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Art

Playfully Surreal Scenarios Emerge from Innumerable Acrylic Dots in Quint Buchholz’s Paintings

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Quint Buchholz, shared with permission

When viewing the uncanny scenes of Munich-based artist Quint Buchholz, it’s evident that play, experimentation, and exploring the uncharted are central tenets of his practice: a string quintet precariously balances above the sea, sightseers take advantage of the view atop a giant man, and a pigeon doubles as an apartment complex.

Each piece toys with scale and sensibility, and Buchholz enlarges some characters to preposterous sizes while positioning others in strange, seemingly impossible situations. “I enjoy the various possibilities that emerge when you reflect on the world and on your own life and move beyond the boundaries of what we believe is real,” he shares. “For me, the notion of play, of trying things out is a central element in art. And playing in this way opens up many unexpected doors.”

Painted with brushes in various sizes on paper or cardboard, the grainy texture present in the works evokes pointillism or film photography, the latter of which Buchholz says was an early inspiration. The dotted effect is also “a way of connecting the very calm character of my painting technique with a structure that was still lively,” he says, noting that the style also “lifts (the characters) out of known reality, maybe into a different mode of reflecting and associating.”

The artist will open a solo exhibition at KunstRaum Heilsbronn this October, and he has a number of prints available through Beuteltier Art Galerie. Find more of his surreal paintings on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

In Introspective Paintings, Artist Ocom Adonias Explores Narratives of Blackness

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Here After,” oil on canvas, 200 x 180 centimeters. All images © Ocom Adonias, shared with permission

Fusing history with the political and social contexts of today, Ocom Adonias’s work interprets the experience of moving through the world in a Black body. His vibrant, realistic paintings portray people in ordinary moments of ritual, solitude, and bonding, honing in on individual narratives to convey a broader message. “I’m particularly interested in the global conversation of what being an African and what being Black means, history, and the representation of the Black figure in the contemporary sense,” he shares.

Having worked primarily with charcoal on newspapers for years, Adonias recently shifted to oil painting, swapping the hazy layers of his previous works for bold color palettes and clean lines. He continues to focus on those around him, though, translating their conversations into intimate, introspective pieces.

The artist is based in Kampala, Uganda, and has a residency at Montresso Art Foundation slated for this fall. Currently, he’s working on a painting referencing myth and Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” fresco, which you can follow on Instagram.

 

“Letters from us,” newspapers and oil on canvas, 150 x 130 centimeters

“Saloon secrets (we are who we were),” oil and collage on canvas, 130 x 150 centimeters

“King Adebwa”

“Utopia duality,” newspapers and oil on canvas, 200 x 150 centimeters

 

 



Art Illustration

In Graham Franciose’s ‘Morning Coffee Paintings,’ Dreamlike Watercolor Works Capture the Day’s Unmediated Emotion

August 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

Day 75, “Always There, Always Changing.” All images © Graham Franciose, shared with permission

Many days, artist and illustrator Graham Franciose sits down with watercolor, gouache, and a small sheet of cotton paper to paint a whimsical scene or surreal moment. A skateboarder carries a tree in a backpack, an anxious figure peeks through a colorful monster mask, and an oversized lion snarls at an approaching man. “I like to do these first thing in the morning when I am still not fully awake and start with a blank slate and no preconceived idea,” he tells Colossal.

Dreamlike in style and subject matter, the works are part of an ongoing series simply titled Morning Coffee Paintings. Since Franciose began the ritualistic project in 2019, he’s created about 450 pieces, which reflect a range of moods through mysterious scenarios and quiet, contemplative figures. “I put my phone on the tripod and start the timelapse camera and just start drawing.  I’ve noticed that by filming them it keeps me from second-guessing myself or spending too much time deliberating about choices like color or composition and forces me to just trust myself and my practice,” he shares.

An exercise in experimentation and releasing perfectionism, the paintings are also a visual diary of the artist’s practice and unfiltered emotional states. “Sometimes recurring themes, symbols, or concepts will come up in different ways, and they do evolve and change over time,” he says.

