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Art

Commuters Go Wild in Matthew Grabelsky’s Uncanny Subway Paintings

February 2, 2023

Grace Ebert

A painted portrait of a horse-human figure riding the subway

“Giddy Up” (2022), oil on canvas, 14 × 16 inches. All images courtesy of Thinkspace Projects, shared with permission

Urbanites know the subway is a prime location to spot the city’s oddities, and yet, a run-in with one of Matthew Grabelsky’s characters would be a particularly wild encounter. The Los Angeles-based artist has spent the last few years rendering human-animal hybrids that nonchalantly ride public transit. Sometimes snacking on a cracker or brushing up on some reading, the characters are surreal, uncanny additions to an otherwise mundane scene.

Grabelsky’s newest oil paintings, which are currently on view as part of Riders at The Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California, are hyperrealistic and laced with witty details similar to earlier works in the series. Set on the New York City Subway and London Tube, the portraits are narrative-driven and embedded with pop culture references. The artist shares:

My goal is to create the effect of looking at a scene on the subway as if it were a diorama at a natural history museum. The images present richly detailed moments frozen in time allowing the viewer to closely inspect every element and make connections between them to read an overall story. In this world, people are transformed into part-animal to create scenes that are strange, funny, and endearing.

Curated by Thinkspace Projects, Riders is on view through March 17. You can find an extensive collection of Grabelsky’s commuters on his site and Instagram.

 

A painted portrait of a father and son human-monkey hybrids riding the subway

“Curious George Takes A Train” (2022), oil on canvas, 16 × 20 inches

On left, a painted portrait of a woman-crow figure on the subway, on the right, a painted portrait of a woman-parrot figure eating crackers on the subway

Left: “Crow-Magnon” (2022), oil on canvas, 28 × 38 inches. Right: “Polly Wanna Cracker” (2022), oil on canvas, 24 × 36 inches

A painted portrait of a dog-human hybrid riding the subway

“Texas Hold’em” (2022), oil on canvas, 12 × 16 inches

Left: A painted portrait of a wolf-human hybrid riding the subway. Right: A painted portrait of two panda-human hybrids riding the subway

Left: “An American Werewolf In London” (2022), oil on canvas, 24 × 32 inches. Right: “Sichuan Express” (2022), oil on canvas, 14 × 20 inches

A painted portrait of a bat-human figure riding the subway

“Gotham Local” (2022), oil on canvas, 12 × 16 inches

 

 

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Photography

Travel the World Through the Bizarre and Unexpected Sights of ‘Wonders of Street View’

January 24, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of people posted with bird masks

All images via Google Street View

A man with three legs, a vintage car scaling a building, and an unsettling formation of people donning bird masks are a few of the scenarios highlighted in the terrifically bizarre Wonders of Street View. One of the many sites of coder Neal Agarwal, the project showcases photographs of offbeat landmarks, digital glitches, chance encounters, and people who prepare to pose for the famous camera-laden Google Street View cars as they drive by. The playful platform is similarly interactive to allow viewers to explore the surroundings and generates scenes at random, taking visitors from San Francisco to Hesse, Germany, to Samburu, Kenya. Head to Wonders of Street View to traverse the globe one strange sight at a time. (via Waxy)

 

A photo of a vintage car scaling a building

A photo of a person lounging on a couch in a truck bed

A photo of a spider on a roof

A photo of a person wearing a horse mask at a table

A glitched photo of a person with three legs

A photo of dozens of pigeons in a park

A photo of a Pacman monument

 

 



Craft Design

Freewheeling Hares and Bespectacled Kangaroos Hop Into Hugo Horita’s Playful Wooden Menagerie

January 12, 2023

Kate Mothes

A detail of a wooden sculpture carved to look like a sheep with a crocheted sweater on.

All images © Hugo Horita, shared with permission

Although they are carved from timber, the personalities in Hugo Horita’s growing menagerie are far from wooden. An adventurous camel, a sheep in a sweater, and a deer that’s quick on the draw are just a few of the characters the Buenos Aires-based artist has introduced. “I like to bring ideas and shapes to a three-dimensional language, and I chose wood because it is a very noble and warm material,” he tells Colossal.

Trained as an illustrator, Horita’s work often rests squarely in the digital realm, and he sought a creative outlet that involved using his hands. While some ideas can lead to a new piece in just a few days, sometimes the process takes months, beginning with a sketch on paper or a virtual vector image. He then carves the toy-like sculptures with an emphasis on the details of the grain to accentuate joints and muscles and often incorporates other found elements like pencils. Preferring to use scrap pieces that others have thrown away, which allows for various tones and textures, Horita completes each animal with the cartoonish addition of wheels, spectacles, or skis.

Find more of the spirited critters on Behance and Instagram.

 

A wooden sculpture of a deer with pencils for antlers.

Wooden sculptures of a sheep and a camel. The sheep has a crocheted sweater on, and the camel has mountains for humps and is wearing skis.

Sheep sweater made in collaboration with cAlma mía

Two wooden sculptures of leaping hares.

A wooden sculpture of a joey in its mother's pouch, and both animals are wearing white glasses.

A wooden sculpture of a rocking horse with two horses facing each other on the same rocker.

