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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)

 

 

 



Design

Japanese Monster Figurines Apologize For Their Destruction at Press Conference Podiums

March 15, 2019

Johnny Waldman

The art of the apology – it’s an integral part of Japanese culture that helps maintain balance and harmony in society. Combining that with kaiju figurines is this brilliant little set of toys that feature the likes of Godzilla and Mechagodzilla apologizing at a press conference, head hanging solemnly, for the destruction they’ve caused.

The toys were released back in 2016 as part of a promotion campaign for the Shin-Godzilla movie. They were sold as gachapon and retailed for 300 yen each.

They included Godzilla apologizing for destructive vandalism (破壊行為), Mechagodzilla for imitation and copyright infringement (模倣行為) and King Gidra for aggressive invasion (侵略行為). The toys have since been taken off the primary market but for those willing to pay up, they’re available on the secondary market, albeit at a 500+% markup. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Animation

The Secret Lives of Objects Revealed in Juan Pablo Zaramella’s Trailer for Así son las cosas

March 3, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Argentinian director Juan Pablo Zaramella (previously) has shared the trailer for a cute new stop-motion television series featuring typically inanimate objects living out funny scenarios. With a title that translates in English to “The Way Things Are,” each episode in the series is one minute long and appears to focus on a different subject, from an egg catching a carton bus, to a stick of dynamite visiting a psychologist who also happens to be a pair of scissors. The sound effects and voices add to the humor. Though you’d need to know Spanish to understand the exact words, Zaramella’s scenes are universally comprehensible: a toothpaste man protests a blushing toothbrush bride’s vows, while  a roll of toilet paper demands access to an occupied bathroom.

The project won Zaramella the Audience Award at the Big Cartoon Festival 2018 and took 2nd prize at the Cyber Sousa / Xiamen International Animation Festival. His previous TV series, The Tiniest Man in World, blended stop-motion animation with live-action and is currently only available to watch if you live in Argentina. There is no word yet on when or where audiences can see Así son las cosas in full, but the two-minute trailer above is a great sample of what’s to come. It also shows the amount of time and detail that went into capturing every frame in order to tell the silly short stories. You can watch more of Zaramella’s films on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Photography

Photographer Winnie Au Captures the Unique Personalities of Dogs Adorned in Sculptural ‘Cones of Shame’

February 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs © Winnie Au

Any person who’s been within shouting distance of a dog owner has probably heard the term “cone of shame,” a euphemism for the medically prescribed devices that dogs must sometimes wear. The cones, traditionally uncomfortable and made of stiff plastic, keeps dogs away from their post-surgery stitches or bothersome skin conditions.

Photographer and dog mom Winnie Au sought to flip the narrative on these puppy-eyes-inducing devices by showcasing dogs in a variety of delightfully frilly and fluffy cones. The photo series, Cone of Shame, complements each canine’s body type, fur, and personality with handcrafted cones by costume designer Marie-Yan Morvan.

Au shares with Colossal that the featured dogs were cast from all over New York, as she and Morvan sought to discover interesting looking dogs, and also match canines to pre-existing cone concepts. The pair worked collaboratively to draw from Au’s loose ideas like “sea urchin” or “cotton candy,” and homed in on feasible designs and materials. Textured cones were formed from feathers, egg shells, and straws, and sleek designs were made with faux flower petals and makeup application wedges.

“When I concepted this series, it was meant to be more abstract and less straightforward portraiture,” the photographer explains. “So when I looked at the dogs, I would look at their fur as one element, the backdrop color as another element, and then the cone style would be the final element. The goal was to put the pieces together like an abstract painting and make sure the colors and tones worked in symmetry with each other.”

Au has just released the “Cone of Shame” images in note card format, as part of a Kickstarter campaign that supports Animal Haven’s Recovery Road fund. You can follow Winnie Au and Marie-Yan Morvan on Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Shapely Shadows Reimagined as Quirky Illustrations by Vincent Bal

February 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The inspiration for the illustrated works of Belgian filmmaker and illustrator Vincent Bal (previously) comes from the shadows cast by everyday objects and detritus from the world around him. Bits of trash and spare items from his home are reimagined as curvy outlines for a cast of characters that range from a young girl in a rainstorm to DJ in his flow. Other items, like a textured glass, create the perfect sun-spotted water for a backyard pool. Bal is currently in production for a live-action film that incorporates his shadow drawings called Shadowology. You can support the creation of the film on Cinecrowd, and see more of his animations on Instagram. Bal also offers prints of his illustrations on Etsy.

 

 

 

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