cityscapes

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Art

Bold Brushstrokes Energize Abstract, Pixelated Landscapes by Artist Jason Anderson

January 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Uprising” (2020). All images © Jason Anderson, shared with permission

Jason Anderson visualizes city skylines, swooping highway exchanges, and a range of urban landscapes through prismatic, impasto strokes of oil paint. The U.K.-based artist begins each painting with a black-and-white sketch before turning to the linen canvas and translating the lively works. In recent months, he’s incorporated more curved lines and saturated tones alongside the pastels he’s used previously, resulting in abstract scenes of horizons and city centers rendered through a mosaic of color.

“I relish the often frantic nature of mixing and arranging the paint in thick impressionistic daubs and submitting to a process that creates its own detail and form,” the artist says in a statement. “This forces me to be bold and decisive; it also produces a kaleidoscope of shape and tone (reminiscent of stained-glass) which portrays the ever-present movement and energy found in nature.”

Although all of Anderson’s works are currently sold out, you can follow updates on his commissions and new pieces on his site and view his finished paintings and sketches on Instagram.

 

“Terminus” (2019)

“Sheer” (2020)

“Mistral” (2020)

“Centrifuge” (2020)

“Plaid” (2020)

“Pulse” (2020)

“Branch” (2020)

“Hearth” (2020)

 

 



Art

A Colorful Geometric Mural of a Cityscape Visualizes Humans’ Impact on Nature

November 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Love of Nature” in Chelyabinsk, Russia. All images © Vitaly Tsarenkov, shared with permission

Artist Vitaly Tsarenkov, who works under the moniker SY, depicts the threat of ecological catastrophe through a new mural featuring geometric flora, fauna, and objects typically found in bustling city centers. Created for the Urban Morphogenesis festival in Chelyabinsk, Russia, “Love of Nature” is a vertical rendering of the human impact on nature, with color-blocked trucks, road cones, and towering buildings near the top and a fire, flowers, and tufts of grass occupying space at the bottom.

Based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tsarenkov says the 50-meter-high mural conveys that each person has the agency to protect the planet’s resources. “It’s impossible to stop all harmful factories at once, but to make the first step towards the clean Earth is not difficult and within everybody’s power just by taking the trash away after recreation in nature,” he writes on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Design

Copenhagen's Distinct Architecture Knit into Color-Blocked Urban Landscapes by Jake Henzler

April 16, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Jake Henzler, shared with permission

Instead of writing or illustrating a journal to record his excursions, Sydney-based artist Jake Henzler knits colorful memories of urban landscapes into huge pieces of art. The artist goes by the name of “‘Boy Knits World”’ on Instagram and crafts quilt-like panels of urban spaces that he comes across whilst traveling. 

Henzler lived in Copenhagen for a year, and during that time, he created an original hand-knitted blanket panel called “‘Copenhagen Building Blocks.” The large work celebrates the traditional, world-recognized architecture of Denmark’s capital. As a whole, the piece is made up of a series of six grid-like patterns, which Henzler has sewn together to form a larger piece. Each of the architectural blocks is named after a different district in the city and features Nørrebro Studios, Østerbro Studios, Hellerup Apartments, Nyhavn Hotel, Nørreport Offices, and Frederiksberg Apartments. 

In Copenhagen, much of the traditional architecture’s brick and woodwork is painted, and the diversity of colors throughout the city creates a strong sense of place. This architectural distinctiveness is illustrated throughout Henzler’s work, and each block comprises the traditional colors, framework, and patterns featured throughout the city’s vibrant districts.

To view more of Henzler’s work, visit his Instagram, and to buy the “Copenhagen Building Block” pattern, visit his Ravelry page. (via Lustik)

 

 



Photography

Take an Eerie Walk Through the Empty Streets of Amsterdam, San Francisco, and New York City

March 31, 2020

Grace Ebert

With one-third of the world’s population currently under some level of quarantine, the streets of major cities like Amsterdam, New York City, and San Francisco are an unusual and unsettling sight. Film director and cinematographer Jean Counet, who shot “Meanwhile in Amsterdam,” shows the capital city almost entirely deserted. Public transit is empty and a four-minute walk reveals less than a dozen passersby.

