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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Rich Portraits Illustrated by Uli Knörzer Capture Subjects’ Idiosyncrasies through Colored Pencil
September 18, 2020

Fascinated by the transient expressions and feelings of his subjects, Uli Knörzer attempts to capture a moment in time. The Berlin-based illustrator draws richly detailed portraits that are simultaneously revealing and elusive. By positioning each subject against a solid backdrop, Knörzer eliminates the contexts that inspire their particular looks and moods. “Because a tilt of the head and look to the side or a smirk could be just that but by putting it on paper, detached from their surroundings, that fleeting moment can be charged with a completely different meaning. More Continue reading

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Outfitted with Knights’ Helmets, Children Painted by Seth Globepainter Play in the Streets of Paris
September 10, 2020

French artist Julien Malland, who works as Seth Globepainter (previously), is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with a new series of murals that capture the innocence of childhood. Painted throughout the thirteenth district of Paris, the public artworks feature kids in the midst of an imaginary adventure or playful activity: one rides an oversized pigeon, another blows multicolored bubbles, and a pair appears to float above the ground to embrace. More Continue reading

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A New Book Chronicles the 125-Year History of the Button, Its Design, and Its Role in Cultural Change

If something is “fit for the back of a postage stamp,” it’s generally understood as lacking depth and nuance. A similarly sized object, however, has been upending that saying for 125 years. From political campaigns to punch lines to keepsakes, the button has packed bits of incredibly rich history into just a few inches. “It seems like a niche little object, but it really tells a very general American history,” collector and manufacturer Christen Carter tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Uncoiled Rope Sprawls Across Canvases and Open Spaces in Organic Forms by Artist Janaina Mello Landini
September 3, 2020

Janaina Mello Landini (previously) unbraids lengths of rope to create fibrous labyrinths that breach canvases’ edges and crawl from floor to ceiling. Including both sprawling site-specific installations and smaller pieces confined to a few dozen centimeters, the São Paulo-based artist’s body of work is broad. All of her projects, though, explore tension and space as they spread into arboreal forms or perfectly round networks.
Her recent works include a massive tree-like installation that fans out across Zipper Gallery’s floor and walls into delicate, tape blossoms. More Continue reading

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Painted on Front Pages, Lisa Törner’s Evocative Animals Astutely Comment on Major News Stories
September 2, 2020

Lisa Törner repurposes the front pages of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the French weekly Le Canard Enchainé into inky canvases for her expressive creatures. For each edition, the Stockholm-based artist offers insightful commentary on the day’s events: a pensive monkey masks an article about bankers on Wall Street, a turquoise peacock adorns the coverage of Karl Lagerfield’s death, and a slinking leopard is rendered alongside a heartwrenching story about a mother and child, who were separated more than 50 years ago. More Continue reading

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Vivid Botanics and Butterflies Encircle Photographer Fares Micue in Striking Self-Portraits
August 26, 2020

Surrounded by monarchs or a blanket of blue leaves, Fares Micue (previously) captures vividly composed self-portraits. The Spain-based photographer conceals her face and instead focuses on the organic elements surrounding her torso. Whether a series of origami birds or yellow and red twigs resembling flames, the natural additions merge seamlessly with Micue, who bends and contorts her figure to follow the shapely forms of the arranged objects.
In a note to Colossal, the photographer said she’s been more inclined to create since the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, considering her work an invitation into self-reflection. More Continue reading

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In a Celebratory Series, Photographer Toby Coulson Documents the Eccentric Fashions of Designer Oumou Sy
August 19, 2020

When photographer Toby Coulson met iconic Senegalese fashion designer Oumou Sy in Dakar, they decided to photograph some of her most distinctive garments. “The city has an amazing energy especially as the sun goes down. I thought it would be an amazing accompaniment to Oumou Sy’s theatrical and outlandish couture pieces,” Coulson shares with Colossal. Together, they observed the area for a few days to chose spots and time the sunlight.
The result is a captivating series of photographs, which were originally published in Document Journal,  that capture the myriad textures and patterns of Sy’s unorthodox designs: A woven accessory envelops a model, lining her arms, head, and torso in circular sculptural forms. More Continue reading

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Delft-Style Weaponry by Artist Helena Hauss Contrasts Fragility with Strength and Destruction
August 15, 2020

Paris-based artist Helena Hauss juxtaposes the domestic feminity synonymous with delft-style porcelain and the brute force of barbed weaponry. Her sculptural series, titled Hell Hath no Fury, is composed of an axe, grenade, spiked bat, and morning star, each of which is ornamented with floral motifs.
Hauss shares with Colossal that she hopes to disrupt notions that women are the “weaker sex” and opts instead for a message of empowerment. More Continue reading

