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Art

Precisely Arranged Stones Coil and Surge Across the Land in Jon Foreman's Mesmeric Works

December 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jon Foreman, shared with permission

A scroll through Jon Foreman’s Instagram proves just how prolific the Wales-based artist has been this year—he’s collaborated with artist James Brunt (previously) on a few projects, too. From coils arranged in gradients to whirling patterns embedded in the sand, Foreman’s land art sprawls across beaches and grassy patches in an impressive number of locations. Each work is precise in composition, perfectly matching size, hue, and shape into hypnotic works that contrast the man-made construction with their organic backdrops.

Because the outdoor projects are ephemeral in nature, Foreman (previously) offers prints of most pieces in his shop.

 

 

 

 



Art

Symmetrical Typewriter Sculptures by Artist Jeremy Mayer Merge the Organic and Manufactured

November 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Untitled II” (2020), typewriter parts and aluminum, 65 x 65 x 12 inches

“There’s nothing unnatural about mechanical components,” Jeremy Mayer says. For decades, the artist has harbored a fascination with the repetitive, complex patterns of single-cell organisms and the delicately rendered illustrations of Ernst Haeckel, an attraction that manifests in his latest sculptures.

Spanning up to 65 inches, Mayer’s metal artworks are comprised of old typewriter parts mounted around a laser-cut aluminum frame with only the original screws, nuts, pins, and springs holding the mirrorlike pieces together. Formed around a central, circular element, the multi-unit assemblages splay outward. Each of the six points—which evoke starfish, despite having one extra arm—often resemble trilobites, pincers, and other creatures and organic elements, merging the manufactured and natural.

“The form and function are based upon our knowledge of the living world around us. I’m interested in making the machine look like a living thing, drawing inspiration from the relationships that the early designers of the typewriter had with nature,” he says.

 

“Untitled I” (2020), typewriter parts and aluminum, 60 x 60 x10 inches

Mayer purchases between 10 and 15 typewriters each year, which he sources from repair shops, thrift stores, and yard sales around the San Francisco Bay Area. “The more broken the better,” he writes. In the past, he’s gravitated toward the smaller components of the metal machines to assemble birds, skulls, and other figurative sculptures. After transporting the bulky leftovers from studio to studio for years, he gathered enough duplicate parts to construct the symmetrical sculptures.

The ongoing series was born out of a residency at Mumbai-based manufacturer Godrej & Boyce, during which Mayer was asked to create works from leftover typewriters. During his six months, he built mandala-like sculptures and a 13-foot-tall kinetic lotus that explored the connections between industry and biological forms.

Mayer finished the first sculpture of this most recent series at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns and almost has completed five since. He has plans for ten in total, and you can follow their progress on Instagram.

 

“Untitled III” (2020), typewriter parts and aluminum, 60 x 60 x 14 inches

“Untitled III” (2020) (detail), typewriter parts and aluminum, 60 x 60 x 14 inches

“Untitled I” (2020) (detail), typewriter parts and aluminum, 60 x 60 x10 inches

“Untitled II” (detail) with Cleo Mayer

Studio with “Untitled IV” in progress

 

 



Photography

BLACK SUN: Amorphous Flocks of Starlings Swell Above the Danish Marshlands

November 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Søren Solkær, shared with permission

Captured in the marshlands of southern Denmark, Søren Solkær’s ongoing project documents one of nature’s most mesmerizing phenomena. BLACK SUN focuses on the quiet landscapes of the Danish photographer’s childhood where nearly one million starlings congregate during the vernal and autumnal seasons. Set at dusk, the photographs frame the migratory birds as they take to the sky in murmurations, amorphous groups that transform the individual creatures into a unified entity.

The fluctuating flight patterns swell above the horizon as the birds move from tree to tree or sometimes, in response to an impending threat. “Now and then, by the added drama of attacking birds of prey, the flock will unfold a breathtaking and veritable ballet of life or death,” Solkær says, further comparing their airborne appearance to inky sketches or calligraphy. He expands on the starlings’ adaptability:

At times the flock seems to possess the cohesive power of super fluids, changing shape in an endless flux: From geometric to organic, from solid to fluid, from matter to ethereal, from reality to dream—an exchange in which real-time ceases to exist and mythical time pervades. This is the moment I have attempted to capture—a fragment of eternity.

BLACK SUN culminates in a forthcoming book by the same name, which will be released November 16 and is available for pre-order in Solkær’s shop, along with prints and some of his other works. Follow the photographer on Instagram to keep up with his phenomenological projects.

 

 

 



Photography

A New Book Documents the Magnificent Experience of Swimming with Humpback Whales

November 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jem Cresswell, shared with permission

Between 2014 and 2018, Jem Cresswell spent countless hours submerged in the depths of the southern Pacific Ocean surrounding Tonga. There he captured a group of humpback whales as they gracefully maneuvered around him, allowing the Sydney-based photographer to unveil the details of their grooved underbellies and barnacle-clad skin. The original project has culminated in a new book that documents the creatures’ movements and idiosyncrasies in striking black-and-white images.

Giants spans 220 pages detailing the humpbacks and their calves. To complete the massive book, Cresswell pared down more than 11,000 shots, the majority of which haven’t been published previously. The photographer shares memories and historical details about the massive creatures throughout, including the incredible awareness that comes from swimming with sentient beings so much larger than himself. “You never forget your first humpback experience,” he writes. “The sublime sense of insignificance that it instills in you. It has to be one of the most humbling experiences on Earth.”

Only 1,500 copies of Giants, which are signed and numbered, are available for purchase on the book’s site, which also offers glimpses into Cresswell’s process creating the compendium. To stay up to date with the photographer’s latest underwater projects, follow him on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A Colorful Geometric Mural of a Cityscape Visualizes Humans’ Impact on Nature

November 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Love of Nature” in Chelyabinsk, Russia. All images © Vitaly Tsarenkov, shared with permission

Artist Vitaly Tsarenkov, who works under the moniker SY, depicts the threat of ecological catastrophe through a new mural featuring geometric flora, fauna, and objects typically found in bustling city centers. Created for the Urban Morphogenesis festival in Chelyabinsk, Russia, “Love of Nature” is a vertical rendering of the human impact on nature, with color-blocked trucks, road cones, and towering buildings near the top and a fire, flowers, and tufts of grass occupying space at the bottom.

Based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tsarenkov says the 50-meter-high mural conveys that each person has the agency to protect the planet’s resources. “It’s impossible to stop all harmful factories at once, but to make the first step towards the clean Earth is not difficult and within everybody’s power just by taking the trash away after recreation in nature,” he writes on Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Metaphorical Editorial Illustrations by Eleni Debo Incite Reflections on Contemporary Life

October 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Eleni Debo, shared with permission

Belgian illustrator Eleni Debo works within subdued color palettes rendering curious scenes that illuminate the human condition and modern life. Often supporting magazine articles or other editorial endeavors, Debo’s drawings generally focus on a moving figure, whether a woman attempting to work while she whorls around a red tornado or a single biker speeding along—her piece “The Road” was included as part of Colossal’s 2018 print show Chain Reaction. Largely situated in outdoor environments, the illustrations are rich in details that visualize a larger narrative about family bonds or the mental-health impacts of artificial light.

A tabletop game featuring Debo’s work is slated for release soon, and she recently was named the professional editorial category winner of this year’s World Illustration Awards. During the next few months, she’ll be working on a pair of illustrated books from her home in the Italian Alps. Until then, follow her reflective projects on Instagram, and pick up a print in her shop.