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Art

Unnatural Fusions of Animal and Plant Life Form New Elaborate Sculptures by Ellen Jewett

May 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Canadian artist Ellen Jewett (previously) is known for her elaborately decorated polymer sculptures that combine wildlife with flowers, plants, and trees. Jewett, whose educational background is in animal science and behavior, uses her deep understanding of how creatures move through the world to inform her fantastical artworks. In one sculpture, ferns unfurl from the tail of a peacock, while a marsh of cattails grows from the abdomen of a dragonfly in another.

With her most recent sculptures from winter 2018 and spring 2019, Jewett shares with Colossal that she is starting to explore the use of unnatural colors. In doing so, Jewett seeks “to more deeply probe the emotional dimensions of my subjects. I want the emotional presence of the animal to be clearly present even if the precise interpretation remains indiscernible.”

The artist’s work will be shown in a show opening May 11, 2019 at the Urban Nation Museum of Contemporary Art in Berlin, as well as at the MESA Contemporary Arts Museum in Arizona and the Beinart Gallery in Melbourne in September and November, respectively.

 

 



Art

Small Glass Animal Sculptures by Claire Kelly Connect to Larger Issues of Conservation

May 5, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images courtesy of Claire Kelly

Rhode Island-based glass artist Claire Kelly creates adorable animal sculptures out of glass that connect to serious issues concerning the environment. Balancing on balls and standing precariously in boats and on peanuts, the little birds, giraffes, and elephants invite viewers to consider the fragility of the world and how micro-level choices can have a major impact.

Kelly tells Colossal that the series of animal sculptures began in 2014 after a hiatus from her other work. The works were born from drawings and sketches she made as a creative outlet. Working with colored strips of glass called cane, the process and materials affect the size of the final pieces. The cane allows for complex patterns, but in preparation for the glass blowing process they need to be heated on a flat kiln shelf. “The size of the kiln shelf plays a part in how large the final glass piece can be,” Kelly explains. “The larger the shelf the heavier it is and the larger team and heating chamber I need to have.” While she does occasionally work at a larger scale, the artist says that size is not the most important factor because she is inviting viewers into “an intimate microcosm.”

Although she works with easily recognizable animals, Kelly’s use of color and pattern adds an imaginative element. “Depending on the animal and form I try to use colors that come right up to the edge of being conflicting but somehow work together,” she explains. “Color is so emotionally charged and I often find myself getting really happy when using certain colors in combination…I experiment a lot and have a sense of how some colors react to their neighbors. There’s a really sense of harmony and balance that I look for when planning a color scheme.”

As Kelly has continued to explore representational themes in her work, she shares that her has recently been inspired by creating multiple related pieces in a tableau. “It’s modular and adds interest from a design standpoint,” the artist shares. “I can create forms that interact with each other while telling a story about their little world.” To discover more of Claire Kelly’s colorful creatures, follow her on Instagram.

 

 



Design

Bold Line Drawings Layered on Top of Deconstructed Images of Fruit, Flowers, and Animals in Tattoos by Mattia Mambo

April 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Mattia Mambo creates graphic interpretations of his clients’ favorite fruits, celebrities, and animals in minimalist tattoos. The designs use thick, rounded lines to highlight the shape of an object or face, with bold splashes of color creating an abstracted version of the subject underneath. Sometimes the Milan-based tattoo artist transforms the shape of a word into a pictorial representation of an animal, like in his sloth tattoo below. Other designs borrow from classic art historical references, such as René Magritte’s famous painting of a pipe, or Frida Kahlo’s recognizable flower crown and facial features.

Mambo shares with Colossal that he attended art school but was self-taught as a tattooer, and he developed his destrutturato (unstructured) style by chance. “What inspired me most has probably been my passion for graphic designs and logos—I love simple shapes. Every day I’m encouraged by the objective of simplifying each image as much as possible and making it clear and intuitive using only few black lines. But both black lines and colors are fundamental: the colors tell what the black lines can’t do.”

