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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

 

 



Art

Paper Torsos Covered with Ancient Chinese Paintings by Peng Wei Reimagine Femininity

December 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Peng Wei, courtesy of Tina Keng Gallery, shared with permission

Through delicately layered flax and cotton paper, Peng Wei (previously) reconceptualizes common notions of femininity. The Chinese artist casts figurative sculptures depicting only the human torso, which are shapely in front and abstractly gathered in back. Inky tableaus of spectral figures, scenes of war, and domestic tasks all evoking ancient Chinese narratives—like Paragons of Feminine Virtue by Ming-dynasty thinker Lv Kun and Qing-dynasty novelist Pu Songling’s Strange Tales from the Chinese Studio—envelop the exterior. Combined with evocative poses, Peng’s freehand paintings subvert traditional understandings of women’s roles by removing their original context and displaying them anew.

Many of the delicately sculpted works shown here are part of Feminine Space, a collection that “privileges the female vantage point,” a statement says. Peng’s “stance is less an insouciant look from afar than an earnest gaze that pierces through the ancient works of Chinese literature.” If you’re in Taiwan, Feminine Space is on view through January 30, 2021, at Tina Keng Gallery. Otherwise, explore more of Peng’s work on Artsy.

 

 

 



Art

Minimal Female Figures Explore Community, Identity, and Connection in Laura Berger’s Paintings

October 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

“In my feelings” (2020), oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches. All images © Laura Berger, shared with permission

In Laura Berger’s minimalist paintings, female figures entwine together in abstract formations. Their dark locks flow with the curves of their bodies, which are posed in relaxed, natural stances. Using tight color palettes of muted tones, Berger works mostly in acrylic, although she’s ventured into oil since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m not sure if it’s related to everything that’s been going on in the world or to the shift in medium itself, but my ideas have been moving in a more narrative direction which has really opened up a lot of new things for me to work with,” she tells Colossal.

The Chicago-based artist (previously) continues to explore themes of identity, community, and connection, in addition to more abstract conceptions of energy and quality of life, throughout her largely geometric body of work. “As a woman, I usually paint from that perspective point, but the figures are really meant mostly to serve as characters through which to explore our collective humanity and shared experience,” she says.

If you’re in New York City, check out Berger’s solo show, which is open from November 21 to December 12, at Hashimoto Contemporary. Otherwise, follow her on Instagram to see her latest considerations of the female experience.

 

“We wanted to feel the light” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

Left: “If I were you” (2019), acrylic on wood panel, 30 x 40 inches. Right: “If I were you 2” (2019), acrylic on wood panel, 30 x 40 inches

“Mood” (2020), oil on canvas, 16 x 12 inches

Left: “If I were you 3” (2019), acrylic on wood panel, 30 x 40 inches. Right: “Night fruit” (2020)

“Strata” (2019), acrylic on cradled wood panel, 16 x 20 inches