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Photography

Neon Lights and Urban Loneliness Shroud Cities After Dark in Liam Wong's Panoramic Photo Book

October 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Volume Co., shared with permission

The foundational idea behind Liam Wong’s new book is that “real life is just as potent, bizarre, and interesting as things we can imagine.” Released by the crowd-sourced publisher Volume, After Dark is a follow-up to the Edinburgh-born photographer’s first monograph, TO: KY: OO, which captured the empty Japanese streets under the glow of neon lights. Now Wong similarly documents city life with his signature cinematic style, although he ventures beyond Tokyo to unveil the nightlife of Osaka, Kyoto, London, Seoul, Paris, and Rome in wide, gleaming panoramas.

The 176-page book pinpoints instances of urban solitude and reveals a universal sense of loneliness that falls on a city when most of its residents are asleep. Wong (previously) tends to frame temporarily abandoned pockets of a business district or bustling neighborhood that will likely be chaotic with passersby in a few hours, giving his shots a futuristic bent that’s more evocative of a cybernetic video game than typical street photography. After Dark captures “the eerie emptiness of London’s Piccadilly Circus at 4:00 a.m., Seoul’s late-night taxi drivers moving along hushed roads, two birds sharing the warmth of neon sign in Hong Kong’s TSM District, and a salaryman waiting on an empty subway platform in Tokyo’s Akihabara district,” a statement says.

Signed and collector’s editions of After Dark, including one packaged with print, are available to fund now on Volume’s site. You also can purchase prints in Wong’s shop, and find more of his photos on Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 



Art

An Eerie, Fairytale Forest and Silhouette Creatures Sprawl Across a Three-Story Mural by David de la Mano

September 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images by Sol Paperán, Nicolás Pezzino and David de la Mano, courtesy of David de la Mano

Set against a forest in shades of blue and white, a dark, twisted fairytale lines the entrance hall of the Catholic University of Uruguay. The three-story mural by David de la Mano is titled “Cosmos” and uses the Spanish artist’s signature silhouette figures and thin, branch-like lines to create a sinister narrative consumed by mystery and disorder: hybrid creatures escape down a stairwell, an army marches along the balcony, and myriad characters twist and flail in chaotic clusters.

Completed with the assistance of artist Andrés Cocco, the large-scale piece is derived from the shared etymological root of “university” and “universe,” which means a totality or everything that exists. “Cosmos” evokes Fernando Gallego’s 15th-Century painting of constellations and the zodiac that once cloaked a vaulted ceiling at the University of Salamanca library in de la Mano’s hometown, although this new iteration is devoid of stars. “It is a work full of mystery… There is my own iconography. There is the idea of ​​migration, a constant in my work from years ago,” the artist says in a statement. “The stars were replaced by two forests. There is a dark forest that does not let you see, and there is a clear forest in which the light comes.”

After spending years in Uruguay, de la Mano is back in Salamanca, and you can follow his works on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography Science

Footage from a Blackwater Dive Off the Coast of Italy Frames the Striking Marine Creatures Found in Its Depths

September 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

For marine biologists and photographers, a nighttime dive into the ocean offers an austere backdrop for capturing the myriad creatures that live below the surface: entirely devoid of light, black water creates a stark visual contrast to the iridescent, translucent, and tentacled organisms that float in the dark expanses, making rare sightings of cusk eels and or billowing blanket octopuses all the more striking. An expedition by Alexander Semenov (previously) near Ponza Island unveiled an array of marine life off the western coast of Italy, framing their unique forms and movements. The footage is part of an ongoing documentary project for Aquatilis, and you can see more from Semenov on his site.

 

 

 



Photography

Nighttime Skies Serve as the Dreamy Backdrop for Sophia Ahamed's Saturated Flowers

September 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sophia Ahamed, shared with permission

With illuminated slivers of the moon in the distance, a photographic series juxtaposes clusters of flowers in saturated reds and pink with expanses of cloudy, blue skies. Created by Sophia Ahamed, the dreamy works center on seasonal blooms at their peak, highlighting the soft, paper-thin petals of spring and the deep oranges associated with fall.

Despite their entirely organic subject matter and focus on naturally occurring colors and textures, each work is designed to skew perceptions of fiction and reality: Ahamed shoots all of the elements separately and then layers them into new compositions, positioning genuine images into fabricated contexts. “We associate colour with how we perceive the world around us, memories, and emotion,” she says, “Often at times, these elements can act as well as a gentle escape into something more soothing.”

Ahamed, who’s also the design director at the Vancouver-based agency Monograph & Co., shares that the Dark Night series originated from grief and loss, a theme that continues to veil the works with melancholy. “Sometimes we forget that the magic we are seeking in our day-to-day lives isn’t waiting for us on a lavish trip. That magic is all around us, all the time. We just have to be willing to pause and take a look around,” she says.

Prints are available on Ahamed’s site, and you can find more from the series on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art

Dramatic Brush Strokes Energize Trees in Paintings by Adam S. Doyle

December 10, 2019

Grace Ebert

All photographs (c) Adam S. Doyle, shared with permission

Artist Adam S. Doyle (previously) is known for his paintings of birds and other animals that call attention to, rather than mask, his brush strokes. In his latest series, “Night Fall Trees,” Doyle shifts his focus to a different living entity. “By putting trees front and center as subjects, instead of relegating them to the background where they usually are, I’m saying these silent sentinels of our planet deserve our full attention and respect,” the artist shares with Colossal.

Like his other series, “Night Fall Trees” centers on Doyle’s obsession with energy. The swirling tree branches are wound tightly within each other, the tufts of leaves envelop the top branches, and the widespread roots bury themselves into the ground. Inspired by a nighttime glimpse of a well-lit tree last October, Doyle also says this series is about the seasons and the resilience the trees have.

Fall is often associated with colorful foliage, which is best seen during the day. But fall is also a season about transition, heading in for the long nights and bone-chilling cold. Winter is a hard time. Trees get through it, though. These paintings reflect on being ready for what’s to come and like the trees knowing we’ll get through it. There will be blossoming once again in the spring.

Doyle tells Colossal his creative plans include writing fiction and nonfiction. You can keep up with the artist’s latest energized paintings on Facebook. He even has another site for his children’s projects.

 

 



Photography

Shuttered Windows and Placid Canals Show Venice's Sleepier Side in Night Photographs by Thibaud Poirier

May 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Scenes of contemporary Venice often inevitably include throngs of tourists amongst the centuries-old architecture. But French photographer Thibaud Poirier (previously) took his camera out during the city’s quieter hours. During a weekend trip this past winter, Poirier sought to capture the timelessness of Venice, a task easier done there than in other cities like Paris, Poirier tells Colossal, because of Venice’s lack of cars. Vehicles on city streets tend to simultaneously distract from, and date, photographs of buildings.

In his series Sleeping Venice, the still waters of the canals reflect illuminated docks and the warm-toned weathered facades of the city’s brick and stucco buildings. Poirier explains that he used Google Maps to locate bridge and canal intersections, and then explored the pinpointed areas on foot. Despite the aquatic elements in his image, the photographer shares that he actually took all the shots on land, from bridges, ledges, and dead-end streets. You can see more of Poirier’s work and travels on Instagram and Behance, and find information on purchasing fine art prints on his website.