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Art

70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre’s Elaborate Sculptures

April 16, 2022

Kate Mothes

“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef. All images shared with permission

Gathering thousands of miniature porcelain vessels over large surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of form, scale, and material in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-based artist hand-turns countless tiny, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or ancient storage jars that were typically long and narrow so that they could be snugly stored together. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition of French porcelain making and an interest in Greek mythology, his dynamic works combine incredible technical skill with a desire to recast the medium in a new light and experiment with its physical limits.

Approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in height and half an inch wide, every one of Scalabre’s minuscule components varies slightly from the next. Some have longer flutes than others, squatter bases, flattened tops, or a curl to the lip of the opening. When accumulated, the pieces appear to undulate across the surface in fluid patterns. The inherent delicacy of fine porcelain is challenged by the monumental scale at which these works take shape.

 

“The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” (2021-2022). Image © Charles De Borggraef

Standing more than six feet tall and months in the making, the artist’s most recent work, “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” recalls a story from Greek mythology about a sea nymph by the same name. He translated a sketch of the composition into a 3D model, then created 70,000 individual ceramic pieces by hand. One by one, each vessel was dipped in glaze, fired at a high temperature, and once cooled, adhered to a structure made of resin foam.

Two of Scalabre’s sculptures, including “The Final Metamorphosis of Thetis,” are on view through May 1 as part of Porcelain Virtuosity at Homo Faber 2022 in Venice. You can find more of his work on Instagram. (via IGNANT)

 

“Cygnus”, (2021). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Soane,” (2020). Image © Anthony Girardi

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

“Achilles,” (2021). Image courtesy of Todd Merill Gallery

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Image © Charles De Borggraef

Image © Virginie Mercier

 

 

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Art

Lavishly Dressed Women Equipped with Shovels and Chainsaws Consider the Tools Used for Change

April 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Power Move.” All images © Kelly Reemtsen, shared with permission

“My work has always been a tribute to all the hard-working women in my life,” says Kelly Reemtsen. The artist (previously), who lives and works between Los Angeles and London, has spent the last decade producing a subversive body of work devoted to exploring gender, its constructs, and real-world impacts, from wage gaps to the continual rollback of reproductive rights. Her practice spans printmaking, sculpture, and painting and juxtaposes visual markings of femininity with objects associated with masculinity. Each piece portrays an anonymous woman dressed in a tulle skirt, patent pumps, and glitzy jewelry grasping a chainsaw or shovel in an easy, nonchalant manner.

In recent years, Reemtsen has gravitated toward oval canvases evocative of traditional portraiture, in addition to pedestals and ladders that elevate her subjects. “Are the women in my paintings trying to break through the glass ceilings or just escaping the current situation? I think most women are doing one or both at all times, consciously or not,” she shares. A series of chainsaw sculptures painted with vibrant, playful colors augments the artist’s broader questions concerning how “the tools available to us shape who we are and who we want to be. I find using tools– whether a printmaking press, a chainsaw, makeup, or anything else– to be incredibly empowering as a vehicle for initiating change.”

A 10-year survey of Reemtsen’s work will be on view at albertz benda’s Los Angeles gallery this May, and she also has pieces in a group exhibition opening on April 21 in London and in August at Galeri Oxholm in Copenhagen. Explore a larger collection of her paintings and sculptures on her site and Instagram.

 

“Buzz Kill”

“Pattern Behavior”

“Taking Shape Yellow”

“Snip”

“Scoop”

“Step It Up”

“Taking Shape Aqua”

 

 



Craft Design

Dive Into the Process Behind Crafting a Kinetic Humpback Whale That Swims with a Hand-Crank

April 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

Floating atop swirls of whimsically cut wooden waves, a miniature humpback springs to life with the help of a simple hand-crank. The kinetic whale is part of a growing marine menagerie designed by Sylvain Gautier, who whittles and assembles the mechanical sculptures from his workshop near Toulouse. This particular creature is carved from basswood, with a walnut frame and acacia base, and is named “Wooden Migaloo,” “after the albino humpback whale often seen on the coasts of Australia,” he writes. Get a glimpse at Gautier’s process in the short making-of video above, and head to YouTube for more of his aquatic automata. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Craft

