Launched in 2010, Colossal is a Webby-nominated blog that explores art and other aspects of visual culture. You’ll find posts on photography, design, animation, painting, installation art, architecture, drawing, and street art. Colossal is also a great place to learn about the intersection of art and science as well as the beauty of the natural world.
Today, views of the world’s ancient architectural wonders are firmly based in their current state of ruin, leaving to visitors’ imaginations the original glory of structures like the Parthenon, Pyramid of the Sun, and Temple of Luxor. NeoMam, in a project for Expedia, has resurrected several ancient buildings through a series of gifs. In a matter of seconds, centuries of natural and intentional damage and decay are reversed to reveal a rare glimpse at what the original structures would have looked like. (via designboom)
The newly published book Minima Muralia condenses more than 200 larger-than-life murals painted by Blu (previously) into one 288-page collection. The compendium covers every piece made by the Italian street artist over the last 15 years, including backstage shots and unreleased works pulled from his archive. A special edition of the book has also been released, featuring a 32-page zine, two posters, and a specially-designed book casing. You can order both releases on Zooo Print & Press.
In addition to putting out this recent compilation of his works, Blu has also painted a new mural in the town of La Punta, just outside of Valencia, Spain. The piece was created as a part of the Sensemurs Project, a group of muralists attempting to raise awareness about the preservation of peri-urban orchards in towns affected by rapid urbanization across Europe. You can see this new mural, along with work by Borondo and Daniel Munoz SAN, over on Juxtapoz.
Human Flow Official Trailer [HD] | Amazon Studios - YouTube
To create his new documentary film Human Flow, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei spent a full year traveling through 23 countries, following the journeys of some of the 65 million people forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change, and protracted wars. Crossing oceans and visiting refugee camps in precarious border cities in Afghanistan, Greece, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Turkey and beyond, Ai documented the stories of fellow humans of all ages and nationalities who currently have no place to call home.
The individual stories of several refugees and their journeys—or near perpetual state of limbo—are interwoven throughout the film, though Ai focuses mostly on a macro view that illustrates the unimaginable scope of the unfolding crisis that has enveloped entire nations. By its nature, Human Flow recognizes that there are no easy solutions to these monumental catastrophes that impacts all of us directly or indirectly, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. A healthy dose of a compassion and a recognition of a shared humanity would be a good start.
On a personal note, I felt deeply impacted by the film and strongly urge you to watch it.
On Sunday, April 29, 2018, Human Flow will be screened simultaneously across the United States. Immediately following, Ai will participate in a livestream Q&A from the University of Chicago with audiences around the country. If you are interested in participating by hosting a public screening in a school, library, community center or elsewhere, you can find out more from ro*co films. For those who would like to watch, you can learn more here.
Using only black ink, Malaysian illustrator Kamwei Fong has created a menagerie of playful black cats. Despite their contextual isolation and uniform style, each of Fong’s cats display unique personalities: some are fluffed and puffed into self-contained balls; others look with curiosity or wariness at fish that dangle or waves that crash from the animals’ own tails. The artist builds each feline form using innumerable short thin lines, varying the density of the marks to create volume as well as a palpable sense of furriness.
Fong has been working as an illustrator since 2010, under the moniker Bo & Friends, and in addition to his cat character, which he calls The Furry Thing, he dreams up similarly charming monkeys, goldfish, puppies, and other animals in his line-driven black ink drawings. Fong sells signed print editions of his animal illustrations in his Etsy shop, and also partners with Galerie Club Sensible in Paris. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Facebook.
For his 2014 series New Moon, photographer David Lados captured varying streaks of light slicing through remote areas of Hungarian forests, many specifically staged throughout the Mátra mountain range. To capture the contrast needed for his light trails Lados strictly obeyed lunar cycles, only photographing the illuminated targets during the height of the new moon.
Using this technique Lados was able to create an uncompromised glow from the artificial light source, tracing pathways that extend a few feet to the entire length of a pond. You can purchase select prints from Lados’s series on his Saatchi Art shop, and view day-to-day dispatches from his life and other projects on Instagram. (via Cross Connect)
Artist Ashley V Blalock crochets enormous red doilies that she then installs in site-specific configurations ranging from galleries to stairwells to trees outside. Her ongoing project, Keeping Up Appearances, began in 2011 and has been installed at museums and gardens in Massachusetts, as well as at museums and galleries in New York, Washington, and California.
