In Artist Adrian Brandon’s Incomplete Portraits, A Year of Life Equals One Minute of Color
June 17, 2020

When Adrian Brandon starts to color a portrait, he sets a timer. For his rendering of Breonna Taylor, the clock is set to 26 minutes—for George Floyd, 46 minutes, for Tony McDade, 38, and for Aiyana Stanley Jones, just seven. “When the alarm sounds, I am hit with a wave of emotions ranging from anger, to deep sadness, to hopelessness, to feeling lucky that I am still here,” he says.
The Brooklyn-based artist is working on Stolen, a series of partially filled-in depictions of Black people murdered by police. More Continue reading

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A Model Morphs into a Rotund Tomato, Peeled Banana, and a Hoagie in a Bizarre Photographic Series
June 12, 2020

A new photo series, titled Table For One, takes the proverbial saying that “you are what you eat” literally as it transforms model Tin Gao by sandwiching her between layers of cheese, lunchmeat, shredded lettuce, and sliced tomato in a bulging hoagie. Shot by photographer Annie Collinge, the bizarre series sees Gao morph from one food group to the next, whether as a stout tomato fashioned from a red jacket that covers the model from chin to ankle or stuffed into a peeled banana that mimics a sleeping bag. More Continue reading

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A Bold Black Lives Matter Statement Transforms a Street Leading to the White House in Washington D.C.
June 5, 2020

In a show of solidarity, a massive tribute to Black Lives Matter has been painted on the street leading to the White House in Washington, D.C. Completed in permanent street paint, the message features bold, yellow letters that span more than a block of 16th Street and marks a historic moment in the United States after weeks of protests.
Mayor Muriel Bowser commissioned the banner-style piece, which city workers and volunteers began at 3 a.m. More Continue reading

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Ai Weiwei Has Designed Face Masks to Raise Funds for COVID-19 Relief
May 28, 2020

A defiant middle finger, a heap of sunflower seeds, and various mythical creatures are all silk-screened in black ink on the blue cloth backdrops of nonsurgical masks. The artworks the most recent intervention by artist and activist Ai Weiwei (previously) to help raise money for organizations directly involved with combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Inspired by a documentary he’s making about COVID-19, the artist decided to create an entire collection after printing his iconic middle finger onto one of the disposable cloths. More Continue reading

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Artist François Vogel Turns His Unaware Cat into a Wriggling Jellyfish
April 28, 2020

Based on a recent cameo, François Vogel ’s cat actually might enjoy a dip in the ocean despite his feline instincts to avoid it. The Abyssinian has been stretched and distorted in a series of humorous clips made by his French owner, including one that lengthens and spirals the cat’s legs like flowing jellyfish tendrils. The unsuspecting pet also is stretched across the dining room and launched into an expanding sea of fish that he slowly swims through. More Continue reading

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Technicolor Animal Portraits Inked in Watercolor Tattoos by Sasha Unisex
April 24, 2020

Based in St. Petersburg, artist Sasha Unisex often begins a bold tattoo concept by painting a prismatic wolf or a cherry blossom-speckled origami crane with watercolor. She fills arrangements of stark shapes and precise gradients with crimson, cerulean, and tangerine hues. When the tattooist recreates her inky animals and florals on her clients’ bodies, the chromatic foxes and cats—which sometimes are outfitted with a plaid hat and pipe—look strikingly similar to the original watercolor paintings. More Continue reading

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People are Recreating Famous Artworks Using Whatever They Have at Home During Quarantine
April 2, 2020

By sporting a bonnet fashioned out of toilet paper and clutching a celery-stalk cigarette, people are finding ways to engage with their favorite artworks from a distance. This week, the Getty challenged folks to imitate classic pieces with whatever they can find around their homes and since has gotten thousands of hilarious (and well-done) responses.
The Los Angeles museum’s call was inspired by the account Between Art & Quarantine, which has been asking people to choose three aspects of their favorite works to recreate using anything they’ve got at home, hence the pets, kids, and vegetables in the mix. More Continue reading

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Concentric Circles of Tufted Wool and Natural Fibers Shape Giant Wall Hangings by Artist Tammy Kanat
March 26, 2020

Beginning with asymmetrical ovals and amorphous shapes, Australian textile artist Tammy Kanat (previously) loops, twists, and weaves her sizable wall hangings. Using a steel frame, Kanat hangs up the copper forms that provide the structure for her abstract tapestries. She then combines natural materials like wool, linen, and silk to create small tufts and organic rows of varying hues that add a range of densities and textures to each piece. More Continue reading

