Art

Twisted and Layered Balloons Form Eye-Popping Animal Sculptures by Masayoshi Matsumoto

May 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Master balloon artist Masayoshi Matsumoto (previously) continues to amaze with his incredibly intricate animal creations. Using only balloons—the artist abstains from using any additional materials like markers or adhesives—Matsumoto shapes his raw materials to mimic the unique limbs, spikes, and wattles of a wide range of animals. The graceful silhouettes of birds and insects with their textural exoskeletons frequently appear in the artist’s body of work, but he also tackles flora including pitcher plants and cacti, and other creatures from mammals to maggots. Discover more of Matsumoto’s inflatable menagerie on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Art

Pejac Partners with Inmates to Transform a Prison Into a Gold Mine

May 20, 2019

Sasha Bogojev

Pejac (previously) recently spent some time inside one of the oldest continuously running prisons in Spain. The prison, El Dueso, is a hulking structure built on the ruins of Napoleon’s fortress. True to his efforts to create and place his work in unusual settings and initiate conversations about unpopular subjects, the Gold Mine project resulted in three interventions that the artist realized in collaboration with inmates. “A prison itself is a place wrapped in harsh reality,” Pejac explained. The artist continues, “At the same time, I feel that it has a great surrealist charge. It is as if you only need to scratch a little on its walls to discover the poetry hidden inside.”

Making a connection between the sterile isolation inside and the lush nature surrounding the facility, the biggest and arguably most striking piece is an immense tree, a metaphor of ultimate, unspoiled freedom. The Shape of Days serves as a monument to the most cherished virtue: perseverance. It is entirely built from countless hash marks that reference an age-old method of keeping track of time away from the real world. Making an analogy between the tree leaves as the symbol of growth and marks as the symbol of extreme restraint, the majestic image captures the passage of time while providing hope.

Placed in a sterile, newly built corridor that connects the cells and outdoor areas, Hollow Walls is a poetic illusion of sliding doors made from the blank concrete walls. Through minimal artistic intervention, the artist added a sense of depth and perspective, creating a distraction for those walking along these walls daily. Once again using one of his most recurring images, a soaring bird, Pejac created an atmosphere of reachable yet fictional freedom.

The final piece, Hidden Value, also uses an element that artist has introduced in his previous work: a peeled off corner of an existing object suggesting an alternative reality. Working with people whose everyday life is stripped of life’s basic pleasures, Pejac wanted to provide some sense of luxury to the basic and highly restricted routine of the inmates. Using real 22-carat gold leaf and a trompe l’oeil technique he’s used before, he created an illusion of the basketball board revealing a large gold plate under its familiar surface. Challenged by taking everyday items and creating an alternative reality around them, the artist explored the previously mentioned idea of scratching under the surface and discovering that “sometimes, it is gold that does not shine.”

Explore more of Pejac’s thought-provoking work, ranging from site-specific installations to gallery pieces, on Instagram.

 

 



Illustration

Watercolor Paintings of Imagined Trash Structures Packed With Advertising by Alvaro Naddeo

May 19, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“First Class”

Brazilian artist Alvaro Naddeo‘s watercolors imagine a dystopian world left in ruin by overconsumption and littered with the branding and logos of the past. Store walls, rusted out vehicles, and arcade machines gain new value as building materials and are combined with other objects and parts to form pop surrealist stacked structures.

Naddeo tells Colossal that he starts with a loose sketch by hand. He then uses 3D software to help define a plausible shape for his imagined constructions, and creates a reference composition in Photoshop. After years of practice, Naddeo shares that he is able to recreate the texture, color, and shadows of various building materials like brick and concrete from memory. He uses reference photos to help flesh out small detail items, which are similarly rendered in watercolor. As for the specific brands, Naddeo says that he pulls from his youth. “I think about the stickers and posters I used to have in my teenage room or the group of brands I used to like at a certain time. I also research at old magazines and look at the ads that shared a specific era. It’s a very fun and nostalgic exercise.”

