More stories

  • in

    More Than 90 Artists Create Original Works on Vintage Envelopes for ‘Couriers of Hope’

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #animals
    #drawing
    #envelopes
    #found objects
    #mail art
    #watercolor

    January 14, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    By Andrew Hem
    What brings you hope? That’s the central question behind a new group exhibition presented by Port City Creative Guild. Couriers of Hope boasts more than 120 original pieces from more than 90 artists—the list includes Rosanne Kang Jovanovski, Andrew Hem (previously), Sean Chao (previously), and Yoskay Yamamoto—all rendered on vintage envelopes. Prompted by the mail art movement of the 1960s, the exhibition features an eclectic array of watercolor, pencil, and mixed-media illustrations that transform the miniature canvases into the artists’ vision for the future, whether through relaxed otters, peaches, or vivid portraits. Many of the works prominently display original postmarks and stamps and serve as a reminder that communication doesn’t have to be digital.
    Students from Long Beach Unified School District have the opportunity to acquire one of the envelopes by trading their own response to the artists’ same prompt, with the guild providing art supplies for participants to ensure that everyone has access to the initiative. The show was curated collectively by a Long Beach Museum of Art, Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space, Flatline, Inspired LBC, The Icehouse x Ink and Drink Long Beach, Arts Council Long Beach, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, Compound LBC, and the Creative Class Collective.
    Couriers of Hope will be on display in the windows of the Psychic Temple of the Holy Kiss in downtown Long Beach and on the guild’s site for virtual viewing from January 19 to February 28, 2021.

    By Sean Chao
    By Megan Boterenbrood
    By Adam Harrison
    By Bodeck Luna
    By Christine Yoon
    By Hilary Norcliffe
    By Judy Kepes
    Left: By Jonathan Martinez. Right: By Kelly Yamagishi
    By Narsiso Martinez
    By Rosanne Kang Jovanovski
    By Sean Chao

    #animals
    #drawing
    #envelopes
    #found objects
    #mail art
    #watercolor

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Gemstones, Delicate Filigree, and Mechanical Gears Encase Steeven Salvat’s Insect Specimens

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #beetles
    #butterflies
    #drawing
    #gears
    #insects
    #watercolor

    November 18, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Steeven Salvat, shared with permission
    Steeven Salvat (previously) evokes the glass-covered entomological studies of rare butterflies, beetles, and moths with an additional layer of protection. The French artist armors the singular insects with precious gemstones, silver and gold filigree, and rotational gears. Even elements of luxury watches, like Breguet’s Reine de Naple and an intricate dial from Vacheron Constantin, cloak the critters’ outer shells.
    In a note to Colossal, Salvat writes that the growing collection of drawings is an “allegory for the preciosity of biological systems. A way to drive attention to our smallest neighbors on this planet—we need to preserve them because they are worth much more than all the gold and jewels I dressed them with.” Each intricate drawing is rendered with China black ink and watercolor and takes at least 50 hours to complete.
    Pick up a limited-edition giclée print of an encrusted creature in Salvat’s shop, and follow his latest projects merging nature, history, and science on Behance and Instagram.

    #beetles
    #butterflies
    #drawing
    #gears
    #insects
    #watercolor

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Monochromatic Illustrations Personify the Power of the Sun and Moon through Fictional Deities

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #drawing
    #portraits

    October 18, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Sara Golish, shared with permission
    In her ethereal portraits, Toronto-based artist Sara Golish (previously) renders lavishly adorned goddesses and gods that exude a sense of power and wisdom. The charcoal, conté, and ink drawings are part of two ongoing collections, titled Sundust and Moondust, that imagine a series of fictional deities. Each figure belongs to one of the celestial bodies, a correlation that the artist visualizes through the paper’s color, with a warmer beige for the sun and a cool gray for the moon. “I chose to keep them monochromatic so they could be imagined in any skin tone to each individual viewer’s liking—an ease to envision themselves,” the artist says.
    In recent months, Golish has been working on commissions and new bodies of work across mediums, which you can follow on Instagram. To add one of the mythical portraits to your collection, see what’s available in her shop.

