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Art

Miniature Figures Navigate Human-Sized Threats in Slinkachu's Humorous Interventions

November 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Slinkachu, shared with permission

At first glance, Slinkachu’s scenes might appear to be a heap of multi-colored pills or a mess of children’s toys left behind on a London street corner. Closer inspection, however, reveals minuscule figures navigating human-sized items as if they occupy an alternate, miniature world occurring in sidewalk alcoves and planter boxes. Characters find themselves in a sea of medication that’s reminiscent of arcade ball pits, while others create a tower to fend off a nearby bee that’s triple each of their heights. Imbued with humor, the site-specific scenes often comment on contemporary social issues.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slinkachu (previously) has shifted to creating works in his home to minimize exposure to passersby. Although many of his projects were canceled or postponed, the Natural History Museum commissioned both the mushroom and bee works shown below for its Urban Nature project, a biologically diverse green space in central London. “My work has always reflected the sense of isolation and loneliness that a big city can imbue, but the isolation of being inside is new to me,” he shares with Colossal. “These were recreations of small parts of city streets built in my living room with concrete paving slabs and weeds and moss.” The shift in venue has the British artist reconsidering parts of his practice:

It was a bit surreal recreating the outside world inside, but it has opened up new possibilities for me to create narrative images. By experimenting with mixing miniature sets and photographic backdrops, I’ve had many ideas about creating images that are not always possible to create outside on a real street without digital manipulation. It is different from my usual street work but a new avenue to explore.

Follow Slinkachu’s latest installations on Instagram, and pick up a puzzle or print of his miniature figures from Affenfaust Galerie.

 

 

 



Animation Music

Who Dat: A Suave Pigeon Struts Down the Sidewalk and Shows Off its Groove Thang in a New Music Video

October 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

The swaggering pigeon in Emmit Fenn’s new music video might upend the notion that peacocks are the proudest avians. Animated and directed by Patrick Jean, “Who Dat” opens on a quiet street corner before zooming in on the lone bird. As the bass drops, the pigeon begins a subtle strut down the street while it grooves to the beat. Soon, the bird reveals in its dancing skills after a shake of its tail feather. To see more of the Los Angeles-based director’s humorous animations, head to Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art

Subjects Undertake Futile Pursuits in Satirical Paintings by Artist Toni Hamel

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Loves Me Loves Me Not” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches. All images © Toni Hamel, shared with permission

Based in Oshawa, a suburb of Toronto, artist Toni Hamel (previously) is concerned with human morality—or lack thereof. In her subtly hued artworks, Hamel portrays subjects in the midst of futile and trivial pursuits: children pluck stars from the night sky, a couple attempts to reconstruct a flower after its petals have fallen, and a young family literally watches wet paint dry. Many of the satirical pieces consider socially accepted anthropocentrism and the relationship people have with the surrounding environemnt.

Since 2017, Hamel has been adding to High Tides and Misdemeanors, an ongoing series that is intentionally political. “It confronts us with the repercussions of our actions and denounces the current thinking models. In this age of alternative realities, ‘fake news’ and a culture that is increasingly more self-absorbed and superficial, I feel that it’s even more important for me to carry on reporting what I must,” she writes.

Explore more of Hamel’s visual commentaries on culture and politics on Instagram.

 

“The Harvest” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

“The Prototype 1” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

“The Spill” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 10 inches

“Family Night In Kodachrome” (2020), oil on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“The Replacement” (2019), oil on canvas, 14 x 18 inches

“Ikebana 1” (2019), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

“Ikebana 3” (2020), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

 

 



Art Illustration

Vintage-Style Illustrations Merge Animals, Insects, and Botanics to Form Bizarre Hybrid Creatures

September 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Mark Brooks, shared with permission

Full of extraordinary creatures, the illustrated series The Creative Specimens seamlessly combines species into unusual hybrids. Similar in color, each organism is bizarre in form. The feathered head of a bird is placed on a tortoise’s body, octopus tentacles sprout from the bottom of a cactus, and speckled coral comprises a deer’s antlers.

Adobe’s 99U Conference spurred the collaborative project as a way to offer a visual language encompassing various creative careers and passions. Inspired by the biological classifications of Charles Darwin and his contemporaries, New York-based art director and graphic designer Mark Brooks digitally rendered the organisms by referencing vintage illustrations. He then passed the project to Joanmiquel Bennasar, an illustrator living and working in the Balearic Islands, who recreated the creatures in watercolor.

Explore more of Brooks’s and Bennasar’s illustrated projects on Behance.

 

 

 



Animation

Towels: An Animated Battle for Beach Real Estate Serves as a Metaphor for Rising Global Tension

August 27, 2020

Christopher Jobson

In her animated short “Towels,” Prawta Annez explores her frustration and concern with global tensions as a rollicking ocean-side battle for prime towel space. While fairly light-hearted and comedic, the film was conceived during the political climate of 2017 and might as well use Ghandi’s famous quote “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” as a thesis. “I hope this short can be 4 minutes of fun and escapism for anyone who watches it, no matter where they may be or whatever they may be going through,” Annez shares. If you like this, also check out Norman McLaren’s famous 1952 Academy Award-winning short “Neighbours” that evokes parallels with the Cold War crisis. (via Short of the Week)

 

 

 



Art

A Disorienting Short Film by Lydia Cambron Recreates '2001: A Space Odyssey' in Quarantine

August 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Eerie, hypnotic, and faithfully depicting the dismal reality that is 2020, a new short film by Lydia Cambron envisions her recent quarantine experience under the frame of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2020: An Isolation Odyssey, the New York City-based designer recreates the 1968 version’s iconic ending as a way to “(poke) fun at the navel-gazing saga of life alone and indoors,” she writes in a statement.

Positioned vertically, the characters’ movements are synchronized perfectly, but while the original film’s Keir Dullea wades through the ornate home in an astronaut suit, Cambron sports a face mask and latex gloves. The reenactment is situated in the designer’s one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, and while it maintains the domestic qualities of the original, it also features contemporary updates, like a MacBook sitting on the table rather than a lavish meal. She even parallels the minutes-long credits precisely.

Cambron notes that the contemporary version considers a similarly disorienting life. “Multitasking while #wfh, conjuring guilt or longing with unused exercise equipment, your entire being reduced to a measure of time—these scenes all illustrate the absurd comedy of trying to maintain control during this unprecedented and unpredictable time,” she explains.

Follow Cambron’s parodic explorations—which include an annual exhibition titled JONALDDUDD— on Instagram and Vimeo. (via Daring Fireball)

 

 

 

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