Turtles, Ducklings, and Pheasants Comprise an Adorable Menagerie of Miniatures by Fanni Sandor
July 1, 2022

Hungary-based artist Fanni Sandor (previously) expands her already minuscule menagerie with even tinier creatures. Using polymer clay, feathers, fur, and other materials, Sandor sculpts biologically accurate miniatures at a 1:12 scale, and many of her recent pieces include newborns and adolescents: a trio of joeys cling to their mother’s back, a chick slurps a worm, and a duckling grasps a monarch in its bill. Sandor shares more of the adorable animals and information on which are available on Instagram. 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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Through Organic Sculptural Furniture, Artist Nacho Carbonell Channels the Sensual Details of the Mediterranean
June 29, 2022

Evoking the textures and colors of his native Valencia, the sculptural furniture pieces by Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell are sensual interpretations of life in the Mediterranean. A bulbous, metal mesh canopy sprouts from a rugged pink seat, small wooden sticks comprise the sinuous patterns on a buffet, and a vibrant mosaic takes the form of a headphone-shaped lamp. Tactile and potentially functional, the objects reference the natural, sun-soaked environment of Carbonell’s childhood, in addition to art historical traditions like those of 15th Century painter Hieronymus Bosch and 20th Century Austrian sculptor Franz West. More Continue reading

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In ‘Extinct and Endangered,’ Photographer Levon Biss Magnifies the Potential Loss of Insects Around the Globe
June 28, 2022

Despite existing on separate continents thousands of miles apart, the Madeira brimstone and giant Patagonian bumblebee are experiencing similar hardships. The former, which inhabits the islands it inherits its name from, is dealing with an invasive species decimating the trees its caterpillars require pre-metamorphosis, while the latter has been struggling to survive in its native Chile after farmers introduced domesticated European bees to aid in crop pollination. Both species are in danger and are part of an ongoing exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History conveying what’s at stake if their species are lost entirely. More Continue reading

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A 546-Piece Puzzle Slots into a Hulking Simian with Moveable Limbs
June 27, 2022

A follow-up to his wooden geometric figures, Mat Random designed a similarly stocky simian with a DIY twist. The architect and craftsman, who’s based in Buenos Aires, recently released a three-dimensional puzzle that once slotted together, forms a moveable ape-like creature. Made from 546 pieces that are laser cut from cardboard, the buildable figure has flexible joints and can be posed in various stances. “The Simian” is available as a limited edition in Random’s shop, and be sure to check out his Behance for more of his playful creations. More Continue reading

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Minimal Portraits by Luke Stephenson Frame the Elegant Plumage of Show Birds
June 24, 2022

For the better part of a decade, U.K.-born, Stockholm-based photographer Luke Stephenson has been fascinated by show birds, their impeccably groomed feathers, and undeniably unique personalities. Whether centering on a white-eyed Zosterop or confrontational Spereo Starling, his portraits are minimal with monochromatic backdrops that accentuate the distinct colors and patterns of each plume.
The ongoing series, titled An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds, originated with Stephenson wanting to photograph budgies but was intrigued by other species when he met some of his future subjects and their owners. More Continue reading

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An Astonishing Array of Ceramic Mosaic Tiles Comprise a Japanese Museum’s Historical Collection

In the Gifu Prefecture of Japan, a nucleus of creativity blossomed in Kasahara Town, Tajimi City, more than a millennium ago. Known for its history of ceramic production, the region celebrates its distinctive heritage with a spring and autumn festival, a ceramics-themed park, and pottery shops that teach visitors the tradition. Among its newest attractions, set in a rolling green, the Mosaic Tile Museum Tajimi focuses on a more recent aspect of the ceramics industry. 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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An Ethereal Daily Portrait Series by Chiron Duong Captures the Vietnamese Tradition of Ao Dai

Softness is often mistaken for weakness, and simplicity for lack, but Chiron Duong’s 365 Days of Ao Dai series holds the history of this Vietnamese tradition in full texture.
According to Duong, “Vietnamese Ao Dai is not only a kind of national costume but also contains a rich history, cultural traditions, aesthetic conceptions, national consciousness, and spirit of the Vietnamese people.” The garment’s capacity to “contain many memories” is most obviously captured by multi-bodied portraits, such as photos from days 183 and 208 that indicate unfolding stories. More Continue reading

