Japan-based artist Hiroki Takeda adds a dose of whimsy to his otherwise faithful portrayals of friendly felines. Largely rendered in shades of pink and purple with intermittent splashes of blues and greens, Takeda’s watercolor works blend flora and fauna into affectionate cats and kittens caught lounging around or mid-snooze. Vines and grasses add fur-like texture and outline the creatures’ figures, which the artist then completes with sprawling gardens brimming with leaves, blossoms, and butterflies.
Takeda tells Colossal that his vivid works are derived from a combination of influences, including his mother’s enthusiasm for plants and his background in caricature, and are the result of experimenting with myriad styles throughout his university studies. “One day, I had a moment in my mind when I saw a painting of an animal and its fur looked like a plant,” he says. “The idea of combining watercolor with plants and animals felt very natural to me.”
If you’re in Osaka, stop by Shinsaibashi Gajin Gallery to see the artist’s floral animals between July 24 to August 12. Otherwise, pick up a print, and follow his work on Instagram. (via Design You Trust)
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To capture the depth of an enchanting river alcove or bucolic landscape, Russian artist Anastasia Trusova works in what she calls “textured graphic impressionism,” a unique style that expresses emotion through detail and volume. She uses a combination of palette knives and brushes to deftly layer acrylic paints into dreamy scenes: heavy impasto forms lush foliage, coiled lines shape thick clouds, and an array of smaller dabs become fields of wildflowers. “I don’t think about the rules. I paint as I feel. I add volume to highlight and emphasize something or to show something that is closer,” she says.
Trusova’s use of color is bold and often bright, and she tends to reach for a kaleidoscopic palette that makes sunsets or a river’s reflection appear fantastical. These aesthetic choices are a direct result of her studies at both the Moscow Artscool and later Moscow State Textile University, where she learned about the physics of color and how certain applications and contexts affect perceptions. “For example, the same red shade will look differently when surrounded by light green or dark blue. There we broadened our horizons, helped us fall in love with the most incredible combinations,” the Belgium-based artist says.
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When you enroll in the Jewelry Design & Marketing program at Pratt SCPS, you’ll learn the fundamentals of jewelry design, deepen your knowledge of the industry’s history, and uncover current trends. No matter your experience level, registration begins July 12 for Pratt SCPS’s fall courses and certificates, which include:
- Computer-Aided Design and 3-D Modeling for Jewelers
- Jewelry Design + Development
- Jewelry Design History and Current Trends
- Make Wearable Art: Beginner Jewelry Fabrication
- Make Wearable Art: Advanced Jewelry Fabrication
Most importantly, you’ll acquire the practical skills necessary to enhance your business, all guided by experts in the field.
Senior jewelry designer and instructor Carolyn A’Hearn has created and produced jewelry from start to finish for several brands, including J. Crew, Catbird, Liloveve, The Brave Collection, as well as several private clients and for their own line. They are currently Lead Designer and Production Manager for The Gild Jewelry Collective.
Karen Bachmann teaches at both Pratt Institute and the Fashion Institute of Design, where she specializes in fine and bridge jewelry, wearable art, and decorative art. She’s led lectures, workshops, and talks at the American Folk Art Museum, Mutter Museum, Victorian Society of America, Morbid Anatomy Museum, Atlas Obscura, and Katonah Museum of Art, amongst others, and is a practicing studio jeweler and a former master jeweler at Tiffany & Co.
Akiyo Matsuoka is a faculty member at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute. Matsuoka’s fine jewelry designs have appeared in Vogue, Town and Country, Bride, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, W, Vanity Fair, and others. Her collections have been featured in luxury department stores and specialty retailers across the world, including Neiman Marcus, Takashimaya NY, Nordstrom, Wako Japan, and Lane Crawford Hong Kong.
