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Photography

Bizarre Details Enliven Seemingly Simple Moments in Photographs by Ben Zank

April 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Tilted Scales”

Ben Zank (previously) captures emotions of confusion, restriction, and ennui and in his ongoing series of banal-meets-bizarre photographs. Each image features a single subject in a seemingly mundane location: on a city sidewalk, near a semi truck trailer, or in a forest. Yet the individual at hand is engaged with or affected by their surroundings in highly unusual ways: one figure bends backward under the weight of long birch branches stuffed under his shirt; another is sandwiched in a layer cake of collapsed cardboard boxes. Zank shares with Colossal that he’s entering a season of productivity in his personal work as the weather warms, and is looking forward to a solo show in Shanghai, which will open in fall 2020. Stay up to date with Zank’s surreal scenes on Instagram.

“Assisted Living”

“Big Brother”

“Layer Cake”

“The Stigma”

“I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE”

“Going Under”

“Thought Deposit”

“Daily Agenda”

 

 



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)

 

 



Design Photography

Dysfunctional Household Objects and Fabricated Flowers Cleverly Created by PUTPUT

April 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Copenhagen-based studio PUTPUT (previously) creates visual puns and quirky tools in their juxtaposition-filled photographs. From salami sunglasses to a chair made of flaming birthday candles, PUTPUT has a “shared and deeply rooted fascination with metaphysical relationships connected to everyday objects”, according to an artist statement on their website. An ongoing series is the studio’s Fabricated Flowers, where plastic and fabric household supplies like garden gloves, shower loofahs, and dish scrubbers stand in for the color blossoms of potted plants. You can see more from PUTPUT on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Social Commentary with Surreal Twists in New Paintings by Paco Pomet

April 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“A Journey” (2019), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 cm

Paco Pomet (previously) combines chilling social commentary with humorous juxtapositions of past, present, and future in his satirical paintings. All-new works from 2018 and 2019 include meditations on melting glaciers, differences of opinion in frontier settings, and the symbolism of setting suns. The Spanish artist often combines greyscale and full color within a single painting to draw the viewer’s attention to specific details, like a car driving toward a bubblegum pink slime-slide, and two settlers in neighboring buildings enveloped by different-hued auras.

Pomet’s latest solo show, “No Places”, opens April 4 at Galleri Benoni in Copenhagen, Denmark, and runs through May 10, 2019. You can see more from Pomet on Instagram, and if you enjoy his work, also check out Toni Hamel.

“The End” (2018), oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

“Siesta” (2018), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 cm

“The Last Evening” (2018), oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

“Ambush” (2018), oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm

“Same Planet, Different Worlds” (2018), oil on canvas, 65 x 92 cm

“Levante Poniente” (2018), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 cm

“Claim” (2019), oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

“El Apasionado” (2019), oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm

 

 



Craft Design

Subverted Consumer Goods Become Wearable New Apparel

April 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

During the weekday, Nicole McLaughlin works as a graphic designer at Reebok. But after hours her relationship to branded apparel and personal accessories takes a different creative turn. McLaughlin uses a wide variety of recognizable consumer goods to form totally new products. Often focusing on footwear, McLaughlin has formed slip-ons out of tennis balls and Levi’s waistband patches, and sandals from eBay packaging tape and IKEA bag handles. Additional creations range from an umbrella of The North Face puffy coats to foldable chairs comprised of athlete’s Gatorade bottles and foam sports fan hands.

The artist chops up and subverts the original functionality of these recognizable products and brands, but also is always careful to maintain—and often repeat—visible logos while she gives each item a new meaning and use. McLaughlin documents her creations in a closely cropped, plain manner that calls to mind images cataloged for an anthropological study. You can see more of her fashion interventions on Instagram, and keep an eye on her online store for functional pieces, all of which are currently sold out.

 

 



Design

R2-D2 Appears to Sit on a German Hillside Thanks to a University Observatory’s Star Wars-Inspired Makeover

April 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Sci-fi superfan Hubert Zitt has given the Zweibrücken Observatory of the Natural Science Association a pop culture-inspired makeover. The paint job, completed in fall 2018, replicates R2-D2’s signature blue and white markings on the already perfectly droid-shaped building. The observatory has become a destination for Star Wars fans who trek up the hill—sometimes in costume—to pay homage and take a photo with the larger than life R2-D2. Zitt, a sci-fi enthusiast, is known for his writing and lecturing on Star Trek in addition to his 20 year professorship in computer science and engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Zweibrücken. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Photography

The View From Down Under: “Under-Cats” Celebrates Cats at a New Angle

March 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Felines at the International Cat Show in Kaunas, Lithuania were already ready for their closeup, but they might not have been expecting these glass-bottomed glamour shots. Photographer Andrius Burba began shooting at this unique angle in 2015 with cats on a black background. In the intervening years he has documented dogs, rabbits, bicycles, and even horses. The most recent iteration swaps out the black backdrops for bright colors. Burba explains to Colossal that he places each subject on a glass surface (though we’d hazard a guess the horses stood on a sturdier material) and shoots from below, with the backdrop placed above the animal. The resulting photographs show the unique fur, eyes, and personalities of each cat, as they strike poses that convey curiosity, boredom, or annoyance. You can see the full collection from Under-Cats on the Underlook website. Underlook also shares updates on Instagram and Facebook, and offers merch in their online store. (via Design You Trust)