Top of the Stack: Colossal’s Favorite Art Books of 2022
November 28, 2022

As we near the end of 2022, we’re taking a look back at the year, starting with the books we found most compelling, impressive, and inspirational. We’ve published dozens of articles on artist monographs and compendiums of broader topics across art and design and science and history over the last 12 months, and these are the 10 titles that impacted us most.
Head to Bookshop to browse all 25 books on our list, including the highly anticipated Hilma AF Klint Catalogue Raisonné, a glimpse into rarely-seen works by Ruth Asawa, and a dive into the history of protest art. More

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Top of the Stack: Colossal’s Favorite Art Books of 2022 appeared first on Colossal.

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The Denizens of ‘Submersia’ Breathe New Life into Ancient Artifacts in Oil Portraits by Kajahl
November 18, 2022

From his studio overlooking Monterey Bay, California, Kajahl has created a new series of paintings that draw inspiration from the sea and ancient heritage, continuing a practice that employs portraiture to subvert white, European historical narratives. The artist merges classical motifs and mythical realms in Submersia, a fictional underwater world where artifacts take on new life.
Greek and Roman vessels like glass balsamarii, wine jugs known as oinochoes, and conical rhyton vases often depicted figures or were fashioned in the shape of human or animal heads. More

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article The Denizens of ‘Submersia’ Breathe New Life into Ancient Artifacts in Oil Portraits by Kajahl appeared first on Colossal.

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Underwater Photos by Steven Kovacs Frame the Shimmering Unearthly Bodies of Larval Fish
August 12, 2022

Set against the stark backdrops attainable only during blackwater dives, larval fish become strange, otherworldly specimens with glasslike bodies and translucent fins that billow outward. Their delicate, still-developing anatomies are the subjects of Steven Kovacs’s underwater photos, which frame the young creatures at such precarious stages of life.
Living in Palm Beach, Kovacs (previously) frequents the waters off the Florida coasts, although he’s also recently explored areas near Kona, Hawaii. More Continue reading

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A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years
July 28, 2022

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth’s surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet’s notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of life below the surface.
Spanning 352 pages, Ocean, Exploring the Marine World brings together a broad array of images and information ranging from ancient nautical cartography to contemporary shots from photographers like Sebastião Salgado and David Doubilet. More Continue reading

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A New Book Illuminates the Lives of the Elusive, Pink-Plumed Flamingos in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula
May 6, 2022

In the Yucatán Peninsula, the rich wetland environment of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve is one of the most important sites for flamingos. The pink-pigmented birds flock to the area for breeding each year, with officials registering approximately 15,000 nests and 30,000 adults inhabiting the area in 2021 alone.
A biologist by training, photographer Claudio Contreras Koob has spent years visiting the lanky, big-beaked avians in the reserve and documenting their mannerisms and habits, amassing a broad collection of images now compiled in a book published by teNeues Verla in collaboration with the Nature Picture Library. More Continue reading

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Underwater Footage Captures a Graceful Whale Shark Swimming Through the Gulf of Thailand
March 25, 2022


Underwater footage from a dive off the coast of KoTao opens on the spotted body of a whale shark. Documented by a small team from Aquatic Images on two excursions, the giant, slow-moving creature is shown gliding gracefully through the Gulf of Thailand with what appears to be dozens of remora, or suckerfish, tagging along for the ride—these smaller swimmers tend to clean bacteria and parasites from their host in exchange for food and easy travel. More Continue reading

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Highlighting Life in Ukraine, A Print Sale is Raising Funds for People Impacted By the Crisis
March 21, 2022

A print sale from the women-led nonprofit Vital Impacts (previously) is raising money for people affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine. The month-long fundraiser, titled Impact Now, offers more than 100 images from National Geographic photographers. Taken globally and diverse in subject matter, the collection includes a variety of landscapes and wildlife, in addition to stunning underwater shots by renowned photographers Paul Nicklen (previously) and David Doubilet (previously)—and multiple shots focus specifically on life in Ukraine.  More Continue reading

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Spectacular Moments of Life and Death Are Unveiled in the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards
March 11, 2022

Taken across six continents, the entries to the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards capture the hungry, curious, and ingenious animals around the globe. This year’s winners include an arctic fox braving an Icelandic snowstorm, a trio of red ants forming a bridge to let each other pass between rocks, and a serendipitous shot of a leopard seal preparing to snack on a gentoo penguin, which garnered the top prize. Centering on both the largest and the often imperceptible creatures inhabiting the planet, the photos are diverse and an example of the wonder and awe that exists at every level of the animal kingdom. More Continue reading

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Knit Coral Suits and Vibrant Marine Creatures Spring From Mulyana’s Whimsical Yarn-Based Ecosystems
January 26, 2022