You can see more of Mambo’s two-part tattoos on Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft

Graceful Figures and Shimmering Peacocks Embroidered on Tulle are Inspired by Haute Couture

April 27, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Moscow-based fabric artist and designer Katerina Marchenko stitches brightly colored threads into tulle to form elaborate embroidered images of animals, portraits, and anatomical studies. In their hoops, Marchenko’s pieces work as framed thread paintings. Bird and angel wings appear to have dimension and human eyes pop thanks to the artist’s attention to color harmony and shading.

Marchenko skips the sketching phase and starts each new piece with contours before allowing improvisation and the process itself to dictate what the final design will look like. The artist explains to Colossal that her aesthetic and techniques are inspired in part by fashion and haute couture. A 2016 sewing course inspired her to create an embroidered tulle blouse, and the following year she took an embroidery course at Ecole Lesage School in Paris.

“Embroidery is a meditative process which helps me to calm down and gather all my thoughts,” Marchenko tells Colossal, adding that the images she chooses are ones through which she can express her emotions. To see more of Katerina’s colorful creations follow her on Instagram, and browse her online shop if you want to take one of the works home.

 

 



Craft

Candy-Colored Plants and Animals from the Imagination of Hiné Mizushima

April 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Vancouver, Canada-based textile artist Hiné Mizushima (previously) brings a cuddly, colorful approach to creepy-crawly plants and animals. Fungi, insects, and single-cell organisms get a felted makeover in pastel hues with embroidered, stitched, and crocheted details. Mizushima often optimizes her works for display either by allowing them to be worn as brooches or by affixing them to plaques or in bell jars to showcase at home.

In addition to her stationary creations, Mzushima also creates animations, including a recent music video commission for They Might Be Giants, which engages the traditional Japanese needlework technique kogin. You can see more of Mizushima’s felted flora and fauna on Behance and Instagram, and purchase prints of various pieces on Etsy.

Commission for The New York Times Canadian web campaign

 

 



Photography

Stunning Portraits of Madagascar’s Reptiles and Amphibians by Ben Simon Rehn

April 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Ben Simon Rehn, shared courtesy of the artist

In December, 2018, Iceland-based photographer Ben Simon Rehn trekked to Madagascar to test a new camera for Olympus. While on assignment, the photographer captured some spectacular images of the lush African island’s wildlife. Striking close-ups of chameleons show the reptiles’ pebbled skin texture and unique coloration, and a portrait of a Sky-Blue Reed Frog shows the amphibian’s shimmering bronze-toned eyes and sleek yellow and blue skin.

Prior to Rehn’s career as a photographer, he was a high performance athlete, which shows in his ambitious location shoots in remote, rugged locations. In addition to his editorial work, Rehn seeks to raise awareness about environmental issues and the impact of mankind on the earth. Follow along with the photographer’s travels on Instagram and Behance and take an in-motion look at the landscapes he explores on Vimeo.

 

 



Art

Imitation China Plates and Layered Cut Paper Animals Explore the Sculptural Potential of Paper in a New Exhibition at Paradigm Gallery

April 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Miniature paper work by Nayan and Vaishali, all images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery

Miniature paper work by Nayan and Vaishali, all images courtesy of Paradigm Gallery

Subtle manipulations, intricate cuts, and ornate collages are a few of the various ways contemporary artists are transforming paper today. These techniques and more are displayed in the upcoming exhibition pa•per, curated by Paradigm Gallery co-founder Jason Chen and featuring artists outside of the gallery’s roster. The list includes Nayan and Vaishali (previously), the India-based duo who spend 4-6 hours a day crafting precisely sliced and painted miniature animals. Kent-based artist Sally Hewitt creates the illusion of a body’s impression on cartridge paper by gently prodding the material with needles, bodkins, and embossing tools. Other included artists like Danielle Krysa and Lizzie Gill use collage, while Rosa Leff cuts traditional patterns and imagery found on fine china into cheap paper plates. The exhibition, hosted at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, opens on April 26 and runs through May 18, 2019.

Danielle Krysa

Danielle Krysa

Lizzy Gill

Lizzie Gill

Sally Hewitt

Sally Hewitt

Nayan and Vaishali

Nayan and Vaishali

Rosa Leff

Rosa Leff

Albert Chamillard

Lucha Rodríguez

Lucha Rodríguez

Daria Aksenova

Daria Aksenova

 

 

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