Counet tells Colossal that “Meanwhile in Amsterdam” came together like any other film, except that “this time there was no director, and no plan,” he says. “We walked through the old city centre of Amsterdam between 8:30 (and) 13:30 which is normally teemed by walking people and bicycles. What we witnessed felt like a dream. Sometimes beautiful and mesmerizing, sometimes scary and worrying.”

In a similarly bizarre look at San Francisco, stop lights cycle from green to red with no cars passing through and businesses are boarded up. One with a psychedelic facade even has signs that read “We will survive” and “We will get by,” a hopeful gesture derived from the city’s musical legends that directly contrasts the nailed plywood covering the windows.

To see how the global pandemic is affecting public life in New York City and Rotterdam, check out the videos below. (via Kottke)

 

 



Photography

Towering Skyscrapers Reflect New York City’s Density in Navid Baraty's Photographs

March 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Navid Baraty, shared with permission

Utilizing the reflections on soaring buildings, Seattle-based photographer Navid Baraty (previously) frames New York City in sections of just a few blocks. Although the traffic-packed streets and countless windows on high-rises can be seen from the ground, Baraty’s aerial shots in his ongoing Hidden City II series provide a distinct look at the area’s density and compactedness. “Most of our perceptions of cities involve us walking the busy streets and staring up at the towering skyscrapers above,” he writes. “With my series, I wanted to offer an altered and at times almost surreal perspective on the familiar streets that us city-dwellers drive and walk on each day.”

Baraty tells Colossal that his cityscapes often remind him of scenes from Interstellar or Inception. They “capture reflections of these hidden realities that exist high above the streets below. I couldn’t believe the first time I saw how much of a city can be seen reflected along the sides of skyscrapers from on high. It really felt as though I’d discovered some sort of hidden dimension,” he said. To keep up with Baraty’s perspective-altering photographs, head to Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

Sheets of White Paper Layered into Dense Cityscapes and Forests by Ayumi Shibata

February 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Museum Mile Book.” All images © Ayumi Shibata, shared with permission

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) constructs intricate paper cities and natural landscapes that both fit in the palm of her hand and are expansive enough to pass through on foot. Using dozens of layers of paper for a single project, Shibata carves miniature houses, clouds, and tree-filled forests that eventually are illuminated in glass vessels, stored safely in a book, or erected in large-scale installations.

The artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t use pencil outlines, in part because the white paper isn’t durable enough to be erased if there’s an error. Instead, she envisions the three-dimensional shapes she wants to create and begins cutting. “White paper expresses the yang, light, (and) the process to cut expresses the yin, shadow. When the sun shines upon an object, a shadow is born,” she writes. “Front and back, yin and yang, two side(s) of the same coin.”

Shibata also relies on the Japanese word “kami”—which translates to paper but also to god, divinity, and spirit—as she considers the relationship between humans and nature that turns up in her work. “The world of paper that unfolds within the glass expresses the micro world, which is our human world, the Earth, the universe, and other universes and dimensions. The life-sized forest installation expresses the macro world, which is outside of our universe and the unknown worlds.” Each time someone walks into a room with one of her more expansive pieces, she thinks it’s possible “we could meet, communicate and coexist with Kami, which exists but we can’t see.”

To check out more of Shibata’s structural projects, head to her Instagram.

“Museum Mile Book”

“In the Jar Corridors of Time”

“Forest of Kami”

“Forest of Kami”

“In the Jar Bush”

‘Volcano Book”

Right: “In the Jar Drop of Bush”

“Voyager Book”

 

 

A Colossal

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Artist Cat Enamel Pins