Japanese artist and designer Mariko Kusumoto (previously) shapes gossamer coral and sea creatures from soft fibers like polyester, nylon, and cotton. Embedded with tiny ripples or airy pockets, the standalone sculptures and wearables are translucent renditions of lifeforms, and their delicate compositions correspond with the fragility of the subject matter. The Boston-based artist tends to cluster the individual pieces into larger works, creating sprawling reefs and diverse ecosystems brimming with color and texture.
Kusumoto is currently preparing for a solo exhibition next November at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, and until then, you can find more of her ethereal works on Instagram.
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A new print from Thomas Scott and Jim Golden satisfies our human urge to organize. The color-coded flat lay arranges dozens of gloves Scott picked up from sidewalks and roadsides while cycling within the first few months of 2022 into a precise gradient. Containing everything from knit mitts and dishwashing essentials to protective workwear, the piece falls into the endlessly fascinating design category of “Things Organized Neatly”—we covered curator Austin Radcliffe’s book on the topic a few years back—and offers some hope that all those gloves we’ve lost throughout the years have found an equally beautiful home. The pair is offering prints in Golden’s shop, which is a visual trove for those looking for more impeccably tidy collections. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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After a museum visit, we might pick up a postcard or T-shirt as a memento of the artworks we’ve enjoyed most. Brooklyn-based blogger Ariel Adkins, who is also Curator of Art, Culture & Community at Twitter, takes her love of masterpieces to the next level by creating one-of-a-kind apparel inspired by some of the world’s most influential artists. Donning capes, dresses, and coveralls in bright colors and bold patterns, Adkins draws inspiration from a variety of aesthetics and eras to make garments for herself and for people she meets who share a similar love for the power of expression. Painting directly onto the fabric of the clothing, she translates the forms and hues of specific artworks into wearable compositions.
Adkins is the creator of Artfully Awear, which began as a way of responding to grief and healing in response to the loss of her mother, who was an artist. Through the language of fashion, both a personal and public assertion of identity and style, she continues the project as an embodiment of joy and a unique way of kindling togetherness. She also admires iconic fashion like designer Michelle Smith’s dress worn by Michelle Obama in Amy Sherald’s portrait, utilizing her platform to share stories of groundbreaking moments in art history.
You can follow more of Adkins’ apparel adventures on Instagram.
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From floral Soundsuits and found-object sculptures to a multicolor web of millions of pony beads, Forothermore surveys the 30-plus-year career of artist Nick Cave. The retrospective, which draws its name from “forevermore” and “for others,” opened last week at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and captures both the evolution and mainstays of the artist’s practice. Cave spoke with Colossal in an interview ahead of the show, saying, “Why now, why now this moment, why this exhibition, why this survey, and who is it for? Once I removed myself from it, I realized that it’s not for me. It really allowed me to take a course of action in terms of that movement and what will this look like, looking at three and a half decades of work.”
Arranged thematically rather than chronologically, the exhibition opens with an iteration of the metallic wind spinners that were part of Cave’s 2017 show at MASS MoCA. Guns, bullets, and teardrops are embedded in some of the kinetic pieces that hang alongside smiling faces and peace signs. These sinister symbols pervade the suspended installation, which considers how a desire to only see beauty can mask painful, life-threatening issues.
Heavily patterned vinyl wallpaper designed in collaboration with Cave’s partner Bob Faust runs through much of the show and creates a textured backdrop for the artist’s mixed-media assemblages of kitsch figurines, vintage furniture, and other trinkets. Dozens of his signature Soundsuits stand inside the fourth-floor gallery, including the mournful piece veiled in 929 black flowers that was created in response to George Floyd’s murder. Wall sculptures made of items sourced from flea markets—these include rusted tools, dominos, wooden boards, button-up shirts, and glittering orbs—date back to the 90s and surround the vibrant, armor-like costumes.
Cave created the first Soundsuit following Rodney King’s beating in 1991, and he’s never wavered from confronting racism in his works. “As I’m trying to imagine other ways of thinking and making, I’m constantly being brought back to this, unfortunately,” he says. The exhibition also includes a collection of bronze arms cradling sprawling, metallic bouquets with hands often clenched and raised in a fist, a reference to strength and solidarity in the face of rampant injustice.
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“My work has always been a tribute to all the hard-working women in my life,” says Kelly Reemtsen. The artist (previously), who lives and works between Los Angeles and London, has spent the last decade producing a subversive body of work devoted to exploring gender, its constructs, and real-world impacts, from wage gaps to the continual rollback of reproductive rights. Her practice spans printmaking, sculpture, and painting and juxtaposes visual markings of femininity with objects associated with masculinity. Each piece portrays an anonymous woman dressed in a tulle skirt, patent pumps, and glitzy jewelry grasping a chainsaw or shovel in an easy, nonchalant manner.
In recent years, Reemtsen has gravitated toward oval canvases evocative of traditional portraiture, in addition to pedestals and ladders that elevate her subjects. “Are the women in my paintings trying to break through the glass ceilings or just escaping the current situation? I think most women are doing one or both at all times, consciously or not,” she shares. A series of chainsaw sculptures painted with vibrant, playful colors augments the artist’s broader questions concerning how “the tools available to us shape who we are and who we want to be. I find using tools– whether a printmaking press, a chainsaw, makeup, or anything else– to be incredibly empowering as a vehicle for initiating change.”
A 10-year survey of Reemtsen’s work will be on view at albertz benda’s Los Angeles gallery this May, and she also has pieces in a group exhibition opening on April 21 in London and in August at Galeri Oxholm in Copenhagen. Explore a larger collection of her paintings and sculptures on her site and Instagram.
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Paris-based designer and artist Alice Pegna revolves her practice around structures. She’s concerned with both the relationship between individual components and how a larger framework responds to its environment, and her pieces tend to amplify the connection between adornment and the human body. “The structure is an integral part of the universe,” she tells Colossal. “It is not always visible, yet always present, material or immaterial, just like our body, our thoughts, and our life.”
This interest culminates in her architectural body of work that’s comprised of sculptural garments, headdresses, and accessories with sharp points and acute angles. Previously working primarily with uncooked spaghetti, Pegna’s new collection incorporates thin strips of metal that similarly hug the wearer’s form with geometric detail. The pieces were created in collaboration with the Phoenix Alternative Model association for Paris Fashion Week 2021 and worn by models with physical disabilities to highlight their figures. All of the works, which are photographed against stark black backdrops on minimal mannequins, rely on negative space to alter how the body is viewed without obscuring it entirely.
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Editor's Picks: Craft
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