Art Design History

Historic Lithograph Reveals Anamorphic Views of Razed Bank of Philadelphia

February 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

In 1832, artist John Jesse Barker added depth to a drawing by Philadelphia-based William G. Mason to create an optical illusion titled “Horizontorium.” Part of a tradition of anamorphic works, this depiction of the Bank of Philadelphia is one of the two surviving works looking at the historic financial building designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. At the time, it was the unofficial bank of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that sat at the southwest corner of Fourth and Chestnut streets. The structure was razed in 1836.

Horizontoriums became popular throughout England and France in the 18th century, although this piece is the only one known to be made in America. Viewers would set the lithograph on a flat surface and perpendicularly position their face at the center of the work (note the semicircle on this lithograph suggesting a spot for a chin) to peer over the image. The sharp angle would produce a distorted perspective that appears to project the building and its passersby upward. Sometimes, viewers even would peek through a small hole carved out of paper or cardboard to block out their peripheral vision and give the work a more distinct look. (via Graphic Arts Collection, The Morning News)

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

 

 



Art

A Parade of Earthly Delights: Floating Bosch Parade Celebrates Painter Hieronymus Bosch in Spectacular Aquatic Event

February 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Bosch Parade, Ben Niehuis

A floating parade dedicated to painter Hieronymus Bosch (previously) honors the artist’s fascination with the fantastical and absurd in an annual event that embodies his philosophy and aesthetic. The 2019 occurrence of the Bosch Parade included a musical performance played on a partially submerged piano and a scene with two people straddling enormous horns, just two of fourteen vignettes devoted to an evolving story about “power and counterforce, battle and rapprochement, chaos and hope.”

Bosch is known for his symbolic paintings often tying in gruesome representations of the afterlife and human desire and fear. He is also regarded as one of the earliest genre painters, depicting common people and their everyday experiences. The annual Bosch Parade is described by organizers as “a theatrical and musical art spectacle on water,” drawing thousands of visitors to the southern city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where Bosch was born and eventually got his name from.

Until the next parade kicks off on June 17, 2021, stay up to date with the striking floats planned for the next event on Instagram and YouTube. (via Design You Trust)

Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (1490-1510)

 

 



Craft

Moss, Coral, and Lichen Inspired Embroidery Hoops Stitched by Hannah Kwasnycia

February 20, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Hannah Kwasnycia, shared with permission

Canadian artist Hannah Kwasnycia stitches embroidery hoops inspired by moss, lichen, coral, mold, and bacteria cultures. Colorful strands are layered to form three-dimensional representations of living organisms. Kwasnycia freehands the abstract compositions, which means that no two hoops are ever the same.

Variation in stitching patterns, as well as occasional beading and sequins, give the embroidery texture and depth. Shapes are defined by changes in hue, but the limited color palettes bring each design together as one natural colony. Kwasnycia sells the unique hoops via her MildMoss Etsy shop and also accepts commissions via her Instagram page. Head over there to watch in-progress videos and to see more of luscious moss and vibrant coral come to life. (via MyModernMet)

 

 



Art

Sheets of White Paper Layered into Dense Cityscapes and Forests by Ayumi Shibata

February 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Museum Mile Book.” All images © Ayumi Shibata, shared with permission

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) constructs intricate paper cities and natural landscapes that both fit in the palm of her hand and are expansive enough to pass through on foot. Using dozens of layers of paper for a single project, Shibata carves miniature houses, clouds, and tree-filled forests that eventually are illuminated in glass vessels, stored safely in a book, or erected in large-scale installations.

The artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t use pencil outlines, in part because the white paper isn’t durable enough to be erased if there’s an error. Instead, she envisions the three-dimensional shapes she wants to create and begins cutting. “White paper expresses the yang, light, (and) the process to cut expresses the yin, shadow. When the sun shines upon an object, a shadow is born,” she writes. “Front and back, yin and yang, two side(s) of the same coin.”

Shibata also relies on the Japanese word “kami”—which translates to paper but also to god, divinity, and spirit—as she considers the relationship between humans and nature that turns up in her work. “The world of paper that unfolds within the glass expresses the micro world, which is our human world, the Earth, the universe, and other universes and dimensions. The life-sized forest installation expresses the macro world, which is outside of our universe and the unknown worlds.” Each time someone walks into a room with one of her more expansive pieces, she thinks it’s possible “we could meet, communicate and coexist with Kami, which exists but we can’t see.”

To check out more of Shibata’s structural projects, head to her Instagram.

