animals

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Photography

A Photo Series by Yoko Ishii Documents the Free-Ranging Urban Deer of Nara, Japan

April 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

From the series Beyond the Border by Yoko Ishii, all images courtesy of the photographer

In Nara, Japan, Sika deer are not restricted to forests or parks, but rather mingle in the urban center much like humans—congregating in green spaces, browsing open shops, and even lining up neatly to pass through turnstiles. Although viewed as a burden in a most of the country, in Nara the deer population is sacred and protected by law. Beyond the Border, an ongoing series by Kanagawa-based photographer Yoko Ishii, captures the deer in everyday moments across the city, from collectively passing down a major street, to pausing to feed their young below a stoplight.

Ishii was inspired to photograph the ways the animals interact with common city infrastructure after observing a pair of deer paused at an intersection in 2011, and especially loves photographing them while the city is at its most bare. “These picturesque moments when early in the morning the deer can be found standing in the middle of desolate intersections, not bound by man’s borders and laws, yet inhabiting a man-made city is fascinating and inspiring,” she explains in a statement about her series.

Beyond the Border explores how the animals exist outside of the basic rules and regulations strictly crafted for the city’s human population, instead living free amongst the many pavement markings and stoplights. Ishii published a book of her photography titled Dear Deer in 2015, and will be included in this year’s Auckland Festival of Photography in New Zealand from May 31 to June 16, 2019. You can see more of her recent work on her website and Facebook. (via Īgnant)

From the series Beyond the Boarder by Yoko Ishii, all images courtesy of the photographer

 

 



Animation

Delight-Inducing Augmented Reality Videos by Vernon James Manlapaz Combine Everyday Scenery with Fantastical Interlopers

April 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Everyday spaces like street markets, city sidewalks, and restaurants become fantastical playlands in the mind of Vernon James Manlapaz. The designer, who has several years of experience in animation and visual effects, creates delight-inducing augmented realities that he shares on Instagram with his more than 150,000 followers.

Manlapaz tells Colossal that his digital creations are a combination of pre-planned concepts and spontaneous inspiration. The designer always keeps his phone and 360 camera on hand so he can capture footage for scenery at any time. Manlapaz explains that he chooses to work with familiar objects and concepts that everyone can identify with as the basis for his wonder-inducing moments.

The content I make is always about bringing out that childlike wonder we all have. The goal has always been to bring joy and happiness to everyone who comes across my work. That even that 10 seconds they spend watching the content brings joy to them even for a couple of moments to their life.

Manlapaz was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He now lives in Los Angeles where he works as a visual effects designer at Snap Inc., which you may know as Snapchat. Follow along with Manlapaz’s digital delights via Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Craft

Confused Cats and Bewildered Bears Formed From Needle Felted Wool by Lindsey Thomas

April 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Charmingly bewildered animals are the subject of choice for UK artist Lindsey Thomas. The London-based artist carefully felts wool to shape pudgy animals with plaintive expressions that belie their cartoony cuteness and party-ready accessories. Wide-eyed bears ride tricycles with balloons and a donkey with strong side-eye sports a flamingo pool floaty.

Thomas graduated from Middlesex University with a degree in illustration, where she also experimented with mixed media. In an artist statement on her website, Thomas explains, “As a child, I was forever drawing animals and imagining what they would be like if they could peel themselves from the paper. Now I know!”

You can see more delightful felted characters on Thomas’s Instagram and Facebook, and find select creations available for purchase in the artist’s online store. (thnx, Mark!)

 

 



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 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.