snakes

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Art Illustration

Sinuous Snakes, Insects, and Florals Intertwine in Graphite Illustrations by Zoe Keller

June 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Where We Once Lived II,” copper belly water snake, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches. All images © Zoe Keller, shared with permission

Through a winding series of delicate illustrations, Zoe Keller (previously) explores the fragility of the natural world. In Scale & Bone, the Portland-based illustrator renders copper belly water snakes, San Francisco garters, and eastern diamondback rattlers through sinuous compositions that are ripe with skeletal remains, rows of butterflies, and dense patches of fungi. Each graphite drawing examines the tension between life and death and how nature’s processes are cyclical, including the shedding and regeneration of tube-like layers of skin.

Keller’s work considers the beauty of the limbless reptiles in an effort to subvert cultural notions. “Snakes, in particular, fascinate me as a subject matter because they elicit such a strong response in so many people,” she shares with Colossal. Scale & Bone is part of a larger effort to visualize the destruction of ecosystems and widespread loss of biodiversity. “Through the use of visual narratives that are interjected with surreal and magical elements, I hope to allow the species in my drawings to speak with urgency to the forces causing their decline in this time of human-driven mass extinction,” she writes.

Many of Keller’s projects fall at the intersection of art and environmental activism, offering
“opportunities to collaborate directly with scientists working on the ground to protect imperiled species.” The illustrator recently worked with Save the Snakes, an organization that steers conservation efforts and attempts to reduce harm by humans. Her serpent-focused poster will be unveiled this summer in time for World Snake Day.

Scale & Bone currently is on view at Antler Gallery, which is offering a virtual tour on its site. Follow Keller on Instagram for updates on her intertwined illustrations, and check her shop for prints, postcards, and stickers.

 

“Black Pine Snake,” graphite on paper, 34 x 43 inches

“Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake,” graphite on paper, 34 x 43 inches

“Eastern Indigo,” graphite on paper, 27.5 x 36 inches

“Memento Mori I” (2020), giant garter snake and pipevine swallowtail, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches

“Always I” (2020), New Mexican tidge-nosed rattlesnake, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches

“Memento Mori II,” San Francisco garter and cabbage white, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches

“Are We Ghosts,” graphite on paper, 27.5 x 36 inches

 

 



Art Photography

Models with Albinism Challenge Standards of Beauty in Photographs by Justin Dingwall

August 24, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Photographer Justin Dingwall (previously) continues to challenge how the public perceives and defines beauty. In his photo series “Albus,” butterflies and snakes rest on models with albinism as symbols of transformation and change. The images are a celebration of diversity and an invitation for viewers to question and rethink conventional beauty standards.

The series includes portraits of model Sanele Junior Xaba and South African model, lawyer, and activist Thando Hopa, the first woman with albinism to grace the cover of Vogue. Dingwall uses light and dark in his work for contrast, but also symbolically to represent truth and an unenlightened state. The photographer also uses water in some of the photographs to indicate change and self- reflection.

“They are not about race or fashion, but about perception, and what we subjectively perceive as beautiful,” Dingwall in a statement. “I wanted to create a series of images that resonate with humanity and make people question what is beautiful…To me diversity is what makes humanity interesting and beautiful.”

To see more of Justin Dingwall’s work, give him a follow over on Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Mesmerizing New Serpentine Tattoos by Mirko Sata

June 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Milan-based tattoo artist Mirko Sata (previously) has mastered the art of inking snakes, creating elaborate tangles of scales and tails that wrap around the arms and legs of his clients. Sata frequently works with opposing color schemes, creating novel contrasts between black and white or red and green in the otherwise minimalist line-based pieces. He’s also incorporated various floral motifs in place of the snake’s scales in a number of recent pieces. You can follow more of his work on Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Serpentine Tattoos That Weave Black & White Ink by Mirko Sata

May 26, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images via @mirkosata

Milan-based tattoo artist Mirko Sata focuses on serpentine designs, snakes that twist around his clients’ arms, hands, and legs. The snakes he creates are typically done in just two shades— stark white and deep black. Layering and curling these creatures around each other, Mirko Sata produces a sort of yin and yang, placing opposite colors together with a force that seems to transcend traditional black and white tattoos.

Mirko Sata tattoos at Satatttvision in Milan, and you can see more of his designs on Instagram and Satatttvision’s Tumblr. (via @thefoxisblack)

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Art

A Giant Twisting Serpent Skeleton Emerges from the Loire River in France

January 2, 2014

Christopher Jobson

ESTUAIRE 2012 ©Gino Maccarinelli

Kamel Mennour, photo by Gino Maccarinelli

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via Flickr

Completed in 2012, Serpent d’océan is a giant aluminum sea serpent skeleton by artist Huang Yong Ping (previously) situated off the shore of the Loire River where it empties into the Bay of Biscay just outside of Nantes, France. Measuring nearly 425 feet (130 meters) in length the curving skeleton mirrors the curves of the nearby Saint-Nazaire bridge and was created as a permanent work for the final Estuaire contemporary art exhibition in 2012. Via Nantes Tourisme:

By having a major figure from Chinese mythology appear on European shores, Huang Yong Ping examines, the notions of identity and cultural hybridity, as is often the case in his work. The environmental question is also very present in his art where he regularly exposes the paradox of the man sawing the branch he is sitting on, torn between creative abilities and destructive impulses. This is one of the many possible interpretations of this work: placed on the beach, the skeleton appears with the tide and, little by little, will be home to marine fauna and flora.

Depending on weather conditions, tide levels, or the perspective of a photographer, Serpent d’océan appears dramatically different from day to day, a phenomenon you can witness over on Flickr. (via Beautiful Decay)

 

 



Art

A King Cobra Folded from a Single Sheet of Tissue Paper

August 31, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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This accomplished king cobra designed by Ronald Koh was recently folded by origami artist Matthieu Georger from a single piece of specially treated tissue paper. The detail is amazing, especially the hundreds and hundreds of scales that individually require multiple folds to create. The artist also folds a wide range of other exotic animals, mythological beasts, and insects worthy of a quick look.

 

 

A Colossal

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