Art

Australian Plants Grow from the Crevices of Jamie North's Living Sculptures

December 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Rock Melt” (2015), cement, blast furnace slag, expanded glass, iron oxide, steel, Australian native plants, 350-550 x 60 x 60 centimeters. All images © Jamie North, shared with permission

Embedded within the eroded cement and marble pillars of artist Jamie North are a host of plants native to Australia. Kangaroo vines, Port Jackson figs, and kidney weeds wrap themselves around steel cables and grow from the crevices of the cracked stone forms, juxtaposing the industrial, human-made sculptures with organic elements. The lush greenery infuses the otherwise dilapidated structures with new life, which elicits a larger theme of regeneration.

In a note to Colossal, North writes that he begins each vertical work with a geometric cast evoking the stately shapes of the tower and column. When complete, the size of the sculptures ambiguously references various architectural elements. “Both tower and column are often associated with progress, triumph, and hubris,” he says. “These associations are addressed in my work by preemptive material erosion making the object conducive to plant sustainment, growth, and eventual merger with the inorganic form.”

View more of North’s living sculptures on his site and Instagram.

 

“Succession” (2016), cement, steel, blast furnace slag, recycled expanded glass, coal ash, oyster shell, organic matter, Australian plants, 400 x 90 and 450 x 90 centimeters. Photo by Ashley Barber, courtesy of Sarah Cottier Gallery

“Succession” (2016), cement, steel, blast furnace slag, recycled expanded glass, coal ash, oyster shell, organic matter, Australian plants, 400 x 90 and 450 x 90 centimeters

“Terraforms” (2014), cement, marble waste, limestone, coal ash, organic matter, and various Australian plants. Photo by Ashley Barber, courtesy of Sarah Cottier Gallery

Left: “Succession” (2016), cement, steel, blast furnace slag, recycled expanded glass, coal ash, oyster shell, organic matter, Australian plants, 400 x 90 and 450 x 90 centimeters. Photo by Ashley Barber, courtesy of Sarah Cottier Gallery. Right: “Rock Melt” (2015), cement, blast furnace slag, expanded glass, iron oxide, steel, Australian native plants, 350-550 x 60 x 60 centimeters

“Terraforms” (2014), cement, marble waste, limestone, coal ash, organic matter, and various Australian plants. Photo by Ashley Barber, courtesy of Sarah Cottier Gallery

“Terraforms” (2014), cement, marble waste, limestone, coal ash, organic matter, and various Australian plants. Photo by Ashley Barber, courtesy of Sarah Cottier Gallery

“Rock Melt” (2015), cement, blast furnace slag, expanded glass, iron oxide, steel, Australian native plants, 350-550 x 60 x 60 centimeters

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

A Caterpillar in the Amazon Rainforest Camouflages Itself as an 8-Legged Tarantula Spider

December 18, 2020

Christopher Jobson

In an exquisite if not terrifying act of self-preservation, the Monkey Slug Caterpillar has evolved to disguise itself as a predator, mimicking the form and color of a Tarantula Spider on its back. Nature photographer David Weiller captured this particular specimen while in the Amazon Rainforest of Puyo, Ecuador. He shares:

This mesmerizing caterpillar mimics a hairy tarantula spider with its oddly long hairy arms curling out. When looking at the underside, it looks like a slug with its suction cups prolegs and its tiny legs. This caterpillar is the larvae of the hag moth.

Weiller shares incredible animal and insect discoveries from rainforests in Ecuador, Malaysia, Madacascar and elsewhere on his YouTube channel. Start with the “Walking Soft Ice Cream Bug” or the Lichen Katydid. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 

 



Art

A Monumental Figure Reveals a Fern-Canopied Tunnel Inside Its Chest in Sculpture by Daniel Popper

December 17, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Thrive, 2020. © Daniel Popper

Cape Town-based artist Daniel Popper has become well-known for his towering sculptures of human figures adorned with or penetrated by thick canopies of foliage. His latest piece titled Thrive stands nearly 30 feet tall and is constructed from 14 tons of glass fiber reinforced concrete. The piece was recently unveiled at Society Las Olas, a residential complex in Fort Lauderdale, and will function as a permanent public art installation at the ground floor. Popper’s work is often more temporary with limited installations at global music festivals like Electric Forest here in the US or Boom Festival in Portugal, where sometimes his pieces take center stage. You can follow more of his work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Dreamy Illustrations by Daniela Gallego Merge Human Experiences with Fantastical Images

December 17, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Colombian illustrator Daniela Gallego takes us on a delightful journey through a world tinged with magic and brimming with plants. Her subdued color palette enhances the effect, firmly planting each of her drawings somewhere between fantasy and reality. The Barcelona-based artist creates works for children’s picture books, editorial, and corporate clients, and produces some of her own prints or calendars that you can request on Facebook. Explore more of her work on Behance. (via Booooooom & Hi-Fructose)

 

 

 



Art Design

Play a Game of UNO with Nina Chanel Abney's New Deck Featuring Her Bold, Energetic Style

December 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mattel, shared with permission

Artist Nina Chanel Abney revitalizes the classic game of UNO with her distinct fragmented figures and bold blocks of color in a new collaboration with Mattel. Straying from the minimal, numbered cards, lively portraits and mirrored personas emblazon the transformed deck. Just like her larger body of work, Abney’s design is brimming with energy and captures the wildly chaotic experience of modern life.

“I wanted the cards to have personality,” Abney shares. “UNO can be such an emotional game, I thought it would be fun to create cards that could speak for themselves and elicit even more of a response from the players than they already are.”

Currently living in New York, the Chicago-born artist is just the third creator involved in the UNO Artiste Series, which launched in 2019 and previously featured the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. In addition to the deck’s aesthetic transformation, Abney also altered the game’s tenets with the addition of a WILD NO. “If someone plays either a Draw 2 or Wild Draw 4 card on you, lay down this card to force them to have to draw the cards instead,” the artist writes on Instagram.

Abney’s deck just launched this week and is available for pre-order in Mattel’s shop. As part of the collaboration, the toy company also will be making a donation to Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.

 

 

 



Art

A Pair of Vibrant, Color-Blocked Murals by Lakwena Transform Two Basketball Courts in Arkansas

December 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

Tucked into the verdant landscape of Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, are two dramatically altered basketball courts primed for play. Commissioned by the women-led curators of Justkids (previously) and OZ Art, the public project was conceived by London-based artist Lakwena, who transformed the outdoor spot into a lively area with her trademark typographic murals.

Basketball jargon covers the patterned court with an arched “Make it rain” demarcating the three-point lines. Creating under a larger theme of unity, Lakwena also referenced iconic poet Maya Angelou, who lived in the state throughout her life. “Bury me down / still I rise” lines the perimeter of the court, with Lakwena’s title of the work, “I’ll bring you flowers,” spelled out on multi-color petals at the center circle.

This community-centered project is the artist’s second in Arkansas and follows a 2017 work at Sebastian County’s Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Smith. Lakwena writes that “I’ll bring you flowers” is an extension of that piece as it looks “at growth and blessing in spite of adversity.” She expands on the idea:

I was really excited to work in a place with a largely Black demographic. It was nice to make an artwork for people that I have a connection to in that respect, especially at what feels like a very significant time for the Black community. The piece is called “I’ll bring you flowers.” Flowers are often used as a way of greeting, paying respect and honor people, and I wanted to honor the community in Pine Bluff.

For more of Lakwena’s vibrant pieces, head to Instagram. Check out this opulent kintsugi court and another angular mural for similarly sports-centered artworks.