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Art

Potato Chip Sand Dunes, Spiral-Bound Swimming Lanes, and More Miniature Transformations from Tatsuya Tanaka

October 11, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Another year, another 365 days of miniature glory from Tatsuya Tanaka (previously).  On a daily basis for the past seven years, the prolific Japanese miniature artist has shared unique images of imagined scenes created using the simple combination of everyday objects, tiny model humans, and his boundless imagination. (For anyone keeping track, that’d be over 2,500 dioramas.) Crinkle-cut potato chips become desert sand dunes, spiral-bound notebooks delineate swimmers poised to compete, and books filled with sticky notes create an urban skyscraper scene. Tanaka periodically releases books, calendars, and post card collections of his favorite photographs, which he lists on his website. You can also join over a million Tanaka fans on Instagram and Facebook, or if you’re in Japan, check out his show in Nagoya through November 25, 2018.

 

 



Art

Banksy Painting Spontaneously Shreds Itself Moments After Selling for $1.4 Million at Sotheby’s

October 6, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

Image via @Banksy

It was 2003 when Banksy (previously), following a record-breaking auction result for one of his canvases, created a harsh critique of the art market widely known as the Morons image. The photograph was taken from the legendary 1987 Christie’s auction where Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (originally titled Tournesols) broke the record for the most expensive painting at auction when it sold for $39.9 million. In Banksy’s interpretation, the elusive artist replaced the painting by the Dutch master with a text saying “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this s***.” A few years later the image was released as an unsigned edition at the Banksy’s 2006 Barely Legal show in LA, and it resurfaced every time a copy of the Morons print sold at auction.

Banksy has now become a household name, and that his work achieves strong prices at major auctions is no longer a curiosity or exception. When Sotheby’s announced that a final lot of their Contemporary Art Evening Auction on the Friday night of 2018 Frieze week in London would be a previously unseen version of Banksy’s arguably most iconic image, Girl With Balloon, the art world was ready for another exceptional result. The painting on canvas was presented in an exceptionally thick and ornate frame, and sold for 1,042,000 GBP (1,357,726 USD including premiums) which matched the artist’s previous auction record from 2008. The real sensation, however, came moments after.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

. “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge” – Picasso

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on

As the auctioneer was rounding up the evening and saying thank you and goodbye, an alarm went off and the canvas began to slide out of the bottom of the frame in strips. It seems that the artist built a shredder inside the thick frame that would allow the painting to self-destruct when triggered. At this point, it is unclear how the auction house could have allowed such a stunt, or what legal repercussions this act might have. Once again Banksy has managed to deliver quite the statement to the art market, and all inside the heart of one of it’s strongest and most established bastions. To quote his Instagram post on the surprising incident, “Going, going, gone…”

 

 



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 is wearing what appear to be 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”

 

 



Photography

Amusing Finalists From This Year’s ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards’

September 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Mary McGowan, United States, all images licensed through of The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Mary McGowan, United States, all images licensed through of The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (previously) just closed submissions for their fourth annual competition which collects the most entertaining images from wildlife photographers across the globe. Last year the Overall Winner was an adorable owl caught as it nearly toppled off a branch, and the Under the Sea Winner featured a sassy sea turtle slap. This year submissions range from a disappointed rabbit, to a rhino sporting some uncharacteristic peacock plumage.

The second hardcover volume of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is now available for pre-order on Amazon, and award winners for the 2018 competition will be announced on November 15, 2018. To vote for your favorite image from this year’s 41 finalists, or for more information on the competition and their conservation efforts with Born Free, visit their website. (via Kottke)

Amy Kennedy, United States

Amy Kennedy, United States

Jakob Strecker, Germany

Jakob Strecker, Germany

Barney Koszalka, United States

Barney Koszalka, United States

Patty Bauchman, United States

Patty Bauchman, United States

Daniel Friend, United States

Daniel Friend, United States

Robert Adamson, United Kingdom

Robert Adamson, United Kingdom

Kallol Mukherjee, India

Kallol Mukherjee, India 

Michael Lane, United Kingdom

Michael Lane, United Kingdom

Sergey Savvi, Russia

Sergey Savvi, Russia

Muntazeri Abdi, Indonesia

Muntazeri Abdi, Indonesia

Shane Keena, United States

Shane Keena, United States

 

 



Art

Humorous Digital Collages by Les Creatonautes Give Edible Objects Animalistic Additions

September 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

A garlic-bodied bird, alligator-shaped brie, and winged salt shaker have all come out of the imaginative mind of French creative agency Les Creatonautes. This past year they have created a series of digital collages that combine sporting goods, animals, and edible objects. The project is a subtle gesture to our changing world, showcasing the evolution of society through absurd combinations and impractical animals.

“The world is in permanent change, it is in a transformation,” said Olivier Grossmann of Les Creatonautes to Colossal. “This transformation, often invisible, sometimes unexpected, is inevitable. Living organisms, landscapes, technologies, societies: everything changes constantly, at different rates. From this observation we decided to transform the world in our own way.”

The group started the project on January 1st, 2018 and has been publishing “transformations” each day since. You can see more of the oddball explorations on their Instagram.

 

 



Animation

ENOUGH: Humorous Stop Motion Film Examines Our Inner Desire to Lose Control

September 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Swedish director and animator Anna Mantzaris has a penchant for the darkly humous as seen in her 2012 film But Milk is Important. Her recent short ENOUGH was made during her first year at the Royal College of Art where she graduated earlier this year. The stop motion film follows several kind-looking characters as they snap during everyday occurrences such as frustrating board meetings, dealing with demanding customers, or just narrowly missing the bus.

“I wanted to have quite soft and sympathetic characters, to contrast with the less soft actions,”Mantzaris explained to Directors Notes. “I also liked them to feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable, just as we can feel sometimes in social situations. I also wanted it to feel a bit grey and boring, to enhance the feeling of an everyday life that we sometimes want to break out from.”

The funny animation is a cathartic release of the darkness we carry bottled up inside, and showcases what might happen if you finally let yourself lose control. The London-based director recently worked on Wes Anderson’s film Isle of Dogs and has won several awards for her films including the Walt Disney Award for Best Graduation Film and the Audience Award at Ottawa International Animation Festival. You can see more of her short films on her website and Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Art

Sliced Footwear Arranged in Uncanny Configurations by Sakir Gokcebag

September 4, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Turkish-born visual artist Şakir Gökçebağ (previously) deconstructs everyday objects, often eradicating their original functionality in order to form humorous installations. His works are created from items one might find around the house such as hula hoops, brooms, toilet paper rolls, and pairs of worn shoes. The later series of altered footwear spans more than 15 years, and has been installed in surreal arrangements both inside and out of the gallery.

For these pieces Gökçebağ chops the front toe off of neutral-toned work boots and other sturdy footwear. He then arranges the pieces in circles, rows, and parallel lines that split elevated platforms. The installations appear digitally composed, and playing a trick on the viewer as they attempt to decode the visual manipulation. Gökçebağ has lived and worked in Hamburg, Germany since 2001. You can see more of his oddly arranged objects, like this belt that has been sliced and folded to appear like a ribbon, on his Instagram.