animals

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Photography

The View From Down Under: “Under-Cats” Celebrates Cats at a New Angle

March 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Felines at the International Cat Show in Kaunas, Lithuania were already ready for their closeup, but they might not have been expecting these glass-bottomed glamour shots. Photographer Andrius Burba began the shooting at this unique angle in 2015 with cats on a black background. In the intervening years he has documented dogs, rabbits, bicycles, and even horses. The most recent iteration swaps out the black backdrops for bright colors. Burba explains to Colossal that he places each subject on a glass surface (though we’d hazard a guess the horses stood on a sturdier material) and shoots from below, with the backdrop placed above the animal. The resulting photographs show the unique fur, eyes, and personalities of each cat, as they strike poses that convey curiosity, boredom, or annoyance. You can see the full collection from Under-Cats on the Underlook website. Underlook also shares updates on Instagram and Facebook, and offers merch in their online store. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Art

Dazzling Jellyfish, Snakes, and Turtles Glow with a Multitude of Colors in Vibrant Tattoos by Zihee

March 4, 2019

Anna Marks

Eye-popping giraffes, tropical green leaves, and snakes entwined in floral motifs jump out in Korean designer Zihee Tattoo’s ink-based creations. Inked on wrists, elbows, and thighs, Zihee adds a vivid splash of creativity to human skin, emphasizing the vibrancy and delicacy of natural forms. Brimming with every color in the rainbow—including lilacs, crimson reds, and sunflower yellows—Zihee’s work celebrates her interest in nature, while shading together pigments seamlessly. In her leaf tattoos, cool blues flow into luscious greens, reflecting how light manipulates the organic forms’ color as it lands upon them in nature. You can find more of Zihee’s work on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Children and Animals Commune Within Neglected Landscapes in New Paintings by Kevin Peterson

February 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

For several years artist Kevin Peterson (previously) has created paintings that occupy the same fictionalized world. His imagined environments are occupied by children and animals— individuals band together as they navigate depleted urban environments. The works pair the innocence of its subjects against a broken and crumbling world, addressing the various journeys we each take through life.

Recently, Peterson has begun to paint just the animals in these scenes, rather than pairing them exclusively with children. “In my head, it’s the same world,” the Houston-based painter tells Colossal, “the animals and kids just haven’t met up yet. Maybe they’re searching for each other.” His solo exhibition Wild opens at Thinkspace Projects in Culver City, California on March 2, 2019 and continues through March 23, 2019. You can see more of his paintings on his website and Instagram. (via booooooom)

 

 



Photography

Photographer Winnie Au Captures the Unique Personalities of Dogs Adorned in Sculptural ‘Cones of Shame’

February 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs © Winnie Au

Any person who’s been within shouting distance of a dog owner has probably heard the term “cone of shame,” a euphemism for the medically prescribed devices that dogs must sometimes wear. The cones, traditionally uncomfortable and made of stiff plastic, keeps dogs away from their post-surgery stitches or bothersome skin conditions.

Photographer and dog mom Winnie Au sought to flip the narrative on these puppy-eyes-inducing devices by showcasing dogs in a variety of delightfully frilly and fluffy cones. The photo series, Cone of Shame, complements each canine’s body type, fur, and personality with handcrafted cones by costume designer Marie-Yan Morvan.

Au shares with Colossal that the featured dogs were cast from all over New York, as she and Morvan sought to discover interesting looking dogs, and also match canines to pre-existing cone concepts. The pair worked collaboratively to draw from Au’s loose ideas like “sea urchin” or “cotton candy,” and homed in on feasible designs and materials. Textured cones were formed from feathers, egg shells, and straws, and sleek designs were made with faux flower petals and makeup application wedges.

“When I concepted this series, it was meant to be more abstract and less straightforward portraiture,” the photographer explains. “So when I looked at the dogs, I would look at their fur as one element, the backdrop color as another element, and then the cone style would be the final element. The goal was to put the pieces together like an abstract painting and make sure the colors and tones worked in symmetry with each other.”

Au has just released the “Cone of Shame” images in note card format, as part of a Kickstarter campaign that supports Animal Haven’s Recovery Road fund. You can follow Winnie Au and Marie-Yan Morvan on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Cows, Moose, and Camels Contort into Yoga Poses and Other Surprising Positions in Paintings by Bruno Pontiroli

February 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bruno Pontiroli creates mind-bending explorations of the relationship between humans and animals, painting limber cows doing impressive handstands or an over-eager man embracing a large walrus, much to its chagrin. The artist shies away from labeling his work as Surrealist or Dadaist, instead proposing a new version of reality without categorization. Pontiroli will exhibit work with Galerie Klaus Kiefer at art KARLSRUHE from February 21 to 24, 2019 and with Fousion Gallery at Urvanity Art Madrid from February 28 to March 3, 2019. You can peek further inside Pontiroli’s bizarre world of shape-shifting humans and balancing bovines on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

An Extraordinary Time-Lapse Captures the Microscopic Development of a Single Cell into a Newt

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In Becoming, a time-lapse film by Jan van IJken (previously), a single cell splits. Then it splits again, and again, and again, morphing and quivering as new quadrants continually appear and divide. The cell belongs to an alpine newt, and during most of its transition from a single cell zygote to hatched larva it looks remarkably like a sunny-side up egg. The film’s rapid timeline condenses four weeks of growth into six minutes, presenting a speedy and awe-inspiring glimpse at how we all begin.

“I wanted to capture the origin of life,” van IJken tells Colossal. “What is particularly interesting I think, is that the basics of embryonic development are the same for all animals, including us. I think the way we develop is a true miracle. In my film you can see individual cells move to the place where they belong in the embryo. How is this possible? It is all managed by a precise internal clockwork in each individual cell.”

Van IJken used time-lapse photography and video in combination with a trinocular microscope to precisely observe the details of the newt’s development. You can view more of his work, including a trailer for his first film Facing Animals, on Vimeo.

 

 



Art

Flowers Blossom From the Bodies of Wild Animals in New Graphite and Acrylic Works by Nunzio Paci

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bologna-based Italian artist Nunzio Paci (previously) fills his artwork with images that evoke aspects of human knowledge dating back centuries, such as anatomy, botany, and natural medicine. In his works animals are illustrated with lush plants and flowers, elements which seem to grow and thrive straight from their core. Although a touch morbid, the pieces also have a sense of lightness—there is beauty that can be found in rebirth. This fall Paci will be Artist-in-Residence at Lingnan University in Hong Kong where he will teach a Studio Practice course and work on his own projects to prepare for a solo exhibition. You can see more of his anatomical illustrations and paintings on Instagram and Facebook.