A Menagerie of Contemplative Animals by Mila Zemliakova Weave Textile Traditions and Nature
September 29, 2022

Using vintage textiles from both her personal and her family’s collection of bedspreads and home decor, artist Mila Zemliakova sews plush animal sculptures that connect various traditions of her Belarusian heritage. She draws correlations between her chosen creature and each pattern, color, and type of fabric, capturing the essence of a deer in floral brocade or that of a bison with tufted gray wool.
Largely oversized and perched in chairs, the anthropomorphic characters are expressive and often photographed outdoors in states of contemplation and solitude.  More Continue reading

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A Rare Glimpse of Comet Leonard’s Last Moments Wins the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest
September 16, 2022

The brilliant Comet Leonard put on a mesmerizing performance late last year when it streaked across the sky on Christmas Day. Expelled from the solar system shortly after, the celestial matter captivated photographers around the world during its brief stint of visibility, including Gerald Rhemann who captured the illuminated body as its gas tail disconnected from its nucleus and was swept away by solar wind. The incredibly rare and brief event also garnered Rhemann the top prize in this year’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest. More Continue reading

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Undulating Lines and Geometric Shapes Comprise a Minimally Illustrated Menagerie
September 15, 2022

In Surf & Turf, designer Adam G., who’s behind the Santa Monica-based studio TRÜF Creative, transfers his signature messymod style from typography to biology. The ongoing illustrated series melds geometric shapes, clean lines, and squiggly forms into playful interpretations of foxes, roosters, and piranhas.
Varying from stark and abstract to more dense compositions, the minimal creatures are all rendered in the designer’s signature red and black color palette. More Continue reading

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Hyperrealistic Portraits by Arinze Stanley Glorify the Resiliency of Nigeria’s Next Generation
September 13, 2022

In Deconstruct, Lagos-based artist Arinze Stanley (previously) acknowledges the children and teens who will come to define Nigeria’s politics and culture in the next few years. “I believe the youths are the building blocks of every nation,” he says. “I feel most compelled to project the positive image of our youths through this body of work in my attempt to dismantle the stereotype around the Nigerian youth. More Continue reading

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Ruled by Children, Kevin Peterson’s Paintings Find Hope Among Environmental Collapse
September 7, 2022

Houston-based artist Kevin Peterson (previously) continues to translate the uncertainty of today’s world into dystopian works with equal amounts despair and optimism. Scenes brimming with waste material and urban decay find boundless confidence and life in children, who unflinchingly nuzzle up to polar bears or balance atop a crumbling brick wall. Offering hope in the face of climate catastrophe and economic collapse, Peterson’s oil paintings are deeply personal, sometimes reflecting his own son and daughter as subjects. More Continue reading

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September 2022 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists
September 2, 2022

Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at hello@colossal.art. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.
 
Open Calls
Joyce Awards (Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul)
Artists of color working in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul can apply for the Joyce Awards, which commissions new work from five artists. More Continue reading

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Interview: Rael San Fratello Navigates the Boundaries of 3D Printing, Architecture, and the Impact of Division
September 1, 2022

Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael of the eponymous studio Rael San Fratello (previously) foster a practice that’s difficult to categorize, which they speak to in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. The pair pursue projects that transcend the boundaries of design, art, technology, and craft: they continually address the implications of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, had a hand in the iconic Prada Marfa, and have constructed homes entirely through 3D printingMore Continue reading

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Bound by Cord, the Women of Arghavan Khosravi’s Paintings Exemplify the Borderless Fight for Equality
August 26, 2022

Through layered, mixed-media paintings, Iranian artist Arghavan Khosravi (previously) alludes to the multivalent effects of losing freedom and human rights. Elastic cord binds her protagonists to their own limbs or surroundings, their individual characteristics partially concealed or fragmented as a result of restriction. Her subjects are often women who are confined to domestic spaces, hidden behind painted wooden panels, or physically tied to a situation or person.
Working in vibrant, saturated colors, Khosravi blends surreal imagery with the motifs of Persian textiles and architecture. More Continue reading

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‘Division of Birds’ Opens at Paradigm Gallery with a Vast Exploration of the Avian World
August 25, 2022

From the caves of Lascaux to ancient engravings and jewelry, feathered life has populated some of the earliest artworks known to exist. A group exhibition opening this week at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia expands on this tradition by bringing together 11 artists working today who harness the vast creative potential of the avian world.
Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds flies through a wide array of styles and mediums in 30 pieces that consider winged creatures through both realism and fantasy. More Continue reading

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Birds Swoop and Swell into Imagined Inky Murmurations in Fiona Watson’s Etchings
August 24, 2022

“Biology is a very visual science—macro and microscopically,” says Fiona Watson. The Scotland-based artist channels her background in this field into a multi-media practice that spans photography, painting, land art, and printmaking. Observation, interpretation, and creativity by way of critical thinking are fundamental in both the sciences and art, and Watson harnesses these skills to create etchings of murmurations that mimic birds’ paths as they swoop through the sky. Collective flights “are extraordinary both metaphorically as shapeshifters occupying the space between heaven and earth and biologically as hundreds of organisms moving as one,” she tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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In Graham Franciose’s ‘Morning Coffee Paintings,’ Dreamlike Watercolor Works Capture the Day’s Unmediated Emotion
August 12, 2022

Many days, artist and illustrator Graham Franciose sits down with watercolor, gouache, and a small sheet of cotton paper to paint a whimsical scene or surreal moment. A skateboarder carries a tree in a backpack, an anxious figure peeks through a colorful monster mask, and an oversized lion snarls at an approaching man. “I like to do these first thing in the morning when I am still not fully awake and start with a blank slate and no preconceived idea,” he tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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August 2022 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists
August 1, 2022

Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at hello@colossal.art. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.
 