In a statement on his website, the artist credits his career in advertising over the past 20 years as the inspiration for his work and for showing him the “duality” of such imagery, “both desirable and despicable.” To see more of Alvaro Naddeo’s work and to learn about his upcoming shows with Thinkspace Gallery, follow him on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

“First Class” (detail)

“First Class” (detail)

“One of a Kind”

“Gambiarra”

“The Flat”

“Escargot”

 

 



Art

The Square Wave Kinetic Sculpture Forms Complex Geometric Patterns as it Spins

May 18, 2019

Andrew LaSane

A recently launched Kickstarter campaign introduces a five-dimensional sculpture said to be inspired by mathematics and the Fibonacci sequence. Square Wave, the first in a collection from artist Ivan Black (previously) and Atellani, is an object constructed out of 21 precisely bent and connected metal rods with no hidden mechanical components. The toy fluidly transitions into various shapes and patterns based on the amount of kinetic energy applied and the way it is held and turned.

According to the campaign, Black’s work is inspired by natural forms and the mathematical patterns found in nature. Designed in the UK and built in Italy, the optical illusion creating the Square Wave sculpture is a hypnotic amalgam of those two elements. It is meant to be handled and observed often. The sculptures are available in three finishes (lunar gold, metallic silver, and eclipse bronze) and are currently only available to those who back the campaign with a pledge. To see more of Ivan Black’s work, check out his Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Jarring Juxtapositions of Prosperity and Conflict by Uğur Gallenkuş

May 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Bottom photograph: Paula Bronstein

Turkish artist Uğur Gallenkuş uses split images to emphasize the grave differences between war-torn countries and privileged, peaceful societies. Gallenkuş often specifically references Western visual culture in his juxtaposed images, such as Christian iconography of the Madonna and child, and the Instagram aesthetic of the ice cream cone portrait. In each composite image, the Istanbul-based artist pairs a carefully matched slice of prosperity with jarring documentation of conflict and poverty to show what occupies the attention and defines the experiences of people around the world, depending on where they live.

Gallenkuş has been creating these divided images for several years as a personal project, and has garnered global attention for his work, which he shares with nearly half a million followers on Instagram. In a recent interview with Juxtapoz, the artist explained,  “If we want to live in peace and trust, we must have healthy knowledge and empathy. Wrong and biased information and hatred make these problems even worse.”

Lefthand photograph: Abd Doumany

Lefthand photograph: Mario Tama

Lefthand photograph: Shakib Rahman / Righthand photograph: Frederic J. Brown

Righthand photograph: Yasin Akgul

Lefthand photograph: Khalid Mohammed

 

 

 



Animation Design Illustration

Letters and Numbers by 36 Illustrators Come to Life in Alphabetical Animations by Albert Oriol

May 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The popular 36 Days of Type challenge (previously) is an annual open call for designers, illustrators, and artists to bring the alphabet and numbers one through nine to life. For its sixth year, Barcelona-based motion designer Albert Oriol collaborated with 36 fellow creatives to animate individual letters and numbers. By tapping a wide variety of illustrators with unique styles, Oriol’s end result is a highlight reel of diversity in design. From a Bauhaus-ish B to a graffiti-inspired Y, the animated letters and numbers expand, bounce, pixelate, and evaporate. Watch the full sequence below and see more from Oriol on Behance and Instagram.

Illustration by Juliana Arboleda

Illustration by Eric Cyz

Illustration by Jason Naylor

Illustration by Kristiina Almy

 

 



Craft Design

An Award-Winning Sand Sculpture by Damon Langlois Captures a Crumbling Abraham Lincoln

May 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images via Damon Langlois

Since 1997, Texas SandFest has attracted thousands of visitors to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. For the 2019 iteration, the three-day-festival awarded British Columbia-based Master Solo competitor Damon Langlois first place for his illusionistic work Liberty Crumbling. The piece portrays Abraham Lincoln in the likeness of the 1920 marble statue in the Lincoln Memorial. However, this one is cracking at its foundation. With his hand to his face, Lincoln appears exasperated as he sits on his crumbling platform.

Other sculptures in the competition also had messages for the audience, although many were environmental. Todd Pangborn’s Out of Sight Out of Mind featured a giant sea turtle next to a coral reef, and Jeff Strong’s Continental Drip displayed an ice cream cone holding a melting Earth. You can see more winners and competitors from the United States’ largest native-sand sculpture competition on Texas SandFest’s website, and view more of Langlois’s sand works on his website. (via Twisted Sifter)