The artist describes the meaning behind Keeping Up Appearances: “Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale the [doilies] overtake the viewer and cover the walls… Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.”
Blalock is based in Southern California. She received a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in sculpture and art history. You can see more of her installation work on her website.
Gao Rong, Some Days Later, 2014, cloth, thread, latex foam, steel, 115 x 53 x 50 cm. Image courtesy White Rabbit Collection.
Beijing-based artist Gao Rong sews life-size replicas of everyday objects from Chinese urban and domestic infrastructure. The embroidered sculptures imitate the routine items our eyes often skip over—graffiti-covered bus signs, broken pay phones, and stacks of dirty dishes. Although her works look commonplace, many directly reference scenes or time periods from her life. Level 1/2, Unit 8, Building 5, Hua Jiadi, North Village (2010) is Gao’s imitation of the entrance to a basement apartment she rented while a student in Beijing, and 2012 her installation, The Static Eternity, is a recreation of her grandparent’s tiny rural home.
To create her sewn sculptures Gao first stitches the details of rust and other detritus onto fabric. She then wraps the material around sponges or wooden board, and stiffens the work with metal frames. Adding embroidery to her work is a way for Gao to preserve the traditional skills taught to her as a child, while taking them in a more contemporary direction. “My mother and grandmother made beautiful embroidery,” she explains. “It was their hobby. Unfortunately this skill is no longer valued, so it is being lost.”
Photographer Mauricio Alejo uses everyday objects to create gravity-defying arrangements within his apartment, staging curious interventions and acrobatic feats on his kitchen counters and filing cabinets. Working within the confines of his living space has allowed Alejo to produce ideas as they come, rather than attempt to find the perfect backdrop for his spontaneous compositions.
“I didn’t always like the apartments I was living in, or better put, I didn’t always like the way some of the places I lived translated into the image,” explained Alejo. “They were somehow random and uninteresting, but I knew that it was just natural to photograph right where the ideas were conceived, besides if I started looking for the ‘right’ place to shoot it was going to be a never ending story.”
This immediacy of ideas has become embedded in the photographer’s practice, even with Alejo’s recent move towards studio-based photography. You can see more of his works on his website and Instagram. (via Ignant)
Russian artist and theater critic Masha Ivashintsova (1942-2000) lived a secret life as a photographer, taking over 30,000 photographs in her lifetime without ever showing a soul. It wasn’t until years after her death in 2000 that her daughter Asya Ivashintsova-Melkumyan stumbled upon her vast collection of negatives while cleaning out the attic. The photographs showcase an astounding look into the inner world of Ivashintsova, while also providing a glimpse of everyday life in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) from the 1960-1999.
Ivashintosova was heavily engaged in the city’s underground poetry and photography movement, yet never showed anyone her images, poetry, or personal writing during her lifetime. Ivashintsova-Melkumyan shares a quote from one of her mother’s diary entries that hints at the reasoning behind her hidden artistic life, “I loved without memory: is that not an epigraph to the book, which does not exist? I never had a memory for myself, but always for others.”
“I see my mother as a genius,” explains Ivashintsova-Melkumyan, “but she never saw herself as one—and never let anybody else see her for what she really was.”
Some have referred to Ivashintsova as the Russian Vivian Maier, an American photographer and caregiver whose extensive collection of negatives was discovered in Chicago after her death in 2009. A group of close family friends are working to scan the entirety of Ivashintsova’s life’s work. You can view more of her recently discovered images on this website and Instagram specifically created to share her legacy. (via PetaPixel)
Elin Thomas creates petri dishes filled with mold, but she’s not using any week-old peanut butter sandwiches. The fiber artist builds her science experiments using a felted wool base, and then carefully crafts individual growths using crochet and embroidery techniques. Most of her creations are set in authentic 8cm borosilicate glass petri dishes, although she also makes free-form brooches and other accessories in a similar style.
Thomas has an MA in Visual Culture from Bath Spa University College, and she is based in the UK and Wales. The artist sells her work, including custom orders, on her website and Etsy store. (via #WOMENSART)
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