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Art

15,000 Black Paper Butterflies Swarm the Fondazione Adolfo Pini for Carlos Amorales’s Latest Installation of ‘Black Cloud’

April 17, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographs: Andrea Rossetti

Hordes of black butterflies of various sizes and species cover the grand staircase, mirrors, walls, and doors of the Milan-based Fondazione Adolfo Pini. The dark and vast swarm is a part of the more than 10-year series Black Cloud by Mexican artist Carlos Amorales (previously) as a part of his solo exhibition THE ACCURSED HOUR. The butterflies surround an installation of paper cut-outs from his series Life in the folds, a project of gray-toned human and tree silhouettes which address the nature of human violence against other humans. The exhibition opened April 2 and continues through July 8, 2019. You can see more of Amorales’s projects on his website and Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Sculptural “Agreggations” by Kwang Young Chun Comprised of Thousands of Individually Wrapped Paper Parcels

April 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

South Korean artist Kwang Young Chun wraps tiny geometric packages in paper and combines them into massive wall-mounted and freestanding assemblages. Each composition is composed of thousands of individual mulberry paper parcels, carefully toned with tea and pigment and including the abstracted characters that allude to the paper’s origins as old documents. The works, which Chun refers to as ‘agreggations’, feature gradations in color and smooth craters within their highly textured surfaces.

Chun drew inspiration for his signature style from his illness-ridden childhood in Korea and the way that medicine was commonly packaged in triangular paper parcels of mulberry paper, or hanji. The artist was raised in Korea, lived in the United States in the 1960s while completed his M.F.A. at Philadelphia College of Art, and returned to his native country in adulthood.

In an artist statement on his website, Chun describes the disorientation he felt while a graduate student in America, tension and discord between the ways of his upbringing and the cultural modes of the U.S. This experience heightened his drive to express himself as a Korean artist, and in 1995 Chun landed on his current mode of making.

Six of the artist’s agreggations are on view in a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, through July 28, 2019. You can see more of his body of work on his website.

 

 



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.