Hyperrealistic Portraits by Artist Arinze Stanley Reflect the Emotions of Black Experiences
September 19, 2020

Arinze Stanley describes his hyperrealistic drawings as “a simple language of my feelings.” In a statement about his new series titled Paranormal Portraits, the Nigerian artist (previously) says he uses his art as a form of political activism and as a way to amplify the voices of those who are unheard. Stanley noes that the relationships he fosters with his subjects are complicated and more often a reflection of himself:

In my opinion, artists are custodians of time and reality, hence why I try to inform the future about the reality of today, and through these surreal portraits seen in my new body of work, Paranormal Portraits, navigate my viewers into what is almost a psychedelic and uncertain experience of being Black in the 21st Century.

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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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Bees Encase Raw-Material Embroideries with Honeycomb in New Encaustic Works by Ava Roth

When Ava Roth adds the last stitch grasping horsehair or porcupine quills to her embroidered artworks, she passes the fibrous material on to her black-and-yellow counterparts. The Toronto-based artist collaborates with bees to encase her mixed-media pieces in waxy honeycomb. What emerges are organic artworks that consider interspecies interactions and the beauty that such meetings can garner.
Since 2019, Roth has been expanding the wooden frames of her works to twice the size as previous projects. More Continue reading

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Mesmerizing Shots of Distant Galaxies and Aurorae Top the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Contest

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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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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A Staggering Sculptural Rug by Artist Faig Ahmed Pours into an Amorphous Puddle
September 4, 2020

Known for his sculptural textiles, Faig Ahmed fuses contemporary glitches and distortions with traditional weaving techniques. A recent artwork, titled “Doubts,” is one of his larger pieces that while conventionally shaped and patterned on top, appears to ooze out into a massive puddle. A stunning piece, the ornate motif blurs into swirls of color and an amorphous shape on the floor.
The Baku, Azerbaijan-based artist (previously) said in a statement that he began “Doubts” about one month prior to widespread lockdowns due to COVID-19. More Continue reading

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Limp Balloons Slump Over Each Other in Pastel Sculptures by Artist Joe Davidson
September 3, 2020

In varying states of deflation, Joe Davidson’s pastel balloons sag, slump, and flop in every direction. The limp, elongated forms are stacked on top of one another in seemingly precarious piles and resemble latex tubes filled with days-old air. While the sculptures are playful in both color and form, the Los Angeles-based artist notes that they also hold earnest themes of masculinity and aging, two concepts he’s thinking about often.
Davidson prefers to explore new materials and those beyond the bronze, stone, and wood typically used in this medium. More Continue reading

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