Art

Movement and Instinct Inform Taquen’s Murals of Migrating Birds and Human Touch

July 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Magpies and swifts.” All images © Taquen, shared with permission

Thin, structural lines delineate a magpie wing and contour a child’s nose or cheekbone in Taquen’s murals. Working with a color palette of pastels and neutral tones, the Spanish artist (previously) paints large-scale portraits, fragments of limbs, and birds, often leaving the composition’s skeletal forms visible. “The supports are just as important as the work itself,” he tells Colossal. “I look for camouflage, minimalism, and mixture. In the end, it is also a metaphorical form of the footprint that I believe we should leave in the places we pass through.”

Many of Taquen’s works consider the relationship between species through the lens of movement and impulse, focusing on gesture, touch, and instinctive acts. Birds mid-flight embody the tie between freedom and migration, while bare feet lounging in the grass or a hand grasping a flower channel a desire for physical contact. “I think we are very disconnected, living in parallel with nature, and it is a mistake. We must share it, experience it, live it, and thus we will be able to understand and respect it,” he says.

In the coming months, the artist will be working on murals in Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, France, and Spain, in addition to a conceptual project centered on paths and walking. You can follow those on Instagram.

 

Briançon, France

Detail of mural in Briançon, France

“Discover and learn,” Port of Sagunto, Valencia

Grenoble

Camprovin

“Hold the oak, be a tree for the trees,” Mostar

“Apology for the wild,” Stockholm, Sweden

Madrid. Photo by Gustavo Bulnes

 

 



Art

Systems Evoking Roots and Veins Sprawl Across Raija Jokinen’s Organic Flax Figures

July 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Raija Jokinen, shared with permission

Finnish artist Raija Jokinen (previously) echoes the natural shapes of botanics and anatomy in her elaborately formed figures. The sculptural works are comprised of sprawling webs that appear like both root and vein systems, with flowers and more dense, fleshy patches emerging from an arm or torso. Each piece fuses the physical and mental, Jokinen says, sharing that her “approach is focused on everyday feelings, situations, and thoughts we all have.”

The mesh works are created from flax—Jokinen employs a technique similar to that used for handmade paper—that she dyes and molds into branches, twigs, and other organic forms. She then adds floral and structural details through machine stitching, which also strengthens the otherwise fragile material. “With these methods, I am able to create free forms, like cut-outs, and transparent structures that allow strong shadows on the wall or occupy the space around it,” she says.

Many of Jokinen’s figures shown here are on view as part of a solo exhibition through October 9 at Château de Trévarez in Brittany, and she will also have pieces included in the International Mini Textile Exhibition in Bratislava this November. To see more of her works, check out her site and Instagram.

 

Photo by Philippe Robin

Photo by Philippe Robin

 

 



Art

Two Curtains of 30,000 Prescription Lenses Cast a Distorted Water-Like Glimmer Across a Beijing Gallery

July 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of PIKOU, shared with permission

Suspended from an undulating metal rod, two translucent patchwork curtains of prescription eyeglasses evoke the gleaming shimmer of a waterfall. The disorienting installation is the second in a series of optical works by Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett (previously), who created a smaller kinetic piece centered around the concept of collective vision back in 2015.

Larger in scale and greater in material than the first, “And Between Us, An Ocean” utilizes 30,000 recycled polycarbonate plastic lenses sourced from a Beijing factory and Calgary recycling center. The dual installation bisects a gallery at Times Art Museum and distorts the space as visitors move amongst the glimmering curtains. A pixelated, contorted view emerges through the various prescriptions in each lens, skewing perspectives and proposing questions about the relationship between single and shared vision. Brown and Garrett write in a statement:

What faint ghosts are carried by such intimate objects—windows on the world for the audience of one? How is our shared reality shaped by so many perspectives of the same place and time? Removed from their original purpose, the eyeglass lenses implicate something specific about the mass and scale of our human experience, and the power of our desire to see the world (and each other) more clearly.

“And Between Us, An Ocean” is on view at the Beijing museum through September 12 before it travels to its next location. See the process behind the construction, which happened between Canada and China, and find more of the pair’s ocular works on their site.

 

 

 



Colossal Craft

Join Us for A Colossal Workshop on Paper Scaling with Hollie Chastain

July 25, 2022

Colossal

All images © Hollie Chastain, shared with permission

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based artist Hollie Chastain is known for layering found photographs, book pages, and other ephemera into textured, mixed-media collages. This month, Chastain joins Colossal for a virtual workshop on paper scaling, or the process of cutting small, rounded forms from the humble material. In our session, we will spend an hour learning how to add shadow and dimension to both a solid color and portrait, and attendees will leave with a few additional tips and tricks for future projects.

Registration is open now for the August 20 workshop, and if you’re a Colossal Member, be sure to use the code in your account for $5 off. Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

 

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Sho Shibuya Discusses Ritual, His Impulse Toward Minimalism, and His Love for Ubiquitous Objects

July 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sho Shibuya, shared with permission

Since March 2020, artist and designer Sho Shibuya has fostered a ritualistic creative practice of painting the morning sunrise on the cover of The New York Times, a routine he describes in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. The daily project was born out of lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, although it’s evolved into a broad body of work that transcends the artist’s original intent for the pieces.

The process of flipping through the newspaper, watching the sunrise, and then painting every morning is quite meditative… But I treat the paintings the same as eating or sleeping; a vital part of my daily routine. It’s a little mission for myself, to capture the sunrise every day as a visual diary.

In this conversation, Shibuya speaks with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about the ongoing series and the addition of more sculptural, conceptual works that respond to politics and current events. They discuss his pared-down, measured approach to conveying complex subject matter, the fluctuating relationship between concept and visual, and his fascination with humble, everyday materials.

 

 

 



Craft

Adorably Emotional Creatures Comprise Nosey Mungo’s Playful Ceramic Menagerie

July 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Helen Burgess, shared with permission

In the hands of Helen Burgess, goofy grins, bloated bellies, and eyes wide with surprise turn endangered or overlooked animals into endearing creatures with playfully exaggerated emotions. The British ceramicist, who works as nosey mungo (previously), sculpts quirky renditions of wildlife and other critters—she prefers to focus on conservation issues and species struggling to survive— crafting kooky pufferfish covered in spikes and chicks with tiny beaks poking out from their downy, yellow bodies.

Currently, Burgess is working on a collection of marine wall hangings, and you can follow her progress, along with shop updates and glimpses into her process, on Instagram.

 

 

 

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