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Amazing Photography

Stop and Smell the Flowers: Dick van Duijn Captured a Squirrel’s Floral Delight

September 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Dick van Duijn, shared with permission of the artist

This summer, while traveling in Vienna, Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn captured an indelible moment of natural connection between a ground squirrel and a yellow flower. The photographer was in Vienna specifically to document ground squirrels. In an interview with PetaPixel van Duijn explained, “On the first day we observed them and their behavior. On the second day, we photographed them the whole day. In the evening just before sunset, when the light became soft and nice, one of the many ground squirrels walked towards the yellow flower and began to hold it and sniff it.” You can purchase prints of this and other flower-enamored squirrel’s in van Duijn’s online store, and see more of his work and travels on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art

Hybrid Creatures with Oversized Eyes Reflect Imagined Landscapes in Surreal Paintings by Haoto Nattori

September 15, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Japanese artist Naoto Hattori imagines small fluffy animals with healthy doses of fantasy and some unnatural hybridization. The painted creatures often feature round heads and disproportionately large and reflective eyes. Cat-birds with mushrooms growing on their furry heads and other mashup beasts toe the line between whimsical and eerie thanks to large eyes that reveal unseen forests and landscapes.

These acrylic paintings are small, typically measuring less than 3 inches by 3 inches when unframed. The artist’s style has been labeled as pop surrealist, but Hattori says it’s just what he sees in his mind. Hattori tells Colossal that he has been drawing eyes since he was three years old. “When I closed my eyes, I could see a colorful eye like a mandala and it kept changing shape like a kaleidoscope. I drew hundreds of the eye images. Back then, I was thinking that it was something everyone could see.”

Hattori continued painting eyes as he got older and earned a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. The creatures in the paintings are avatars for the artist entering the world of his imagination.

I’m not particular about surrealism, but I like to draw an image which can’t be expressed in words, such as feelings, thoughts, and emotions in my mind. The eye feels like an entrance to the world of visionary memories. I often paint a piece which visualizes myself as a hybrid creature entering the visionary world. The images are twisted but it feels like meditation and calms me down.

Naoto was born in Japan, moved to New York to study art, and has shown in galleries around the world, including Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, Corey Helford in Los Angeles, and Modern Eden in San Francisco. Prints of many of his animals paintings are available to purchase directly from the artist’s online store. To look into the eyes of more of Naoto Hattori’s hybrid creatures, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Murderous Hippos, Thirsty Birds, and Snoozing Seals are Highly Commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

September 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Touching Trust” by Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

Photographers from around the world submitted their best snapshots of wildlife for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London and now in its fifty-fifth year, the showcase received over 48,000 submissions from 100 countries for the 2019 edition. All photographs shown here were designated as highly commended across a range of categories including plants and fungi, mammal behavior, wildlife photojournalism, and more. Winners will be announced on October 15 and photographs can be viewed in person at the Museum between October 18, 2019 and May 31, 2020. You can also follow the annual contest on Instagram and Facebook.

“Big Cat and Dog Spat” by Peter Haygarth, U.K.

“Cool Drink” by Diana Rebman, U.S.A.

“Last Gasp” by Adrian Hirschi, Switzerland

“The Freshwater Forest” by Michel Roggo, Switzerland

“The Climbing Dead” by Frank Deschandol, France

“Sleeping Like a Weddell” by Ralf Schneider, U.S.A.

“Beach Waste” by MatthewWare, U.S.A.

“Jelly Baby” by Fabien Michenet, France

“Lucky Break” by Jason Bantle, Canada

 

 



Art

Finely Wrought Metal Flowers and Leaves Form the Bodies of Mammals and Birds in Sculptures by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Taiichiro Yoshida’s metal sculptures (previously) are so meticulously crafted and impossibly delicate that one could be forgiven for thinking they are digital renderings. However, Yoshida is an accomplished metalsmith who uses silver, bronze, and copper to form the leaves, flowers, and butterflies that cover the bodies of each mammal or bird. Every petal, leaf, and wing is hand-formed, with the coloration created by heating and cooling the metals at specific temperatures. The 29 year-old Japanese artist earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in metal carving at Tokyo University the Arts. He has exhibited widely and most recently had a solo exhibition at Gallery Kogure in Tokyo. See more of Yoshida’s sculptures on the artist’s website.

 

 



Art Illustration

Mountains and Rivers Merge with Feathers and Fur in Sujay Sanan’s Finely Detailed Watercolor Paintings

September 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Watercolor artist Sujay Sanan (previously) continues to build his “A Place I Know” series, which melds flora and fauna in delicately rendered paintings. Hummingbirds and whales, owls and tigers, and other land and sea-dwelling animals form the outlines for snippets of natural landscapes. To further enhance the naturalistic feeling of his paintings, Sanan often documents each work in the outdoors, framing the painting with the colors and textures used in its composition.

With a degree and career in graphic design, Sanan began working on fine art projects in 2013, when he moved to South Africa from the Himalayas, and now focuses almost exclusively on his art practice. Originals and limited edition prints are available on the artist’s website.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Photographs of Animals and Architecture are Sliced and Rearranged into Bizarre Collages by Lola Dupre

August 27, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Spain and Scotland-based collage artist Lola Dupre (previously) continues to surprise and delight with her unusual composite images. Rather than incorporating unique individual collage elements that contrast with each other, Dupre works with repetition and duplication to build bizarrely proportioned pets, buildings, and human figures. By layering and off-setting shards of the same photo in a sort of visual syncopation, Dupre stretches and bends otherwise familiar subjects into surreal images.

The artist recently exhibited work in the show “The Age of Collage 2” at Feinkunst Krueger gallery in Hamburg, Germany, and currently has a piece in “Lunacy” at Prescription Art in Brighton, U.K. You can see more of Dupre’s collages on Instagram and tumblr, and peruse originals and prints in her online store.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Driftwood Animals and Beach Homes by Kirsty Elson Give New Life to Elements From the Sea

August 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Multi-media artist Kirsty Elson uses the bits of driftwood, shells, and other seaside scraps in her home in Cornwall, England to produce unique sculptures that imitate the surrounding seaside homes. Elson recreates the quaint cottages with minimal paint, utilizing bottle caps for lighthouse roofs, rusted nails for chimneys, and metal washers for decorative lifesavers. “The great thing about driftwood is that each piece is very different,” she explains in an interview with Studio Wallop on her website. “I tend to let the materials lead me, rather than having an idea in my head and trying to find a piece to fit my idea… I let the materials do the work really.” The artist studied illustration and printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. You can see more of her reclaimed sculptures on Instagram. (via #WOMENSART)

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Sailing Ship Kite