Art

Outlandish Cat High-Jinks Become Adorable Miniatures Sculpted by Meetissai

December 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Meetissai

Fluffy catpuccinos, stealthy shorthairs squeezed into bizarre positions, and gymnastics-prone tabbies: Inspired by the real life antics of feline companions, Meetissai crafts tiny sculptures that preserve the ridiculous, most charming moments of cat life—these include fluffy characters flattened like rugs and cartoon-like distortions—as adorable miniatures. The artist often references popular memes and glitched photos, skewed perspectives, and serendipitous timing to craft the fantastically posed animals, and you can find an entire menagerie of epoxy creatures on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Dance History Photography

Dances and Branches: Colossal's Most-Read Stories of 2021

December 29, 2021

Colossal

We spent the last year collaborating with creatives from every corner of the planet to publish nearly 700 articles and interviews that range from art, design, and photography to science and history. As we plan our coverage for 2022, we’re looking back at some of the stories you read most (thank you!). And in case you missed it, make sure you check out Colossal’s favorite short films and books from 2021, too.

 

Nine Massive Waves of Deadwood Surge Across a Forest Floor Near Hamburg

Between November 2020 and March 2021, Jörg Gläscher gathered deadwood and constructed nine massive crests that overwhelm the forest floor in undulating layers of branches and twigs.

 

Mammoth Straw Creatures Populate Japanese Farmland in the Annual Wara Art Festival

Enormous tarantulas, eagles, and dinosaur-like creatures occupy Japan’s Niigata Prefecture as part of the Wara Art Festival, a summertime event that displays massive animals and mythical creations fashioned from the rice crop’s leftover straw.

 

An Intimate Photographic Series Glimpses the Lives of the Children Who Fish in Ghana’s Lake Volta

Photographer Jeremy Snell unveils the more sinister side of Ghana’s Lake Volta through an intimate and profound series documenting the lives of the children working in the region.

 

‘Beneath the Bird Feeder’ Documents the Spectacular Wildlife Visiting a Wintertime Food Source

During the winter months of late 2020 into early 2021, Carla Rhodes photographed a diverse cast of cold-weather adventurers, including a brilliant northern cardinal, numerous pairs of mourning doves, and furry little field mice, that visited her birdfeeder.

 

Impasto Marks and Thick Dabs of Paint Render Dreamy Landscapes in Rich Layers of Color

Russian artist Anastasia Trusova works in a style she terms “textured graphic impressionism” that involves deftly layering acrylic paints into lush foliage, clouds, and fields of wildflowers.

 

A Restored Vermeer Painting Reveals a Hidden Cupid Artwork Hanging in the Background

2021 changed the way we understand a 17th-century painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. What was once thought to be a somewhat glum depiction of a young girl was revealed to be an amorous portrayal complete with a naked Cupid in the background.

 

Cheeky Busts by Gerard Mas Are Sculpted with a Contemporary Twist

The women artist Gerard Mas sculpts are spirited and unconventional as they blow a wad of bubblegum, sport visible tan lines, or unabashedly dig in their noses. Each corset-clad figure is steeped in humor and wit as it casts a contemporary light on the traditional form.

 

Herds of Life-Sized Elephants Roam Through London’s Parks for a Global Conservation Project

Sixty migrating elephants passed between Piccadilly and Buckingham Palace in London’s Green Park earlier this year as one of nine herds roaming throughout the city. The lumbering creatures are part of a collaboration that explores how humans can better live alongside animals.

 

Ceramic Mosaics Mend Cracked Sidewalks, Potholes, and Buildings in Vibrant Interventions by Ememem

Throughout his home city of Lyon, Ememem is known as “the pavement surgeon” because he repairs gouged sidewalks with colorful mosaics.

 

A Mesmerizing Dance Performance for the Paralympics Hand-Off Ceremony Choreographed by Sadeck Waff

As part of a closing hand-off ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, choreographer Sadeck Waff worked with 128 performers in a dizzying performance focused on arms and hands.

 

Chicago’s Manual Cinema Reveals How Its Shadow Puppets Became a Defining Feature of the New ‘Candyman’

Nia DaCosta’s Candyman is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history and draws in local artists, like the talented team at Manual Cinema. Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson interviewed co-artistic director Drew Dir when the film was released to discuss the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets in a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and conveying a story of racism and trauma.

