mythology

Posts tagged
with mythology



Art

Vibrant Patterns Envelop Dozens of Mythical Animal Sculptures That Explore the Folk Art Traditions of Mexico

November 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculpture

All images courtesy of Murmur Ring/Jackie Trezzo, shared with permission

In Guardians, artists María del Carmen Mendoza Méndez and Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda, of Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop, pay homage to the mythical creatures of their Oaxacan childhoods. The husband-wife duo carves the soft wood of the copal tree into fantastical creatures that reference Mesoamerican spirituality and Mexican folk art, including the sculptures known as alebrijes. They refer to the unearthly characters as Tonas and Nahuales and cloak the birds, butterflies, and beasts in vibrant patterns and Zapotec symbols. The artists describe the protective works:

Guardians are brave creatures who safeguard their tribe. These mythical characters from the tale ‘Nomads’ hold their heads high by accepting the responsibility of caring for, transporting, and defending everyone. (Theirs) is a story of resistance, persecution, and migration into a dystopian future, where science is blended with ancestral cosmovisions.

On view through January 12, 2023, Guardians is the inaugural show at the newly opened Mano Gallery in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The gallery is devoted to art and design from Mexico and to creating a space for artists interested in preserving mythology and the country’s heritage. Find more from Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop on their site and Instagram.

 

Two photos of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A photo of multiple colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures on a table

A photo of colorful patterned hummingbird animal sculpture

A photo of multiple colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A detail photo of colorful patterned hybrid chameleon sculpture

Two photos of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A photo of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculpture

 

 

advertisement



Art

Tau Lewis’s Monumental Textile Masks Envision a Mythical Post-Apocalyptic Transformation

November 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a large textile mask sculpture

“Saint Mozelle” (2022). All images © Tau Lewis, courtesy of the artist and 52 Walker, New York, shared with permission

Translating to “the voice of the people is the voice of god,” Vox Populi, Vox Dei is artist Tau Lewis’s reimagining of historic systems and principles. The Latin phrase is often associated with the British Whig party and the establishment of secular democracies throughout Europe, although Lewis hones in on the saying’s lingering religious reference as she envisions enormous characters who’ve emerged from an apocalypse.

Six sculptural masks populate the gallery at 52 Walker for the artist’s ongoing solo show, which explores what she describes as “the incapacity of humankind to create structures of law, principles of morality, or hierarchies of government without a reliance on the imaginary.” The monumental works, the largest of which stands upwards of 13 feet, meld classical myths, contemporary science fiction, and the dramatic performances associated with Yoruban masking traditions. Focused on the idea of transformation following destruction, the collection engenders a joyful, hopeful outlook.

Born in Toronto and now based in New York, Lewis’s world-building is unique and particularly expansive as it connects myriad bodies of work: each character within Vox Populi, Vox Dei contains fragments of the artist’s earlier projects, engendering what she terms a “material DNA” that courses throughout her oeuvre. In a similar vein, the sculptures pay homage to the legacies of the fabrics themselves. The artist stitches salvaged textile scraps, donated leather, and remnants from a Long Island furrier into patchwork eyes and lips, tousled hair-like fringe, and vibrant floral tendrils that dangle and pool on the floor. Otherworldly and imposing, the works are totems for an imagined future.

If you’re in New York, you can see Vox Populi, Vox Dei through January 7, 2023, and Lewis’s work is also included in Black Atlantic, which is up at Brooklyn Bridge Park through November 22. Explore more of her genealogical archive on her site and Instagram.

 

A photo of a large textile mask sculpture

“Ivory Gate” (2022)

A detailed photo of floral textiles

Detail of “Saint Mozelle” (2022)

A photo of a large textile mask sculpture

“Trident” (2022)

A detailed side view photo of a large textile mask sculpture

Detail of “Ivory Gate” (2022)

A photo of a large textile mask sculpture

“Mater Dei” (2022)

A photo of three large textile mask sculptures in a gallery

Installation view

A photo of a large textile mask sculpture

“Homonia” (2022)

A photo of three large textile mask sculptures in a gallery

Installation view

A photo of a large textile mask sculpture

“Resurrector” (2022)

 

 



Art

Fantastical Hybrid Characters by Toco-Oco Imagine the Mysteries of Human Nature

August 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Toco-Oco

Playfully curious, a troupe of hybrid characters dreamed up by the Brazil-based Toco-Oco (previously) has an inclination for the mythical. Figures sporting feathered suits and wolves cradling human heads are imbued with mystery, and together, the otherworldly cast becomes a metaphor for the varied, emotional, and sometimes bewildering nature of human existence. Toco-Oco, which is helmed by Lara Alcântara and Guilherme Neumann, sells prints and the small sculptures, which are made of wax, wood, and clay, in its shop, although the works sell out incredibly quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on Instagram for information about new releases.

