butterflies

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Art

Innumerable Metal Leaves and Flowers Cloak Intricately Sculpted Animals by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The Dog in the Night Fog”

Japanese artist Taiichiro Yoshida (previously) continues his surveys into the possibilities of metalsmithing with a new series of elaborately layered sculptures. Spending between two and six months on each work, Yoshida meticulously molds copper, bronze, silver, and other materials by hand, creating countless metallic pieces with intricately impressed textures and edgings. Once wrapped around an armature of a dog, chick, or stuffed teddy bear, the fragile components ripple across the form, or as is the case with “The Dog in the Night Fog,” they appear as dozens of butterflies poised for flight. Explore a larger collection of Yoshida’s wrought sculptures on his site.

 

“Shell.” All images © Taiichiro Yoshida, shared with permission

Detail of “The Dog in the Night Fog”

“Red chick no. 6”

“Vessel”

“Calico”

“Doppel”

“Mottled rabbit”

 

 



Art Illustration

Watercolor Illustrations by Steeven Salvat Cloak Natural Specimens with Elaborate Metallic Motifs

August 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

History, science, and nature converge in the watercolor and ink drawings of French artist Steeven Salvat (previously). Whether encasing beetles in ornate armor, rotational gears, and antique dials or rendering vast entanglements of flora and fauna, Salvat’s works exquisitely apply a fanciful veil to wildlife and insects. Each piece, which is the result of hundreds of hours of painstaking linework, stems from biological studies and 18th-century engravings, two themes the artist returns to as a way to allude to the precious qualities of the natural world.

Salvat’s Nymphalidae series will be on view from August 14 to September 12 at Haven Gallery in Northport, New York. Find a multitude of videos detailing his process on Instagram, and shop limited-edition prints and originals on his site.

 

 

 



Art

Oversized Butterflies, Moths, and Beetles Cloak Vintage Books in Paintings by Rose Sanderson

January 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rose Sanderson, shared with permission

Worn copies of World Books, agricultural texts, and classic novels become canvases for Rose Sanderson’s insect studies. Now a few years old, the expansive series boasts more than 100 paintings featuring beetles, moths, and butterflies that splay across the printed material. Each specimen is enlarged to showcase the details of their bodies as they wrap around the tattered spines.

In a note to Colossal, Sanderson shares that her process is more cyclical than linear as she’s constantly resurfacing themes, materials, and methods from earlier works or those she previously set aside. While her focus currently is on abstract interpretations of the lichens found near her home in West Wales, she draws a connection between the intricacies of the organisms she paints today and the insects of her book series.

Keep an eye out for Sanderson’s work in Issue #24 of Create! Magazine that’s curated by Colossal’s Editor-in-Chief Christopher Jobson. You can follow her specimen-centric projects, which include forays into miniature and 3-D, on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Gemstones, Delicate Filigree, and Mechanical Gears Encase Steeven Salvat's Insect Specimens

November 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission

Steeven Salvat (previously) evokes the glass-covered entomological studies of rare butterflies, beetles, and moths with an additional layer of protection. The French artist armors the singular insects with precious gemstones, silver and gold filigree, and rotational gears. Even elements of luxury watches, like Breguet’s Reine de Naple and an intricate dial from Vacheron Constantin, cloak the critters’ outer shells.

In a note to Colossal, Salvat writes that the growing collection of drawings is an “allegory for the preciosity of biological systems. A way to drive attention to our smallest neighbors on this planet—we need to preserve them because they are worth much more than all the gold and jewels I dressed them with.” Each intricate drawing is rendered with China black ink and watercolor and takes at least 50 hours to complete.

Pick up a limited-edition giclée print of an encrusted creature in Salvat’s shop, and follow his latest projects merging nature, history, and science on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Steeven Salvat (@steevensalvat)

 

 



Art

Mantra's Trompe L’oeil Murals Encase Enormous Butterflies in Vintage-Style Boxes

October 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

Torino, Italy. All images © Mantra, shared with permission

Working with entomologists around the globe, the French street artist known as Mantra (previously) transforms brick facades and concrete walls into massive studies of local butterfly specimens. With framed outer edges that mimic a wooden box, the trompe l’oeil murals render the winged insects in detail, depicting their richly hued scales and delicate antennae. Each artwork features species native to the area, making it possible that a live specimen might flutter by its enormous counterpart.

