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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.

 

 



Craft

Clay Shapes Bound to Fabric Create Multi-Layered Embroidered Works by Justyna Wolodkiewicz

December 18, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Justyna Wolodkiewicz, shared with permission

Using small polymer clay shapes, Justyna Wołodkiewicz (previously) creates embroidered works that extend beyond the fabric within the hoop. The Poland-based artist molds clay into tiny colorful pieces that she punctures with holes, positions at various angles, and binds with multi-colored thread. “What you see in my embroideries is highly filtered visual and sonic information'” Wolodkiewicz tells Colossal. “It travels through my eyes, brain, and hands, landing in the physical world again, this time in the shape of my hand-stitched pieces.”

The artist’s choice of color, composition, and texture are crucial components in her “micro-worlds” because “they convey a strong emotional message innate to human beings. They suggest very complicated nets of relationships. The upward stitches symbolize the way people are bonded with all that surrounds them,” she says.

Many of Wolodkiewicz’s three-dimensional creations are available for purchase, and you can stay connected with the artist on Instagram.

 

 



Design Photography

Journalist Rachel Lopez Documents the Delightfully Diverse Patterns on the Ceilings of Mumbai Taxis

November 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Rachel Lopez has a thing with… taxi ceilings. Instead of joining the 200,000+ Instagram posts hashtagged #ihavethisthingwithfloors, the lifelong Mumbai resident flips her phone’s camera into selfie mode. Lopez documents the vast array of eccentric plastic patterns covering the ceilings of her hailed rides, many of them taken in her frequent trips around the city as a journalist with the Hindustan Times.

Mumbai is home to about 58,000 metered taxis, and each one seems to feature a totally different interior aesthetic. Though many of the cars themselves are the same model, drivers often line the ceiling with colorful patterned plastic or vinyl to protect the easily-stained felt fabric. She prefers the traditional taxis to the newer influx of startup ride shares, despite the unpredictability of independent operators, who may decline a trip depending on the destination. Since April 2017, Lopez has been collecting consistently framed photos to track the diversity of designs she encounters.

“I live for the day a driver shows interest in my collection. Most of them, when I compliment them, merely grunt in acknowledgement,” Lopez tells Colossal. “They’re determinedly uninterested, for some reason. But a few of them will indulgently smile and get on with the ride. In Mumbai, if you’re a solo woman commuter, the driver is much more interested in whether you’re married, Indian politics, and how much money a journalist makes.”

As she continues her to add to her simple yet infinite collection, Lopez has enjoyed connecting with others. She displayed one hundred of her photos this February at Kala Ghoda Festival, which is Asia’s largest street festival for the arts. “I was keen to show on the street, not in a sanitized gallery, so everyday crowds could appreciate them,” says Lopez. “The response was overwhelming! The sheer diversity and number of designs are a surprise even to lifelong Mumbai residents (even I’m shocked that I still find new ones two years into the project). It’s one of the most gratifying outcomes of the series—being able to share with my beloved city the pictures I’d been quietly taking.”

Ride along with Lopez by following her on Instagram, and check out more customized rides in our article about the Mumbai-based TaxiFabric company. (via Kottke)

 

 



Craft Design

It Was Better Tomorrow: Fashion Designer Benjamin Benmoyal Creates Powerful Silhouettes Using Recycled Materials

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Hulking silhouettes are enlivened with vibrant multi-colored stripes in futuristic garments by fashion student Benjamin Benmoyal. The fabric for the collection, titled “It Was Better Tomorrow”, was woven on a loom using discarded video and cassette tapes intermingled with recycled yarns and Tencel (a wood pulp-derived fiber).

In an interview with Dezeen, the French-Israeli designer explained that he was feeling pessimistic about the world after his compulsory service as an 18 year old in the Israeli army. “After high school I was completely lost in my life, I failed many things and needed to prove to myself I could do something that would push me, physically and mentally, to the limits,” Benmoyal said.

In enrolling at the renowned art school Central Saint Martins and creating this collection, Benmoyal sought to channel optimistic energy and harken back to the utopian outlook of the 1960’s. He also drew color inspiration from international travels and artists he admires, such as James Turrell. The collection was included in the multi-art show Designing in Turbulent Times this autumn. See more from Benmoyal on Instagram. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Craft Design

Ceremonial Dragons and Colorful Cactus Gardens Formed from Intricately Worked Ribbon

October 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs: GAZE fotographica | Kei Furuse

Birthday presents, apparel decoration, hair-do accessories: this is what comes to mind when most people think of ribbons. But for Japanese duo Baku Maeda and Toru Yoshikawa of Ribbonesia, the ubiquitous material is fodder for multi-part sculptures. Ranging from colorful cactus gardens and floral landscapes to freestanding foxes and ceremonial dragons, Ribbonesia’s creations blur the lines between art and craft. In their artist statement, the duo explains their approach to the unusual material:  “Just as a painter would use hundreds of brush strokes, ribbon forms can also be made from a variety of twists, bends and folds. They become paintings as much as they are sculptures.”

Working in tandem since 2010 as Ribbonesia, Maeda is the artist of the pair, and Yoshikawa the creative director developing the theme and concept. You can explore more of their in-progress and completed projects on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 



Documentary History

Watch Art Conservator Diana Hartman Painstakingly Re-Weave and Patch a Century-Old Canvas

September 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Step into the conservation and restoration studios at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in this short documentary following the restoration of a 1907 painting. Featuring conservator Diana Hartman, the video follows Hartman’s problem-solving, tool acquisition, and hands-on work. The hundred year-old canvas, painted by Paula Modersohn-Becker, is unusual in that it is still on its original wood stretchers, and was presumably stretched by the artist herself. This also presents some complex logistical hurdles, as normally a canvas on non-original stretchers would simply be removed from its wooden structural support for repairs. After several months of planning the repair, Hartman re-weaves the canvas using eye surgery needles and tones a custom-shaped canvas patch with precisely matched watercolors.

MoMA reopens to the public on October 21, 2019, after several months of extensive renovations and expansions, including two new ground-floor galleries that are free to visit. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 

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