A Horse Struggles to Exist in a Ridiculous New Animation by AJ Jeffries
March 29, 2020

Norwich-based 3D illustrator and animator AJ Jeffries released a new animation that feels particularly relevant to modern life. Simply described as a story about “a horse, struggling to exist,” the short film chronicles the evolution of a pink animal as it morphs from a blob into a fully realized mare. Its body bends and contorts—at one point, its neck even shoots up to the sky, killing a purple bird—before it gets some encouragement from nearby plants and happily dances away. More Continue reading

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Get a Meteorite-Speckled Slab of the Moon’s Surface Made with NASA Data
March 28, 2020

Most of us will never get to touch the moon’s outer crust, but a new project by DeskSpace lets people pretend they’ve got a little portion of the crater-covered satellite sitting on their desks or hung up on their walls. Designed using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Lunar Surface is a square piece of portland concrete that’s natural bubbles form ridges and dips that mimic the divets caused by meteorites.
The astronomical project commemorates humans’ first steps on the moon. More Continue reading

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Idyllic Landscape Paintings by Artist Tomás Sánchez Render Nature’s Meditative Qualities
March 27, 2020

For nearly three decades, Cuban painter Tomás Sánchez has been painting serene landscapes of clam waters and verdant forests full of towering palms and dense shrubs. Now part of a lengthy series, his realistic works focus on nature’s immensity as they contrast massive waterfalls and miles of endless treetops with a nondescript figure, who often can be found seated or standing amongst the lush scenery.
In a statement, Sánchez explained how his practice of meditation informs his work. 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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In a New Stop-Motion Film, Swoon Explores Trauma, Memory, and the Body
March 25, 2020

Caledonia Curry, aka Swoon, is known for her street art utilizing paper that’s pasted onto building walls, but the Brooklyn-based artist has made a recent pivot that transfers her mythical style to stop-motion animations. Part of her solo exhibition Cicada, Curry’s short film “Sofia and Storm” is centered on a human-arachnid hybrid. After emerging from a dense mass, the gold-faced feminine figure opens up her chest cavity to reveal dark, hanging matter that eventually is absorbed. More Continue reading

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Using Tracing Paper and Rice Water, Designer Pao Hui Kao Creates a Sturdy Furniture Collection
March 24, 2020

When Eindhoven-based designer Pao Hui Kao realized she was allergic to some of the pigments and coatings used in household furnishings, she decided to construct her own minimalist collection. The result is a line of tables, seats, shelves, and a light fixture made almost entirely of tracing-paper tubes soaked in rice water.
To ensure the sturdiness of her mostly-white designs, Hui Kao varies the size of her paper rolls. As they dry, the rice water binds each wrinkled piece together. More Continue reading

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Human Figures Removed from Classic Paintings by Artist José Manuel Ballester
March 23, 2020

Despite being a couple of years old, José Manuel Ballester’s artworks feel eerily familiar in the time of COVID-19. The Spanish artist recreates classic paintings like Goya’s “The Third of May 1808,” Vermeer’s “The Allegory of Painting,” and Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” except he leaves out one central aspect: humans. Some of Ballester’s digital versions retain remnants of the former subjects, showing blood-covered ground marking the spot of a gruesome battle or even a faint outline of the sitter in an unfinished portrait. More Continue reading

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Japanese Chef Has Filled Notebooks with Delectable Illustrations of All of His Meals for 32 Years
March 21, 2020

Some meals leave an impression—you might remember the cherry pie your grandma always made or a multi-course dinner consisting of toast and caviar, a mound of shaved truffle topping pasta, and wagyu tartare. Rather than solely rely on his memory to envision the fare he’s enjoyed, though, Japanese chef Itsuo Kobayashi has been painting and describing in detail the dishes he’s eaten for the past 32 years in a series of notebooks and standalone works. More Continue reading

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Extravagant Masks by threadstories Offer Cultural Commentary on Selfhood and Social Media

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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Human Subjects Distorted by Nature in Double-Exposure Photographs by Christoffer Relander
March 19, 2020

During the first frost in the southern region of Finland, Christoffer Relander (previously) shot dense patches of branches, ferns, and blades of grass as part of a new set of double-exposure photographs. Titled We Are Nature Vol. 6, the monochromatic project merges human figures with nature to generate a portrait of a woman whose forehead is substituted with overflowing brush. Another image shows two kids whose features are obscured by leaves and vines. More Continue reading

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Magical Butterflies and Insects Stitched in Dense Thread Paintings by Emillie Ferris
March 18, 2020

Since she first began embroidering in 2013, Emillie Ferris (previously) has stitched a few rows nearly every day. The United Kingdom-based artist creates dense thread paintings of butterflies, bees, and other creatures surrounded by vibrant, scattered florals. Her lengthy stitches form precisely colored patterns and rows, offering a distinct texture to each wing and antennae.
Ferris tells Colossal that much of her work is based on vintage entomology illustrations, which she reviews multiple times before beginning one of her realistic projects that are “inspired by nature, with a tiny sense of magic.”

I love to try and emulate a sense of romanticism in my embroideries.

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168,000 Numbers Suspended From the Ceiling in Color-Coded Installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux
March 17, 2020

In an effort to merge the past, present, and future in a single work, Tokyo-based French architect and designer Emmanuelle Moureaux (previously) hung 168,000 paper numbers in rainbow-like rows to create her latest piece, “Slices of Time.” The suspended project contains 100 hues, in addition to white, that are formed into a vibrant cylinder meant to serve as a visual representation of Earth. “She uses colours as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces, not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces. More Continue reading

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Fantastical Video Imagines the Crystalized Intricacies of Mineral Deposits
March 16, 2020


In an enchanting new video titled “Waiting to Be Found,” Dan Hoopert dives into the details within Earth’s minerals. The United Kingdom-based designer highlights the sprawling crystallization process as it expands within each deposit and alters its colors. One piece even grows a sparkling mass off its left side.
Hoopert’s project is based on a 2019 article in Earth, which states that the International Mineralogical Association recognizes more than 5,000 distinct minerals, including well-known silicates and carbonates that are frequently found in masses around the world. More Continue reading

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Picasso-Inspired Portrait Sculptures Rendered by Digital Artist Omar Aqil
March 15, 2020

Pakistan-based art director and illustrator Omar Aqil (previously) continues his Character Illustrations series with more collaged portraits made from stacks of 3D objects. Using digital software including Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Octane, and Adobe Illustrator, Aqil creates Picasso-esque faces and places them into random, casual scenes.
The shadows, highlights, and colors make Aqil’s rendered sculptures and plinths appear as built-objects in a physical location. Implied facial features give each character a personality that is helped by humorous expressions and mundane scenarios. More Continue reading

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The Enchanting Echoes of the Cristal Baschet, a Rare Organ Made of Glass Rods, Metal, and Wood
March 14, 2020

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 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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