    #drawing
    #portraits

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Vintage-Style Illustrations Merge Animals, Insects, and Botanics to Form Bizarre Hybrid Creatures

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #animals
    #birds
    #humor
    #plants
    #watercolor

    September 15, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images courtesy of Mark Brooks, shared with permission
    Full of extraordinary creatures, the illustrated series The Creative Specimens seamlessly combines species into unusual hybrids. Similar in color, each organism is bizarre in form. The feathered head of a bird is placed on a tortoise’s body, octopus tentacles sprout from the bottom of a cactus, and speckled coral comprises a deer’s antlers.
    Adobe’s 99U Conference spurred the collaborative project as a way to offer a visual language encompassing various creative careers and passions. Inspired by the biological classifications of Charles Darwin and his contemporaries, New York-based art director and graphic designer Mark Brooks digitally rendered the organisms by referencing vintage illustrations. He then passed the project to Joanmiquel Bennasar, an illustrator living and working in the Balearic Islands, who recreated the creatures in watercolor.
    Explore more of Brooks’s and Bennasar’s illustrated projects on Behance.

    #animals
    #birds
    #humor
    #plants
    #watercolor

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Surrounded by Feathers, Birds Clutch Their Bleeding Hearts in Christina Mrozik’s Monochromatic Illustrations

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #birds
    #drawing
    #heart
    #nature

    August 10, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Safekeeping,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches. All images © Christina Mrozik, shared with permission
    Just as they’d carry a seed to a new location, the birds in Portland-based artist Christina Mrozik’s latest series tightly grasp pulsing hearts in their talons. The graphite illustrations intertwine masses of feathers and avian body parts with the still bleeding organs, suggesting that they recently were ripped from the chests to cause their descent.
    Coraticum—cor means heart in Latin—is an exploration of reconstruction, one that’s defined by bringing the heart outside the body. “It represents the beginning place from which feelings unfold, the center, the seed. I see this as the place before the stem or the root, before the flower or the honey,” they say. As a whole, the series considers the difficult emotions necessary for transformation. Mrozik (previously) tells Colossal the project was born out of personal upheaval in their life, which they explain:
    I had been undergoing a major rearrangement in my relationship, rewiring my brain’s response to chronic pain and learning about the history of trauma on my nervous system. The way I moved internally was under massive rearrangement and self-scrutiny, and I was doing my best to find where to put things. Then quarantine hit and it felt like the work of rearrangement was happening externally on a global level.
    Each monochromatic illustration is connected to a specific step of the reconstruction process: “The Eye of Recollection” to memory, “Safekeeping” to self-preservation, “The Ten Intuitions” to desire and instinct, “Colliding in Reverse” to letting go, and “Untethering Permissions” to questions about authority.
    Coraticum is currently on view at Portland’s Antler Gallery, which will be sharing virtual tours of the solo show in the coming weeks. You can find prints, pins, and books of Mrozik’s surreal compositions in their shop, and follow their work on Instagram. (via Supersonic Art)

    “Colliding in Reverse,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches
    “Untethering Permissions,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches
    “The Ten Intuitions,” graphite on paper, 15 x 19 inches
    “The Eye of Recollection,” graphite on paper, 15 x 17, graphite on paper
    “Good Morning Moon,” 14 x 21 inches

    #birds
    #drawing
    #heart
    #nature

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Monumental Ballpoint Pen Portraits Are Rendered on Vintage Collateral by Artist Mark Powell

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #found objects
    #maps
    #portraits
    #postcard

    August 9, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Mark Powell, shared with permission
    From his Brighton-based studio on the seafront, Mark Powell (previously) pieces together crinkled book pages and postcards laden with travel dispatches. The vintage collages serve as backdrops for the artist’s oversized portraits of older folks, whose pensive stares and deep wrinkles are rendered gently in ballpoint pen. Often magnified, the subjects complement the weathered, ephemeral surfaces that span multiple feet. “I’m currently working on a series of larger works because they have much more impact on the viewer, more confronting yet comfortable I’m hoping. It is also much more tricky because by just using a ballpoint pen no mistakes can be made, and it would be a terrible shame to ruin a map, document, or letter that has survived hundreds of years only to be destroyed by me,” he shares with Colossal.
    Each enlarged illustration—which sometimes depicts famous subjects, like Basquiat and Hunter S. Thompson— takes about a month to complete, and Powell generally works on more than one simultaneously. Recently, he’s started to slow down his artistic production as he shifts away from creating for dozens of shows every year. “The past two years, I’ve taken a step back from shows slightly to allow that evolution space to breathe. It has meant that the quality of the work has increased immeasurably (still much room for improvement of course),” he says.
    Powell’s detailed illustrations will be included in an upcoming show at Hang-Up Gallery in London. Until then, dive into his repurposed projects on Behance and Instagram, and check out the available prints in his shop.

