patterns

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Art

Ornate Fabrics Cloak Models in Disquieting Portraits by Artist Markus Åkesson

June 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

“The Grove” (2020), oil on canvas, 180 x 140 centimeters. All images © Markus Åkesson, shared with permission

Swedish artist Markus Åkesson enshrouds his subjects in elaborately patterned silks and satins, leaving only the impression of their faces, limbs, and torsos visible. An extension of his ongoing Now You See Me series, the artist’s latest paintings continue his exploration of repetition and the unsettling feelings evoked by being wrapped in fabric. By completely covering his models, they “became a secret. Instead, I started to tell a story within the pattern itself, like a sub-narrative in the painting,” he writes.

Åkesson’s pieces begin with designing the traditional, florid motifs that are printed onto the largely unshaped fabrics. The artist then envelops models in the textiles before posing the subjects for the discomfiting portraits. “I have always been interested in patterns, I am drawn to the repetition and the rhythm,” he tells Colossal. “I did a lot of paintings with people that were surrounded by patterns, different surfaces, and materials, almost drowning in them. Eventually, they became completely covered in fabrics.”

Åkesson’s work will be on view this fall at Da-End Gallery in Paris. Until then, follow his heavily patterned paintings on Instagram.

 

“At the heart of it all (2020), oil on canvas, 60 x 50 centimeters

“Now You See Me” (2019), oil on canvas, 180 x 140 centimeters

“Yellow Veil” (2019), oil on canvas

“Now you see me (Dysmorphia 10)” (2018), oil on canvas, 145 x 100 centimeters

“Now you see me (Blue and Gold Kimono)” (2019), oil on canvas, 180 x 140 centimeters

“In the quiet morning” (2020), oil on canvas, 145 x 100 centimeters

“Danse Macabre” (2020), oil on canvas, 145 x 100 centimeters

 

 



Art Food Photography

Sliced and Diced Food Arranged into Color-Coded Sequences by Adam Hillman

June 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Adam Hillman, shared with permission

Adam Hillman (previously) has taken recommendations to choose a balanced diet seriously. For each slice of Granny Smith apple, the New Jersey-based artist pairs a quartered cucumber, halved kiwi, and peeled plantain in a meticulous, color-coded arrangement.

Using produce, candy, and breakfast fare, Hillman organizes an array of perishables into patterns and geometric sequences, which he often shares on Instagram. “There’s something beautiful about working with something so transient, and the beauty of the materials is something that can only be preserved through photography long after the food within the photo has either rotted or been eaten,” he tells Colossal.

For those in need of another dose of nutrients, Hillman offers prints from Society6.

 

 

 



Design Photography

Journalist Rachel Lopez Documents the Delightfully Diverse Patterns on the Ceilings of Mumbai Taxis

November 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Rachel Lopez has a thing with… taxi ceilings. Instead of joining the 200,000+ Instagram posts hashtagged #ihavethisthingwithfloors, the lifelong Mumbai resident flips her phone’s camera into selfie mode. Lopez documents the vast array of eccentric plastic patterns covering the ceilings of her hailed rides, many of them taken in her frequent trips around the city as a journalist with the Hindustan Times.

Mumbai is home to about 58,000 metered taxis, and each one seems to feature a totally different interior aesthetic. Though many of the cars themselves are the same model, drivers often line the ceiling with colorful patterned plastic or vinyl to protect the easily-stained felt fabric. She prefers the traditional taxis to the newer influx of startup ride shares, despite the unpredictability of independent operators, who may decline a trip depending on the destination. Since April 2017, Lopez has been collecting consistently framed photos to track the diversity of designs she encounters.

“I live for the day a driver shows interest in my collection. Most of them, when I compliment them, merely grunt in acknowledgement,” Lopez tells Colossal. “They’re determinedly uninterested, for some reason. But a few of them will indulgently smile and get on with the ride. In Mumbai, if you’re a solo woman commuter, the driver is much more interested in whether you’re married, Indian politics, and how much money a journalist makes.”

As she continues her to add to her simple yet infinite collection, Lopez has enjoyed connecting with others. She displayed one hundred of her photos this February at Kala Ghoda Festival, which is Asia’s largest street festival for the arts. “I was keen to show on the street, not in a sanitized gallery, so everyday crowds could appreciate them,” says Lopez. “The response was overwhelming! The sheer diversity and number of designs are a surprise even to lifelong Mumbai residents (even I’m shocked that I still find new ones two years into the project). It’s one of the most gratifying outcomes of the series—being able to share with my beloved city the pictures I’d been quietly taking.”

