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Art

Nighttime Reveals the Inner Vitality of Reskate’s Dynamic Glow-in-the-Dark Murals

January 21, 2023

Kate Mothes

Nighttime view of “Eulalia” (2022-23), Mérida, Extremadura, Spain. All images © Reskate Studio, shared with permission

By day, Reskate Studio’s bold, deceptively simple murals outline the forms of rope, a mountain, or a dog in a neutral palette. When the sun sets, though, an entirely new image emerges from within the unassuming motif. María López and Javier de Riba, who work collaboratively as Reskate, continue to paint bold, light-sensitive works as part of their ongoing Harreman Project (previously). The artists say their intention is “to try to light up dark corners of cities, both installing new lights and encouraging citizens to interact with the wall—painting with light on it.”

“Harreman” is a Basque word meaning “relationship,” a combination of two verbs: hartu, which means “receive” and eman, which means “give.” The duo is interested in etymology, duality, and the way language can present multiple interpretations or how some information can only be revealed in a certain light. During the day, Reskate’s compositions appear uncomplicated in cream white and dark gray, but this discloses only half the story. At night, lights illuminate scenes created with photo-sensitive paint, like a koi fish appearing in a net or dogs brawling within the silhouette of a larger, much calmer canine.

Reskate installs vibrant, monumental murals with a focus in locations around Europe. Find more work on Behance and on the artists’ website, where you can also shop limited-edition screenprints. 

 

A mural that glows in the dark

“Rivalité,” (2022), Maison de Jeunes et de la Culture Nelson Mandela, Fontaine, France

A mural that glows in the dark

Nighttime view of “Eulalia” (2022-23), Mérida, Extremadura, Spain

A mural that glows in the dark

Daytime view of “Eulalia”

A mural that glows in the dark

“Domestication,” Wien Museum, Vienna, Austria

A mural that glows in the dark

“Domestication”

A mural that glows in the dark

Nighttime view of “Connectivity,” Shenzhen, China

A mural that glows in the dark

Daytime view of “Connectivity”

A mural that glows in the dark

“Connectivity” in progress

 

 

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Art

Mossy Figures Wander Through Woodlands and City Streets in Kim Simonsson’s Flocked Ceramic Sculptures

December 22, 2022

Kate Mothes

A profile view of a ceramic sculpture of a young girl with feathers in her hair, flocked in green to appear like moss.

“Mossgirl with Feathers” (2016), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, feathers, and rope. All images © Kim Simonsson, shared with permission. Photos by Jefunne Gimpel

Some of the most exciting artistic discoveries are the results of accidents or the surprising outcomes of experiments, and artist Kim Simonsson’s series Moss People is the result of one such unexpected twist. Coated with soft flocking—a process of applying very fine fiber to the surface of an object—the large-scale ceramic sculptures were initially layered only with velvety black until a few years ago, when one day, the Finnish sculptor decided to flock one of those pieces with yellow, too. Once the crushed nylon fiber was applied over the black, it turned green, and the verdant figures have since grown into a cornerstone of his practice.

Simonsson draws inspiration from pop culture and Nordic fairytales and folklore, creating expressive, youthful characters who tote rucksacks, wear feathers in their hair, or carry important items like books, radios, or plush toys. For the 2022 Utopia Festival in Lille, France, he created monumental versions from fiberglass that lined a thoroughfare and appeared to wander amongst the passersby, emphasizing tender facial expressions, theatrical scale, and the sense that each individual is on a mission. The artist taps into a playful tension between the spritely energy of youth and the fact that moss naturally grows on hard, unmoving surfaces.

Atmospheric images taken outdoors capture the self-assured figures as they wander through woodland, equipped for an expedition. The most recent characters feature edible greenery and cabbage that grows from their limbs, torsos, and feet, providing both protection and sustenance. By producing and carrying their own food, they are completely autonomous, self-sustaining beings.

Simonsson’s solo exhibition Moss Cabbage People is on view at Galerie NeC in Paris through December 24. Find more of the artist’s work on his website, and follow updates on Instagram.

 

A photograph of ceramic figures that look like they are coated in moss, standing in a dense woodland.

