Art

Mischievous Wooden Trolls Take Over an Arboretum in Northern Illinois

August 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

This summer, Danish artist Thomas Dambo (previously) has brought his fun-loving and kid-friendly trolls to the Morton Arboretum near Chicago, Illinois. Six site-specific characters range from Joe the Guardian surveying the neighboring highway to Sneaky Socks Alexa hidden in a cluster of shrubs. Dambo constructed the large storybook creatures using reclaimed wood sourced from fallen trees and branches as well as retired pallets and packing crates. Each figure towers up to thirty feet tall, with reclining Little Artur stretching sixty feet long. The exhibition, titled Troll Hunt, marks the Copenhagen-based artist’s first large-scale show in the United States. You can see Dambo’s fantastical creations at the Arboretum through the end of 2018 (and possibly into 2019, weather-dependent). Follow along with his creations on Facebook.

 

 



Photography

The Neon Archives: An Exploration of Hong Kong’s Fading Neon Landscape

August 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Hong Kong has long been infused with the glowing haze produced by its omnipresent neon signs and advertisements. Recently this saturated element of the city has begun to disappear as maintenance and rent costs rise and government regulation steps in. Local photographer Dennis Isip intends to preserve this aspect of his city’s history through a series titled The Neon Archives.

Started in 2017, the ongoing photography series captures this retreating feature of the city’s culture with images that preserve Hong Kong’s vivid nightlife. “Neon lights define Hong Kong’s character and without it, the city’s identity is lost,” he tells Colossal. “The Neon Archives hope is to capture each neon sign in Hong Kong before they fade away.” (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

New Installations by Seth Globepainter Explore the Innocence and Wonder of Childhood

August 6, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

French artist Julien Malland aka Seth Globepainter (previously) continues to create childhood-inspired interventions around Paris and the world. Earlier this year he had a major museum solo show at MoCA Shanghai which included elaborate sculptures and site-specific installations. He also painted one of his largest pieces to date on the banks of the Seine in Paris, and took part in a creation associated with the upcoming museum of street art at the Mausa Vauban. Malland’s poetic murals resonate with audiences of all ages.

“Sweetness and innocence from childhood regularly contrasts with the chaotic environments I choose to put them in,” the artist tells Colossal. He often places the children in environments with books as a reference to their imagination and creativity. After intensively traveling to over fifty countries during the last two decades, Malland is very much aware of the way globalization and modernization are influencing local traditions. “We read less and less with the proliferation of screen habits,” he explains. “While reading we create our own images suggested by words. The screen makes us lazy and spoils our imagination.”

Eight years after his first visit to Shanghai, Malland went back to the city this March to introduce a large project which took place both inside MoCA Shanghai and in its old alleys. Focused on the idea of childhood memories, the outdoor interventions were cleverly created on crumbling buildings and in deserted side streets. The works depicted children playing emblematic games of the ’70s and ’80s, and evoked the atmosphere of the once lively neighborhood. “The vanishing traditional way of life is being replaced by a more common consumer society,” he explains. “This kind of transformation is worldwide, but it’s faster and more sudden in China. Painting those emptied neighborhoods gives me the opportunity to highlight this metamorphosis and continue to explore the traditional Chinese habits that still intrigue me.”

A few months later he took part in a project initiated by Itinerrance Gallery and the Paris City Hall, painting the banks of Seine along with 1010, Momies, and Nebay. The four artists created a long stream of colorful artwork that following the riverbed for a little bit over a mile. Along with 1010’s trompe l’oeil abstraction of an abyss, Momies’ graphic composition in the colors of the French flag, and Nebay’s calligraphy, Malland painted an anamorphic piece visible exclusively from the Pont de la Concorde. The work depicted a child sailing on a paper boat through a rainbow vortex—another incarnation of his imagery that speaks about the purity and boundlessness of children’s imagination and spirit.

Finally, back in June this year he created two pieces inside of Mausa Vauban, an upcoming museum of street art in Neuf-Brisach, France. Once again he explored the idea of children at play. One work is a compelling installation of a little boy breaking a wall and leaving a pile of colorful bricks stacked around the room and an open passageway. Malland is currently preparing for solo shows in London (November 2018), and Shaghai (January 2019), as well as an outdoor project in a pediatric hospital in the US, and is also working on several new books. You can follow his travels throughout the globe on Instagram.

 

 



Music

Japanese Musician Creates Unique Drum Beats by Tapping on Vintage Tape Recorders

August 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Japanese musicians Ei Wada, Haruka Yoshida, and Masaru Yoshida create reverberating drum beats on the outstretched tape of cracked open reel-to-reel tape recorders from the 1970s and 1980s. The group, appropriately named Open Reel Ensemble, produces an intriguing timbre that more closely resembles a synthesizer than an analog drum. The group has created the soundtrack for Japanese designer ISSEY MIYAKE‘s last four seasons. You can listen to more compositions by the trio, including this song that mixes their unique drumming technique with a keyboard, on Youtube.

 

 



Art

Synesthetic Artist Melissa McCracken Paints Abstracted Depictions of Jazz, Funk and Pop Songs

August 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"A Sunday Night"(2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

“A Sunday Night”(2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

“Wasn’t It Kind of Wonderful” (2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”Melissa McCracken paints what she hears, titling each of her abstract oil paintings after the songs that inspired the work’s expressive gestures and bright punches of color. The Kansas City-based artist has a neurological condition called Synesthesia, which causes her sense of hearing to trigger colorful depictions of songs and genres. For McCracken, jazz music appears as iridescent blues, whites, and golds, while an upbeat pop song is bright pink and purple. You can see more of the artist’s musical interpretations on her website and Instagram. (via Kottke)

"If I Was a Bird" (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

“If I Was a Bird” (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

"Fly Too High" (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 14”

“Fly Too High” (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 14”

"Live in Layers" (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 12”

“Live in Layers” (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 12”

"Love Is Touching Souls" (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

“Love Is Touching Souls” (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

"Two Drifters" (2017), oil on canvas, 20” x 20”

“Two Drifters” (2017), oil on canvas, 20” x 20”

"Wasn't It Kind of Wonderful" (2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

“Wasn’t It Kind of Wonderful” (2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

 

 



Art

Crystallized Ballet Slippers and Soccer Cleats by Alice Potts

August 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Royal College of Art student Alice Potts grows crystals on shirts, slippers, and various athletic wear from a common yet unlikely source—sweat. The London-based artist encrusts wearables in natural formations that elevate the sporty objects into one-of-a-kind sculptures. The series, titled PERSPIRE, aims to show how we could grow our own accessories, rather than having them manufactured.

“Every human is unique, and so is the sweat they produce, encapsulating our health, wellbeing and identity,” Potts told Dazed. “In the future I’m keen to develop the idea and use it to explore sustainable processes within fashion.”

You can see more of her crystallized shoes and garments on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

Alex Chinneck Unzips a Condemned Building in the Style of a Retro Shirt

August 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

British sculptor Alex Chinneck has a history of manipulating facades—previously slumping the brick face of an apartment in Margate and completely upending a building in London. Chinneck’s newest monumental manipulation is a condemned office building in Kent, England. The 1960s structure seems to unzip from its middle with a XXXL zipper, revealing the ruin of the forgotten interior. Two folded segments near the top act like a collar, giving the entire installation the appearance of a retro polo shirt. Catch the soon-to-be-demolished intervention while you can: Open to the Public opened August 2 at Brundrett House, Tannery Lane, Ashfield, TN23 1PN. (via It’s Nice That and Dezeen)

 

 

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