A wooden sculpture of a moose with a pick comb for antlers.

A detail of a wooden sculpture of a moose.

A wooden sculpture of hare holding wheels.

A wooden sculpture of a sloth laying upside-down in a chair.

A detail of a wooden sculpture of a sloth laying upside-down in a chair.

A wooden sculpture of a deer with antlers made of pencils.

 

 



Art Illustration

Detailed Illustrations Brim with Manic Mayhem in Mattias Adolfsson’s Exuberant Sketchbooks

January 5, 2023

Kate Mothes

A spread of an illustrated sketchbook.

All images © Mattias Adolfsson, shared with permission

In Mattias Adolfsson’s meticulous illustrations, organized chaos is the name of the game. Drawing inspiration from a recent trip to Japan, the Swedish artist has recently filled his 41st Moleskine notebook with science fiction-inspired scenes of sushi bar mayhem, urban piles, and travel woes. Redolent of Where’s Waldo, Adolfsson often incorporates a caricature of himself into each scene; his face peeks out from advertisements, food, and anthropomorphized objects. His characteristically frenetic drawings fill each spread from edge to edge in a finely-tuned balance of order and insanity, encouraging the viewer on an endless seek-and-find journey that reveals more peculiarities, details, and twists the more one looks.

Explore more of Adolfsson’s fantastical worlds on Behance and YouTube, where he pages through completed sketchbooks. You can also find more work on his website and purchase prints on Etsy.

 

 

 



Photography

Hapless Hangups and Silly Spoofs Abound in the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

January 5, 2023

Kate Mothes

A photograph of an animal with a bird behind it so that it appears as though it has wings.

Highly Commended Winner, “Pegasus, the flying horse” © Jagdeep Rajput and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Since its inception in 2015, submissions to the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (previously) have captured some of nature’s most hapless and humorous moments. In this year’s contest, the overall winner was Jennifer Hadley’s timely snap of a 3-month old lion cub tumbling down a tree, taken in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Hadley shared that she and her travel companions had been watching the cub in the tree for some time. “It didn’t even occur to me that he would make a go of getting down by himself in the most un-cat like fashion. I mean, how often do cats fall out of trees?” she says.

In this year’s juried contest, 5,000 entries from 85 countries amounted to fierce competition, showcasing “seriously funny” images in an effort to highlight the diversity of the world’s wildlife and raise awareness of the need for conservation. In partnership with the Whitley Fund for Nature, the contest contributes 10% of revenue toward conservation efforts in countries across the Global South.

See a gallery of all winning images on the competition website, and if you would like to enter your own images for consideration in the 2023 contest, applications are now open.

 

A photograph of a lion cub falling out of a tree.

Overall Winner and Serian & Alex Walker’s Creatures of the Land Award, “Not so cat-like reflexes” © Jennifer Hadley and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Two penguins on a shoreline. One appears to be telling the other one to "talk to the hand."

Affinity Photo 2 People’s Choice Award, “Talk to the Fin” Image © Jennifer Hadley and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Left: Two kangaroos at sunset on a beach appear as if one is swinging the other one around by its feet. Right: Two meerkats play together; one appears to strangle the other.

Highly Commended Winners. Left: “It’s all kicking off!” © Michael Eastway and Comedy Wildlife 2022. Right: “I’m gonna strangle you” © Emmanuel Do Linh San and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of two penguins standing side-by-side, one without a head.

Highly Commended Winner, “Keep calm and keep your head” © Martin Grace and Comedy Wildlife 2022

Two fish get up close and personal to the camera lens.

Creatures Under the Water Award, “Say Cheeeeeeese” © Arturo Telle and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of a heron and a hippo. The hippo has its mouth open wide and looks like it will eat the heron whole.

Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award, “Hippo and Heron” © Jean Jacques Alcalay and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of a small owl winking from inside a pipe.

Junior Award, “ICU” © Arshdeep Singh and Comedy Wildlife 2022

A photograph of a raccoon in a snowy landscape that looks like it is waving to the viewer.

Highly Commended Winner, “Hello everyone” © Miroslav Srb and Comedy Wildlife 2022

 

 



Art

Everyday Situations Take an Amusing Turn in Toon Joosen’s Clever Collages

December 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

A collage of a woman vacuuming people on a beach

All images © Toon Joosen, shared with permission

A man mows a field of text, a vacuum cleaner sucks up beachgoers, and kids shield themselves from falling words in the witty collages of Toon Joosen. From his studio in The Netherlands, the artist cuts and splices vintage photos, magazines, postcards, and book pages into clever works that take an ironic and surreal approach to everyday activities. Joosen tends to play with scale and perspective, creating tongue-in-cheek scenarios brimming with nostalgia and humor. He shares dozens of works on Instagram and has prints, buttons, and other goods available on Etsy.

 

A photo of a collage of a man mowing text

A photo of a collage of a woman plowing corrugated cardboard

A photo of a collage of kids playing with text

A photo of a collage of a text raining down on kids shielded by an umbrella

A collage of a woman cleaning beachgoers

A photo of a collage of a people pulling up text like weeds

A photo of a collage of a man harvesting text with a tractor

 

 

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Sailing Ship Kite