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Art

Abstract Masses of Porcelain Consume Embracing Figures in Sculptures by Artist Claudia Fontes

February 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Claudia Fontes, shared with permission

Argentina-born artist Claudia Fontes (previously) continues her Foreigners series with small sculptures of figures enveloped by plumes of porcelain. Recent additions to the expanding collection are more abstract than previous iterations, which often revealed the body’s curves and gestures, although all of the works feature limbs embracing within or attempting to escape from the textured clouds. The pocked surface resembles organic matter, like sea sponges or coral, and seamlessly merges life forms into a cohesive structure.

Fontes tells Colossal that this shift in focus was inspired by a desire to see “the material as the main protagonist of the piece, steering away from representation.” She explains that by “piercing the porcelain in different ways and exploring the possibilities that come with grouping the figures, I have realized that I am paying more attention to the material as a fictional membrane, which mediates between figure and background.”

Currently, Fontes is incorporating two colors into her otherwise white porcelain in order to create new works that evoke sedimentary rock. She’s also preparing for a solo show at Cecilia Brunson Projects in London and a group exhibition at Stuk in Leuven, Belgium, and some pieces from the Foreigners series will be part of Simbiologías at Centro Cultural Kirchner in Buenos Aires this April. Until then, follow the artist on Instagram or head to her site to see more of her sculptural work.

 

 

 



Art

A Monumental Collection of Slouching Figures Considers the Effects of Aging on the Body

February 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Nicole Havekost describes her towering figures as exhibiting the contradiction of “sublime embarrassment… Bodies are magical and glorious and gross and bewildering. Bodies are civilized and feral.” Through hand-sewn sculptures, the Rochester-based artist explores the ways aging affects peoples’ figures and the emotional process of adjusting to a new reality.

She stitches large anthropomorphic works from industrial felt, shaping bodies that are bulging and covered with knots and uneven seams that serve as a reminder of restoration. Havekost explains:

These are the visible representations of the making and mending, repairing and refinishing, we are engaged in as human beings on a daily basis. It shows where we have been and marks where we are going. My figures show their imperfect repairs outwardly, unlike most of us who put on our best public faces. As I have aged, I have become more of a partner to my body. To have a body and accept its imperfections is a privilege and that is what I continue to explore in my work.

Coupled with the varying stitches are the figures’ loping movements and gestures: they lean against the wall, slouch on the floor, and stretch stiff limbs, exposing their “lived-in bodies. They are soft but hold their shape and are in poses open to nurturing and comfort though they have already given so much. They are protectors that need protection,” the artist says.

Although much of Havekost’s work centers on smaller creatures, this collection is monumental in scale and a natural progression from the doll-sized pieces she’s made previously. The nondescript works loom within the 18-foot gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where they’re currently on view through June 26, 2021. “The idea of these figures really owning the space, of the audience having to adjust to their size and presence is what really drove the increased scale and bulk of the pieces. I owed it to the figures to let them be as big as they needed to be,” she says.

Explore Havekost’s larger body of work on her site, and follow her latest projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Fragmented Garments and Body Parts Drift Away From Steel Sculptures by Regardt Van Der Meulen

January 28, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Untitled” (2018), mild steel, 1900 x 1850 x 900 millimeters. All images © Regardt Van Der Meulen, shared with permission

Regardt Van Der Meulen is concerned with the ephemerality of human life, a fascination that manifests in his sweeping steel sculptures. Fragmented and oversized, the works juxtapose the unyielding material with the movement inherent in the figures’ poses and the shapes of their garments. Each of their bodies is incomplete, whether through a bisected limb or torso gaping with negative space.

Based in Johannesburg, Van Der Meulen shares that much of his work exposes the vulnerability of the body and how both minute and drastic changes alter its presentation. Branches, geometric pieces, and erosion interrupt the nondescript figures, serving as a metaphor for their mental and physical instability, as well as the precarious state of the natural world and civilization. The artist writes:

I am fascinated by human mortality and the fleeting moments we spend here. One often forgets how fragile life and our environment is. We think we are part of a binary relationship with nature when in fact we are one. Sudden changes in our environment or experiences can instantly shift our perspective on how we view life and our role in it.