    #found objects
    #maps
    #portraits
    #postcard

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    A Massive Compendium of Tarot Cards Explores 600 Years of the Divine Decks

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #books
    #cards

    August 8, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    By Mina Mond, Wild Men Tarot, 2014, France. All images © Taschen, shared with permission
    Compiling more than 500 cards, a new book sequences an incredibly diverse array of metaphysical decks from medieval to modern times. Tarot is arranged in order from the Major to the Minor Arcana and examines the meaning behind the varied illustrations, considering who created them and when. From a whimsical, black-and-white rendering of The Lovers by Madison Ross to French occultist Jean-Baptise Alliette’s pastel series, the compendium explores the collaborations between mystics and artists that have been happening for centuries. Many of the pieces included in the 520-page book are being shown outside their respective decks for the first time.
    Tarot, which you can purchase on Tashcen’s site, is the debut tome in the publisher’s ongoing Library of Esoterica series. You also might enjoy paging through Salvador Dalí’s surreal deck.

    Madison Ross, The Lovers, 2019, Canada
    From Visconti-Sforza, Yale Deck, mid-15th century, Italy
    Elisabetta Trevisan, Crystal Tarot, 1994, Italy
    By Jean-Baptise Alliette, France
    By Olivia M. Healy, The Fool, 2019, England
    By Jean-Baptise Alliette, Etteilla, France
    By Minka Sicklinger, Bryn McKay, Eve Bradford, Strength, United States
    From Visconti-Sforza, Yale Deck, mid-15th century, Italy

    #books
    #cards

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, apply for our annual grant, and get exclusive access to interviews, partner discounts, and event tickets.

     
    Share this story
      More

  • in

    Lyrical Illustrations by Käthe Butcher Explore Femininity, Emotion, and Human Intimacy

    
    Art
    Illustration

    #drawing
    #flowers

    August 7, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “A Hug In The Garden.” All images © Käthe Butcher, shared with permission
    As widespread lockdowns swept the globe earlier this year in response to the threat of COVID-19, intimacy became fraught. For artist Käthe Butcher, the loss of an embrace or casual peck on the cheek was incredibly difficult. “The pandemic affected everyone differently. I always thought I am not that kind of person getting scared or/and paranoid easily, but in March I did. I panicked and felt very alone, which was one reason why I left London at the end of March to go back to my family. It was definitely the right decision,” she tells Colossal.
    This desire for connection culminated in “A Hug In The Garden,” an emotional rendering of two women holding each other. Their botanical garments swaddle their individual bodies, and singular stems poke out from their sleeves, adding a bit of whimsy. Similar to her other drawings—explore a larger collection of Butcher’s work (NSFW) on Instagram—this illustration visualizes emotional depth and intimacy.
    Replete with floral motifs and delicate lines, Butcher’s pieces generally focus on one or two figures, who are simultaneously confident, carefree, and elusive. Rendered in thin, inky lines, the women portray a range of experiences, moods, and personalities. “Femininity can be everything and nothing. It’s individual. For me personally, it is something elegant yet strong,” she shares with Colossal.
    Currently, Butcher is in the process of leaving London permanently for her hometown of Leipzig, Germany, and has been reflecting on the role of artistic practices in the current moment. “As for a lot of artists, this situation was and is still blocking a lot of creativity. It’s draining. Like wading through mud. But at the same time, it feels like the beginning of something new, bigger,” she says.
    To purchase a print of the artist’s tender renderings, peruse what’s available in her shop.

    “Hey Girl”
    “Dreaming About Another World”
    “T.S. Girl (Sleep Well)”
    “Grass As Soft As Cotton Candy”
    “Setsuna”

    #drawing
    #flowers

    Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, apply for our annual grant, and get exclusive access to interviews, partner discounts, and event tickets.

     
    Share this story
      More