Art

Flowers Blossom From the Bodies of Wild Animals in New Graphite and Acrylic Works by Nunzio Paci

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bologna-based Italian artist Nunzio Paci (previously) fills his artwork with images that evoke aspects of human knowledge dating back centuries, such as anatomy, botany, and natural medicine. In his works animals are illustrated with lush plants and flowers, elements which seem to grow and thrive straight from their core. Although a touch morbid, the pieces also have a sense of lightness—there is beauty that can be found in rebirth. This fall Paci will be Artist-in-Residence at Lingnan University in Hong Kong where he will teach a Studio Practice course and work on his own projects to prepare for a solo exhibition. You can see more of his anatomical illustrations and paintings on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Design

What’s New Is Old Again: A Classic Norwegian Chair Produced with 100% Recycled Materials

February 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The newest chair by Nordic Comfort Products (NCP) is a unique and sustainable twist on an old classic. Their R-48 model has furnished schools and offices since the 1960s, but has previously required virgin plastic and a metal base. Their recent addition, the S-1500, was designed by international design firm Snøhetta, and is constructed from nothing new. The marbled green chair is composed of 100% recycled plastic sourced from local fish farming companies’ old fish nets, ropes, and pipes and a subframe made from recycled steel.

The design is a result of a two-year research project by Snøhetta to investigate plastic’s journey through the supply chain and see how it might be repurposed as a building material once it has served its original purpose. Typically NCP uses plastic from China to create their furniture. Their new chairs will create a local, circular economy which puts to use the worn out tools of neighboring businesses while also cutting down on fossil emissions from shipping materials internationally. The chair will be showcased at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair from February 5 to 9, 2019. You can see other ways Snøhetta is putting their plastic research to use on their website and Instagram. (via Fast Company)

 

 



Art

Lavish Portraits of Missouri Citizens by Kehinde Wiley

February 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Madame Valmant”, 2018

Painter Kehinde Wiley is renowned for his large-scale portraits of Black subjects (perhaps most notably President Barack Obama). His most recent body of work is on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum, and draws inspiration from eight works of art in the museum’s collection, which are referenced in all but one of his paintings’ titles. Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis is comprised of 11 portraits of people the artist met in 2017 on the city’s north side and in nearby Ferguson, the community where 18-year-old unarmed Black citizen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2014.

“My job is to see things in an accurate context in a society where so often black people are reduced to simple stereotypes,” Wiley explained in an interview with the St. Louis American. “What I’m doing is slowing down and taking time to honor people from every little detail of their being.  From their nails to the type of jeans that they are wearing – or that sort of timidity or boldness of their character.” The resulting portraits are filled with Wiley’s signature jewel tones and elaborate pattern work that interacts with his subjects, both showcasing and enveloping each figure. As contemporary Black Americans in their own clothing strike the grand postures of white Europeans of centuries past, Wiley juxtaposes the traditions and tensions of race and representation in the art world.

Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis is on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum (which is free and open to the public) in Saint Louis, Missouri until February 10, 2019. You can watch a video of the artist’s in-depth talk at the museum here. Wiley also shares his completed and in-progress works on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

“Jacob de Graeff”, 2018

“Three Girls in a Wood”, 2018

“Charles I”, 2018

“Mahogany Jones and Marcus Stokes”, 2018

 

 



Design

Wooden Credenzas and Cabinets Elegantly Open into Surprising Silhouettes

February 5, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Sebastian ErraZuriz (previously) creates functional storage pieces that double as elegant sculptures for his ongoing series Mechanical Cabinet. His credenzas, cabinets, and other units open in a myriad of creative ways, like a piece that fans out in four different directions, or an unassuming box which opens to reveal nearly two dozen drawers and a mirror.

“We tend to understand reality by constraining meaning into closed and simplified boxes defined by previous cultural conventions,” he explains in a press release for his current solo exhibition Breaking the Box at R & Company in New York City. “We live within these pre-established cognitive borders, where we only tend to see, recognize, and accept as true that which has been previously ordered and defined.” Breaking the Box is on view through March 9, 2019. You can see more of his designs on his website and Instagram.

      

 

 



Artist Maude White Counts on Squarespace to Showcase Her Stunning Papercut Artworks

February 5, 2019

Colossal

Photos by Maude White unless otherwise noted

Artist and self-described craftsperson Maude White (previously) captures gentle moments of beauty and grace in her meticulously detailed paper cut artworks. White has worked in paper for the last several years, first exploring her signature medium with simple silhouettes and popup books. The New York-based artist now focuses on the organic forms of female portraits, flowers, and birds. “Every piece I create has its own identity,” White explains. “The knife, and me, and the paper are all in a dialog together, all talking and getting along. The last thing I do is cut it out of the surrounding paper. It comes alive, or is born, and we meet each other for the first time. It’s a completely living thing apart from me.” 

