humor

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Animation

Natural History Museum: A Snarky Celebration of Anthropology and Chicken Wings by Kirsten Lepore

October 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Using stop motion animation and her signature blend of the banal and bizarre, animator Kirsten Lepore (previously) plays with universal human traits in her new short, “Natural History Museum.” The animated film highlights the readiness with which we condescend to cultures from the past, as well as the deliciousness of chicken wings, through the lens of two characters whose identities shift over time. See more from Lepore on Vimeo and pick up swag inspired by her animations in her Society6 store.

 

 

 



Art

Ironing Wrinkled Chips, Keeping Headphones in Place, and Other Surreal Life-Hacks Photographed by Gab Bois

October 5, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Montreal-based artist Gab Bois uses everyday objects to create photographs that twist reality and illustrate bizarre, yet clever, concepts. Often achieved using post-processing techniques, the seamless images depict unnatural double entendres and impossible feats. For the artist, the ideas are the star and photography is a tool for translation.

Gab Bois has a degree in fine art but didn’t practice photography until after graduating. Finding inspiration in the mundane and random, the common thread in Gab Bois’ work is the familiar. The artist prefers creating from her own imagination and dreams so that the work feels authentic. She tells Colossal that nine times out of ten, she is the model in her photographs. “I like to be very hands-on when it comes to most aspects of my practice and find it very hard to delegate,” she explains. “Being my own subject gives me a sense of control that I wouldn’t have with a model.” She has shot other people on occasion, and Gab Bois says that those were great learning experiences.

Gab Bois’ images live on Instagram, but the artist says that they “aspire to live a much larger life outside of the platform.” She added that Instagram is “a great diffusion tool but it feels reductive to me to have my work reside solely in a virtual environment.” The artist also has a sculptural practice that lives outside of social media.

Gab Bois is working on a solo exhibition for 2020. In the more immediate future, her work will be featured in a group exhibition opening on October 10, 2019 at KK Outlet in London and also in Montreal on October 17, 2019. To see more of her ideas come to life, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

 



Art Colossal

Open Call: The Elmhurst Art Museum Resurrects ‘Par Excellence,’ an Artist-Designed Mini Golf Course from 1988

October 2, 2019

Colossal

In a unique collision of recreation and art, the Elmhurst Art Museum will commission an 18-hole artist-designed golf course in homage to the wildly popular 1988 exhibition Par Excellence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The fully playable course will be conceived and fabricated by a new group of contemporary artists, designers, and architects selected through an open call process. Designed to fill the entirety of the museum’s interior galleries, the course will be comprised of a surprisingly varied collection of themes and forms, promising an unusual twist on a familiar pastime.

The extraordinarily popular exhibition was the brainchild of sculptor Michael O’Brien and opened to lines down the block. The show sold out daily and found its way to the pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, CNN, and the Chicago Tribune among others. The course went on tour to downstate Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial miniature golf course called ArtGolf at 1800 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park (currently the site of Goose Island Brewery).

Artist-designed golf courses are now a popular addition to many Midwest museums such as the Walker Art Center, The Sheldon, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but Par Excellence is widely believed to be the first.

Par Excellence Redux is curated by Colossal’s founder & editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. To learn more about the open call process and submit your ideas for a hole, head on over to the Elmhurst Art Museum for more info.

Archival photos of Par Excellence & ArtGolf 1988-1992

 

 



Art

Gross Domestic Product: Banksy Opens a Dystopian Homewares Store

October 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Tony the Frosted Flakes tiger sacrificed as a living room rug, wooden dolls handing their babies off to smugglers in freight truck trailers, and welcome mats stitched from life jackets: rather than offering an aspirational lifestyle, one South London storefront window depicts a capitalist dystopia. Created by Banksy and appearing overnight, Gross Domestic Product is the latest installation to critique global society’s major issues of forced human migration, animal exploitation, and the surveillance state.

