art. The pair have always created work with a big visual impact, but as their designs grew they began to consider the possibility of working on the ground in addition to large-scale walls. Their site-specific floor works combine inspirations from both textiles and board games to create interactive walkways that encourage play and exploration. Jessie and Katey explain to Colossal that “the compositions are inspired by the viewer and how they might travel through the work. It’s really fun watching little kids interact with the floor murals—they always know what to do.”

The math behind both textile design and quilting is an aspect that the pair must consider when painting their large-scale works, and have started to inform how the pair begins each piece’s early designs. “We approach our large-scale work a bit like screen printers, even though we don’t screen print,” the pair explains. “Our process of execution is very methodical and we tend to think in planes or layers. This is probably a result of having to develop concepts and adapt them to larger spaces in a short amount of time. It’s interesting that painting murals has informed how we paint murals.”

This summer Jessie and Katey are working with the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation in Baltimore to create a site-specific mural for the Foundation’s new community space. The artists will also be painting a piece in Sacramento in collaboration with Wide Open Walls and later this fall will be working on an immersive installation incorporating recycled materials at Baltimore’s Goucher College, a rare opportunity for the pair to work in three dimensions. You can view more of Jessie and Katey’s work on their website and Instagram.

 

 



Animation Music

Hidden Patterns of Infrastructure Revealed in a Hypnotic New Music Video by Páraic Mc Gloughlin

June 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Another dizzying video by Páraic Mc Gloughlin (previously) pairs shots of architecture and infrastructure with electronic music. Mc Gloughlin’s latest work is for the band Weval’s track “Someday,” and features the filmmaker’s signature fusion of geometric shapes found in historical domes, skyscraper facades, and farmland irrigation systems. The tightly edited video shows quickly-passing frames that shift in time with the music, visually quaking or smoothly transitioning depending on the percussive and melodic elements of the song. Macro shots of escalator stairs and grates are interspersed with far-away aerial views of landscapes and forests, for a fast-paced tour of the patterns around us, hidden in plain sight. You can see more from Mc Gloughlin on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Design

Performative Rubber Garments by Fredrik Tjærandsen Deflate into Fashionable Skirts and Dresses on the Runway

June 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Photo: Niall McInerney

This week, you’ve most likely seen larger-than-life balloon garments deflating across your Instagram feed. Despite watching time and time again, I don’t seem to get bored with observing the models effortlessly emerge from the top shortly before yanking the rubber object down around their shoulders or waist. The inflated clothing items were designed by Fredrik Tjærandsen, a Norwegian designer who recently won the L’Oreal Professionel Young Talent Award for his 2019 BFA fashion presentation at Central Saint Martins in London. Not only are the dresses performative, they are also rewearable. After the bubble has gone flat, it can either be reinflated or simply worn as a deflated dress.

Initially Tjærandsen wanted to study sculpture during his BFA. His pieces, which he refers to as “bubbles,” reflect this initial interest in sculpture, and additionally have a conceptually tie to his childhood. “I was inspired by my own early childhood memories. I wanted to recreate the fogginess and the ‘mist’ of the memories themselves,” Tjærandsen told Vogue. “The inflated bubbles are about being able to wear an unclear memory. When the bubble emerges onto the catwalk, it’s the dream. The deflation of the bubble visualizes the moment when we realize we have a consciousness.”

You can take a peek at more of Tjærandsen’s rubbery designs on Instagram.

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