humor

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Animation

Six Kinetic Characters: Light-Hearted Interpretations of Universal Emotions by Animator Lucas Zanotto

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Six Kinetic Characters” illustrates relatable emotional gestures through animated characters in a new short by Lucas Zanotto (previously). Emotional roller coasters, mood swings, and crossed eyes are conveyed in 3-D renders, which Zanotto shades with nostalgic pastel colors.

“I always really enjoyed building models and focus on textures, shapes and colors in my first career as a product designer,” Zanotto tells Colossal. “I moved towards film-making and directing commercials while always trying to keep this analog element in my work.” Zanotto has found that 3-D modeling software feels similar to working with his hands as he did in previous projects, and has been a satisfying “full circle” moment in his creative career.

The multi-talented designer shares his work on Vimeo and Instagram, the latter of which he enjoys to be able to “speak straight to people and create entertainment without any barriers in between.”

 

 



Craft Design

Lavishly Adorned Chairs by Annie Evelyn Reimagine the Functional Role of Furniture

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Annie Evelyn’s primary medium: wood. Her primary vessel: the chair. One work, “Cathedral Train Chair”, sports an ocean-blue silk train that fans out from a tufted armchair, emulating the fashion symbol of high social status or a special occasion. Another, “Windsor Flower Chair”, surrounds the sitter with a garden of gently curving vertical wood slats, which burst into synthetic blossoms.

“Evelyn uses furniture’s inherent interactive qualities and relationships to the human body to create new and surprising experiences,” reads a statement on the artist’s website. Her “Static Adornment” series reinvents the role of furniture as physical decoration: wall-mounted structures covered in densely layered beads, copper scales, and red roses fit around a human body not as support but as ornamentation.

Evelyn received her BFA and MFA at Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently a Visiting Professor in the furniture department at California College of the Arts. Her work is also a part of Making a Seat at the Table, a group show of female-identifying woodworkers on view through January 18, 2020 in Philadelphia. Keep up with Evelyn’s latest projects and inspiration on Instagram, and explore more of her portfolio on her website.

 

 



Animation Music

Forest Creatures Gather Together to Perform a Moonlit Rendition of an Opera

October 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A songbird soloist accompanied by choruses of toads, turtles, and hedgehogs are conducted by  a squirrel in Maestro, a delightful new animated short by Illogic. Set in a moonlit forest, the wild symphony performs a war anthem from Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma. In an interview with Vimeo, the team explained that they sought to balance imaginativeness with believability within the confines of  their realistic universe. Illogic is based in Montpellier, France, where they recently opened an animation studio called Bloom Pictures. Take a behind-the-scenes look at how Maestro was made in the video below, and see more from Illogic, including the Oscar-nominated Garden Party, on Vimeo.

 

 



Art Craft

Bizarre Animals Challenge the Bounds of Recognizability in Hybrid Assemblages by Debra Broz

October 25, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Winged Elephant” 6 x 7 x 7 inches

Winged elephants, multi-eared rabbits, and carrot-legged babies ready to be dipped in hummus: recent sculptures by Debra Broz (previously) continue to expand her collection of odd mashups formed from found ceramics. By carefully sourcing, separating, and re-fusing juxtaposed components of otherwise unremarkable ceramic knick-knacks, Broz forms entirely new creatures that are equal parts bizarre and humorous. The Los Angeles-based artist tells Colossal that she finds inspiration in absurdity:

I think a lot of us are frequently telling ourselves that the world is this very serious place, and that our lives as adults require careful consideration—and to a degree that’s true—but we also need to take time to realize that the world is also wildly full of nonsense, and that aspects of our lives are incredibly ridiculous. And I think it’s completely fair for us to recognize that, and laugh about it.

“Carrot Babies” 5.5 x 10 x 5 inches each

Broz also sees surprise as an important element in her work. Creating the opportunity for viewers’ expectations to be upended and their planned narrative disrupted makes her small sculptures uniquely memorable. She tells Colossal that acquiring a prank wooden outhouse built by her grandfather (not life-size) that explodes when a quarter is dropped in helped her articulate the importance of the unexpected in her practice. “For me, that object—the exploding outhouse—is weirdly inspirational in the way it takes something unassuming and makes it into something that surprises or bewilders people,” Broz explains. “It’s funny how that theme is so prevalent in my sculpture, but I had never thought about it in the context of my grandpa’s exploding outhouse until recently.”

