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Design Food

Le Puzz Taps Into Playful Nostalgia with Its Retro-Style Jigsaws

September 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Le Puzz

Kids of the ’90s will recognize the playful retro designs of Le Puzz’s jigsaws. From close-ups of a big salad to a sweet flat lay of peach rings and hotdog gummies, the puzzles capture a certain vintage style sure to bring back child-like joy and nostalgia. Designs range from 500 to 1,000 pieces, all of which are cut at random for a chaotic and quirky tiling experience. Le Puzz is helmed by Alistair Matthews and Michael Hunter and features collaborations with artists like Maisie Broome and Clay Hickson. Shop available jigsaws on the company’s site.

 

 

 



Animation

A Kayak Trip Sends a Father on Anxiety-Provoking Adventures in an Adorable Animated Short

August 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

Multiple scenarios that would give any parent nightmares actualize in the adventurous animation “Kayak.” What begins as a peaceful trip down the river for a father and baby becomes an endless slew of anxiety-inducing incidents as the child trips, ends up upside down in the water, launches into the air several times, and is even preyed upon by a hungry eagle. The short film, which teeters on the terrifying, is a graduation project by students at the French animation school École des Nouvelles Images.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Humor Infuses Exaggerated Features in Lola Dupre’s Meticulously Distorted Collages

August 17, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Randy 3,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches. All images © Lola Dupre, shared with permission

Glasgow-based artist Lola Dupre’s evocative and often humorous photographic collages of animals, historic images, and portraits tap into the unique personalities and emotions of her subjects. A cross-eyed cat has its vision multiplied, and a Shiba Inu’s joyful face pokes out of an enormous body in a play on repetition and perception. Dupre captures a range of expressions in both human and animal form (previously), exaggerating a raised eyebrow or fuzzy paw by layering numerous pieces of paper to extend legs, arm, eyes, and other features.

Dupre’s work will be included in Division of Birds at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, and you can find more pieces on her website, Behance, and Instagram.

 

“Andromeda,” 11.6 x 8.2 inches

“Hercules,” 11.6 x 8.2 inches

Left: “Toni,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by Dacefer. Right: “David,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by David Sierra

“Fluffy,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches

“Ivor, After Walter Chandoha,” 11.6 x 8.2 inches

“Mari,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by Laerke Rose

Left: “Melange,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches. Right: “Mia,” 8.2 x 11.6 inches, from original photography by Arsalan Danish

 

 



Animation Colossal Design

Interview: Production Designer Liz Toonkel Describes Creating the Adorable Universe of ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’

August 16, 2022

Christopher Jobson

A tiny mollusk with a big personality, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is famous for quirky antics and endlessly entertaining use of human-sized objects. In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, production designer Liz Toonkel discusses building the universe the adorable character occupies in the feature-length mockumentary released this summer from A24.

All of those little details that you wouldn’t think about, when you watch it they give it an inherent truth because everything feels like it does in our real world. Same thing with the garden. Those are real plants. That’s so rare in stop motion that you have real organic materials. It’s pretty much impossible to stop-motion animate with them because they decompose. There was a lot of thought put into how to bring organic, real life to the things around Marcel.

Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson recently sat down with Toonkel to discuss building a realistic micro world within a macro setting, the challenges of blending live-action with stop-motion animation, and why the tennis ball scenes are as impressive as the internet thinks. Read the full interview here.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Sports and Art History Team Up in a Playful Twitter Account That Matches Life and Art

August 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Top: “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” (1675) by Mattia Preti. Bottom: Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photo. All images courtesy of ArtButMakeItSports, shared with permission

What do an injured Kelley O’Hara and “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” by Italian Baroque artist Mattia Preti have in common? The exasperated soccer star and 1675 religious masterpiece find unexpected synchronicity thanks to LJ Rader, the creator behind the wildly popular meme account ArtButMakeItSports.

Since 2015, Rader has been cleverly pairing photos from professional sports with art historical works. What began as a personal project that involved visits to museums and some of the week’s most intensely emotional images from soccer matches or basketball games has evolved into Twitter and Instagram accounts with considerable followings.  “At first, it was starting with the art and then thinking about what it could be if it were sports,” he says. “As time went on, I realized the ones that resonated the most were the mashups—and using sports images that were in the moment/news cycle played the best.” A running Megan Rapinoe might imitate Apollo chasing Daphne, for example, or a long, lean leg might evoke that of an Alberto Giacometti sculpture.

 

Left: A photo of Bill Russell by Dick Raphael. Right: Patrick Henry (1775), Panel 1 from “Struggle Series” by Jacob Lawrence (1955)

Beyond the obvious visual similarities, though, Rader’s mashups tend to go a step further as they masterfully draw the two seemingly diametric fanbases and cultures together. One comparison features an image of the late Celtics player Bill Russell and Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series, for example, because both the basketball great and American painter were highly active in civil rights work.

Now numbering upwards of 1,000, the all-star pairings are an internet sensation in their own right, and ultimately, Rader’s goal is to dive into “what art means and (explore) the intersection of culture between two sides—art and sports—that rarely meet.”

 

Top: Photo by Tom Stillman. Bottom: “Christ Healing the Blindman” (1725-30) by Gerardus Duyckinck I

Right: “Neptune and Amphitrite” (1691-94) by Sebastiano Ricci

Top: “Apollo pursuing Daphne” (1616-18) by Domenichino and assistants. Bottom: Photo by Nikita

Right: “L’Homme qui marche II” (1960) by Alberto Giacometti

Bottom: “Abstraktes Bild (649-2)” (1987) by Gerhard Richter

 

 



Photography

Playful Portraits by Elke Vogelsang Catch Cats’ Cranky and Silly Emotions

July 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Elke Vogelsang, shared with permission

Unlike the affectionate canine companions that grace many of Elke Vogelsang’s portraits, the cats she finds in front of her camera exhibit more irritable, even stereotypical emotions. She captures her feline subjects with a range of reactions, whether snarling and baring their teeth or showing off their more playful sides with leaps into the air or a quick flick of their tongues.

A professional pet portraitist, Vogelsang mostly visits her subjects at their homes rather than bringing them to her Hildesheim studio. This tends to make the animals more comfortable, she shares, at least enough for her to coax out more genuine emotions with the help of string, feathers, treats, and sometimes catnip for mood-boosting. “Let’s face it, cats can be so much harder to photograph than dogs. If they can’t be bothered, they won’t do it for our sake,” she says. “In general, sessions with cats are shorter than sessions with dogs. They are the ones to determine the schedule.”

Vogelsang maintains an Instagram account devoted to her feline collaborators, and you can find much more of her portraiture on her site.