Art Photography

Majestic Trees in Serene Finnish Landscapes Photographed by Mikko Lagerstedt

November 30, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All photographs © Mikko Lagerstedt and shared with permission of the artist

Photographer Mikko Lagerstedt (previously) has once again captured the quiet beauty of his native Finland with a recent series centered around trees. Ethereal skies, virgin snow, and seemingly isolated pockets of nature serve as backdrops to twisted trunks and outstretched branches. Taken from Lapland to Southern Finland, the images speak to qualities of beauty and of resilience.

Lagerstedt was first inspired to capture these dreamy landscapes when he witnessed one first-hand while en route to a relative’s cabin. His images often showcase nature with little to no sunlight which gives them a sense of calm and stillness. The t r e e s series is comprised of photographs taken between 2018 and 2019 and edited using Photoshop and Lightroom. “My goal is to convey the feeling I had when I was photographing the subjects…to appreciate the never-ending beauty of trees,” Lagerstedt tells Colossal. “In our lives, we rarely recognize them, yet trees surround us with their beauty. They tell us many stories about life and the struggle to survive in harsh conditions.”

To see more of his work, follow Lagerstedt on Instagram and check out his portfolio on Behance.

 

 



Art

An Enormous Red Sun Will Shine Above the Streets of New York in Thanksgiving Parade Balloon by Yayoi Kusama

November 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

If you haven’t had a chance to experience a Yayoi Kusama piece in person, the iconic Japanese artist will be debuting a sun-themed balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kusama (previously), whose wide-ranging work across a long career includes her wildly popular infinity rooms and large-scale polka dotted objects, has designed “Love Flies Up to the Sky” to be floated along the streets of Manhattan. The red balloon, hand-painted with white and yellow dots and a blue face, joins “more than 1,500 dancers and cheerleaders, close to 1,000 clowns, almost 30 parade floats, and a dozen marching bands,” according to NYCTourist.com. Kusama is the first female artist to be commissioned by the parade to create a ballon as part of their Blue Sky Gallery program, joining a roster that has included KAWS, Jeff Koons, Tim Burton, and FriendsWithYou, among others. (via Hyperallergic)

Update: The Kusama balloon was grounded because of weather.

 

 



Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art Will Collect Work Exclusively by Female-Identifying Artists in 2020

November 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Dwell: Aso Ebi” by Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2017), at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchased as the gift of Nancy L. Dorman and Stanley Mazaroff, Baltimore, in Honor of Kristen Hileman

2020, with its pleasing, almost futuristic symmetry, marks a timeframe to which many visioning plans drafted in the past 20 years were tied. This coming year will show whether the cultural, sustainability, and diversity plans from cities, companies, and organizations around the world will be achieved on schedule. One institution has recently declared a 2020 plan that’s a bold step toward equity and inclusion in the canon-making field of art museum collecting.

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced that in the coming year, all new acquisitions will be works by female-identifying artists. Shown here are several new acquisitions, many of which will be on display in 2020; all 22 exhibitions planned for the coming year are centered on female artists.

According to a statement from the Museum, the BMA is “working to shift the scales within its collections, acknowledging that women artists are still underrepresented in the museum field and within museum collections. We hope this will serve as a model and a first step towards better representation within our field.”

“No Apartheid Anywhere” by Valerie Maynard (1995)

Of the 95,000 works in the BMA’s permanent collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art, only 3,800 were created by women. Accounting for multiple pieces by the same artist, the number of female artists represented tallies 1,500.

“You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko. To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical,” Museum director Christopher Bedford said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun.

Explore more of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s collections and upcoming shows on their website, and stay up-to-date on new acquisitions via Instagram and Twitter.

