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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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 Massive Compendium of Tarot Cards Explores 600 Years of the Divine Decks
August 8, 2020

Compiling more than 500 cards, a new book sequences an incredibly diverse array of metaphysical decks from medieval to modern times. Tarot is arranged in order from the Major to the Minor Arcana and examines the meaning behind the varied illustrations, considering who created them and when. From a whimsical, black-and-white rendering of The Lovers by Madison Ross to French occultist Jean-Baptise Alliette’s pastel series, the compendium explores the collaborations between mystics and artists that have been happening for centuries. 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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Sinuous Snakes, Insects, and Florals Intertwine in Graphite Illustrations by Zoe Keller
June 27, 2020

Through a winding series of delicate illustrations, Zoe Keller (previously) explores the fragility of the natural world. In Scale & Bone, the Portland-based illustrator renders copper belly water snakes, San Francisco garters, and eastern diamondback rattlers through sinuous compositions that are ripe with skeletal remains, rows of butterflies, and dense patches of fungi. Each graphite drawing examines the tension between life and death and how nature’s processes are cyclical, including the shedding and regeneration of tube-like layers of skin. More Continue reading

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This Incredibly Detailed Sino-Tibetan Book Was Printed More Than 40 Years Before the Gutenberg Bible
June 24, 2020

An ancient-book collector is offering a rare glimpse into a Sino-Tibetan book that’s believed to have been printed as early as 1410 in Beijing. A self-described bibliophile known as Incunabula, the collector shared a thread containing dozens of images showing inside spreads full of red ink drawings and Ranjana script, a writing system developed in the 11th century. The Gutenberg Bible, which was printed with movable metal type, dates back to 1454, nearly 45 years after this woodblock-produced text. More Continue reading

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