Franciose is currently based in Seattle where he runs Get Nice. Gallery. There are still a few of July’s original paintings available on the series’ site, and you can shop prints at Sebastian Foster, Austin Art Garage, and Bloom. If you’re in New Hampshire, you can see some of his pieces in the Enormous Tiny Art #33 at Nahcotta Gallery early next year. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram for updates on new paintings.

 

Day 76, “How to Be Brave”

Day 78, “Shroom Shade”

Left: Day 66, “You Haven’t Even Mentioned My New Hat.” Right: Day 26, “You Can Take It With You”

Day 47, “Defense”

Left: Day 52, “Onward.” Right: Day 68, “What Your Rings Will Reveal”

Day 71, “Not Rowing Just Going with the Flowing”

Day 23, “What Was and What Will Be”

 

 



Craft

Painted with Mesmerizing Precision, Innumerable Dots Cloak Stones in Hypnotic Patterns

August 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Elspeth McLean, shared with permission

Concentric circles in bold gradients, spiraling lines, and bright radial motifs by Australian-Canadian artist Elspeth McLean transform stones into endlessly hypnotic designs. Impeccably arranged on the flat, round objects, the patterns are comprised of countless individual dots in varying sizes and hues. Having veered away from the stippling technique she used in her earlier paintings, McLean refers to her style as “dotillism,” which is similar to pointillism in the shapes it relies on, although the artist prefers to work with exact colors rather than layer them to produce an illusion of specific tones.

McLean’s stones sell out quickly, so keep an eye on her Instagram for shop updates.

 

 

 



Art

Bizarrely Flexible Wildlife Twist into Acrobatic Poses in Bruno Pontiroli’s Perspective-Bending Paintings

July 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Le Quintupède I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 80 x 70 centimeters. All images © Bruno Pontiroli, courtesy of Beinart Gallery, shared with permission

Kangaroos, koalas, and the venomous platypus take on peculiarly acrobatic personas in a new series of oil paintings by Bruno Pontiroli (previously). In Expression Corporelle, the French artist renders a cast of gymnast-emulating animals native to Australia, each with unusually strong appendages and flexible backs. The creatures balance on their tails and bend at perfect 90-degree angles, defying physics in favor of warped perspectives and the opportunity to see the world from a different point of view.

Expression Corporelle is on view through August 7 at Beinart Gallery in Brunswick. Pontiroli also sells prints on his site, and you can find more of his shape-shifting characters on Instagram. (via Supersonic Art)

 

“Psychologie Inversée II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters

Left: “La Queue Leu Leu I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Figure De Style I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 50 centimeters

“Le Diable Au Corps” (2021), oil on wood panel, 50 x 40 centimeters

“Figure De Style II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 50 centimeters

“Le Pieds Marin” (2022), oil on linen, 81 x 100 centimeters

Left: “Le Quintupède II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 80 x 70 centimeters. Right: “Psychologie Inversée I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters

“Les Basses Voltiges II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 30 x 24 centimeters

 

 



Art Colossal

Interview: Sho Shibuya Discusses Ritual, His Impulse Toward Minimalism, and His Love for Ubiquitous Objects

July 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sho Shibuya, shared with permission

Since March 2020, artist and designer Sho Shibuya has fostered a ritualistic creative practice of painting the morning sunrise on the cover of The New York Times, a routine he describes in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. The daily project was born out of lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, although it’s evolved into a broad body of work that transcends the artist’s original intent for the pieces.

The process of flipping through the newspaper, watching the sunrise, and then painting every morning is quite meditative… But I treat the paintings the same as eating or sleeping; a vital part of my daily routine. It’s a little mission for myself, to capture the sunrise every day as a visual diary.

In this conversation, Shibuya speaks with Colossal managing editor Grace Ebert about the ongoing series and the addition of more sculptural, conceptual works that respond to politics and current events. They discuss his pared-down, measured approach to conveying complex subject matter, the fluctuating relationship between concept and visual, and his fascination with humble, everyday materials.