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Extravagant Masks by threadstories Offer Cultural Commentary on Selfhood and Social Media
March 20, 2020

Covered in full-face masks of fringe and knotted details, threadstories (previously) explores the tension between contemporary portrayals of public and private life. The Irish artist poses in front of gray backdrops for her self-portraits that obscure her face and only sometimes reveal a set of eyes or a mouth through the crocheted exterior.
threadstories tells Colossal that the process for creating each piece is similar. She begins by crocheting the balaclava—sometimes adding space for further detail like pointed ears or a hand-drawn face—before crafting various tufts and dense patches. More Continue reading

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Elimination of Boat Traffic in Italy Attracts Wildlife and Creates Clear Water in the Canals

 
Articles and op-eds have been circling the internet during the last few weeks comparing the global response to the coronavirus outbreak to that of the climate crisis. Fast Company published an article outlining potential measures to slow environmental destruction that would be analogous to those being taken to stop the virus. A piece in the New York Times even explicitly ties the two crises together, speaking to the connections between air pollution and respiratory illness. More Continue reading

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The Enchanting Echoes of the Cristal Baschet, a Rare Organ Made of Glass Rods, Metal, and Wood

Invented in 1952 by Bernard and François Baschet, the Cristal Baschet (also called a Crystal Organ) is a unique instrument that outputs an even more unique and artful sound. In the video above, multi-instrumentalist and film composer Marc Chouarain explains how it works and demonstrates techniques for turning finger rubs and drags into deep melodic echoes.
According to musician and rare instrument performer Thomas Bloch, models of the crystal organs range from 3.5 to 6 octaves and are made of 56 chromatically tuned glass rods. More Continue reading

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Artists Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak by Flooding Social Media with a Japanese Yokai Said to Ward Off Epidemics
March 13, 2020

A Japanese legend dating back to the 1800s has been resurfacing across social media recently because of its tie to staving off epidemics. A three-legged mermaid or merman with long hair and beak, the Amabie falls within the tradition of the yōkai—which is a supernatural monster or spirit in Japanese culture— and is said to have appeared from the waters near Kumamoto. The mythical tale states that the scale-covered creature emerged from the sea to tell prophecies about the upcoming harvests and potential destruction from disease. More Continue reading

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A Gear System Helps Visualize the Magnitude of One Googol, or 1 Followed by 100 Zeros
March 10, 2020

To celebrate spending one billion seconds on Earth, Daniel de Bruin created a gear system that represents the number googol (that’s the digit 1 with 100 zeros behind it). Every time the first wheel completes 1,000 rotations, which happens in about an hour, the second gear turns 100 notches and the third 10. Each following wheel is reduced by 10, meaning in order to turn the last and 100th one, the system would need a googol of energy, which the Netherlands-based designer says is “a number that’s bigger than the atoms in the known universe.” He tells Colossal that when working perfectly, each gear is perpetually in motion. More Continue reading

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Nevermore Park Manifests the Fictional Universe of Hebru Brantley’s Flyboy and Lil Mama
March 5, 2020

Packed within a 6,000-square-foot space on Chicago’s south side is a fictional universe teeming with pinned up newspaper clippings, towers of retro electronics, and tons of vintage advertising from McDonald’s to Vienna Hot Dogs. It’s the world of Hebru Brantley’s iconic characters, Lil Mama and Flyboy, whose enlarged head rests on the floor in one room of the immersive installation, titled Nevermore Park. Moving through the pathways lined with plastic toys and paint-spattered pallets, visitors pass a downed spaceship and a brick wall of street art, elements that structure Brantley’s narrative for the surreal environment. More Continue reading

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Intricate Patterns Hand-Carved into Fruit and Vegetables by Takehiro Kishimoto
March 1, 2020

When he’s not cooking them, Japanese chef and food artist Takehiro Kishimoto (previously) is turning fruits and vegetables into intricately carved sculptures too beautiful to eat. Using sharp handheld blades, Kishimoto combines the centuries-old art of Thai fruit carving with the Japanese art of Mukimono to decorate apples, carrots, broccoli, and broad beans with geometric patterns and elaborate designs.
The precision easily could be mistaken for digital photo manipulation were it not for the process videos that Kishimoto shares on his Instagram, where he also writes that he hopes the Thai carving tradition will spread around the world. More Continue reading

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