Japanese artist Toshiya Masuda builds pixelated objects out of clay, piecing together sculptural tennis shoes, fried eggs, and baseballs that look as if they have been pulled directly from a video game. By designing his works to appear digital, Masuda provides a physical quality to computer or television-based images. The combination of ceramics and digitized objects allows the artist to blur the line between what is real and virtual, an increasingly common experience in our present age. You can learn more about his studio practice in the video by Keiko Art International below. (via Kottke)
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Designer Rosa de Jong produces micro homes that are built into the side of tiny cliffs constructed out of cork. Her miniature environments are covered in fake moss and dotted with modeling trees, which add an enchanting element to the small homes. Previously she has suspended her creations in glass tubes, which created the illusion that the works were floating in mid-air.
Her most recent pieces hang between two panes of glass and are secured with thin wires. De Jong collaborated with her father to create the wooden frames for the structures, which include tiny wheels that allow the owner to adjust the position of the floating islands. Two of her new works, Remembered and Imagined, will be shown simultaneously at an upcoming dual-city exhibition which opens on August 24, 2018 at Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia and August 30, 2018 at Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon. You can see more of the Amsterdam-based designer’s miniature homes on Instagram and her Micro Matter website.
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Mexican Paintings, Lowriders, and Nachos Transformed into Piñata-Inspired Sculptures by Justin Favela
Justin Favela creates colorful artworks that center around his identity as a queer Latinx artist living in the Southwestern United States. The artist’s piñata-inspired pieces reference his Mexican and Guatemalan heritage and explore elements associated with his family, pop culture, food dishes, and the art world. Each life-size installation or colorful nature-based “painting” is constructed by layering multi-colored cut paper or using the papier-mâché technique seen on the popular party object.
“I have been making a lot of work using the piñata as a medium because I see it as the perfect symbol that stands for my identity and by using it, I am reclaiming the piñata and the culture it represents,” Favela tells Colossal.
One of his large-scale lowrider piñatas was recently included in the Peterson Automotive Museum‘s exhibition The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración. You can see more of the artist’s work on Instagram.
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Dan Lam (previously) creates brightly colored sculptural blobs that appear to drip from their installation on shelves. The polyurethane foam and epoxy resin works are covered in thousands of tiny spikes which are applied using a piping bag and acrylic paint. Lam creates time-lapse videos of this application, which offer satisfying peeks into her labor-intensive process. Lam has an upcoming solo exhibition at Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland, Oregon which opens on October 5, and will be the artist-in-residence from October 8 to November 9, 2018 at Teton Art Lab in Jackson, Wyoming. You can see more of Lam’s soft, spike-covered sculptures on her Instagram.
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Breathtakingly colorful textures pop out when viewers first witness Dylan Gebbia-Richards’s large-scale paintings which appear to escape from their canvas. His rugged works mirror the structure of natural forms such as molten rock or coral. “I see my works as their own landscapes,” Gebbia-Richards tells Colossal. “I allow chance, the driving force behind all natural phenomena, to sculpt the structures of my paintings.”
Gebbia-Richards gains his inspiration from the vastness of the natural world and his artworks explore aesthetics that merge between the microscopic and macroscopic. “I find the enormity of the natural world awe-inspiring,” he esplains. “Landscapes which are immense seem intimate simultaneously; counter-intuitively these large spaces create the feeling of an embrace.”
While Gebbia-Richards’ paintings vary in size, all are built to engulf the viewer. “Sometimes this is very literal like in my room-sized installations which encompass those inside,” he says. “But even with my smaller pieces, I’m looking for the work to expand outwards, attempting to generate the feeling of a place which is much larger.” Like observing a mountain range, the scale of his paintings inspire and delight, while his use of a bold color palette adds a hint of magic to each creation.
The artist’s works appear as if they have been created through a volcanic eruption. To imitate this process, he constructs his paintings by using colored pigment and droplets of melted wax. “I initially found dripping and splattering melting wax very satisfying,” says Gebbia-Richards. “I was interested in the qualities of the marks the melted wax produced, specifically the chaotic patterns of the splatters which sprung from the drip’s impact with the paper I was melting over.”