 

 



Art

Human Anatomy and Decomposing Flora Unveil a Surreal Mix of Dreams and Feelings in Rafael Silveira's Portraits

December 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rafael Silveira, shared with permission

In Rafael Silveira’s Unportraits, magenta curls and slick, turquoise coifs frame the bizarre scenarios unfolding in a subject’s mind. The Brazilian artist, who gravitates towards oil paints in shades of pink and blue, translates a character’s psyche through wilting flowers, gashes in the earth’s surface, and parrots with feathers that drip like wet paint. Anatomical elements like singular eyes, hearts sprouting veins, and twisting brain matter bolster the unearthly qualities of each work, which meld flora and fauna into a surreal mishmash. “From inside, we are a strange mix of dreams, thoughts, feelings, and human meat,” Silveira tells Colossal. “I think these portraits are not persons but moods.”

Peculiar situations surround the subjects as their sweaters melt like ice cream and spiders spin webs from the parched ground supplanting their necks, a visual that evokes thick wrinkles associated with aging. These fleeting actions are part of the artist’s reference to paper ephemera and the ways thoughts and feelings decompose over time. “This rich mental energy is like an invisible raw element, part of the immaterial alchemy of my works,” he says. “We can’t control what life brings us, but we can decide how to react. We make these small decisions all the time. These characters evoke the power of reaction.”

Silveira is based in Curitiba, Brazil, and has his work slated for a January group exhibition at London’s Dorothy Circus Gallery and in March in an immersive solo show at Farol Santander in São Paulo. Until then, pick up a print and keep an eye on his Instagram for new additions to his portrait series, which will be on view in July at Choque Cultural Gallery.

 

 

 



Art

Marked with Pattern and Texture, Hula's Murals Appear to Emerge from the Sea

December 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sean Yoro, shared with permission

To paint his murals, Sean Yoro, aka Hula, yields to the shifting tides of the ocean. The Los Angeles-based artist (previously) paddles out to underpasses and concrete barriers only accessible by water where he balances on a surfboard with a minimal number of supplies—all paints, brushes, and other materials have to fit within the 10-foot space. There he renders portraits of women half-submerged in the sea and singular hands that appear to burst from the surface. “I had to learn not only a faster and more efficient way to paint while on a surfboard but also blending layers together needed to be able to adapt to the tides and other variables that might restrict certain areas of the wall,” he shares.

The visibility of Yoro’s large-scale works shifts depending on the water level, allowing the celestial patterns that mark his subjects’ faces or splotches of paint on their backs to peek through. “I loved incorporating more surreal elements to my painted figures—always trying to balance the water and concrete aesthetics,” he says.

In addition to his seaside murals, Yoro also paints smaller works on canvas and occasionally sells limited-edition prints in his shop. You can follow his latest projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

Elaborate Designs by Mitsuru Nikaido Transform Animals and Insects into Complex LEGO Robots

December 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Mitsuru Nikaido, shared with permission

Kurashiki-based builder Mitsuru Nikaido reimagines marine life, insects, and land animals as mechanical, robot-like characters built entirely with LEGO. Using his signature palette of gray and white bricks and unique parts, Nikaido creates spring-loaded limbs for walruses, a gecko tail capable of swinging toward its body, and spiders that appear like they could scurry away on hinged legs. The semi-articulate specimens shown here are just a few of the designer’s elaborate mecha sculptures, more of which you can find on Flickr and Instagram. (via Steampunk Tendencies)

 

 

 



Photography

Arresting Photos Capture the Magical Fairytale-Like Landscapes of the Faroe Islands

December 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Lazar Gintchin, shared with permission

Photographer Lazar Gintchin likens the luxuriant fields, jewel-toned waters, and perpetual mist that hangs over the Faroe Islands to the dreamy, otherworldly environments of Middle Earth. “A magical valley with crisscrossing slopes creates a landscape that one might take for a Hobbit Land,” he says. “It is vibrant and powerful. It is the kind that you would see in a movie or in a fairytale.” In a striking photo series, Gintchin captures the ethereal qualities of the North Atlantic archipelago in an enchanting look at the lush, moss-covered cliffs, icy inlets, and small cabins occupying the region. See some of the stunning shots here, and shop prints on his site.