Considering Complexity and Ritual, an Imaginary Universe Emerges from Psychedelic Digital Illustrations
September 25, 2020

Luis Toledo has a knack for building ethereal universes. The Madrid-based artist, who works under the moniker Laprisamata, digitally illustrates otherworldly scenes and composite characters formed from vibrant blocks of color, patterns, and mundane objects, like pineapples and leaves. “I am interested in working on the complexity of human beings and animals, working against the medical anatomy atlases that try to simplify living beings. Nature always develops complex shapes, and I try to imitate that,” he tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Colorful, Geometric Stitches Embolden Black-and-White Photographs of Historical Figures and Cultural Icons
September 24, 2020

When Victoria Villasana (previously) lays a long stitch on a vintage photograph, she’s connecting the pattern or geometric shape to a piece of history, culture, or philosophy. The Mexican artist transforms found black-and-white images of cultural icons and historical figures through vibrant embroideries. Turquoise fibers radiate from Nelson Mandela’s fist, a gold, chevron collar lines Chadwick Boseman’s shirt, and Yayoi Kusma sports a multicolor garment with varying dots and stripes. More Continue reading

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Field Notes Launches New Collection of Letterpress Notebooks Designed by Nine Printers Across the U.S.
September 17, 2020

For its latest limited edition series, Field Notes tasked nine letterpress shops with capturing the diverse perspectives and histories of the nation through a pocket-sized design. United States of Letterpress is a pastel collection of memo notebooks featuring renderings of small storefronts, geometric patterns, and various slogans, including nods to the upcoming presidential election. Each holds 48 pages of graph paper.
To coincide with the launch, the Chicago-based notebook manufacturer filmed a short documentary, directed by Steve Delahoyde, capturing the processes and history of the art form. More Continue reading

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Mesmerizing Shots of Distant Galaxies and Aurorae Top the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest
September 16, 2020

The 2020 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest gathers a trove of sublime shots capturing otherwise unseen phenomena and distant fixtures of outer space. With more than 5,000 entries from six continents, the 12th annual competition includes Nicolas Lefaudeux’s photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy two million light-years away, one by Rafael Schmall that frames the lit trails of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, and another of the Aurora Borealis reflecting on the ice by Kristina Makeeva (previously). More Continue reading

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Okuda San Miguel Transforms a Stark Lighthouse in Spain into a Technicolor Beacon

Situated along the coast in Cantabria, the Faro de Ajo has been transformed from a barren facade into a vivid display of more than 70 hues. The undertaking of artist Okuda San Miguel (previously), the 16-meter tower features a striped bird, wild animals rendered in bold blocks of color, and various dots and squiggles. Now bearing the name “Infinite Cantabria,” it is the first intervention on a Spanish lighthouse. “It has been a unique experience, both because of the artistic challenge that it has brought about for me, as well having carried this project out in my homeland,” says the artist, who is from the region in northern Spain. More Continue reading

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A Staggering Sculptural Rug by Artist Faig Ahmed Pours into an Amorphous Puddle
September 4, 2020

Known for his sculptural textiles, Faig Ahmed fuses contemporary glitches and distortions with traditional weaving techniques. A recent artwork, titled “Doubts,” is one of his larger pieces that while conventionally shaped and patterned on top, appears to ooze out into a massive puddle. A stunning piece, the ornate motif blurs into swirls of color and an amorphous shape on the floor.
The Baku, Azerbaijan-based artist (previously) said in a statement that he began “Doubts” about one month prior to widespread lockdowns due to COVID-19. More Continue reading

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Build Your Own Trick-Savvy Dog with This DIY Robotics Kit

The days of expensive training lessons for your dogs have come to an end. Thanks to Petoi (previously), you can build your own robotic pup that’s programmed to perform basic commands from the get-go. The agile canine, named Bittle, moves just like a live animal would and because of its spring-loaded upper legs, can navigate bumpy terrain and flip itself over when it lands on its back.
Fitting in the palm of a hand, the automated design is battery operated and can be taught new tricks by uploading new programs you can write yourself. More Continue reading

