Animals of Translucent Botanics Center in Molly Devlin’s Ethereal Portraits
November 29, 2022

In her exquisitely rendered portraits in acrylic, artist Molly Devlin instills an aura of dreamlike mystery. She shapes the likeness of a deer or snail from layers of translucent florals and foliage: stacked leaves splay outward like the fur of a cat’s face, fronds and wispy tendrils billow from the bulbous head of a jellyfish, and mycelium cloaks a small bird in delicate webbing. Through the fantastical, gossamer compositions, Devlin prods the ephemeral nature of existence and explores various facets of the unknown.  More

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Tiny Trays Serve Up Delicious Morsels in Miniature Spreads by Mahnaz Miryani
November 18, 2022

Tehran-based artist Mahnaz Miryani has been fascinated by puzzles since she was a child. In her miniature culinary arrangements, she channels a love for fitting little pieces together into satisfying compositions. Tiny trays transport pastries, eggs, cakes, and other dainty morsels, including a baking surface with an apple pie in the making. Miryani sculpts each itty-bitty croissant or cup of coffee from polymer clay, adding texture to create realistic details. Then, it’s time to bake! More

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City Lights Cast an Aura of Anonymous Mystique Over Keita Morimoto’s Streetscapes
November 17, 2022

In Keita Morimoto’s paintings, soft yellow streetlights, LED shop signs, and clinical beams of a public transit stop expose the discomfiting nature of perpetual surveillance. Working in acrylic and oil, the Japanese artist explores the scenes of daily commutes, walks with friends, and trips to a vending machine. He shrouds his streets with shadows that add a mysterious aura to the works, a feeling bolstered by the anonymity of the places and people. More

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Diverse Ecosystems Merge in Hyperrealistic Paintings of Flora and Fauna by Lisa Ericson
November 4, 2022

Ecosystems intermingle and mammals find themselves immersed in an increasingly watery world in Lisa Ericson’s hyperrealistic acrylic paintings. A hare and a mountain goat, which would typically be found in dry climates or high elevations, stand atop a small island of cacti or rock in an ongoing series of works that view the climate crisis—especially the impending rise of sea levels—through a lens of magical realism.
Drawing on the artistic legacy of chiaroscuro, or contrast between the bright figures and deep background, Ericson’s compositions appear as if a spotlight has been directed on the scene to highlight unusual interactions, such as a fox ferrying bluebirds across a waterway or a mountain goat stranded on a submerged rocky peak. More

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The Best Acrylic Paint Markers for Opaque Color
October 19, 2022

Love acrylic painting but dread the mess? Pick up a set of acrylic paint markers, which allow you to lay down controlled, neat lines that look just like paint and are generally more opaque than those made by solvent-based markers. Acrylic paint markers can be used on paper and canvas, of course, but they also […] Continue reading

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Anatomical Paintings by Lily Mixe Connect Flora and Fauna Through Textured Motifs
October 7, 2022

In The Butterfly Effect, French artist Lily Mixe illustrates the textured patterns of beetles, shells, cells, and birds through stark black and white. Working in acrylic on found wooden boxes and furniture panels, Mixe accentuates the lush motifs of scales, branches, or feathers in renderings devoid of color. Each work juxtaposes the artist’s elegant graphic style against the worn backdrops, which reflect a past of human intervention through splattered paint, scratches, and printed text. More Continue reading

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Deadly Plants Squashed Under Plastic by Artist Ant Hamlyn Question the Paradox of Preservation
September 29, 2022

The botanical works of West London-based artist Ant Hamlyn are studies of dichotomies and paradoxes. Polarities of the organic and synthetic, comfort and danger, and preservation and destruction emerge from his sculptures, which are comprised of playful, stylized interpretations of natural life pressed under sheets of acrylic.
On view as part of his solo show Tread Softly, Hamlyn’s most recent pieces include yellow daffodils, nightshades, and a pink flowering cactus that, although alluring for their blossoms, are extremely harmful if touched or ingested in real life. More Continue reading

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Chaotic Facial Markings Express the Wildly Varied Emotions of Reen Barrera’s Imaginative Ohala Dolls
September 16, 2022

