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Art

Vibrant Patterns Envelop Dozens of Mythical Animal Sculptures That Explore the Folk Art Traditions of Mexico

November 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculpture

All images courtesy of Murmur Ring/Jackie Trezzo, shared with permission

In Guardians, artists María del Carmen Mendoza Méndez and Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda, of Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop, pay homage to the mythical creatures of their Oaxacan childhoods. The husband-wife duo carves the soft wood of the copal tree into fantastical creatures that reference Mesoamerican spirituality and Mexican folk art, including the sculptures known as alebrijes. They refer to the unearthly characters as Tonas and Nahuales and cloak the birds, butterflies, and beasts in vibrant patterns and Zapotec symbols. The artists describe the protective works:

Guardians are brave creatures who safeguard their tribe. These mythical characters from the tale ‘Nomads’ hold their heads high by accepting the responsibility of caring for, transporting, and defending everyone. (Theirs) is a story of resistance, persecution, and migration into a dystopian future, where science is blended with ancestral cosmovisions.

On view through January 12, 2023, Guardians is the inaugural show at the newly opened Mano Gallery in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. The gallery is devoted to art and design from Mexico and to creating a space for artists interested in preserving mythology and the country’s heritage. Find more from Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop on their site and Instagram.

 

Two photos of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A photo of multiple colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures on a table

A photo of colorful patterned hummingbird animal sculpture

A photo of multiple colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A detail photo of colorful patterned hybrid chameleon sculpture

Two photos of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculptures

A photo of colorful patterned hybrid animal sculpture

 

 

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Art

Oversized Animal Sculptures by Quentin Garel Weigh the Prideful Pursuit of Hunting for Sport

November 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of an oversize bronze sculpture of a primate face

All images © Quentin Garel and Galerie LJ, shared with permission

Through oversized faces of primates and busts of elephant calf and cow, French artist Quentin Garel examines the pomp and gratuitous impulse behind hunting for sport. His large-scale sculptures cast in bronze or carved from wood evoke taxidermied trophies of wild animals. Often scaled to greet the viewer at eye level or tower well above human stature as they appear to emerge from the ground or wall, the imposing works “modify our relation to sculpture and to what it represents. It creates distance and intimacy at the same time,” the artist shares.

Garel tells Colossal that he became interested in the animal kingdom about 20 years ago when considering human consumption and how the preservation of a dead creature could become “a symbol of man’s pride.” His intent was “not to denounce hunt(ing) as a practice but rather to show how ridiculous men can be when showing off their social success.” This critique evolved into a variety of bestial creations, including archeological works of skulls, jaws, and skeletal fragments that further extrapolate the fraught relationship between humans and animals.

At the moment, Garel is working on a public fountain commission and a series grounded in polymorphism, which will be shown in London in the coming months. He has a limited-edition octopus print available from Galerie LJ, where he’s represented, and you can follow his practice on Instagram.

 

A photo of oversized sculptures of giraffe and emu

A photo of oversized wood sculptures of an elephant calf and cow

A photo of oversized wood sculptures of an elephant calf and cow

A photo of oversized sculpture of a tentacle

A photo of oversized bronze sculptures of animals peeking through a fence

A photo of oversized sculptures of skeletal forms

A photo of oversized sculpture of a skull

 

 



Art Design

In a Remote Swedish Forest, A Nest of Branches and Hay Encircles a Tree with a Cozy Hideout

November 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a branch structure around a tree

“Season II.” All images © Ulf Mejergren and Antti Laitinen, shared with permission

In April of this year, Swedish architect and artist Ulf Mejergren and Finnish artist Antti Laitinen gathered fallen branches from a forested area outside of Nykvarn, a small city southwest of Stockholm. The duo used those wooden scraps to weave a structure around a tree, building a cozy refuge among the thawing spring landscape.

That construction was the first part of an ongoing project titled One Tree Four Seasons, in which the artists gather natural materials from the surrounding area to create site-specific land art. Summer saw the inclusion of hay from a nearby field that insulated the walls and floor and created seating inside the enclosure, while the lush treetop served as roofing. In fall, those same leaves wrapped the facade in an upward swell and piled into a colorful path that led into the structure’s round opening.

Mejergren tells Colossal that the fourth and final iteration is slated for completion in December, although that, of course, depends on the weather. Keep an eye on his and Laitinen’s Instagrams for updates. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

A photo of people inside hay walls with a tree at the center

“Season II”

A photo looking upward at the tree's canopy

“Season II”

A photo of a branch structure around a tree with leaves pouring from the opening

“Season III”

A photo of a branch structure around a tree

“Season I”

A photo of a child approaching a branch structure around a tree

“Season I”

A photo of leavings pouring form a branch structure around a tree

“Season III”

 

 



Art

Metamorphosis and History Merge in Meticulously Carved Sculptures by Andreas Senoner

November 9, 2022

Kate Mothes

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of two figures covered in white feathers.

“Origins,” walnut and feathers. All images © Andreas Senoner, shared with permission

Seemingly transfixed in time during a mysterious process of transformation, Andreas Senoner’s mixed-media sculptures capture expressive details in human figures and gestures. “I focus my research on a series of main themes, including metamorphosis, heritage, and stratification,” he tells Colossal. The Florence-based artist explores layers of history by working with materials that are rich in cultural significance, incorporating textures like thorns or spikes, insect-bored timber, or saturated paint that induces tension.

