Between 140 and 180 million years ago, a cluster of Entrada Sandstone developed in a remote region of Utah. Wind, rain, and other elements have whittled down the formations over time, creating tall pillars that more closely resemble bunched fabric than ancient minerals.
For his series Draped Stone, photographer Zac Henderson documents these spectral columns, or hoodoos, that are developed when layers of hard and soft rock are worn down and produce smooth, billowing patterns as they age. Today’s structures flow in soft ripples from the walls and appear as ambiguous objects disguised by thick swaths of textiles. Henderson describes his encounter with the pillars:
It is almost as if fabric were draped over boulders to protect them from the elements. In another way, the rocks appear almost comically similar to a stereotypical ghost costume, needing only eyes to complete the ensemble. It is a strange thing for something so opposite to fabric to take on any sort of cloth-like appearance, yet here we are met with a most bizarre sort of muslin almost asking us to look underneath.
Henderson frequently travels and seeks out the unusual textures and colors of Earth’s landscapes, and you can follow his adventures on Behance and Instagram. Prints of a few pieces from Draped Stone are also available on his site.
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Artist Jon Ching strikes a balance between texture and color in his meticulously detailed oil paintings that make fantastic creatures—owls with plumes of mushrooms and fuzzy molds, seahorses sprouting leafy twigs, and fish with striped tulip fins—appear natural in their environments. This vague distinction between the realistic and surreal saturates Ching’s body of work, which imagines a magical ecosystem that visualizes the symbiotic relationships between flora and fauna. “I am inspired by the worldview of many Indigenous cultures that revere the natural world and see god in every aspect of our living world,” he tells Colossal. “I believe that perspective is key to their sustainable societies and one that must be reawakened in our colonized societies.”
While he dreams up the hybrid forms, the Los Angeles-based artist still roots each piece in the existing world. He has a keen sense for finding the enchanting and unusual in his own experiences, whether from watching David Attenborough documentaries or spending his childhood in Kaneohe, Hawaii. “My more surreal creatures, where the line between flora and fauna are blurred, is in part my attempt at depicting some of this unseen magic,” he writes. “By placing them in a realistic setting among species we’re familiar with, I’m envisioning them into the real world. Maybe if we look close enough or long enough, we’ll catch a glimpse of them and my work won’t seem surreal anymore.”
You can see Ching’s paintings at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles starting August 14 and find prints, stickers, and postcards in his shop. Check out his Instagram for glimpses into his process and the real-life animals and plants that shape his works. (via Iain Claridge)
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A Resilient Kangaroo, Exploding Volcano, and School of Barracuda Take the Top Spots in the 2021 BigPicture Competition
Encompassing plumes of mushroom spores, preying venus flytraps, and an opportunistic leopard seal, the 2021 BigPicture Natural World Photography contest showcases the beautiful, peculiar, and resilient flora and fauna across the globe. Now in its eighth year, the annual competition, which is held by the California Academy of Sciences, is centered largely around conservation and humans’ impact on the environment. The 2021 contest garnered entries showing the profound changes to the planet in recent months alone by documenting the desolate landscape following Australian bushfires and a disposable face mask floating off the coast of California. See some of the winning shots below and all finalists on the competition’s site. (via Kottke)
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From dilapidated power plants, abandoned medical facilities, and amusement parks left in rusted ruin, the compelling scenes that French photographer Jonathan Jimenez, aka Jonk (previously), captures are evidence of nature’s endurance and power to reclaim spaces transformed by people. Now compiled in a new book titled Naturalia II, 221 images shot across 17 countries frame the thriving vegetation that crawls across chipped concrete and architecture in unruly masses.
This succeeding volume is a follow-up to Jonk’s first book by the same name and focuses on the ways the ecological crisis has evolved during the last three years. He explains the impetus for the book in a statement:
On the one hand, the situation has deteriorated even further with yet another species becoming extinct every single day. Global warming continues and has caused repeated natural catastrophes: floods, fires, droughts, etc. On the other hand, our collective awareness has widely increased. We are still a long way from the commitment needed to really change things, but we are heading in the right direction. Millions of initiatives have already emerged, and I hope that my photos and the message contained within them can play a small part in the collective challenge facing us all.
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Thousands of Discs Are Suspended in Immense Cloud-Like Formations in Jacob Hashimoto's Installations
Artist Jacob Hashimoto (previously) hangs thousands of individual orbs in undulating, cloud-like masses that transform atriums and open spaces into monumental landscapes. His site-specific installations layer organic elements—some of the components are printed with waves, galactic dust particles, and other motifs suggestive of nature—in formations “that climb, wavelike, above the viewer, dwarfing them in almost a cathedral of humble little objects,” he says.
The artist began creating such large-scale works in the 90s, and although they’ve evolved from simple “sculptures of the sky,” Hashimoto continues to draw on the connection between landscape and abstraction, a recurring theme that’s been increasingly informed by technology, virtual environments, and data mapping. An eclectic array of references like Japanese screens, Super Mario Bros, and the Digital Universe inform how the artist conceptualizes his compositions, in addition to the ways spatial coordinates are utilized in 3D environments. “Simply, if you build a cloud out of paper and wood and configure it in a strict x, y, z grid structure, the resulting sculpture or object or experience tells us something about how we see the world and allows us to meditate a moment on the digital/analog dialectic that is so much a part of every aspect of our lives,” he says.
Hashimoto is currently based in Ossining, New York, and has a few upcoming solo shows, including one opening on June 4 at Makasiini Contemporary in Turku, Finland, and two others slated for fall at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago and London’s Ronchini Gallery. See more of his artworks on his site and Instagram, and read his recent interview with designboom for a deeper look at his practice.
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Miniature Scenes, Cross-Stitch Flowers, and Works from Art History Nestle into Eva Krbdk's Tiny Tattoos
Havva Karabudak, who works as Eva Krbdk, thrives on inking minuscule details. Focusing on innumerable lines and dot work, the Turkish tattoo artist (previously) illustrates textured florals in cross-stitch, realistic portraits of animals, and micro-paintings in the likes of van Gogh, Magritte, and Fornasetti. Many of the vivid renderings are small enough to fit into a perfectly round circle or a skinny stretch of a client’s upper arm.
Karabudak’s background coalesces in her tattoos, including her formal education at the Fine Arts Academy of Ankara in Turkey and her love of textiles. “It’s pretty customary for young women to learn (embroidery) from their grandmothers in Turkey,” a statement about her work says. “As a result, tiny cross-stitch patterns were among the first tattooing styles that Eva embraced.”
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.