Photography

Hilarity Ensues as Everything Goes Catastrophically Wrong in an Ad for Etisalat

February 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

Strap on a helmet and fasten your kneepads before watching this ad for international telecommunications giant, Etisalat. Nalle Sjoblad’s “Moonwalk” uses brutal Home Alone-esque sequences of poor planning, office rage, and failure to appreciate even basic spatial relationships in order to remind us that the most uncomfortable, humiliating scenarios only last for a moment. Based in Helsinki, Sjoblad approaches a variety of commercial and personal projects with his distinct style of humor, many of which you can watch on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Photography

A Rare Yellow Penguin Has Been Photographed for the First Time on a South Georgia Island

February 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Yves Adams/Kennedy News, shared with permission

On a trip to a small island in South Georgia in December 2019, Yves Adams spotted an unusually bright creature bobbing through a sea of 120,000 king penguins. Whereas most of the flightless birds sported the typical tuxedo-like suit, one paraded around with yellow feathers and cream-colored feet.

Adams, who frequently documents landscapes and wildlife around the world, is believed to be the first photographer to capture images of the rare penguin, which he spotted while unloading food and safety equipment. “We all went crazy when we realised. We dropped all the safety equipment and grabbed our cameras,” the Belgian photographer says. “We were so lucky the bird landed right where we were. Our view wasn’t blocked by a sea of massive animals. Normally it’s almost impossible to move on this beach because of them all.”

The atypical coloring is due to leucism, a condition that results in the loss of melanin, which turns the black feathers and feet into a lighter hue. In 2013, researchers learned that penguins’ yellow pigment is not derived from food but rather is chemically distinct from the other compounds that color their plumes. The bright feathers are used to attract mates.

See Adams’ shots from his Atlantic expedition, in addition to more that span a wide array of locations like Greenland, the Galapagos Islands, and the Philippine Sea, on his site and Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Art

A Massive Seven-Volume Collection Chronicles the Pioneering Legacy of Abstract Artist Hilma af Klint

February 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Bokförlaget Stolpe, shared with permission

Following a wildly successful retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2018, Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) has firmly secured her place as a groundbreaking figure in abstract art. In recent years, her colorful, spiritually-minded body of work has reshaped art historical timelines, supplanting male artists like Vasily KandinskyPiet MondrianPaul Klee, and Josef Albers, who have long been regarded as the pioneers of the 20th-century movement.

Throughout her lifetime, the prolific Swedish artist created more than 1,600 works, an impressive output now collected in Hilma AF Klint: The Complete Catalogue Raisonné: Volumes I-VII. Published by Bokförlaget Stolpe, the seven-volume series is organized both chronologically and by theme, beginning with the spiritual sketches af Klint made in conjunction with The Five, a group of women who attended séances in hopes of obtaining messages from the dead. These clairvoyant experiences impacted much of her work, which the books explore in her most famous series, The Paintings for the Temple, in addition to her geometric studies, watercolor pieces, and more occasional portraits and landscapes.

“What makes her art interesting is that the works are highly interconnected. A catalogue raisonné is necessary in order to see the different cycles, motifs, and symbols that recur in a fascinating way,” said Daniel Birnbaum, who co-edited the volumes with Kurt Almqvist. Each book is around 200 pages with hundreds of illustraitons.

The first three volumes are available now on Bookshop, where you also can pre-order the entire collection, and the remaining four are slated for release later this year. You also might enjoy Beyond the Visible, a 2020 documentary exploring af Klint’s iconic legacy. (via Artnet)

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

The First USPS Stamp Designed by an Alaska Native Artist Features a Trickster Raven as It Steals the Sun

February 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Raven Story.” Image courtesy of U.S.P.S.

When it’s released later this summer, a new stamp from the U.S. Postal Service will illuminate a piece of Indigenous culture that’s long been associated with an escape from darkness. Titled “Raven Story,” the history-making postage features an iconic animal rendered by Rico Lanáat’ Worl, who is the first Tlingit and Athabascan artist to be featured by U.S.P.S. Awash with twinkling stars, the stamp portrays a black bird grasping the sun in its beak as it breaks from its human family. The motif is based on the story of “Raven And The Box Of Daylight,” traditional Tlingit lore about the trickster animal bringing the stars, moon, and sun to the universe after a series of heists.

