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Photography

Powerful Portraits of Enormous Ocean Waves by Luke Shadbolt

October 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Maelstrom 9” (2016)

Luke Shadbolt captures the roiling majesty of ocean waves in his large-scale aquatic photographs. Printed at 150 x 100 cm (nearly 6 feet by 3.3 feet), the color and black-and-white images show the dramatic shapes and dynamic textures of open water when agitated by major weather events.

In a statement on the artist’s website, the Maelstrom series is described as “a cursory glimpse of the exchange, cycle and balance of power fundamental to the functioning of our planet and its oceans… Maelstrom encourages the viewer to reflect upon our own naivety and place as a species within the greater natural balance of power.”

The Acquiesce the Front series similarly seeks to draw connections between the human experience and our natural environment. “The physical manifestations portrayed are a deft reflection of those storms that are implicit to the human condition,” and our individual frailty in the face of big events. Yet Shadbolt finds hope in the potential “to learn and grow from these events. While we may be powerless to stop the storm from approaching, we can work to redirect the flood.”

Shadbolt is represented by Michael Reid Gallery in Sydney and Berlin. The Sydney-based photographer and creative director tells Colossal that he is currently in the process of opening a studio in New York City. You can explore more of his dramatic photographs on Instagram and Facebook.

“Acquiesce 5” (2017)

“Acquiesce 2” (2017)

“Maelstrom 1” (2016)

“Maelstrom 3” (2016)

“Maelstrom 5” (2016)

“North Avoca 1” (2016)

“Maelstrom 4” (2016)

“Maelstrom 8” (2016)

 

 



Art

A Massive Wooden Wave Surges From a Gallery Floor in an Installation by Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen

July 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In a gallery at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) this spring, an all-encompassing wave of wood surrounded visitors as they walk across gangplanks that bisect the space. The installation, Hubris Atë Nemesis, was by Maine-based artist duo Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen. Kavanaugh and Nguyen have been collaborating since 2005 and working exclusively with paper. “One of the foundations of our collaborative art practice is the act of shared seeing, the artists shared. “We find common ground by actively investigating our own visual reference points, memories and assumptions.”

For this installation, the artists pushed their practice to include new media and techniques: Hubris Atë Nemesis is their first piece in wood, and the first in which the pathway through the piece is an actual part of the installation. The artists explained in a statement that the title and concept of the work is derived from a three-part narrative arc common in Greek tragic plays:

Hubris, characterized as an arrogant confidence, transforms to Atë, a ruinous folly or madness, then ultimately to Nemesis, a force of retribution that resets the natural order. Like many paintings of the Maine coast, we hope this work captures a moment of suspense in a dynamic system—a snapshot with an uncertain future—and that it appears to be unwritten what the restored natural order should or might become.

Hubris Atë Nemesis was created with the support of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation: Kavanaugh and Nguyen were selected from a blind jury of over two hundred applicants. The installation was on view through June 16, 2019 at the CMCA. If you did not get a chance to experience the work in person, an impressive 360° virtual tour by Dave Clough is available. You can explore more of Kavanaugh and Nguyen’s archive of monochromatic installations, like White Stag and The Experience of Green, on the duo’s website.

 

 

 



Art

Japanese Art Collective ‘Mé’ Creates a Hyperrealistic Landscape of Ocean Waves at the Mori Art Museum

March 4, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

It’s hard to comprehend Contact, the new installation by Japanese art collective  (pronounced Mé), headed by Haruka Kojin, director Kenji Minamigawa, and production manager Hirofumi Masui. Light from a window behind the work dapples sculptural waves with pockets of sunlight, making it appear as if it is actually rippling before your eyes. If it wasn’t for the walls that contain the deep blue piece, one might assume they’ve created a real wave machine inside the Mori Art Museum where the work is currently installed.

The work is a part of Roppongi Crossing, a triennial series of exhibitions that provide an overview of Japan’s contemporary art scene. You can see more works from this year’s presentation of works from 25 artists and collectives on Mori Art Museum’s website, which founded the exhibition series in 2004. Contact is on view through May 26, 2019. (via Spoon&Tamago)

 

 



Design

Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’ Emerges on a Giant Building Facade

December 26, 2018

Johnny Waldman

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa,” all images via @etaloncity

Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is perhaps one of the most iconic images that Japan has ever exported. And it’s now emerged as a giant mural on the facade of a new development in Moscow. Called Etalon City, the development, which comprises 9 buildings, is located in the South Butovo region in south-west Moscow. While the rectangular buildings will feature the silhouettes of New York, Chicago, Barcelona, and Monaco, a decision was made to include Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” on the 6 square-shaped towers that are situated along the highway and most visible. The total area of the facade is almost 60,000 square meters. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Design History Illustration

An Early 20th Century Guide to Wave Designs for Japanese Craftsmen is Now Available Online

September 26, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In 1903, Japanese artist Mori Yuzan’s wave designs were published in a resource guide for Japanese craftsmen looking to add aquatic motifs to their wares. The three-volume series, titled Hamonshū, includes variations on contained and free-form wave patterns suitable for embellishing swords, religious objects, and ceramics. The collection has recently been digitized and is available for free on Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library of free books, movies, and software. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Photography

Mythical Creatures and Greek Gods Leap From Waves Captured off the South Coast of England

June 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Sedna,” all images provided by Rachael Talibart

As a child, photographer Rachael Talibart would sit on a deck near her family’s home on the South Coast of England and imagine the mythical creatures that would form and instantly evaporate inside the crashing waves. As she grew older she studied the sea monsters described in Homer’s Odyssey and used this education to fuel her current series, Sirens. Instead of merely capturing the haphazard way waves might form during violent storms, Talibart uses a fast shutter piece to freeze the water into sculptural shapes that appear like gods or monsters rising out of the sea. 

In several images, faces can be seen at the forefront of the wave, charging above the sea in a powerful arc. The faces are hauntingly present, as if a monster is truly locked in the tumultuous sea. “For me, the ocean will always be a potent source of inspiration,” Talibart explains. “It makes small, unimportant things of us all yet, at the same time, it is exhilarating and profoundly life affirming.”

The series has shifted and evolved since its start in 2016, including the creation of a fine art book by the same title published by Triplekite. Talibart’s photographs are included in an exhibition titled Tides + Falls at Sohn Fine Art Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts, which opens on September 7 and runs through November 11, 2018. You can see more examples from her Sirens portfolio on her website and Instagram. (via Wired)

"Goliath"

“Goliath”

"Ceto"

“Ceto”

"Aphrogeneia"

“Aphrogeneia”

"Hippocamp"

“Hippocamp”

"Loki"

“Loki”

"Medusa"

“Medusa”

"Thetis"

“Thetis”

"Mishipeshu Roars"

“Mishipeshu Roars”

"Pounce"

“Pounce”

"White Walker"

“White Walker”

 

 



Art

Suspended Ocean Wave Installations by Miguel Rothschild

February 19, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Elegy, 2017. Print on fabric, fishing line, lead balls, epoxy, acrylic, 300 x 550 x 280 cm

Multidisciplinary artist Miguel Rothschild works across a wide variety of mediums from modified photography to glass sculpture and textiles. In several recent works the Argentine artist has captured the slow roll of ocean waves in suspended fabric installations titled Elegy and De Profundis. Both artworks seem to play with the viewer’s perception, appearing both as waves or perhaps a slice of the sky. Even the filament that holds the artwork airborne seems to glisten like rays of sun or rain. You can see more of the Berlin-based artists work on his website.

De profundis, 2018. On view at St. Matthäus-Kirche, Berlin.