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Photography

Hapless Hangups and Silly Spoofs Abound in the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

January 5, 2023

Kate Mothes

A photograph of an animal with a bird behind it so that it appears as though it has wings.

Highly Commended Winner, “Pegasus, the flying horse” © Jagdeep Rajput and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Since its inception in 2015, submissions to the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (previously) have captured some of nature’s most hapless and humorous moments. In this year’s contest, the overall winner was Jennifer Hadley’s timely snap of a 3-month old lion cub tumbling down a tree, taken in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Hadley shared that she and her travel companions had been watching the cub in the tree for some time. “It didn’t even occur to me that he would make a go of getting down by himself in the most un-cat like fashion. I mean, how often do cats fall out of trees?” she says.

In this year’s juried contest, 5,000 entries from 85 countries amounted to fierce competition, showcasing “seriously funny” images in an effort to highlight the diversity of the world’s wildlife and raise awareness of the need for conservation. In partnership with the Whitley Fund for Nature, the contest contributes 10% of revenue toward conservation efforts in countries across the Global South.

See a gallery of all winning images on the competition website, and if you would like to enter your own images for consideration in the 2023 contest, applications are now open.

 

A photograph of a lion cub falling out of a tree.

Overall Winner and Serian & Alex Walker’s Creatures of the Land Award, “Not so cat-like reflexes” © Jennifer Hadley and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Two penguins on a shoreline. One appears to be telling the other one to "talk to the hand."

Affinity Photo 2 People’s Choice Award, “Talk to the Fin” Image © Jennifer Hadley and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Left: Two kangaroos at sunset on a beach appear as if one is swinging the other one around by its feet. Right: Two meerkats play together; one appears to strangle the other.

Highly Commended Winners. Left: “It’s all kicking off!” © Michael Eastway and Comedy Wildlife 2022. Right: “I’m gonna strangle you” © Emmanuel Do Linh San and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of two penguins standing side-by-side, one without a head.

Highly Commended Winner, “Keep calm and keep your head” © Martin Grace and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Two fish get up close and personal to the camera lens.

Creatures Under the Water Award, “Say Cheeeeeeese” © Arturo Telle and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of a heron and a hippo. The hippo has its mouth open wide and looks like it will eat the heron whole.

Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award, “Hippo and Heron” © Jean Jacques Alcalay and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of a small owl winking from inside a pipe.

Junior Award, “ICU” © Arshdeep Singh and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of a raccoon in a snowy landscape that looks like it is waving to the viewer.

Highly Commended Winner, “Hello everyone” © Miroslav Srb and Comedy Wildlife 2022

 

 

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Photography

Photographer Masayuki Oki Focuses a Humorous Lens on Japan’s Feline Residents

December 9, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of a motorized scooter with two cats sitting in the seat, appearing as if they will drive it.

All images © Masayuki Oki, shared with permission

The archipelago of Japan consists of more than 6,800 islands, of which around 280 are inhabited, and in a few places, known as neko-shima or “cat islands,” felines vastly outnumber the human residents. Fishing villages like the one on Aoshima, the most well-known of around a dozen cat islands, introduced the creatures in the early 20th century to combat rodent infestations. Their prolific progeny, perched on walls and scampering underfoot, have been a continuous source of fascination for photographer Masayuki Oki.

For the past eight years, Oki has documented clowders of cats in his home city of Tokyo and on islands around the nation, focusing on the feral animals’ interactions. Viewed through a an anthropomorphic lens, the images capture playful pounces and awkward entanglements with humor and a knack for good timing.

You can follow Oki’s feline adventures on his blog and Instagram. He releases annual calendars featuring some of the year’s best photographs, and he also updates a YouTube channel with short videos of furball shenanigans.

 

A photograph of two cats, one walking in the foreground and the other looking about ready to attack its mate.

A photograph of a black cat climbing down a vending machine full of drinks.

A photograph of two cats sitting on a box, one massaging the other's back.

A photograph of a cat carrying a fish in its mouth.  A photograph of a cat grabbing at a dog's leash in the street.

A photograph of a black-and-white cat playing with a flower in a pot.

A photograph of a black cat embracing or attacking a white cat.

A white cat sitting on the top of the wall, meowing at the photographer. A photograph of two cats, one with its paw on the shoulder of the other.

 

 



Art

Animals of Translucent Botanics Center in Molly Devlin’s Ethereal Portraits

November 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

A painted portrait of a deer comprised of delicate foliage

All images © Molly Devlin, shared with permission

In her exquisitely rendered portraits in acrylic, artist Molly Devlin instills an aura of dreamlike mystery. She shapes the likeness of a deer or snail from layers of translucent florals and foliage: stacked leaves splay outward like the fur of a cat’s face, fronds and wispy tendrils billow from the bulbous head of a jellyfish, and mycelium cloaks a small bird in delicate webbing. Through the fantastical, gossamer compositions, Devlin prods the ephemeral nature of existence and explores various facets of the unknown. “I’ve always been fascinated by the mysteries beyond life and death, the unexplainable offers infinite inspiration to me,” she shares.

Devlin, who is based in Sacramento, is currently preparing for an upcoming group exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery, and she also has shows slated for next year at Revolution Gallery and Arch Enemy Arts. Find prints and original paintings in the artist’s shop, and watch her at work on Instagram.