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Paper Show: A Group Exhibition Highlights 14 Artists Exploring the Vast Potential of Paper
June 22, 2022

One of the most reliable communication materials for centuries, paper historically has served as a vessel, a container for notes or the foundation of an artwork. An upcoming group exhibition at Heron Arts, though, focuses on the humble medium itself and highlights 14 contemporary artists expanding its creative potential. Paper Show features an array of styles, structures, and techniques from the whimsical mobiles of Yuko Nishikawa and Roberto Benavidez’s piñatas to Julia Ibbini’s laser-cut motifs and typographic messages from Judith + Rolfe. More Continue reading

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Reimagining an Iconic Midwestern Structure, Catie Newell Cuts a Slice of Sky Out of a Michigan Barn
June 21, 2022

In the township of Hume in rural eastern Michigan, an unassuming barn stands sentry in a wide-open field, partially covered in wild vines and grasses. Like many Midwestern farm structures, it’s weathered and has seen years of use and repairs, but one recent alteration makes it a standout among its counterparts: a careful cut through the middle of the structure reveals a slice of sky. Conceived by Detroit-based architect and educator Catie Newell, founder of Alibi Studio, the project reworks the iconic framework of an aging farm building to allow light through an unexpected aperture. More Continue reading

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A Typographic Tribute Honors the Residents and Neighbors of a Now-Demolished House in Sainte-Marie

For five days in November 2020, a house in Sainte-Marie, Québec, identified all of its residents and neighbors on Saint Louis Avenue. Antoine Audet, Maude Faucher, James Audet… the list included hundreds of names inked on strips of white paper and pasted to the clapboards.
The ephemeral design was the project of Louis Gagnon, creative director of the Montréal-based studio Paprika who lived in the house as a child and wanted to honor its tenants and friends before it was demolished. More Continue reading

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Light Pierces Through Colorful Haze Suspended Above the Composite Landscapes in ‘Metamorphe’

In the unearthly Metamorphe series, smoke-like masses swirl around hoodoos and dunes dotting the terrain. A mysterious air pervades the six illuminated works, which blend the drone-light photographs of Reuben Wu (previously) with Jenni Pasanen’s digital creations produced through artificial intelligence. Each piece envisions the earth’s surface following metamorphosis when living beings are extinct and only the landscape remains.
Named after human senses, the otherworldly composites imagine topographies brimming with enormous formations of stone and sand to explore the “sublime and beyond emotion,” the artists say. More Continue reading

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Kinetic Actions Trigger Mesmerizing Tessellations and Patterns in an Absorbing Short Film

Basic geometric forms like circles, triangles, and lines alchemize into a hypnotic study of patterns in a new short film from the Barcelona-based Diatomic Studio. Part of their Tiles series, the animation applies kinetic principles to minimal, black-and-white renderings. The actions, which include transaction, rotation, and trajectory, transform the otherwise static shapes into mesmerizing tessellations and increasingly complex and dizzying motifs. For more of Diatomic Studio’s experiments in geometry and physics, head to Vimeo. More Continue reading

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A New AI-System Designs Cameras as Playful Pop-Culture Mashups

A photographer doubling as an inventor of the bizarre, Mathieu Stern has been developing new cameras based on simple ideas: one collection is created for pharaohs, another designed by Aztecs, and others are inspired by superheroes and pop culture. The devices are visually intriguing and wildly diverse, but unfortunately, they’re not real.
Stern experimented with the new artificial intelligence system called DALL-E 2, which accepts short natural language text prompts and then generates near photo-realistic images, often with uncanny results. More Continue reading

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A Daily Sculpture Project by Frode Bolhius Spawns a Quirky Colorful Cast of Tiny Figures

Wander into Frode Bolhuis’s Almere-based studio, and you’ll be introduced to an entire cast of characters pinned to the wall. There’s one figure picking at the tufts of her broom-like head, another sporting a bubble gum pink suit resembling the Michelin man, and a woman swaddled in a cozy, fabric cocoon.
Sculpted primarily from polymer clay, the miniature works are part of the Dutch artist’s ongoing project that involves creating a few of the colorful personas each week. More Continue reading

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