From the coral-cloaked Kimbe Bay of Papua New Guinea to the icebergs of Antarctica’s Danco Island, the bisected photographs in David Doubilet’s forthcoming book Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea unveil the diverse ecosystems on either side of the water’s surface. The 128-page volume published by Phaidon features 70 images from Doubilet’s 50-year career spent traveling the globe and pioneering the field of underwater photography.
The curated selection is wide-ranging in date and location, documenting a fuzzy seal pup lounging on a 2011 glacier in Canada, a school of bar jacks swimming in the Grand Caymans back in the 90s, and blacktip reef sharks under a French Polynesian sunset in 2018. “I want to create a window into the sea that invites people to see how their world connects to another life-sustaining world hidden from their view,” Doubilet says.
Share this story
On the edge of the city of Sheboygan in northeast Wisconsin is a new museum nestled into the hillside. Opened earlier this year, the Art Preserve of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is home to 40 artist-built environments, or “spaces and places that have been significantly transformed by an artist to embody and express aspects of their history, place, and culture, their ideas and imagination.” The first of its kind, the spectacular, immersive space is an ode to the artists and their intellectual and creative trajectories, displaying a staggering array of installations, sculptures, paintings, and myriad works across mediums.
Ranging from Emery Blagdon’s suspended kinetic assemblages made of sheet metal, holiday lights, and other found objects to Nek Chand’s troupe of more than 150 mosaic figures, the artworks are eclectic in discipline, scale, and aesthetic. Each of the environments consists of thousands of objects, structural components, and ephemera that form a holistic, comprehensive view of the artist’s life and work. Around the circular pathway winding through Ray Yoshida’s reconstructed Chicago apartment, for example, are ritual masks from New Guinea, printed works, pieces of pop culture from Maxwell Street Market, and notes and letters, offering an intimate glimpse into his diverse collection and personal relationships.
In addition to the environments, the 56,000-square-foot space also houses 11 commissioned responses that included standalone works and projects literally embedded into the preserve’s structure. The Denver-based architecture studio Tres Birds designed the building, although the stairway was completed in collaboration with the late Ruth DeYoung Kohler II and uses concrete pavers that jut out beyond the walls to display a series of “hobo symbols,” or emblems travelers historically used to denote safety. Kohler conceived of the Art Preserve while director of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, where she championed local and international artists and devoted herself to protecting their works and legacies.
Watch the video below for a tour of the expansive space, and dive into the full collection, which includes pieces from sites in Wisconsin, New York City, Mississippi, India, and other global locations, on its site.
Share this story
In his aptly titled series Dancing with Particles, photographer Jean-Yves Lemoigne accentuates the curves of bodies in motion with coiled ribbons, paint-like splashes, and bursts of bright dots. Created digitally with a focus on texture and complementary colors, the sculptural compositions follow the long lines of a leg or erupt from a torso in amorphous swirls, creating an interaction between the often airborne figures and Lemoigne’s CGI additions. You can see the rest of the series and find more from the photographer, who splits his time between New York and Paris, on Behance and Instagram.
Share this story
In her ongoing series Human Nature, Dutch artist Bella Ormseth paints lavish domestic scenes inhabited by central mushroom characters and a cohort of plants and oversized insects. The evocative subjects stem from those the artist encounters around her home in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington and are human-like in their gestures and poses, whether draped over a chair during a nap, embracing over wine and oysters, or staring out the window.
Each of the oil-based pieces is a study of Dutch genre paintings and their light, composition, color palettes, and techniques—Ormseth shares glimpses into her process and longer descriptions of specific references on her site. The ornate, tied-back curtains in “The Nap,” for example, mimic those in Johannes Vermeer’s recently restored “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window,” while “The Conversation” (shown below) works within the subgenre doorkijkje, or look-through, that offers a view of one room while in another, with the intimacy of family bonds present in Pieter de Hooch’s “The Bedroom” and “A Woman with a Child in a Pantry” apparent, as well.
Although the works glean elements common in the Dutch Golden Age, Ormseth veils each with contemporary contexts, including the pandemic-induced loneliness that exudes from the character in “Waiting by the Window.” She explains further in a statement:
Dutch genre paintings, with their depiction of everyday scenes of ordinary life, marked a significant turning point in Western art, away from biblical and historical subjects. It stirs me to see this elevating of domestic life to a subject of art—of seeing not only beauty but something profound in the everyday business of life… While I look to history for guidance, my paintings depict my own time. The idea for a painting always starts with an emotional response to something that is happening in the world, either in my own life or the world at large.
“The Nap” is currently on view through October 2 at Copro Gallery, and Ormseth is working on another Human Nature piece for a January group show at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle. She’s also starting new series about an adventurous group of women in the 1920s and their connection to the intertidal life of the Salish Sea, which you can follow on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
Share this story
Complementing his series of raw wool portraits, Iranian artist Salman Khoshroo shapes chunks of dyed fibers into expressive busts. The figurative sculptures capture an array of emotions and vary in abstraction, sometimes using aqua rovings for lips and eyelids and others remaining more faithful to a subject’s features. Whether an intimate self-portrait or mischievous character outfitted with jackal teeth, the pieces are evidence of Khoshroo’s perceptive, nuanced practice. “Constructing the face with transparent layers of thinned wool creates depth, much like glazing in painting,” he writes about his process. “I make self-portraits regularly about one every year. This one is the first sculpture and has a unique presence. (It) reminds me of my own mortality.”
Khoshroo recently moved from Tehran to London to study at Goldsmith’s University, and you can follow his work, which includes impasto portraits and other fiber-based sculptures, on Instagram.
Share this story
Tainted with Manufactured Objects, Slime Molds and Spores Grow Into Unnaturally Striking Compositions
Moscow-based artist and mold enthusiast Daria Fedorova intervenes in natural decomposition processes, accentuating textures and colors and pushing the boundaries of science and art. The artist, who works as Dasha Plesen, laces petri dishes with various bacterias and other organisms before placing extra elements like fluffy balls, sugars, and sprinkles in the container. These manufactured additions impede the growths to produce myriad shades and structures and cultivate otherworldly compositions of unnaturally saturated colors, patches of fuzz, and flared coils of slime all within in a single vessel.
Forgoing antibiotics or other treatments that would save the fungi and spores from ruin, Plesen’s works take between three and four weeks to materialize. She tells Colossal that the ongoing project began with “the idea of microbiological mapping of our surroundings,” explaining:
We are all swimming in the ocean of tiny spores and organisms, breathing them in, and carrying them on the top of our skin and inside the body. I was interested in this parallel between the physical world we can see and touch and also another physical world, which also presents, but is kind of metaphysical, invisible, somewhere between the air layers, vibrations, energies, nature.
Whether displaying stacked rows of spores or a bubbly rim, the resulting studies are ripe with questions about human imposition, the artificial, cyclical processes, and the inherent beauty of decay. Explore a larger collection of Plesen’s works on Behance and Instagram. (via Trendland)
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Science
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.