interview

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Colossal

Interview: Chicago's Manual Cinema Reveals How Its Shadow Puppets Became a Defining Feature of the New 'Candyman'

September 7, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Having already made box-office history, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman (2021) is deeply rooted in Chicago’s history as it not only critically considers racial violence and the city’s problems with gentrification but also draws in local artists, like the prolific and talented team behind the performance collective Manual Cinema. In a new interview supported by Colossal Members, editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson talks with co-artistic director Drew Dir about the studio’s role in the cult classic horror film, from the production process to using a traditionally lighthearted medium to convey such complex and traumatic stories:

By telling those stories through shadow puppetry, which is about as far from naturalism or realism as you can get, I think that gave (DaCosta) a way to represent that legacy of violence but also filter it through the critical lens of metaphor. The puppets allow the viewer to keep a critical distance (that’s something that puppets historically have been very good at!) and to consider the historical and social forces at play, so the viewer doesn’t lose themself in too much repulsion or fascination with blood and gore.

In the conversation, Dir discusses the unprecedented process of using shadow puppets as a major component of a blockbuster live-action film, experimenting with the technical limits of the medium, and what the studio is working on next.

 

 

 

 



Art Colossal Illustration

Interview: Sara Hagale Discusses the Therapeutic Nature of Her Practice and Why She Doesn't Think About Authenticity

August 31, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Walkerings.” All images © Sara Hagale, shared with permission

Considering their undeniable relatability, it’s no surprise that Sara Hagale’s witty, whimsical, and at times anxious drawings have amassed an incredible following in recent years, a topic she speaks to in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Her body of work is broad and idiosyncratic, spanning fanciful bouquets of leggy flowers to smudged self-portraits to quirky characters struggling through life, and it offers an array of emotional and aesthetic nuances that are unique to the artist.

I don’t have to feel goofy all the time in order to still be me. And I’m allowed to draw something that feels right to me in that moment even if it doesn’t match up perfectly with the other work I produce.

In a conversation with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert, Hagale discusses using her practice to process her emotions in real-time, the impossibility of authenticity, and why she prefers to work with limitations.

 

“Unconscionable”

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: The Sketchbook Project Needs Help After Its Brooklyn Collection Grows to 55,000 Globally Submitted Books

July 30, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Fifteen years ago, Steven Peterman launched The Sketchbook Project, an ongoing initiative he discusses in a new interview with Colossal editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson. The project, which gathers sketchbooks filled with artwork and stories from people around the globe, has since grown into the Brooklyn Art Library, and today, that collection boasts approximately 55,000 submissions.

The physical collection is an incredible creative resource. There is so much artwork from varying skill levels and artists of all ages, but there are also stories, secrets, hopes, and fears that create a magical exchange between the participant who created the book and the reader who is viewing it in person.

In the conversation supported by Colossal Members, Peterman talks about the challenges of maintaining the collection and its robust community during the COVID-19 pandemic and what’s on the horizon for the project as it changes its funding model.

 

 

 



Art

Interview: The Founders of the Neon Art Collective ‘She Bends’ Discuss the Womxn at the Forefront of the Trade

August 12, 2020

Claire Voon

Artwork by Megan Stelljes. All images courtesy of She Bends, shared with permission

Since co-founding She Bends, Meryl Pataky and Kelsey Issel have been upending the notion that neon signage is solely a commercial endeavor. The duo fosters a collective of womxn creating the illuminated works, offering support for the artists while working to make the medium more sustainable and diverse.

Especially in times like these, there should be an inherent responsibility that messages, especially those in bright lights, be important messages or calls to action. Talking about things that are uncomfortable, shedding light on them, should be the role of neon art, and in my experience is the work I like the most. —Meryl Pataky

Contributor Claire Voon recently spoke with the duo in a new interview that’s available to all readers thanks to the support of Colossal Members. The three dive into how COVID-19 has changed She Bends’ plans, the commercialization of neon, and the role toxic positivity plays in modern messaging.

 

By Meryl Pataky

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Rob Woodcox Discusses His Boldly Energetic Conceptual Photography of the Human Form

January 13, 2020

Christopher Jobson

All images © Rob Woodcox, shared with permission

Photographer Rob Woodcox is known for his images of bodies stalled in motion, from his conceptions of a human wave to his striped portraits. In the latest interview, our editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson sat down with the artist to to discuss his masterfully composed images of the human body, his deep commitment to social awareness in his practice, and his upcoming book Bodies of Light.

Get deeper insight into Woodcox’s creative process by becoming a Colossal Member. You’ll gain access to this interview, in addition to other perks. And if you join at any level before January 19, 25% of your membership will go to Wildlife Victoria to aid in the Australian bushfire crisis.

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Magnhild Kennedy Shares the Story Behind her Lavish and Mysterious 'Damselfrau' Masks

December 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Magnhild Kennedy, who works as ‘Damselfrau‘ (previously) crafts ornate wearable artworks using found, vintage, and modified fabrics, trims, and even recycled grocery packaging. The Norway-born, U.K.-based artist shares the behind the scenes process of sourcing and interpreting her raw materials into eye-catching, genre-defying masks with Colossal contributor Laura Staugaitis. Get to know Magnhild in our new Interview series for Colossal Members. Learn more about Membership and join here.

 

 

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