Play a Game of UNO with Nina Chanel Abney’s New Deck Featuring Her Bold, Energetic Style
December 16, 2020

Artist Nina Chanel Abney revitalizes the classic game of UNO with her distinct fragmented figures and bold blocks of color in a new collaboration with Mattel. Straying from the minimal, numbered cards, lively portraits and mirrored personas emblazon the transformed deck. Just like her larger body of work, Abney’s design is brimming with energy and captures the wildly chaotic experience of modern life.
“I wanted the cards to have personality,” Abney shares. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Subversively Elegant Portraits of Indigenous People Drawn on Repurposed Ledgers by Artist Chris Pappan
November 25, 2020

In his mixed-media portraits, Chicago-based artist Chris Pappan draws on the tradition of ledger art, a practice that flourished among Native populations throughout the Great Plains from around 1850 to 1920. Rooted in narratives, the renderings depicted the ways of life of Indigenous people and the nuances otherwise left out of mainstream conversations. “The mid-19th Century was a tumultuous time for the Indigenous peoples of America; the doctrine of Manifest Destiny brought deep pain and suffering but it also introduced new modes of expression,” says Pappan, who is a citizen of the Kaw (Kanza) Nation and of Osage, Lakota and mixed European heritage. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Interview: Danielle Clough Discusses Embroidery’s Lengthy History and the Tenuous Distinction Between Art and Craft
November 24, 2020

Through thickly layered thread, Cape Town-based artist Danielle Clough (previously) conveys joy, positivity, and moments of pure delight, themes she discusses in a new interview supported by Colossal Members. Clough positions herself in the worlds of both fiber-based craft and art by embroidering intimate portraits of pop culture icons and vivid floral works on found objects. Each piece is stitched in vibrant and bold hues that exaggerate existing tones or provide a playful interpretation of the subject. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Subversive and Grandiose, Kajahl’s Vivid Portraits Supplant Historical Narratives
November 20, 2020

Through his meticulously rendered portraits, Santa Cruz-born artist Kajahl subverts the tradition of Blackamoor—a highly stylized European aesthetic that visualized people of color, particularly African men, in exoticized forms and subservient roles—by instead depicting Black subjects in valorized positions. Part of a series titled Royal Specter, the vivid paintings center alchemists, scholars, astronomers, and various intellectual figures within grandiose and luxurious settings.
While the artist’s works evoke the racist sculpture and decorative pieces of Blackamoor, they remove the historical context and alter the original narrative through anachronistic details. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Shaped Using Precisely Cut Maps, Nikki Rosato’s Busts and Portraits Connect Place, Memory, and Identity
November 13, 2020

Through mesh busts and delicate portraits, Nikki Rosato visualizes the connections between place and identity. The Washington, D.C.-based artist carves out the multi-colored highways and back roads from common maps, leaving the distances and spatial markings intact. She then shapes the cut paper into figurative sculptures and 2D artworks that vary in density and color depending on the original city or region.
Rosat utilizes the precise markings of cartography to highlight the complex, inner-workings of memory and belonging. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Photographer Spotlight: Halfdan Venlov
October 27, 2020

A selection of portraits by Copenhagan, Denmark-based photographer Halfdan Venlov. Centered around themes of youth identity, coming of age, and a feeling of “being out of step with the world”, Venlov’s images are not tied to specific narratives. Depicting young characters, he explains his intention to allow the viewer to “inhabit a space of multiple … Continued Continue reading

Share

Watch
Monochromatic Illustrations Personify the Power of the Sun and Moon through Fictional Deities
October 18, 2020

In her ethereal portraits, Toronto-based artist Sara Golish (previously) renders lavishly adorned goddesses and gods that exude a sense of power and wisdom. The charcoal, conté, and ink drawings are part of two ongoing collections, titled Sundust and Moondust, that imagine a series of fictional deities. Each figure belongs to one of the celestial bodies, a correlation that the artist visualizes through the paper’s color, with a warmer beige for the sun and a cool gray for the moon. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
In Flight: Dramatic Photographs by Mark Harvey Capture Acrobatic Birds Mid-Air
October 17, 2020

Throughout lockdown in the United Kingdom, Mark Harvey, who is known for his striking equine and canine photography, shifted his focus to the avian creatures gliding above his home in the Norfolk Broads. Now part of a series titled In Flight, the exquisitely detailed shots frame common birds —including magpies, blue tits, starlings, goldfinches, great tits, coal tits, long-tailed tits, and green finches—in otherwise unseen poses: some splay out an entire wingspan, while others wrap their feathers around the front of their torsos. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Circular Paintings Expose the Fleshy Innards of Halved Oranges, Pomegranates, and Other Fruits
October 16, 2020

Using round canvases with a range of diameters, Alonsa Guevara deftly paints the plump, juicy insides of oranges, watermelon, and other fruits. Each circular piece depicts a seemingly perfect slice down the middle, capturing the fibrous veins and central seeds found within fresh produce.
Guevara spent her childhood in the Ecuadorian rainforests surrounded by tropical landscapes and nearby agriculture, an experience of nature that influences her artistic practice. The Chilean artist, who lives in New York City, began fruit portraits in 2014 as she reflected on her adolescence and thought of creating a body of work that felt universal. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Elegant Portraits Highlight the Feathery Features of Leila Jeffreys’ Perfectly Posed Birds
September 25, 2020

Those of us who’ve been party to an awkward family photoshoot or embarrassing school picture have reason to feel envious of the birds Leila Jeffreys (previously) photographs. From a pair of stoic budgerigars to a yellow trio named “The Tweets,” the avian subjects are captured in sophisticated and graceful poses that highlight their most stunning features, from the curvature of their beaks to the singular barbs of their feathers.
Jeffreys often teams up with conservationists, ornithologists, and sanctuaries to determine her subjects before bringing them to a studio. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Elaborate Fashions and Hairstyles Explore Beauty and Power in Photographer Luke Nugent’s Lavish Portraits

London-based photographer Luke Nugent (previously) captures a wide swath of beauty and expression through his powerful images centered on Black models. Often in commanding poses, the subjects sport evocative fashions and elaborately designed makeup. One model is covered in Kintsugi-style cracks and encrusted with glimmering gems, while others wear futuristic garments and lavishly styled hair. The deeply considered photographs are created collaboratively with makeup and hair artists, stylists, and creative directors. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Colorful, Geometric Stitches Embolden Black-and-White Photographs of Historical Figures and Cultural Icons
September 24, 2020

When Victoria Villasana (previously) lays a long stitch on a vintage photograph, she’s connecting the pattern or geometric shape to a piece of history, culture, or philosophy. The Mexican artist transforms found black-and-white images of cultural icons and historical figures through vibrant embroideries. Turquoise fibers radiate from Nelson Mandela’s fist, a gold, chevron collar lines Chadwick Boseman’s shirt, and Yayoi Kusma sports a multicolor garment with varying dots and stripes. More Continue reading

Share

Watch