 

A painted portrait of a cat comprised of delicate foliage

A painted portrait of a jellyfish comprised of delicate foliage

A photo of a framed painted portrait of a bird comprised of mycelium

A photo of a framed painted portrait of a snail comprised of mycelium

A detail of a painted portrait of a deer comprised of delicate foliage

A photo of a framed painted portrait of a jellyfish made of foliage

 

 



Photography

Vital Impacts Launches a Winter Print Sale with Photos from Jane Goodall, David Doubilet, and Beth Moon to Raise Money for Conservation

November 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a fox

Konsta Punkka, “Intensity.” All images © the artists, courtesy of Vital Impacts, shared with permission

Within its first year, the woman-led nonprofit Vital Impacts raised $1,500,000 for conservation and humanitarian efforts through print sales from dozens of lauded photographers. The organization, which is led by Ami Vitale and Eileen Mignoni, just announced its latest initiative that features 145 stunning images and composites capturing the stunning breadth of the natural world. Included in this collection are hand-signed portraits from Jane Goodall and works from multiple artists previously featured on Colossal, including the dramatic and intimate glimpses of foxes captured by Konsta Punkka, David Doubilet’s underwater vistas, Beth Moon’s famous documentation of ancient Baobab trees, and Mitch Dobrowner’s sinister storms.

Sixty percent of the proceeds will be donated to Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots and Vital Impacts’ own grants and initiatives. Shop the collection on the Vital Impacts site.

 

A composite photo of gorillas in the wild

Jim Naughten, “Gorillas”

A black and white photo of lions

Anup Shah, “Morani and Friend”

A photo of chimpanzees and two people

Vanne Goodall, “Jane and Hugo with the F-Family of Chimpanzees”

A photo of a baby owl

Javier Aznar, “Athene Noctua”

A photo of lighting striking above water occupied by cranes

Randy Olson, “Sandhill Crane Migration”

An underwater photo of a whale tail

Shawn Heinrichs, “Whale Tail”

A photo of a snow covered landscape

Francisco Javier Munuera Gonzalez, “Mount Adi”

 

 



Art

Imposing Wild Animals Emerge from Layers of Cardboard in Scott Fife’s Sculptures

November 23, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a cardboard bear bust

“Polar Bear” (2011), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 26 x 53 x 29 inches. Photo by Mark Davidson. All images shared with permission

Armed with glue and screws, artist Scott Fife fashions large-scale creatures from a humble material in an exploration of the relationship between humans and our animal counterparts, particularly those we associate with myth and folklore. The beastly creations emerge in his aptly named solo show Cardboard Kingdom, which is on view now at Traver Gallery in Seattle.

Comprised of fringed layers and patchwork, the animals are wild and expressive, with drowsy, drooping eyes or snarling teeth. Many bear the markings of human touch, with drips of ink and pencil drawings on their faces and bodies. “Physically beautiful, we endear these animals with many meanings. But they are predators and prey in a brutal world. These are portraits of individuals as they are in nature,” he shares.

Cardboard Kingdom is on view through December 22, and you can find more of Fife’s sculptures on his site.

 

A photo of a cardboard lion bust

“Lioness” (2011), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 26 x 53 x 29 inches. Photo by Mark Davison

A photo of a cardboard dog

Detail of “Dog With Picasso Guitar” (2022), archival cardboard, glue, drywall screws, and ink, 14 x 60 x 30 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard dog

“Dog With Picasso Guitar” (2022), archival cardboard, glue, drywall screws, and ink, 14 x 60 x 30 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard wolf bust

“Were Wulf” (2007), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 25 x 25 x 34 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard horse bust

“Horse” (2012), archival cardboard, dry screws, glue, ink, and pencil markings, 46 x 64 x 15 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

A photo of a cardboard wolf bust

Detail of “Were Wulf” (2007), archival cardboard, ink, and red pencil, 25 x 25 x 34 inches. Photo by Traver Gallery

Scott Fife's sculptures in a gallery

Photo by Traver Gallery

 

 



Art

Vibrant Patterns Envelop Dozens of Mythical Animal Sculptures That Explore the Folk Art Traditions of Mexico

November 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculpture

All images courtesy of Murmur Ring/Jackie Trezzo, shared with permission

In Guardians, artists María del Carmen Mendoza Méndez and Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda, of Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop, pay homage to the mythical creatures of their Oaxacan childhoods. The husband-wife duo carves the soft wood of the copal tree into fantastical creatures that reference Mesoamerican spirituality and Mexican folk art, including the sculptures known as alebrijes. They refer to the unearthly characters as Tonas and Nahuales and cloak the birds, butterflies, and beasts in vibrant patterns and Zapotec symbols. The artists describe the protective works:

Guardians are brave creatures who safeguard their tribe. These mythical characters from the tale ‘Nomads’ hold their heads high by accepting the responsibility of caring for, transporting, and defending everyone. (Theirs) is a story of resistance, persecution, and migration into a dystopian future, where science is blended with ancestral cosmovisions.

On view through January 12, 2023, Guardians is the inaugural show at the newly opened Mano Gallery in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The gallery is devoted to art and design from Mexico and to creating a space for artists interested in preserving mythology and the country’s heritage. Find more from Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop on their site and Instagram.

 

Two photos of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A photo of multiple colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures on a table

A photo of colorful patterned hummingbird animal sculpture

A photo of multiple colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A detail photo of colorful patterned hybrid chameleon sculpture

Two photos of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A photo of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculpture

 

 

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