Art

Conceptual Typewriter Sculptures by Glenda León Replace Keys With Dripping Candles and Acrylic Nails

May 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Glenda León affixes objects such as matchsticks, melted candles, and acrylic nails to typewriters she sources from antique dealers in Havana, Cuba. Each item replaces the machine’s rubber stamps or keys, and is presented with a different meaning, such as her piece The Insatiable Writer which contains a variety of collected teeth. “The pieces of human teeth establish an analogy between the act of speaking, chewing, consuming and writing,” León explains in an artist statement about the piece. “In the absence of something to swallow, or imagining only a blank sheet as possible food, writing becomes then a devourer of voids, blank sheets.”

The Cuban artist currently splits her time between Havana and Madrid. Her work is currently included in the group exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago at the Portland Museum of Art through May 5, 2019 and Never Real / Always True at the Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, Spain through September 22, 2019. You can see more of León’s interventions, like her cubed piano key sculpture, on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Picasso Portraits Reimagined as Glossy Digital Sculptures by Omar Aqil

May 1, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

For his series Character Illustrations, the art director and illustrator Omar Aqil (previously) uses Pablo Picasso’s painted portraits to inspire digital recreations. Aqil mirrors the artist’s Cubist style by collaging discrete metallic and glossy objects together in the shape of human or animals faces. The Pakistan-based digital artist also references specific works by Picasso in his ongoing series MIMIC, in which he creates futuristic garments and sculptures mixed with elements of interior design. You can see more of his digital musings inspired by famous painters and art historical movements on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Photography

Restless Cities Cycle Through Day and Night in Time Slice Videos by Dan Marker-Moore

May 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Global metropolises known for their 24/7 energy glimmer around the clock in captivating time slice videos by Dan Marker-Moore. The skylines of Los Angeles, Kowloon, London, and Shanghai move through dawn, daytime, and dusk in precise slivers that capture specific moments of natural and man-made light. In an interview with Adorama, the photographer explains that he usually uses between 20 and 40 unique images to strike a balance between providing noticeable visual shifts and containing the busyness. The resulting images convey the endless motion of city life while also forming unusual geometric shapes that center around specific architectural details like LA’s Griffith Observatory or London’s Big Ben clocktower.

Marker-Moore, who is based in Los Angeles, works as a photographer, cinematographer, producer, and director. In addition to his vast trove of personal and editorial projects, he also has a decade of experience in animation and motion graphics for commercials. Marker-Moore is passionate about the technical aspects of still and moving images, and shares extensive notes on his blog and Lightroom tutorials on YouTube. You can see more from Marker-Moore on Instagram, and also check out his worldwide pay phone documention.

 

 



Craft Design

Scenes From Award-Winning Literature Crafted With Hand-Cut Paper by Zim & Zou

April 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Paper artists and collaborators Zim & Zou (previously) were invited to create miniature worlds inspired by previous Nobel Prize winners in Literature. The tolerance-themed traveling exhibition Sharing Worlds was organized by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. The French duo built pieces based on Kristin Lavransdatter written by Sigrid Undset (published in 1920), and One Hundred Years of Solitude written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (published in 1967). Using their own classic style, the pair created colorful scenes packed with geometric details. Their interpretation of Kristin Lavransdatter was created as an ode to 14th-century Norway with a technicolor city set between a pair of deep burgundy mountains. The other work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, features a verdant home nearly hidden from the world by a lush pink and green garden.

The exhibition closed last month, but you can take a virtual tour of it on the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation website. You can follow more of Zim & Zou’s recent work on their Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Design Music

Wintergatan Declares the Conveyor Belt Complete on its Epic Marble Machine X

April 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A new video released by the ambitious Wintergatan band of folktronica musicians/inventors (previously) shows the latest developments in their ongoing Marble Machine project. The video above documents the successful completion of the Marble Conveyor Belt, which uses ratchets and pistons to move dozens of marbles around and through the Marble Machine. Martin Molin, who is a member of the band and the inventor of the Marble Machine, demonstrates how the movement of marbles is in time to—and can even create—beats and rhythms in Wintergatan’s music. We’ll leave the technical details to the professionals, but imagine a pinball machine meets an oversized music box.

