Vibrant Patterns Envelop Dozens of Mythical Animal Sculptures That Explore the Folk Art Traditions of Mexico
November 22, 2022

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. More

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Vibrant Patterns Envelop Dozens of Mythical Animal Sculptures That Explore the Folk Art Traditions of Mexico appeared first on Colossal.

Continue reading

Share

Watch
Vintage Illustrations of Flora and Fauna Are Superimposed into Surreal Portraits by MUMI
October 19, 2022

Feathers, flowers, leaves, and the human muscular system are spliced into an eclectic camouflage in MUMI’s surreal portraits. From vintage encyclopedias, magazines, and art historical paintings, the Argentinian artist cuts and layers images into compositions that vacillate between the whimsical and the bizarre. Led by a larger narrative, the collages commingle styles, eras, colors, and textures into disorienting portraits, all spurred by the artist’s desire to experiment. “I truly enjoy the organic process in which I let myself go freely,” MUMI shares. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
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

Share

Watch
Sunlight Illuminates a Full Spectrum of Color As It Filters Through Hummingbird Wings in a New Photo Book
September 30, 2022

Poetry in the Sky is a fitting title for a book of the elegant images of Australian photographer Christian Spencer. Slated for release next month, the volume gathers approximately two decades’ worth birds Spencer encountered during visits to the Brazilian Amazon, including macaws, emus, and the species he’s perhaps most notable for documenting: the hummingbird.
Taken when the creatures are mid-flight and beating their wings at incredible speeds, Spencer’s striking photos capture sunlight as it filters through their feathers, emitting a full spectrum of color. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
An Arctic Ptarmigan Takes Flight in the 2022 Bird Photographer of the Year Competition’s Winning Capture
September 9, 2022

During the summer months, ptarmigans sport plumage of gray, brown, and black with white bellies and wings. Breeding in the high mountains where winter brings snow, the birds naturally camouflage by turning completely white. Norwegian photographer Erlend Haarberg’s capture of one of the upland game birds taking flight in the dramatic mountains of Tysfjorden won the grand prize in the 2022 Bird Photographer of the Year competition.
The world’s largest bird photography competition welcomed more than 22,000 submissions this year. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
‘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

Share

Watch
Birds Swoop and Swell into Imagined Inky Murmurations in Fiona Watson’s Etchings
August 24, 2022

“Biology is a very visual science—macro and microscopically,” says Fiona Watson. The Scotland-based artist channels her background in this field into a multi-media practice that spans photography, painting, land art, and printmaking. Observation, interpretation, and creativity by way of critical thinking are fundamental in both the sciences and art, and Watson harnesses these skills to create etchings of murmurations that mimic birds’ paths as they swoop through the sky. Collective flights “are extraordinary both metaphorically as shapeshifters occupying the space between heaven and earth and biologically as hundreds of organisms moving as one,” she tells Colossal. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
A Surprising Photo Captures an Osprey Gently Gliding Along the Water’s Surface
August 12, 2022

Ospreys, the large raptors with barbed talons and dense, oily plumage, feed almost exclusively on fish and are known to completely submerge themselves in the water during a hunt. An unanticipated photo by Andy Woo, though, captures the avian predator in a botched attempt as it skims the surface rather than plunging in to retrieve its next meal. “Although I couldn’t figure out what just happened at the time, in looking at the sequence I captured, it looks to me like the osprey tried to grab a fish out of the water, missed, and then could not get enough lift to quickly get back in the air,” he tells Peta Pixel. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Division of Birds: A Group Show at Paradigm Gallery Celebrates Feathered Life
August 5, 2022

The Division of Birds, housed inside Chicago’s Field Museum, boasts one of the largest scientific avian collections in the country, representing about 90% of the world’s genera and species and containing more than 480,000 specimens, 21,000 egg sets, and approximately 200 nests. A group show opening this month at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia references this unparalleled archive in a celebration of feathered life.
Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds is comprised of dozens of works in a range of styles and mediums. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Digital Collages by Beto Val Splice Vintage Illustrations into Surreal Hybrid Creatures
July 28, 2022