In a statement, Worl shares that the raven is a prominent figure in Tlinglit culture, and the stamp depicts the pinnacle of this often-recounted tale. He writes:

Raven is trying to grab as many stars as he can, some stuck in his feathers and in his hands or in his beak. Some falling around him. It’s a frazzled moment of adrenaline. Partially still in human form, as depicted as his hand still being human, as he carries the stars away. I think it depicts a moment we all have experienced, the cusp of failure and accomplishment.

Worl lives in Juneau, where he works with Sealaska Heritage Institute and co-runs Trickster Company, a design shop focused on Northwest Coast art, with his sister, Crystal. To coincide with the USPS launch, he plans to create pins, prints, and other goods featuring the design, which you can follow on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Art

Elegantly Subversive Paintings Position Somber Women in the Throes of Domestic Struggle

February 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

“None of These Clocks Work (I)” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 40 inches. All images © Chidinma Nnoli, courtesy of Rele Gallery, shared with permission

In her poetic body of work, Chidinma Nnoli draws on her experiences growing up in a patriarchal, Catholic home. It “felt very stifling, and I existed in an environment of anxiety and fear where it felt uneasy to relax,” says the 22-year-old Nigerian artist. She channels these memories into her acrylic- and oil-based artworks that are simultaneously ethereal and subversive, distinctly centering on somber, unsmiling women and their hazy environments rendered in pastels.

Subtle comments on a variety of cultural issues pervade Nnoli’s paintings, including the trappings of diet culture, impossible beauty standards, and how many widespread societal beliefs impact mental health. In some pieces, these themes are apparent in the women’s facial expressions, gestures, and vintage clothing. High necklines or collars, lace details, and puffy sleeves cloak their bodies in a manner that evokes traditional values like innocence and modesty in works like “A Poetry of Discarded Feelings/Things (III).” Other paintings, like “None of These Clocks Work (I),” center on a subject wearing a corset, which contorts womens’ bodies into the idealized hourglass.

 

“If Grey Walls Could Talk (III)” (2020), 54 x 48 inches

Whether alone or in a pair, the figures are demure, solemn, and depicted at home amongst impasto backgrounds. The quiet, humble scenes are filled with indistinguishable artworks, bouquets of flowers or plants, and sofas, customary domestic elements that allow Nnoli to tease out an implied tension. The women, she says, exist in “spaces that are supposed to be safe yet it’s toxic and they somehow can’t get out… I try to create a safe environment using flowers, a space that is almost dreamlike, a utopia where they can heal, even if it’s only happening in their heads (until) they find their own safe space.”

Nnoli currently is living in Lagos and has work on view at Rele Gallery in Los Angeles. Follow her elegant, thought-provoking work on Instagram and Artsy.

 

“Nkem” (2020), 36 x 40

“If Grey Walls Could Talk” (2020), oil on Canvas, 48 x 40 inches

“Daughter (Nwa Nwanyi)” (2020), 24 x 30 inches from the Saint Series (Onye Di Aso)

“A Poetry of Discarded Feelings/Things (III)” (2020), acrylic and oil on canvas, 42 x 50 inches

 

 



Design

Tokyo's Kadokawa Culture Museum Houses an Arresting Kengo Kuma-Designed Bookshelf Theater

February 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © RK, shared with permission

Although it boasts more than 50,000 books, the massive library at the heart of the Kadokawa Culture Museum (previously) isn’t just for bibliophiles or curious readers hoping to stumble upon a new title. Designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma (previously), the towering venue is more accurately billed as a cultural gathering space than a traditional book collection, which Ryosuke Kosuge, who works as RK, recently documented a new series of photographs.

Just months after its opening, the Tokyo-area library already has hosted a variety of music and theater performances, with the staggered shelving and metal walkways serving as a backdrop. Many of the events—which you can see photographs of on Kadokawa’s Instagram—utilized the available projection mapping technology and embedded screens, creating immersive experiences that illuminate the largely wood-lined space with a candy-colored glow.

To see the multi-purpose venue from above, watch this drone tour, and find more of RK’s architectural photographs capturing city life on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

All images © RK, shared with permission

All images © RK, shared with permission

All images © RK, shared with permission

All images © RK, shared with permission

All images © RK, shared with permission