Art

Artist Seamus Wray Paints a Dizzying Series of Portraits of Himself Painting Portraits of Himself

July 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Seamus Wray, shared with permission

Channeling M.C. Escher and the Droste effect, more broadly, a Chicago-based artist has been painting portraits of himself painting portraits of himself. Seamus Wray, who’s appeared in a similar project shared on Colossal, began with a single representation (shown above) and mirrored his pose in a photograph of the work. He then repeated that process five times, which resulted in a recursive, mixed-media series that changes slightly with each iteration—two cats make an appearance in the final portraits.

Wray hopes the potentially infinite project begs the questions, “What comes next? Another painting. Are we all just living in a painting? What if this is a painting, within a painting?… I have painted hundreds of self-portraits over the years, and this seemed to be a natural progression from those, as I seem to be going mad painting myself, painting myself,” he tells Colossal.

Much of Wray’s work is centered on internet culture and media, and he frequently paints bright, saturated depictions of memes and iconic characters from various television shows and movies, many of which he shares on Instagram. The artist also sells prints and other goods with his work on Threadless. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Photography

Rare Black Panther Shadows His Leopard Mate in Incredible Shot by Photographer Mithun H

July 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Eternal Couple.” Image © Mithun H, shared with permission

Since 2014, wildlife filmmaker and photographer Mithun H has been pining for sightings of Saya, a black panther that’s been eluding his admirers in the Kabini Forest in India for years. After camping out in the area for six days, the photographer captured a stunning image of the mysterious animal shadowing his leopard partner, Cleopatra.

Mithun H notes that the couple have been together for four years and have an atypical relationship for the species. “Usually in the courting pairs generally it is the male who takes charge and moves around with the female following close behind. But with this couple, it was definitely Cleo who was in charge while the panther followed,” he wrote on Instagram.

This isn’t the photographer’s first experience with the rare cat, either. He previously worked with National Geographic Wild on The Real Black Panther, which follows Saya’s life. “It’s been a passion and a beautiful journey in the woods of Kabini,” the photographer says. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art

Gradients of Thick Petals by Artist Joshua Davison Are Layered Precisely with a Palette Knife

July 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Blue Hydrangea.” All images © Joshua Davison, shared with permission

Joshua Davison’s three-dimensional hydrangeas and other blooms began as an exploration of color theory. “As my thought process and work has developed, these flower studies have evolved into a complex balancing act between symmetry, saturation, and contract,” he tells Colossal.

Based in New Zealand, the 23-year-old artist has honed his process, allowing him to produce thick-petaled flowers with a single palette knife. He uses a combination of oil and acrylic paints and builds them up in layers on a solid canvas to create each sculptural piece. Always sticking to a tight color palette, Davison sometimes utilizes precise gradients to capture every shade of blue and purple.

The artist sees a strong tie between art and nature and strives to be incredibly realistic. At this stage in his practice, Davison is focused on mastering form and methods.  “I develop most of my techniques exempt from external influence,” he says. “We are so saturated with content of all kinds that I think in some ways it can stunt our creativity. I think it’s so important to consistently disconnect and explore concepts in your own mind.” While he considers nature to be art’s foundation, his details his approach to originality as follows:

As a traditional painter, I also think it can seem as though we live in a world where everything’s already been done. I believe the term original is very loosely thrown around these days and that true originality is incredibly rare but something that can be worked towards and earned. The prospect of one day achieving truly original work is the single biggest motivator for me as an artist.

Some of Davison’s vibrant blossoms are on view at Flagstaff Gallery through July 26. If you’re not in New Zealand, head to Instagram to keep up with his latest projects. (via My Modern Met)

 

 

“Gray Flower Wheel”

“Black Flower Wheel”

 

 



Animation Art

Digital Sculptures Visualize Chirps of Amazonian Birds in a Responsive Artwork by Andy Thomas

July 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Based on an audio recording from a 2016 trip to the Amazon, Australian artist Andy Thomas interprets birds’ trills, squawks, and coos through an animated series of digital sculptures. An extension of a previous project, “Visual Sounds of the Amazon 2” is an abstract rendering composed of bursting dots, billowing fog, and flashes of amorphous forms that correspond to the avian sounds. With each chirp, the fleeting masses contort, grow, and disassemble into a new, vibrant form.