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A 35-meter tower looming over Gien, France, is the site of a new mural by Taquen that celebrates the inherent life-giving properties of water. Set against a deep blue backdrop, the massive artwork titled “Eau de Loire” features a flock of ospreys, herons, and common terns, which often are spotted near the banks of the Loire River that runs through the area, as they fly around the tank in an endless loop. “Water has always been synonymous with life,” the Madrid-based artist says, noting that the source is as vital to the city’s inhabitants as it is the region’s wildlife.
Broadly focused on change, Taquen’s works explore the complex relationships species have with each other and the larger environment, a recurring theme that manifests in this recent project through the birds’ perpetual motion. “For me, movement is a basic form of knowledge, to get to know myself and my environment and learn to respect it,” he says. “Birds are great symbols of freedom, animals that migrate thousands of kilometers each year with no one who can stop them.”
Taquen just completed a piece in Vigo, Galicia and is headed to Camprovin, La Rioja, Spain next. In September, he’ll be at Mostar Street Art Festival in Bosnia and Eternelles Crapules at Briançon, France, before heading to a residency in Saint Palais and later to Bayona. Follow along his travels on Instagram. (via Street Art News)
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At the heart of Matt Small’s practice is the idea that “there’s always potential within everything.” The British artist gravitates toward an overarching theme of disregard in both subject matter and material, choosing oxidized hunks of iron, bits of patinaed copper, and crinkled aluminum strips that have been relegated to the trash to construct his metallic portraits.
Expressive and emotionally charged, the corroded mosaics link rampant overconsumption and widespread tendencies to throw away what’s deemed obsolete or undesirable to the ways adolescents are marginalized and subsequently not seen as viable members of society. “Because of the social backgrounds they come from, young people find themselves overlooked, disregarded, and left uninvested in,” the artist says. “Marrying the discarded item and painting a portrait of a young person on it or utilizing the material to construct a mosaic face, I hope that the viewer sees that everybody and everything has a right to be viewed as valuable and of worth. It’s just up to us to see that.”
In a conversation with Colossal, Small references Marcel Duchamp’s urinal and the way that readymade sculpture upended long-standing notions of worth as a foundational concept he draws on his own practice. By turning debris and seemingly useless materials into works of significance, he hopes to prompt questions about the arbitrary values assigned to objects and people alike, explaining:
The scrap metal has worth because of what I did with it, not because I say it is of worth. The rusted tin can becomes a tone in the face. The shiny metal brings out a highlight on the forehead. All these worthless items have been incorporated into something that someone may now appreciate, and the potential of this scrap item can now be realized.
Small, who lives in his hometown of Camden, currently has work on view as part of Vanguard, which is considering the role of Bristol-area artists who’ve had an outsized impact on British street art since the 1980s. The extensive exhibition, which includes memorabilia and dozens of originals works, is open at M Shed through October 31. If you’re in London, watch for a large-scale mural portrait of the young British entrepreneur Jamal Edwards that Small is working on in Acton, and follow the artist on Instagram to stay up to date with his latest projects.
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In his brilliantly hued murals, Brazilian artist Thiago Mazza recreates the dense foliage and thick, fleshy petals he encounters in tropical forests and other verdant areas. Prickly thistles, striped leaves, and seemingly endless varieties of flowers spring up in wild masses that crawl down sidewalks and engulf entire buildings.
In a note to Colossal, Mazza shares that all of his large-scale projects start with a carefully arranged photograph of the flora he finds during his forest excursions. “When I photograph the compositions with real plants, I do under a strong natural light so I can capture the light and the shadow, the contrast that I search in my compositions,” he says. The resulting works bring the otherwise remote plants to urban areas, transforming stark facades into lush gardens celebrating nature’s diversity.
Based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Mazza is currently painting an installation in the middle of a field as part of a residency at Campidarte in Sardinia, which rounds out a months-long expedition around Europe where he completed murals in Sintra, Lisbon, and Civitacampomarano. Keep an eye on his Instagram for his upcoming works, which are slated for Foz do Iguaçu, Tbilsi, and Madrid this fall. (via Street Art News)
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Editor's Picks: Illustration
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