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Art

The Aquatic and Terrestrial Life of Southern California Merges into Hybrid Creatures in Jon Ching’s Paintings

August 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

“King Tide.” All images © Jon Ching, courtesy of Beinart Gallery, shared with permission

Los Angeles-based artist Jon Ching imagines the fantastic possibilities of melding Earth’s flora and fauna, rendering bizarre creatures with mushroom feathers and striped tulip fins. His latest oil paintings, which are on view this fall in Habitat at Beinart Gallery, extend this interest in hybridity by blending aquatic, aerial, and terrestrial organisms and their environments.

Marine ecosystems appear in many of the pieces, alongside cacti and succulents native to Ching’s home in southern California. In “King Tide,” for example, rising water approaches a cockatoo with plant-like plumage, and “Acclimate” depicts two green parrots perched on aloe growing below the surface. Each work envisions how different ecologies could converge and references nature’s resilience, the climate crisis, and the growing necessity of adapting to a changing world.

Ching’s solo show Habitat runs from September 11 to October 2 in Melbourne. Prints and stickers are available in his shop, and you can follow his latest works on Instagram.

 

“Acclimate”

“Reparation”

Left: “Hygge.” Right: “Think Tank”

“Double Vision”

“Flash Point”

Left: “Jungle Gym.” Right: “Neogenesis”

“Long Game”

 

 



Art

Discarded Tools, Scrap Metals, and Fabrics Form the Spirited Sculptures by Mohsen Heydari Yeganeh

August 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Mohsen Heydari Yeganeh, shared with permission

Artist Mohsen Heydari Yeganeh extends the life of broken tools, wooden handles, and scraps of fabric found in resale shops, stalls, and alleys. Utilizing chains for plumage or a long, steel blade for a beak, Yeganeh forms stylized animalistic assemblages of discarded materials, which he refers to as “flying garbages.” Conveying the awkward, jutting postures of birds or the broad stance of a bison, the spirited sculptures combine abstract components into lively, expressive characters.

Yeganeh is one part of Kasmeh, a Tehran-based studio where he works in collaboration with the artist Arman. You can follow their upcycled creatures on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

A Surprising Photo Captures an Osprey Gently Gliding Along the Water’s Surface

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

Image © Andy Woo, shared with permission

Ospreys, the large raptors with barbed talons and dense, oily plumage, feed almost exclusively on fish and are known to completely submerge themselves in the water during a hunt. An unanticipated photo by Andy Woo, though, captures the avian predator in a botched attempt as it skims the surface rather than plunging in to retrieve its next meal. “Although I couldn’t figure out what just happened at the time, in looking at the sequence I captured, it looks to me like the osprey tried to grab a fish out of the water, missed, and then could not get enough lift to quickly get back in the air,” he tells Peta Pixel. The unusual move lasted less than a second, just enough time for the Olympia-based photographer to document the act and the bird’s reflection on the water.

Woo is currently selling prints of the short-lived glide, and you can find the entire sequence on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Phenomenal Skies and Animals in Action Top This Year’s Nature TTL Photography Contest

August 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Astonishing,” Godafoss, Iceland, Mauro Tronto

The annual Nature TTL Photographer of the Year contest garnered more than 8,000 submissions this round, with some of the most impressive images focusing on fauna in the wild and stunning light-based phenomena that illuminate nighttime skies. Taken around the globe, the winning photos demonstrate both acts of stealth and moments of serendipity. Images range from Matt Engelmann capturing an unaware dog fox as it creeps over a Swiss mountain to Mauro Tronto framing a rainbow shooting upwards from the misty Godafass waterfalls in Iceland, the glowing northern lights overhead. See some of our favorite photos below, and visit the competition’s site to view all of the top entries.

 

“A Moment of Wilderness,” Mountains of Switzerland, Graubünden, Switzerland, Matt Engelmann

“City Hare,” Kassel, Germany, Jan Piecha

“Sunset Ray,” Tuna Factory, Maldives, Andy Schmid

“Vantage Points,” Hosanagara, Karnataka, India, Achintya Murthy

“Pretty in Pollen,” Mutter’s Moor near Sidmouth, Devon, U.K., Tim Crabb

“The Top of Australia,” Kosciusko, Australia, Josselin Cornou

“Nature Fights Back,” Loxton, Northern Cape, South Africa, Bertus Hanekom

“Ice Bear,” Klukshu, Yukon, Canada, Geoffrey Reynaud

 

 



Art

Division of Birds: A Group Show at Paradigm Gallery Celebrates Feathered Life

August 5, 2022

Colossal

Felicia Chiao. All images © the artists, shared with permission

The Division of Birds, housed inside Chicago’s Field Museum, boasts one of the largest scientific avian collections in the country, representing about 90% of the world’s genera and species and containing more than 480,000 specimens, 21,000 egg sets, and approximately 200 nests. A group show opening this month at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia references this unparalleled archive in a celebration of feathered life.

Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds is comprised of dozens of works in a range of styles and mediums. The show includes avian creatures both real and imagined and a vast array of aesthetics, from a trio of paper sculptures by Roberto Benavidez and Felicia Chiao’s emotionally charged illustrations to Lola Dupré’s collaged roosters and a three-dimensional nest embroidered by Megan Zaniewski.

Division of Birds runs from August 26 to September 18.

 

Lola Dupré

Megan Zaniewski

Chris Maynard

Mike Stilkey

Megan Zaniewski

 

 



Art

Movement and Instinct Inform Taquen’s Murals of Migrating Birds and Human Touch

July 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Magpies and swifts.” All images © Taquen, shared with permission

Thin, structural lines delineate a magpie wing and contour a child’s nose or cheekbone in Taquen’s murals. Working with a color palette of pastels and neutral tones, the Spanish artist (previously) paints large-scale portraits, fragments of limbs, and birds, often leaving the composition’s skeletal forms visible. “The supports are just as important as the work itself,” he tells Colossal. “I look for camouflage, minimalism, and mixture. In the end, it is also a metaphorical form of the footprint that I believe we should leave in the places we pass through.”

Many of Taquen’s works consider the relationship between species through the lens of movement and impulse, focusing on gesture, touch, and instinctive acts. Birds mid-flight embody the tie between freedom and migration, while bare feet lounging in the grass or a hand grasping a flower channel a desire for physical contact. “I think we are very disconnected, living in parallel with nature, and it is a mistake. We must share it, experience it, live it, and thus we will be able to understand and respect it,” he says.

In the coming months, the artist will be working on murals in Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, France, and Spain, in addition to a conceptual project centered on paths and walking. You can follow those on Instagram.

 

Briançon, France

Detail of mural in Briançon, France

“Discover and learn,” Port of Sagunto, Valencia

Grenoble

Camprovin

“Hold the oak, be a tree for the trees,” Mostar

“Apology for the wild,” Stockholm, Sweden

Madrid. Photo by Gustavo Bulnes