“…we lost…for those who bear/bare witness” by Ebony G. Patterson (2018), at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. Photograph: courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

“A Moment’s Pleasure” (installation view) by Mickalene Thomas, at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo: Mitro Hood

“Planes, rockets, and the spaces in between” by Amy Sherald (2018), at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Purchase with exchange funds from the Pearlstone Family Fund and partial gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

 

 



Photography

Hawaii’s Dense Forests Envelop Abandoned Cars in Photographs by Thomas Strogalski

November 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Thomas Strogalski and shared with permission of the artist

Abandoned vehicles are swallowed by the surrounding forest in “Nature Takes Over,” a photo series by Thomas Strogalski. The German photographer, normally based in Düsseldorf, was on assignment in Maui, Hawaii for a client and found some spare time to pursue this personal project. “During my 5-week stay, I discovered striking irregularities within the lush, fascinating nature,” Strogalski tells Colossal. Old automobiles, from sedans and trucks to camper vans and R.V.s, the once-powerful machines have been subsumed beneath towering trees and twisting vines. “I am fascinated by the thought that in the end nature will take over man,” reflects Strogalski. “With peace, lasting continuity, flexibility in harmony with permanent adaptation, nature seems to reclaim what one wants to take away from it.” Explore more of the photographer’s professional and personal work on Behance and Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Good Clean Fun: Dianna Wood Wields a Power Washer to Blast Birds, Butterflies, and Flowers onto Dirty Driveways

November 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Since receiving a power washer for her birthday this fall, Dianna Wood has turned her driveway, and those of her lucky neighbors, into works of art. Similar to the reductive processes of printmaking and scratchboard art, Wood removes areas of her “canvas” to reveal lighter tones in the form of cardinals, dogwood blossoms, butterflies, and other delicate flora and fauna. On her blog, Wood explains that she deftly adjusts the distance and angle of the power washer nozzle in relation to the cement to create the nuanced illustrations. The hobbyist artist and lifelong creative has garnered widespread attention for her just-for-fun street art. Those interested in keeping up with future projects can follow Wood on Facebook. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Animation

SISTER: An Intimate Stop-Motion Short About a Family During China’s One-Child Policy

November 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Animator Siqi Song explores the deeply personal implications of China’s One Child Policy in her powerful animated short, SISTER. The film uses felt stop-motion animation to tell the story of a family that conceived two children during the years—1979 to 2015—that the Chinese government controlled the number of children families could raise. An adult man, the film’s protagonist, looks back on his youth and the complicated family dynamics among siblings and parents.

“Growing up with my brother has been a privilege and a bittersweet experience for me,” Song explains. She shares that, being an exception to the rule, she has been the subject of many questions from friends about the experience of growing up with a sibling. “I also want to tell the stories of my friends, who would’ve had a different life if their siblings were born,” says Song. “This film is dedicated to this group memory.”

The Los Angeles-based director and animator has worked on several of her own highly lauded shorts, as well as on the feature film Missing Link. Watch more of Song’s films on her website (where she also shares behind-the-scenes shots), and follow along with new projects on Instagram. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Art Photography

Photographer Tim Flach Highlights Unusual and Endangered Birds in Striking Portraits

November 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Jacobian Pigeon. All photographs © Tim Flach and shared with permission from the artist

London-based photographer Tim Flach travels the world capturing the nuanced expressions, unique patterning, and unusual profiles of animals large and small. Often focusing his lens on endangered and vulnerable species, Flach highlights the traits of animals that are at risk of disappearing due to habitat loss, climate change, and human activity. The photographer has worked with a huge range of wild, domestic, and captive animals, from Saiga and Beluga Sturgeons to Pied Tamarin and Pangolin.

Set on plain backdrops à la studio portraits, Flach’s bird photographs particularly stand out. His sharp, clear portraits show the colorful and wildly shaped feathers and beak of birds from the U.S. to the Himalayas. A stately Jacobian Pigeon, its two-toned ruff of feathers framing a white-crested face, seems to peer elegantly at the view, while an assertive cardinal stares pointedly, a white highlight glinting off the hook in the bird’s red beak. A statement on his website explains the relatable emotional quality of his work:

Tim Flach is an animal photographer with an interest in the way humans shape animals and shape their meaning while exploring the role of imagery in fostering an emotional connection. Bringing to life the complexity of the animal kingdom, his work ranges widely across species, united by a distinctive stylization reflecting an interest in how we better connect people to the natural world.

Flach has published several books of his photography: one is centered around endangered animals, while others are species-specific, celebrating horses or dogs. You can explore the artist’s catalog as well as several galleries of animal portraits on his website, and follow him on Instagram for first glimpses of new work.

Himalayan Monal

Virginia Cardinal

Philippine Eagle

Gouldian Finch

Silver Laced Poland Chicken

King Vulture

Shoebill