fantasy

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Animation Art

In a New Stop-Motion Film, Swoon Explores Trauma, Memory, and the Body

March 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Caledonia Curry, aka Swoon, is known for her street art utilizing paper that’s pasted onto building walls, but the Brooklyn-based artist has made a recent pivot that transfers her mythical style to stop-motion animations. Part of her solo exhibition Cicada, Curry’s short film “Sofia and Storm” is centered on a human-arachnid hybrid. After emerging from a dense mass, the gold-faced feminine figure opens up her chest cavity to reveal dark, hanging matter that eventually is absorbed.

Similar to her previous projects, the fantastical animation is linked directly to Curry’s family history and to her parents, who struggled with addiction and substance abuse. “Swoon’s stop-motion films emphasize the body’s ability to serve as a vessel carrying memories and traditions. A house, a ship, and human figures split and open to liberate a cast of imaginative and mythological creatures trapped inside,” a statement said.

So far, Curry has released three other animated projects on YouTube. You can also find her work that explores the relationship between the body and trauma on Instagram. (via Juxtapoz)


 

 



Art Illustration

Illustrations by David Alvarez Reflect the Intersection of Fantasy and Reality

December 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © David Alvarez, shared with permission

When working in black and white instead of a muted color palette, Mexico-based artist David Alvarez (previously) manages to still create illustrations rich in texture and contrast. Layers of graphite and charcoal on white and cream colored paper form complex shadows. Highlights emerge from the negative space and become the light on stone walls, on faces, and on glowing wings and shiny armor.

The depictions of creatures from myth and fantasy are personal projects from Alvarez’s notebook that have been reworked at random over time. “There is an attempt to represent how humanity moves, how it thinks, how humans are in collective,” he tells Colossal. “A jumble of undivided people who move by reflex and without autonomy.” The new drawings of little girls, stone pillars, and soldiers are illustrations for an as yet unpublished book that the artist says is about “social pressures and the search for freedom.”

You can see more of Alvarez’s contemplative work on Instagram and purchase prints of his illustrations via his Etsy shop.

 

 



Art Design

An Enormous Smoke-Spewing Dragon Roves the Streets of Calais, France

November 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

La Machine, the group of inventors, designers, artists, and builders responsible for 46 foot-tall minotaurs and massive tarantulas roving the streets of Europe, has most recently unleashed the Dragon of Calais. The moveable beast, complete with articulated limbs and a smoke-spewing snout, was paraded around Calais for 3 days at the beginning of November. It has now been installed as a stationary sculpture, on which visitors can climb up and walk around. Follow the latest projects from La Machine on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

 

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Art

Mysterious Mermaid Tails Lodged in Laundromat Machines by Olivia Erlanger

May 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist and curator Olivia Erlanger upends fantastical ideas of mermaids with her documentation of mermaid tails emerging from laundromat washing machines. Erlanger, who lives and works in New York City, staged the tails in Laundry Zone in  Los Angeles’ Arlington Heights neighborhood. The installation was conceptualized in partnership with Mother Culture, a contemporary art and media platform that happens to be based near the laundromat.  “Ida” consists of (presumably) life-size mermaid tails that are covered in scales, with bifurcated fins in shades of yellow and pink.

A Los Angeles Magazine article cites Erlanger’s previous installation with snake tongues as an inspiration for the tails. And the artist explains that her tendency to work in, or create, environments helped lay the groundwork for sharing work in a public space. “Ida” was staged in autumn, 2018 and is currently making waves in a new iteration titled “Pergusa” at  the Frieze art fair in New York, which runs through May 5, 2019. Explore more of Erlanger’s work on her website.

Image via Mother Culture

 

 

 

 

 



Art Photography

Curiosity and Isolation Take Center Stage in Karen Jerzyk's Lonely Astronaut Series

April 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Karen Jerzyk explores themes of loneliness and isolation through her ongoing series, The Lonely Astronaut. Sparked by her purchase of an authentic vintage high-altitude space suit in 2017, Jerzyk has been traveling the world taking photos of women in the suit. Each subject is alone, placed in a deserted yet evocative environment, from an abandoned theater to an old-fashioned bedroom. In some scenes, the astronaut engages with their surroundings—reading a book or talking on the phone—where in others, the character stands apart from the world they inhabit.

Although many of the scenes have a fantastical tone, the photographer clarifies that she uses only practical effects to create the images. In staging the floating astronaut with butterflies, “I had the model on her stomach on a stool and had real taxidermy butterflies on wire and composited a bunch of shots so I could multiply them,” Jerzyk explains.

Jerzyk shares with Colossal that the astronaut series taps into her own affinity for exploration and her social anxiety. “I think at one time or another, we can all relate with The Lonely Astronaut—things in life can get bad, but there’s still no denying the beauty and wonder of the world, and we need to push on and keep exploring.”

The Boston and New York-based photographer will be capturing subjects in a pop-up scene at PS Kaufman Gallery in Los Angeles on May 16-17, as well as vending at the Oddities Flea Market on May 18-19, 2019. Jerzyk will also be at the Chicago Oddities Flea Market on August 24-25, 2019. You can explore more of Jerzyk’s unusual worlds on Instagram and Behance, and find prints of her photographs on her website. (via designboom)

 

 



Illustration

Infinite Cities Take Shape in Imagined Architectural Drawings by JaeCheol Park

December 4, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

JaeCheol Park, who goes by the artist name PaperBlue, creates intricate drawings in the style of architectural drafts. But rather than imagining a buildable building, Park employs the classic illustrative aesthetic to form fantastical urban environments where structures appear and disappear, bleeding into one another in a haze of geometric patterns. His loose linework and intensive layering enliven the historical architectural styles he highlights in his drawings. The artist, who is based in Seongnam, South Korea, has a broad audience for his digital and concept art along with his more traditional drafting-inspired work. Park shares drawing tutorials on Youtube and finished work on Facebook. He has also published a book, which is available on Amazon. (via ARCHatlas)

 

 

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