Colossal

Membership Update: Colossal is Now Ad-Free for Members

March 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“A Moment of Self Reflection” by Romain Laurent

In the four months since we launched our membership program, hundreds have joined Colossal’s global community of readers who are passionate about visual culture and independent publishing. Since November, we’ve offered our members insight into the creative lives of some of the most interesting voices in contemporary arts, like Susanna Bauer, Brooke DiDonato, and Rob Woodcox.

We’re on track to meet our goal of 1,000 members by the end of 2020, which is also our 10th year publishing. Because of this support, we’re able to offer a new perk: Colossal Members will no longer see banner ads—meaning the site will load faster and with less distraction, letting readers focus on what matters most.

Colossal Members also receive a special monthly newsletter and occasional discounts and early access to events, in addition to perks from our partners at 20×2000, Super Superficial, Create! Magazine, and the Booooooom Shop. Plus, memberships are available as gifts and at a discounted rate for students and educators. Join today to support Colossal and become part of this burgeoning arts community.

 

 



Art Design

Undulating Kinetic Sculpture by Julia Nizamutdinova Mimics Intertwined Infinity Signs

March 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

Artist and designer Julia Nizamutdinova has created a kinetic sculpture that rotates, twists, and turns in a mesmerizing and hypnotic fashion. Made of plastic, aluminum, and steel, INFI is modeled after the infinity sign in its form and movement, constantly crisscrossing and repeating. When illuminated with an LED light, the edges stand out against the sculpture’s fish-shaped body, and the rhythmic, undulating movements become more clear.

Nizamutdinova tells Colossal that her creation is part of a larger project she calls Cyberflora. “They contain a meditative therapeutic effect from the contemplation of smooth hypnotic movements and the beauty of futuristic forms,” she writes. To see more of Nizamutdinova’s work that falls at the intersection of technology, art, and design, head to YouTube and Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Floral-and-Frond Compositions Shape Energetic Wildlife by Raku Inoue

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Whale” (2020). All images © Raku Inoue

Known for his botanical arrangements of beetles, insects, and butterflies, Raku Inoue once again is bringing flora and fauna together. His previous work often positions the animals in stationary poses, resembling a portrait of an owl or a scorpion pinned inside a glass case as part of a collection. The latest pieces in his Natura Wildlife series, though, indicate a liveliness and inclination for movement, from a whale blasting orange flowers from its blowhole to a seahorse grasping a Q-tip.

In an Instagram post, the Montreal-based creative even said he modeled his pink-hued flamingo after Flamingo Bob, the Caribbean bird who was disabled after flying into a hotel window. The artist crafted multiple depictions of the animal as he stares, swims, and mingles with friends, in between his duties as an ambassador for the FDOC, a foundation dedicated to educating locals about wildlife protection. “I thought I would make these images honoring him and his future legacies,” Inoue wrote.

“Staring Bob” (2020)

“Jellyfish” (2020)

“Mingling Bob” (2020)

 

 



Art

Bold Outlines Delineate Expressive Portraits by Agnes Grochulska

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

Oil on canvas, 17 x 19 inches. All images © Agnes Grochulska, shared with permission

Agnes Grochulska imbues her portraits with various emotions but leaves room for the viewer to determine which ones, preferring to create works “in which not everything is fully realized.” In The Outline Series, the Virginia-based artist uses impasto strokes to capture the distinct facial features of her characters, while drawing less attention to the rest of their figures. She finishes each portrait with a bold outline, adding bits of the vibrant blues, purples, and yellows to highlight portions of the face and neck.

While my work is anchored in representation, I try to not only focus on depicting the details of my subject but also try to capture the emotion—the essence of it. That particular ‘something’ that drew me to that subject in the first moment… There is a moment when I look at the painting and feel the emotion is there. This is the moment to step aside and realize the painting is finished.