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Limp Balloons Slump Over Each Other in Pastel Sculptures by Artist Joe Davidson
September 3, 2020

In varying states of deflation, Joe Davidson’s pastel balloons sag, slump, and flop in every direction. The limp, elongated forms are stacked on top of one another in seemingly precarious piles and resemble latex tubes filled with days-old air. While the sculptures are playful in both color and form, the Los Angeles-based artist notes that they also hold earnest themes of masculinity and aging, two concepts he’s thinking about often.
Davidson prefers to explore new materials and those beyond the bronze, stone, and wood typically used in this medium. More Continue reading

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Banksy Finances ‘Louise Michel’ Lifeboat to Rescue Refugees From the Mediterranean
August 31, 2020

Banksy’s latest artwork can be spotted on a vessel rescuing refugees from north Africa, who are attempting to cross the Mediterranean to find safety in Europe. The anonymous British artist, whose work we’ve talked about extensively, used the proceeds from the sale of an artwork to purchase a former French Navy boat, which is named after anarchist Louise Michel. With a fire extinguisher, Banksy sprayed the exterior with pink paint and adorned it with a version of the iconic “Girl with Balloon.” This iteration outfits the child with a lifevest and swaps the red heart with a pink flotation device. More Continue reading

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Page Through a Fantastical Compendium of the World’s First Color Illustrations of Marine Life
August 17, 2020

In the early 18th century, publisher, bookseller, and apparent fish enthusiast Louis Renard compiled the seminal compendium of color-illustrated ichthyological studies. The volume contains more than 450 species rendered in vibrant hues that, while somewhat anatomically accurate, feature embellishments in color and characteristics. From beak-like mouths to extraordinarily patterned skins, the vast illustrations of marine life are unusual, bizarre, and sometimes psychedelic. One of the most fantastical illustrations even depicts a mermaid (shown below). More Continue reading

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A Furry Utopia is Overrun with Delicately Rendered Cats in Kamwei Fong’s New Illustration
August 6, 2020

According to long-held superstitions, a horde of black cats certainly indicates impending misfortune, but for Kamwei Fong, a mass of the furry creatures is actually a fluffy utopia. Containing felines in various emotional and physical states—drowsy, peeved, and deep in slumber— “Wonderfurryland” features a diverse kitty population defined by their rotund bodies, splayed limbs, and puffed tails. Fong even inked cat-shaped environmental fixtures, like a moon, sun, and mountain, into the black-and-white landscape. More Continue reading

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A Massive Flower Splays Across Six Surfaces in a New Mural by Artist Mona Caron
August 3, 2020

An enormous flower overtakes the San José’s cultural affairs building in a multi-plane mural by artist Mona Caron (previously). Titled “Limonium,” the delicate, pink-and-green leaves spread out across the structure’s facade, transcending a single side. Wrapped around six walls and across four planes, the flower appears to be growing continuously from multiple angles.
The San Francisco-based artist says determining the spatial logistics was straightforward. She added reference points to the wall and superimposed her botanical piece to a photo, which guided her through the process. More Continue reading

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Perception-Twisting Miniatures by Artist Frank Kunert Transform the Mundane into the Surreal

Frank Kunert (previously) is a Germany-based photographer and modelmaker who creates mind-stretching scenes that, from afar, appear like everyday urban environments with the same beige color palette and concrete walls that are common across the world. On closer inspection, though, Kunert’s work reveals itself to be a series of surreal scenarios—he takes viewers on a fantastical journey in which mundane objects are transformed and merged into unusual architectural scenes that explore the “absurdity of life.”
In one work, a cot is sandwiched in the middle of a desk and bookcases, while in another, two old stools sitting on a small carpet face a large window that resides high in the sky, with two minuscule glasses of rosy wine positioned beside them. More Continue reading

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