Open Calls
Faena Prize for the Arts (International)
Artists across genres, disciplines, and technologies are invited to imagine temporary and site-specific projects installed at Faena Beach during Miami Art Week 2022. More Continue reading

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Bees Wrap Ava Roth’s Intricately Beaded and Embroidered Motifs in Golden Honeycomb
July 27, 2022

Seasons and the natural rhythms of bees determine much of Ava Roth’s practice, which hinges on collaborating with the fuzzy pollinators. The Ontario-based artist (previously) stitches elaborate embroideries with beads and intricate thread-based motifs that, once her contribution is complete, she turns over to her insect counterparts. The critters then finish the mixed-media pieces by embedding them in golden, hexagonal honeycomb.
Because the bees Roth works with only produce the waxy substance during the heat of the summer, the time available for inter-species cooperation is limited. More Continue reading

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In ‘Cowspines,’ the Bony Topographies of Bovine Backs Appear Like Rugged Landscapes
July 21, 2022

Cragged, gaunt topographies bisect the deceptive landscapes by Kate Kirkwood, a British photographer whose work is deeply rooted in the countryside of the Lake District where she’s lived for the last 34 years. There, underneath the clear, blue skies or amid the haze of dense fog, Kirkwood frames what appears to be vast, barren terrains that with further examination, are revealed to be fragmented shots of the animals wandering the fields rather than the vistas themselves. More Continue reading

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Wildly Expressive Masks by Karolina Romanowska Freeze Contradictory Emotions in Ceramic
July 19, 2022

“Extremely resilient yet fragile” is how artist Karolina Romanowska describes the moody, anthropomorphic characters that comprise her series of sculptural works. Romanowska hand-builds a vast array of fantastical personas from clay, using a combination of slabs, coils, and molds to form flat tongues, individual teardrops, and horns with pointed tips. The contradictions inherent within the figures’ expressions are the conceptual counterpart to the ceramic material, she says, referring to both its ability to withstand fire and its propensity to fracture or burst upon impact. More Continue reading

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A Temporary Sanctuary at Hitokotonushi Shrine Provides Fresh Water for Japan’s Honeybees
July 11, 2022

Established more than 1,200 years ago in 809, the historic Hitokotonushi Shrine just outside of Tokyo becomes a secondary sanctuary for local pollinators each summer. The on-site water basins, which are designed to hydrate humans, undergo a miniature makeover complete with moss, tiny architecture, and climbing surfaces so that the spaces are hospitable to the region’s bee population, offering a clean source used for drinking, feeding their offspring, diluting honey, and helping to stabilize the hive’s temperature. More Continue reading

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Simple Lines and Shapes Comprise the Lavish Yet Minimal Animal Drawings of Jochen Gerner
July 8, 2022

Lines and basic shapes are the basis of Jochen Gerner’s distinct, almost paradoxical style that’s sometimes referred to as “abundant minimalism.” The French artist, who lives and works between Lorraine and Burgundy, draws birds and dogs that are sparse in form and yet rich in color and texture: checkered patterns overlaid with a chaotic array of markings create a shaggy fur coat, while variegated patches of feathers distinguish the tail from wing or breast. More Continue reading

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Plants, Motifs, and Cultural Symbols Are Superimposed onto Digital Portraits by Sam Rodriguez
June 30, 2022

San Jose-based artist Sam Rodriguez might liken an abstract leaf sprouting from a young woman’s garment or a Pac-Man-esque rendering floating near a subject’s face to scenic elements. His portraits, which he’s been referring to as “cultural landscapes” for the past few years, are topographies of identity that involve replacing trees, rivers, and horizons with social markers. “It’s interesting to see the endless variants that each individual carries when we unpack who they are,” he shares with Colossal. More Continue reading

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Extravagant Sound Installations by Love Hultén Use Custom Synthesizers and Visualizers to Create Elaborate Audiovisual Mashups
June 23, 2022

Swedish audiovisual artist and woodworker Love Hultén is known for his extravagant and unconventional sound installations that fall at the intersection of music, art, and design. Whether an homage to Nintendo, Pacman, or Simone Giertz’s chattering mouths, the custom synthesizers are elaborate electronic instruments with broad audio capabilities and often, a unique MIDI visualizer that responds in real-time: play the keyboard of “NES-SY37,” for example, and a rendering evocative of a vintage video game will appear on a tiny LCD screen. More Continue reading

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