Ecuadorian artist Beto Val alchemizes vintage illustrations into bizarre compositions that blend fruits with fowl and aquatic life with land animals. Using imagery available through the public domain, Val cuts and repositions fins, wings, and scaly talons into surreal creatures: round owl faces peer out from pineapples, autumn leaves sprout from tropical birds, and a rendering evocative of a biological chart displays fish with bodies made of strawberries, brains, and an early, industrial locomotive. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth’s surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface.
Spanning 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World brings together a broad array of images and information ranging from ancient nautical cartography to contemporary shots from photographers like Sebastião Salgado and David Doubilet. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Wildly Expressive Masks by Karolina Romanowska Freeze Contradictory Emotions in Ceramic
July 19, 2022

“Extremely resilient yet fragile” is how artist Karolina Romanowska describes the moody, anthropomorphic characters that comprise her series of sculptural works. Romanowska hand-builds a vast array of fantastical personas from clay, using a combination of slabs, coils, and molds to form flat tongues, individual teardrops, and horns with pointed tips. The contradictions inherent within the figures’ expressions are the conceptual counterpart to the ceramic material, she says, referring to both its ability to withstand fire and its propensity to fracture or burst upon impact. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Simple Lines and Shapes Comprise the Lavish Yet Minimal Animal Drawings of Jochen Gerner
July 8, 2022

Lines and basic shapes are the basis of Jochen Gerner’s distinct, almost paradoxical style that’s sometimes referred to as “abundant minimalism.” The French artist, who lives and works between Lorraine and Burgundy, draws birds and dogs that are sparse in form and yet rich in color and texture: checkered patterns overlaid with a chaotic array of markings create a shaggy fur coat, while variegated patches of feathers distinguish the tail from wing or breast. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
A New Collection of Works by Collin van der Sluijs Channels a Dreamlike Collision of Emotion
July 6, 2022

In one of his most ambitious bodies of work to date, artist Collin van der Sluijs (previously) references two forces being incidentally forced together. “These strange times have caused a collision between me as a person and my work,” he shares, “I want to be free and not a puppet on strings directed by anybody.”
This sentiment pervades the Dutch artist’s latest collection opening this week at both Vertical Gallery and Vertical Project Space in Chicago. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Minimal Portraits by Luke Stephenson Frame the Elegant Plumage of Show Birds
June 24, 2022

For the better part of a decade, U.K.-born, Stockholm-based photographer Luke Stephenson has been fascinated by show birds, their impeccably groomed feathers, and undeniably unique personalities. Whether centering on a white-eyed Zosterop or confrontational Spereo Starling, his portraits are minimal with monochromatic backdrops that accentuate the distinct colors and patterns of each plume.
The ongoing series, titled An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds, originated with Stephenson wanting to photograph budgies but was intrigued by other species when he met some of his future subjects and their owners. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Paper Show: A Group Exhibition Highlights 14 Artists Exploring the Vast Potential of Paper
June 22, 2022

One of the most reliable communication materials for centuries, paper historically has served as a vessel, a container for notes or the foundation of an artwork. An upcoming group exhibition at Heron Arts, though, focuses on the humble medium itself and highlights 14 contemporary artists expanding its creative potential. Paper Show features an array of styles, structures, and techniques from the whimsical mobiles of Yuko Nishikawa and Roberto Benavidez’s piñatas to Julia Ibbini’s laser-cut motifs and typographic messages from Judith + Rolfe. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Vintage Typewriters Are Reassembled into Amazing Metallic Bird Sculptures by Jeremy Mayer
June 9, 2022

Jeremy Mayer challenges the notion that typewriters’ creative output is confined to the written word. The artist scours shops and trash bins near his Bay Area studio for analog processors in disrepair that he then disassembles, sorts, and reconstructs into metallic sculptures. His previous works include symmetrical assemblages, anatomical recreations, and an ongoing series of birds, the most recent of which are shown here. Mayer builds every piece solely from original parts rather than soldering or gluing, and some sculptures, including the black crow with a Corona-brand typewriter logo on its back, feature spring-like components that allow the creatures to bob their heads. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Daily Newspapers by Myriam Dion Unfold into Meticulously Woven Narratives
June 8, 2022

Thin, interlaced strips of Japanese paper, gold leaf, and the occasional watercolor detail extend the life of a broadsheet when in the care of French-Candian artist Myriam Dion (previously). Through slicing, weaving, and gluing, the daily publications find new meaning and relevance as the artist overlays their pages with intricate lace patterns. These precise motifs obscure much of the text, leaving only a prominent headline or single image entirely visible. More Continue reading

Share

Watch