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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This Japanese Zoo is Using Stuffed Capybaras to Visualize Social Distancing
May 22, 2020

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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Tuxedoed Penguins Plunge into A Private Tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
May 19, 2020

On a recent trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, three penguins from the Kansas City Zoo were keen to ruffle some feathers. As they waddled along their private tour— the museum currently is closed to humans due to COVID-19—Bubbles, Maggie, and Berkley served some polarizing opinions. Executive director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia said the tuxedoed guests “seemed to react much better to Caravaggio than Monet,” whose work they only glance at in a video of their trip. More Continue reading

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A Chef Demonstrates the Emotional Steps of How To Make Sushi
May 8, 2020

How to Make Sushi outlines all the necessary tasks to assemble maki: slice your fish, spread the rice, bleed from avocado hand, sweat all over your workspace, spend years agonizing over perfection, and finally, slice your roll into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy?
Made by London-based director and 3D designer Jonathan Lindgren, the humorous animation provides a quirky look at mastering a craft. It’s complete with the basic kitchen skills like cleaning a knife and gathering ingredients, in addition to more emotional labor like ending a romantic relationship and rising early each day. More Continue reading

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Vintage Jigsaw Puzzles Blended Piece-by-Piece into Surreal Montages by Tim Klein
May 5, 2020

Although there’s seemingly only one way to assemble a jigsaw puzzle, Tim Klein (previously) has diverged from the traditional method of following the photo on the box to assemble unusual arrangements of hybrid animals and everyday objects. The Vancouver, Washington-based artist combines two vintage puzzles that are similar in composition, creating bizarre amalgamations that position a hedgehog on top of a muffin and mask George Washington’s face with verdant greenery and a waterfall. More Continue reading

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Artist François Vogel Turns His Unaware Cat into a Wriggling Jellyfish
April 28, 2020

Based on a recent cameo, François Vogel ’s cat actually might enjoy a dip in the ocean despite his feline instincts to avoid it. The Abyssinian has been stretched and distorted in a series of humorous clips made by his French owner, including one that lengthens and spirals the cat’s legs like flowing jellyfish tendrils. The unsuspecting pet also is stretched across the dining room and launched into an expanding sea of fish that he slowly swims through. More Continue reading

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Humans Stripped Down to Their Circulatory Systems Participate in Urban Life
April 19, 2020

Back in the early days of anatomical illustration (c. 1500 – c. 1800), artists often rendered the human figure within the lavish landscape of the anatomist’s hometown. These historical illustrations are part of what inspired photographer Jan Kriwol and CGI artist Markos Kay to create the photographic series Human After All. The main character is the human circulatory system in the context of mundane urban life—grocery shopping, eating a burger, and even taking a cigarette break. More Continue reading

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“My Wife Hates it When I Work From Home” — Banksy Shares Rats Run Amok in his Bathroom from Quarantine
April 15, 2020

Presumably quarantined like the rest of humanity, Banksy just posted a few images of an artwork executed in his supposed home bathroom. The installation depicts a mischievous pack of his signature rats destroying everything in sight: swinging from towel racks, running on toilet paper, marking the days of quarantine on the wall, and making a disgusting mess of the toilet. The caption accompanying the work on Instagram reads simply, “My wife hates it when I work from home.” More Continue reading

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Mischievous Monsters Smirk and Grin in Fuzzy Alphabet Collection by Jose Arias
April 13, 2020

Lima-based graphic designer and illustrator Jose Arias has created a wacky cast of typographic monsters ready to cuddle you in their serifs and ascenders—Monsters Inc. meets the alphabet. Often smirking or baring a couple of teeth, Arias’s letter-based characters sometimes come adorned with coiffed hair, a gold crown, and a pair of headphones. Each has an alphabetic shape that’s formed naturally by their bodies or when they jump into the air, open their mouths, or stick out their legs. More Continue reading

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Two Curious Gerbils Visit (and Chew on) a Miniature Art Museum Made by Their Quarantined Owners
April 7, 2020

Stay-home orders around the world have inspired people to fill their time creatively—think the recreations of well-known artworks and “Coronavirus Tourism Bureau” posters we mentioned last week. But rather than fashion a mock art exhibition for themselves, this London couple thought a little bit smaller. Filippo and Marianna created The Gerbil Museum, a miniature gallery space for their two 9-month-old gerbils, Pandoro and Tiramisù.
Complete with cardboard benches and scribbled museum labels, the wood-floored gallery houses humorous versions of iconic works. More Continue reading

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People are Recreating Famous Artworks Using Whatever They Have at Home During Quarantine
April 2, 2020

By sporting a bonnet fashioned out of toilet paper and clutching a celery-stalk cigarette, people are finding ways to engage with their favorite artworks from a distance. This week, the Getty challenged folks to imitate classic pieces with whatever they can find around their homes and since has gotten thousands of hilarious (and well-done) responses.
The Los Angeles museum’s call was inspired by the account Between Art & Quarantine, which has been asking people to choose three aspects of their favorite works to recreate using anything they’ve got at home, hence the pets, kids, and vegetables in the mix. More Continue reading

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Two Mice Photographed in a Comically Dramatic Struggle in the London Underground
February 14, 2020

Bristol-based photographer Sam Rowley is dedicated to capturing fleeting moments. After lying down on the platform near London’s Underground and waiting for two mice to appear, Rowley was able to photograph the upright pair as they engaged in a brawl over a morsel of dropped food in a shot titled “Station Squabble.” “He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant,” said a statement from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, in which Rowley was awarded the 2019 Lumix People’s Choice Award. More Continue reading

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Minimalist Ceramics by Amy Victoria Marsh Exude Positivity and Playfulness
February 10, 2020

Relying on a simple color palette, Amy Victoria Marsh crafts minimalist ceramics meant to inspire positivity and humor. The Manchester-based artist creates playful pieces ranging from supine women reading to others wrapped up on a sushi bed to her “Happy Poo” collection. Her pastel fortune cookie even comes in an illustrated package with an uplifting saying stuffed inside.
Marsh tells It’s Nice That that much of her lighthearted work has been inspired by a 2016 visit to Japan. More Continue reading

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Generative Geography: Postcommodity in Conversation
January 27, 2020

 On January 17 at the San Francisco Institute of Art, Cristóbal Martínez of the collective Postcommodity spoke to A.i.A.’s Brian Droitcour about The Point of Final Collapse, a sound installation that plays every day at 5:00p.m. from SFAI’s tower. (Kade L. Twist, the other member of Postcommodity, was unable to participate due to illness.) […] Continue reading

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Become a Piano Savant with This Clever Guide to Classic Tunes by Christoph Niemann
January 22, 2020

Your days of expensive piano lessons are over. Master the foreboding notes in Jaws, a nursery rhyme often repeated by kids, and of course,”Für Elise,” with this straightforward diagram from Christoph Niemann (previously). In his riff on Beethoven’s classic,  “How to Please Elise” provides simple instructions on how to play the first 51 notes of the German composer’s masterpiece with ease through a diagrammed sequence similar to an old-school instructional dance chart. More Continue reading

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