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Animation Art

In a New Stop-Motion Film, Swoon Explores Trauma, Memory, and the Body

March 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Caledonia Curry, aka Swoon, is known for her street art utilizing paper that’s pasted onto building walls, but the Brooklyn-based artist has made a recent pivot that transfers her mythical style to stop-motion animations. Part of her solo exhibition Cicada, Curry’s short film “Sofia and Storm” is centered on a human-arachnid hybrid. After emerging from a dense mass, the gold-faced feminine figure opens up her chest cavity to reveal dark, hanging matter that eventually is absorbed.

Similar to her previous projects, the fantastical animation is linked directly to Curry’s family history and to her parents, who struggled with addiction and substance abuse. “Swoon’s stop-motion films emphasize the body’s ability to serve as a vessel carrying memories and traditions. A house, a ship, and human figures split and open to liberate a cast of imaginative and mythological creatures trapped inside,” a statement said.

So far, Curry has released three other animated projects on YouTube. You can also find her work that explores the relationship between the body and trauma on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)


 

 



Illustration

Bold Illustrations by Calvin Sprague Camouflage Geometric Figures and Detached Body Parts

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Calvin Sprague

American illustrator and designer Calvin Sprague blends bodies, disconnected hands, and wide-open eyes into their surrounding environments in his vibrant illustrations. Now based in Rotterdam, Sprague uses thin black lines and color-blocked shapes to create surreal scenes, including a red-shirted girl hugging her knees amidst towering plants and a portrait of a woman encircled by multiple sets of peering eyes.

“Experimenting with basic lines and shapes, he finds harmony by bridging the gap between structure and chaos,” a statement about Sprague’s work said. “Influenced by the early works of Saul Bass to Heinz Edelmann to Milton Glaser, he sees their eccentric, colorful style as a big reason why he grew to love design.” You can buy prints, shirts, and pins featuring Sprague’s bold digital illustrations in his shop. To follow his latest projects, head to Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

Memory and Self-Love Highlight Profound Portraits of Black Figures by Harmonia Rosales

January 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Summer,” (2018), oil on linen and gold leaf, 24 x 24 inches. All images © Harmonia Rosales, shared with permission

Chicago-born artist Harmonia Rosales says her striking portraits speak to “the part of me that has been the least represented in our society.” Rosales tells Colossal that much of her work⁠—⁠she largely features a central black figure surrounded by floral and animalistic details—is linked to her Afro-Cuban background. “I empower women of color through art that challenges ideological hegemony in contemporary society,” she writes. “The black female bodies of my paintings are the memory of my ancestors expressed in a way to heal and promote self-love.”

In “Harvest,” a seated woman holds three children, while two others gather at her bare feet. A small stack of nondescript books, a brown skull, a broken string of pearls, and a writhing snake line the steps, providing contrast between the natural and human-made elements. Although she often utilizes religious iconography, like in her Orisha’s series, Rosales says she hopes instead to give her viewers healing tools rather than spiritual indoctrination. Frequently offering alternative portrayals, Rosales’s 2017 work “The Creation of God” garnered viral attention because the artist presents God as a black woman.

Rosales’s upcoming project Miss Understood, which considers the relationship between feeling dissociated from ancestral cultures and still trying to protect that history in America, will be on view at MoCADA in Brooklyn from February 28 to April 16. Head to the artist’s Instagram to follow her profound projects, and check out the pieces she has for sale on Artsy.

“Compromise” (2019), oil on canvas, 24 × 24 inches

“Birth of Eve” (2018), oil on linen

“Oya” (2019), oil on linen with gold leaf, 12 x 12 inches

“The Harvest” (2018), oil on linen and gold leaf

 

 



Art

Squishy Flesh Suits Quilted by Textile Artist Daisy Collingridge

January 18, 2020

Andrew LaSane

“Clive a portrait” (2019). All images © Daisy Collingridge, used with permission

London-based artist Daisy Collingridge layers amorphous blobs of fabric and textiles to form wearable pastel-colored body suits. With names like Burt, Clive, and Lippy, each member of Collingridge’s family has a personality that matches his/her form. Inspired by human anatomy and infused with elements of fantasy and impulse, the artist says that the costumes are an exercise in “pushing quilting to the absolute extreme.”

Each new character begins with the construction of the head. Hand-dyed jersey and other fabric patterns are filled with plastic pellets (beans) and sewn together to form blobs in various shapes and sizes. After the underlying body structure has been formed, Collingridge begins the process of hand-stitching the blobs to the wadding. She tells Colossal that she has never clocked the process but would estimate that it takes around two months on average. The “Dave” suit is named for and modeled by her father who requested it. The others are named “like children,” and are worn and photographed by the artist herself using a remote.

Progress shot

After graduating with a degree in fashion design from Central Saint Martins, Collingridge created her first costume in 2016 for the New Zealand-based design competition, World of Wearable Art. “The squishy idea definitely came from my graduate collection, which was all free machine quilted, but all done with really fat wadding,” she told Dazed Digital. “It wasn’t really your traditional patchwork quilt.”

Some have read Collingridge’s costumes as a commentary on body image and body ideals. “It’s really fascinating because as much as I can tell people what they mean or why I make these costumes, everyone comes at it with such a different view,” she told Dazed. “They are reflective of the human form with elements of fantasy. They neither promote or demote one body type. The idea there is an ‘ideal body’ is ridiculous. We are all so different, my work is more about the ‘ideal’ way to inhabit a body. To be joyous. They bring me joy to create and I hope that is reflected.”