In Mulyana’s Fragile Ecologies, two figures cloaked in coral and algae tower over beds of fiber-based sea creatures. The Indonesian artist continues his playful and eccentric approach to marine life conservation in his solo show on view through March 4 at Sapar Contemporary, which brings some of his life-sized costumes and an array of woolen specimens to the gallery. Each piece is knit or crocheted with recycled, brightly colored yarn, which the artist fashions into sprawling ecosystems and immersive installations that dangle from the ceiling. More Continue reading

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Colossal’s Favorite Books of 2021
December 8, 2021

Before we (eagerly) say goodbye to 2021, we’re taking a look back at the year, starting with the books we covered on Colossal. Throughout the past 12 months, we published dozens of articles centered on new artist monographs and tomes surveying broader topics that range from art and design to science and history. We’ve gathered our top 10 below, although you can browse nearly every title we mentioned on the site on Bookshop. More Continue reading

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A Rare Encounter with the Elusive Giant Phantom Jellyfish Captures Its 33-Foot Billowing Limbs
December 7, 2021


Back in August, we shared news of a previously undiscovered jellyfish so vibrant that its brilliant red body was a stark contrast to its deepwater environment. Now thanks to researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, we can add another similarly spectacular sighting to this year’s collection of rare deepsea finds. A remote-operated vehicle spotted the elusive giant phantom jellyfish in the midnight zone, an area of the ocean about 3,200 feet below the surface, in one of just nine of the team’s encounters with the species since it was discovered in 1899. More Continue reading

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Jane Goodall, Paul Nicklen, and 100 Photographers and Conservationists Join a Print Sale to Protect the Environment
December 3, 2021

A collaborative effort by 100 world-renowned photographers and conservationists is harnessing the power of an image to generate much-needed empathy and protect the environment. Helmed by the woman-led nonprofit Vital Impacts, an ongoing print sale captures the stunning, intimate, and remarkable sights of the natural world through a diverse array of works focused on the earth’s landscapes, plants, and animals. “As world leaders disperse to implement COP26, these photographers show us exactly what is at stake. More Continue reading

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Hundreds of Hand-Sculpted Flowers and Leaves Envelop Porcelain Vessels by Artist Hitomi Hosono
November 2, 2021

Japanese artist Hitomi Hosono (previously) translates the billowing leaves of an underwater plant or the clusters of Hawthorn tree flowers into intricate sculptural assemblages devoid of their natural colors. The monochromatic bowls and vases appear to sprout incredibly detailed botanicals that Hosono layers in tight wraps and dense bunches, and while stylized in presentation, each form is derived from hours of research and observation of real specimens.
Currently living in London, Hosono draws on memories of her home in Gifa Prefecture to inform much of her work, and she allows the medium itself to dictate her practice. More Continue reading

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A Rare Sighting of a Glass Octopus Reveals its Nearly Transparent Membrane in Extraordinary Detail
July 16, 2021


On a 34-day expedition around the Phoenix Islands Archipelago, marine scientists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute captured exceptionally rare footage of the elusive glass octopus. With a speckled, iridescent membrane, the aquatic animal is almost entirely transparent—only its optic nerve, eyes, and digestive tract are visible to humans—and sightings like these are so infrequent that scientists previously resorted to studying the species only after pulling it from the stomachs of its predators. More Continue reading

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A Stunning Shot of Sharks Cruising Under a French Polynesian Sunset Wins the 2021 Underwater Photographer of the Year
February 10, 2021

An exquisite shot of blacktip reef sharks circling underneath a jewel-toned sky in French Polynesia tops this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest (previously). Captured by California-based Renee Capozzola, the winning entry frames a pair of the white-bellied fish and airborne seagulls, forming a serendipitous composition that combines air, land, and sea. “I dedicated several evenings to photographing in the shallows at sunset, and I was finally rewarded with this scene: glass-calm water, a rich sunset, sharks, and even birds,” she said. More Continue reading

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The Coral Greenhouse: Jason deCaires Taylor’s Latest Installation is an Underwater Sanctuary for Vulnerable Sea Creatures
August 5, 2020

About 50 miles from Townsville, Australia, an unassuming structure created by Jason deCaires Taylor (previously) rests on the sandy floor the John Brewer Reef. Currently, “The Coral Greenhouse” is in pristine condition with little algae or tiny organisms stuck to its sides. Over time, though, the sculptural work is designed to amass vibrant clusters of the sea creatures as they colonize the submerged form. More Continue reading

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Ethereal Underwater Photographs by Elinleticia Högabo Glimpse the Subjects Below the Surface
July 31, 2020

As a child, Elinleticia Högabo had a troubled relationship with water. Despite a deep fascination with its dreamy qualities, she avoided swimming below the surface or in any areas of considerable depth after two traumatic experiences in which she almost drowned. When she was chosen for an exhibition that centered on rusalka—a female creature similar to a mermaid that’s found in Slavic folklore—Högabo tried to capture shots of her submerged subjects from above before realizing she had to plunge in.  More Continue reading

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