“Moss People in Pine Forest”

A ceramic sculpture of a young girl leaning on a flower, coated in flocking to look like she is covered in moss. She is seated on a pedestal.

“Cabbage Mossgirl Resting” (2022), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, and artificial plant

Two sculptures of young figures made from ceramic that are coated in green flocking to make them look like they are coated in moss.

Left: “Mossgirl With Broken Stereo” (2022), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, cassette stereo, rope, and artificial flowers. Right: “Cabbage Mossboy Reading” (2022), ceramics, nylon fiber, and epoxy resin

A ceramic sculpture coated in green flocking of a young girl seated inside of a vessel that appears to be covered in the texture of cabbage leaves. The flocking makes the entire sculpture appear to be coated in moss.

“Hiding Place” (2022), ceramics, nylon fiber, and epoxy resin

A photograph of a ceramic sculpture coated in green flocking to appear like it is coated in moss. The figure stands in a deforested woodland at sunset.

“Mossboy” (2016), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, feathers, and rope

Two ceramid sculptures of young figures that are coated in green flocking so that they appear to be coated in moss. One has feathers and a long beard obscuring his face; the other is wearing a bonnet and a plush toy on her back.

Left: “Bearded Mossman with Feathers” (2019), ceramics, epoxy resin, nylon fiber, feathers, and rope. Right: “Mossboy With Idol” (2022), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, and soft toy

A photograph in a snowy woodland of a ceramic sculpture that has been coated in green flocking to make it look like it is coated in moss. The sculpture is of a young figure in profile who appears to be walking through the snow.

“Mossboy With Rock” (2017), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, and textile

A profile view of a figurative ceramic sculpture depicting a young girl sitting on top of a muscled bulldog, with a leash made of chains. The sculpture is coated in green flocking to make it appear as though it is coated in moss.

“Moss Princess” (2019), ceramics, nylon fiber, epoxy resin, and chain

Large-scale fiberglass figurines in a street in Lille, France, depicting figures that are coated in green flocking to make them appear as though they are coated in moss. Pedestrians walk down the street and the sculptures are exhibited on large pedestals.

“Remember,” “Friendship,” “Giant Gatherer,” and “Light,” (2022), fiberglass, polyester resin, and nylon fiber. Installed in Lille, France, for Utopia Festival

 

 



Art

A Scottish Town’s Annual Competition Invites Its Youngest Artists to Design ‘Wonky’ Holiday Lights

December 21, 2022

Kate Mothes

A photograph of a holiday light display on an electrical pole that was produced from a kid's drawing of a reindeer.

All images courtesy of Newburgh Action Group

For more than 20 years, the town of Newburgh in Fife, Scotland, has marked the holiday season with a wonderfully wonky tradition. Each autumn, young residents are invited to submit original sketches of Christmas decorations to a competition, and once a winning design is selected, Blachere Illumination transforms the work into an LED sculpture that’s then displayed throughout the town. The newest light is a salmon nicknamed “Happy Nemo” that sports a red hat, and the menagerie also features a “reinduck,” a cheerful piece of candy in a green wrapper with arms and legs, and a dinosaur with a star on its head.

 

A photograph of a holiday light display on an electrical pole that was produced from a kid's drawing of a salmon with a hat on.

Two photographs of a holiday light display on electrical poles that were produced from kids' drawings of snowmen.

A photograph of a holiday light display on an electrical pole that was produced from a kid's drawing of a dinosaur with a star on its head.

Two photographs of a holiday light display on electrical poles that were produced from kids' drawings of a snowman with a scarf on and a penguin with a hat on.

A photograph of a holiday light display on an electrical pole that was produced from a kid's drawing of a Christmas tree.

A photograph of a holiday light display on an electrical pole that was produced from a kid's drawing of a piece of candy with arms and legs and a smiling face.

