Tuxedoed Penguins Plunge into A Private Tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
May 19, 2020

On a recent trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, three penguins from the Kansas City Zoo were keen to ruffle some feathers. As they waddled along their private tour— the museum currently is closed to humans due to COVID-19—Bubbles, Maggie, and Berkley served some polarizing opinions. Executive director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia said the tuxedoed guests “seemed to react much better to Caravaggio than Monet,” whose work they only glance at in a video of their trip. More Continue reading

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Mid-Century Modern Perches Offer a Minimalist Haven for Backyard Birds
May 15, 2020

Accented with wood-slatted porches and bright water dishes, these mid-century modern birdhouses by Douglas Barnhard give avian neighbors with particular aesthetic sensibilities a reason to flock home. Barnhard, who’s behind the Santa Cruz-based company Sourgrassbuilt, builds the succulent-studded abodes from bamboo, cedar, teak, and glossy laminate. With clean lines and angular features, they emulate the architecture pioneered by Joseph Eichler, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Bauhaus.
To offer your feathered companions a modern upgrade, see which works Barnhard has available on Etsy, and check out the home he renovated into a miniature art gallery on Instagram. More Continue reading

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Homegrown Botanics Collaged into Conflict-Ridden Figures by Artist Meggan Joy
May 11, 2020

For Meggan Joy to begin creating her flowery assemblages, she first has to plant the seeds. The Seattle-based artist cultivates a plot in a community garden throughout the summer months, tending to each fern and vibrant petal. Once her patch is in full bloom, she captures thousands of individual photographs of her rooted plants before combining them into allegorical digital collages of the female body. Birds, butterflies, and other visitors to her garden make an appearance, as well. More Continue reading

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Home MuralFest: 67 Artists Simultaneously Painted Murals in Their Homes and Gardens While Quarantined
May 7, 2020

Similar to other muralists, Copenhagen-based artist Jacoba Niepoort was preparing for a busy period full of travel and public projects when COVID-19 canceled all of her plans. “I had been dreaming of methods for connecting individual, like-minded creatives who share common dreams within this multi-layered/directional world of art in the public space,” she tells Colossal. “When quarantine hit, I wanted to use the spaces we were in to create parallel individual works.”
Niepoort connected with Axel Void (previously), a Miami-based artist who leads a cultural platform designed to bring art out of conventional spaces. More Continue reading

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Florals, Beads, and Lace Embellish Whimsical Faux Taxidermy and Anatomical Sculptures
April 21, 2020

Based in Austria, Natalia Lubieniecka scours Vienna’s markets for antique objects, fabrics, and anatomical posters that eventually inform and meld into her peculiar sculptures. Whether it be a blush-colored heart enveloped in florals, a supine frog with exposed entrails, or a deceased bird covered in a lace bodice, her fantastical works speak to the fragile relationship between life and death.
The sculptor tells Colossal that her interest in organs and bodies began after a visit to Naturhistorische Museum Wien, where she encountered taxidermy of birds, insects, and other animals. More Continue reading

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Neon-Illuminated Glass Orchids by Laura Hart Consider the Flowers’ Fragility and Resiliency
April 16, 2020

Made of translucent glass, Laura Hart’s brilliant orchids appear to be the paragon of delicacy: the fleshy petals and neon-illuminated columns are in full bloom, representing a fleeting stage of life that’s modeled with an easily breakable substance. The Suffolk-based artist, though, is more concerned with the floral family’s historical resilience and aptitude for survival.
There are 28,000 known species of orchids, which 100-million-year-old fossil records prove were the first to bloom. “Representing a quarter of the world’s flowering plants, there are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals and twice as many birds,” Hart says. More Continue reading

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A Dense Cluster of Birdhouses by Artist Bob Verschueren Rests in a Treetop
April 6, 2020

Hopefully, the birds flocking to Bob Verschueren’s wooden housing complex won’t mind if their neighbors stay up late chirping or make too much noise as they head out in the morning to look for worms. Resembling a dense apartment building with shared walls and common perches, Vershueren’s “Implantations” features rows of stacked homes that vary in size for multiple birds to live in simultaneously. They’re a stark contrast to traditional single-family birdhouses. More Continue reading

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Lounging Seals, a Ravenous Pelican, and a Startled Owl Top Impressive Entries in Nature Photography Contest
April 1, 2020

Replete with stunning shots of Tuscan farmland and close-ups with spiders that reveal their prickly legs, the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition garnered an impressive array of images from creatives in 117 countries. Out of the 7,000 entries, Florian Ledoux won the top prize in the annual contest with his aerial photograph capturing nearly two-dozen seals resting on an ice mass floating in Antarctic waters. Categories range from wildlife and landscape to macro, providing an expansive look at nature’s most impressive qualities and characters—Caitlin Henderson exposes a Lichen Huntsman spider that’s attempting to disguise itself on teal-speckled tree bark, while Paul Holman serendipitously captures a fluffy owl in the midst of a surprise.  More Continue reading

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A Hummingbird-Sized Dinosaur Skull Found Preserved in 99-Million-Year-Old Amber
March 12, 2020

Protected in a small piece of amber dating back 99 million years, an ancient skull is changing the timeline researchers have for when reptiles transitioned into the descendants of current-day birds. Found in Myanmar, the oculudentavis khaungraae had at least 23 sharp teeth on its upper jaw, which suggests that the dinosaur ate insects, according to an article published in Nature this week. Its eye was canonical with small pupils and resembles those of a modern lizard, while the edge of the socket indicates that it was well-equipped to see in bright light. More Continue reading

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Intricate Landscapes and Animals Cut From Single Sheet of Paper by Pippa Dyrlaga
February 3, 2020

For Pippa Dyrlaga, one piece of paper holds a lot of possibility. The Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire-based artist cuts each one of her delicate creations from a single sheet. Her intricate designs turn a blank page into a plant-filled landscape or a robot tending to a garden. Dyrlaga begins by sketching each piece in reverse, before cutting sections out. Then she flips it over to unveil the finished work or to paint details onto the piece. More Continue reading

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Seagulls and Pigeons Photobomb Shots of Rome by Photographer Skander Khlif 
February 2, 2020

Munich-based photographer Skander Khlif documents public spaces with the Shakespearian mentality that life is theater and we are all actors. The play becomes both comedy and drama in his recent From Rome, With Birds… series. Seagulls and pigeons take center stage as they fly between the camera and scenes of Italian street life.
Either well-timed shots or a curated collection of happy accidents, Khlif’s humorous series presents an alternate view of a city typically visited and photographed for its architecture. More Continue reading

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