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Art

A Monumental 20-Story Wildflower Blooms Above Jersey City in a New Mural by Artist Mona Caron

August 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Mona Caron, shared with permission

A single Joe Pye weed with barbed leaves and a blossoming head looms over Jersey City in a staggering new mural by Mona Caron. Set against a black backdrop, the hardy botanical—which is actually a wildflower from the eutrochium genus that’s native to the region—is the latest from the San Francisco-based artist, who’s known for her multi-story murals of plants and weeds that soar above city skylines. Commissioned as part of the Jersey City Mural Arts Program, the exquisitely rendered flower is a celebration of resilience as it “rises with the sun, facing off the skyline across the Hudson,” Caron writes on Instagram. “A vision of nature winning, of plants being the ones towering over us for a change, putting us back in our place. May we learn. May they come back.”

 

 

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A post shared by Mona Caron (@mona.caron)

 

 



Art

Flying Ospreys, Herons, and Terns Comprise a 35-Meter Water Tower Mural by Taquen

July 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Eau de Loire” (2021), Gien, France. All images courtesy of Taquen, by Fabe Collage

A 35-meter tower looming over Gien, France, is the site of a new mural by Taquen that celebrates the inherent life-giving properties of water. Set against a deep blue backdrop, the massive artwork titled “Eau de Loire” features a flock of ospreys, herons, and common terns, which often are spotted near the banks of the Loire River that runs through the area, as they fly around the tank in an endless loop. “Water has always been synonymous with life,” the Madrid-based artist says, noting that the source is as vital to the city’s inhabitants as it is the region’s wildlife.

Broadly focused on change, Taquen’s works explore the complex relationships species have with each other and the larger environment, a recurring theme that manifests in this recent project through the birds’ perpetual motion. “For me, movement is a basic form of knowledge, to get to know myself and my environment and learn to respect it,” he says. “Birds are great symbols of freedom, animals that migrate thousands of kilometers each year with no one who can stop them.”

Taquen just completed a piece in Vigo, Galicia and is headed to Camprovin, La Rioja, Spain next. In September, he’ll be at Mostar Street Art Festival in Bosnia and Eternelles Crapules at Briançon, France, before heading to a residency in Saint Palais and later to Bayona. Follow along his travels on Instagram. (via Street Art News)

 

 

 



Art

Lush Tropical Plants Sprout from Brightly Colored Murals by Thiago Mazza

July 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

Lisbon. All images © Thiago Mazza, shared with permission

In his brilliantly hued murals, Brazilian artist Thiago Mazza recreates the dense foliage and thick, fleshy petals he encounters in tropical forests and other verdant areas. Prickly thistles, striped leaves, and seemingly endless varieties of flowers spring up in wild masses that crawl down sidewalks and engulf entire buildings.

In a note to Colossal, Mazza shares that all of his large-scale projects start with a carefully arranged photograph of the flora he finds during his forest excursions. “When I photograph the compositions with real plants, I do under a strong natural light so I can capture the light and the shadow, the contrast that I search in my compositions,” he says. The resulting works bring the otherwise remote plants to urban areas, transforming stark facades into lush gardens celebrating nature’s diversity.

Based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, Mazza is currently painting an installation in the middle of a field as part of a residency at Campidarte in Sardinia, which rounds out a months-long expedition around Europe where he completed murals in Sintra, Lisbon, and Civitacampomarano. Keep an eye on his Instagram for his upcoming works, which are slated for Foz do Iguaçu, Tbilsi, and Madrid this fall. (via Street Art News)

 

Lisbon

Bertioga, Brazil, with the help of Drin Cortes

Poços de Caldas, Brazil, with the help of Drin Cortes

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with the help of Drin Cortes

Vukovar, Croatia, with the help of David Arranhado

 

 



Art Craft

A Dreamy Fiber Installation by Vanessa Barragão Transforms a Medieval Bridge into a Patch of Oversized Orchids

