Pop Culture Icons Undergo Taxonomic Studies in These Vintage-Style Illustrations
May 29, 2020

How would you biologically classify a hippogriff? Austin-based illustrator Chet Phillips is offering his own taxonomic studies for some of pop culture’s most iconic characters as part of his Unnatural History series. Through vintage-style illustrations, the artist renders a flying monkey from The Wizard of Oz, Krampus, and The Lion King‘s animated duo Timon and Pumba complete with their identifying information.
You can browse the entire Unnatural History collection and pick up your own print on Etsy. More Continue reading

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Ai Weiwei Has Designed Face Masks to Raise Funds for COVID-19 Relief

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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Adorably Derpy Canines and Chunky Hounds Masterfully Chiseled into Wood by Misato Sano
May 27, 2020

Misato Sano ensures that she always has a loyal companion by her side, albeit with a little less slobber and fur. Based in the Myagi prefecture of Japan, the sculptor carves wooden busts and full figures of well-groomed dogs, preferring to leave the small gouges from her chisel on their textured exteriors. Despite being stationary, the pups have typical canine qualities like plump bodies, panting tongues, and pink bows adorning their ears.
Each figure has a distinct facial expression, whether curious, joyful, or contemplative. More Continue reading

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Doughy Braids and Sliced Fruits Arranged into Sumptuous Pies by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek
May 26, 2020

While many people are spending their days starting batches of sourdough, Karin Pfeiff-Boschek has been busy baking sweet pies with mesmerizing arrangements that appear almost too pretty to eat. She tops each pastry with a delicate floral motif of flaky dough, a precisely arranged gradient of sliced fruit, or a checkered weave braided in rows.
The pastry designer tells Colossal that she was raised in a family of bakers, although pies weren’t her first form of artistic expression. More Continue reading

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Spirited Narratives Drive Whimsical, Patterned Paintings by Monica Rohan
May 23, 2020

Whether unwrapping themselves from textile folds or balancing atop spindly stools, Monica Rohan’s figures are perpetually in motion. The painter depicts adventurous subjects set amongst whimsical worlds of overgrown bushes, vibrant seas of fabric, and cloudless skies rendered in patches blue. “The figure brings tension, the possibility of a narrative,” she tells Colossal. Rohan envisions each character as the impetus for action in her playful landscapes and thickly decorated domestic scenes.
Each piece begins with the artist exploring a photographic catalog she maintains with imagery of nature, interiors, and self-portraits. More Continue reading

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Spirals and Loops Twist Through Wooden Sculptures by Xavier Puente Vilardell

Xavier Puente Vilardell (previously) transforms blocks of coffee-colored wood into eye-catching sculptural forms, some of which resemble architectural structures and other natural forms shaped by wind, rain, and the sea’s turbulent waves. The Brussels-based artist uses pinewood, a malleable material that enables him to make precise and curved structural forms. 
In a series of Youtube videos, Vilardell shows his virtual visitors around his studio, which features various axes mounted on the wall and a pile of wooden logs, a raw material from which he crafts his artwork. More Continue reading

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This Japanese Zoo is Using Stuffed Capybaras to Visualize Social Distancing

Take a seat for lunch at Izu Shabonten Zoo in Shizuoka, Japan, and meet your plush dining partners. To help restaurant patrons visualize social distancing guidelines, the zoo has occupied chairs with stuffed capybaras. The soft toys encourage diners to space out among the tables and maintain an appropriate distance.
With only a few other cuddly creatures in the mix, the institution’s main choice is a nod to its decades-long fascination with the giant rodent. More Continue reading

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