A Collection of Paper Sculptures Studies the Wild Diversity of 88 Different Bat Species

April 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Guardabosques, shared with permission

Evoking the biological illustrations of Ernst Haeckel (previously) and photographic portraits of Merlin Tuttle, an ongoing project explores the incredible diversity of bats through geometric paper sculptures. Juan Nicolás Elizalde, who is half of the creative team behind the Buenos Aires-based studio Guardabosques (previously), began the series in 2019 after discovering variances in the animals’ ear shapes, fur patterns, and other distinctive characteristics. He’s since crafted 88 different species with scored and folded paper and is currently in the process of photographing each piece, from the wide-eyed flying fox to the speckled Cuban flower bat.

Titled Amiguitos de la Oscuridad, the collection has a dedicated Instagram account, where Elizalde is in the process of sharing every portrait and additional information about the species. “The project is called Little Friends of Darkness because they are nocturnal animals that I want to be friends with,” he writes, “but also because they helped me to spend the nights of the last few strange and dark years, with a little anxiety about what was happening.”

 

 

 



Art

Eerie Shelters in Miniature Tower Over a Post-Apocalyptic Universe by Simon Laveuve

April 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Ultimate Journey” (2021), mixed media, 25 x 25 x 62 centimeters, 1/35th scale. All images © Simon Laveuve, shared with permission

Tagged with graffiti and pockmarked with decay, the ramshackle structures by Simon Laveuve envision a disquieting safe haven in a post-apocalyptic world. The Paris-based artist (previously) creates miniature shelters on wooden support beams or atop grassy hills that soar high into the air, appearing to offer refuge from below. Constructed as assemblages of worn materials, vintage signs with peeling paint, and a stockpile of everyday objects, the mixed-media sculptures imagine a landscape where only the remnants of life remain. Laveuve writes about his 2021 work “The Island”:

There is the world of yesterday, but today destroyed it to build the world of tomorrow… This is where tomorrow lives, on Resurrection Island. In the heart of the abyss, we find refuges hoisted, like the banner of hope. Perched ever higher, with the secret ambition to reach the dreamy sky, the wandering clouds, and discover freedom.

A few of Laveuve’s vertical environments are included in the upcoming Small Is Beautiful exhibition in London—if you’re able to visit, you’ll also see artists previously featured on Colossal like Vincent Bal and Juho Könkköläand he also has a show slated for September in France. Until then, follow Laveuve’s practice on Instagram.

 

Detail of “The Ultimate Journey” (2021), mixed media, 25 x 25 x 62 centimeters, 1/35th scale

“Tomorrow is far away” (2022), mixed media, 34 x 40 x 50 centimeters, 1/35th scale

“The Island” (2021), mixed media, 35 x 35 x 70 centimeters, 1/35th scale

Detail of “Tomorrow is far away” (2022), mixed media, 34 x 40 x 50 centimeters, 1/35th scale

Detail of “The Island” (2021), mixed media, 35 x 35 x 70 centimeters, 1/35th scale

“Barrier gesture” (2022), mixed media, 25 x 20 x 25 centimeters, 1/35th scale

 

 



Art Craft

Daily Activities Are Interwoven into Rural Landscapes in Ágnes Herczeg’s Lace Sculptures

April 11, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Ágnes Herczeg, shared with permission

Strands of silk thread are delicately intertwined to create inviting pastoral scenes in miniature needlework sculptures by Ágnes Herczeg (previously). The Hungarian artist has recently begun to incorporate found driftwood into her pieces, foraged from the shores of the nearby Danube River where floodplain trees dot the riverside. Drawing inspiration from her surroundings, Herczeg’s subjects include animals, trees, landscapes, and women performing tasks like pouring tea, weaving, or taking a walk.

Fascinated by natural materials and the process of embroidery, Herczeg carefully shapes the outline of each scene with metal wire, then builds up tiny webs of fiber using a needle lace technique. Once she has carved the wood and the mesh is complete, each is colored in earthy blues, greens, and browns and bound together with thread.

You can find more of Herczeg’s work on her website, and follow updates on Instagram. Pieces available for purchase can also be found in her online shop.