Wildflowers, Trees, and Quaint Cabins Spring From Su Blackwell’s Book Sculptures
May 19, 2022

The enchanting, imaginative narratives usually bound between the covers of a book burst from the page in the sculptures of Su Blackwell. Often sourcing materials from secondhand shops, flea markets, and library sales, the British artist, who’s based in Hastings, constructs lush gardens of birds and wildflowers and quiet cottages in the midst of evergreens that appear to emerge from vintage volumes.
Imbued with movement in the form of wind or waves, the whimisical works tend to revolve around the fleeting and finding refuge during times of loneliness and mundanity. More Continue reading

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Garments of Grass and Flowers Fuse Jeanne Simmons’s Body to the Landscape
May 18, 2022

“When we spend a lot of time in a place, and if we are paying attention, a kind of intimacy develops,” says Jeanne Simmons. The artist, who’s based in the Pacific Northwest, grounds her practice in this sense of familiarity and ease with her surroundings. “We come to know the plants that grow there and the critters that roam there… We may even begin to feel that we ourselves have become part of that place, and it is this feeling that sustains and inspires me.”
After gathering natural materials like branches, wild vegetables, and bark, Simmons constructs garments that intertwine her own body with the landscape and obscure the distinction between the two. More Continue reading

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In ‘Forothermore,’ Artist Nick Cave Harnesses the Power of Beauty and Art to Inspire Change
May 17, 2022

From floral Soundsuits and found-object sculptures to a multicolor web of millions of pony beads, Forothermore surveys the 30-plus-year career of artist Nick Cave. The retrospective, which draws its name from “forevermore” and “for others,” opened last week at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and captures both the evolution and mainstays of the artist’s practice. Cave spoke with Colossal in an interview ahead of the show, saying, “Why now, why now this moment, why this exhibition, why this survey, and who is it for? More Continue reading

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Activist Symbols and Witty Scenarios Are Woven into Towering Hair Sculptures by Laetitia Ky
May 13, 2022

Laetitia Ky exercises art activism by braiding African identity into hair sculpture. Born from the lack of representation she experienced growing up on the Ivory Coast, her practice started by cutting the silky straight strands off of her Barbie doll heads and meticulously re-stitching curly extensions as a child. In Love and Justice, Ky’s towering sculptures are embedded into aspects of everyday life. She draws on the strength and durability of Black hair texture to weave traditional instruments, regional wildlife, and bodies in motion into interactive portraits that capture the beauty in common aspects of culture across the continent. More Continue reading

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Elaborate Narratives Emerge From the Surreal, Mysterious Worlds of Victo Ngai’s Illustrations
May 10, 2022

Starting with a single word or short prompt from an editor or brand, Victo Ngai (previously) imagines fantastical dreamscapes brimming with surreal details. The Los Angeles-based, Hong Kong-born illustrator collaborates on commissioned projects that, although intended to be paired with an article or advertisement, become visual narratives in their own right. She shapes a tiger from coiled red ribbons, places an enormous hound among a nighttime cityscape veiled in shades of blue, and reinterprets the sun and its rays as a colorful, segmented circle hovering above the horizon. More Continue reading

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A Chromatic Installation by Felipe Pantone Turns a Public Walkway into an Architectural Kaleidoscope

Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone (previously) magnifies the prismatic principles that ground his Subtractive Variability series to a phenomenal scale in the newly installed “Quick Tide.” Whether working in kinetic sculpture or large-scale murals, Pantone investigates the vast realm of color theory and its bottomless potential, in this instance transforming the cyan, magenta, and yellow model into a dynamic display. “The idea of creating a system in which I can create endless color combinations within the visible color spectrum by simply rotating or displacing the same image over and over (in C, M, Y)… the results are always random, unexpected, yet always interesting for me,” Pantone tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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A New Book Illuminates the Lives of the Elusive, Pink-Plumed Flamingos in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula

In the Yucatán Peninsula, the rich wetland environment of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve is one of the most important sites for flamingos. The pink-pigmented birds flock to the area for breeding each year, with officials registering approximately 15,000 nests and 30,000 adults inhabiting the area in 2021 alone.
A biologist by training, photographer Claudio Contreras Koob has spent years visiting the lanky, big-beaked avians in the reserve and documenting their mannerisms and habits, amassing a broad collection of images now compiled in a book published by teNeues Verla in collaboration with the Nature Picture Library. More Continue reading

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Traditional Portraits Are Reimagined in an Exploration of Concealment and Identity by Shawn Huckins
May 5, 2022

A new series of paintings by New Hampshire-based artist Shawn Huckins (previously) proposes thinking about how we wear clothing and textiles in a fresh light. Dirty Laundry continues the artist’s interest in re-interpreting 18th- and 19th-Century European portraiture, an artistic tradition steeped in symbolism and subtle commentary about wealth and class. The garments donned by the subjects of painters like John Singleton Copley or Adriaen van der Werff reflected their status and sense of self through apparel and accessories. More Continue reading

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Curious Squirrels and Rambunctious Hares Form a Miniature Menagerie of Felted Wildlife
May 4, 2022

From a shy baby fox to toads donning crowns, the felted miniatures crafted by Simon Brown and Katie Corrigan are adorable, whimsical renditions of forest creatures. The Northumbria, U.K.-based creative duo transforms thick rovings of wool into wildlife that can be found perching on a snowy branch or creeping up on a mouse through the grass-like bristles of a wooden brush. Brown tells Colossal that he plans to incorporate more found objects into the newer sculptures, which are increasingly illustrative in style, and is also working on developing automata to add a liveliness to the realistic characters. More Continue reading

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Patchwork Coats with Frayed Fur Add Shaggy Texture to Barbara Franc’s Dog Sculptures
May 2, 2022

Alongside an eccentric metallic menagerie, artist Barbara Franc stitches shaggy hounds with frayed fur and coats layered with assorted patches of prints. The fabric creatures are part of Franc’s collection of animals constructed with repurposed materials that range from buttons and vintage tapestries to windshield wipers and cutlery. To create these soft sculptures, she wraps scraps of worn trousers, curtains, and scarves around a padded, wire armature, defining a muscular hind leg with tweed or a stomach with an embroidered fairytale scene. More Continue reading

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A Trailer for João Gonzalez’s Animated Short ‘Ice Merchants’ Follows a Cliff-Jumping Father and Son
April 29, 2022


Selected as one of ten projects for the International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival, João Gonzalez’s “Ice Merchants” is a frigid and precarious tale about a father and son. As the title suggests, the pair sells the frozen material, although to reach the market in the village below, they have to grab their parachutes and leap from their cliff-side home each day.
Gonzalez, who also performed and composed the accompanying soundtrack, created “Ice Merchants” in a minimal style similar to his award-winning “Nestor” and “The Voyagers.” He shares about the new film in a statement: “Something that has always fascinated me about animation cinema is the freedom it offers us to create something from scratch. More Continue reading

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Evening Sunlight Blankets the Dense Los Angeles Hills in an Ethereal Glow in Seth Armstrong’s Paintings

Los Angeles-based artist Seth Armstrong (previously) gravitates toward saturated palettes of greens and blues to render the steep, hilly landscapes of his hometown. Evening sunsets bathe the staggered houses, trees, and sloping streets in a warm glow, adding a tinge of magic to the densely populated neighborhoods. Balancing light with shadow and hyperrealism with more ethereal details, the oil-based works, while similar in composition and subject matter, rarely follow the same process, Armstrong shares. More Continue reading

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