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An Astronaut and Photographer Collaboratively Document NASA’s Vast International Space Station in a New Book
August 13, 2020

In what is believed to be the first collaboration between an Earth-bound artist and an astronaut in space, photographer Roland Miller and engineer Paolo Nespoli have recorded the momentous journey of NASA’s International Space Station (ISS). The two have been working together during the last few years to document the current technologies and sights of modern space travel. They’ve shot extraordinary photographs of an ocean blanketed with clouds, the wire labyrinths lining the vehicle, and astronaut’s bulging suits and helmets.   More Continue reading

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Plump and Peeled Ceramic Bananas Shape Koji Kasatani’s Evocative Sculptures
August 10, 2020

Long before the infamous banana sent waves through the art world last year, Koji Kasatani was forming playful sculptures with the yellow produce. From a couple of peels mid-waltz to another fruit flattened into a puddle, the ceramic-and-resin artworks are evocative and humorous. Kasatani shares with Colossal that while the banana is a recurring motif, its purpose is light-hearted and is a form of idiosyncratic expression.
At 40 years old, the Japanese artist first started sculpting ceramic pieces after a residency in Florence, where he learned traditional Italian techniques. More Continue reading

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Lyrical Illustrations by Käthe Butcher Explore Femininity, Emotion, and Human Intimacy
August 7, 2020

As widespread lockdowns swept the globe earlier this year in response to the threat of COVID-19, intimacy became fraught. For artist Käthe Butcher, the loss of an embrace or casual peck on the cheek was incredibly difficult. “The pandemic affected everyone differently. I always thought I am not that kind of person getting scared or/and paranoid easily, but in March I did. I panicked and felt very alone, which was one reason why I left London at the end of March to go back to my family. 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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Ethereal Underwater Photographs by Elinleticia Högabo Glimpse the Subjects Below the Surface
July 31, 2020

As a child, Elinleticia Högabo had a troubled relationship with water. Despite a deep fascination with its dreamy qualities, she avoided swimming below the surface or in any areas of considerable depth after two traumatic experiences in which she almost drowned. When she was chosen for an exhibition that centered on rusalka—a female creature similar to a mermaid that’s found in Slavic folklore—Högabo tried to capture shots of her submerged subjects from above before realizing she had to plunge in.  More Continue reading

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Myriad Layers of Intricately Cut Paper Construct Architectural Sculptures by Artist Michael Velliquette
July 30, 2020

Despite being built with a pliable, degradable material, Michael Velliquette’s paper sculptures exude strength and durability. Densley layered walls fortify the borders of his architectural works, and three-dimensional elements evoke mechanical gadgets like gears and other hardware. The incredibly intricate structures also have more delicate features, like the tiny dots and curved flourishes decorating the small pieces.
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the artist hand-cuts each shape with straight-edge scissors or an Exacto knife, utilizing templates, mechanical punches, rulers, and compasses. More Continue reading

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Paper Wildlife Sculptures by Artist Diana Beltrán Herrera Document Nature’s Most Striking Details
July 28, 2020

In 2012, Bristol-based artist Diana Beltrán Herrera (previously) began sculpting impeccably layered paper birds and other wildlife as a way to record her surroundings. Her lifelike pieces continuously have captured nature’s finely detailed and minuscule elements, like the fibrous texture of feathers and the veins running through leaves.
Today, the artist has expanded the practice to include exotic species and environments she’s never seen up close, developing her paper techniques to express the more nuanced details of the shapes and textures she studies in biology books. More Continue reading

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Bright Elephants Squeeze Into Their Surroundings in Site-Specific Murals by Artist Falko One
July 22, 2020

For decades, Falko One (previously) has been transforming blank staircases and piles of refuse around South Africa into homes for his technicolor elephants. Despite their striking hues, each mural is site-specific, allowing it to blend in with the facades and surrounding environments. The artist might position the trunk along a ventilation duct or the torso atop cinder blocks and crates, creating an optical illusion within his vivid murals. “My approach is just to add a bit of color to the space without breaking the scenery,” he tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Miniature Sculptures of Biologically Accurate Animals by Fanni Sandor Are Smaller Than a Fingernail
July 20, 2020

Fanni Sandor has been fascinated by miniatures since childhood, constructing her first sculpture from toothpicks, candle wax, paper, and glue at six years old. “In my country, there (are) no traditions of the 1:12 scale miniature making. In my twenties, I met the first professional miniaturist’s work through the internet. I was completely fascinated,” she tells Colossal.
Today, the Hungary-based biologist and artist fashions minuscule baby bluejays clamoring for food, a mouse peeking out from a bit of bread, and a waddling family of mallards. More Continue reading

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