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    Impasto Layers Blur Portraits and Landscapes in Li Songsong’s Fragmented Oil Paintings

    
    Art

    #China
    #impasto
    #memory
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

    November 11, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “I Am What I Am” (2020), 120 x 100 centimeters. All images © Li Songsong, shared with permission
    Chinese artist Li Songsong (previously) obscures portraits and wider landscapes with thick dabs of oil paint. His textured, impasto works are based on found photographs or imagined scenes, and each conveys a narrative tied to ordinary moments or a broader shared history. Varying the extent of distortion in every piece, Songsong tells Colossal that interrogating personal identity is at the center of his practice. The “cultural and historical aspects are related to China, and the language and expressions are my own,” he explains.
    Songsong’s recent works include a tender scene with an officer and his dog, a portrait of a hopeful pilot, and a panoramic shot featuring a crowd with hundreds of anonymous faces. The richly layered pieces speak to the haziness and fragmentary nature of memories and stories, especially those interpreted from a distance, and come into focus when viewed farther back with a squint.
    Based in Beijing, Songsong is currently working on a new series of works, which you can follow on his site.

    “Blondi” (2019), 210 x 180 centimeters
    “Blondi” (2019), 210 x 210 centimeters
    “Tea for Two” (2020), 210 x 210 centimeters
    “No More Tears” (2020), 100 x 100 centimeters
    “You Haven’t Looked at Me that Way in Years” (2020), 170 x 280 centimeters
    “Three Decades” (2019), 210 x 420 centimeters

    #China
    #impasto
    #memory
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #portraits

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    A 14-Foot Box Truck Transforms into an Intimate Glimpse of Domestic Life in Swoon’s Mobile Sculpture

    
    Art

    #family
    #installation
    #painting
    #sculpture
    #trucks

    November 10, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images by Lauren Silberman, © Swoon, shared with permission
    Exploring trauma and addiction through intricate paper cuttings, pasted murals, and mythical stop-motion animations is at the heart of Caledonia Curry’s practice, and the Connecticut-born artist, who works as Swoon (previously), extends that approach in a mobile sculpture that peers into the intimacy of family life. Produced last year in collaboration with PBS American Portrait, “The House Our Family Built” transforms a 14-foot box truck into a roving domestic scene comprised of a cab cloaked in patterned wallpaper and a trailer split open to reveal a house-like environment.
    Within the vehicle are objects synonymous with home life, including framed photos, children’s toys, and furniture, while a fence lines the perimeter in front of the truck. A family of two-dimensional painted figures from multiple generations occupies both the indoor and outdoor spaces, and  Swoon says the outdoor installation “asks viewers to consider the legacy of ancestral histories—whether through traditions, trauma, or repeated narratives—and the ways in which they inform how we understand and talk about ourselves.”
    “The House Our Family Built” is on view this week at Nasher Sculpture Center as part of the Dallas Art Fair, and you can follow Swoon through the making-of process on PBS. Find an archive of her imaginative projects on her site, YouTube, and Instagram. (via Artnet)

    #family
    #installation
    #painting
    #sculpture
    #trucks

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    Artificial Organisms: Shimmering Digital Creatures Undulate and Pulse with Light in Maxim Zhetskov’s New Film

    
    Animation
    Art

    #digital
    #short film
    #video

    November 9, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    [embedded content]
    In “Artificial Organisms,” Russian director Maxim Zhestkov (previously) enlivens machine intelligence to create palpitating marine organisms that radiate with vibrant bands of light. The hulking, life-like specimens, which are comprised of countless individual spheres, are presented floating in undulating masses or enveloping a stark white structure in groups evocative of a coral reef. Each piece fuses the artificial and organic, producing “a bizarre world of mesmerizing digital creatures,” Zhestkov says. “A combination of biological symmetry and impeccable digital matter, they are a representation of budding artificial intelligence.” To watch more of the director’s projects, head to Vimeo, Instagram, and Behance.

    #digital
    #short film
    #video

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    A New Book Flies Through the Vast World of Birds from Art and Design to History and Ornithology

    
    Art
    History
    Illustration
    Photography

    #birds
    #books

    November 9, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Ernst Haeckel, Trochilidae – Kolibris, from Kunstformen der Natur, 1904. Chromolithograph, 36 × 26 cm / 14 × 10 ¼ in. Picture credit: Kunstformen der Natur
    Bird: Exploring the Winged World is an extensive celebration of feathered creatures across thousands of years of art, science, and popular culture. Published by Phaidon, the stunning, 352-page volume compiles works from hundreds of artists, illustrators, photographers, and designers—including Lorna Simpson (previously), Nick Cave (previously), Ernst Haeckel (previously), and Florentijn Hofman (previously)—who choose ostriches, flamingos, and other avians as their central motifs. Each spread connects two distinct works from different periods, pairing anatomical renderings with James Audubon’s illustrations and striking contemporary portraits with vintage advertisements.
    In addition to hundreds of images, the forthcoming tome features an introduction by Katrina van Grouw and information about urban birding experiences and taxonomies. Copies are available from Bookshop on November 10.

