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Art

Faces and Fingers Glazed in Celadon Emerge from Surreal Vessels by Canopic Studio

March 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Canopic Studio, shared with permission

Disembodied faces and fingers encircle the surreal vessels created by Canopic Studio, a Los Angeles-based practice helmed by Claire and Curran Wedner. Known for their ceramics that display human anatomy in a repetitious pattern, the husband and wife recently diverged from the black-and-white works previously mentioned on Colossal to create a series entirely in celadon, a jade color with a rich history.

The translucent glaze originated in China and was prominent throughout the country for centuries before being replaced by blue-and-white porcelain. It’s traditionally made with a bit of iron oxide—too little creates a blue color, while too much produces a darker olive or black—and then fired in a reducing kiln at a high temperature.

Curran says he first experimented with the glaze in 2004 as part of a ceramics class and returned to it now after researching cone 10 gas firing and reduction, or the process of decreasing oxygen in the kiln. The resulting pieces shift in color with the light, a trait that dovetails with the studio’s interest in mutable identities and idiosyncrasies that shows up in the shape of their works.

Pieces are created using the same mold to produce similar, but not identical, body parts. When attached in rows on the mug or bowl, the single face or finger becomes one of many, each defined by its slight difference. “I’m interested in identity and how it shifts when we go from being alone to being a part of a crowd,” Curran says. He explains:

I like prodding that space in between, where identity feels almost pliable or molten, then hardens, then shifts again, and so on. When the face I’m using is pulled from a single mold, it has a surreal quality—so identical it’s almost eerie, and all the tiny flaws and differences come forward when they otherwise wouldn’t.

Right now, Canopic Studio is in the process of creating a line of face medallions finished with 22 karat gold. The duo list new pieces bi-monthly on Etsy, and you can keep an eye out for shop updates and see works-in-progress on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Sweeping Gestures of Negative Space and Typography Complete Bronze Works by Jesús Curiá

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Uve” (2020), bronze, 17 7/10 × 15 2/5 × 9 1/10 inches

The bronze sculptures of Spanish artist Jesús Curiá are intentionally ambiguous. Evoking ancient relics, the patina-covered works denote no explicit gender or ethnicity. Instead, the sculptures center on nondescript figures severed by an abstract element or negative space. Whether signaling to another, marching downstairs, or grasping a skirted gown, the slim personas are often in motion. These decontextualized movements offer a glimpse into the modern condition as they fuse the most surreal aspects of experience with the real.

Dive into Curiá’s process, which includes a precise application of acid and fire, in this studio visit, and explore more of his evocative sculptures on Artsy.

 

“Nuntius” (2018), bronze and steel, 67 × 16 × 12 inches

“Sin Fin III/4” (ca. 2016), bronze and steel, 23 3/5 × 10 1/5 × 11 4/5 inches

Left: “Milenium III” (2020), bronze, 42 1/10 × 26 × 6 3/10 inches. Right: “Aire IV” (2013), bronze and iron, 18 9/10 × 7 9/10 × 5 1/2 inches

“Downstair,” bronze and iron, 34½  x 31½ x 8¾ inches

“Cuatro” (2019), bronze, 19 3/10 × 11 2/5 × 4 7/10 inches

“Decisión” (2011) bronze and iron

 

 



Art

Illuminated Figures Consider the Relationship Between the Body and Soul

November 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Vessel of the Universe (Sisidlan ng Kalawakan)” (2020), soldered metal, glass, LED strips, and electrical fittings, 64.5 x 47 x 12 inches. All images © Joshua Limon Palisoc, shared with permission

Joshua Limon Palisoc draws on the tenets of Filipino Psychology to inform his life-sized figures that radiate from the inside. Using mesh-like forms of soldered metal, the artist conveys the idea that the physical body is simply a vessel for the soul. LED lights nestled within the anatomical sculptures emit a warm glow through the seams, blurring the boundary between inner and outer selves.

The illuminated forms shown here are part of Ephemeral Vessels, Palisoc’s first solo show on view through November 29 at Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Philippines. Composed of upright and seated figures, the collection focuses on personality and conscience (loob), the body (labas), and reason (lalim), ideas that the artist gleans from the particular branch of psychology originally helmed by Virgilio Enriquez.

Palisco, who shares insight into his techniques on Instagram, describes his process as ritualistic, noting that each artwork he solders together holds a part of himself that asks viewers to avoid “existing in this world passively.” Instead, he writes, “we should stir and affect others through our own genuine ways.”

