COVID-19

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Art

Outfitted with Knights' Helmets, Children Painted by Seth Globepainter Play in the Streets of Paris

September 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission

French artist Julien Malland, who works as Seth Globepainter (previously), is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with a new series of murals that capture the innocence of childhood. Painted throughout the thirteenth district of Paris, the public artworks feature kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure or playful activity: one rides an oversized pigeon, another blows multicolored bubbles, and a pair appears to float above the ground to embrace.

Each of the figures is sporting a metal knight’s helmet, a sign of protection for their physical wellbeing, in addition to a show of strength and resilience. In a note to Colossal, Globepainter says the headwear also refers to French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech in March in which he said, “We are at war,” as he ordered residents to stay home. The murals represent the way Parisians have accepted this new way of living and are about “how children, in particular, seem to have adapted easily to it,” the artist says. “They are protected by their helmets which weigh so heavily on them. They can only see through small openings in the metal, but they continue to play as if nothing had happened.”

To see more Globepainter’s public artworks that consider the world through the lens of childhood, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A Disorienting Short Film by Lydia Cambron Recreates '2001: A Space Odyssey' in Quarantine

August 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Eerie, hypnotic, and faithfully depicting the dismal reality that is 2020, a new short film by Lydia Cambron envisions her recent quarantine experience under the frame of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2020: An Isolation Odyssey, the New York City-based designer recreates the 1968 version’s iconic ending as a way to “(poke) fun at the navel-gazing saga of life alone and indoors,” she writes in a statement.

Positioned vertically, the characters’ movements are synchronized perfectly, but while the original film’s Keir Dullea wades through the ornate home in an astronaut suit, Cambron sports a face mask and latex gloves. The reenactment is situated in the designer’s one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, and while it maintains the domestic qualities of the original, it also features contemporary updates, like a MacBook sitting on the table rather than a lavish meal. She even parallels the minutes-long credits precisely.

Cambron notes that the contemporary version considers a similarly disorienting life. “Multitasking while #wfh, conjuring guilt or longing with unused exercise equipment, your entire being reduced to a measure of time—these scenes all illustrate the absurd comedy of trying to maintain control during this unprecedented and unpredictable time,” she explains.

Follow Cambron’s parodic explorations—which include an annual exhibition titled JONALDDUDD— on Instagram and Vimeo. (via Daring Fireball)

 

 

 



Art Photography

Masks, Toilet Paper, and Thermometers Transform into Miniature, Outdoor Adventures by Artist Tatsuya Tanaka

August 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tatsuya Tanaka, shared with permission

In the time of COVID-19, disposable face masks, toilet paper, and other essentials are synonymous with safety, precaution, and staying indoors. But in Tatsuya Tanaka’s ongoing Miniature Calendar series, the everyday items are subverted to create the tiny sets of outdoor adventures. A folded mask serves as a small tent, toilet paper descends from a wall holder as a snowy ski hill, and a thermometer outfitted with wheels transforms into a speedy racecar. For more of the miniature scenes from the Japanese artist and photographer (previously), head to Instagram, where he publishes a new piece daily. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Illustration

Face Masks Hold Fish Tanks and Overgrown Patches of Botanics in Surreal Illustrations by Kit Layfield

July 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Kit Layfield, shared with permission

A long way from the packs of blue, disposable masks many of us bulk purchased at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the face coverings Philadelphia-based illustrator Kit Layfield envisions are a bit more complex and otherworldly. He draws intricate contraptions featuring the traditional nose-and-mouth covering that then are connected to larger collars adorned with luxuriant shrubs, miniature ecosystems, and tiny fish tanks. The individual subjects all are situated within the diverse environments, providing the necessary structure to keep the micro-systems flourishing.

Layfield shares with Colossal that his surreal illustrations reflect a fascination with what he terms digital climate change. “I like to think of the various information ecosystems online in the same terms I would think of a natural ecosystem,” he says. “A fact can not exist alone, in the same way a flower can not exist alone. It needs to be rooted in something.” As media floods online, it becomes more difficult to wade through, which he expands on by saying:

The perfect example of digital climate change is the information ecosystem surrounding actual climate change. Every year, the information supporting climate change has become more and more undeniable, and simultaneously Americans’ belief in climate change has dropped. I think the information online backing up the truth of climate science is out there. However, the ecosystem that allows that information to survive and spread has been severely endangered.

Although Layfield’s illustrations are interwoven with fantastical elements, he hopes they inspire people to understand how connected they are to others and their environment. “Could somebody see a mask online, one that is so absurd it could never exist in reality, and make them think about wearing a mask in reality? I think it’s possible,” he says.

Find more of Layfield’s bizarre projects that merge social and environmental commentaries on Instagram.

 

 

 



Music

Seniors Quarantining in English Care Facility Recreate Iconic Album Covers

July 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Robert Specker

The next Johnny Cash or Taylor Swift might just be a resident of the Sydmar Lodge Care Home in Edgware, England. After being in lockdown for more than 120 days, the seniors at the assisted living facility decided to recreate some of the most iconic album covers, transforming themselves into Blink 182, Adele, and Bruce Springsteen in some amusing parodies.

The facility’s activities coordinator, Robert Specker, helmed the project—which includes Elvis Presley’s self-titled debut, Madonna’s True Blue, and David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane— and shared the full series in a now-viral post. You also might enjoy this similarly creative endeavor that inspired people to recreate famous artworks. (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Photography

Eighty-Four Photographers Band Together to Raise Money for Greater Chicago Food Depository

July 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Smiley” (2018) by Lyndon French. All images courtesy of Prints for Hunger, shared with permission

Food banks across the United States have been seeing an unprecedented uptick in usage since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and dozens of Chicago natives and current residents have joined together to provide local aid. Since June 25, Prints for Hunger has raised $20,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository through its online fundraiser selling 84 photographers’ most significant works from the past few decades.

Prints are sold for $100, with $85 being donated to help community members in-need. “As more and more people file for unemployment, thousands of our neighbors are facing hunger for the first time,” organizers said in a statement about the organization, which has more than 700 partnerships across Cook County. “The Food Depository is a crucial member of a united community effort that brings food, dignity, and hope to our neighbors.”

We’ve gathered some of our favorite pieces here, but you can explore more of the collection on Instagram or the Prints for Hunger site, where the works are available for purchase. (via Block Club Chicago)

 

“Subterranean Amor” (2017) by E. Aaron Ross

“Girl in Rain” (1991) by Paul D’Amato

“Ritz Pool” (2001) by Melissa Ann Pinney

“East Chicago Sweet 16” (2016)  by Alyssa Schukar

“Misremembered” (2014) by Ilona Szwarc

“White Night Garden” (2018) by Aimee Beaubien

“Untitled” (2013) by Evan Jenkins