Growing up in the Phillipines in the 90’s, Reen Barrera would often repurpose scraps of fabric and wood into imaginative figures that became central to his play. The constructions were stand-ins for what the Filipino artist considers a “toy-deprived” childhood, and today, Barrera continues the visual language of those early sculptures in his recurring Ohala characters.
Often dressed in stripes and animalistic patchwork hoods, the wildly expressive figures are covered in a chaotic mishmash of symbols and patterns. More Continue reading

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Solitude and Nature’s Ephemerality Emanates from the Illuminated Forms in Sung Hwa Kim’s Paintings
September 2, 2022

A sense of solitude and the finitude of time pervade the quiet, introspective works by Sung Hwa Kim. Rendering overgrown landscapes shrouded by night, the Korean artist wields the connection between ephemerality and memory, sometimes invoking nostalgia, as well. His acrylic paintings focus on fleeting acts like a glowing lightning bug or butterfly hovering above the grass while utilizing light to “symbolize the spirit of things we once loved, have lost, despair and longing. More Continue reading

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September 2022 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists

Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at hello@colossal.art. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.
 
Open Calls
Joyce Awards (Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul)
Artists of color working in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul can apply for the Joyce Awards, which commissions new work from five artists. More Continue reading

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Bound by Cord, the Women of Arghavan Khosravi’s Paintings Exemplify the Borderless Fight for Equality
August 26, 2022

Through layered, mixed-media paintings, Iranian artist Arghavan Khosravi (previously) alludes to the multivalent effects of losing freedom and human rights. Elastic cord binds her protagonists to their own limbs or surroundings, their individual characteristics partially concealed or fragmented as a result of restriction. Her subjects are often women who are confined to domestic spaces, hidden behind painted wooden panels, or physically tied to a situation or person.
Working in vibrant, saturated colors, Khosravi blends surreal imagery with the motifs of Persian textiles and architecture. More Continue reading

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‘Division of Birds’ Opens at Paradigm Gallery with a Vast Exploration of the Avian World
August 25, 2022

From the caves of Lascaux to ancient engravings and jewelry, feathered life has populated some of the earliest artworks known to exist. A group exhibition opening this week at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia expands on this tradition by bringing together 11 artists working today who harness the vast creative potential of the avian world.
Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds flies through a wide array of styles and mediums in 30 pieces that consider winged creatures through both realism and fantasy. More Continue reading

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Playfully Surreal Scenarios Emerge from Innumerable Acrylic Dots in Quint Buchholz’s Paintings
August 19, 2022

When viewing the uncanny scenes of Munich-based artist Quint Buchholz, it’s evident that play, experimentation, and exploring the uncharted are central tenets of his practice: a string quintet precariously balances above the sea, sightseers take advantage of the view atop a giant man, and a pigeon doubles as an apartment complex.
Each piece toys with scale and sensibility, and Buchholz enlarges some characters to preposterous sizes while positioning others in strange, seemingly impossible situations. More Continue reading

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Enchanting Vignettes Illustrated by Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou Nestle Inside Small Wood Cuts
July 27, 2022

Encircled in roughly textured bark, thin woodcuts become canvases for the whimsical landscapes and scenes illustrated by Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou. The Greek artist uses a combination of pen, ink, gouache, and acrylic paint to draw outdoor vignettes cloaked in pattern and cosmic details. Nighttime skies are brimming with snowflakes, stars, and light trails that illuminate the natural subject matter and add a dose of fantasy to the heavily patterned works. Chatzipanagiotou has a number of illustrations on wood and paper available on Etsy, and you can watch her at work on Instagram. More Continue reading

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Energetic Markings in Charcoal Delineate Nelson Makamo’s Candid Portraits of Childhood Joy
July 21, 2022

On view at Rise Art is a new body of work from South African artist Nelson Makamo, who continues his charismatic portraits rendered in lively, gestural lines of charcoal. Whether on paper or canvas, the mixed-media pieces depict children and teens, and the artist’s quick, sometimes chaotic markings echo the unfiltered immediacy of the sitters’ cheerful and contemplative emotions—prior to each portrait, he spends time learning about his subjects’ lives, their joys, and worries, a practice he finds essential for capturing such candid, honest expressions. More Continue reading

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