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Art

Colorful Strands of Thread and Beads Highlight the Contours of Human Skulls

February 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Jim F. Faure, who goes by Jim Skull, introduces his decades-long practice with his pseudonym. The Paris-based sculptor focuses exclusively on human skulls. Using innumerable strands of colorful thread, Murano glass beads, rope, and even porcupine quills, Faure creates an entirely new “skin” for the skeletal forms. Each skull’s covering also trails off into dramatic cascades that shape-shift depending on how the skull is displayed.

Faure transforms the surface of an object that often strikes fear into a visually enticing decorative object, inviting the viewer to study the divots and contours of our shared anatomical structure. In an artist statement, the sculptor cites his upbringing in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, followed by wide-ranging international travels in New Zealand, India, and Hong Kong as informing his fascination with the ritual and cultural aspects of the human experience. You can see more of Faure’s work on his website.

 

 



Art Illustration

Flower Petals and Stems Transform into Animals and Insects in Inventive New Arrangements by Raku Inoue

January 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Raku Inoue (previously) goes all-white in his latest flower petal compositions. The Montreal-based creative uses flower petals, stems, and leaves to form creatures ranging from owls and tigers to beetles and butterflies in his ongoing Natura series. Inoue takes advantage of the natural curvatures and shapes of his source materials to create lively interpretations of animals. In Inoue’s owl, densely-petaled mums form the bird’s fluffy belly, while the angular outlines of alstroemeria create the exoskeleton and horns of a beetle. By using largely intact plants, the artist heightens the aliveness of his creations, bridging both flora and fauna. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

Vintage Glass Forged into Enchanted Leafy Worlds by Amber Cowan

January 10, 2019

Anna Marks

Bridesmaid's Forest

Bridesmaid’s Forest

In the latest collection by Amber Cowan (previously), colorful vintage glass is sculpted into three fairytale stories: Bridesmaid’s Forest, Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose, and Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph. Cowan transforms discarded glass from the 1900s into sculptural “paintings” that burst with natural forms, and her latest collection of monochrome scenes effortlessly tempts viewers into their enchanted worlds.

Cowan first curates the color of each piece, collecting specific figurines and animals from vintage glass works. She then melts the rest of the glass through a methodical flameworking process to create the scenery that will surround the found figurines. Leaves, flowers, feathers, and tiny glistening pearls are carefully crafted to fill each dense, botanical world.

Bridesmaid’s Forest

The female figurine central to her mint-green Bridesmaid’s Forest  was originally part of a glass ornament called The Bridesmaid, which was pressed from the Ohio-based Fenton Art Glass Factory. Cowan built a fantastical world around the bridesmaid, sculpting a colorful leaf-filled forest which features a whale, snail, and duck nestled within the fragile glass shrubbery. “My story with this piece is that the bridesmaid got bored of the wedding and wandered off to make her own fun,” Cowan explains to Colossal. “It is kind of a fantasy landscape.”

Bridesmaid’s Forest

Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose is a spiritual adventure where the natural elements featured in the piece were chosen for their symbolism and how they relate to the bridesmaid’s story. “The figurine is standing in front of a pyramidal line pointed towards the sun; next to her is her feline companion and across from her is the totem animal of the giraffe symbolizing the ability to see into the future and obtain things that are normally out of reach,” she explains. At the base of the sculpture are two swans which fill the narrative with themes of intuition, self-actualization, and love. 

Cowan’s chocolate-colored Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph, is exhibited in the permanent collection of The Toledo Museum of Art and was inspired by Jan Brueghel the Elder’s painting A Fantastic Cave with Odysseus and Calypso in addition to the16th century Grotto Grande in the Boboli Gardens in Florence. “Chocolate Nymph” refers to “chocolate glass,” a popular glass color in the early 1900s that is no longer produced.

Cowan is currently constructing new work for a solo show opening at Heller Gallery in New York on May 3, 2019. To view more of her work, visit her website and her Instagram.

Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose

Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose

Bridesmaid’s Search for the Desert Rose

Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph

Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph

Grotto of the Chocolate Nymph

 

 



Art

Rusted Gears and Tools Combine to Create Figural Sculptures That Address Human Emotions

November 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Sculptor Penny Hardy combines discarded metal items to create three-dimensional figures based on her body’s own dimensions. Although the physique has the same core reference, each sculpture is a unique creation based on the varied assortment of rusted gears, bolts, and screws used in its composition. In display, the works are either presented alone or in pairs of two, and express fundamental emotions through their relationship to the environment or each other.

