animals

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Animation

Children’s Blocks Take the Form of Simplified Animals in Animations by Lucas Zanotto

November 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

MINIMALS is a new short film by Helsinki-based animator and director Lucas Zanotto (previously) composed of fictionalized kinetic sculptures based on real animals. The series of short animations catch each simplified creature in a repetitive loop that imitates the extension of an elephant’s trunk, a crab’s sideways walk, or the incessant pecking of chickens. The animals appear to be formed from children’s blocks with colors that hint at their actual breed. Pink spheres with snouts are an easy give-away for pigs, while other configurations, like a flat mauve disk rolling across a slender beige cylinder, are a little bit harder to place. Zanotto’s second book, EVERIMAL, was published earlier this year. You can see more of his short animations on his Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Art

Popular Cartoons and Mascots Unwind to Reveal Realistic Depictions of Their Human and Animal Inspirations

November 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch artist Stefan Thelen, a.k.a. Super A (previously here and here) removes the fantasy from classic pop culture characters like Batman and Mickey Mouse to reveal more realistic interpretations of their cartoon constructs. An owl peers out between the gaps of its cartoon self in a painting of a scene from Sleeping Beauty, while a white cat with piercing orange eyes pokes its paw out of a spiraled depiction of Hello Kitty.

The new works, which are part of Thelen’s ongoing series titled Trapped, are currently on view at the Brand Library & Arts Center for his solo exhibition Domestication curated by Thinkspace Projects. You can see more of his mash-ups of pop culture figures and their human and animal inspirations on his website and Instagram. (via Arrested Motion)

 

 



Art

Moonlit Owls, Tigers, and Dragons Set Against Ethereal Backgrounds in Paintings by Takashi Kanazawa

November 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Japanese artist Takashi Kanazawa paints animals such as tigers, owls, cranes, and dragons set against minimal backdrops which are lit by large waning moons. The scenes are painted on washi paper, a Japanese material produced by hand with local fiber, and are a twist on traditional Japanese painting, or Nihonga. The term was established near the turn of the 19th-century when Western oil painting became popularized in Japan, and refers to the traditional painting materials, techniques, and subjects rooted deeply in Japan’s art history.

Kanazawa’s work was recently included in the group exhibition NIHONGA: Contemporary Art of JapanSEIZAN Gallery‘s inaugural show in their New York City location. The exhibition brought together seven painters who reinterpret traditional Japanese art techniques through a contemporary lens. You can see more of Kanazawa’s painting on SEIZAN Gallery’s website.

 

 



Art

Larger-Than-Life Animals Terrorize Suburban Towns in Paintings by John Brosio

November 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"State of the Union 2" (2014), Oil on canvas, 40.25 x 68 inches

“State of the Union 2” (2014), Oil on canvas, 40.25 x 68 inches

The paintings of John Brosio feel incredibly cinematic, as if each is a still from a contemporary horror film paused at a striking moment of tension. Brosio paints enlarged birds, crabs, and Big Gulp containers poised against the American suburban sprawl. The animals and objects hover over fast food chains and car repair shops, looking as if they might strike what lies below at any moment, or simply continue their crusade in an alternate direction. A humor creeps into the paintings when we remember the actual issues our contemporary society and climate face—if presented with the option would we rather choose invasion by iguana?

“The success of a painting in the end has so little to do with subject matter but compels us rather with how well it codifies the way in which things relate to one another in this universe,” he explains in his bio. “I think of painting as the pursuit of realizing some degree of surrender to these sensibilities through an orchestration of select relationships.”

His works have been considered “anxious realism” and seem to point to an particularly poignant American unease. You can see more of Brosio’s tension-filled and dangerous landscapes on his website and Instagram. (via Faithwaites)

"Quixote 2000" (2018), Oil on canvas, 24 x 39 inches

“Quixote 2000” (2018), Oil on canvas, 24 x 39 inches

"Edge of Town 16" (2018), Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches

“Edge of Town 16” (2018), Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches

"Edge of Town 13" (2015), Oil on canvas, 39 x 62 inches

“Edge of Town 13” (2015), Oil on canvas, 39 x 62 inches

"Progress" (2015), Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

“Progress” (2015), Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

"State of the Union" (2011), Oil on canvas, 41 x 66 inches

“State of the Union” (2011), Oil on canvas, 41 x 66 inches

"Whole Foods" (2011), Oil on canvas, 24 x 46 inches

“Whole Foods” (2011), Oil on canvas, 24 x 46 inches

"Bar" (2018), Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

“Bar” (2018), Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

 

 



Art

Human and Animal Skulls Encrusted in Delicate Floral Filigree by Kengo Takahashi

October 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Kengo Takahashi uses ultra-thin aluminum casting to get the precise shape of real flowers for his series titled Flower Funeral. The detailed works combine hundreds of delicate metal flowers that form the shape of skulls, and each have a thickness of just .01 mm. The works also contain life-size aluminum flowers like chrysanthemums across their forehead and branched horns, and sculptural water droplets that rest gently on several of their petals. You can see more of the Japanese artist’s sculptures on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Charming Wooden Animal Sculptures Designed with Articulated Torsos and Tails by Jeff Soan

October 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Sculptor and toy maker Jeff Soan transforms discarded furniture, driftwood, industrial pallets, and other reclaimed wood into creatures of the land and sea. Using a self-described technique called “Wobbly Wood,” Soan creates articulation in his sculptures by scoring the wood into multiple sections along their tails and torsos. This allows them to wiggle and gently move side-to-side as they are picked up or stroked. In order to eliminate as much waste as possible, the artist considers future sculptures during the building of each otter, pangolin, or mollusk. He slices shapes that might make sense for the tail of a fish, while considering the beak of a bird, or the leg of an iguana.

Soan studied art and design at Goldsmiths College in London in the 1960s, and later followed up his art training with a course in toy making at the London College of Furniture. You can see more of his sculptures and examples of “Wobbly Wood” works on his website and Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art

Ornate Birds and Sea Creatures Spring to Life With Environmental Embellishments of Flowers and Foliage

October 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Ellen Jewett (previously) continues to create sculptures of animals from the land and sea, crafting realistic depictions with a surreal edge. Each porcelain creature features elaborate elements that connect the animal back to its natural environment—such as green leaves that sprout from the wings of a black cockatoo, or tiny yellow fish that are found along the spines of her ornately patterned seahorses.

After she forms each sea turtle, octopus, or fish from porcelain, Jewett free-models a wire armature by hand and coats the piece in polymer. This addition allows her to connect detailed elements such as flowers and other fauna to the animals fins or claws. Her solo exhibition On Wilderness is on view at the Ottawa School of Art’s Main Gallery in Ontario, Canada through November 18, 2018. Her work is also being exhibited in the group exhibition Nature Imagined at the Wilding Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang, California through January 2019. You can learn more about her process by following her work on Instagram.