Sinuous, intertwined wildlife bridge worlds of the living and the dead in Lauren Marx’s intricate multi-media work. Twisting fox heads, disemboweled deer, and lambs bursting with flowers and birds are rendered with watercolor, ink, pen, and colored pencil. Marx often places her animal compositions on semi-abstract backgrounds, awash with grey tones that give a sense of weightlessness to the dense drawings by evoking fog or clouds.
The artist, who resides in her hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, cites frequent trips to the Saint Louis Zoo, biology classes, and National Geographic television shows as cultivating her lifelong interest in animals. Her latest body of work debuts December 14, 2019, at Corey Helford Gallery. The show, titled Chimera, is an evolution from her previous pieces, combining multiple animals into each artwork to combine their symbolic meanings.
“Chimera further explores my concepts of fauna representations of emotions, personal mental health, family, and self,” Marx shares in a statement. “I am creating a mythological world, centered around North American flora and fauna, to better expresses my image of who I am, how I am perceived, my struggles with mental health, and to explore self-healing.”
Marx studied Fine Art at Webster University and draws inspiration from zoology, mythology, scientific illustration, and Northern Renaissance themes. The artist shares with Colossal that in 2020 she wants to continue to challenge herself technically and conceptually, and that works in the Chimera show brought her practice to new levels in terms of scale and complexity.
See Chimera through January 18, 2020, at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and explore more of Marx’s intricate illustrative artwork on Instagram. The artist also offers prints and stickers on Etsy.
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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.
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An animated short film written and directed by Carol Freeman uses an old-fashioned technique called paint-on-glass to form each luminescent frame. At seven minutes long, The Bird & the Whale is comprised of 4,300 paintings created by a small team of female artists in Dublin, Ireland. The animated film tells the story of a young whale, struggling to find its voice, who finds a caged bird that is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. The Bird & the Whale has been lauded at festivals worldwide, including the Silver Screen Award for Best Animated Film at Cannes’ Young Director Awards. Freeman, who majored in animation at the National Film School of Ireland, also co-founded Paper Panther Productions. Watch the making-of inpthe video below and follow Paper Panther on Instagram.
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Museo del Prado (Prado Museum) recently collaborated on a project with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) designed to coincide with the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid. Paintings from the museum’s collection were digitally modified to reflect a future world destroyed by inaction. Rising sea levels, barren rivers, and refugee camps transform works by European painters into a campaign to save the environment.
The project is titled “+ 1,5ºC Lo Cambia Todo,” which translates from Spanish to mean “+ 1.5ºC Changes Everything.” Paintings by three Spanish artists (Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez, and Joaquín Sorolla) and one Flemish Renaissance painter (Joachim Patinir) were chosen for the project by WWF and museum experts. The altered works were installed on billboards in Madrid and shared online using the hashtag #LoCambiaTodo as a way to expand and continue political and social conversations through art.
“For the Museum, this project represents an opportunity to continue placing art and its values at the service of society,” Javier Solana, Prado’s Royal Board of Trustees President, said in a statement. “The symbolic value of the masterpieces and the impressive artistic recreation that we present with WWF is an excellent way to transmit to everyone and especially to the young generations what is really at stake in this fight against climate change.” (via Artnet)
Update: CHINA Madrid Creative Director Nico Ordozgoiti shares that the retouchers involved with the project are Pedro Veloso (Goya), Marta Zafra (Velázquez), Julio Falagan (Patinir), and Conspiracy (Sorolla).
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Illustrator James R. Eads (previously) incorporates elements of Impressionism and fantasy in his colorful landscapes. The Los Angeles-based artist builds imagined worlds with vibrant, short brush strokes, often featuring exotic birds, half-sunken boats, and swirling star-filled skies. Eads shares with Colossal that he is deeply connected to music, which consistently influences his work. His personal passion translates to client commissions, as he has created imagery for dozens of bands ranging from The Black Keys and Leon Bridges to Jerry Garcia and Iggy Pop.
“I’ve been really inspired by a lot of different things lately, including many worlds theory—the idea of multiple universes and timelines existing simultaneously,” Eads tells Colossal. “I’ve been working on a series of pastel paintings called Many, Many Paths that explores this idea through meandering paths in otherworldly gardens.” The artist shares that his most recent undertaking is a series called Cosma Visions, “which explores the idea of past lives and reincarnation reimagined on the traditional tarot. It takes the reader through the journey of the soul in the spirit plane after death.”
Eads also experiments with Virtual Reality artwork, an example of which you can see below, and runs a screen-printing studio in Los Angeles. He produces a range of limited edition prints and other buyable items that incorporate his colorful illustrations. The artist also recently successfully crowdfunded a Lenormand deck called Green Glyphs. Shop Eads’s online store and follow along with new work on Instagram and Facebook.
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Solitary female figures command the canvas in oil paintings by artist Miho Hirano. The Japanese artist creates detailed portraits of her human protagonists, who avoid direct eye contact with the viewer. Hirano’s women stare off into the distance as fish and butterflies swarm and flower blossoms and vines seem to grow from the figures’ hair. In a statement on Gallery Sumire’s website, Hirano describes the mission of her work as “to express the changing situation of life’s ugliness and maturity.”
Hirano draws inspiration from her upbringing, noting that her mother cared for plants and animals, and those motifs have continued in her work even though she does not currently reside in a nature-filled place. She also explained to WOW x WOW that she has long found painting a resonant medium to express her thoughts, explore ideas, and escape reality.
Hirano graduated from Musashino Art University’s department of Oil Painting and currently resides in Chiba, Japan. The artist had her first solo show in the U.S. at Corey Helford Gallery in 2017. Hirano’s newest body of work, Recollection, is on view in a two-person show at Corey Helford in Los Angeles from November 2 to December 9, 2019. See more of Hirano’s ethereal paintings on Instagram.
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Israeli oil painter Guy Yanai captures peaceful moments featuring architecture and plants. Often merging indoor and outdoor perspectives, Yanai presents placid scenes devoid of human figures. Instead, scraggly houseplants and open doors and windows act as visual focal points, suggesting the presence of human life that may have potted the plant or propped open the door. While Yanai’s subject matter is clearly representational, he works in a highly stylized manner, carefully building the volume of each painted form with perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines that draw attention to the painting as object as well as a portal. In an interview with Culture Trip, Yanai shared:
As much as what I do is a physical thing, and in the end I make a physical object, the end-result in people’s brain is an abstract one. I would like some images to be kind of burned into people’s heads, so in this sense I don’t have a problem with people seeing images of my work online or on screens. It’s one more representation of that object, and it’s obvious that it only references the real painting.
Yanai’s solo show at Miles McEnery Gallery is on view through October 5, 2019 in New York City, and he will also have a solo booth through Praz-Delavallade at the Artissima contemporary art fair in Italy in early November. Explore more of the artist’s work on canvas, as well as monographs and collaborations with fashion labels, on his website and Tumblr.
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Editor's Picks: Craft
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