Senoner carefully forms the contours of muscles and limbs in response to the natural grain of each piece of wood, and works can take several weeks to complete. “The essence of the wood also has a strong influence; a walnut sculpture, for example, takes twice as long as one made of lime wood,” he explains. Intricately detailed, life-like body parts sprout thorns, mimic a felled tree, or appear from beneath a cocoon-like cloak of organic material. Many reference figures from classical art history in another nod to the passing of time.

“Feathers have a very strong symbolism, and they are an integral part of rituals and celebrations in many cultures, where they represent lightness and freedom,” he tells Colossal. The feathers create layers, “like an intangible and delicate skin or shell that still is able to confine and shield the represented individual from the outside world.” Contrasting textures and associations of materials like ancient walnut, beeswax, or lichen parallels his interest in the dualities of interior and exterior experiences.

Senoner is currently working toward exhibitions in early 2023 in Italy and Belgium, and you can find more on his website and Instagram.

 

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a hand with thorns coming out of the fingers.

“Fear,” walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a foot with thorns coming out of it.

“Fragment,” walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a figure covered in white and yellow feathers.

“Mask (moulting),” walnut and feathers

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a bust with insect-bored wood.

“Nature doesn’t care,” ancient walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of a bust with insect-bored wood.

“Nature doesn’t care”

Two images of sculptures by Andreas Senoner featuring two arms connected in a U-shape with feathers, and two figures with red legs wearing white feathers.

:eft: “Shapeshifter,” walnut and feathers. Right: Rear view of “Origins”

A torso and lower legs on its side made out of wood by Andreas Senoner.

“Regrowth,” painted walnut

A sculpture by Andreas Senoner of two figures whose legs are sticking out of a covering made of green lichen.

“Origins,” wood and lichen

 

 



Art

Mysterious Creatures Emerge from Recycled Materials in Sculptures by Spencer Hansen

November 8, 2022

Kate Mothes

Two sculptures by Spencer Hansen in the snowy mountains near Aspen, Colorado.

“BADU” and “FINCH” in collaboration with Jason Siegel. All images © Spencer Hansen, shared with permission

Long-legged creatures don otherwordly masks in sculptures by Bali-based artist Spencer Hansen, whose work explores identity and connection through a cast of uncanny characters. Using primarily natural, found, and recycled materials like wood, metal, bone, plant fibers, and ceramic, he draws inspiration from surrounding environment and frequent travels. Originally from Idaho, he relocated to Bali where he built a workshop that houses studios and live-work space for a team of skilled artisans who help to bring the pieces to life.

Alongside business partner Shayne Maratea, with whom he founded independent clothing and art company BLAMO, Hansen often collaborates with artists and photographers to merge sculpture and performance. Intended to inspire curiosity and play, the characters are carved and assembled in a variety of scales, from toy-like figurines to life-size suits, with mysterious faces.

Hansen will be showing work with Skye Gallery at Aqua Art Miami at the end of this month and has a solo exhibition opening in December at Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.

 

A sculpture by Spencer Hansen of a bat-like mask.

“BOBA”

A sculpture by Spencer Hansen of a fuzzy suit with a metallic, faceless mask.

“Eternal Embrace” collaboration with Naomi Samara. Suit worn by Aleph Geddis. Hands: Naomi Samara, Chantal Ka, and Shayne Maratea

Two sculptural figures by Spencer Hansen.

Left: “EQUUS.” Right: “Tikus”

A group of wooden, abstracted, figurative sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

Two mask sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

Left: Head of “LELA.” Right: “M11 Topeng Barat”

Artist Spencer Hansen standing next to a life-size sculpture with a bat-like mask, all in white.

“LELA”

Three wooden mask-like sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

“M11,” “M12,” and “M13”

A group of ceramic sculptures by Spencer Hansen in progress with carving materials.

 

 



Art

Wooden Pixels Dissipate from Han Hsu-Tung’s Fragmented Figurative Sculptures

November 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a man on a horse

“Hussar” (2022), mixed wood, 71 x 81 x 26 centimeters. All images © Han Hsu-Tung, shared with permission

Digital and analog realms collide in the dynamic sculptures of Taiwanese artist Han Hsu-Tung (previously). Using soft western redcedar or Laotian fir, Han carves wooden animals and figures that are whisked into pixels, which appear to dissolve and float away from the central form. One of his most recent works, the stately warrior-like “Shaolin,” also features a kinetic component that shifts the blocks in jarring, horizontal movements. Taking approximately three to four months to complete, each work blends a computerized vision with the traditional medium as it draws attention to the scattered nature of the virtual world and how individual elements are essential to the whole.

Explore more of Han’s fragmented sculptures on his site and Instagram.

 

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a man

“Sunset Clouds” (2022), mixed wood, 57 x 43 x 14 centimeters

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a man

“Shaolin” (2020), western redcedar, 130 x 78 x 40 centimeters

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a man on a horse

Detail of “Hussar” (2022), mixed wood, 71 x 81 x 26 centimeters

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a rooster

“The Dawn” (2021), western redcedar, 101 x 77 x 40 centimeters

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a rooster

Detail of “The Dawn” (2021), western redcedar, 101 x 77 x 40 centimeters

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a man

“The Pacific” (2020), western redcedar and Laotian fir, 180 x 150 x 84 centimeters

A photo of a pixelated wooden sculpture of a man

Detail of “Sunset Clouds” (2022), mixed wood, 57 x 43 x 14 centimeters

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