pastel

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Art

Diminutive Figures Traverse Vibrant, Post-Climate Disaster Environments by Seonna Hong

January 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Kid World” (2021). All images © Seonna Hong, courtesy of Hashimoto Contemporary, shared with permission

In Late Bloomer, Los Angeles-based artist Seonna Hong wades into landscapes filled with amorphous swatches of color and marred by climate disaster. Her acrylic, oil, and pastel works are on view through February 5 at Hashimoto Contemporary in Los Angeles in an introspective solo show that considers her place in an ever-evolving world. Set against abstract, blurred backdrops, Hong’s distinctly rendered animals and anonymous subjects navigate distorted terrains of once-familiar architecture and natural landmarks.

Many of the stylized compositions evoke traditional Korean landscapes from the Joseon period—these are known for their asymmetrical forms, vibrant brushstrokes, and skewed perspectives—that contemplate the human-nature relationship by placing miniature figures among formidable environments. “I’m a second-generation Korean American that is surprised to be making identity-based work but realizing I’ve been making it all along. I’ve spent my entire life between the push and pull of being Korean and American, never feeling quite Korean enough or American enough,” Hong writes on Instagram. “I’ve realized the inherent connection between my work and my history, a belated but cherished revelation.”

 

“Granny Square” (2021)

“In The Joseon Period” (2021)

“The View From the Studio” (2021)

“Sunset Stone” (2021)

“Gumball Dystopia” (2021)

“Like Minded” (2021)

 

 



Art Food

Dramatic Light Illuminates Crosscut Melons, Citrus, and Other Juicy Produce Rendered by Dennis Wojtkiewicz

January 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Citrus Series #33.” All images © Dennis Wojtkiewicz, shared with permission

Artist Dennis Wojtkiewicz (previously) finds creative nourishment in succulent slices of melons, lemons, and apples that appear to glow under studio lighting. Rendered in pastels with slightly blurred lines, his works focus on the seeds, fibrous veins cradling pockets of juice, and thick rinds visible only through clean crosscuts of the edible subject matter. Prints and originals of the luminous fruits are available on his site and from Moberg and M.A. Doran galleries. You can follow his latest pieces on Instagram.

 

“Rosette Series #35”

“Kiwi Series #8”

“Peach Series #10”

“Lemon Series #18”

“Melon Series #47”

“Horn Melon Series #6”

“Citrus Series #32”

“Apple Series #3”

“Melon Series #49”

“Melon Series #18”

 

 



Photography

Through Billowing Pastels, Minimal Photos Express the Profound Connections of Family

December 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Ismail Zaidy, shared with permission

“Family is intrinsic to my creativity,” says Ismail Zaidy about his photographic practice that’s grounded in color, emotion, and various aspects of Moroccan culture. In many of his conceptual images, Zaidy’s brother and sister serve as models positioned among swathes of pastel fabrics or balancing between taught ropes. Shot against the sandy backdrops of windswept deserts, each photograph amplifies movement and an interplay between light and shadow.

Pairing with the abstract and minimal aesthetic, Zaidy uses simple editing tools and only the camera on a Samsung Galaxy S5. He draws on his passion for color through silks, cotton, and other textiles that evoke the imagery of his upbringing. “When I was a kid, I used to live in a modest area in Marrakech where I was watching the way the women would wear their fabrics, hike and djellaba out on the streets. These women are still a huge inspiration for me today,” he says.

Although the involvement of Zaidy’s siblings began out of necessity when others weren’t available, they continue to offer direction and insight into the concepts, which the 23-year-old photographer explains:

I’m trying to shine a light on certain subjects. A lack of communication, distance between siblings and their parents, and family estrangement are problems that affect many but are rarely talked about. I am trying to treat this issue throughout my work in a poetic way, showing that family is one of the most valuable gifts in our lives.

Head to Instagram to follow Zaidy’s collaborative projects. (via Dovetail)

 

 

 



Art Craft

Minimalist Ceramics by Amy Victoria Marsh Exude Positivity and Playfulness

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Happy Poo,” stoneware clay, underglaze, and transparent glaze, extra large 7 x 7 centimeters, large 5 x 5, regular 4 x 3.5, small 3 x 3. All images © Amy Victoria Marsh

Relying on a simple color palette, Amy Victoria Marsh crafts minimalist ceramics meant to inspire positivity and humor. The Manchester-based artist creates playful pieces ranging from supine women reading to others wrapped up on a sushi bed to her “Happy Poo” collection. Her pastel fortune cookie even comes in an illustrated package with an uplifting saying stuffed inside.

Marsh tells It’s Nice That that much of her lighthearted work has been inspired by a 2016 visit to Japan. “From the typography found everywhere, to the personification of most objects, the Japanese have a unique take on design, which I find hugely inspiring,” she said. Her love for all things tiny, though, began during her childhood. “I was madly into toys such as Polly Pocket and Sylvanian Families and loved looking at illustrated stamps,” she said. “Looking back at my childhood it’s no wonder I’m making some of the work I am today!”

Pick up one of the artist’s cute miniatures in her plastic-free shop, and head to Instagram to see what she creates next.

