Vibrant Patterns Envelop Dozens of Mythical Animal Sculptures That Explore the Folk Art Traditions of Mexico
November 22, 2022

In Guardians, artists María del Carmen Mendoza Méndez and Jacobo Ángeles Ojeda, of Jacobo and Maria Ángeles Workshop, pay homage to the mythical creatures of their Oaxacan childhoods. The husband-wife duo carves the soft wood of the copal tree into fantastical creatures that reference Mesoamerican spirituality and Mexican folk art, including the sculptures known as alebrijes. They refer to the unearthly characters as Tonas and Nahuales and cloak the birds, butterflies, and beasts in vibrant patterns and Zapotec symbols. More

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Artist Spotlight: Alison Blickle
May 4, 2022

Alison Blickle is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. Centered around women engaged in mysterious ceremonies, Blickle’s colorful paintings work in narrative series, exploring powerful female archetypes found in mythology. Her most recent exhibitions, “Killer,” and “Time’s Up,” are part of a series reimagining the story of Maenads from ancient Greek mythology.    “The … Continued Continue reading

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70,000 Tiny Amphorae Envelop the Voluminous Forms of Grégoire Scalabre’s Elaborate Sculptures
April 16, 2022

Gathering thousands of miniature porcelain vessels over large surfaces and curvatures, Grégoire Scalabre confronts preconceptions of form, scale, and material in his intricate sculptures. The Paris-based artist hand-turns countless tiny, vase-like containers reminiscent of amphorae, or ancient storage jars that were typically long and narrow so that they could be snugly stored together. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition of French porcelain making and an interest in Greek mythology, his dynamic works combine incredible technical skill with a desire to recast the medium in a new light and experiment with its physical limits. More Continue reading

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Fantastical Plants and Hybrid Characters Form a Strange Menagerie Crafted by Cat Johnston
March 19, 2021

A moth-human hybrid, striped coral, and a smoking frog sporting a tracksuit inhabit Cat Johnston’s fantastical ecosystem crafted from paper and textiles. The playfully bizarre creatures are inspired by monsters, mythology, and folklore, evoking deities and magnifying the strange qualities of plants and animals. Johnston created many of the lifeforms shown here shortly after moving to San Francisco and exploring the environment. “I was blown away by all the strange and lovely cacti and succulents and the animals I saw there (hummingbirds and pelicans and raccoons!) and wanted to create a landscape of plants and creatures that felt as alien and magical as California did to me,” she says. More Continue reading

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Archaeologists Have Uncovered an Impeccably Preserved Food Stand in Pompeii
December 28, 2020

Mallard to go, anyone? Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient thermopolium—aka the Roman equivalent of a street food vendor—at the Regio V site in Pompeii. The well-preserved stand is decorated with multiple frescoes featuring a nereid (nymphs of Greek mythology) riding a sea horse, tall jars with two-handles that commonly were used for storage, and some of the formerly available fare, like mallards and chickens. A rendering of a muscular dog adorns another side of the stand with the insult, “Nicia cineadecacator,” scribed nearby. More Continue reading

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Metaphorical Scenes Examine Mystery in Dreamy Paintings by Artist Duy Huynh
November 9, 2020

Vietnamese aritst Duy Huynh (previously) examines balance through nuanced scenes replete with ethereal, surreal elements: individual flowers ascend from a teapot, a chain winds around an artichoke heart, and figures float mid-air. Rendered in muted hues, the acrylic paintings are metaphorical and narrative-based, visualizing stories by connecting unsual symbols or positioning disparate objects together. The North Carolina-based artist gives the works witty names— “Thyme to Turnip the Beet” and “ReciprociTea,” for example—adding to their playful and whimsical natures. More Continue reading

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Through a Blur of Migratory Birds, Photographer Sankar Sridhar Captures the Rituals of the Yamuna River
July 2, 2020

When Dehli-based photographer Sankar Sridhar visits the Yamuna River in winter, he observes hundreds of gulls, terns, and other birds as they flock to the Ganges tributary that flows through the Indian city. Despite the river’s inability to maintain a thriving ecosystem in that stretch, the avians are spurred by site fidelity as they migrate each year, a ritualistic act Sridhar recently captured in a series titled Long Live the River. More Continue reading

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Artists Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak by Flooding Social Media with a Japanese Yokai Said to Ward Off Epidemics
March 13, 2020

A Japanese legend dating back to the 1800s has been resurfacing across social media recently because of its tie to staving off epidemics. A three-legged mermaid or merman with long hair and beak, the Amabie falls within the tradition of the yōkai—which is a supernatural monster or spirit in Japanese culture— and is said to have appeared from the waters near Kumamoto. The mythical tale states that the scale-covered creature emerged from the sea to tell prophecies about the upcoming harvests and potential destruction from disease. More Continue reading

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