July 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Vanessa Barragão, shared with permission

In the small town of Paderne, Portugal, a whimsical valance of crocheted leaves, dangling tendrils, and petals dyed with subtle gradients encircles the stone archways of a battered medieval bridge. Titled “Algarvensis,” the dreamy installation is by Portuguese artist Vanessa Barragão, who’s known for her large-scale textured tapestries that recreate landscapes and gardens with tufted fibers. The bowed entanglement recreates oversized orchids native to the region with wool from nearby sheep and recycled yarn, resin, and other materials in a celebration of the local environment where the artist spent much of her childhood.

“Algarvensis,” which the municipality of Albufeira commissioned to help elevate the Geoparque Algarvensis to the status of a Worldwide UNESCO Geoparque, will be up until September 12, and you can the process and installation behind the piece on Barragão’s Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Immersive Installations by Liz West Convert Spaces into Glowing Arenas of Prismatic Light

June 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Hymn to the Big Wheel” (2021), steel, PVC vinyl, and polycarbonate, 480 x 480 x 300 centimeters. All images courtesy of Liz West, shared with permission

Whether nestling an iridescent tunnel inside a Georgian-style church or encircling a concrete walkway with multicolor ribbons, Liz West transforms whatever space she approaches into a dynamic field of kaleidoscopic light and shadow. The prolific British artist (previously) is known for her large-scale pieces that use reflection and refraction to create dazzling immersive environments. Often utilizing translucent panels and a combination of natural light and LEDs, West’s intention is to enhance sensory awareness, showing the potential the full spectrum of color has to impact both psychological and physical reactions.

On view through August 21 at Canary Wharf in London, “Hymn to the Big Wheel” (shown above)  is an architectural installation comprised of two concentric octagons that cast layered jewel-toned shadows depending on the viewer’s position. The piece draws its name from Massive Attack’s “Hymn Of The Big Wheel” and has what West calls a “sun-dial effect” that changes how the light streams through the panels depending on the time of day.

Other recent projects include “Aglow,” which arranged 169 fluorescent bowls in a hexagon outside of the Musee Nissim de Camondo in Paris. The individual elements were designed to catch rainfall, which once pooled in the base, added an extra layer of color and illusion to the patterned grouping. Similarly deceptive is West’s 2021 piece titled “Presence” at Christ Church in Macclesfield, which produced an obscured and prismatic path through the historic site that presented the existing architecture through the lens of colorful panels.

West is currently working on two permanent installations launching in August and September in Salford, while “Hundreds and Thousands” (shown below) will be taken down this fall. You can follow her vibrant constructions on her site and Instagram.

 

“Aglow” (2018), acrylic, 1,500 x 45 x 1,500 centimeters

“Aglow” (2018), acrylic, 1,500 x 45 x 1,500 centimeters

“Hundreds and Thousands” (2021), pigment injected polyester, 700 linear meters

Detail of “Hundreds and Thousands” (2021), pigment injected polyester, 700 linear meters

“Hymn to the Big Wheel” (2021), steel, PVC vinyl and polycarbonate, 480 x 480 x 300 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl, and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

“Our Spectral Vision” (2016), dichroic glass, LEDs, and acrylic, 700 x 220 x 40 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl, and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl, and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

 

 



Art Illustration

A Trio of Colorful Characters Expand Jean Jullien's Installation in a Nantes Botanical Garden

June 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jean Jullien, shared with permission

Three new faces join the quirky cast of characters at Nantes’s Jardin des Plantes. Part of artist Jean Jullien’s Filili Viridi project that’ll be on view through November, the colorful trio is spotted reclining in the grass, perched in a tree, and plunged in a small reservoir. Joyful and slightly mischievous, the new additions, which are made of painted steel, join six others that have been hanging out in the botanical garden since last summer. See more of Jullien’s illustrated ensembles on Instagram, and pick up a poster in his shop.