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Art

Realistic Ceramic Sculptures of Decadent Desserts Examine Our Culturally Complex Relationship With Food

June 15, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Anna Barlow

This summer in Limoges, France, the Fondation Bernardaud presents a feast of cakes, pies, ice cream, and other life-like treats made by a group of 14 ceramic sculptors from around the world. Titled Céramiques Gourmandes and curated by Olivier Castaing, the exhibition explores the sometimes unsavory topics of mass consumption, desire, and cultural identity.

The sculptures in the exhibition are visually and conceptually packed with detail—from seemingly forkable slices of moist pecan pie by Shayna Leib (previously) to uncut and unreal fruit by Kaori Kurihara (previously). An impossibly tall overflowing sundae by Anna Barlow‘s impossibly tall sundae overflows with sweet ingredients,  and a 168 doughnut array by Jae Yong Kim (previously) pays homage to artists like Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Jackson Pollock.

“No food is as powerful as dessert or gets as tied up in our issues of guilt, longing, abstinence, and turn,” said Leib in a press release for the exhibition. “We celebrate birthdays with it. Grandparents spoil children with it. It’s the first to get cut from a diet and the first some turn to for comfort.”

Céramiques Gourmandes opens on June 21 and runs through March 28, 2020. To learn more about the exhibition and the featured artists, visit the Fondation Bernardaud website.

Charlotte Coquen

Jessica Stoller

Jessica Stoller

Kaori Kurihara

Kaori Kurihara

Susan Nemeth

Susan Nemeth

Jae Yong Kim

Shayna Leib

Shayna Leib

 

 



Art Design

Geometric Dresses and Headpieces Created Entirely From Strands of Spaghetti

June 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

French interior designer and visual artist Alice Pegna is attracted to unusual or surprising materials, often using objects outside of their intended purpose. For her project Ex Nihilo, Pegna designed an entire series of geometric dresses and headpieces formed from pieces of uncooked spaghetti. “Spaghetti is basically reserved for cooking, and in the collective imagery it appears fragile. These two reasons pushed me to want to use it,” she explains in her artist statement about the project. “On the other hand I like its features. It has a certain flexibility due to its finesse, while remaining rigid and easy to split.”

Pegna starts each design by forming polygons, which create architectural details while also increasing the strength of the combined pieces. Each sculptural garment is intended to add to the human body, changing the way we see it by obscuring it as little as possible. This is clear in the way that Pegna displays her creations with minimal mannequins and matte backgrounds. The designer and artist wants to highlight the objects on the body while creating a sense of emotion with added effects of light and smoke.

In the future Pegna wishes to scale up her project even further by eliminating the mannequins and manipulating the material in space without support to test its limits. You can see more of her creations by visiting her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Human Anatomy Baked Into Polymer Desserts by QimmyShimmy

May 12, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Singapore-based mixed media artist QimmyShimmy uses polymer clay to craft baby figures and sugary treats that blend fantasy and reality in interesting and often disturbing ways. From tiny anatomical heart pies to baby head lollipops, the surreal sculptures are a trick and a treat wrapped in one confusing but attractive package.

Formally trained in graphic design, QimmyShimmy tells Colossal that sculpting was a self-taught skill inspired by the desire to do something different. “It is a mix of wanting to do something really whacky apart from my design work, and also a little voice in my head that just wants to make strange, surprising things.” The oven-baked clay is formed and painted by hand and sometimes placed on common dessert settings, which makes the stark contrast of the imagery more apparent.

While the work has been called pop-surrealist and even creepy, QimmyShimmy says that was never the intention. “My works have always been about finding the balance between sweetness and horror, and trying to find a way a viewer can look at them and feel repulsed yet enticed. That is the reason why I work often with subjects that we desire—desserts, pastries, etc. I grew up quite an oddball with an overly imaginative mind, and wonder if things are more than what we think they are. With my work I try to push our preconceived ideas and associations with objects, which dark humor seem quite effective in doing so.”