Find more of Van Der Meulen’s fractured sculptures on Instagram. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

“Twigs” (2017), mild steel, 2,300 x 1,600 x 1,200 millimeters

Detail o f“Twigs” (2017), mild steel, 2,300 x 1,600 x 1,200 millimeters

Detail of “Shadow,” steel, 2.8 x 1 meter

“Shadow,” steel, 2.8 x 1 meter

“Unravel,” steel, 2,200 x 1,600 x 600 milimeters

Detail of “”Untitled” (2018), mild steel, 1900 x 1850 x 900 millimeters

Detail of “Deteriorated” (2020), steel, 2,020 x 520 x 520 milimeters

“Dematerialising” (2020), steel, 2050 milimeters

 

 



Animation Music

A Mesmerizing Rendering of Fiona Apple's Lips Dance Across the Screen in the 'Shameika' Music Video

January 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters was one of the few good things to come out of 2020, with the Grammy-nominated track “Shameika” even resulting in a heartwarming reunion between the singer and the schoolmate who inspired it. The now-iconic piano ballad is paired with an equally alluring music video created by graphic designer Matthias Brown, whose figurative gifs we’ve featured previously on Colossal, and follows a black-and-white rendering of Apple’s lips that shapeshift as she mouths the lyrics.

The video took a few years to complete, a lengthy process Brown documented in a timelapse and that began with rotoscoping, or tracing, videos of Apple’s face while she sang. The New York City-based designer then animated each drawing frame-by-frame and set it to the track. “I tried working directly analog, but my timing wasn’t working well with the music. I had a digital version of the animation completed, then printed every frame out and traced it using brush and ink,” he says. “All in all, there are about 4,000 frames. Scanning alone took about 20 hours.”

Brown says plans are in the works to sell stills from the video to raise money for Seeding Sovereignty and Harlem Children’s Zone. You can follow the designer’s most recent projects, which include a plafyul series of alphabet animations, on his Tumblr, Traceloops.

 

 

 



Art Dance

Bronze Figures Explore Movement in Sculptures by Coderch & Malavia

January 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Clio’s Dream” (2020), bronze and blue patina. All images © Coderch & Malavia, shared with permission

At the center of Coderch & Malavia’s artistic practice is the beauty of the human figure and its various expressions. The Valencia-based duo works collaboratively to cast bronze sculptures that explore the nuances of the body through dance-like movements and distinct gestures. Natural details like golden branches and feathered wings embellish many of the heavily patinaed works, Coderch & Malavia share, to evoke themes from classic literature, theater, photography, cinema, and ballet. “The human being is three-dimensional,” they say. “Probably that is the main reason why we are attracted to sculpture. It is the closest artistic representation of ourselves.”

After a discussion on intentions for a new project, the pair generally works with a live model to help the sculpture take shape. “The complicated part is organizing and sharing the physical creation of the work itself because you need double discipline,” they say. “You must learn to trust your partner and be able to share your ideas and your work with him, and, above all, you must put your ego aside in order to stay equal to commit to the final result.”

Get a glimpse into Coderch & Malavia’s process on their site and Instagram, where you can also follow their upcoming exhibitions.

 

Detail of “Clio’s Dream” (2020), bronze and blue patina

Detail of “Haiku” (2019), bronze

Detail of “Haiku” (2019), bronze

“Moonlight Shadow” (2019), bronze, 80 centimeters

“Odette” (2018), bronze, 68 centimeters

Detail of “Moonlight Shadow” (2019), bronze, 80 centimeters

Detail of “Odette” (2018), bronze, 68 centimeters

“Haiku” (2019), bronze

 

 



Art

Sweeping Gestures of Negative Space and Typography Complete Bronze Works by Jesús Curiá

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Uve” (2020), bronze, 17 7/10 × 15 2/5 × 9 1/10 inches

The bronze sculptures of Spanish artist Jesús Curiá are intentionally ambiguous. Evoking ancient relics, the patina-covered works denote no explicit gender or ethnicity. Instead, the sculptures center on nondescript figures severed by an abstract element or negative space. Whether signaling to another, marching downstairs, or grasping a skirted gown, the slim personas are often in motion. These decontextualized movements offer a glimpse into the modern condition as they fuse the most surreal aspects of experience with the real.

Dive into Curiá’s process, which includes a precise application of acid and fire, in this studio visit, and explore more of his evocative sculptures on Artsy.

 

“Nuntius” (2018), bronze and steel, 67 × 16 × 12 inches

“Sin Fin III/4” (ca. 2016), bronze and steel, 23 3/5 × 10 1/5 × 11 4/5 inches

Left: “Milenium III” (2020), bronze, 42 1/10 × 26 × 6 3/10 inches. Right: “Aire IV” (2013), bronze and iron, 18 9/10 × 7 9/10 × 5 1/2 inches

“Downstair,” bronze and iron, 34½  x 31½ x 8¾ inches

“Cuatro” (2019), bronze, 19 3/10 × 11 2/5 × 4 7/10 inches

“Decisión” (2011) bronze and iron

 

 

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