Grochulska tells Colossal that the outline colors are intuitive and that she chooses them near the end of each piece, often gravitating toward one that either directly compliments or contrasts the rest of the work. “The outline acts as a metaphor here… It also represents the contemporary aspect of the painting in its bold and vibrant expressive character,” she says. “My hope is that the abstract form of the outline adds an emotional weight and highlights the human subject by drawing attention to the portrayed face they frame.” You can find more of the artist’s lively portraits on Instagram.

Oil on canvas, 17 x 19 inches

Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

“Yellow Outline,” oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches

“Yellow Outline,” oil on canvas, 14 x 14 inches

“Red Specs,” oil on canvas, 16 x 16 inches

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Susanna Bauer Examines the Tension Between Strength and Fragility in Her Stitched Leaves

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Susanna Bauer and  Art Photographers, shared with permission

In the latest interview for Colossal Members, Cornwall-based artist Susanna Bauer discusses multiple aspects of her creative process, from how she sources her materials to her relationship to the natural world. In the conversation with our Managing Editor Grace Ebert, Bauer also spoke about her ongoing commitment to honor the environment and the ways she understands the relationship between strength and fragility.

 

 



Art

Intricate Patterns Hand-Carved into Fruit and Vegetables by Takehiro Kishimoto

March 1, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Takehiro Kishimoto

When he’s not cooking them, Japanese chef and food artist Takehiro Kishimoto (previously) is turning fruits and vegetables into intricately carved sculptures too beautiful to eat. Using sharp handheld blades, Kishimoto combines the centuries-old art of Thai fruit carving with the Japanese art of Mukimono to decorate apples, carrots, broccoli, and broad beans with geometric patterns and elaborate designs.

The precision easily could be mistaken for digital photo manipulation were it not for the process videos that Kishimoto shares on his Instagram, where he also writes that he hopes the Thai carving tradition will spread around the world. With more than 284,000 followers watching flowers bloom from stalks and carrots become interlocking chains, we’d say that his hopes already are coming true. To see more of the artist’s handiwork, go ahead and hit that follow button.

 

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A post shared by gaku carving (@gakugakugakugakugaku1) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by gaku carving (@gakugakugakugakugaku1) on

 

 

 



Photography

Nearly 100,000 Images by Harlem Photographer Shawn Walker Acquired by Library of Congress

February 29, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Shawn Walker, “Neighbor at 124 W. 117th St, Harlem, New York” (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Working alongside the Photography Collections Preservation Project, the Library of Congress recently announced that it has acquired nearly 100,000 photographs, negatives, and transparencies by Harlem-based African American photographer Shawn Walker. Depicting the rich culture of the New York City neighborhood, the collection spans nearly six decades from the 1960s to the present and is the first comprehensive archive of an African American photographer to join the national library.

Walker also donated a 2,500-piece collection of audio recordings, images, and ephemera representing the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers established in 1963. Self-identifying as a “fine arts photographer with a documentary foundation,” Walker was born and raised in Harlem and has worked to capture the neighborhood as he sees it.

Portrait of Shawn Walker. Photo by: Jenny Walker

“I look for the truth within the image, the multi-layers of existence and the ironies in our everyday lives,” he said in a statement to PCPP. “Working from a Black Aesthetic, my work tries to speak to everyone. For more than 50 years, I have tried to reflect on the positive aspects of my community and to see the relationships between various communities of color.”

“We are very pleased to celebrate the addition of these two important collections to the Library’s extensive representation of African American life in the United States, from photography’s earliest formats to the present day,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. The New York Times reports that once organized, Walker’s archive will be made available to view via appointment. Some of his photography along with works by 14 other Kamoinge Workshop members will also be exhibited this summer (July-October 2020) at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Shawn Walker, “The Invisible Man Series: Dedicated to Ralph Ellison,” 1990s (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Shawn Walker, “Trick-or-treaters,” ca. 1970s. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Shawn Walker, “African American Day Parade, Harlem, 1989.” (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)