His paintings emerge by separating the dripping marks from their splatter. It is these random interactions between the various pigments, drip gestures, and the splatter which creates Gebbia-Richards’s layered textures that are signature to his practice. You can see one of the Colorado artist’s paintings at Looking For U at Unit London which runs until August 26, 2018. To view more of his work visit his website and Instagram.
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Unlike Guatemalan conceptual artist Darío Escobar, most people who pass through the sporting goods section of a store would not pause to consider the accumulation of mass-produced industrial objects like soccer balls and the cultural value that they gain via those who consume them. Escobar’s sculptural works make use of balls that have had their patches removed and resewn inside out, bats that have been broken and configured to form skylines, and skateboards that have been cut into pieces and reformed using gold hinges.
“My work starts from a reflection about the industrial object, sculptures created with soccer balls, skateboards, baseball bats, etc.,” the artist said in a statement, adding that his work is about the “persistent thinking of identical objects in a sculptural operation; a new configuration of an element repeated obsessively, such as when showing a product in supermarkets or sports stores.”
Escobar says that he is inspired by the way that objects like soccer balls are collected and displayed in an attempt to make them more appealing to consumers. “The artwork also tells us about the accumulation not from the perspective of the soccer balls’ ready-made individuality but from the amassing of merchandise as raw material for contemporary sculpture,” he said. In an interview with Reigning Champ, Escobar said that his manipulation of the objects is a way to “change the angle of view” and gain a new perspective. At larger retailers, balls are displayed at or below eye-level in individual packaging that elevate the intrigue of the product, while Escobar’s sculptures place them high above the viewer and bunch them together so that each ball is like the last. The works turn these merchandise displays on their head, creating unique ways to observe the construction of the sporting good object and its connection to the world at large.
To see more of Escobar’s conceptual sculptures using ready-made objects, check out his website.
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After setting up shop in a London corner store and NYC-style bodega, Lucy Sparrow (previously) has grown her unusual art showing/selling technique into a full-blown ’80s-style supermarket. Taking up 2,800 square feet of the Standard Hotel in Downtown LA, the British artist’s fifth large-scale installation is quite literally stuffed with replicas of everyday products, each handmade from felt. The shelves are packed with different ramen and instant noodle soups, Reese’s Puffs, Frosted Flakes and other popular cereals, three different brands of peanut butter along with Smucker’s grape or strawberry jelly, a whole range of favorite snacks, chips, pasta or rice, and all the essential personal hygiene products.
In 2014 Sparrow successfully used Kickstarter to fund her first major project in London called The Corner Shop, which offered 4,000 hand-sewn felt products. Three years later she hopped across the pond to open 8 ‘Til Late, a bodega located in Manhattan at The Standard, High Line with 9,000 items that sold out a couple of days before the official closing date. Challenged by the demand for her plush groceries, the artist locked herself inside her Felt Cave studio for a year and produced her largest and most elaborate project to date — Sparrow Mart.
The retro shop has all the familiar selections of American comforts, including a videotape rental section with ’80s classics like Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Short Circuit. She also has fresh hand-sewn seafood on ice, sushi, fruits and vegetables, a variety of meat cuts and other animal products, popular snacks, canned goods, cereals, candies, sodas, liquor and cleaning products. Each item is meticulously cloned from felt, a material that evokes childhood and play. The fact that the store offers 27 different types of sushi (each produced in 300 pieces), plus chopsticks, wasabi, pickled ginger, and even soy sauce packed inside iconic plastic fish containers, says a great deal about the amount of detail and determination that went into creating this overwhelming installation. Working alone until very recently, the artist ended up hiring four full-time assistants in her studio and outsourcing fifteen professionals to complete this immersive project.
Offering a felt ATM in between the isles, an exclusive gallery section in the back, and ending with three felt checkout stations, each of the 31,000 products on view is available for purchase with prices ranging from $5 for bubblegum to $73 for a kimchi Michelada. Sparrow Mart is open through the end of August 2018 from 11am-9pm (closed Mondays). The installation is accompanied with Sparrow To Go, a 24/7 restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, offering dishes inspired by the items in Sparrow Mart and prepared by the hotel’s executive chef Julio Palma. After this, the artist is considering creating a similar installation in Chicago, Dallas, Melbourne, or somewhere in Asia, like Hong Kong or Tokyo. You can see more from Sparrow on Instagram.
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Editor's Picks: Murals
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.