puzzles

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Art Design

Aiming to Make Art More Accessible and Diverse, Apostrophe Puzzles Releases Artist-Designed Jigsaws

January 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

Liz Flores. All images © Apostrophe Puzzles, shared with permission

Apostrophe Puzzles is at the nexus of art and accessibility. Founder Mandi Masden launched the Brooklyn-based company in 2019 with the goal of making the works usually confined to galleries, museums, and the collections of wealthy patrons more affordable to average consumers. “I am really aiming to utilize puzzles to bridge the gap of accessibility to fine art and to make art collecting something everyone can participate in,” she explains.

The company, which borrows its name from the punctuation indicating either possession or omission, collaborates exclusively with contemporary artists of color to design 1,000-piece jigsaws featuring their works. In the last two years, it’s released two collections, with the most recent including Liz Flores’s colorful, abstract bodies, the powerfully posed women at the center of Tim Okamura’s portraits (previously), and Ronald Jackson’s masked figures.

Many of the jigsaws, which are printed on 100% recycled boards with non-toxic ink, have sold out their initial runs, a testament to Apostrophe’s mission. “We believe in the importance and necessity of diverse representation in both the puzzle and art world and hope that our collections help change the face of art consumerism,” the company said. Each purchase directly supports the creators— “We are currently at 12% for all artists and hope to continue to increase that number as we grow,” Masden shares—and a portion also is donated to the company’s nonprofit partner, ProjectArt, a tuition-free program offering art classes and residencies in partnership with public libraries.

Apostrophe plans to release four new puzzles annually, and you can purchase available designs and start collecting them all by heading to its shop.

 

Tim Okamura

Ronald Jackson

Tim Okamura

Liz Flores

Marianne Angeli Rodriguez

Vinita Karim

 

 



Illustration

Surreal Characters Vacation at a Fantastic Resort in a 1,500-Piece Puzzle by Marija Tiurina

November 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Marija Tiurina

Marija Tiurina is known for her chaotic, fictionalized worlds that offer a brief escape from reality, so it’s fitting that London-based artist (previously) turned one of her larger watercolor renderings into a daunting 1,500-piece puzzle. Brimming with surreal splendor, the vibrant illustration envisions a holiday resort for families and their imaginary friends. Adults, kids, and a seemingly endless array of fantastical characters pack into the vacation venue to relax poolside, play video games, fish, and ice skate around a rink.

The dreamy design is currently available from Heye Puzzle, and you can shop originals and prints of other bizarre scenarios on Tiurina’s site. Keep up with her future works on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Colossal Design

Round Up 216 Lizards in a Psychedelic Infinity Puzzle from Nervous System

May 28, 2021

Colossal

All images © Nervous System, shared with permission

Can you tame the Lizard Infinity Puzzle? New from the brilliant designers at Nervous System is a vibrant gradient jigsaw made of 216 reptile pieces that tile in thousands of combinations. Because each individual lizard varies in shape and color and only pairs with specific mates, assembling even the wonkiest reptile shape is an impressive feat.

Try your hand at piecing together the cunning critter by picking up one of the puzzles from the Colossal Shop. We also have a few of Nervous System’s other infinity designs in stock, including a star-studded galaxy, lunar landscape, and sprawling world map. If you’re a Colossal Member, everything is 10% off. Just use the discount code in your account.

 

 

 



Colossal Design

Piece Together the Geography of the Earth and Moon in Infinite Combinations with Nervous System's Jigsaw Puzzles

May 7, 2021

Colossal

Earth Infinity Puzzle. All images © Nervous System, shared with permission

Longtime Colossal readers are likely familiar with Nervous System’s unmistakable jigsaws, two of which we just added to the Colossal Shop. Both Earth and Moon designs are infinity puzzles, meaning you can start exploring their expansive geographies from any spot—there’s no fixed shape, and they can be completed in thousands of arrangements. Each jigsaw also comes with whimsy pieces and is made from laser-cut birch plywood in the team’s studio in the Catskills.

Pick up the nature-inspired puzzles in the Colossal Shop, where we also have three other Nervous System designs, including a spiraling ammonite fossil, an infinite galaxy, and a unique mesmerizing geode (no two are the same!). If you’re a Colossal Member, everything is 10% off. Just use the discount code in your account.

 

Earth Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

Earth Infinity Puzzle

Moon Infinity Puzzle

 

 



Art Photography

Dozens of Contemporary Artists Collaborate with Puzzles with Purpose to Create Limited-Edition Jigsaws

February 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

“My soul ain’t for sale” by Nicole Rafiki

The team at Puzzles with Purpose launched a multi-pronged initiative last fall that directly supports artists and charities around the globe while giving the rest of us a much-needed distraction. Art X Puzzles tasked more than 80 creatives—the list includes Louise Lawler, Nicole Rafiki, Spencer Tunick (previously), and Pixy Liao—with producing a unique work for a limited-edition jigsaw and choosing a social-justice or COVID-relief organization to share proceeds with. The paper, wood, or magnetic puzzles vary in size and difficulty and are accompanied by an engraved USB drive with a certificate of authentication, the original image, and information about the artist. We’ve gathered some of our favorite works below, but you can shop the entire collection on Puzzles with Purpose’s site.

 

“WHATS COOLER THAN BEING COOL?” by Mario Moore

“Big Color” by Spencer Tunick

“Rendetore #16” by Alessandro Belgiojoso

“Things We Talk About” by Pixy Liao

“Woman with Goat and Surgical Mask” by Kharis Kennedy

 

 



Design

Descend Into the Endlessly Repetitive Loop of 'Jigsaw Jigsaw'

December 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image via Darren Cullen

If 2020 were packaged in a box, it would be Darren Cullen’s “Jigsaw Jigsaw.” Just like our repetitive days and seemingly endless fascination with simple pastimes, the 1,000-piece game relies on the Droste effect and features a recursive image that spirals into the same black-and-white puzzle over and over.  Pick up the “Jigsaw Jigsaw” in Cullen’s shop, and follow his satirical projects on Instagram and Twitter. You also might enjoy Micah Lexier’s pair of mirror puzzles that look exactly the same despite being comprised of 16 and 9 pieces.

 

 

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