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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.

 

 



Art Illustration

Blue and White Greenhouse Illustrations Appear like Sun-Baked Cyanotypes

February 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Portuguese artist Ana Frois uses her background in architecture to draft precise structures she fills with imaginative monochrome plants and miniature gardening accessories. The series, simply titled Greenhouses, is created with white pencil on top of deep blue acrylic on paper. The ghostly forms are reminiscent of a cyanotype or faded architectural sketch, as if the clean-cut floating renderings are memories from another time. You can find more of Frois’s drawings on Instagram, and purchase prints of her work on Etsy.

 

 



Art

Flowers Blossom From the Bodies of Wild Animals in New Graphite and Acrylic Works by Nunzio Paci

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bologna-based Italian artist Nunzio Paci (previously) fills his artwork with images that evoke aspects of human knowledge dating back centuries, such as anatomy, botany, and natural medicine. In his works animals are illustrated with lush plants and flowers, elements which seem to grow and thrive straight from their core. Although a touch morbid, the pieces also have a sense of lightness—there is beauty that can be found in rebirth. This fall Paci will be Artist-in-Residence at Lingnan University in Hong Kong where he will teach a Studio Practice course and work on his own projects to prepare for a solo exhibition. You can see more of his anatomical illustrations and paintings on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art Illustration

Flower Petals and Stems Transform into Animals and Insects in Inventive New Arrangements by Raku Inoue

January 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Raku Inoue (previously) goes all-white in his latest flower petal compositions. The Montreal-based creative uses flower petals, stems, and leaves to form creatures ranging from owls and tigers to beetles and butterflies in his ongoing Natura series. Inoue takes advantage of the natural curvatures and shapes of his source materials to create lively interpretations of animals. In Inoue’s owl, densely-petaled mums form the bird’s fluffy belly, while the angular outlines of alstroemeria create the exoskeleton and horns of a beetle. By using largely intact plants, the artist heightens the aliveness of his creations, bridging both flora and fauna. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art

A New Book of Paintings by Tiffany Bozic Explores the Unity and Disjunction of the Natural World

January 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Triangle of Love”

The natural world gets an unusual interpretation through the lens of Northern California-based painter Tiffany Bozic (previously). She combines a highly developed realism with surreal juxtapositions of animals and plants in carefully composed paintings that question the “natural order” of the environment. In Triangle of Love, an owl family cozies up in a bed of gold-hued four leaf clovers, while in Aether, moths and caterpillars are drawn to a marbled pentagon hovering within a dew-dappled geometric spiderweb.

Bozic’s work over the last six years has been compiled into a forthcoming book, titled Unnatural Selections, published by Gingko Press. The artist explains to Colossal, “Since my paintings vary so widely from one to the next, I feel it’s important to be able to see them together as a continual ecosystem. Each contributes something to a larger dialog, and together they explore how we relate to each other and the natural world.”

Bozic often draws inspiration from direct experience exploring the world, which she often explores in tandem with her ornithologist husband. The works included in Unnatural Selections are also informed by her perspective as the mother of a young daughter. “By discovering universal commonalities between human beings and other living organisms, like reproduction and different parenting strategies, I felt more connected to the natural world and conscious of my role in it,” she explains.

Unnatural Selections is available for preorder on Amazon. You can also follow Bozic’s work and field explorations on Instagram, as she preps for her upcoming summer show at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

“Altruism”

L: “Joy”, R: “Emotion”

“Divide”

“Aether”

“Point of Origin”

 

 



Illustration

Illustrations by Simon Prades Entangle Human Emotions with the Natural World

November 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Simon Prades (previously) uses muted color palettes to convey feelings of introspection, inquisitiveness, and even rage in his editorial illustrations. His work often features human portraits interwoven with natural elements such as coiling snakes and growing plants which combine detailed realism with abstracted and surreal environments. The German-Spanish artist and designer currently lives and works in Saarbrücken, Germany, and is regularly commissioned by a wide variety of publications—from Rolling Stone to Outside Magazine. You can see more from the artist on his website, where he sells select artworks as prints, and on Behance.

 

 



Photography

Strange Leaves: An Imagined Future Filled With Bizarrely-Toned Plant Life by Al Mefer

November 29, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In his new series Strange Leaves, photographer Al Mefer (previously) creates an atmosphere of post-disaster biodiversity by shifting the hues of tropical plants to bizarre and even unsettling color palettes. Mefer shares with Colossal that his body of work, including Alien Architecture and Deserts of the Future, aims to “develop a kind of pseudodocumentary in which humans have left Earth because of the current environmental and social issues we’re facing.”

The series is comprised of serene scenes, with the visual field filled entirely by monstera leaves, ferns, and palm branches tinted to intense—almost luminescent—reds, purples, and blues.”In this landscape,” the artist explains, “the grotesque aspect of mutated plants is commonplace in a world where the bizarre is the only beauty to be experienced.”

You can see more of Mefer’s manipulated photography on his website and Instagram. (via Fubiz)