    Allen & Ginter, Birds of the Tropics, 1889. Chromolithograph, 7.3 × 8.3 cm / 2 7/8 × 3 ¼ in, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Picture credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Jefferson R.Burdick Collection, Gift of Jefferson R. Burdick
    Elizabeth Butterworth, Lear’s Macaw, 2005. Gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, 25 × 34 cm / 9 ¼ × 13 3/8 in, Private collection. Picture credit: © Elizabeth Butterworth
    Florentijn Hofman, Rubber Duck, 2013. PVC, H. 16.5 m / 21 ft, temporary installation, Hong Kong. Picture credit: All Rights Reserved, courtesy Studio Florentijn Hofman
    Matt Stuart, Trafalgar Square, 2004. Photograph, dimensions variable. Picture credit: © Matt Stuart
    John James Audubon (engraved by Robert Havell), American Flamingo, from The Birds of America, double elephant folio edition, 1838. Hand-coloured etching and aquatint, 97 × 65 cm / 38 ¼ × 25 5/8 in. Picture credit: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC: Gift of Mrs. Walter B. James
    Oiva Toikka, Birds by Toikka, 1972–present. Mouth-blown glass, dimensions variable, Iittala collection. Picture credit: All rights reserved by Fiskars Finland Oy Ab/Photographer Timo Junttila, Designer Oiva Toikka
    Andy Holden and Peter Holden, Natural Selection, 2018. Mixed media, Temporary installation at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, UK. Picture credit: Andy Holden/Photograph by Alison Bettles

    #birds
    #books

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    Ornate Painted Patterns Conceal Photographer Cecilia Paredes Against Textile Backdrops

    
    Art
    Photography

    #camouflage
    #paint
    #pattern
    #self-portrait
    #textiles

    November 8, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Blue Flight” (2021). All images courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art, shared with permission
    Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes continues her ongoing series of camouflaged self-portraits with deceptive new works that leave only her hair, eyes, and ears untouched. Set against lavish backdrops printed with birds in shades of blue, floral motifs, and ornate flourishes, Paredes paints her skin and positions herself in a precise alignment with the chosen pattern, disappearing among the colorful landscapes. Each work, which the Lima-born artist refers to as “photo performances,” considers how individual identities are informed by natural environments and the broader cultural milieu. Explore an archive of Paredes’s lavish portraits at Ruiz-Healy Art and on Artsy.

    “The Unseen Glance” (2021)
    “Paradise Hands IV” (2020)
    “The Whisper” (2021)

    “Magnolia Stories” (2020)

    #camouflage
    #paint
    #pattern
    #self-portrait
    #textiles

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    Otherworldly Hybrid Characters by Toco-Oco Consider Human Existence Through Emblems and Myth

    
    Art

    #animals
    #clay
    #resin
    #sculpture
    #wax
    #wood

    November 8, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Toco-Oco, shared with permission
    Lara Alcântara and Guilherme Neumann, the duo behind the fantastical figurine maker Toco-Oco, envision an alternate world populated by curious animalistic creatures. Sculpted from a combination of wood, resin, fabric, clay, and wax, the hybrid characters wear garments and masks imprinted with emblems and child-like doodles and express a vast array of emotions that grapple with the strange universe they find themselves in. “It is a world very similar to ours, full of injustices but full of hope,” the pair says in an interview with WePresent. “Our work has reverence for the mystical, natural, and spiritual, trying to rescue this greater connection.”
    Based in Brazil, Alcântara and Neumann root each figure in larger narratives often tied to human existence. One character, for example, lugs an oversized, hollowed-out head filled with kindling on its back, a metaphor for a mind overwhelmed by emotion and worries for the future, while smaller busts function as totems with chest cavities and torsos marked by gaping shapes or mythological symbols. A tension between civility and natural instinct is a prominent feature and references “the wild, raw, ruthless, predatory, insatiable, powerful side which is repressed—or worse, is disguised—by the false idea of ​​consciousness,” they say.
    Toco-Oco’s sculptures sell out quickly, although they have a pre-sale slated for November 15. Follow updates on that new piece and see more of the otherworldly figures on Behance and Instagram.

