mythology

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Art

Timeless Murals by MonkeyBird Are Inspired by Mythology and Alchemy

October 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The anonymous artist duo MonkeyBird creates large-scale paintings of black-and-white cross contour depictions of mythical animals accented in gold. Most MonkeyBird artworks incorporate a humanoid monkey and bird, which represent “the two faces of humankind, the monkey being the realist, and the bird being a dreamer,” according to Paris-based 5Art Gallery. Old-world details like classical architecture, timekeeping devices, and weight scales add to the timeless look of the pair’s paintings. MonkeyBird’s members bring training in graphic design, as well as object and industrial design to their artistic aesthetic, which can be seen in their clean, technique-driven stenciling.

Based in Bordeaux, France, MonkeyBird travels widely to create outdoor murals as well as indoor installations. They’ll be working in Moscow from October 2 to the 11th. Follow along with MonkeyBird’s newest projects on Instagram, and pick up a limited edition print in their online store. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 



Photography

Elegant Portraits by Ayana V. Jackson Are Inspired by African Diasporic Mythology

September 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“The Rupture Was the Story” (2019), all images © Ayana V. Jackson, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

In a new photographic series artist Ayana V. Jackson explores the colonial gaze and historical portraiture traditions. Figures, all played by Jackson herself, appear in classical poses, draped in fishing nets, glittering flip-flops, and elegant Western gowns of years past. Each figure is inspired by African and African Disaporic water spirits including Olokun, Mame Coumba bang, Kianda, Drexciya, Yenanja and Mamiwata.

A statement from Mariane Ibrahim Gallery explains, “Jackson has used the archival impulse to assess the impact of the colonial gaze on the history of photography and its relationship to ideas about the body. She uses her lens to deconstruct 19th and early 20th century portraiture as a means for questioning photography’s role in constructing identities.”

The artist, who is based between New York, Hong Kong, and Johannesburg, also had a solo show this year at David Klein Gallery in Detroit. Her work has been collected by the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Detroit Institute of Art, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al-Maaden in Marrakesh, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. Jackson was the 2018 recipient of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship.

This body of work is on view from September 20 – October 26, 2019 in Jackson’s solo show, Take Me to the Water. The exhibition is at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, which recently relocated from Seattle to Chicago. See more of Jackson’s photography on her website and Instagram. (via Artsy)

“Consider the Sky and the Sea” (2019)

“Sighting in the Abyss II” (2019)

“Sea Lion” (2019)

“Serene II” (2019)

 

 



Art

Glitched Sculptures of Greek Gods by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom Reimagine Classicism in the Digital Age

July 11, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“The Hidden One / Pluto” (2017), edition of 8, sterling silver, 19 x 12 x 14.5 cm. All images courtesy of the artist/Pangolin London. Photography: Steve Russell

Interdisciplinary artist Zachary Eastwood-Bloom brings old and new together in his glitched classical sculptures. The Glasgow-based artist uses cutting edge digital technology to explore age-old art motifs through a contemporary lens. Eastwood-Bloom’s Greek god series was created during his time as the Pangolin Bronze Foundry Artist in Residence. The series is inspired by the gods whose namesakes are our solar system’s planets, as well as particle physics. In an interview with Chrom Art Magazine, the artist explains his thought process:

I find it fascinating how people think. I think through making sculpture; through three-dimensional form, material, shape and surface. Other people think through numbers, words, sounds, movement, digital code etcetera. I am interested in working with people who think via different modes to me. In the digital age is that a lot of people work using digital technology now. This means that their digital information can be changed into different mediums; words can become sound, sound can become form for example.

In addition to his time at Pangolin, Eastwood-Bloom has exhibited at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and The Royal Academy of Arts, and he is currently the artist in residence at the Scottish Ballet. Explore more of Eastwood-Bloom’s wide-ranging practice on his website and Instagram.

Kronos / Saturn Cast Bronze 2017 Edition of 3 80 x 70 x 40cm

“Cloud Gatherer / Jupiter” (2017), edition of 5, cast bronze, 74 x 40 x 30 cm.

“MSNGR / Mercury” (2017), edition of 8, sterling silver, 19 x 14 x 14 cm

“Venus Celestis” (2017), edition of 3, marble, 80 x 58 x 40 cm.

“Earth Shaker / Neptune” (2017), edition of 5, cast bronze, 39 x 39 x 27 cm

 

 



Art

Mysterious Mermaid Tails Lodged in Laundromat Machines by Olivia Erlanger

May 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist and curator Olivia Erlanger upends fantastical ideas of mermaids with her documentation of mermaid tails emerging from laundromat washing machines. Erlanger, who lives and works in New York City, staged the tails in Laundry Zone in  Los Angeles’ Arlington Heights neighborhood. The installation was conceptualized in partnership with Mother Culture, a contemporary art and media platform that happens to be based near the laundromat.  “Ida” consists of (presumably) life-size mermaid tails that are covered in scales, with bifurcated fins in shades of yellow and pink.

