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Art

The Vibrant Blue Hues of Morocco’s Chefchaouen Village Captured in Photographs by Tiago & Tania

July 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Photography duo Tania De Pascalis and Tiago Marques, known as Tiago & Tania, spent six days capturing the blue-tinted stone architecture of Chefchaouen, a 550-year-old village located in the mountains of Morocco. The photo series presents an interesting juxtaposition of everyday life within a fairytale-like aesthetic created by the town’s trademark cerulean walls, which have earned it the nickname “Blue Pearl.”

The lines and curves of the buildings and alleyways are visually augmented as the saturated blues contrast with the surrounding Earth tones, colorful textiles, and the people who move through the town. There are several theories about the history of the blue pigments used to color the walls of the Chefchaouen, which was founded as a refugee camp. According to Atlas Obscura, the refugees painted their homes blue according to Jewish traditions to mimic the sky and as a reminder of “God’s power above.”

Early on in the project, Tiago & Tania were met with some resistance from the town’s inhabitants, some of whom did not want their photos taken. “We experienced a unique challenge in Chechaouen, never encountered in any other location,” they told Colossal. “It was the contrast between our role as photographers and citizens… We decided to change our approach method, making nearly imperceptible our presence and focusing on the sense of hearing to [capture] the right moment. This method allowed us to connect to the hearth of the city, living his timings and moments, realizing the photographic series that gave life to the project of Chefchaouen.”

To see more of this and other series by Tiago & Tania, follow them on Instagram (here and here) and take yourself on a virtual journey around the world via their website.

 

 



Art

Light Shines Through a Rainbow-Tinted Geometric Panel Installation by Art Duo Luftwerk

June 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Photographs: John Faier and Peter Tsai, courtesy of Luftwerk

Chicago-based art duo Luftwerk recently opened a site-specific exhibition titled Parallel Perspectives inside of the McCormick House, the Elmhurst Art Museum’s contemporary art center and historic house designed by Mies van der Rohe. Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero installed acrylic panels, RGB LEDs, and diffusers that interact with the light in the space to create a kaleidoscope of colors and geometric shapes that respond to Mies’ architecture.

The McCormick House was designed with modularity in mind so that duplicates of the structure could be built in other locations. The plate glass walls are where prospective owners could flex their individuality by taking advantage of various color tint options. Luftwerk began the design process by moving the tinted surface idea to the interior. The conceptual pieces fill the space with blues, yellows, reds, greens, and other layered hues, which change as the light and color alter perspective.

Parallel Perspectives is a step in our own direction using his basic philosophies,” Luftwerk said in a statement. “This exhibition combines ideas of Johannes Itten’s color theory and the basic concepts of the Bauhaus: with the geometry of a square as a prevalent form and playing with one-point perspective and 90-degree angles. It has given us an opportunity to elaborate on the ideas of Mies and develop them into our own shape and format.”

Parallel Perspectives is on view at the McCormick House now through August 25, 2019. To see more of Luftwerk’s continued exploration of light and color, follow the duo on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Textural Installations by Shoplifter Immerse Visitors in Furry Neon Caves

June 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, who goes by Shoplifter, cites her primary medium as hair. But rather than working with the expected range of browns and blondes that naturally grow on humans and animals, Shoplifter uses a range of hair that seems to draw its color palette from Muppets. Neon yellows and pinks, deep blues, and vivid greens commingle in massive installations that coat gallery walls, floors, and ceilings. Shoplifter’s immersive works often create cave-like spaces where visitors explore around, under, and through her textural worlds.

Shoplifter, whose moniker stems from a stranger’s mishearing of her given name, cites themes of vanity, self-image, fashion, beauty and popular myth as inspiration for her work. In an interview with artnet, she shared, “It started out with my fascination with humans and the things we mass produce for obscure reasons. Hair extensions are trying to beautify yourself and be unique. I noticed that layering the hair together and having it flow around created a very painterly tapestry feeling.”