    #animals
    #clay
    #resin
    #sculpture
    #wax
    #wood

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    Exquisitely Cut Paper Sculptures by Rogan Brown Highlight the Effects of Coral Bleaching

    
    Art

    #climate crisis
    #coral
    #paper
    #sculpture

    November 4, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Detail of “Ghost Coral.” All images © Rogan Brown, shared with permission
    “The coral reef is a microcosm of a macrocosm,” says paper artist Rogan Brown. “What is happening to the reefs today will ultimately happen to the planet tomorrow unless action is taken.” Through new paper sculptures comprised of delicately fringed sea creatures, Brown (previously) creates a striking visual display of the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis on marine life, showing how issues like coral bleaching can radiate outward into the wider world.
    In “Ghost Coral,” two circular reliefs comprised of intricate paper cuttings splay outward, layering the fragile lifeforms sliced from stark, white paper. These monochromatic pieces contrast their vibrant counterparts, which are nestled into the protective center of one of the masses. The other work, titled “Coral Garden,” is Brown’s interpretation of the heat-resistant organisms that scientists grow and plant in deteriorating patches for rejuvenation, and he places bright, healthy creatures, which are enclosed in transparent bubbles, within swaths of spindly, pale creatures. To create both pieces, Brown follows the same meticulous process, which involves drawing the organisms, cutting them out with a laser, and carefully hand-painting and mounting them into their final, sprawling forms. “The fragility and delicacy of paper seem to fit perfectly with the subject it is describing,” he tells Colossal.
    The exquisitely crafted assemblages shown here are part of an ongoing series, which Brown will show this month at Galerie Bettina von Arnim in Paris, and you can keep up with his work on Instagram.

    Detail of “Coral Garden”
    Detail of “Ghost Coral”
    “Ghost Coral”
    Detail of “Ghost Coral”
    “Coral Garden”
    “Ghost Coral”
    Detail of “Coral Garden”

    #climate crisis
    #coral
    #paper
    #sculpture

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    Gold Ornaments and Precious Stones Adorn Tender Photographic Portraits by Tawny Chatmon

    
    Art
    Photography

    #gemstones
    #gold
    #portraits
    #watercolor

    November 4, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Joy” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 30 x 20 inches. All images © Tawny Chatmon, shared with permission
    In If I’m No Longer Here, I Wanted You to Know, photographic artist Tawny Chatmon overlays portraits of young children and families with dabs of 24-karat gold leaf, precious stones, and watercolor details. The heavily adorned images are the latest in Chatmon’s superimposed works, which veered from digital collages to the hand-gilded pieces evocative of Gustav Klimt’s Golden Phase that are similar to those shown here, and respond to themes of unity and togetherness born out of the ongoing pandemic.
    While many of Chatmon’s works previously centered on a single subject, she’s transitioned to also photographing two children at play or entire families, including fathers where she otherwise had not. She explains:
    My father played such a paramount role in my, my sisters’, and my mother’s lives. It did not sit well with me that I wasn’t celebrating that in my work, too. It has been 10 years since we lost our father to prostate cancer, yet still, his lessons and love carry us through our days. I thought of my husband too, my brother-in-law, my friend’s fathers and husbands, and all of the world’s compassionate fathers and how important they are, and I especially wanted to celebrate Black fathers who are often depicted as anything other than what they truly are… phenomenal.
    Through gilt embellishments, Chatmon emphasizes the beauty and value inherent in her subjects, whose joyful, tender expressions and gestures exude warmth and affection. “The past year’s pandemic revealed to me once more that time with our loved ones is not infinite… While the revelations of injustice leading to civil unrest reminded me of the urgency to continue to work towards a better future for our children,” she says. “I do not wish to wait for the perfect time, the perfect place, or the perfect day to express my love for family and friends.”
    Currently based in Maryland, Chatmon will show some of her portraits with Galerie Myrtis at the 2022 Venice Biennial. She’s working on a new series titled Remnants, which explores themes of futurity and harmony through mosaic-style pieces comprised of snippets of the artist’s previous paintings. You can follow her progress on Instagram.

    “Created in Her Image” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches
    “Destined To Lead The Way” (2021), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, precious and semi-precious stones, on archival pigment print 34 x 22 inches
    “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (2021), 24k gold leaf, 12k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 46 x 28 inches
    “Best” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches
    “Look Forward, Beloved Boy” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 36 x 24 inches
    “It Was Never Your Burden To Carry” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, watercolor on archival pigment print, 52 x 36 inches
    “Sweet Heart” (2016/2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, precious stones on archival pigment print, 20 x 16 inches
    “Ahead” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 28 x 21 inches

    #gemstones
    #gold
    #portraits
    #watercolor

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