In-depth notations on the band’s YouTube channel explain the specifications of the conveyor belt’s functionality. Wintergatan’s loyal following on YouTube and Patreon, which follows these intricacies at every turn, has helped support the complex and long-running invention process. Once the full Marble Machine X is complete, Wintergatan will embark on a world tour performing music with the finished musical machine.

You can find free scores as well as records and merch in the Wintergatan online store. Stay up to date with the Marble Machine’s progress on Instagram.

 

 



Design

Bold Line Drawings Layered on Top of Deconstructed Images of Fruit, Flowers, and Animals in Tattoos by Mattia Mambo

April 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Mattia Mambo creates graphic interpretations of his clients’ favorite fruits, celebrities, and animals in minimalist tattoos. The designs use thick, rounded lines to highlight the shape of an object or face, with bold splashes of color creating an abstracted version of the subject underneath. Sometimes the Milan-based tattoo artist transforms the shape of a word into a pictorial representation of an animal, like in his sloth tattoo below. Other designs borrow from classic art historical references, such as René Magritte’s famous painting of a pipe, or Frida Kahlo’s recognizable flower crown and facial features.

Mambo shares with Colossal that he attended art school but was self-taught as a tattooer, and he developed his destrutturato (unstructured) style by chance. “What inspired me most has probably been my passion for graphic designs and logos—I love simple shapes. Every day I’m encouraged by the objective of simplifying each image as much as possible and making it clear and intuitive using only few black lines. But both black lines and colors are fundamental: the colors tell what the black lines can’t do.”

You can see more of Mambo’s two-part tattoos on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Quotidian Objects Enrich Striking Black and White Self-Portraits in a New Monograph by Zanele Muholi

April 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Bester I, Mayotte" (2015), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, all images from Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness (Aperture, 2018)

“Bester I, Mayotte” (2015), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, all images from Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness (Aperture, 2018)

South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi creates striking self-portraits for their series Somnyama Ngonyama, which means “Hail the Dark Lioness” in Zulu. The black and white images elevate everyday objects like clothespins, sunglasses, and wire sponges into elaborate hair pieces and costumes that speak to radical identity and resistance. The extensive series of portraits has recently been compiled into a monograph by Aperture, which contains a conversation with London-based curator Renée Mussai, in addition to more than twenty contributions from writers, curators, and poets.

Ninety powerful representations of the visual activist occupy the pages of Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness, which acts as both an autobiographical work and a compendium of resistance. In response to the book’s release Muholi states, “I am producing this photographic document to encourage individuals in my community to be brave enough to occupy spaces—brave enough to create without fear of being vilified. . . . To teach people about our history, to rethink what history is all about, to reclaim it for ourselves—to encourage people to use artistic tools such as cameras as weapons to fight back.”

Muholi has documented black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people throughout South Africa for the past decade. They are the cofounder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women and founder of Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual media. Muholi currently lives and makes work in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is an honorary professor at the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany. You can see more of their portraits on Yancy Richardson Gallery’s website.

"Ntozakhe II, Parktown, Johannesburg" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Ntozakhe II, Parktown, Johannesburg” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

"Senzekile II, Cincinnati" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Senzekile II, Cincinnati” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

"Kodwa I, Amsterdam" (2017), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Kodwa I, Amsterdam” (2017), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

" Basizeni I, Amsterdam" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, commissioned by and courtesy of Autograph ABP, London

” Basizeni I, Amsterdam” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, commissioned by and courtesy of Autograph ABP, London

"Zithulele, Worcester, South Africa" (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Zithulele, Worcester, South Africa” (2016), © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

“Faniswa, Seapoint, Cape Town” )2016); © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York