Photography

From a Volcanic Fissure to a Waterlily Harvest, the 2022 Drone Photo Awards Captures Earth’s Stunning Sights from Above

September 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Big Bang” by Armand Sarlangue. All images courtesy of Siena Awards Festival, shared with permission

The annual Drone Photo Awards announced its 2022 winners earlier this month, releasing a remarkable collection of images that frame the world’s most alluring landscapes from a rarely-seen view. This year’s contest garnered submissions from 2,624 participants hailing from 116 countries, and the aerial photos capture a vast array of life on Earth, including a caravan of camel shadows crossing the Arabian Desert, a waterlily harvest in West Bengal, and the veiny trails of lava emerging from a fissure near Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano.

Hosted by the Siena Awards Festival, the competition showcases its winning images in a recurring exhibition called Above Us Only Sky, which will run from October 1 to November 20 in the Italian city. Until then, see some of our favorites below and explore the full collection on the awards’ site.

 

“Waterlily Harvesting” by Shibasish Saha

“Duotian” by Ningtai Yu

“Fertility” by Christian Trustrup

“Shadows of the Desert” by Bastian Brüsecke

“Aftermath of La Palma’s Volcano Eruption” by Enrico Pescantini

“Wings of the White Cliffs” by Alexey Kharitonov

“Blue” by Fernando O’farrill

“Fading Faith” by Fabian Balint

“Rooftops of Kartoffelraekkerne Neighborhood” by Serhiy Vovk

 

 



Art Craft

Ancient Design Motifs Meet Contemporary Ceramics in Maxwell Mustardo’s Glowing Sculptures

September 14, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Maxwell Mustardo, shared with permission, courtesy of Culture Object and Jody Kivort

Gadrooning, an ornamental motif consisting of a series of tapered convex or concave curves, is derived from the decorative exteriors of Roman sarcophagi and antiquities. Renaissance artisans revisited it in the 16th century, and it re-emerged in the neoclassical revival of the 18th and 19th centuries. Referencing ancient designs and what he describes in a statement as the “broad, reverential notions of the vessel,” Maxwell Mustardo playfully examines the function of containers and earthenware over time.

In his gourd-like Gadroons and pudgy Anthropophorae—a series of bulging amphorae—a range of stippled lava glazes complement shocking hues or shimmering PVC coatings. Vibrant colors and swollen forms resemble balloons or 3D renderings displayed on a bright screen, and the resulting perception-bending, flocked-like surfaces make the pieces appear to be floating, wobbling, and glowing.

You can see Mustardo’s work at Culture Object through October 28 in a solo exhibition titled The Substance of Style. More information can also be found on his website and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Hyperrealistic Portraits by Arinze Stanley Glorify the Resiliency of Nigeria’s Next Generation

September 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Portrait of Resilience #1″(2021), charcoal and graphite on paper, 47 1/2 x 36 inches. All images © Arinze Stanley, courtesy of Corridor Contemporary, shared with permission

In Deconstruct, Lagos-based artist Arinze Stanley (previously) acknowledges the children and teens who will come to define Nigeria’s politics and culture in the next few years. “I believe the youths are the building blocks of every nation,” he says. “I feel most compelled to project the positive image of our youths through this body of work in my attempt to dismantle the stereotype around the Nigerian youth. I believe our leaders of tomorrow are the biggest assets of today.”

Working in graphite and charcoal on paper, Stanley renders hyperrealistic portraits of earnest figures often with faint lines bisecting their faces. Portions of their torsos reveal a brick backdrop, suggesting that their consciousness and presences in the world are still taking shape. More dense works like “Fruits of Labour” draw on art historical motifs traditionally associated with power and resiliency, portraying figures in glorified poses with weapons and arms raised in protest. The incredibly detailed portraits rail against the turbulent political landscape of Nigeria, the world’s perception of the country, and its issues with police brutality, the latter of which the artist generously speaks to in a 2021 interview with Colossal.

Deconstruct is on view now at Corridor Contemporary in Philadelphia. Stanley often shares clips of his works-in-progress, which you can find on Instagram.

