MIMOSA: An Optimistic Collection of Temporary Installations Take Over Philadelphia’s Navy Yard
September 23, 2020

An eclectic array of installations recently popped up at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, transforming the historic neighborhood into a temporary wonderland teeming with quirky characters, large-scale interventions, and optimism. A life-size piñata shaped like a 1984 Thunderbird is parked on 12th Street, cross-stitched roses trail across the brick facade of Building 99, and a typographic message casts shadows on a pavilion in a call for hope.
Officially titled Mystery Island and the Marvelous Occurrence of Spontaneous Art, or MIMOSA, the entirely outdoor exhibition includes work from seven artists DAKU (previously), Justin Favela (previously), Kid Hazo with South Fellini, Reed Bmore, Liesbet Bussche, and Raquel Rodrigo (previously). More Continue reading

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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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A New Book Chronicles the 125-Year History of the Button, Its Design, and Its Role in Cultural Change
September 10, 2020

If something is “fit for the back of a postage stamp,” it’s generally understood as lacking depth and nuance. A similarly sized object, however, has been upending that saying for 125 years. From political campaigns to punch lines to keepsakes, the button has packed bits of incredibly rich history into just a few inches. “It seems like a niche little object, but it really tells a very general American history,” collector and manufacturer Christen Carter tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Quirky Characters Anthropomorphize Patterned, Pastel Vases by Ceramicist Sandra Apperloo
September 9, 2020

Sandra Apperloo infuses her love for pastels and tiny freckles into a playful crew of characters. Shaped to hold a single flower stem, the anthropomorphized vases display a range of emotions and together, form a series humorously named Weirdo Bud Vases. Their lengthy bodies are covered in polka dots, floral motifs, and stripes, and while some stand straight up, others twist around a similarly dressed figure. “I hope my works make people laugh and daydream. More Continue reading

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Step Inside Petrit Halilaj’s Monumental Nest of Oversized Flowers Within Reina Sofia’s Palacio de Cristal
August 28, 2020

Bowerbirds are renowned for one of the most unusual courtship behaviors in the animal kingdom, where males build elaborately decorated nests—called bowers—in an attempt to court a mate. Kosovar visual artist Petrit Halilaj drew inspiration from this unique ritual for his first solo exhibition at Reina Sofia’s Palacio de Cristal (previously) in Madrid. Titled “To a raven and the hurricanes which bring back smells of humans in love from unknown places,” the installation serves as a metaphorical nest that connects the inside and outside spaces of the palace and features several avian elements like trays of birdseed and a giant pair of bird’s feet that descend from above. More Continue reading

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“Healing” by Artist Evan M. Cohen
August 4, 2020

Another lovely comic from New York-based artist and illustrator Evan M. Cohen (previously featured here).   I can see the forest In the distance, I can hear my name From above, I am alive, I am magnetic, The Earth pulls at my love. She wakes me With her electric skies, She shows me How to … Continued Continue reading

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Myriad Layers of Intricately Cut Paper Construct Architectural Sculptures by Artist Michael Velliquette
July 30, 2020

Despite being built with a pliable, degradable material, Michael Velliquette’s paper sculptures exude strength and durability. Densley layered walls fortify the borders of his architectural works, and three-dimensional elements evoke mechanical gadgets like gears and other hardware. The incredibly intricate structures also have more delicate features, like the tiny dots and curved flourishes decorating the small pieces.
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the artist hand-cuts each shape with straight-edge scissors or an Exacto knife, utilizing templates, mechanical punches, rulers, and compasses. More Continue reading

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Berries, Cookies, and Salami Slices Anonymize Vintage Portraits by Digital Artist Harriet Moutsopoulos
July 9, 2020

Telling someone that there’s an errant herb stuck between their teeth or a dot of sauce just below their lip is likely to spur embarrassment, so noting that they’re covered in egg or raspberry or a gloopy mound of ketchup might be too much to bear. Harriet Moutsopoulos, though, helps her subjects save face by completely masking their distinct features with singular bites of fruit, bowls of ice cream, and slices of salami, ensuring their anonymity. More Continue reading

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Remarkable Portraits by Artist Amy Sherald Render Subjects in Grayscale Against Vibrant Backdrops
June 5, 2020

Amy Sherald grew up in Columbus, Georgia, which shaped her conceptions of identity and fundamentally influenced her artistic practice. “Acknowledging the performative aspects of race and Southernness, I committed myself to exploring the interiority of Black Americans,” the artist told Smithsonian Magazine in December 2019. “I wanted to create unseen narratives.”
Now living and working in Baltimore, Sherald paints distinctive portraits set against bold, vibrant backdrops. She renders each subject, who stares directly at the viewer, in her signature grayscale. More Continue reading

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Doughy Braids and Sliced Fruits Arranged into Sumptuous Pies by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek
May 26, 2020

While many people are spending their days starting batches of sourdough, Karin Pfeiff-Boschek has been busy baking sweet pies with mesmerizing arrangements that appear almost too pretty to eat. She tops each pastry with a delicate floral motif of flaky dough, a precisely arranged gradient of sliced fruit, or a checkered weave braided in rows.
The pastry designer tells Colossal that she was raised in a family of bakers, although pies weren’t her first form of artistic expression. More Continue reading

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