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Art

Layers of Crocheted Fabric Drape Across a Large-Scale Inflatable Installation Inside of Paris’s Le Bon Marché

March 2, 2019

Andrew LaSane

“Simone” (2019), Handmade woolen crochet, fabrics, ornaments, LED, polyester, inflatable, fans, microcontrollers, power supply unit, steel cables. Image: Gabriel de la Chapelle/Courtesy Le Bon Marché

Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (previously) recently installed a large site-specific inflatable installation covered with crocheted fabric and embellishments inside of Paris’ oldest department store, Le Bon Marché. The suspended two-part work, titled “Simone,” is the latest in the artist’s Valkyries series, and takes inspiration from the female figures in Norse mythology.

Named for French human rights activists Simone du Beauvoir and Simone Weil, the large piece features two orb-like structures that loom over visitors along the store’s perimeter, and is connected by tentacles that weave around the building’s iconic escalators. The inflatable is dressed in fabric with handmade crocheted details that dangle from its limbs to give it the appearance of an alien chandelier. Color-changing LEDs are also embedded throughout the work and pulse rhythmically, which gives the strange being the entrancing power of a bioluminescent deep sea organism.

Vasconcelos tells Colossal that like the winged-horse riders, the works in her Valkyries series “are both warrior and protective creatures, in the way they attack and contaminate yet adapt and engage with the spaces they inhabit.” To see more of the artist’s work, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Luís Vasconcelos/Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos

Luís Vasconcelos/Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos

Luís Vasconcelos/Courtesy Unidade Infinita Projectos

Gabriel de la Chapelle/Courtesy Le Bon Marché

Gabriel de la Chapelle/Courtesy Le Bon Marché

Gabriel de la Chapelle/Courtesy Le Bon Marché

Gabriel de la Chapelle/Courtesy Le Bon Marché

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Quilts by Bisa Butler use African Fabrics to Form Nuanced Portraits

February 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Three Kings”, detail

Artist Bisa Butler draws from an array of vibrant patterned fabrics to create portraits of everyday people. She eschews representational colors, favoring layered jewel-toned hues to form the skin of her Black subjects, and often groups figures together into strong silhouettes.

“I have always been drawn to portraits,” Butler explains in a statement on her gallery’s website. “I was the little girl who would sit next to my grandmother and ask her to go through her old family photo albums. I was the one who wanted to hear the story behind every picture. This inquisitiveness has stayed with me to this day. I often start my pieces with a black and white photo and allow myself to tell the story.”

Butler studied fine art at Howard University. In a video interview by BRIC TV, the artist explains that she began using fabric in her paintings in college, and then converted to quilting as a way to continue her dedicated art practice while protecting her young daughter from toxic materials and fumes.

The artist was born in Orange, New Jersey, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by Claire Oliver Gallery. You can see more from Butler on Instagram. (via #WOMENSART)

“Three Kings” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 95 x 72 in / 241.3 x 182.9 cm

“The Mighty Gents” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 67 x 78 in / 170.2 x 198.1 cm

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“The Mighty Gents”, detail

“Anaya with Oranges”

“The Safety Patrol” (2018), quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool and chiffon, 90 x 82 in / 228.6 x 208.3 cm

“The Safety Patrol”, detail

L: “The Unconquerable Lyric” R: “I Want To Smell The Flowers”

“Black Star Family, first class tickets to Liberia” (2018), cotton, silk chiffon, satin, silk and lace, 79 x 85 in / 200.7 x 215.9 cm

 

 



Art Photography

Camouflaged Self-Portraits Conceal Photographer Cecilia Paredes Against Bright Floral Patterns

November 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Both Worlds" (2009), all images provided by Cecilia Paredes

“Both Worlds” (2009), all images provided by Cecilia Paredes

Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes is the subject of her own richly patterned photographs, yet her figure is often difficult to locate at first. For each portrait she hangs boldly printed fabrics as the backdrop, which she then matches either with her painted skin, custom clothing, or both. Her torso, arms, and face fade into the background, as the curvature of her body and brown hair become some of the only indicators of her presence.

“I wrap, cover, or paint my body with the same pattern of the material and re-present myself as part of that landscape,” she explains. “Through this act, I am working on the theme of building my own identification with the entourage or part of the world where I live or where I feel I can call home. My bio has been described as nomadic so maybe this is also a need of addressing the process of constant relocation.”

