The Best Air Purifiers for Artist Studios and Workspaces
January 15, 2021

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission. For artists who use fume-emitting paints or solvents, an air purifier is a must. It can also be a game changer for those working in wood, plaster, or plastic who might release fine particles […] Continue reading

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The Best Respirators for Painting Guard Against Toxic Fumes
January 11, 2021

Take a breather. Whether you’re working with toxic paints or have a preexisting condition, a respirator can keep you working harder for longer. Protect your lungs and your face from particles and fumes while you cut wood or glass or paint with noxious mediums. Choose a half-cover mask for comfort or a full-cover mask for […] Continue reading

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A Curved Pavilion Designed by Kengo Kuma Weaves Wooden Slats into a Tessellating Structure
December 22, 2020

Wrapping a gallery space at the 2020 NGV Triennial is a bowed pavilion of tessellating wood. A collaboration between renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (previously) and Australian artist Geoff Nees, the large-scale installation is constructed with trees felled at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens during the millennium drought. The pointed slats interlock without the use of additional supports, a design derived from traditional Japanese joinery, and create a scaly pattern that allows light to stream through. More Continue reading

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Contemplative Artworks of Cicada Wings, Hair, and Thorned Branches Evoke Rebirth and Change
December 11, 2020

Woven throughout Selva Aparicio’s cicada veils and fringed floor coverings are the complexities of rebirth, transition, and beauty’s ability to endure. Organic ephemera—human hair, thorned branches, scavenged wings—become poignant installations and smaller artworks that ruminate on a myriad of global issues, including the climate crisis and the infinite failures of the medical establishment.
Aparicio shares that her explorations of life and death began during childhood when she watched the natural world cycle through growth and decay in the woods outside of Barcelona. More Continue reading

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Wooden Benches Unfurl into Pasta-Esque Strands in Pablo Reinoso’s Works
December 10, 2020

The unbound slats of Pablo Reinoso’s unassuming benches curl sideways and up walls in a tangle of wood and metal. Based just outside of Paris, the French-Argentine artist and designer (previously) applies a rebellious and playful lens to his otherwise simple seating, merging functionality and aesthetics to create roving sculptural artworks. His wall frames snarl in a similar manner with knotted masses descending from their inner edges.
Reinoso’s spaghetti-style works will be included in a group show at Mad Paris from December 16, 2020, to May 11, 2021. More Continue reading

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Surreal Sculptures of Translucent Glass and Clay Explore the Body’s Transformative Processes
December 8, 2020

“I have always viewed the body as a transitory object,” writes artist Christina Bothwell. From human-animal hybrids to pregnant creatures to figures fused together, Bothwell’s oeuvre suspends various life forms in states of flux: a baby precariously rests on a mother’s back, a young girl grasps onto another’s legs, and others peer into the distance as if they’re about to move forward.
The artist’s subject matter is rooted in the ethereal and embodies the delicate ways spirits and physical figures change over time. More Continue reading

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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

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Smell Like A Million Books With Powell’s Books New Fragrance ‘Eau de Bookstore’
November 13, 2020

Waft this new scent for hints of wood, violet, and… musty paperback? Powell’s Books, the beloved independent shop in Portland, recently announced a limited-edition perfume that smells just like its seemingly endless rows of new and used titles. “This scent contains the lives of countless heroes and heroines. Apply to the pulse points when seeking sensory succor or a brush with immortality,” Powell’s says about the forthcoming release.
Termed an “Eau de bookstore,” the unisex fragrance was spurred by customers saying they missed the aroma of the shop during the ongoing pandemic. More Continue reading

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An Oversized Statue of Leonard Peltier, an American Indian Activist, Pensively Stares Toward Alcatraz
November 12, 2020

Peering out over the San Francisco Bay toward Alcatraz is a monumental statue that pays homage to an American Indian Movement activist who’s been incarcerated for decades. Created by Portuguese-American artist Rigo 23 in 2016, the 12-foot-tall figure resembles a small self-portrait that the activist, Leonard Peltier, painted while imprisoned.
Wearing a simple white shirt, yellow pants, and no shoes, Peltier sits on a cement base, which is the actual size of his cell, in a pensive position. More Continue reading

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Metaphorical Scenes Examine Mystery in Dreamy Paintings by Artist Duy Huynh
November 9, 2020

Vietnamese aritst Duy Huynh (previously) examines balance through nuanced scenes replete with ethereal, surreal elements: individual flowers ascend from a teapot, a chain winds around an artichoke heart, and figures float mid-air. Rendered in muted hues, the acrylic paintings are metaphorical and narrative-based, visualizing stories by connecting unsual symbols or positioning disparate objects together. The North Carolina-based artist gives the works witty names— “Thyme to Turnip the Beet” and “ReciprociTea,” for example—adding to their playful and whimsical natures. More Continue reading

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Textural Sculptures by Artist Jessica Drenk Use Junk Mail, Book Pages, and Q-Tips to Explore Materiality
October 22, 2020

Montana-born artist Jessica Drenk (previously) employs simple materials, like shopping flyers and standard No. 2 pencils, to create organic sculptures that are chaotic and arresting explorations of the substances themselves. Bundled Q-tips spread across a site-specific installation like the roots of a tree, a carved section of plywood reveals concentric patterns, and strips of junk mail are plastered together in long waves.
While Drenk’s latest series, titled Transmutations, is diverse and ranges from wall pieces to cavernous sculptures, each artwork explores materiality and how disparate shapes and textures combine to create forms that are new both physically and conceptually. More Continue reading

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Miniature Mixed Media Lace Works Depict Pastoral Scenes in New Work by Ágnes Herczeg
October 2, 2020

Working within a scale of just a few small inches, Hungarian artist Ágnes Herczeg (previously) threads together fragments of wood, seeds, and wire with delicate lace work to form pastoral scenes inspired in part by her surroundings in a small town near the river Danube. This year Herczeg utilized more tree bark and golf leaf, and developed her abilities with silk thread to create pieces even smaller than before. In a note to Colossal she shares this challenge to work increasingly smaller is “a very good mind game.” You can see lots of her new work on her website, and several pieces are for sale in her online shop. More Continue reading

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Field Notes Launches New Collection of Letterpress Notebooks Designed by Nine Printers Across the U.S.
September 17, 2020

For its latest limited edition series, Field Notes tasked nine letterpress shops with capturing the diverse perspectives and histories of the nation through a pocket-sized design. United States of Letterpress is a pastel collection of memo notebooks featuring renderings of small storefronts, geometric patterns, and various slogans, including nods to the upcoming presidential election. Each holds 48 pages of graph paper.
To coincide with the launch, the Chicago-based notebook manufacturer filmed a short documentary, directed by Steve Delahoyde, capturing the processes and history of the art form. More Continue reading

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Build a Miniature Hangout with a DIY Wooden Treehouse Kit
September 15, 2020

A new DIY kit transforms any ordinary houseplant into a miniature haven complete with mood lighting. Created by Australia-based British designer Lars Wijers, Tiny Treehouses feature multiple configurations, from an ornate gazebo to a multi-roofed structure resembling tropical architecture. Each is equipped with LED lights (batteries included!) and manufactured to hang from a branch or rest on a flat surface.
Back the project on Kickstarter—$1 from every treehouse will be donated to restoring Australian forests—and follow Tiny Treehouses on Instagram for updates on designs and buying options. More Continue reading

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