A Los Angeles Magazine article cites Erlanger’s previous installation with snake tongues as an inspiration for the tails. And the artist explains that her tendency to work in, or create, environments helped lay the groundwork for sharing work in a public space. “Ida” was staged in autumn, 2018 and is currently making waves in a new iteration titled “Pergusa” at  the Frieze art fair in New York, which runs through May 5, 2019. Explore more of Erlanger’s work on her website.

Image via Mother Culture

 

 

 

 

 



Art Design

An Enormous Stylized Bird Sculpture Sprawls Atop a Mountain in India

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A massive sculpture of a legendary bird has taken shape at Jatayu Earth’s Center in Kerala, India. Based on the epic story of Ramayana, Jatayu is a noble bird of divine origin who lost his wing and fell while fighting to protect a young woman named Sitha. The bird as recreated in concrete at the  Center is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 70 feet tall, with stylized feathers and enormous curled claws. Its prone body is sprawled on a mountaintop with a 65 acre tourist destination campus.

Jatayu Earth’s Center is a collaboration between the Tourism Department of Kerala and renowned film director Rajiv Anchal and focuses on environmental sustainability in its design. The Center includes systems of rainwater irrigation, solar powered electricity, and planned organic farms. Learn more about visiting on the Jatayu Earth’s Center website. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Art

Long-Limbed Mythical Characters Carved from Hawthorn Wood by Tach Pollard

April 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Owlman Rising”

Sculptor Tach Pollard (previously) works with sustainably sourced hawthorn wood to form lustrous sculptures of mythological figures. After carving the wood, the UK-based artist finishes it with blow torches to form the dark bodies that contrast with the pale, peaceful faces on each sculptural figure. Pollard draws inspiration from myths and spiritual traditions from around the world, including Inuit and Celtic traditions, and is particularly drawn to the notions of shapeshifting and sea creatures. You can see more of his mystical sculptures on Instagram and peruse works available for purchase on Etsy.

“Mellisae Returns”

“Wind Walker”

“Sea Wolven”

“Fire Antler”

“Freya”

“Face Like The Sun II”

“Wolven Walking”

 

 



Art

PichiAvo Pushes the Boundaries of their Urbanmythology Style with New Solo Exhibition and Graffiti-Covered Greek Statue

March 4, 2019

Sasha Bogojev

Image by Agustín Ríos

Image by Agustín Ríos

Art center Centro del Carmen in Valencia, Spain is currently hosting Evreka, a large solo exhibition by local artist duo PichiAvo (previously). Through this landmark showcase, the artists present their renowned Urbanmythology style that blends the dynamics, immediacy, and uncompromising attitude of graffiti along with the traditional quality and timeless appearance of ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Dominated by a massive sliced and tagged Greek pillar, the immersive installation features ten new paintings, nine sculptures, and an outdoor monument to the local graffiti scene.

Along with the explosion of colors and graffiti elements on top of traditional Greek iconography, one of the main parts of the show is the “Reflectory room” in which the works are experienced through a mirror. The artists wanted to recreate the accidental and often concealed discovery of graffiti or street art in real life. Eight out of ten paintings exhibited in the show are presented through this concept. Sculptural pieces are scattered around them, with their biggest studio piece, a 40-foot-long column inspired by the temple of Zeus in Athens, laying through the length of the room.

Image by Agustín Ríos

Photo by Agustín Ríos

All of the works in the show, except for the column, have been created especially for the show and are related to the Falles monument that they are currently finishing. Fallas de València is a traditional celebration held every year in commemoration of Saint Joseph, and it includes the year-long building and eventual burning of large-scale public statues. The peak of the event takes place around midnight on March 19, when around 400 Falles are burnt as huge bonfires through the city of Valencia.

Following the success of their friend Okuda San Miguel, who was invited by the Falles Festival in 2018 to build the Falla Mayor (previously), the art duo started working on their own statue right after the burning of last year’s works. Pichi & Avo partnered with the local Falles artisan firm Latorre y Sanz to execute the incredibly large-scale piece. Unlike previous years when artisans used mostly foam as a building material, this year’s sculptures are made from wood and cardboard, making the work more flammable and less pollutant.

PichiAvo’s Falles statue is set to be finished on March 15, 2019, along with the others included in the Falles Festival, and will be burned in a big celebration on March 19, 2019. Evreka will be on view at the Centro del Carmen in Valencia until May 5, 2019 and a show dedicated to PichiAvo’s limited editions will be on view at Plastic Murs gallery between March 7 and April 19, 2019. You can see more of the artists’ previous works on their website and Instagram.

Photos by Estrella Jover

Photo by Estrella Jover

Photos by Estrella Jover

Photo by Estrella Jover

Photos by Estrella Jover

Photo by Estrella Jover

Photos by Estrella Jover

Photo by Estrella Jover

Photos by Estrella Jover

Photo by Estrella Jover

Photo by Estrella Jover

Image by Agustín Ríos

Photo by Agustín Ríos

Image by Agustín Ríos

Photo by Agustín Ríos