In a conversation with Colossal, Mantra said he’s harbored a lifelong fascination with entomology that stems from spending hours in French gardens and bucolic areas as a kid. “As a child, I was interested, curious, and focused on the small life forms in those places,” he says. His current practice hearkens back to those carefree hours and connects with an adolescent desire to become a naturalist. “My approach is as a scientist,” the artist says, noting that education about environmental care and issues is part of the goal.

Although Mantra considers all insects and natural life beautiful and crucial to maintaining biodiversity, the focus on butterflies revolves around his artistic ambitions because the vivid creatures allow him to experiment with color, shape, and texture. Each specimen is rendered freehand before the artist adds detail and the illusory shadows that make them appear three-dimensional. By painting various Lepidoptera species again and again, the artist is “repeating a mantra,” a detail of his practice that informs the moniker he works under.

In recent months, Mantra has traveled to Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden, in addition to various locations throughout France, to complete public artworks, and he’ll be in Arkansas this month for two projects curated by Just Kids. Follow all of the artist’s entomological murals on Instagram.

 

Rombas, France

Cancún, Mexico. Image by Gino Caballero

Silkeborg, Denmark

Las Vegas, Nevada

Dijon, France

Jacksonville, Florida

Brooklyn, New York

Dallas, Texas. Image by Chop’ em Down

Overum, Sweden

Indianapolis, Indiana

Cancún, Mexico. Image by Gino Caballero

Torino, Italy. Image by Martha Cooper

 

 



Photography

Elaborate Fashions and Hairstyles Explore Beauty and Power in Photographer Luke Nugent's Lavish Portraits

September 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

From Albinism & Skulls Series, Part 1. Photography by Luke Nugent, concept, art direction, and makeup by Vanessa Davis, modeling by Leo Jonah, makeup artist assistance by Gabi Havens. All images © Luke Nugent, shared with permission

London-based photographer Luke Nugent (previously) captures a wide swath of beauty and expression through his powerful images centered on Black models. Often in commanding poses, the subjects sport evocative fashions and elaborately designed makeup. One model is covered in Kintsugi-style cracks and encrusted with glimmering gems, while others wear futuristic garments and lavishly styled hair. The deeply considered photographs are created collaboratively with makeup and hair artists, stylists, and creative directors.

Find more of Nugent’s photography on Instagram and Behance—where you can also see his recent EQUILIBRIUM series that was produced in collaboration with Melissa Simon-Hartmon—and pick up a print in his shop.

 

“Knots.” Photography by Luke Nugent, creative direction by Melissa Simon-Hartman and Nugent, design and styling by Simon-Hartman, muse Charlie Fletcher, makeup by Callista Lorian Thomas, hair by Patience Aurelien

From UTOPIA. Photography by Luke Nugent, concept and direction by Nugent and Lisa Farrall, hair by Farrall, makeup by Lauren Kay, nails by Marie-Louise Coster, styling by Simone Sylvester, muses Ms. Mows, Sema-Tawi, SydFalls, and

From Albinism & Skulls Series, Part 1. Photography by Luke Nugent, concept, art direction, and makeup by Vanessa Davis, modeling by Leo Jonah, makeup artist assistance by Gabi Havens

From UTOPIA. Photography by Luke Nugent, concept and direction by Nugent and Lisa Farrall, hair by Farrall, makeup by Lauren Kay, nails by Marie-Louise Coster, styling by Simone Sylvester

From UTOPIA. Photography by Luke Nugent, concept and direction by Nugent and Lisa Farrall, hair by Farrall, makeup by Lauren Kay, nails by Marie-Louise Coster, styling by Simone Sylvester

From UTOPIA. Photography by Luke Nugent, concept and direction by Nugent and Lisa Farrall, hair by Farrall, makeup by Lauren Kay, nails by Marie-Louise Coster, styling by Simone Sylvester