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Art

Outfitted with Knights' Helmets, Children Painted by Seth Globepainter Play in the Streets of Paris

September 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Seth Globepainter, shared with permission

French artist Julien Malland, who works as Seth Globepainter (previously), is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with a new series of murals that capture the innocence of childhood. Painted throughout the thirteenth district of Paris, the public artworks feature kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure or playful activity: one rides an oversized pigeon, another blows multicolored bubbles, and a pair appears to float above the ground to embrace.

Each of the figures is sporting a metal knight’s helmet, a sign of protection for their physical wellbeing, in addition to a show of strength and resilience. In a note to Colossal, Globepainter says the headwear also refers to French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech in March in which he said, “We are at war,” as he ordered residents to stay home. The murals represent the way Parisians have accepted this new way of living and are about “how children, in particular, seem to have adapted easily to it,” the artist says. “They are protected by their helmets which weigh so heavily on them. They can only see through small openings in the metal, but they continue to play as if nothing had happened.”

To see more Globepainter’s public artworks that consider the world through the lens of childhood, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Globes and Astronaut Helmets Form Heads of Figurative Sculptures by Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE

June 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Woman Shooting Cherry Blossoms” (2019), unique fiberglass sculpture, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, bespoke hand-colored globe, steel, brass, zamak, wood, resin, and silk, 244 x 193 x 436 centimeters. All images © Yinka Shonibare CBE, by Stephen White

Through life-sized sculptures, artist Yinka Shonibare CBE considers the grasp of colonialism and its lasting effects on modern conceptions of identity. Each faceless figure is in the midst of an action, presented shooting a mass of cherry blossoms from a rifle, lumbering forward with a hefty mesh sack, or balancing a towering stack of cakes. Evocatively posed, the figures are topped with globes and astronaut helmets, which simultaneously gestures toward movement in the form of travel and exploration while obscuring individual identities.

Known for using patterned textiles across mediums, the British-Nigerian artist outfits his surreal sculptures with Batik fabrics, which have a history rooted in colonialism. Originally practiced in Southeast Asia, the wax-dyeing method was adopted by the Dutch, who commercially produced the patterned textiles and sold them to West African colonies. Since the 1960s, the vibrant fabric has come to signal African independence and identity.

To dive deeper into Shonibare’s artworks that explore identity, colonialism, and globalization, head to Artsy and Instagram.

 

“Woman Shooting Cherry Blossoms” (2019), unique fiberglass sculpture, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, bespoke hand-colored globe, steel, brass, zamak, wood, resin, and silk, 244 x 193 x 436 centimeters

“Refugee Astronaut (2015),” sculptures, fiberglass, printed cotton, net, wood, metal and plastic objects, and steel baseplate, 208 x 93 x 90 centimeters

“Girl Balancing Knowledge” (2015), fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, books, globe, and steel baseplate, 179 x 139 x 89 centimeters

Left: “Butterfly Kid (Boy)” (2015), fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, silk, metal, globe, leather, and steel baseplate, 127 x 75 x 88 centimeters. Right: “Planets in My Head, Music (French Horn)” (2019),
fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, French horn, globe, and steel baseplate, 137 × 55 × 51 centimeters

“Cake Man IV” (2015), fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, pocketwatch, plaster, polystyrene, globe, leather and steel baseplate, 315 x 140 x 92 centimeters

“Planets in My Head (Trumpet Girl)” (2018), fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, trumpet, globe, and steel baseplate, 160 x 69 x 50 centimeters

 

 



Art

Floral Elements Embroidered Directly on Antique Soldiers' Helmets

June 23, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Kill for Peace” (2016), soldier’s helmets, sweaters. Cross-stitch, drilling, Industrial needle punching. All images by Vidmantas Ilciukas.

Lithuanian artist Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė (previously here, here, and here) uses cross-stitch embroidery to soften metal objects that seem materially opposed to the craft, having previously worked with car doors, spoons, pots, pans, and shovels. In her latest exhibition “Kill for Peace,” Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė used helmets from armies of various countries, stitching roses, violets, and thorns onto their surfaces. These helmets were presented at the contemporary art fair Art Vilnius 2016 where she was awarded for best installation at the fair. You can see more embroidered works on her website.

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