Many of Thomas’s projects explore the intersection of technology and nature, and he tells Colossal that he sees “computers as a hyper extension of evolution.” He expands on the idea by saying:

Humans are changing the biodiversity of the natural world and gradually replacing it with digitized versions, like echoes of the past. I am fascinated with the idea of generating digital art that references the beauty and complexity of nature. I hope this piece will encourage people to research the many amazing varieties of birds that call the Amazon home, and remind us of how fragile and important this place is to us all.

The artist ascribes “Visual Sounds of the Amazon 2” a more urgent context, as well. “This series is dedicated to the people of Brazil and the ecosystem of one of the world’s most amazing forests. The Amazon is known as the lungs of the world and is under constant and ongoing threats of deforestation,” he writes in a statement about the animated project.

Find more of Thomas’s visual explorations on Instagram and Vimeo, and check out the sprawling digital creations he has available as prints in his shop.

 

 

 



Art

Bright Elephants Squeeze Into Their Surroundings in Site-Specific Murals by Artist Falko One

July 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Everybody wants to be down with the dude on top the stairs” (2019), Cape Town, South Africa. All images © Falko One, shared with permission

For decades, Falko One (previously) has been transforming blank staircases and piles of refuse around South Africa into homes for his technicolor elephants. Despite their striking hues, each mural is site-specific, allowing it to blend in with the facades and surrounding environments. The artist might position the trunk along a ventilation duct or the torso atop cinder blocks and crates, creating an optical illusion within his vivid murals. “My approach is just to add a bit of color to the space without breaking the scenery,” he tells Colossal. “I try not to make them too intrusive. I always respect that for that moment I am just a tourist to that specific community.”

Generally, the artist finds viewers are drawn in by the colors before considering the ways the elephant bends and conforms to the structured space. “The value for me is listening to the debate about it. At that moment, there are no wrong or right answers. What better way to get people to discuss something without telling them to discuss it. It’s not a formal discussion on the street but playful, honest banter. I like that the most,” he notes.

Often sharing his latest murals on Instagram, the artist’s motivation for painting the massive pachyderms is simple and about accessibility. “Everyone loves an elephant,” he says.

 

“Evergreen” (2018), Cape Town, South Africa

“Brick Ross” (2020), Cape Town, South Africa

“Broke back boat” (2019), Praia, Cape Verde Islands

“Heavy metal” (2019), Johannesburg, South Africa

“Homestead” (2016), Nkandla, South Africa

“Perioscope” (2019), Johannesburg, South Africa

“Welcome home” (2016), Coffee Bay, South Africa

“What have you done for me lately” (2019), Cape Town, South Africa

“Wheel of fortune” (2019), Praia, Cape Verde Islands

 

 



Design

Japan’s New Kadokawa Culture Museum is Housed in an Angular, Granite Structure Designed by Kengo Kuma

July 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Kadokawa Culture Museum

Slated to open in the next few weeks, the new Kadokawa Culture Museum in Japan is situated within a starkly designed structure by architect Kengo Kuma (previously). Appearing pixelated, the facade is formed with 20,000 individual pieces of granite, and the polyhedron-shaped building is broken up into five floors, including a garden, art gallery, two museums, and a cafe. The most alluring feature is the bookshelf theater, an eight-meter-high library that holds around 50,000 titles. On level four, the multifunctional space can be transformed into a performance venue through projection mapping.

Located west of Tokyo, the museum is part of the larger Tokorozawa Sakura Town complex, which includes an anime hotel, an outdoor space lined with cherry trees, an indoor pavilion, shrine, shops, and restaurants. An exhibition dedicated to Kuma will mark the museum’s launch, although a definitive schedule for public visits hasn’t been released due to concerns about COVID-19. To follow Kuma’s architectural projects and updates on Kadokawa’s full opening, head to Instagram. (via designboom)