Paredes was born in Lima, Peru and currently works between Philadelphia, Lima, and Costa Rica. Currently she has a solo exhibition at Museum of Latin America Art (MOLAA) in Los Angeles through December 30, 2018, and will open another solo exhibition at the Museum of the University of Navarra (MUN) in Spain on March 27, 2019. (via LensCulture)

'Dreaming Rose"

‘Dreaming Rose”

"Mia Standing with Butterflies" (2015)

“Mia Standing with Butterflies” (2015)

'Paradise Hands" (2011)

‘Paradise Hands” (2011)

"En tus alas" (2014)

“En tus alas” (2014)

"Lilly" (2014)

“Lilly” (2014)

"Nocturne" (2009)

“Nocturne” (2009)

"Art Nouveau" (2011)

“Art Nouveau” (2011)

"Blue Landscape" (2007)

“Blue Landscape” (2007)

 

 



Art Craft History

A Peculiar Character From a Hieronymus Bosch Painting Comes to Life on the New York City Subway

September 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Rae Swon recently brought a fantastical creature from The Temptation of St. Anthony to life on the New York City subway. The triptych painting created by Hieronymus Bosch in the early 16th century includes a small, peculiar figure on the left-hand triptych (detail below). The character has bird-like facial features, and appears to be wearing wooden ice skates and a funnel as a hat. After creating the modern-day costume using needle felting and other found materials, Swon took her character for a subway ride through Manhattan. Although this particular costume is sold out, you can see more of Swon’s fantastical felted creations like a Starling Coin Purse and an Opposum Purse on Instagram and Etsy. (via Hyperallergic)

Detail of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony”

 

 



Art

Swaths of Old-Fashioned Fabric Obscure Faces and Bodies in Unsettling Portraits by Markus Åkesson

July 13, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Now You See Me” (2018), oil on canvas, 180 x 140cm

In his paintings, Swedish artist Markus Åkesson depicts ornately patterned fabrics like toile, chintz, and silks wrapped around female subjects. Instead of using the old-fashioned textiles simply as signifiers of wealth and tradition, he uses the materials to take on a more sinister tone. In some of the paintings you can see expressions of sadness in the subject’s faces, while in others, the textiles completely overtake the figures beneath, obscuring their identity and emotions.

“As a child, I often sat and looked at the different patterns in textiles and tapestries,” Åkesson shares with Colossal. “I would find my own images in them, my own world, and I would dream away. For me, the pattern as a concept has a built in feeling of safety and stability, because it repeats itself over and over again. I think the use of patterns in images that depicts more melancholic or even disturbing scenes makes a interesting feeling of duality.”

The artist is represented by Galerie Da-End in Paris and VIDA Museum in Öland, Sweden, where he recently had a solo show. You can see more of Åkesson’s work on Instagram. (via I Need A Guide)

“Now You See Me (Opium)” (2018), oil on canvas, 180 x 140cm

“No One Can See You (Dysmorphia)” (2017), oil on canvas, 50 x 60cm

“No One Can See You (Dysmorphia II)” (2017), oil on canvas, 50 x 60cm

“Palmistry” (2016), oil on canvas, 100 x 120cm

“I Never Wanted You To Leave” (2016), oil on canvas, 210 x 180cm

“The Unicorn Hunt ll” (2017), oil on canvas, 200 x 170cm

 

 



Art Design

Fabric Tree Stumps Formed From Pieces of Discarded Clothing by Tamara Kostianovsky

June 4, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All photos © Roni Mocan unless otherwise noted

Textile artist Tamara Kostianovsky creates realistic elements from nature out of strips of fabric and discarded clothing. In her latest series, the artist forms severed tree stumps from pieces of her late father’s clothing, integrating his belongings into a landscape of layered, multi-colored logs. The works address the passing of time and allude to the body returning to the environment after death.

The project is inspired by the South American people of the Andes who believe that Mother Earth is embodied by the surrounding mountains. Kostianovsky translates this idea to placing clothing items into sculptures that represent the earth and its environment. She explains in an artist statement: “Fusing the shapes of severed tree stumps of different forms and sizes to a palette indicative of the insides of the body, [the series Tree Stumps] pays homage to the cultural heritage of the people of Latin America, while presenting an alternative way of thinking about our post-industrial relationship to nature.”

Kostianovsky became entranced with the body while working at a surgeon’s office during her adolescence. She continues to make work that examines muscle and bone, often in other species such as livestock or whales. You can take a look inside the artist’s studio by visiting her Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

Photo courtesy of Wave Hill

 

 



Art Design

Ethereal Sculptures and Wearable Orbs Formed From Synthetic Fabric by Mariko Kusumoto

May 11, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images provided by Mariko Kusumoto

Japanese artist Mariko Kusumoto uses translucent fabric to produce balloon-like objects, orbs that contain various forms trapped within their soft exterior. The creations inside range from smaller versions of the spherical sculptures to sea creatures and cars, playful forms that fit the bright colors Kusumoto chooses for her works. To set the polyester fabric into the shapes she desires she heats the pieces to the right temperature, allowing the material to memorize the shape she wishes to create. These works are then formed into sculptural or wearable objects, 3D jewelry that can be worn around the neck.

“My work reflects various, observable phenomena that stimulate my mind and senses; they can be natural or man-made,” said Kusumoto in her artist statement. ” I ‘reorganize’ them into a new presentation that can be described as surreal, amusing, graceful, or unexpected.”

The Massachusetts-based artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Kock Collection at the Swiss National Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and is represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, MA. You can see more of her sculptural and wearable works on her Facebook.

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