Ride along with Lopez by following her on Instagram, and check out more customized rides in our article about the Mumbai-based TaxiFabric company. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art

African Fabrics Connect to Form Quilted Portraits of Black Figures by Bisa Butler

September 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Broom Jumpers. Credits: Ian Rubinstein / Claire Oliver Gallery

Brooklyn-based artist Bisa Butler (previously) uses brightly colored cotton, wool, and chiffon fabrics with bold patterns to piece together quilts featuring detailed portraits of Black people. The materials and themes connect American subjects with their African roots and tell visual stories of history and culture.

Butler is a New Jersey-born African American artist with Ghanian heritage. A closer look at her portraits reveals intricate mosaics of shapes and patterns and complex multi-hued skin tones. For her James Baldwin-inspired piece “I Am Not Your Negro,” Butler created a portrait of a man seated in a pose similar to Rodin’s “Thinker” and a warm complexion inspired by The Fire Next Time, an important book written by Baldwin that was first published in 1963. “I used reds and oranges in his complexion to indicate this while this man sits calmly [there] is fire inside,” Butler said in a statement. “I use colorful imaginative colors in my figures because I am connecting color to emotion and I want their images to indicate a personality, mood, and temperament.”

The artist’s quilts also incorporate nods to Black wedding traditions, references to historically Black colleges and universities, and other elements that speak to the Black and African American experience. The Katonah Museum of Art is set to host the artist’s first solo museum exhibition with approximately 25 of her quilts on display from March 15 to June 14, 2020.

To learn more about the Bisa Butler’s work, head over to the Claire Oliver Gallery website and follow the artist on Instagram.

I Am Not Your Negro

Dear Mama

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (detail)

Kindred

To God and Truth (detail)

To God and Truth (detail)

Bisa at work

Bisa at work

 

 



Art

Traditional Textiles are Unraveled and Re-Woven in Installations by Aiko Tezuka

September 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Berlin-based Japanese artist Aiko Tezuka carefully unravels and re-weaves elaborate textiles to form new shapes and patterns. In some works, the separated threads hang from the bottom edge of an intact textile in perfectly parallel lines; others feature threads course down in waterfall-like sheaths, reconnecting as they crash into the floor. In still others, the loose threads come together to form images and words hovering on sheer substrates. Tezuka closely studies the cultural and economic histories interwoven in different Eastern and Western textile traditions, examining the greater symbolism embedded in each decorative element.

“My essential interest has been what makes up the surface of the object; through which processes was the surface produced; how could I peel off the surface; what things could I see behind the surface; and how could I embody these things behind the surface into my work,” Tezuka shares in an artist statement. “Although we are completely surrounded by surfaces, we cannot physically enter things in even one millimeter under the surface. Every time we peel a surface, a new surface will appear immediately, like an infinite loop. How does one perceive these infinite surfaces, or loosen the surfaces that seem to be firmly interwoven?”

She has exhibited widely and her solo show “Dear Oblivion” at Michael Janssen gallery, runs from September 14 to November 16, 2019 in Berlin. Tezuka’s work is also on view September 7 – 28, 2019 at MA2 gallery in Tokyo. See more from the artist on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Art

Decorative Laser Cut Paper Compositions with Hand-Painted Ink by Julia Ibbini

March 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

United Emirates-based artist Julia Ibbini sources elements from Islamic geometry, embroidery, meenakari enamel work, and even electronic music to inspire the designs that compose her laser cut paper works. The complex patterns and layers of her colorful compositions are a metaphor for the artist’s multicultural background as a dual national from Jordan and the UK, and share elements of symbolism seen in the Middle East region. Ibbini uses computer algorithms to create digital designs  that she laser cuts onto paper. She then layers these detailed pieces and hand-paints them with ink in brilliant shades of pink, blue, yellow, and orange. Her solo exhibition The Sublime Line opens April 3, 2019 at Jonathan LeVine Projects and runs through May 3, 2019. You can see more of her detailed compositions on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Domesticated Root Systems by Diana Scherer Form Twisting and Repetitive Patterns in Patches of Earth

March 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Amsterdam-based artist Diana Scherer investigates the desire for humans to control nature through her series Exercises in Root System Domestication. The project combines design, craft, and science to manipulate plants’ subterranean systems into forming mesmerizing interlocking patterns that are unlike what is found organically. To “train” the roots to grow in such complex patterns, Scherer develops underground geometric templates that the roots grow along and merge with as they grow.

This intelligent behavior of plants below ground, away from humanity’s watchful eye, is another inspiration for Scherer’s work. “Darwin discovered that plants are a lot more intelligent than everybody thought,” she explains on her website. “For contemporary botanists, this buried matter is still a wondrous land. There is a global investigation to discover this hidden world. I also want to explore it and apply the ‘intelligence’ of plants in my work.” You can view more of her root explorations on her website and on Facebook.