 

“Portrait of Resilience #5” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 65 x 55 inches

“Unwritten Memoir” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 47 5/16 x 41 7/8 inches

“Portrait of Resilience #3” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 46 3/4 x 47 1/16 inches

“Fruits of Labour” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 72 x 54 1/2 inches

Left: “Portrait of Resilience #4” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 49 1/2 x 31 7/8 inches. Right: “Portrait of Resilience #2” (2021), charcoal and graphite on paper, 41 x 29 1/2 inches

“Portrait of Resilience #6” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches

“Portrait of Resilience #7” (2022), charcoal and graphite on paper, 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches

 

 



Colossal

Calling All Art Lovers! Become a Colossal Member Today and Support Independent Arts Publishing

September 13, 2022

Colossal

Sharing creativity is our greatest joy, and we rely on the generous support of Colossal Members to sustain our daily operations. For as little as $5 per month, you can read Colossal and our newsletters ad-free and get access to all additional member benefits, including discounts, early access, and a members-only newsletter.

Join today and support the creative stories that matter most. We’re so glad you’re here. ❤️

 

Member Perks ✨

  • An ad-free reading experience on Colossal and in our newsletters
  • Discounts from The Sketchbook Project, The Hyperallergic Store, Knit-Wise, The Jaunt, 20×200, Create! Magazine, and the Booooooom Shop
  • A members-only newsletter with sneak-peeks into upcoming events, news, and of course, plenty of giveaways
  • One percent of membership fees is always allocated to students. So far this year, Colossal Members have purchased nearly $1,500 of art supplies through DonorsChoose

What’s Next for 2022 and Beyond

  • Colossal Workshop Series: We’re organizing regular tutorials and workshops with some of the most exciting and engaging artists
  • We’re hiring an intern! With the support of members, we’re delighted to be able to grow our team and provide a recent graduate with experience in arts publishing

 

 



Craft

Impressionistic Embroideries by Cassandra Dias Reflect Movement and Lush Landscapes in Thread

September 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Cassandra Dias, shared with permission

Cassandra Dias combines French knots, satin stitches, and various thread-painting techniques into impressionistic landscapes teeming with texture and organic color. Rugged mountains swell in neutral tones, the water’s surface hazily reflects the surrounding trees, and tiny pops of lavender and orange emerge through fields of green. The Camarillo, California-based artist began working with fiber in early 2020 and has since developed her distinctive style, which evokes movement and mimics the visible brushstrokes associated with painting.

For a glimpse into Dias’s process and to keep up with news about available pieces, follow her on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Photographer Zanele Muholi Finds Empowerment Through Bold Black-and-White Portraiture

September 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Isiqhaza” (June 10, 2018, Philadelphia). All images © Zanele Muholi, courtesy of African Artists’ Foundation, shared with permission

The striking portraits of South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi (previously) are easily recognizable. Shot in stark black-and-white, the images utilize heavy contrast and center on single subjects dressed in elaborate garments. These wearables are sculptural in construction and made from commonplace objects: clothespins are strung together as a necklace, dried grasses splay outward like the brim of a hat, and rolls of toilet paper cascade over a figure’s shoulders.

Muholi often works in self-portraiture and is known for photographing Black queer subjects as a way to explore the radical nature of identity and as a means of celebration and respect. “The work that I produce is meant to be for every person,” they say in an interview. “It could be a teacher. It could be a mother whose child is queer and wants to have a reference point to show their kids and say that you are not alone. And it could be for LGBTI people themselves to understand their worthiness.” Muholi views all of their works as collaborations with the sitters, who often gaze at the camera with direct, empowered expressions.

Many of the photos shown here are part of the group exhibition Dig Where You Stand, which is on view through October 9 at Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art in Tamale, Ghana. A project of African Artists’ Foundation, the group show engages with questions of decolonization and restitution and will travel to Lagos, Lusanga, and Lisbon in the coming months. Until then, find more from Muholi on Instagram.

 

“Sine II” (Melbourne)

“Bester” (May 2, 2019, New York)

Left: “Sine X” (March 17, 2020, Melbourne). Right: “Muzane I” (May 15, 2019, London)

Detail of “Jamile Face” (May 2, 2019, New York)

“Wenzeni” (2019)

Left: “Vika IV” (September 11, 2019, Cape Town). Right: “Aphelile X” (April 11, 2020, Durban)

“Vika III” (September 11, 2019, Cape Town”