The temporary installation, which will be on view for two weeks in the Croydon neighborhood, incorporates multiple window displays for a shop that is not in fact open to passersby. However, some of the items on display are available for purchase in GDP’s associated online store including the welcome mats, which Banksy hired refugees in Greek detainment camps to stitch; all proceeds go back to the refugees. Revenue from sales of the doll sets will also support the purchase of a replacement boat for activist Pia Klemp, whose boat was confiscated by the Italian government. The product line is rounded out with such oddities as disco balls made from riot gear helmets, handbags made of bricks, and signed—and partially used—£10 spray paint cans.

Tying this latest project to his larger body of work, Banksy incorporated familiar motifs. The fireplace and stenciled jacquard wallpaper from his Walled Off Hotel, the stab-proof Union Jack vest he created for Stormzy to wear at the Glastonbury Festival, and the Basquiat-inspired ferris wheel that appeared outside the Barbican all appear in GDP.

In a statement about the project, Banksy explains that the impetus behind Gross Domestic Product is a legal battle between the artist and a greeting card company that is contesting the trademark Banksy holds to his art. Lawyer Mark Stephens, who is advising the artist, explains, “Banksy is in a difficult position because he doesn’t produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear—if the trademark holder is not using the mark then it can be transferred to someone who will.”

Despite this project’s specific goal of selling work in order to allow Banksy to demonstrate the active use of his trademark, the artist clarifies, “I still encourage anyone to copy, borrow, steal and amend my art for amusement, academic research or activism. I just don’t want them to get sole custody of my name.”

Per usual, Banksy shares updates on Instagram, where he claims recent projects, including GDP, which he just announced an hour ago as of press time.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Amazing Banksy exhibition popped up in Croydon. #Banksy #Croydon

A post shared by Matt Hollander (@mhollander38) on

 

 



Art

The U.K.’s Iconic Red Post Box Gets a Twisted Makeover in Alex Chinneck’s Surreal Urban Interventions

September 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Master of distortion Alex Chinneck flips parking lots upside down, unzips buildings, and most recently has tied post boxes in knots. Chinneck traffics in everyday structures that are universally recognizable, which serves to unite passersby in reacting to the bizarre interventions. The post box series, which the artist calls ‘Alphabetti Spaghetti‘ has made appearances over the past week across the U.K., in  London, Margate, and Tinsley, adding three bespoke boxes to the more than 115,500 traditional ones that exist across the kingdom. No word yet on whether postmarked letters placed in Chinneck’s sculptures will be delivered. You can see more of the artist’s mind-bending work on Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Art Craft

Knitted Camouflage’s Models Blend into the Background in a New Art Book

September 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Last year, we shared Joseph Ford and Nina Dodd’s collaborative project that featured people sporting custom-knit ensembles that perfectly melded with their environment. Since then, the photographer and knitter duo have been hard at work creating new pairings that disguise watermelons as bananas, farmers as their cows, and commuters as the escalators they ascend. Invisible Jumpers, their book published by Hoxton Mini Press, documents the Knitted Camouflage project’s best work. See more from the series on Ford’s website and Instagram and pick up a book from Hoxton (currently shipping internationally) or place a pre-order for U.S. delivery on Amazon.

 

 



Amazing Photography

Stop and Smell the Flowers: Dick van Duijn Captured a Squirrel’s Floral Delight

September 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Dick van Duijn, shared with permission of the artist

This summer, while traveling in Vienna, Dutch photographer Dick van Duijn captured an indelible moment of natural connection between a ground squirrel and a yellow flower. The photographer was in Vienna specifically to document ground squirrels. In an interview with PetaPixel van Duijn explained, “On the first day we observed them and their behavior. On the second day, we photographed them the whole day. In the evening just before sunset, when the light became soft and nice, one of the many ground squirrels walked towards the yellow flower and began to hold it and sniff it.” You can purchase prints of this and other flower-enamored squirrel’s in van Duijn’s online store, and see more of his work and travels on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)