Art Craft

New Three Dimensional Narratives Composed from Discarded Books

April 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

UK-based book sculptor Emma Taylor sources old books from charity and antique shops and gives them a second story. Taylor uses simple materials—just glue, paper, and scissors—to sculpt architectural facades, lively animals, and leafy trees from otherwise unused titles. Each scene is inspired by the book’s written content, with a garden scene emerging from An Introduction to Botany and Italian houses built out of The Story of Venice. The artist shares on her website that she has been carving and sculpting books for several years, and has exhibited her creations in Cambridge, London, and Hong Kong. Taylor has recently opened an Etsy shop stocked with a few of her paper-based artworks, and shares updates on new works on Twitter. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Hyperrealist Rorschach “Paint” Blots Rendered in Colored Pencil by Cj Hendry

April 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Cj Hendry (previously) rocketed to fame in 2017 with her unbelievably realistic colored pencil drawings of daubs of paint. For her upcoming solo show, which opens on April 10 in Brooklyn, the artist continues in her signature style, focusing on precisely rendering the imprecise nature of Rorschach blots. Each drawing by Hendry balances hyperrealism with abstraction and depicts a vibrant mirror image of a mix of squished paint, recreated in colored pencil.

The show is housed in an all-white inflatable bounce house, a playful nod to the test’s origins as a psychological diagnostic tool.  RORSCHACH runs through April 21, 2019. You can see more of Hendry’s in-progress and completed drawings on Instagram. (via Trendland)

 

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Design

Build Your Own Robotic Cat with An Open Source Kit by Petoi

April 9, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Try your hand at robotics with Nybble, a programmable cat that walks, bats its paws, and even regains its balance after a jump from a tall surface. The cat is the brainchild of RongzhongLi of Petoi, who built the feline robot on an open source platform that runs on an Arduino micro-controller, and funded the project on Indiegogo. A wooden puzzle forms the cat’s basic frame, while a small computer imbedded in its torso directs its movements. Instructional videos for how to put the kit together can be found on Petoi’s website, and an overview of the robotic animal’s tricks and abilities can be found in the video below. (via Laughing Squid)

 

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Nycrobat. Now Nybble plays high bar better than me! #nybble #opencat #petoi #robot #quadrupedrobot #stem #robotcat

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Art Design

Dimensions Blur in Aakash Nihalani’s Minimalist Optical Illusions

April 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Aakash Nihalani (previously) is known for his illusionist interventions that push the boundaries between two and three dimensions. Though he started off using using tape to form ephemeral installations, in the last few years Nihalani has moved into more permanent territory, working with wood and metal to form free-standing and wall-mounted sculptures. Throughout his practice, the artist works with simple geometric shapes and minimal black and white color palettes accented with neon. Nihalani, a Queens, New York native, graduated from New York University’s Steinhardt School in 2008. Discover more of his mind-bending installations on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft Design

Elaborate Historical Wigs Formed From Copper Wire by Bespoke Sculptor Yasemen Hussein

April 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mixed media bespoke sculptor Yasemen Hussein explains that her art career was originally pointed in the direction of glass, but she found her passion for metalwork while working toward an MFA at Illinois State University. Now well established in her metal practice, Hussein uses copper electrical cable to form elaborate and sinuously lifelike hairdos. The video below, from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, takes a look inside Hussein’s studio as she created wigs used by the V&A for their exhibit Opera: Passion, Power and Politics.

Hussein works in a coverted stable house in south London, where she manipulates the thin metal cables to simulate elaborate styles ranging from carefully coiled curls to the sweeping fan-like shapes of a geisha’s coif. Rather than creating exact replicas of realistic hair in every wig, Hussein incorporates artistic license to suggest the volume and gesture of each historical look.

In addition to her dramatic wigs, Hussein also creates geometric sculptural installations and delicate copper feathers. You can explore more of the sculptor’s work on her website.

 

 



Art

Dutch Artists Transform a Utrecht Apartment Building into a Tri-Level Trompe L’Oeil Bookcase

April 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch street artists Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed recently painted a literary trompe l’oeil mural on an apartment building in Utrecht, Netherlands. The pair turned the side of the three-story building into a multi-level bookshelf packed with a selection of their favorite books from their own collections, in addition to a few made-up titles featuring their own names. Another XXXL bookshelf exists in Kansas City, Missouri on the side of a parking garage belonging to the central branch of the city’s public library. You can see more of Jan Is De Man’s artwork on his website, and Deef Feed’s paintings on Facebook. (via Laughing Squid)

   

 

 



Art Photography

Black Bodies Painted and Photographed Like the Cosmos by Mikael Owunna

April 7, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Infinite Essence: “James” (2018) All images courtesy of Mikael Owunna

Mikael Chukwuma Owunna, a queer Nigerian-Swedish artist raised in Pittsburgh, has spent the past two and a half years photographing Black men and women for a series titled Infinite Essence. Hand-painted using fluorescent paints and photographed in complete darkness, Owunna’s subjects are illuminated by a flash outfitted with a UV filter, which turns their nude bodies into glowing celestial figures.

Owunna tells Colossal that the series was his response to the frequent images and videos of Black people being killed by those sworn to protect them: the police. The photographer’s friends, family members, dancers, and one person he connected with on Instagram serve as models for the project, which is named after an idea from his Igbo heritage. “All of our individual spirits are just one ray of the infinite essence of the sun,” Owunna explains. “By transcending the visible spectrum, I work to illuminate a world beyond our visible structures of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia where the black body is free.”

Infinite Essence: “Uche” (2019)

Having struggled with his own body image (and with his identity as a gay African man, which has inspired his previous work), Owunna says that the response to the project has been powerful, both from the public and from the models. “One of the models, Emem, broke down in tears looking at their pictures saying that they had always dreamed of seeing their body adorned with stars and that these images were beyond their wildest imagination,” he said. “They then told me – ‘every black person deserves to see themselves in this way’ and how the experience was life-altering for them.”

After seeing Owunna’s work via an NPR feature, a 60-year-old Black woman told the photographer, “I’ve hated my body all my life, but–for a glorious instant–that photo made me feel good about it.”

To see more of Mikael Owunna’s work and to be informed about his upcoming lectures and exhibitions, follow the artist on Instagram and Twitter.

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Sam” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Kinya” (2017)

Infinite Essence: “Emem” (2018)

Infinite Essence: “Emem” (2018)