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Art

Idyllic Landscape Paintings by Artist Tomás Sánchez Render Nature’s Meditative Qualities

March 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Aislarse” (2001), acrylic on linen. All images © Tomás Sánchez

For nearly three decades, Cuban painter Tomás Sánchez has been painting serene landscapes of clam waters and verdant forests full of towering palms and dense shrubs. Now part of a lengthy series, his realistic works focus on nature’s immensity as they contrast massive waterfalls and miles of endless treetops with a nondescript figure, who often can be found seated or standing amongst the lush scenery.

In a statement, Sánchez explained how his practice of meditation informs his work. “The interior spaces that I experience in meditation are converted into the landscapes of my paintings; the restlessness of my mind transformed into landfills,” he writes. “When I paint, I experience meditative states; through meditation, I achieve a union with nature, and nature, in turn, leads me to meditation.”

For more of the Costa Rica-based artist’s projects, head to Instagram, and check out Artsy to see which tranquil paintings you can add to your own collection.

“Orilla y cielo gris” (1995), acrylic on canvas, 23½ x 35½ inches

“Autorretrato en tarde rosa” (1994), acrylic on linen, 30 x 39 ³/₄ inches

“Llegada del caminante a la laguna” (1999)

“Meditación y sonido de aguas” (1993), acrylic on canvas 60.5 x 76 centimeters

“Atardecer,” acrylic on canvas, 109.9 x 149.2 centimeters

 

 



Photography

Aerial Photographs of Vast Ocean Landscapes by Tobias Hägg Observe Earth’s Propensity for Change

February 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tobias Hägg, shared with permission

Photographing the jewel-toned waters jutting up against beaches and the salt-speckled lagoons, Tobias Hägg frames some of Earth’s most striking landscapes. Based in Stockholm, he captures nature’s movement and the inevitability of change within environments, offering a broader look by shooting from above. Hägg often features ocean waters as they ripple, slosh, and crash into the land, although he also documents trees as they transform at the beginning of autumn, showing a thick forest full of orange hues. “I find pleasure in the most simple scenes. In a way, I think it defines me,” the photographer wrote on Instagram. To see more of Hägg’s stunning aerial shots or to add one to your collection, head to his site.

 

 



Art

Using Found Twigs, Artist Chris Kenny Assembles Tiny Dancing Figures and Minimal Portraits

January 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Twelve twigs” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches. All images © Chris Kenny

By gathering and piecing together small twigs, London-born Chris Kenny crafts collections of dancing figures, abstract portraits, and even a small baby. As Kottke explains, the artist’s sparse creations rely heavily on the human desire to see objects or patterns in inanimate objects, a term called pareidolia. Kenny shares many of his constructions on twigsaints, an Instagram account he dedicates to likening singular twig figures to saints, like St. Vincent and St. Agnes. Keep up with all of the artist’s wood assemblages on his main Instagram and purchase one of his minimal pieces for your collection on his site.

“St. Desideratus, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“Twig Drawing (Man of Sorrows)” (2017), construction with found twigs, 24 x 24 x 3 inches

“Noli Me Tangere (After Veronese)” (2016), construction with found twigs, 27 x 27 x 3 inches

“St. Barnabas, detail from Menologion” (2017), construction with found twigs

“The Great Morning (Twig drawing after Philipp Otto Runge)” (2018), construction with found twigs, 18 x 26 x 3 inches

“Twig Drawing” (2012), construction with found twigs, 22 x 22 x 3 inches

 

 



Art

Giant Ribbons of Wood Form Twisting Root Structures in Expansive Installation

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nugyen, shared with permission

For their recent installation “Study in Pattern,” artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen (previously) expanded on the idea of constructing an enormous tree comprised of long wood strips in studio. The result is an arboreal project that occupies almost an entire room with outstretched portions extending up to the ceiling and toward each corner of the space. Visitors to the exhibition were able to peer up through the spiraling trunk of the tree and walk beneath the wide-reaching roots.

