Massive Octopi and Floating Fish Comprise the Imaginary Universe in Ted Chin’s Surreal Composites
January 8, 2021

In Ted Chin’s surreal dreamland, it’s not uncommon to see massive anglerfish swimming through the sky or a figure scooping up shooting stars. The San Francisco-based artist merges idyllic landscapes and outdoor scenes with fantastical details, choosing to upturn an evergreen in mid-air or position an oversized octopus underneath a floating house. Simultaneously uncanny and calming, the composites are eye-catching and rooted in imagination. “There are things in the world that inspire childlike wonder and awe, and it is my passion to recreate and share them with the world,” the artist says. More Continue reading

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Mesmerizing Shots of Distant Galaxies and Aurorae Top the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest
September 16, 2020

The 2020 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest gathers a trove of sublime shots capturing otherwise unseen phenomena and distant fixtures of outer space. With more than 5,000 entries from six continents, the 12th annual competition includes Nicolas Lefaudeux’s photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy two million light-years away, one by Rafael Schmall that frames the lit trails of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, and another of the Aurora Borealis reflecting on the ice by Kristina Makeeva (previously). More Continue reading

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The Best Paper Dolls for Imaginative Crafting and Play
July 29, 2020

Who’s up on the latest fashion trends, cuts the best figure, and puts together the best looks? A paper doll. A generations-old toy, dress-up paper dolls owe their origins to 18th century France, where they had movable limbs and were akin to puppets. A London company produced the first commercially available paper doll in 1810, […] Continue reading

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Cringe No More: An Online MoMA Exhibition Recasts Home Movies as Worthy of Critical Attention
May 6, 2020

In the popular imagination, home movies are rather like opinions: everyone has them and they are usually lousy. Such films conjure a series of unflattering associations, from the embarrassing footage on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” to endless vacation reels to birthday party documentation ruined by an errant thumb on the camcorder lens. Home movies are […] Continue reading

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Textured Paper Sculptures by Zai Divecha Emphasize Shadow and Light
April 10, 2020

San Francisco-based artist Zai Divecha fashions countless pleats, creases, and flaps for her monochromatic paper sculptures. From geometric tessellations to flat sheets with dozens of rounded cuts and points, Divecha’s pieces accentuate the relationships between light and shadow and natural and manufactured elements.
Her inspiration is wide-ranging and includes “bathroom tiles, clouds, storm drains, the ‘skeletons’ of dead cactuses, peeling bark, raindrops on a car window, rock formations, ornate screens in Islamic architecture.” The artist also has woven data into her textured pieces, creating four artworks that represent HIV and AIDS diagnoses in San Francisco from 1992 to 2018. More Continue reading

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Dots, Dashes, and Lines Form Astronomical Maps Painted by Shane Drinkwater
March 7, 2020

Australian artist Shane Drinkwater writes on his website that when it comes to painting, he in interested in the “making.” Using a system of lines, dashes, numbers, and circles, Drinkwater creates works that often appear as astronomical maps of imagined star systems. Abstract stars form repeated patterns around vibrant planets. The artist allows the act of painting to dictate how the cosmic compositions land on his canvas, and the results are visually arresting.
“I delve into the act of painting with a minimum repertoire of visual elements aiming for a maximum visual intensity,” Drinkwater writes. More Continue reading

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