Repurposed Stained Glass Comprises a Disorienting Illuminated Greenhouse by Heywood & Condie
May 16, 2022

A brilliant greenhouse suffused with a rich spectrum of color stands at 25 Porchester Place in London. Bathed in sunlight by day and illuminated by LED bulbs at night, the translucent structure is lined with a disorienting collage of Christian iconography and folkloric imagery: saintly figures sprout insect wings and wildlife occupies spaces usually dominated by humans in a melange of spiritual symbols.
Titled “Sacré blur,” the greenhouse is a 2015 project by horticultural artists Tony Heywood and Alison Condie, who originally created the piece to house psychedelic plants at the Oxford Botanic Gardens—this part of the project never materialized over fears that students might misuse the hallucinatory specimens. More Continue reading

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Flora and Fauna Assume Eccentric Guises in Bill Mayer’s Wryly Playful Portraits
May 11, 2022

Royal frogs, masquerading lemurs, and florals with human faces are just some of the eccentric characters in acclaimed illustrator Bill Mayer’s (previously) gouache paintings. The traditional aesthetic of European still-life, aristocratic portraiture, and romantic landscape paintings set the scene for uncanny, chimerical subjects who engage in dreamlike encounters or gaze haughtily at the viewer. Gouache, which is water-soluble and more vividly opaque than watercolor, allows the artist to mimic the incredible detail of oil paint but with more flexibility. More Continue reading

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Elaborate Narratives Emerge From the Surreal, Mysterious Worlds of Victo Ngai’s Illustrations
May 10, 2022

Starting with a single word or short prompt from an editor or brand, Victo Ngai (previously) imagines fantastical dreamscapes brimming with surreal details. The Los Angeles-based, Hong Kong-born illustrator collaborates on commissioned projects that, although intended to be paired with an article or advertisement, become visual narratives in their own right. She shapes a tiger from coiled red ribbons, places an enormous hound among a nighttime cityscape veiled in shades of blue, and reinterprets the sun and its rays as a colorful, segmented circle hovering above the horizon. More Continue reading

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Scientists Uncover a New Deep-Sea Crown Jellyfish Species with Dozens of Coiled Tentacles
May 6, 2022


Curled tentacles, soft spikes, and an unusually large, translucent bell distinguish a newly discovered species of jellyfish. The uncommon A. Reynoldsi became the subject of study for scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (previously) earlier this year when one of the deep-sea creatures was documented floating through the midnight zone. “Fifteen years ago, MBARI researchers spotted a large jelly that looked like Atolla but lacked the telltale trailing tentacle, and their curiosity was piqued,” MBARI says. More Continue reading

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A New Book Illuminates the Lives of the Elusive, Pink-Plumed Flamingos in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula

In the Yucatán Peninsula, the rich wetland environment of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve is one of the most important sites for flamingos. The pink-pigmented birds flock to the area for breeding each year, with officials registering approximately 15,000 nests and 30,000 adults inhabiting the area in 2021 alone.
A biologist by training, photographer Claudio Contreras Koob has spent years visiting the lanky, big-beaked avians in the reserve and documenting their mannerisms and habits, amassing a broad collection of images now compiled in a book published by teNeues Verla in collaboration with the Nature Picture Library. More Continue reading

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Curious Squirrels and Rambunctious Hares Form a Miniature Menagerie of Felted Wildlife
May 4, 2022

From a shy baby fox to toads donning crowns, the felted miniatures crafted by Simon Brown and Katie Corrigan are adorable, whimsical renditions of forest creatures. The Northumbria, U.K.-based creative duo transforms thick rovings of wool into wildlife that can be found perching on a snowy branch or creeping up on a mouse through the grass-like bristles of a wooden brush. Brown tells Colossal that he plans to incorporate more found objects into the newer sculptures, which are increasingly illustrative in style, and is also working on developing automata to add a liveliness to the realistic characters. More Continue reading

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Patchwork Coats with Frayed Fur Add Shaggy Texture to Barbara Franc’s Dog Sculptures
May 2, 2022

Alongside an eccentric metallic menagerie, artist Barbara Franc stitches shaggy hounds with frayed fur and coats layered with assorted patches of prints. The fabric creatures are part of Franc’s collection of animals constructed with repurposed materials that range from buttons and vintage tapestries to windshield wipers and cutlery. To create these soft sculptures, she wraps scraps of worn trousers, curtains, and scarves around a padded, wire armature, defining a muscular hind leg with tweed or a stomach with an embroidered fairytale scene. More Continue reading

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In ‘No Strings,’ Willie Cole Transforms Instruments into Abstract Animals and Figurative Sculptures
March 17, 2022

Artist Willie Cole is known for transforming discarded materials into sculptures with a tenor of interrogation. Much of his three-dimensional work revolves around found objects like high-heels, plastic bottles, or ironing boards that he turns into pieces of cultural commentary, addressing issues of mass production, historical legacies, and identity. The items tend to guide the formation of his assemblages, he says, sharing that, “the objects that I use I see as them finding me, more so than me finding them… I see an object and suddenly I recognize what I can do with the object. More Continue reading

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Vibrant Paper Strips Swirl into Energetic Circles of Scales and Feathers by Lisa Lloyd
March 15, 2022

