“Migration,” acrylic on wood panel, 12″ x 16″
Portland, Oregon-based artist Lisa Ericson blends her hyperreallist painting style with a vivid imagination, resulting in fantastical combinations of plants and animals. Ericson tends to focus on one specific flora/fauna combination at a time, like hybrid mouserflies or coral fish. Her most recent series, Mobile Habitats, highlights turtles that support small ecosystems on their shells. From mossy knolls surrounded by fireflies to gnarled trees leafed with monarchs, each turtle-world evokes a specific time and place.
Ericson chronicles her work on Instagram, where she shares, “these pieces are all about turtles and what they can carry on those amazing half-a-globe shells, and about things that need saving.”
The acrylic-on-panel paintings are featured in her solo show, currently on view at Antler Gallery. All of the originals have already sold, but the gallery is offering a limited edition of 50 full-sized, signed and numbered prints.
“Island,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″
“Carrier,” acrylic on panel, 16″ x 12″
“Raft,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″
“Terrarium,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 12″
“Migration II,” acrylic on panel, 12″ x 16″
Fiber artist Dani Ives conjures the natural world in her unique take on the traditional craft of needle felting. Ives describes her method as “painting with wool,” in which she applies her love of animals and her background in biology to build intricately layered portraits of a variety of flora and fauna.
Dogs, cats, birds, and farm animals come to life alongside toadstools and fruits, and Ives’ ability to capture the moisture and glint of animal eyes and noses adds an impressive degree of realism. While her plant life depictions take more of a traditional botanical angle, most of Ives’s animal subjects take center stage on the embroidery hoop, peering out at the viewer, further adding to the strong sense of unique personality, and it’s no surprise that she is in high demand for pet portrait commissions.
Ives sells originals and prints of her work on Etsy, and she continues her love of teaching by traveling from her home in Northwest Arkansas to lead workshops around the country, as well as offering e-courses in needle felting. You can also follow her work on Instagram.
Bordalo II (previously) has created a series of bisected animals, colorful plastics forming one half of the creature while a combination of wood and metal created a muted mirror on the other side. In one piece the Portuguese artist created a turtle with legs that extend to the ground, appearing to crawl along the side of a a low wall in Moncton, Canada. Other works are more monumental, such as a rabbit that extends two stories in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, and a raccoon that seems to dangle head first from a building in Pittsburgh.
The globally-placed installations are the newest evolution of his series Trash Animals, large public works that address the impact our carelessly tossed waste has on the environment around us. You can observe his process for collecting plastic and other waste, as well as follow more of his recent work, on Instagram.
Italian illustrator Alfred Basha (previously) continues his ongoing project of fusing animal forms with the branches of trees. The popular illustrations have recently been turned into both shirts and prints and you can see more of his recent work on Instagram.
Anja Wulfing adds large animals into the black and white scenes of found vintage photographs, turning the attention away from the somber faces of its subjects and to the creatures that pose quite naturally behind their backs. The surprising inclusions are painted in by Wulfing, and often take the form of birds—such as crows, owls, ducks, and the occasional rooster. The animals either join the members of the photograph or merge with its occupants, sometimes replacing the heads of those posing to create hybrid and humorous creatures.
You can see more of Wulfing’s subtle animal additions on her Instagram and Behance. (via Lustik)
In 2005 Kito Fujio quit his job as an office worker and became a freelance photographer. And for the last 12 years he’s been exploring various overlooked pockets of Japan like the rooftops of department stores, which typically have games and rides to entertain children while their parents are shopping. More recently, he’s taken notice of the many interesting cement-molded play equipment that dots playgrounds around Japan.
The sculptural, cement-molded play equipment is often modeled after animals that children would be familiar with. But they also take on the form of robots, abstract geometric forms and sometimes even household appliances. Fujio’s process is not entirely clear, but it appears he visits the parks at night and lights up the equipment from the inside, but also from the outside, which often creates an ominous feel to the harmless equipment.
Speaking of harmless, the nostalgic cement molds have been ubiquitous throughout Japan and, for the most part, free of safety concerns. That’s because the cement requires almost no maintenance; maybe just a fresh coat of paint every few years. The telephone (pictured below) is evidence of how long ago the equipment was probably made.
The sculptural cement equipment was a style favored by Isamu Noguchi, who designed his first landscape for children in 1933. Many of his sculptural playground equipment can be found in Sapporo but also stateside at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.
Fujio has made his photographs available as part of a series of photobooks (each priced at 800 yen) that he sells on his website. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)