Shoplifter exhibits widely and most recently showcased her work as Iceland’s representative to the  the Venice Biennale. Her solo show Nervescape VIII is also on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland through September 15, 2019. Explore more of Shoplifter’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Globs of Color and Texture Ooze Off Brian Rochefort’s Ceramic Sculptures

February 24, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images: Brian Rochefort

Los-Angeles based mixed media sculptor Brian Rochefort uses ceramic and glazes to create one-of-a-kind vessels covered in abstract patterns and textured blobs. Unfired clay objects are broken apart, built upon with more material, then fired between each layer of glaze to produce volcanic masses or craters, overflowing with color and character.

The surfaces of the sculptures are a blend of rough, uneven clumps and smooth, bubbly drips, all suspended in place by the kiln firing. Solid vibrant chunks flow over previously laid gradients while cracked exteriors peek from beneath translucent splatters. The final forms are a colorful reflection of the process, which makes each close-up image that Rochefort shares on Instagram feel like a different piece.

Following a recent solo exhibition at Van Doren Waxter Gallery in New York, Rochefort is gearing up for a two-person show with artist Jackie Saccoccio at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery in San Francisco this May.

Installation view at Van Doren Waxter Gallery

 

 



Art

Overlapping Jewel-Toned Fabrics Fill the Nave of a Former Italian Church in a New Installation by Quintessenz

February 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic, known as the art duo Quintessenz (previously), recently completed a new hanging fabric installation at CARME, an arts center located inside a former church in Brescia, Italy. Despite the numerous indoor and outdoor locations the pair have installed their signature semi-transparent fabrics, Carme Genesis is the first time they’ve worked within the architecture of a church. Due to the piece’s position at the center of the nave, guests can walk parallel to the hanging work, or cross directly underneath on the building’s first floor. Each perspective presents a new layering of colors, bringing a shifting dimensionality to the collection of flat, hanging textiles. Carme Genesis runs through March 3, 2019. You can see more of Quintessenz’s installations on their website and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

A New Book Reveals a Colorful Side to Vivian Maier’s Renowned Street Photography

November 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Nanny and self-taught photographer Vivian Maier (1926–2009) (previously here and here) kept nearly 150,000 photographic images, including street photography and self-portraits, hidden from the world until an estate sale in 2007 revealed a large bulk of her secretive hobby. Since 2010 her photographs have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, and were the subject of the 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Although her mostly Chicago and New York-based photographs have become infamous in the decade since their discovery, her color images have been less prevalent due to the technical challenges involved in their development and recovery. This month the largest monograph of her full-color photographs was published by Harper Collins, which includes images pulled from the roughly 40,000 Ektachrome color slides spanning the last 30 years of her life. Vivian Maier: The Color Work explores over 150 of her colorful images with details that have been gathered about her story and photographic process. The book also features a forward by photographer Joel Meyerowitz and text by Colin Westerbeck, a former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Maier was a self-invented polymath of a photographer,” writes Westerbeck in the book. “The one advantage Maier gained from keeping her photography to herself was an exemption from contradiction and condescension. She didn’t have to worry about either the orthodoxy or the approval of her peers.”

Vivian Maier: The Color Work was created in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City, who will be presenting an exhibition of the same title opening November 14, 2018 and running through January 5, 2019. Several of the color photographs included in the exhibition will be presented for the first time. You can see more of Maier’s black and white and color photography on this portfolio site dedicated to her collection, and you can purchase a copy of the new book on Amazon. (via Chicago Magazine)

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, February 1976. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, May 1958. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

New York City, 1959. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location unknown, 1960. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicago, 1962. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Location and date unknown. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicagoland, October 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Chicagoland, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, Chicago, January 1979. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Self-portrait, 1975. © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

From Vivian Maier: The Color Work, by Colin Westerbeck. Copyright © 2018. Images reproduced here with permission from Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

 

 



Design Illustration

Technicolor Tattoos Mix Psychedelic Graphics with Memphis-Inspired Patterns

October 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Oregon-based tattoo artist Dave, a.k.a. Winston the Whale, uses a wide spectrum of colors in his trippy tattoos. The works merge a 60s aesthetics with inspirations from Scandinavian folk art to Memphis design. Traditional floral and vine motifs border prismatic mouths and starry-eyed bats, while other pieces focus more on an 80s appeal with graphic grids and squiggly yellow lines. You can see more psychedelic compositions and brightly colored animals on Dave’s Instagram.