kids

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Art Illustration

'Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn't Sorry' Is a Cleverly Illustrated Book Introducing Kids to the Elusive Artist

May 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Phaidon

Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry introduces the life and work of the anonymous street artist to some of the youngest readers. The 48-page book is cleverly written as a plainspoken autobiography, detailing both Banksy’s aesthetic sensibilities and surveying his decades-long career, including references to Dismaland, his “Better Out Than In” residency in New York, signature rats, and the subversive, overtly political messages of his pieces and antics. Illustrated in Fausto Gilberti’s whimsical style, the largely black-and-white drawings are playful and humorous and contextualize Banky’s profound impact and mysterious, unapologetic reputation in a manner fit for kids.

Published by Phaidon, Banksy Graffitied Walls and Wasn’t Sorry is Gilberti’s fourth in a series exploring the legacies of some of the most well-known artists, including Yayoi Kusama, Jackson Pollock, and Yves Klein. Shop the complete collection on Bookshop. (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 



Art

Bold Bands of Paint Bisect Playful Sculptures of Carved Wood by Willy Verginer

March 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “I pensieri non fanno rumore” (2019), different types of wood, acrylic color, 150 x 100 x 107 centimeters. All images © Willy Verginer, shared with permission

Clusters of wooden spheres bubble up the fingertips and bodies of the children in Willy Verginer’s poetic sculptures. The Italian artist (previously) contrasts realistic carvings of adolescent figures with elements of whimsy and imagination. Alongside the forms that evoke childhood games are thick stripes of monochromatic paint, which wrap around the sculptures and bisect them in unusual places.

Whether a pastel, neutral tone, or black, the color is symbolic and used to convey subtle messages. Verginer’s works often stem from what he sees as the absurdity of ecological issues or larger societal problems, like the U.S. banking collapse. “My largest effort and research focus on not tying myself to the naturalistic representation of figures, but on giving something more through a dreamlike study, or better an absurd one, and not an imaginary one,” he says. “This world and the whole connected system were so absurd that they made me reproduce an equally absurd situation.”

 

Detail of “Chimica del pensiero” (2019), lindenwood, acrylic color, 168 x 46 x 45 centimeters

Many of the sculptures shown here are part of Verginer’s most recent series, Rayuela, which is the Spanish term for hopscotch and the title of Julio Cortázar’s counter-novel that can be read from front to back or vice versa. Written in a stream-of-consciousness style, the book produces varying endings and meanings depending on the reader’s sequence. Cortázar’s adventurous format combined with the imaginative nature of the game informed Vreginer’s approach to the series, which the artist explains:

(In rayuela), kids outline an ideal map on the ground, which starts from the earth and reaches the sky, through intermediate stages marked with numbered squares, on which they jump according to where a pebble is thrown. I can see a metaphor of life in this game; our existence is full of these jumps and obstacles. Each of us aims to reach a sort of sky.

In June, Toronto’s Gallery LeRoyer will have an exhibition of Verginer’s precisely carved works, and the artist has another slated for September at the Zemack Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv. Until then, find more of his sculptures on Instagram.

 

“Pensieri nascosti” (2020), lindenwood, acrylic color, 172 x 39 x 33 centimeters

“Chimica del pensiero” (2019), lindenwood, acrylic color, 168 x 46 x 45 centimeters

“I pensieri non fanno rumore” (2019), different types of wood, acrylic color, 150 x 100 x 107 centimeters

“Scisserlé,” lindenwood, acrylic color, 200 x 59 x 46 centimeters

“Palvaz” (2019), lindenwood, acrylic color, 95 x 70 x 47 centimeters

“Rayuela” (2020), tiglio, acrylic color, 123 x 110 x 90 centimeters

 

 



Art

Mixed-Media Portraits by Nelson Makamo Reflect Childhood Innocence and Wonder

February 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Nelson Makamo, shared with permission

Nelson Makamo (previously) is known for his oversized, lively portraits of the children and teens he meets around Johannesburg. Using a distinct blend of acrylic, watercolors, monotypes, silkscreen, and oil paint, the South African artist often delineates their silhouettes with a thick line of charcoal before adding colorful details to their clothing and faces. The resulting works are simultaneously earnest and imbued with a sense of wonder.

Whether posed or engaged in rowdy activities, many of the subjects sport bright, round glasses, emphasizing Makamo’s focus on viewing the world through the lens of childhood. His subjects “embody the peace and harmony we all strive for in life, the search for eternal joy lies in the child within us all. We are just so consumed with worldly things that we forget the simplicity of life through a child’s perspective,” he says in a statement.

Makamo recently closed a solo exhibition at Botho Project Space this January, and you can find more of his dynamic pieces on Artsy and Instagram.

 

 

 



Dance

A 9-Year-Old Dancer Grooves to an Intensely Choreographed Routine and Clocks 10,000 Steps in Just Three Minutes

January 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

It’d be difficult for most of us to move as gracefully as nine-year-old Lilyana Ilunga, but a new campaign by the Swedish nonprofit Generation Pep just wants to get young people on their feet. Set to a revamped version of a 2007 track by French EDM musicians Justice, “DANCE 10000” showcases the young prodigy, who flaunts her moves from the second she wakes up and slips on one of the many pairs of sneakers strewn about her room. Ilunga keeps grooving onto the subway platform, through the halls at school—she even has a quick competition with the janitor—and all the way back to her bedroom, shoes smoking.

Although Ilunga clocking 10,000 steps in mere minutes is slightly exaggerated, Generation Pep released tutorials to guide kids through the intensely choreographed routine. Directed by Filip Nilsson, the campaign was created in response to the World Health Organization’s data that more than 340 million children and young adults are overweight or obese.

 

 

 



Art

A Small Scottish Town Delegates the Annual Christmas Light Display to Its Youngest Residents

December 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images via Poppy McKenzie Smith, shared with permission

In a delightful holiday tradition, the small town of Newburgh in southern Scotland tasks its youngest residents with creating the glowing Christmas decorations that adorn the streets. Now in its 19th year, the annual event begins with school-age kids submitting their quirky designs to a competition. Once a winner is chosen, the artwork is sent to Blachere Illumination to be translated into LED before it’s unveiled at a ceremony held at Lampost 15, where the new work is hung each year. The winning artist gets the honor of turning on the light, illuminating their crooked gingerbread figure or beaming reindeer for the 2,000-plus residents to enjoy. In a similarly charming practice, the runner-up’s art is featured on the town’s Christmas card. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 



Animation

Nobody Is Normal: A New Animation Reveals What Lies Just Beneath the Surface of Being a Kid

November 11, 2020

Christopher Jobson

However weird you feel inside, you’re not alone. That’s the literal message of this delightful animated short created for the UK children’s charity Childline — a 24-hour hotline that helps kids navigate bullying, abuse, sex education, and pretty much any other stressor you can imagine. Directed by Catherine Prowse (previously), the film imagines the sometimes unbearable anxiety of growing up and the ultimately futile attempt to bottle it all up. Prowse also shares a fun making-of clip. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

Animation still

Animation still

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes