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Art Photography

Set Against Lavishly Patterned Backdrops, Photographer Cecilia Paredes Disguises Herself in Stunning Self-Portraits

October 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Zanzibar” (2019). All images © Cecilia Paredes, shared with permission

Whether immersing herself in swathes of ornamental textiles or against paisley-style backdrops, Cecilia Paredes is adept at camouflaging herself in the most elaborate settings. The Peruvian artist disguises her figure by painting her exposed skin and draping her torso in lavishly patterned clothing, leaving just her hair and eyes untouched as she snaps a photograph. The meticulously composed self-portraits, which are part of an ongoing body of work, blur the boundaries between subject and surrounding environment as they consider themes of nature, origin, and transformation.

Paredes is represented by Ruiz-Healy Art, where some of her smaller works are on view as part of two group exhibitions. See more of her multi-media pieces that explore elements of disguise on Artsy.

 

“Asian Dreams” (2018)

“Shield” (2018)

“The Voyage” (2019)

“Of Wings And Thorns” (2020)

 

 



Art

Two Fabric Homes by Artist Do Ho Suh Float Above an Atrium in Incheon International Airport

October 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches. Images © Do Ho Suh, courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, shared with permission

Living and working in London, Korean artist Do Ho Suh (previously) is concerned with “home, physical space, displacement, memory, individuality, and collectivity,” ideas he evokes in his life-sized fabric sculptures and installations. His 2019 piece “Home within Home,” which is suspended from an atrium in Incheon International Airport in Seoul, positions two structures vertically, with the larger polyester and steel construction on top. This newer work evokes a similar piece from 2013, titled “Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home,” which placed replicas of Suh’s former living spaces within one another, from his first house in South Korea to an apartment building in Rhode Island.

Often using his own experiences as source material, Suh’s multi-media practice explores both the physical and metaphorical understandings of home as he considers the ways people occupy structures in specific times, locations, forms, and histories. “The spaces we inhabit also contain psychological energy, and in his work, he makes visible those markers of memories, personal experiences, and a sense of security, regardless of geographic location,” a statement about his practice says.

Suh is represented by Lehmann Maupin, and you can explore more of the artist’s architectural sculptures, installations, and smaller works on the international gallery’s site.

 

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches

“Passage/s” (2017)

“Passage/s” (2017)

 

 



Art

Ornate Fabrics Cloak Models in Disquieting Portraits by Artist Markus Åkesson

June 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Grove” (2020), oil on canvas, 180 x 140 centimeters. All images © Markus Åkesson, shared with permission

Swedish artist Markus Åkesson enshrouds his subjects in elaborately patterned silks and satins, leaving only the impression of their faces, limbs, and torsos visible. An extension of his ongoing Now You See Me series, the artist’s latest paintings continue his exploration of repetition and the unsettling feelings evoked by being wrapped in fabric. By completely covering his models, they “became a secret. Instead, I started to tell a story within the pattern itself, like a sub-narrative in the painting,” he writes.

Åkesson’s pieces begin with designing the traditional, florid motifs that are printed onto the largely unshaped fabrics. The artist then envelops models in the textiles before posing the subjects for the discomfiting portraits. “I have always been interested in patterns, I am drawn to the repetition and the rhythm,” he tells Colossal. “I did a lot of paintings with people that were surrounded by patterns, different surfaces, and materials, almost drowning in them. Eventually, they became completely covered in fabrics.”

Åkesson’s work will be on view this fall at Da-End Gallery in Paris. Until then, follow his heavily patterned paintings on Instagram.

 

“At the heart of it all (2020), oil on canvas, 60 x 50 centimeters

“Now You See Me” (2019), oil on canvas, 180 x 140 centimeters

“Yellow Veil” (2019), oil on canvas

“Now you see me (Dysmorphia 10)” (2018), oil on canvas, 145 x 100 centimeters

“Now you see me (Blue and Gold Kimono)” (2019), oil on canvas, 180 x 140 centimeters

“In the quiet morning” (2020), oil on canvas, 145 x 100 centimeters

“Danse Macabre” (2020), oil on canvas, 145 x 100 centimeters

 

 



Art

Human Metamorphosis Embodied in Rosemary Holliday Hall's Oxidized Chrysalises

May 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Rosemary Holliday Hall by Aron Gent, shared with permission

Chicago-based artist Rosemary Holliday Hall envisions transformation through Encyclia Imagosis, a sculptural series that brings the physical processes of insect metamorphosis to a human scale. The four artworks consist of oxidized fabric stretched across metal structures, creating a translucent form that highlights the spacious shape of the wireframe. Similar to insect chrysalises, the meshy works serve as a symbolic site for change. “Encyclia Imagosis investigates various ways we make sense of the world and relate to ourselves and others through imagination, metaphor, and material,” the artist writes.

Holliday Hall envisioned the project as merging her own physicality with the metamorphic processes of “microbes, insects, pollinators, and decomposed, who construct and deconstruct our world, for inspiration into ways of being,” she says. “I made these sculptures to imagine what it would be like to be a caterpillar in a self-made structure, whose purpose was to hold my disintegrated body as it transforms into another body.”

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Holliday Hall says Encyclia Imagosis has become more immediate and visceral.

Some days, becoming unrecognizable to myself, it seems the world and our systems are slushy slop in individual COVID chrysalises, amidst a painful collective metamorphosis… Now, more than ever, we are faced with the fragility and interdependence of our own bodies and the systems we inhabit. I keep returning to the chrysalis, for both solace and inspiration in that, the chrysalis is a messy, painful, and disorienting space, but within the mush there are imaginal seeds for transformation.

For more of the artist’s projects that merge natural processes and art, check out her Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Swirling Fabrics Envelop Floating Subjects in Underwater Photographs by Christy Lee Rogers

January 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Christy Lee Rogers and Apple, shared with permission

By submerging her subjects into dark waters, Hawaii-born photographer Christy Lee Rogers creates images that explore human movement in a weightless environment. Commissioned by Apple, her most recent underwater series features intertwined figures surrounded by long, swirling fabrics that often mask parts of their bodies and faces as they float with outstretched limbs. Similar to her previous work, Rogers continues to illuminate the waters, giving her immersive pieces a distinct, painting-like quality.

Water is my collaborator. I feel like we are working together to create something that is not here in reality. I’ve just been experimenting with it to see how far I can push things—light and color and movement. Water has these dichotomies. It’s powerful and it’s dangerous, but then there’s beauty. Water is healing and nurturing and life giving, and because I think that’s how we are as humans, how do we find that balance?

Apple recently shared a short video about the series, and more of Rogers’s buoyancy-related projects can be found on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Giant Fabric Butterfly and Moth Sculptures Hand-Crafted by Yumi Okita

December 22, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © Yumi Okita, shared with permission

North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita (previously) layers hand-painted fabric, embroidery thread, feathers, and faux fur to create large sculptures of insects. Each handmade moth and butterfly is one-of-a-kind, with coloration and patterning often inspired by existing species.

Okita’s fiber sculptures are designed to be hung from wires or displayed as free-standing works. The fabric wings on the insects measure up to 9.5 inches wide, while the furry creatures stand an impressive 3.5 to 4.5 inches tall. From a distance, they could be mistaken for the real thing, but a closer look reveals an intricate weave of materials and a vibrant array of colors.

The unique creations are sold via Yumi Okita’s Etsy shop, and you check out the growing specimen gallery over on Instagram.