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Art

Cleverly Carved Rocks Seem to Open and Flex in New Stone Sculptures by Hirotoshi Ito

May 7, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Unpolished rocks are sliced and diced in the clever sculptures of Hirotoshi Ito (previously). The Japanese artist carefully carves away sections of naturally-textured stone to create the illusion of motion or flexibility. Rocks appear to be sliced with table knives, hinged to act as velvet-lined coin purses, or unzipped to reveal mouths and miniature worlds. When Ito isn’t carving these lighthearted designs, he creates tombstones, monuments, and sculptures as the Ito Stone Shop. You can stay up to date with Ito’s art via Facebook.

 

 



Amazing Design

You Say Potato, I Say Hotel Room: a Private Airbnb Fashioned From a Retired 6-Ton Promotional Spud

May 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photos by Otto Kitsinger

What better way to be a couch potato than spending a relaxing weekend at a potato-shaped hotel? The new venue, which is available via Airbnb, is located in Boise, Idaho—a state that even touts its potatoes on vehicle license plates. The larger-than-life potato began its journey seven years ago on the back of a semi truck, as it traveled widely to promote the state’s famous starchy vegetable with the Idaho Potato Commission. Its most recent iteration as overnight accommodations was the project of Kristie Wolfe, who added a retrofitted silo complete with a bathtub and fireplace. The 6-ton potato palace has open availability for many nights over the summer, as of press time. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



Art Design

Send-Ups of Pop Culture and Capitalism Hidden in Retail Stores by Obvious Plant

April 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The next time you’re in a grocery store, pharmacy, or toy department and spot a subtly unusual item, it might an Obvious Plant. Jeff Wysaski, the man behind the meme, has been creating and depositing strange flyers, placards, and packaged products in conventional retail outlets for several years. His creations are often a send-up of a popular pop culture phenomenon like Sesame Street or The Avengers, and feature chuckle-inducing copy, alternately quippy and filled with intentional typos. From a lonely Bert to Barely Any Ketchup (made by “Hardly Foods”), Obvious Plant items have become increasingly elaborate over the years, and Wysanski makes some of his designs available for purchase in an online store.

You can follow along with Obvious Plant’s quirky interventions on Instagram. If these are up your alley, also check out Chindōgu, a concept and subsequent community of designers of useless products, first popularized in 1990’s Japan by Kenji Kawakami.

 

 



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