The experimental project was developed for the Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, a United Arab Emirates city that is part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. To engage the traditions of Islamic art, Kavanaugh and Nguyen told Colossal they incorporated Arabesque elements into “Study in Pattern.”

This work draws from the architectural cues of the site: the repetition of arches, overlapping linear patterns, and the viewer’s attention is focused as they pass through the interior of a dome, but the finished work ultimately took on the feel a gesture drawing, veering away from regularity of pattern and toward entropic wildness.

The artists say they are testing this installation as a small version before producing the complete project in Seattle. More about the duo’s massive nature-based works can be found on their site.

 

 



Photography

Bare Tree Branches Captured in Layers of Eerie Morning Fog by Michael Schlegel

January 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Michael Schlegel, shared with permission

Berlin-based photographer Michael Schlegel is fascinated by trees and their splaying branches. From his series featuring a Spanish olive grove to another capturing snow-covered trees in Germany, Schlegel consistently documents native plants around the world. The black and white photographs in his recent Fanal series spotlight trees with bare and twisting branches as they are enveloped by thick fog. The uncanny images were taken in the Fanal region of Madeira, Portugal.

The photographer tells Colossal that he visited the area in March 2019, hoping to experience the region’s cloudy weather.

It was only dense fog all day long and from the moment I first arrived at the trees. I photographed there for five consequent days and really enjoyed the atmosphere of walking around lonely, only being able to see what the fog allows me to and being alone with maybe one or a few of these old, mysterious trees at a time.

In each one of his works, Schlegel tries to shoot exactly what he sees on location. “With my photos I also don’t actively try to express an artistic message or interpretation—I rather simply try to show my vision of how I experienced the location,” the photographer writes. Find more of Schlegel’s monochromatic landscape shots on Instagram.

 

 



Design

50,000-Square-Foot Garden Populates New Workspace, Making It the Densest Urban Forest in Los Angeles

December 12, 2019

Grace Ebert

Designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano, a Los Angeles workspace has popped up in a formerly empty parking lot in Hollywood. The recently opened SecondHome Hollywood boasts a 50,000-square-foot garden of 6,500 trees and plants and 700 tons of soil and vegetation. It is Los Angeles’s densest urban forest and is also home to 112 native species.

The Hollywood location, which is the first in the United States, contains sixty yellow-roofed office pods. It also encompasses the Anne Banning Community House, a ’60s building designed by prominent architect Paul Williams who is known for defining much of Los Angeles’s architectural aesthetic throughout the 20th century. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art

Dramatic Brush Strokes Energize Trees in Paintings by Adam S. Doyle

December 10, 2019

Grace Ebert

All photographs (c) Adam S. Doyle, shared with permission

Artist Adam S. Doyle (previously) is known for his paintings of birds and other animals that call attention to, rather than mask, his brush strokes. In his latest series, “Night Fall Trees,” Doyle shifts his focus to a different living entity. “By putting trees front and center as subjects, instead of relegating them to the background where they usually are, I’m saying these silent sentinels of our planet deserve our full attention and respect,” the artist shares with Colossal.

Like his other series, “Night Fall Trees” centers on Doyle’s obsession with energy. The swirling tree branches are wound tightly within each other, the tufts of leaves envelop the top branches, and the widespread roots bury themselves into the ground. Inspired by a nighttime glimpse of a well-lit tree last October, Doyle also says this series is about the seasons and the resilience the trees have.

Fall is often associated with colorful foliage, which is best seen during the day. But fall is also a season about transition, heading in for the long nights and bone-chilling cold. Winter is a hard time. Trees get through it, though. These paintings reflect on being ready for what’s to come and like the trees knowing we’ll get through it. There will be blossoming once again in the spring.

Doyle tells Colossal his creative plans include writing fiction and nonfiction. You can keep up with the artist’s latest energized paintings on Facebook. He even has another site for his children’s projects.