Collingridge tells Colossal that her “Clive” costume is currently on tour as a part of 62 Group’s Ctrl/Shift exhibition, while the rest are at her human family’s home. “My dad unpacked Dave, who has been sitting in the living room over the festive period. He was even treated some Christmas lights.” To see the artist create and model the squishy bodies, follow her on Instagram.

“Burt lunge” (2018)

“Clive Feels Like” (2018)

“Crouching Tiger Hidden Hillary” (2019)

“Dave a portrait” (2019)

“Dave on his bed” (2019)

Progress shot

 

 



Art

Minimalist Paintings by Prudence Flint Emphasize the ‘Emotional Weight’ of Womanhood

January 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Visit” (2016), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. All images © Prudence Flint

Focusing heavily on the female figure, painter Prudence Flint combines pastels and flat, geometric shapes in her minimalistic works. Rarely showing their faces directly, Flint’s oil paintings often portray women lying down, sitting, or performing daily tasks like showering while they look straight ahead, adding to the pieces’ pensive atmospheres.

In a recent interview with Juxtapoz, the painter expounded on why she mostly centers on women, saying she wants them “to be all things, whole, boundless, perverse, and representative of humanity. I want to give voice to this experience of being alive, now, in this culture, as a woman.” The ways Flint constructs female bodies exemplifies these ideas of womanhood, as she often paints small heads on top of broad torsos and long limbs.

As a woman, I feel constantly up against the idea of what is meant to be happening to me versus what is actually happening to me … I think I have found a solution by distorting the bodies, which becomes representative of what experience does to you. It marks you and creates emotional weight.

Flint’s self-portrait “The Wish” is on view from January 16 to 30 at High Line Nine in New York as part of ME, an exhibition that considers the relationship between identity and the face. If you can’t see the Melbourne-based artist’s paintings in person, head to Instagram where she shares much of her work.

“Double” (2018), oil on linen, 142 x 109 cm

Left: “Queen Anne Mirror” (2012), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. Right: “Shower #2” (2015), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Fitting” (2019), oil on linen, 130 x 107 cm

“The Stand” (2019), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Wake” (2018), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

Left: “Bedsit” (2016), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. Right: “Sewing Machine” (2012), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Yard” (2019), oil on linen, 135 x 107 cm

 

 



Animation

Squirming Multi-Colored Bodies Dance Across the Screen in an Unsettling Animation by Mike Pelletier

August 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Flurry” is a bizarre new animated short from the experimental artist Mike Pelletier. The two minute-long video features no obvious narrative. Rather, the animation is an exploration of movement and volume: an indeterminate number of humanoid figures seem to merge and divide as their flaccid limbs wiggle and squirm. Pelletier is Canadian and now based in Amsterdam. In a statement, the artist shares that “his work explores the various ways in which the human body is represented in art and the social milieu”. Watch more of Pelletier’s experiments on Vimeo (especially this deflated fruit animation) on Vimeo. Digital editions of the artist’s work are available in his online store.

 

 



Art

Crouched and Posed Figures Formed From Hundreds of Welded Bike Chains

October 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Anguish” (2018), 303 Stainless chain, 58 x 95 x 87 (h) cm

Young-Deok Seo (previously here and here) produces life-size figures welded from hundreds of folded bike chains. To create these works he first begins with a sketch, which he then digitizes to create a 3D model. Next he creates a full-scale rendition from clay, which serves as both his foundation and mold for the welded chains. Despite the many bends and curves of the chains’ hinges, the final forms perfectly outline the intricate details of human ears, torsos, and hands. The Korean artist as an upcoming solo exhibition curated by Liquid Art System at Abbazia della Misericordia in from late March to mid-April 2019. You can see more of his figurative sculptures on Instagram and Facebook.

"Anguish" (2018), 255 Iron chain, 92 x 63 x 67 (h) cm, all images provided by Young-Deok Seo

“Anguish” (2018), 255 Iron chain, 92 x 63 x 67 (h) cm, all images provided by Young-Deok Seo

"Anguish" (2018), 255 Iron chain, 92 x 63 x 67 (h) cm

“Anguish” (2018), 255 Iron chain, 92 x 63 x 67 (h) cm

"Anguish" (detail) (2018), 303 Stainless chain, 58 x 95 x 87 (h) cm

“Anguish” (detail) (2018), 303 Stainless chain, 58 x 95 x 87 (h) cm

"Meditation" (2018), 626 Stainless chain, 135 x 120 x 200 (h) cm

“Meditation” (2018), 626 Stainless chain, 135 x 120 x 200 (h) cm

"Nirvana" (2018), 180 Stainless chain, 48 x 97 x 92 (h) cm

“Nirvana” (2018), 180 Stainless chain, 48 x 97 x 92 (h) cm

"Nirvana" (detail) (2018), 180 Stainless chain, 48 x 97 x 92 (h) cm

“Nirvana” (detail) (2018), 180 Stainless chain, 48 x 97 x 92 (h) cm

"Meditation" (2018), 187 Iron chain, 84 x 50 x 110 (h) cm

“Meditation” (2018), 187 Iron chain, 84 x 50 x 110 (h) cm

 

 

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