“Museum Mile Book”

“In the Jar Corridors of Time”

“Forest of Kami”

“Forest of Kami”

“In the Jar Bush”

‘Volcano Book”

Right: “In the Jar Drop of Bush”

“Voyager Book”

 

 



Design

A DIY Construction Kit Lets Users Create an Intricate Obstacle Course on Any Magnetic Surface

February 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

A new kit asks users to test their design abilities by constructing complex obstacle courses with a goal of having a marble fall seamlessly into its final destination. Created by MakeWay, the buildable set features eight different tracks, twelve tricks (which include a canon, universal joint, and spinner), a lift, and connectors to attach each component to a magnetic surface. The adjustable designs are supposed to be used vertically, causing the marble to be launched, spun, and catapulted down the tracks. Each kit is available in either gold or silver.

MakeWay is headed by Reuven Shahar and Elyasaf Shweka, two industrial designers with backgrounds in engineering and woodworking, respectively. Conceived of in 2016, the project opened on Kickstarter earlier this month and has been wildly popular, meeting its $10,000 goal within the first day and surpassing it tenfold since with more than 50 days to go. Head to MakeWay’s page to back the modular kit.

 

 



Art

Human Hair, An Insect Trap, and Dozens of Fish Constitute Mail Art by Ritta Ikonen

February 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

Sent from Exmouth Beach. All images © Ritta Ikonen, shared with permission

Finnish artist Ritta Ikonen has a rare relationship with postal services around the globe because of her ongoing Mail Art series. The documentary project started in 2003 when Ikonen was a student at the University of Brighton. She began crafting and sending A6-sized packages relaying her travel experiences to her illustration instructor, Margaret Huber. Since then, Ikonen has sent hundreds of parcels constructed with human hair, fish, and broken bits of a record, among countless other objects. “All the cards are snapshots from the everyday: materials that float my direction from the sea/ streets/ subway, finds from mushroom forays or other people’s parties,” the artist tells Colossal. “Sometimes the postcard is a test on a new adhesive or a snapshot of a larger project that I cannot store in its entirety.”

Despite her unusual packaging, the artist says only a few pieces haven’t reach their destination, although works arrive in various conditions often accompanied by an apology from the mail carrier for the “damage” done.

I have discovered that my crocheting skills aren’t yet at the point where I can produce a legible address and fluff from the dryer breaks down too easily in international mail. Most everything that I have considered risqué (white powder packet during anthrax scare, shrimp, small fish, film camera (filled with selfies by the postal workers on its arrival), acupuncture needles, etc.) have all been dutifully delivered to Margaret Huber’s mailbox.

In 2018, Ikonen began sending the mail pieces weekly, although before they head through the postal service, they’re put on view at a PO Box in Rockaway Beach, New York. The artist also is part of a group exhibition at Gallery 8 in New York that’s open through March 8. If you can’t see Ikonen’s unconventional work in person, though, some of her documentary projects are featured in a book devoted to postcards.

Sent from Exmouth in England

 

 



Illustration

Pocket-Sized Notebooks Hold Miniature Paintings of Angela Mckay’s Travels

February 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Riserva Naturale Orientata Cavagrande del Cassibile in Italy. All images © Angela Mckay, shared with permission

Paging through a photo album detailing every moment of a friend’s poolside vacation might not be a riveting activity, but flipping through Angela Mckay’s sketchbooks filled with tiny paintings of her travels certainly is. The Brooklyn-based pattern designer and illustrator of Ohkii Studio documents the lush scenery, cavernous waters, and hilly villages she sees on the streets of Lagos, Calamosche Beach on Italy’s southern coast, and in Joshua Tree National Park. Mckay generally positions her miniature paintings against the real-life backdrop, juxtaposing the two depictions that she then shares on Instagram.

The artist tells Colossal that she frequently recreates some of the pieces in her sketchbooks on a larger scale after returning home, relying on her earlier representation for the tiny details she otherwise might not remember. “Often when I’m traveling, I have this urgent feeling that I need to capture everything I’m experiencing, the sights, feelings and textures of a place,” she says.

I really enjoy that feeling of walking around a new place not knowing what I might discover around the corner. I often try to recreate the feeling of a place I have visited in my personal work… I really enjoy the experience of looking at a painting and being transported back to that experience. It’s a nice way to escape from your day to day!

The pocket-size notebooks are a crucial component of Mckay’s process, and she utilizes them in both her personal projects and her work for clients. “They just allow me to play with ideas and explore other directions without having to commit to anything,” she says. To pick up one of Mckay’s watercolor and gouache artworks or prints, head to her shop. (via Lustik)

Joshua Tree National Park

Calamosche Beach

Lagos, Portugal

Left: Wat Phra That Chom Pho, Thailand. Right: Yosemite National Park

Lagos, Portugal

Right: Margaret River, Western Australia

Lagos, Portugal

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite