Art

Artist JR Transforms the Louvre With a 2000-Piece Paper Optical Illusion

March 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images via @JRArt on Twitter

With the help of a small army of 400 volunteers, French artist JR (previously) pasted thousands of strips of paper around the Louvre in Paris, turning the courtyard around the museum into a massive optical illusion. Installed in honor of the structure’s 30th anniversary, the collage titled “The Secret of the Great Pyramid” provides a glimpse at what may lie beneath the iconic glass pyramid.

A follow-up to his 2016 work that made the museum disappear against the backdrop of the Louvre Palace, JR’s new illusion reveals a construction site with the tip of the pyramid at its center and a much larger structure extending down into a rocky quarry. In a “Photo of the Day” post on his website, the artist explains that the installation was designed to last a single weekend. “The images, like life, are ephemeral,” JR writes. “Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own. The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers. This project is also about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.”

Some visitors took pieces of the installation home, while other strips torn by foot traffic have been discarded. To see more of JR’s large-scale photo installations, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

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Art

Paint Smudges and Smears Form Abstract Portraits by Kai Samuels-Davis

March 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Kai Samuels-Davis

Images courtesy of Kai Samuels-Davis

California-based artist Kai Samuels-Davis layers linear paint strokes and large washes of color to form shapes that are recognizable as faces, but without all of the visual information seen in traditional portraiture. The artist relies on the process to find the image, often starting with a sketch or a simple circle to build upon for the face. Working in a space between the representational and expressive, the artist is able to focus on emotion through abstraction so that the viewer can form their own narrative through each gesture and colorful brush stroke.

“None of the final aesthetic is planned,” Samuels-Davis tells Colossal. “Each mark, brush stroke and color is a reaction to what came before it. When I’m working on a portrait the subject appears to morph between multiple individuals over the course of the painting, often times becoming slightly androgynous in the process. I tend to bounce around the surface a lot, pushing and pulling between background and subject, painting over parts, figuring out what each piece needs until there’s nothing I would change.”

Working primarily with found images, Samuels-Davis spends months or even years on his portraits, with dozens of works in progress at a given time. His work will be included in the group exhibition PAINTGUIDE at Thinkspace Gallery this November. To see more of his completed paintings of faces, flowers, and animals, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Everyday People Animated into Bizarre GIFs by Romain Laurent

March 30, 2019

Andrew LaSane

French director and photographer Romain Laurent (previously) turns imagery from expressly planned still and video shoots into animated GIFs where only an isolated section is in motion. Focusing primarily on human subjects and the spaces around them, the looped compositions turn everyday scenes into surreal animations that you can’t help but to watch over and over. In one, a silhouetted subject has fiery sparklers for eyes, and in another, a rain-jacketed pedestrian’s face loops in the frame of his hood.

Separate from his commercial work, Laurent tells Colossal that his once weekly project has become more selective over the past two years in terms of the concepts and ideas that he translates into GIFs. “Other than that the approach is the same—find an idea and movement that amuses or speaks to me and make it right away!” Each GIF is unique, and depending on the complexity of the concept, Laurent can spend anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours capturing the photos before manipulating them in post-production for an hour or several days. To see more of Romain Laurent’s quirky partially-moving portraits, check out his Tumblr and follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Design

Architecture Firm NUDES Uses Corrugated Cardboard to Form the Furnishings and Walls of a Mumbai Cafe

March 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In the new Mumbai-based cafe Cardboard Bombay, corrugated cardboard composes each chair, table, and light fixture, in addition to the sinuous walls which sweep across the space. The restaurant was designed with the biodegradable material by Nuru Karim, founder of Mumbai-based architectural firm NUDES, who chose the material because of its sustainability, versatility, and ability to absorb sound.

Before starting on the cafe the design team tested the cardboard they wished to use, researching how it would react with typical hospitality factors such as water resistance and temperature changes. Next NUDES designed the undulating chairs, light fixtures, and wall partitions to have a similar free-flowing appearance, and treated cardboard tables with wax to seal the furniture and prevent damage. You can see more images from the (via designboom)

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via @loverand.co

Image via @loverand.co

Image via Mrigank Sharma

Image via Mrigank Sharma

 

 



Art Illustration

Swirling Patches of Multi-Hued Colored Pencil Compose Portraits by Linsey Levendall

March 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist and illustrator Linsey Levendall constructs portraits by sketching hundreds of tiny patches of color, creating multi-hued landscapes that take the form of his subjects’ hair and skin. The prismatic works show a range of human conditions, capturing everything from deep introspection to pure bliss. Levendall shares with Colossal that his works are inspired by a wide collection of interests including Salvador Dali, animation, graphic novels, and Cubism. The artist grew up in Cape Town’s Cape Flats, however he now lives and works in rural Canada. You can see more of his portraits created in colored pencil and ink on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Design

Dine Inside a Pair of Grasshopper-Shaped Locomotives at a South Korean Cafe

March 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Grasshopper’s Dream is an insect-shaped cafe that sits along the popular Auraji rail bike route near Jeongseon, South Korea. The converted and stacked green train cars are placed near by the Gujeol-ri train station, and are each outfitted with protruding metal legs and thin antennae. Two other landmarks for bicyclists are also situated near the cafe — a pair of equally massive fish and another pair of grasshoppers that are far more cartoonish in appearance. At night, the insect-themed cafe is illuminated from below, presenting a great view of the dual bugs day or night. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Art

Seeing Double: Life-Size Crocheted Figures by Liisa Hietanen Imitate Fellow Villagers

March 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Image by Liisa Hietanen

Image by Liisa Hietanen

Finnish artist Liisa Hietanen crochets and knits one-to-one imitations of her friends and fellow neighbors, accurately representing the subjects from their favorite outfits down to their furry companions. The series, Villagers, is a way for the artist to more deeply engage with those she often passes but might not interact with in her town of Hämeenkyrö, Finland.

“I meet my models in natural everyday situations,” she explains in an artist statement on her website. “The process of choosing a model is intuitive. The person depicted might be someone I meet in the library, in the locker room of the gym, or walking their dog on the way home. I don’t know most of my models beforehand but as the process goes on I get to know them.”

The slow, methodical style of her yarn-based craft works to counteract the pace of life, and also reflect the patience needed to get to know and understand another individual. The accuracy of her works to their origin subject is never the focus, but rather how she is able to get to know the person as she takes the time to build their double.

After completing each new work it is displayed somewhere public so the piece can engage in a deeper dialogue with the population of the town. Previous sculptures have been displayed at the local library, a flower shop, and a restaurant, however they also travel to contemporary art exhibitions such as the group exhibition From the Shadows of Night to the Brightness of Day at Makasiini Contemporary in Turku, Finland through April 7, 2019. Hietanen is currently working to complete a pair of new life-size sculptures—a local father and his four-year-old daughter. You can see other works included in her Villiagers series on her website and Instagram.

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Liisa Hietanen

Image by Liisa Hietanen

Image by Liisa Hietanen

Image by Liisa Hietanen

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki

Image by Marjaana Malkamäki