In addition to adding to her ceramic-centric body of work, Broz has been experimenting recently with stuffed animals and balloons. The malleable materials make it easier to stretch her imagination and try out new ideas. She’s also been working in multiples, creating different variations on the same animal: the two white rabbits shown here were a part of that series. “It was a really interesting process to see how many ideas I could think of to alter that one particular form. That also got me interested in the idea of how much you can change a form before it stops being what it was and becomes something else,” Broz explains.

On November 16, 2019, you can see some of Broz’s iterative rabbits at the Track 16 Gallery Anniversary Show, and will have a piece up for auction in a fundraiser supporting Monte Vista Projects, an artist space and curatorial collective of which Broz is a part. Follow along with the artist’s latest creative endeavors on Instagram.

“Safari Turkey” 6 x 4 x 3 inches

“White Rabbit #24” 6 x 2 x 3 inches

“Duckling Ball” 6 x 6 x 5 inches

“Dancing Dolphin II” 5.5 x 8 x 3.5 inches

“Royal Canine” 6.5 x 12 x 8 inches

“White Rabbit #20” 5 x 3.5 x 2 inches

 

 



Amazing

The World’s First Bee Influencer Uses Social Media to Raise Funds for Lifesaving Pollinator Research

October 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

We can only imagine the job description: Science Foundation seeks expert visual effects designer to create robust social media presence for imaginary insect influencer. B., billed as the world’s first bee influencer, reports from Instagram-friendly locations like Montemartre in Paris and beachfront lounge chairs. Channelling trends among young female influencers, B. flaunts her figure, does yoga in pretty places, and hosts Story A.M.A’s, answering queries about her favorite musicians (Beethoven, the Bee Gees, Beeyonce). B’s captions are a blend of educational and quippy—a “photo” of her rowing is captioned “I have only one flaw… (LOL) I don’t know how to swim!”

Following in the footsteps of other scientific non-profits like the California Academy of Sciences and the Field Museum in Chicago, Fondation de France seeks to meet people where they’re at—which is, by and large, on social media. Humor, au courant language, and memes have become powerful tools to convey important messages about our past, present, and future world.

But whereas other institutions use strong voices on social channels to indirectly raise funds through increased museum attendance and perhaps larger sponsorships for exhibitions, the foundation is channeling income directly from their in-house influencer. Companies and organizations who feel that their brand identity aligns with B. can pay the rising-star insect to promote their products in the same way that a #vanlife influencer might pose with a brand of potato chips or shampoo. The fees that a company pays for exposure with B. go directly to Fondation de France’s BEE FUND, which the 50 year-old foundation created “to fund the actions considered as the most fundamental and urgent in the protection of all species of bees.”

You can follow along with B. on Instagram. If you or your company is interested in working with her as an influencer, find out more on the Fondation de France’s BEE FUND microsite.

 

 



Art Colossal

Submit Your Idea For an Artistic Mini Golf Course Hole by October 31st for ‘Par Excellence Redux’ at the Elmhurst Art Museum

October 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Submissions close on October 31, 2019 for next year’s Par Excellence Redux. If you’ve been sitting on a great idea, now’s the time to send it in! The 18-hole artist-designed golf course will be fully playable, installed in 2020 at the Elmhurst Art Museum. Par Excellence Redux is a contemporary reimagining of the landmark exhibition in 1988 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, curated by Colossa’s Editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. Find out more and submit your idea here! Selected artists will be allotted $1,300 as a combined honorarium and materials budget.

 

 



Art Design

Banksy’s Gross Domestic Product Ecommerce Store Launches with Line of Sardonic Homewares

October 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

As we recently reported, Banksy debuted a dystopian homewares store on October 1, 2019. Making good on his promise to open an online platform to purchase goods displayed in the Croydon pop-up (which was never, in fact, open to the public, and closed this past weekend), the Gross Domestic Product store went live today. Featuring a slate of items, ranging from a rat race clock to a static-filled HD TV, each piece serves as a social commentary on issues ranging from the refugee crisis to children’s sugar-filled diets. Most items—some of which are pointedly nonfunctional—are available to request for purchase immediately through a somewhat opaque lottery process. Pieces all seem to indicate that they are signed by the artist.

To mediate demand, the website requires would-be buyers to answer the prompt ‘Why does art matter?’ In the event of demand outstripping supply, the answer to this question may be used to evaluate your application. Please make your answer as amusing, informative or enlightening as possible, the website states. Similarly, seemingly in anticipation of those wishing to re-sell their GDP purchases, the ecommerce website also links in the footer to BBay, which describes itself as “your first choice destination to trade in secondhand art by a third-rate artist.’ Keep up with the latest from Banksy on Instagram.

Collaboration with Escif

 

 

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