The City Different: A Deep-Rooted Art Scene Is the Key to Santa Fe’s Magic
October 1, 2022

As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the United States, Santa Fe has long enchanted visitors with its rich history and unquestionable beauty. Situated at the base of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe’s tranquil yet rugged environs engender both inspiration and isolation, providing ideal conditions for a multicolored artistic paradise […] Continue reading

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In ‘The Boy Who Wanted to Fly,’ Sentrock Imagines the Origin of His Signature Bird Character
September 26, 2022

Wander through Chicago’s streets, and you’re bound to encounter one of Sentrock’s signature bird characters (previously). Disguised in a red mask with big eyes and round, pink cheeks, the boy is curious, imaginative, and playful, often seen interacting with animals, daydreaming, or riding a bike. The fictional figure is also the artist’s expression of strength and hope, particularly as it relates to his own childhood in the Mexican-American community of the city’s Pilsen neighborhood. More Continue reading

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Le Puzz Taps Into Playful Nostalgia with Its Retro-Style Jigsaws
September 16, 2022

Kids of the ’90s will recognize the playful retro designs of Le Puzz’s jigsaws. From close-ups of a big salad to a sweet flat lay of peach rings and hotdog gummies, the puzzles capture a certain vintage style sure to bring back child-like joy and nostalgia. Designs range from 500 to 1,000 pieces, all of which are cut at random for a chaotic and quirky tiling experience. Le Puzz is helmed by Alistair Matthews and Michael Hunter and features collaborations with artists like Maisie Broome and Clay Hickson. More Continue reading

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A Pinhole Camera Made of Recycled Materials Takes a DIY Approach to Vintage Photography
August 31, 2022

A vintage-inspired design from the team at the Ukrainian company Jollylook is combining the immediate joy of instant cameras with handcrafted charm. Slightly larger than an iPhone box, the Jollylook Pinhole is a DIY model constructed with recycled and biodegradable wood. The analog design uses Fuji Instax film and is equipped with a small crank for quick development. A pinhole feature and accordion-like bellows emphasize the retro feel.
Previously based in Irpin, Ukraine, the Jollylook team relocated to Zvolen, Slovakia, during the first days of Russia’s invasion. More Continue reading

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Several Layers of Glaze Finish Mia Alajasko’s Ceramic Octopuses with Colorful Textures
August 29, 2022

Tentacles speckled with glaze and bulbous suckers support the bodies of Mia Alajasko’s ceramic mollusks. From her backyard workshop in Onsala, Sweden, the artist sculpts squids and octopuses that stand upwards of 40 centimeters. Each creature is cloaked in several layers of glaze that produce a diverse array of finishes from classic matte white and neutral-toned crackles to sleek rust and mottled shades of blue.
Alajasko makes about a dozen pieces each month, and her next shop release is on September 28. More Continue reading

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In Graham Franciose’s ‘Morning Coffee Paintings,’ Dreamlike Watercolor Works Capture the Day’s Unmediated Emotion
August 12, 2022

Many days, artist and illustrator Graham Franciose sits down with watercolor, gouache, and a small sheet of cotton paper to paint a whimsical scene or surreal moment. A skateboarder carries a tree in a backpack, an anxious figure peeks through a colorful monster mask, and an oversized lion snarls at an approaching man. “I like to do these first thing in the morning when I am still not fully awake and start with a blank slate and no preconceived idea,” he tells Colossal. More Continue reading

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Find the Best Oil Pastels for Landscapes, Still Lifes, and Portraits
July 22, 2022

Made from pigment mixed with nondrying oil and a wax binder, the first oil pastels were invented by the Osaka-based company Sakura in 1924 for use in Japanese schools. While oil pastels never caught on with Japan’s educators, they interested artists—including Pablo Picasso, who collaborated with the French manufacturer of art supplies Sennelier to develop […] Continue reading

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Adorably Emotional Creatures Comprise Nosey Mungo’s Playful Ceramic Menagerie

In the hands of Helen Burgess, goofy grins, bloated bellies, and eyes wide with surprise turn endangered or overlooked animals into endearing creatures with playfully exaggerated emotions. The British ceramicist, who works as nosey mungo (previously), sculpts quirky renditions of wildlife and other critters—she prefers to focus on conservation issues and species struggling to survive— crafting kooky pufferfish covered in spikes and chicks with tiny beaks poking out from their downy, yellow bodies. More Continue reading