 

“Book Worm Chill Ornament,” stoneware clay, underglaze, ceramic pencil, and transparent glaze, 10 x 7 x 7 centimeters

“Love Ceramic Fortune Cookie,” stoneware clay, underglaze, transparent glaze, and paper, 5 x 3 centimeters

“Tamago Feelings,” regular 3.5 x 4.5 x 3 centimeters, small 4 x 2 x 2

“Sake set,” stoneware clay, food and drink safe

“Pink Fluffy Jumper Ornament,” stoneware clay, underglazes, ceramic pencil, and transparent glaze, approximately 11 x 7 x 7 centimeters

“*Seconds* Sushi Lady Ornament,” stoneware glaze, underglazes, and transparent glaze, approximately 6 x 2.5 x 3 centimeters

“Happy Small Cup,” stoneware clay, glaze, ceramic pencil, all cups are food safe

 

 



Art

Minimalist Paintings by Prudence Flint Emphasize the ‘Emotional Weight’ of Womanhood

January 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Visit” (2016), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. All images © Prudence Flint

Focusing heavily on the female figure, painter Prudence Flint combines pastels and flat, geometric shapes in her minimalistic works. Rarely showing their faces directly, Flint’s oil paintings often portray women lying down, sitting, or performing daily tasks like showering while they look straight ahead, adding to the pieces’ pensive atmospheres.

In a recent interview with Juxtapoz, the painter expounded on why she mostly centers on women, saying she wants them “to be all things, whole, boundless, perverse, and representative of humanity. I want to give voice to this experience of being alive, now, in this culture, as a woman.” The ways Flint constructs female bodies exemplifies these ideas of womanhood, as she often paints small heads on top of broad torsos and long limbs.

As a woman, I feel constantly up against the idea of what is meant to be happening to me versus what is actually happening to me … I think I have found a solution by distorting the bodies, which becomes representative of what experience does to you. It marks you and creates emotional weight.

Flint’s self-portrait “The Wish” is on view from January 16 to 30 at High Line Nine in New York as part of ME, an exhibition that considers the relationship between identity and the face. If you can’t see the Melbourne-based artist’s paintings in person, head to Instagram where she shares much of her work.

“Double” (2018), oil on linen, 142 x 109 cm

Left: “Queen Anne Mirror” (2012), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. Right: “Shower #2” (2015), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Fitting” (2019), oil on linen, 130 x 107 cm

“The Stand” (2019), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Wake” (2018), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

Left: “Bedsit” (2016), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm. Right: “Sewing Machine” (2012), oil on linen, 122 x 102 cm

“The Yard” (2019), oil on linen, 135 x 107 cm

 

 



Art

Dramatic Pastel Drawings of Shifting Glacial Landscapes by Zaria Forman

October 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Lincoln Sea, Greenland” (2019), soft pastel on paper, 68 x 108 inches

Pastel artist Zaria Forman’s subject of choice is the glacier. The natural phenomenon that occurs around the globe is a critical element of cold-weather ecosystems, as well as a barometer of global climate health. The Brooklyn-based artist travels worldwide, often accompanying scientific expeditions, to experience and document glaciers firsthand, taking thousands of reference photographs to inform her enormous pastel drawings.

In translating her real-world travels on to paper, Forman shares that she draws from memory as well as from her reference photographs. “Occasionally I will re-shape the ice a little, or simplify a busy background to create a balanced composition, but 90% of the time I am depicting the exact scene that I witnessed, because I want to stay true to the landscape that existed at that point in time.”

Forman shares with Colossal that her passion for remote landscapes was sparked in childhood, when she traveled the world with her family—including her fine art photographer mother. As an adult she has channeled this fascination with our planet’s vast and varied landscapes into her art practice.

Climate change is arguably the largest crisis we face as a global society. I feel a responsibility as an artist to address this in my work, especially since I’ve had the rare opportunity to travel to remote places at the forefront of the crisis. Psychology tells us that humans take action and make decisions based on emotion above all else. Studies have shown that art impacts our emotions. I convey the beauty as opposed to the devastation of threatened places in my work. If people can experience the sublimity of these landscapes, perhaps they will be inspired to protect and preserve them.

“Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 68 x 102 inches

Many of the works shown here feature Greenland’s glaciers. Last winter, Forman also re-visited Antactica and Patagonia’s southern ice fields, and she has just started working on a series around Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. “Impressively, Perito Moreno glacier is the third largest reserve of fresh water on the planet, surpassed only by the Antarctic and Greenland Ice sheets,” Forman explains to Colossal. “It also happens to be the only glacier in the southern ice fields that is not retreating. But it’s not advancing, either. I am excited to dive into its details and textures in these new compositions.”

Next summer, Forman’s solo show will be on view at Winston Wächter Fine Art in Seattle. The artist is also curating an exhibition for the National Geographic Endurance, a polar expedition ship, which will be installed in February, 2020. Follow along with Forman’s work and travels on Instagram.

“Charcot Fjord, Greenland” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 90 x 60 inches

“Hiawatha Basin, Greenland”, soft pastel on paper

“Weddell Sea Southeast off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 60 x 90 inches

“Arctic Ocean Northwest off the coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada” (2018), 40 x 60 inches

“Supraglacial Lake (between Hiawatha and Humboldt Glaciers), Greenland, July 19 2017” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 60 x 81 7/8 inches

“Getz Ice Shelf, Antarctica” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 40 x 60 inches

“Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland, 69° 4’51.58N 49°28’24.41W, April 29th, 2017” (2018), soft pastel on paper, 108 3/8 x 68 inches