Art

Nimble Pugs and Other Cheery Canines Are Chiseled into Stocky Wooden Sculptures by Misato Sano

May 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Misato Sano, shared with permission

Studies show that people are inclined to adopt canine companions that resemble themselves or family members, a psychological impulse that Misato Sano (previously) flips on its head. Rather than carve a pack of doggy doubles, the artist creates textured wooden sculptures of curly-haired poodles and acrobatic pugs imbued with different aspects of her own personality. Encompassing multiple breeds, expressions, and physical traits, each work is a self-portrait. She explains to Colossal:

For me, using the form of dogs is the most appropriate, highest-resolution method to materialize what I think of my inner self. Materializing myself in various states is about having an honest, direct dialogue with myself. In facing myself, I would like to be passionate, free, and loving, like a dog. My works are also about myself looking at myself. In that sense, I might have been making an existence that is sometimes beside myself, a little distance in other times, watching over myself.

Sano is based in the Tohoku region of the Miyagi prefecture and spends her summers creating the lively creatures with fur chiseled in visible gouges. As the weather turns cold, she shifts her practice to embroidery and conveys the adorable faces in plush tufts of thread.

You can see Sano’s carved characters as part of a group exhibition running August 14 to 29 at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. Otherwise, check out her Instagram for glimpses into her process and to see some of the real-life pups that inspire her works.

 

 

 



Photography

Natural Light Illuminates Flowers in Full Bloom in Otherworldly Photographs by Xuebing Du

May 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Xuebing Du, shared with permission

Xuebing Du finds the balance between light and shadow in her photographs that cast flowers and plants in a dreamy, refined manner. Currently based in Sunnyvale, California, Du scouts the botanical subject matter as the forms reach peak bloom, using only the natural glow from the sun to capture their vivid color. The resulting images are elegant and otherworldly and frame the soft, silky petals in a way that creates “a tone that is almost surreal and illuminated by a strong yet delicate touch of light,” she says in a statement.

Du’s photography focuses on the organic textures and supple forms of the natural world, and you can explore a larger collection of her works on Behance, Tumblr, and Instagram. Prints are available in her shop. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

David Shrigley Designs a Collection of Phone Cases and Tech Accessories with His Signature Witty Illustrations

May 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Casetify

David Shrigley’s famously dry sense of humor and satirical quips grace a new collection of phone cases and other accessories. The British artist (previously) is collaborating with Casetify on a forthcoming line—it includes a dozen iPhone cases, plus Apple Watch bands, AirPods covers, stands, chargers, in addition to sleek laptop sleeves and bags—featuring his signature bold drawings alongside reminders to “be nice” and “work hard, play hard, eat a huge pizza.” One illustration, the pastel wolf, is even designed to howl a custom phrase.

As part of the collaboration, 100 limited-edition black mirror cases printed with a multi-color “There are no rules” will be released through a lottery, which you can enter starting next week on Casetify’s site. The rest of the designs go on sale on May 25. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 

 



Art

Ceramic Mosaics Mend Cracked Sidewalks, Potholes, and Buildings in Vibrant Interventions by Ememem

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ememem, shared with permission

Throughout his home city of Lyon, Ememem is known as “the pavement surgeon.” The artist repairs gouged sidewalks and splintered facades with colorful mosaics that he describes as “a poem that everybody can read.” Intricate geometric motifs laid with pristine tiles hug the cracks and create “a memory notebook of the city. It reveals what happened, the life in these public places,” he tells Colossal. “Here cobblestones have been picked up and thrown. There a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt…”

Ememem’s first mosaic dates back 10 years when he found himself in a damaged alley in Lyon. At that time, he already was working in ceramic and translated that practice to revitalizing the outdoor area. Since 2016, he’s been consistently filling potholes and other divots throughout France. “It’s a succession of a lot of places and reflections, experiments I did before. I had done similar things, with other techniques, other supports, and finally, when this one emerged, I knew I found something that I was going to keep doing for the rest of my life,” he says.

If you’re in Paris, you can see some of Ememem’s newest interventions around the Grand Paris Express in Saint-Maur-Créteil through August 31. His work also will be at Spraying Board in Lyon on June 2 and included in a group show at Florian Daguet-Bresson opening June 8. You can find an extensive archive of his patched projects on his site and Instagram. Check out these guerilla pothole mosaics by Chicago artist Jim Bachor for similar street mendings. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

For Société du Grand Paris

Left: Lyon (2021). Right: Paris (2020)

Grand Paris Express

Mycosis on the Môle de Sète

Right: Rue Bollier

 

 



Art

Candid Murals by Street Artist Escif Cleverly Respond to Political Issues and Current Events

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Espoire” in Lozzi, France. All images © Escif, shared with permission

Street artist Escif (previously) utilizes muted color palettes and straightforward motifs to convert walls around his home city of Valencia and other locations throughout Europe into perceptive ruminations on capitalism, politics, and society. He paints sparse scenes and objects with ties to their environment and current events, often relying on humor and wit to convey an underlying message. Although the Spanish artist has spent much of the last year in his studio working on drawings with his two-year-old son, some of his more recent artworks include a brick shattering an already damaged window, a military officer armed with a vaccine like a bazooka, and a touching tribute to the late street artist Hyuro, who died last November.

Escif just completed a series in Corse and is headed to Lithuania and northern Italy in the next few months, which you can follow on Instagram. Shop available prints on his site.

 

“Aguja” in Valencia

A tribute to the late artist Hyuro in Valencia

“Break” in Charleroi, Belgium

Left: “Low Cost” in Valencia. Right: “Brote”

“Underground” in Barcelona

 

 



Art

Digital Renderings Collage 3D Objects into Futuristic Self-Portraits by Artist Omar Aqil

May 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Omar Aqil, shared with permission

Lahore, Pakistan-based artist Omar Aqil (previously) digitally assembles technology, 3D objects, and textured masses into figurative collages for his series Self-Portraits 2050. The futuristic characters all sport a pair of glasses but are otherwise distinct, sometimes conveyed through sleek geometric shapes stacked into facial features and others sprouting whimsical florals and various organic elements. Experimentation and play are at the heart of this new series—which Aqil refers to as “profile pictures”—and his practice overall, resulting in an eclectic collection of self-portraits rooted in the current digital era.

Find more of the artist’s sculptural renderings, which include a variety of abstracted figures and colorful assemblages, on Behance and Instagram.