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Art

Dramatic Pastel Drawings of Shifting Glacial Landscapes by Zaria Forman

October 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Lincoln Sea, Greenland” (2019), soft pastel on paper, 68 x 108 inches

Pastel artist Zaria Forman’s subject of choice is the glacier. The natural phenomenon that occurs around the globe is a critical element of cold-weather ecosystems, as well as a barometer of global climate health. The Brooklyn-based artist travels worldwide, often accompanying scientific expeditions, to experience and document glaciers firsthand, taking thousands of reference photographs to inform her enormous pastel drawings.

In translating her real-world travels on to paper, Forman shares that she draws from memory as well as from her reference photographs. “Occasionally I will re-shape the ice a little, or simplify a busy background to create a balanced composition, but 90% of the time I am depicting the exact scene that I witnessed, because I want to stay true to the landscape that existed at that point in time.”

Forman shares with Colossal that her passion for remote landscapes was sparked in childhood, when she traveled the world with her family—including her fine art photographer mother. As an adult she has channeled this fascination with our planet’s vast and varied landscapes into her art practice.

Climate change is arguably the largest crisis we face as a global society. I feel a responsibility as an artist to address this in my work, especially since I’ve had the rare opportunity to travel to remote places at the forefront of the crisis. Psychology tells us that humans take action and make decisions based on emotion above all else. Studies have shown that art impacts our emotions. I convey the beauty as opposed to the devastation of threatened places in my work. If people can experience the sublimity of these landscapes, perhaps they will be inspired to protect and preserve them.

“Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 68 x 102 inches

Many of the works shown here feature Greenland’s glaciers. Last winter, Forman also re-visited Antactica and Patagonia’s southern ice fields, and she has just started working on a series around Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. “Impressively, Perito Moreno glacier is the third largest reserve of fresh water on the planet, surpassed only by the Antarctic and Greenland Ice sheets,” Forman explains to Colossal. “It also happens to be the only glacier in the southern ice fields that is not retreating. But it’s not advancing, either. I am excited to dive into its details and textures in these new compositions.”

Next summer, Forman’s solo show will be on view at Winston Wächter Fine Art in Seattle. The artist is also curating an exhibition for the National Geographic Endurance, a polar expedition ship, which will be installed in February, 2020. Follow along with Forman’s work and travels on Instagram.

“Charcot Fjord, Greenland” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 90 x 60 inches

“Hiawatha Basin, Greenland”, soft pastel on paper

“Weddell Sea Southeast off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 60 x 90 inches

“Arctic Ocean Northwest off the coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada” (2018), 40 x 60 inches

“Supraglacial Lake (between Hiawatha and Humboldt Glaciers), Greenland, July 19 2017” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 60 x 81 7/8 inches

“Getz Ice Shelf, Antarctica” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 40 x 60 inches

“Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland, 69° 4’51.58N 49°28’24.41W, April 29th, 2017” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 108 3/8 x 68 inches

 

 



Art Illustration

Scribbled Portraits of Brooding Figures by Adam Riches

September 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Adam Riches uses pen and ink to create frenetic portraits of brooding anonymous figures. The monochrome illustrations emerge out of blank backgrounds, with broad, gestural lines skittering and looping across the paper. Often, pen drawings fall into two stylistic categories: contour drawings that capture the outlines and edges of their subject, or super-smooth ones that seem to defy the fine point of the pen with layered hatch marks. In forging his own style, Riches uses highly varied density in his mark-making to create volume and suggest shadows, while also utilizing each line as a distinctive shape. In a recent video interview with BBC, the artist explains, “the drawings are quite intuitive and are done spontaneously. They reveal themselves as I’m making them.”

Riches will be showing his work at PULSE Art Fair in Miami Beach in December, 2019, and his artwork is available for purchase through Nadia Arnold. See more of the artist’s scribbled portraits as well as his work in charcoal on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

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Art Documentary

Filmmaker Bas Berkhout Steps Inside Portrait Painter Kathryn Engberg’s New York Studio

August 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A short documentary film by Bas Berkhout profiles third generation portrait painter Kathryn Engberg. In the 6 minute-long film, Berkhout turns the tables on Engberg⁠—usually the observer and chronicler⁠—taking a look inside the artist’s studio and digging into her story. “As a painter of people myself, I tried to give Bas total control to capture what felt compelling to him. As someone so self-admittedly interested in being in the audience, it was strange to see myself as the focus. But I trusted Bas to create a wonderful piece,” Engberg tells Colossal.

The artist is currently working on a series of paintings inspired by the artist Artemisia Gentileschi  (who is perhaps best known for Judith Slaying Holofernes), and will be exhibiting in the group show “Face to Face” at Robert Simon Fine Art in New York City. The show opens on November 14, 2019. See more of Engberg’s paintings and sketches on Instagram and explore Berkhout’s film portfolio on Vimeo. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

 



Illustration Photography

Playful Doodles by Shira Barzilay Add Stylized Dimension to Classic Portraits

August 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Tel Aviv-based illustrator Shira Barzilay creates expressive line drawings on top of editorial style portraits to provide a more exaggerated expression for the subject, or produce an entirely new face on the back of their head. The digital illustrations are created via iPad, and range from simple lines to filled in multi-color shapes that give the pieces an almost cubist appearance. You can see more of her photographic illustrations, in addition to recent clothing and handbag collaborations, on her Instagram. If you enjoy Barzilay’s itinerant illustrations, also take a look at Shantell Martin’s work.

 

 



Art

Metal and Wood Drawing Machines by James Nolan Gandy Form Mesmerizing Multi-Color Ellipses

July 31, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

James Nolan Gandy (previously) uses his metalworking knowledge to create drawing machines that produce finely tuned, yet expressive works. The machines are purely mechanical, yet their result is something that appears almost digital, as if the drawn orbs and ellipses were designed in a computer program rather than executed by an analog structure. To create multi-color works Gandy must pause the machine to switch out each color, furthering the collaboration between the built artistic object and his own aesthetic desires. You can watch his mesmerizing machines in action in the videos below, and view more of his finished work on his website and Instagram.

 

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Art Illustration

Meticulous Portraits of Young Women by Ozabu Are Eerily Fused with Plants and Feathers

July 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Mysterious women are delicately rendered in surreal graphite portraits by Japanese artist Ozabu. Working on warm-toned paper, Ozabu uses a combination of meticulous linework and astoundingly smooth blending to create images that are simultaneously dramatic and soft. Young female subjects seem to fuse with ravens, chrysanthemums, and bonsai trees, blurring the boundaries between human and nature. The self-taught artist refrains from speaking about or explaining her work, instead allowing each ineffable drawing to spark the viewer’s imagination. Ozabu is currently working on an upcoming solo show and regularly posts in-progress and completed pieces on Instagram.

 

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Animation Illustration

Eyes Roll and Tongues Unfurl in Quirky Hand-Animated Illustrations by Ed Merlin Murray

July 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

 

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Using simple materials like paper and ink washes, artist Ed Merlin Murray creates lively illustrations that animate with the pull of a tab. The expressiveness of the human face is Murray’s frequent subject, with blinking eyes and slithering tongues coming to life in bright colors. In addition to these hand-activated animations, the Scotland-based artist pursues a wide variety of illustration and animation projects. This spring, Murray crowdfunded a “book of drawings based on the eternal mystery of human consciousness, via a set of arcane sciences, esotericism, and the mystical” on Kickstarter, and also offers designs on Society6. You can see more of Murray’s moving images, paired with quirky captions, on Instagram.

 

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