Streaming from a beak or bodily mass, the thin paper strips that compose a new series of sculptures by Lisa Lloyd (previously) are infused with movement. The U.K.-based artist shapes the individual pieces into wide curves, mixing a variety of materials and hues from flat graphic colors to shimmering metallic. Abstract and energetic, the resulting sculptures contain a chaotic blend of emotion within circles of feathers and protective scales.
Lloyd shares that the pieces respond to personal and political strife, which manifests in the lively nature of each creature. More Continue reading

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Black Ink and Watercolor Bleed into Hazy Creatures in Endre Penovác’s Paintings
March 11, 2022

Serbian artist Endre Penovác (previously) wrangles the bleeds of black ink and watercolor in his shadowy renderings of domestic and wild animals. Sometimes delineating a talon or ear with thin markings, Penovác primarily allows the medium to run across the paper, transforming a housecat or chicken into a dreamy, phantom-like character. Many of the works frame the central animal with negative space and utilize the soft, hazy edges to evoke fur and feathers. More Continue reading

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Spectacular Moments of Life and Death Are Unveiled in the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards

Taken across six continents, the entries to the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards capture the hungry, curious, and ingenious animals around the globe. This year’s winners include an arctic fox braving an Icelandic snowstorm, a trio of red ants forming a bridge to let each other pass between rocks, and a serendipitous shot of a leopard seal preparing to snack on a gentoo penguin, which garnered the top prize. Centering on both the largest and the often imperceptible creatures inhabiting the planet, the photos are diverse and an example of the wonder and awe that exists at every level of the animal kingdom. More Continue reading

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Geometric Patterns Form DIY Animal Sculptures Designed by Paperwolf
March 7, 2022

Wolfram Kampffmeyer (previously) crafts vibrant, geometric snakes and jaguars that appear to plunge from the wall. The German designer has spent the better part of a decade prototyping digital renderings of polygon sculptures and taxidermy-style busts that he then translates to DIY kits sold under the Paperwolf brand. Minimal and playfully colored, Kapffmeyer’s menagerie includes a seated koala, multiple birds in flight, and of course, the original majestic wolf. More Continue reading

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Decorative Papercuts in White and Gold Compose Patrick Cabral’s Meticulously Layered Sculptures
February 22, 2022

Patrick Cabral re-envisions the intricate veins striping the tail of a fish and grooves in a pangolin’s scales with delicate, lace-like flourishes. The Manila-based artist is known for his sculptural portraits of wild animals and fantastical creatures that layer hundreds of paper cutouts into stunning three-dimensional works. Primarily composed with white, Cabral’s most recent pieces utilize gold for trimming a hippo’s facial features and heightening the depth and texture of the coiling, intertwined bodies of a dragon and its rival. More Continue reading

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Hugging and Hungry, Adorable Cats Are Hand-Carved as Miniature Sculptures
February 20, 2022

Japanese sculptor Sakura Hanafusa carves whimsical cat sculptures often carrying a range of foods, including vegetables, sweets, and biscuits. In one of the feline statues, a snowy-haired creature peeks out from underneath a vanilla ice cream cone, while in another, a smiling duo clings to mushrooms and acorns. Adorable and playful, Hanafusa’s poses sometimes prompt interaction and mimicry like with the seven cats pawing for high fives, which ask passersby to raise their hands, too. More Continue reading

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Intricate Beaded Motifs Add Colorful Dimension to Jan Huling’s Animal Sculptures
February 4, 2022

A former product designer turned bead artist, Jan Huling begins each sculpture with a blank form in the shape of a miniature horse, giant praying mantis, and eager monkey perched on a box. She then glues small glass pieces in meandering lines, concentric circles, and other elaborately constructed motifs. “I don’t sketch out designs beforehand,” she tells Colossal. “Rather I let my designs grow organically and let the work itself inspire me.”
Each embellishment is a study of color, texture, and form, with some patterns structuring facial features like the radiant eyes of the nine-foot “Das Bug” and others adding hypnotic ornaments like the intersecting patches that span the length of the tail in “KoKo.” Although Huling doesn’t translate any specific motifs, she shares that she’s drawn to traditions of Mexican and Indian artists, in addition to the works of Nick Cave (previously) and Tim Burton. More Continue reading

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Rectangular Black Boxes Enclose Coiling Serpents in Guido Mocafico’s Disorienting Photos
January 27, 2022

A puzzling blend of heads, tails, and scales, Guido Mocafico’s Serpens juxtaposes snakes’ coiled bodies with the tight confines of a small, rectangular box. The Italian photographer positions two or more slithering creatures against the black backdrops and shoots the composed images from overhead. Each reptile is so entwined that it’s difficult to tell them apart, resulting in a chaotic and disorienting mix of color, texture, and depth.
Mocafico is known for the distinct still lifes that define his commercial work and personal projects, which include striking series focused on organisms like anemones, jellyfish, and arachnids, to name a few. More Continue reading

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Dreamlike Sculptures by Christina Bothwell Meld Ceramic, Glass, and Oil Paint into Otherworldly Figures
January 24, 2022

From her Pennsylvania studio, Christina Bothwell (previously) sculpts surreal hybrid creatures and figures that occupy the unearthly space between dreams and wakefulness. She works with a combination of annealed glass, pit-fired ceramics, oil paint, and small mosaic tiles, which each correspond to a conceptual element. “I always come back to the idea that the physical part of us is just a small part of who we are in our entirety,” the artist tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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