To see more of the artist’s unsettling creations, follow QimmyShimmy on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Imaginative Botanical Ceramics Invent New Fruits and Flowers

May 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Kaori Kurihara’s textured ceramics reference familiar botanicals like durian, cauliflower, and bananas, while maintaining an otherworldly element of surprise. The artist adds organic details like articulated fronds and streaked or dimpled skin by hand, while working in part from her imagination. In a statement  she shares, “I take inspiration from the plant world with particular attention to forms and their geometric repetition. Every element of nature seems to repeat itself, but in fact there is an infinite variety of it. I have the deep desire to make concrete the fruits represented in my mind and to be able to contemplate them through my own eyes.”

Kurihara learned the art of pottery in her native Japan, at SEIKA University in Kyoto. She has further refined her craft as a resident of France, where she has studied jewelry-making, which includes techniques like enameling that the artist now uses in her sculptures.

The artist has exhibited widely and will be showing her work at the International Fine Art and Craft Biennial in Paris from May 23-26, 2019, as well as at the Bernardaud Foundation in June, 2019. Take a peek inside her studio via the video below, and on Instagram and Facebook. If you enjoy Kurihara’s work, also check out William Kidd’s inventive and organically-inspired ceramics.

 

 

 



Animation

Delight-Inducing Augmented Reality Videos by Vernon James Manlapaz Combine Everyday Scenery with Fantastical Interlopers

April 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Everyday spaces like street markets, city sidewalks, and restaurants become fantastical playlands in the mind of Vernon James Manlapaz. The designer, who has several years of experience in animation and visual effects, creates delight-inducing augmented realities that he shares on Instagram with his more than 150,000 followers.

Manlapaz tells Colossal that his digital creations are a combination of pre-planned concepts and spontaneous inspiration. The designer always keeps his phone and 360 camera on hand so he can capture footage for scenery at any time. Manlapaz explains that he chooses to work with familiar objects and concepts that everyone can identify with as the basis for his wonder-inducing moments.

The content I make is always about bringing out that childlike wonder we all have. The goal has always been to bring joy and happiness to everyone who comes across my work. That even that 10 seconds they spend watching the content brings joy to them even for a couple of moments to their life.

Manlapaz was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. He now lives in Los Angeles where he works as a visual effects designer at Snap Inc., which you may know as Snapchat. Follow along with Manlapaz’s digital delights via Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Art Documentary

Life in Miniature: Medical Devices and Pre-Packaged Foods Immortalized in Tiny Sculptures by Kath Holden and Margaret Shaw

April 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Kath Holden constantly daydreams about the everyday objects she can transform into tiny sculptures. Even during doctor’s appointments, the U.K.-based miniaturist glances around the room to investigate which medical devices she can cull for inspiration. Holden runs Delph Minatures with her business partner and mother Margaret Shaw, a fellow miniature maker who specializes in food-related items such as pre-packaged steaks, baskets of fruit, and trays of brownies.

The pair was recently profiled in Life in Miniature, a short film by Ellen Evans which delves into the women’s studios and their opinions on the world of miniatures. Holden explains that she views other miniaturists as often being stuck in the past. She doesn’t understand the desire to recreate Georgian and Victorian houses, when you could produce objects for ordinary people, and produce objects relevant today. “I like to represent now,” she explains in the film. “The era I life in. If we don’t do miniatures of what we do now, how will it be represented in the future?”

The film premiered at the Sheffield DocFest in June 2018 and was in the official selection for Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Hot Docs, Aspen ShortsFest, and several other festivals. You can view the short documentary in the video above, and learn more about the Holden and Shaw’s wide range of contemporary miniatures on their website.

 

 



Design Food

Dizzying Geometric Pies and Tarts by Lauren Ko

February 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Lauren Ko brings mathematical precision to her baking, using elaborate intertwined patterns to form transfixing patterns to the top of her homemade pies and tarts. The Seattle-based amateur baker has been piecrafting for just a couple of years, she tells Mic, and if you’re wondering, this is her favorite pie crust recipe. Ko combines classic crusts with colorful fillings like blueberries, kumquats, purple sweet potatoes, and pluots to create her visually striking sweets. You can follow her on Instagram.