 

 

 



Art

Wangechi Mutu’s Sculptures in Bronze Populate Storm King Art Center with Mythical Beings

June 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

“In Two Canoe” (2022). All images courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, by David Regen, shared with permission

Storm King Art Center is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Lenape, a reference point that Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu returns to for a new exhibition at the outdoor museum in Hudson Valley. Comprised of her signature sculptures of immense hybrid figures, the largely bronze body of work addresses settler-colonialism and the inextricable tie between people and the land.

Perpetually evoking nature and mythology to address historical issues of contemporary relevance, Mutu positions women as the most powerful, revering their physical form and highlighting their innate connection to ecology. The artist’s latest work, “In Two Canoe,” features a pair of figures with branch-like appendages momentarily straddling a skinny vessel, their faces wrapped in mangrove leaves. “This plant has moved everywhere, has made journeys like those who were kidnapped from Africa and taken to the Americas. The water seals this unified story we’ve created for ourselves. We are all connected on this sphere of Earth and the water is how we go and find each other,” Mutu says in an interview.

Also on the Museum Hill site is the regal “Crocodylus,” a sleek reptilian creature that faces an opening in the trees. The scaly form corresponds with the massive coiled snake that occupies “Nyoka,” one of five sculptural baskets spread across the meadow. Inside the center are smaller earthen works constructed with natural materials like bone and soil gathered near her Nairobi studio.

Mutu’s sculptures are on view at Storm King through November 7, and she’s hosting a film screening at the museum on September 3. To follow her practice, head to Instagram.

 

“Crocodylus” (2020)

“In Two Canoe” (2022)

“Shavasana II” (2019)

Detail of “Nyoka” (2022)

“Crocodylus” (2020)

Detail of “Shavasana II” (2019)

“Nyoka” (2022)

 

 



Art Craft

Wooden Characters with Lanky, Curved Bodies by Tach Pollard Are Rooted in Myth and Lore

May 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Tach Pollard

Oxford-based artist Tach Pollard (previously) allows the sinuous shapes of hawthorn or oak branches to guide the forms of his fantastical figures. The lanky creatures stand on long limbs with hunched shoulders and bowed backs, features determined by the original curve of the wood. Based on legends like the Norse Eddas, The Mabinogion, and the Icelandic Sagas, the sculptures are mysterious and minimal—Pollard tends to leave the natural color and grain of the material intact for their faces and burns the remainder to obtain the deep, black char that envelops their figures. You can shop available pieces on Etsy, and follow the artist on Instagram to stay up-to-date on future releases.

 

 

 



Art

Evoking Mythology and Urban Culture, Beaded Masks Brim with Geometric Motifs and Embellishments

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Fefe Talavera, shared with permission

From small shells and Amazonian beads, Brazilian-Mexican artist Fefe Talavera strings together elaborate masks that fuse ancient mythologies and contemporary urban culture. The mixed-media works are part of an ongoing series—Talavera shares more on her site and Instagram, along with vibrant silhouettes painted in acrylic and her large-scale murals—that embellish expressive faces with stripes, symmetries, and various geometric patterns. Sometimes spanning upwards of ten feet or featuring a long tuft of straw, the masks are an amalgam of color, motif, and material that blur cultural boundaries and the tenuous distinction between humanity and nature.

The São Paulo-based artist tells Colossal that the series “developed when my government opened the doors to cattle ranchers, when forest fires began, putting an end to Indigenous tribes, exotic animals, and trees,” and initial iterations used açaí seeds, shells, and mirrors to explore birth and death through a mystical lens. “When we looked at our reflection in the work, we would be seeing ourselves with respect and love, and it is this look that we should have with the Amazonia,” she says.

Currently, Talavera is working on a larger-scale piece using 20,000 beads, and she has a solo show planned for May 2022 at Paris’s Bandy Bandy Gallery.

 

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Artist Cat Enamel Pins