 

“Vessel of the Universe (Sisidlan ng Kalawakan)” (2020), soldered metal, glass, LED strips, and electrical fittings, 64.5 x 47 x 12 inches

“Conversations with the Flame (Pakikipagtalastasan sa Ningas)” (2020), soldered metal, LED bulb, and electrical fittings, 64.5 x 60 x 14 inches

“Conversations with the Flame (Pakikipagtalastasan sa Ningas)” (2020), soldered metal, LED bulb, and electrical fittings, 64.5 x 60 x 14 inches

“Whisper from a Spark (Bulong ng Alipato)” (2020), soldered metal, LED bulb and electrical fitting, 64.5 x 33 x 10 inches

“Accepting Transcendence (Pagtanggap sa Lagablab)” (2020), soldered metal, LED bulb, and electrical fittings, 60.5 x 46 x 19 inches

“The Soul’s Journey (Paglalayag ng Kalooban)” (2020), soldered metal and glass, 71 x 64 x 72 inches

 

 



Art

Stainless Steel Roots Sprawl Into Figurative Sculptures by Artist Sun-Hyuk Kim

November 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sun-Hyuk Kim, shared with permission

Just like a tree, the spindly branches that shape Sun-Hyuk Kim’s sculptures extend from a larger, sturdy limb—or in the South Korean artist’s case, neck or spine, too. Kim (previously) creates sprawling artworks that merge human anatomy and the root systems that crawl underneath the earth’s surface. Sometimes painted in neutral tones and others plated in gold, the sculptures are composed of stainless steel that trails out into figurative forms.

Imbued with metaphor, the intricate works consider our existence and their inherent incompleteness, Kim says. The “pandemic in 2020 clearly shows how weak the existence of a human being is,” he writes. “The human force encountered in this era, which has achieved many civilizations and cutting-edge science, reminds us of the collapse of the Tower of Babel, which was built to become like God.”

To follow Kim’s latest projects that explore the connection between people and the natural world, head to Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Food

Insatiable Mouths and Fingers Rouse a Delicate Tea Set by Artist Ronit Baranga

September 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ronit Baranga, shared with permission

Israeli artist Ronit Baranga (previously) embodies voracious appetites by merging anatomical parts, desserts, and serving ware in an evocative ceramic series titled All Things Sweet and PainfulDextrous fingers balance a plate and manage to swipe a bit of frosting from a cupcake. Whether implanted in a fruity pie or a teacup, gaping mouths clamor for a taste of the pastries and stick their tongues out for a taste.

In a statement, Baranga explains that the surreal series is focused on luxurious foods. “The mixed emotions of need and the insatiable hunger for more – more sugar, more attention, more love. There is a constant push against the boundaries of rational consumption, craving the sugar rush, forever tempted to go overboard,” she says.

Baranga has a number of ongoing and upcoming exhibitions scheduled, including at Munich’s størpunkt through October 31 and the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv through 2021. The sumptuous artworks shown here will be on view at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne starting mid-October, and you can browse more of Baranga’s sculptures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Science

Science-Inspired Ink by Michele Volpi Blurs the Line Between Tattoo and Textbook

July 29, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Michele Volpi, shared with permission

One might learn something from staring at the tattoos of Italian artist Michele Volpi (previously). The composition, detailed dot work, and precise lines of his tattoos transcend both ink-infused skin and science textbooks. The Bologna-based tattoo artist relishes in scientific books—from Frank Netter’s painterly medical illustrations to the exquisitely rendered biological specimens and marine life of Ernst Haeckel. He often visits bookshops during his travels to discover and acquire these new sources of inspiration.

Volpi’s customers seek him out to tattoo an array of botany, astronomy, physiology, and chemistry-based compositions. Sometimes customers let him choose the branch of science, in which case he renders his favorite subject—anatomy. Even then, Volpi combines subject matter like in his tattoo comparing the shape of a human pelvis to that of a butterfly or another that features a human skull being stretched absurdly through a wormhole.

The artist tells Colossal that his “dream is to make a scientific book with all of my conceptual scientific illustrations that I love.” View Volpi’s body of work and booking information on Instagram. For those not ready for the permanence of a tattoo, there are prints of his pen-and-ink, anatomical illustrations available in his shop.