Art Photography

AfroArt Photo Series Challenges Beauty Standards with Young Black Models

August 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All Images: Kahran and Regis Bethencourt. Styling by LaChanda Gatson, Shanna Thomasson and Angela Plummer

Husband and wife photography duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography capture images of children that celebrate the beauty, culture, and heritage of afro hairstyles. Often dressed in ornate African-inspired garb, Black girl and boy models are crowned with afros, twists, and braids as symbols of strength and grace.

The Bethencourts, based in Atlanta, have been working together for 10 years and began photographing children with natural hair in 2013. The “AfroArt” series began when they noticed a lack of diversity in the industry. The way the children in the series are styled and posed against warm backgrounds recalls the regal oil portraits painted of upper class men and women during the Renaissance movement. “We decided to showcase kids with natural hair to empower them (and others in the industry) to embrace it and for the kids to be proud of their culture and natural curls,” the photographers tell Colossal.

“When we first started out we were primarily working with child models, but now more than half of the kids have never modeled before,” they added. “Many parents hire us so that their child can get the experience of feeling empowered for the day. We will typically guide them on set to make them feel comfortable. Most of them just see it as a fun experience, but they usually leave the studio feeling a little more proud and self-confident.”

CreativeSoul Photography has an online shop where images from the AfroArt series can be purchased as prints, calendars, and other products. They also recently signed a book deal, so keep an eye out for that at your local bookstore. In the meantime, follow CreativeSoul Photography on Instagram for more striking images and future updates.

 

 



Design

The World’s Largest Bicycle Garage Opens in Utrecht

August 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photos: Petra Appelhof

Colossal recently covered Utrecht’s efforts to green up their public transit with bee-friendly bus stops, and the Dutch city is at it again with the world’s largest bike garage. The multi-level structure, recently completed, is totally underground, allowing the public square above to be a pedestrian-first space. Designed by Ector Hoogstad Architects in collaboration with the Sant & Co firm and Royal Haskoning DHV, the garage accommodate 13,500 bicycles. This quantity unseats Tokyo as home to the world’s largest bike garage. To learn more about the specifics and logistical considerations of the design, visit the architect’s website. (via designboom)

 

 



Photography

Bolivia’s Powerful Cholitas Luchadora Wrestlers Photographed by Todd Antony

August 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Todd Antony, shared with permission

Photographer Todd Antony (previously) documents Bolivia’s best-dressed wrestlers in a new series, Flying Cholitas. The women, who are indigenous Aymara, compete in their sport wearing voluminous petticoats, colorful skirts, and long-sleeved lacy tops rather than in the minimal, form-fitting spandex worn by many athletes around the world.

These ensembles resemble ones that Aymara were expected—sometimes even required—to wear during five centuries of oppression under Spanish occupiers. The wrestlers wear these ensembles to show pride in their history and take back their visibility. Similarly, the identifier “cholita,” originally a derogatory term, has been reclaimed in recent years by indigenous Bolivians as a point of pride.

If you’re curious to see the athletes in action, Luisa Dörr and Michael James Johnson were commissioned by Apple to shoot a short documentary on the flying cholitas, which you can watch below. Aymara architect Freddy Mamani has also championed indigenous Bolivian aesthetics with his buildings, which we’ve covered previously on Colossal.

Explore more of Antony’s wide-ranging photography on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Craft Food

Crocheted Hams and Hairdryers by Trevor Smith Evoke Memories of Mid-Century Domesticity

August 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

By day, Trevor Smith is a local council worker in Victoria, Australia. After hours, Smith creates replicas of elaborate meals and household appliances in crocheted wool. Cheese platters, baked hams, toasters, and hair dryers are carefully constructed using foam armatures underneath the woolen exteriors. Smith has had a lifelong interest in crafts, and shared with The Design Files, “my mother was a talented craftswoman and I was always shadowing her, wanting to be doing what she was doing.” Smith earned a degree in Visual Arts as a sculpture major and also has been a curator of public art collections for the last 30 years. His crocheted artwork is available through Michael Reid gallery, and Smith shares updates on Facebook. If you enjoy the artist’s work, also check out Lucy Sparrow and Kate Jenkins for more fiber interpretations of food. (via The Design Files)

 

 

 

 

 

 



Animation

Squirming Multi-Colored Bodies Dance Across the Screen in an Unsettling Animation by Mike Pelletier

August 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Flurry” is a bizarre new animated short from the experimental artist Mike Pelletier. The two minute-long video features no obvious narrative. Rather, the animation is an exploration of movement and volume: an indeterminate number of humanoid figures seem to merge and divide as their flaccid limbs wiggle and squirm. Pelletier is Canadian and now based in Amsterdam. In a statement, the artist shares that “his work explores the various ways in which the human body is represented in art and the social milieu”. Watch more of Pelletier’s experiments on Vimeo (especially this deflated fruit animation) on Vimeo. Digital editions of the artist’s work are available in his online store.

 

 



Art

Animals Evolve into Islands Teeming With Coral, Succulents, and Tropical Fish in Hyperrealist Paintings by Lisa Ericson

August 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Anchor,” 20”x24”, Acrylic on panel

Lisa Ericson (previously) deftly paints animals in scenes that reach outside of their natural environments, creating unique relationships that defy the natural order of the animal kingdom. In her newest series a deer, flamingo, and multiple turtles form miniature ecosystems in glassy blue water. Coral sprouts from the hooves and legs of the two larger creatures, while brilliant flowers and butterflies surround the smaller turtles. These paintings are featured in Ericson’s current exhibition Islands, which runs through August 25, 2019 at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon. You can see more of her beautifully rendered plants and animals on Instagram.

“Pollinate,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

Detail of “Pollinate,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

Detail of “Pollinate,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

“Bleach,” 16”x20”, Acrylic on panel, all images via Antler Gallery

“Harvest,” 20”x24”, Acrylic on panel

“Pollinate II,” 16”x16”, Acrylic on panel

 

 



Design

Conductive Origami by Yael Akirav Unites 3-D Printing and Textiles to Create Foldable Modern Light Fixtures

August 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Photos: Ofek Avshalom

Israeli industrial designer Yael Akirav 3-D prints conductive material onto textiles to create illuminated works of origami. The lighting fixtures can collapse or expand due to their pliable surfaces, allowing them to be displayed either open and lit or folded into a closed position. This expansive movement stretches the conductive filament and also works almost like a dimmer. A slow pull turns the light on gradually, and then turns it off as it is compressed back into its original position.

Akirav recently graduated from the Industrial Design Department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem where she was first exposed to 3-D printing technologies. You can see more textile designs created with 3-D printed conductive elements on her website and Instagram.