“When I first started cutting paper it was not a career,” White explains to Colossal. “That’s really the way to approach anything, to do it for the joy of it and use it as a way to learn.” By sharing her work online with a Squarespace portfolio site, the self-taught artist has been able to reach a worldwide audience and find success. In addition to her gallery-ready original papercuts, White has partnered with Abrams Books and Paralax Press to release two books—Leading with Love and Brave Birds—that bring her artwork and message of uplift to life.

She shares that the methodical and meditative practice of cutting paper has been a healthy way to express her desire for order and control. In shaping her online presence as an in-demand artist, White explains that it’s very important to her to share this sense of safety and wellbeing with others: “I like all of my work to be comforting or a safe space. Beauty is a form of love. Creating something beautiful allows people to experience love when they look at it.”

White shares that creating her website on Squarespace allows her to feel assured that her website stands up to the finesse of her artwork. “I like things to look the same, flow together, and stay consistent. I love black and white. I like having control and knowing exactly what i’m looking at and what i’m going to get, and it’s always going to look beautiful.”

Ready to set your portfolio site apart? Head to Squarespace.com for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch, use the offer code COLOSSAL to save 10% off your first purchase.

Photograph by Laura Glazer; hand-cut paper by Maude White; reproduced from Brave Birds, Abrams Image, 2018

AdvertisementThis post was sponsored by Squarespace.

 

 



Art

Dream Worlds Imagined in Contorted Clay Portraits by Johnson Tsang

February 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Remembrance”

Johnson Tsang (previously) continues to create spectacularly emotive ceramic sculptures of the human face. The Hong Kong-based artist’s latest series, Lucid Dream II, features surreal contortions that squish, wring, melt, and stretch. Titles like “Remembrance,” “Extrication,” and “Unveiled” suggest an exploration of the liminal space between the conscious and subconscious, in addition to the self and other. Tsang uses plain, unglazed clay, eschewing typical lifelike details such as color, hair, and apparel, to focus the viewer’s attention on the universally-relatable expressions of each of his imagined subjects. You can see more of the sculptor’s completed and in-progress work on Instagram and Facebook.

“Here and There”

“Here and There” detail

“Work in Progress”

“Under the Skin”

“Love in Progress”

“Falling in Love”

“Unveiled”

“Lawful Custody”

“Extrication”

 

 



Art

Recycled Shirts and Ski Equipment Take on Sculptural Dimensions in Layered Works by Kaarina Kaikkonen

February 4, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Kaarina Kaikkonen, "I Sprouted Into New Dimensions" (2017), Mixed media, 96.46 x 163.39 x 8.66 inches, via Galerie Forsblom

Kaarina Kaikkonen, “I Sprouted Into New Dimensions” (2017), Mixed media, 96.46 x 163.39 x 8.66 inches, image via Galerie Forsblom

Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen (previously) transforms old consumer products into sculptural works that are presented both in galleries and as sprawling site-specific installations. In her large-scale apparel-based works, lines of shirts hang in orderly lines above city streets, while in smaller pieces like “I Feel Safe” (2015), she creates an angel-like formation with spread shirt sleeves as wings. In 2015, the artist built a site-specific installation in Tempere, Finland using Finnish cross country skis to create a colorful support for an angular building.

You can take an further look into her studio in this video produced in connection with her 2018 exhibition “You Remain in Me” at the KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark, and see more images of her sculptures on her website and via Galerie Forsblom.

"Only a Breath of Wind" (2010), Men's shirts, 15.75 x 133.86 x 47.24 inches, image via Galerie Forsblom

“Only a Breath of Wind” (2010), Men’s shirts, 15.75 x 133.86 x 47.24 inches, image via Galerie Forsblom

"I Feel Safe" (2015), Men's shirts and child's clothes, image via Sara Zanin Gallery

“I Feel Safe” (2015), Men’s shirts and child’s clothes, image via Sara Zanin Gallery

L: "Whereabouts" (2014), Man's jacket, 93.5 x 61.5 x 6 inches, R: "Night Hawkmoth" (2014), Man's jacket, hook, 24.5 x 28 x 7 inches, images via Galerie Forsblom

L: “Whereabouts” (2014), Man’s jacket, 93.5 x 61.5 x 6 inches, R: “Night Hawkmoth” (2014), Man’s jacket, hook, 24.5 x 28 x 7 inches, images via Galerie Forsblom

Image from 2014 exhibition with Galerie Forsblom

Image from 2014 exhibition with Galerie Forsblom

"The Upsurging Spirit" (2015), Old Finish cross country skis, site-specific, Tempere, Finland, image via Sara Zenin Gallery

“The Upsurging Spirit” (2015), Old Finish cross country skis, site-specific, Tempere, Finland, image via Sara Zenin Gallery