“Through using my body frame as a canvas I wish to communicate some of these effects through the medium of sculpture,” she tells Colossal. “By using discarded man-made metal items, which have been so skillfully made and used to create their own mechanical energy, I hope to extend their life in another form, re-use that energy for a different purpose, and exchange their function to create a new entity.” You can see more of Hardy’s sculptures based on her own form on her website.

 

 



Art Photography

Dreamlike Balloon Compositions by Charles Pétillon Form Hovering Clouds and Lines in Space

November 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Charles Pétillon (previously here and here) arranges groups of balloons in unlikely places—tying bundles of the light white objects to the top of aircraft loading stairs, or positioning them between concrete blocks at the ocean’s edge. Recently the photographer has been focusing on producing sculptural lines in space by linking several of his preferred subject matter together end-to-end, or placing them on top of polls in open landscapes. These images, along with a site-specific balloon installation, are included in Pétillon’s solo exhibition Stigmates at Danysz Gallery in Shanghai through January 10, 2019. You can see more of his balloon compositions on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

Suspended Groups of Umbrellas, Lollipops, and Plates Swarm the Isle of Man in New Photographs by Thomas Jackson

October 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Umbrellas photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018, all images © Thomas Jackson

Umbrellas photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018, all images © Thomas Jackson

Thomas Jackson (previously) uses man-made objects to imitate the self-organizing behavior of large groups of birds, fish, or insects in his ongoing series “Emergent Behavior.” For this project, the San Fransisco-based artist clusters brightly colored umbrellas, plates, or streamers together with the help of imperceptible filament, which makes the objects appear as if they are floating through the landscape on their own.After each installation he makes sure to recycle and dispose of all items responsibly, with no damage occurring to the environment during installation or take down.

Recently he was invited to the Isle of Man to build several new works inspired by the island’s coastline, groves, and moors. The group of images will be exhibited later this year at Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta. You can see more examples of the artist’s photography on his website and Instagram.

"Tutus no. 4," photographed in San Francisco, California in 2018

“Tutus no. 4,” photographed in San Francisco, California, 2018

Tutus photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018

Tutus photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018

Paper plates photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018

Paper plates photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018

Streamers photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018

Streamers photographed on the Isle of Man, 2018

Lollipops photographed on the Isle of Man , 2018

Lollipops photographed on the Isle of Man , 2018

"Take Out Containers no. 2," photographed in Montara, California, 2018

“Take Out Containers no. 2,” photographed in Montara, California, 2018

"Turkey Roasters no. 1, " photographed in Mojave Desert, California, 2018

“Turkey Roasters no. 1, ” photographed in Mojave Desert, California, 2018

"Nylons no. 1," photographed in Edisto, South Carolina, 2017

“Nylons no. 1,” photographed in Edisto, South Carolina, 2017

 

 



Art

Garment-Like Sculptures by Susie MacMurray Explore Perceptions of Female Identity

September 24, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Chain mail, needles, and dishwashing gloves: though not the materials you’d expect a dress to be made from, British artist Susie MacMurray uses them in her garment-inspired sculptures. MacMurray’s first piece in this body of work was Gladrags, made in 2002 from 10,000 pink balloons. Since then, the artist has produced several other seemingly wearable sculptures including Medusa (copper chain mail), Widow (leather and 100,000 dressmaker needles), and A Mixture of Frailties (1,400 household gloves).

“They have all been more concerned with the perception of women, their power and their vulnerabilities,” she explains to Colossal. “I am interested in how human strengths and frailties can often be one and the same thing. I suppose you could almost call them portraits… Much of my sculpture and drawing practice is concerned in one way or another with the perception and negotiation of female identity, both internal and external.”

MacMurray was formerly a classical musician, and she retrained as an artist, graduating in 2001 with an MA in Fine Art. In addition to her garment sculptures, MacMurray also creates drawings and architectural installations. You can see more of her work on her website and Twitter. (via #WomensArt)