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Vivid Oil Paintings by Kristof Santy Present Humble Meals as Bold Gastronomic Decadence
July 13, 2022

Referencing Marco Ferreri’s mordant 1970s satire by the same name, La Grande Bouffe, or The Big Feast, saturates the simple foods found in pantries and fridges with unexpected grandeur. The solo exhibition on view at Unit London showcases vivid paintings by Belgian artist Kristof Santy that transform humble fare like a cheddar wedge or slice of watermelon into bright, gastronomic celebrations.
Often positioned against textured tile backdrops or striped wallpaper, the oil-based works tend to be either devoid of human life or portray figures in rigid stasis: a butcher stiffly lifts a broom in the shop doorway, a finger peels back a tin of fish with precision, and pans filled with sausages and other meats fry on a stovetop unsupervised. More Continue reading

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Thread Grids by Laura Fischer Encase Stones in Exquisitely Knotted Webs
July 8, 2022

Precision is at the core of Laura Fischer’s practice. Using cotton and linen threads in neutral tones, the Bellingham, Washington-based artist sheaths smooth stones in impeccably exacting grids. She forms the tiny squares and rectangles with a series of knots, mimicking the loom weaving process but working directly on the natural material. Paired together, the sculptures are finished with a twisting rope wrapped around the circumferences and suspended in staggered positions.
A few of Fischer’s pieces are available on her site. More Continue reading

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Skies Peek Through Foliage in French Knots in Embroideries that Peer Up From the Forest Floor
June 14, 2022

Look up! The vibrant embroideries of the U.K.-based artist known as Sew Beautiful capture the awe-inspiring breadth of the outdoors within a tiny wooden hoop. Layering colorful French knots and long, straight threads in neutral tones, the artist transforms thin organza bases into fiber renditions of forests dense with autumn leaves or aerial shots capturing wide swaths of landscape. The hand-stitched pieces are vivid and tinged with whimsy, and Sew Beautiful has a few works currently available on Etsy. More Continue reading

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For Keeping Your Hand In, Here are the Best Sketching Sets
June 10, 2022

Sketching is the most basic of any artist’s skill set. A good sketching set is essential for any artist, designer, or architect looking to maintain a drawing practice. Pencil sets are a portable, versatile must-have for the pro on the go. Whether you’re sketching en plein air, drafting a formal canvas, or brushing up on […] Continue reading

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Cloaked in Bold Motifs, Ceramic Vessels by Ariana Heinzman Sprout Playful Botanical Forms
May 20, 2022

From her studio on Vashon Island in Washington, artist Ariana Heinzman channels the lithe forms of the human body into supple clay vessels. Enveloped in quirky botanical patterns and thick outlines, the sculptures twist and bow into elegant shapes that sprout buds and spiked flowers. Bold, dense motifs evoke the Garden of Eden, Heinzman shares, and serve as a metaphor for the impulse to cover the nude figure with layers of garments.
The vessels shown below are on view through June 18 at J. More Continue reading

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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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.ART Domains Celebrates Five Years of Building Digital Identities
May 9, 2022

Since launching in 2016, .ART has become a popular extension for creatives and is among the top five fastest-growing domains—all through organic growth and remarkably high renewal rates. A website on .ART can be anything: an online portfolio, a point of entry for all of your social media accounts, a revenue-generating marketplace, or even a cool name for your NFT. Its community of more than 200,000 users includes creative organizations, individual personalities, and industry giants like the Louvre, Marina Abramovic Institute, LACMA, ICA London, Amazon, Bank of America, Mercedes, Pixar, Kickstarter, Vivienne Westwood, and many others. More Continue reading

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Elegant Tattoos by Expanded Eye Combine Fragmented Figures and Geometric Details into Surreal Compositions
April 28, 2022

Splashes of primary colors enhance the dotted lines and angular forms that compose Expanded Eye’s tattoos. Artists Jade Tomlinson and Kev James (previously) are behind the distinctly geometric designs that pair foliage and natural matter with architectural constructions and figures: single hands extend with delicate gestures, fragmented faces open to unveil inner dimensions, and stripes, chevrons, and other patterns fill structural elements. The ink-based works are poetic and surreal, with each composition rooted in narratives of consciousness, relationships, and universal human emotions like grief and joy. More Continue reading

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