 

 



Art Design

A Massive Illuminated Eye of 100,000 Lights Twinkles Above a Madrid Plaza

December 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a glowing installation that looks like an eye

All photos by ImagenSubliminal / Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero,, courtesy of Brut Deluxe, shared with permission

Now on view in Madrid’s Plaza de Canalejas is a gleaming eye that peers both downward at those who pass underneath its red-and-blue canopy and upward at the sky. Extending across more than 2,000-square-meters, the temporary site-specific installation is the project of design studio Brut Deluxe, which strung 100,000-plus LED lights into a web of color that hovers nine meters above ground. Mimicking the center of an eye, “Iris” is comprised of the main concentric circles pocked by anatomical anomalies like wrinkles and grooves, with flickering bulbs spread across its expanse.

Watch the video above too see the dynamic elements in action, and explore an archive of Brut Deluxe’s projects on its site. (via designboom)

 

An aerial photo of a glowing installation that looks like an eye

A photo of a glowing installation that looks like an eye

A photo of string lights and an illuminated ball of light

An aerial photo of a glowing installation that looks like an eye

A photo of string lights and an abstract shape

 

 



Art

Hundreds Join Artist JR to Create a Collaborative Portrait in Protest of Iran’s Restrictions of Women

December 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

An aerial photo of people forming the hair of a woman's silhouette on the ground

“Baraye Nika Shakarami” for #EyesonIran (December 4, 2022), interactive installation at Four Freedoms Park, cotton canvas and more than 300 participants. All images © JR, shared with permission

In less than a week, the U.N. will decide whether to bar Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women following the death of Mahsa Jina Amini, who was arrested by the nation’s “morality police” for not covering her hair properly and later died in custody. To advocate for the country’s removal ahead of the vote, an ongoing campaign titled Women Life Freedom is staging installations across from U.N. headquarters as part of Eyes on Iran, which brought artists like Shirin Neshat, Icy & Sot (previously) and Hank Willis Thomas (previously) to Four Freedoms Park.

“The world’s eyes have been focused on the courage of Iranian citizens in their quest for freedom, in the face of increasingly grave danger,” said activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam Mackay. “The Islamic Republic has censored them and attempted to blind the world to the potential of this movement. Eyes on Iran is our response to their call for a free Iran.”

French artist JR (previously) joined the initiative on December 4, drawing more than 300 people who participated in a large-scale public work. Those in attendance stood next to a silhouette of sixteen-year-old activist Nika Shakarami, who was killed in September during protests against Amini’s death. Volunteers swayed their arms to mimic wind blowing through the teen’s hair, serving as a poignant reminder of the unjust restrictions Iranian women face.

If you’re in New York, you can see the Eyes on Iran works at the park through January 1.

 

An aerial photo of people forming the hair of a woman's silhouette on the ground

An aerial photo of people forming the hair of a woman's silhouette on the ground

 

 



Art

Georgian Culture and Ukrainian Pride Highlight the 2022 Tbilisi Mural Fest

December 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a mural portrait of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers

By Sasha Korban. All images by Tiku Kobiashvili, courtesy of Tbilisi Mural Fest, shared with permission

For the last four years, Tbilisi Mural Fest has facilitated more than 40 public artworks around the Georgian capitol, and the 2022 event brought a spate of new projects to the city. Given the nation’s proximity to Russia and that country’s groundless war against Ukraine, festival organizers highlighted renowned Ukrainian muralist Sasha Korban who painted a large-scale portrait of a woman in customary clothing facing the Russian embassy. Other works include celebrations of Georgian culture and history, like a large-scale tablecloth with traditional motifs by Chertova Tina and Mohamed l’Ghacham’s dreamlike rendering of the living room of Georgian thinker and author Ilia Chavchavadze.

See some of the 2022 additions below and those from previous years on Instagram.

 

A photo of a large blue mural with ornamental white motifs

By Chertova Tina

A photo of a black and white portrait mural of a woman with colorful doodles on her face

“Circus” by Luis Gomez de Teran

A photo of a mural of a dreamlike living room

“Illia’s Room” by Mohamed l’Ghacham

A photo of a mural with two women and a plant, repeated three times vertically

“Growth” by Artez

A photo of an abstract mural on an urban building

By Kera

A photo of a mural with two figures and a portal

“M3D3A” by Vesod

A photo of a mural with two regal figures and city

By Dato Machavariani and Irakli Qadeishvili

 

 

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Artist Cat Enamel Pins