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Art

A Flurry of Feathers and Leaves Surround Spirited Birds in Fio Silva's Vivid Murals

March 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

Castelar, Buenos Aires. All images @ Fio Silva, shared with permission

Fio Silva tucks clusters of oversized birds and botanicals into otherwise stark urban spaces, creating striking murals awash in puffs of feathers, petals, and leaves. The Buenos Aires-based artist focuses largely on movement, a thread that runs through both the vivid renderings of winged subjects as they appear to take flight or perch for just a moment. “It was that lack of stillness through work and searching for walls to paint that I found meaning in my time,” Silva tells Colossal.

When working in color, the artist starts with blues, yellows, and reds before expanding the palette based on the “moods and to intensify, in some way, what I want to convey, if it is something rather clear, bright, or something… more subdued or desolate,” Silva says. “When I paint, I try to convey a certain force, that by seeing it or sharing it I can move someone, in whatever way.”

Silva plans to complete a few murals in Argentina during the next few months and will travel to Europe during the summer, with an exhibition of smaller paintings slated for October in Paris. Keep up with the artist’s monumental public works on Instagram.

 

Olivos, Buenos Aires

General Roca, Rio Negro

Olivos, Buenos Aires

Left: Berlin, Germany. Right: Belsh, Albania

General Roca, Rio Negro

Patos, Albania

Patos, Albania

 

 



Amazing Photography

Countless Starlings Flock Together in a Miraculous Bird-Shaped Murmuration Over Lough Ennell

March 4, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Image © James Crombie, licensed for use

After months of chasing starlings alongside his colleague Colin Hogg, Dublin-based photographer James Crombie captured a phenomenal shot of the flock as it swelled into an enormous bird-like murmuration. Hogg recorded the awe-inspiring experience in a short clip that shows the winged formation taking shape and hovering over Lough Ennell, a lake near Mullingar in central Ireland.

Crombie is known for his sports photography, and last week, he was named Press Photographer of the Year for his shot of a fan perched on a ladder watching the semi-final between St. Brigid’s and Boyle from the edge of a graveyard. Follow Crombie’s work that takes him to soccer fields, bucolic landscapes, and remote marshes on Instagram. You also might enjoy this series documenting murmurations over Danish marshlands.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Intricate Paper Animals Spring from Textured Sculptures by Artist Calvin Nicholls

March 1, 2021

Anna Marks

All images © Calvin Nicholls, shared with permission

In Calvin Nicholls’s sculptural forms, feathered and furry creatures are meticulously crafted from small pieces of white paper. When viewed up-close, their texture resembles the fullness of a wintery landscape, but in full form, the Canadian artist’s animals are so vivid that they appear as though they could leap, fly, and spring out of the canvas. Nicholls (previously) seamlessly examines and sculpts every detail of an animal’s body, from the difference in plume texture in doves to the strained muscles of a giraffe to the intoxicating stare of a tiger stalking its prey.  

Every work is crafted from archival cotton paper that prevents yellowing and fading. Nicholls uses minuscule amounts of glue to secure the individual pieces, employing knives and texturing tools to precisely sculpt each delicate part. For the artist, crafting fur and feathers are equally challenging, and how long a piece will take is difficult to predict. He shares:

The largest sculptures I’ve done require several hundreds of hours while the more modest pieces keep me busy for two or more weeks. Familiarity with the subject is a big factor as well. My love of birds often propels me through pieces much faster than when sculpting subjects with (an) emphasis on musculature and structure.

Nicholls’s fascination with paper as a medium stems from graphic design classes in college, in addition to later collaborations with a colleague. These experiences further forged his interest in experimenting with various materials and papers that he had become familiar with through the graphics trade.

Follow additions to Nicholls’s monochromatic menagerie on Behance and Instagram, and see the originals and prints he has available in his shop.

 

 

 



Photography

A Rare Yellow Penguin Has Been Photographed for the First Time on a South Georgia Island

February 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Yves Adams/Kennedy News, shared with permission

On a trip to a small island in South Georgia in December 2019, Yves Adams spotted an unusually bright creature bobbing through a sea of 120,000 king penguins. Whereas most of the flightless birds sported the typical tuxedo-like suit, one paraded around with yellow feathers and cream-colored feet.

Adams, who frequently documents landscapes and wildlife around the world, is believed to be the first photographer to capture images of the rare penguin, which he spotted while unloading food and safety equipment. “We all went crazy when we realised. We dropped all the safety equipment and grabbed our cameras,” the Belgian photographer says. “We were so lucky the bird landed right where we were. Our view wasn’t blocked by a sea of massive animals. Normally it’s almost impossible to move on this beach because of them all.”

The atypical coloring is due to leucism, a condition that results in the loss of melanin, which turns the black feathers and feet into a lighter hue. In 2013, researchers learned that penguins’ yellow pigment is not derived from food but rather is chemically distinct from the other compounds that color their plumes. The bright feathers are used to attract mates.

See Adams’ shots from his Atlantic expedition, in addition to more that span a wide array of locations like Greenland, the Galapagos Islands, and the Philippine Sea, on his site and Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Art Design Illustration

The First USPS Stamp Designed by an Alaska Native Artist Features a Trickster Raven as It Steals the Sun

February 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Raven Story.” Image courtesy of U.S.P.S.

When it’s released later this summer, a new stamp from the U.S. Postal Service will illuminate a piece of Indigenous culture that’s long been associated with an escape from darkness. Titled “Raven Story,” the history-making postage features an iconic animal rendered by Rico Lanáat’ Worl, who is the first Tlingit and Athabascan artist to be featured by U.S.P.S. Awash with twinkling stars, the stamp portrays a black bird grasping the sun in its beak as it breaks from its human family. The motif is based on the story of “Raven And The Box Of Daylight,” traditional Tlingit lore about the trickster animal bringing the stars, moon, and sun to the universe after a series of heists.

In a statement, Worl shares that the raven is a prominent figure in Tlinglit culture, and the stamp depicts the pinnacle of this often-recounted tale. He writes:

Raven is trying to grab as many stars as he can, some stuck in his feathers and in his hands or in his beak. Some falling around him. It’s a frazzled moment of adrenaline. Partially still in human form, as depicted as his hand still being human, as he carries the stars away. I think it depicts a moment we all have experienced, the cusp of failure and accomplishment.

Worl lives in Juneau, where he works with Sealaska Heritage Institute and co-runs Trickster Company, a design shop focused on Northwest Coast art, with his sister, Crystal. To coincide with the USPS launch, he plans to create pins, prints, and other goods featuring the design, which you can follow on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Craft

Endangered Flora and Fauna Are Recreated in Textured Paper Sculptures by Mlle Hipolyte

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Mlle Hipolyte, shared with permission

From her studio in Lyon, Mlle Hipolyte scores, crimps, and fringes bits of paper that become sculptural interpretations of endangered species. She undertakes a rigorous research process that’s comparable to that of a botanist or zoologist before starting a piece and largely is concerned with the effects of the climate crisis on plants and animals. This realistic approach bases her practice in both preservation and celebration as she conveys the intricacies and natural beauty of coral reefs, flowers, and birds through works that vary in scale, sometimes spanning entire walls and others squeezing into tiny glass tubes.

Mlle Hipolyte tells Colossal that her next undertaking is a large forest inspired by François Hallé’s botanical drawings, an ongoing project you can follow on Instagram. To add one of the meticulous, textured sculptures to your collection, check out her shop. (via Cross Connect Magazine)