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Art

Human-Bird Hybrid Sculptures by Calvin Ma Interpret Social Experiences

July 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“This Is Me Today”, all images courtesy of Calvin Ma

Sculptor Calvin Ma channels his experience of social anxiety into imaginative ceramic sculptures that fuse human characters with birds. The avian elements act as suits of armor, protecting the person from the outside world, and reflect Ma’s personality in fight or flight situations. Carefully articulated feathers cover the surface of each sculpture, from the mask-like bird headdresses to the arms and torso of the humanoid figure. In previous bodies of work, the artist has used houses as his metaphor with walls, windows, and chimneys forming the protective outer shell of each sculpture.

“I never really felt comfortable in my own skin in social settings, so I created these characters to help tell stories about it,” Ma tells Colossal. “Each piece is meant to act out a specific social anxiety related experience. I try not to get too dark or serious with the work and really try to have fun with it.”

The Bay Area-based artist has a two-person show with Erika Sanada (who is also married to Ma) at Sherrie Gallerie in Columbus, Ohio from July 28 to September 3, 2019, and a solo exhibition at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon opening on November 28. Alongside these shows, Ma will also be sharing pieces in at SOFA Expo in Chicago and at Haven Gallery in Long Island, in late October and mid-December, respectively. You can explore more of the artist’s sculptures on Instagram.

“Butterflies”

“In The Clouds”

“One Of The Crowd”

“Flight”

“Caught Up”

“Bloom”

“Take The Leap”

“Forager”

 

 



Art

Thick Brushstrokes Form Plump Songbirds in Oil Paintings by Angela Moulton

June 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Chickadees, barn swallows, and goldcrest kinglets emerge from impasto oil paintings by Angela Moulton. The artist works in the aesthetic space between realistic and stylized, using natural tones that are slightly keyed up, and following the body and beak shapes of each bird while giving them just a bit of extra plumpness. Thick brush strokes form the birds’ bodies in just a couple of deft swipes. The artist, who splits her time between Illinois and Idaho, sells her work as Pratt Creek Art, and offers both originals and prints of her small-scale paintings. Moulton also shares videos of her process on YouTube.

 

 



Food Illustration

Feathered Latte Art Features Stylized Portraits of Sparrows, Parakeets, and Cockatiels

May 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Feathers, ferns, hearts: all normal fodder for a typical third wave coffee shop barista’s latte art portfolio. But one hobbyist barista and avian aficionado is leveling up with their bird-themed drawings. Using careful daubs of colored foam, Kunit92 creates stylized portraits of cockatiels, sparrows, and parrots in milky coffee beverages. The artist owns a bird named Sakura, a Bourke’s parrot, and also sometimes takes portrait requests from other (human) bird parents. The Japan-based latte artist shares their work on Instagram, and often includes a photo of the specific bird who inspired the caffeine-filled illustration.

 

 

 



Art

Murmuration: 10,000 Porcelain Birds Create a Calligraphic Landscape at the National Gallery of Victoria

May 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All images courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria

As part of a new large-scale exhibit at Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (previously) has created a swarm of 10,000 porcelain birds, titled Murmuration (Landscape). The multi-part winter exhibition at the museum combines Cai’s contemporary work with the display of a selection of China’s famed ancient terracotta warriors. Cai, who is best known for his enormous artworks that utilize fireworks, assembled the vast quantity of birds and smudged them black with gunpowder. The installation fills an entire gallery and the birds are suspended to create a 3D impression of a calligraphic drawing of Mount Li, where the tomb of the ancient warriors was located. Terracotta Warriors and Cai Guo-Qiang opens to the public today and is on view through October 13, 2019. Watch a time-lapse of the labor-intensive installation here and explore more of the artist’s diverse works on Instagram.

Photo: Tobias Titz

 

 



Photography

Bruce the Eagle Gets his 15 Minutes of Fame in a Symmetrical Glamour Shot by Photographer Steve Biro

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

An eagle named Bruce, resident at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Ontario, recently took a dive over open water at the conservancy. Amateur photographer Steve Biro happened to be there at just the right moment, with camera in hand. Bruce’s arced wings reflected in the water below form a an almost perfect oval, and the bird’s bright yellow beak and piercing gaze are directed squarely at the camera. Bald eagles can have a wingspan ranging from six to seven and half feet.

“I snapped a couple images from the side and decided I wanted to get a vantage point where I might be able to shoot him more straight on,” Biro explains to Colossal. “There was a large rock right at the water’s edge were I laid down beside and rested my upper body on trying to get as low as possible.” Biro notes that Bruce was flying close enough to him that he could feel the draft from the bird’s wings, so he was able to a macro lens to capture the moment.  Follow along with Biro’s nature explorations on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art

Twisted and Layered Balloons Form Eye-Popping Animal Sculptures by Masayoshi Matsumoto

May 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Master balloon artist Masayoshi Matsumoto (previously) continues to amaze with his incredibly intricate animal creations. Using only balloons—the artist abstains from using any additional materials like markers or adhesives—Matsumoto shapes his raw materials to mimic the unique limbs, spikes, and wattles of a wide range of animals. The graceful silhouettes of birds and insects with their textural exoskeletons frequently appear in the artist’s body of work, but he also tackles flora including pitcher plants and cacti, and other creatures from mammals to maggots. Discover more of Matsumoto’s inflatable menagerie on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Art Design

An Enormous Stylized Bird Sculpture Sprawls Atop a Mountain in India

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A massive sculpture of a legendary bird has taken shape at Jatayu Earth’s Center in Kerala, India. Based on the epic story of Ramayana, Jatayu is a noble bird of divine origin who lost his wing and fell while fighting to protect a young woman named Sitha. The bird as recreated in concrete at the  Center is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 70 feet tall, with stylized feathers and enormous curled claws. Its prone body is sprawled on a mountaintop with a 65 acre tourist destination campus.

Jatayu Earth’s Center is a collaboration between the Tourism Department of Kerala and renowned film director Rajiv Anchal and focuses on environmental sustainability in its design. The Center includes systems of rainwater irrigation, solar powered electricity, and planned organic farms. Learn more about visiting on the Jatayu Earth’s Center website. (via Design You Trust)