More stories

  • in

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

    
    Art

    #books
    #installation
    #paper
    #pencils
    #sculpure
    #wood

    October 22, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Dendrite” (2019), Q-tips and plaster. All images © Jessica Drenk, courtesy of Galleri Urbane, shared with permission
    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. The artist explains in a statement:
    In treating everyday objects as raw material to sculpt, I practice a form of conceptual alchemy: through physically manipulating these objects their meanings become transmuted. Each piece is a direct response to material—a subversion of the meanings associated with it, and a reference to the life cycle of objects through time.
    If you’re in Dallas, Transmutations is on view at Galleri Urbane through October 31. Otherwise, follow Drenk’s textural works on Artsy, and watch an interview with the artist at her studio below.

    “Contour 3” (2020), carved plywood, 47 x 38 x 3 inches
    “Implement 68” (2020), pencils, 22 x 18 x 17 inches
    “Cerebral Mapping” (2020), books and wax, 132 x 80 inches
    “Compression 3” (2020), books, wax on wood panel, and wood frame, 44 x 38 x 2 inches
    “Dendrite” (2019), Q-tips and plaster
    Top: “Aggregate 3” (2020), junk mail, 28 x 130 x 2.25 inches. Bottom: “Aggregate 2” (2020), junk mail and plaster, 20 x 78 x 2.5 inches
    Left: “Circulation 18” (2020), books and wax, 31 x 29 x 1.5 inches. Right: “Circulation 19” (2020), junk mail and cardboard, 36 x 36 x 1.5 inches

    

    #books
    #installation
    #paper
    #pencils
    #sculpure
    #wood

    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

    Overflowing with Flora and Fauna, Collaged Paper Installations Comment on Earth’s Dwindling Biodiversity

    
    Art

    #animals
    #found photographs
    #installation
    #nature
    #paper
    #plants

    October 21, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Intimate Immensity” (2016). Photograph by Trevor Good. All images © Clare Börsch, shared with permission
    Sprawling across paint-chipped walls and tiny alcoves, the collaged installations of artist Clare Börsch mimic overgrown jungles and whimsical forest scenes. Layers of flora, fauna, and the occasional gemstone or human figure comprise the amorphous paper artworks as they transform spaces into fantastical ecosystems.
    In a note to Colossal, Börsch shares that she began her artistic practice as a way to translate her dreams, which are often lucid and informed by memories and a strong tie to nature, into physical objects that others could immerse themselves in. “Growing up in Brazil, I had the ocean, rivers, and jungles that always existed in stark contrast to the industrial cities (I lived in Sao Paulo). So my earliest and most formative memories are of lush, humming tropical ecosystems —and the encroaching industrial landscapes of Brazil’s cities,” she says.
    The Berlin-based American artist sources her many of the vintage photographs from open source archives, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library (previously), Pixabay, and Unsplash. Some of the botanical elements she draws or photographs herself before cutting around the organic elements and assembling them in new, sometimes bizarre, compositions.

    Jungle installation commissioned by Book A Street Artist Berlin for Riem Arcaden in Munich. Photograph by the artist
    Despite the vibrancy and lively qualities of the three-dimensional collages, Börsch uses her artworks to reflect on the ongoing climate crisis and destruction of biodiversity, commentary that’s laced with themes of decay and death. She explains:
    This came into focus for me when I made a series of collages and then later realized that many of the species in the vintage illustrations had already gone extinct. Humanity has wiped out 68% of all our planet’s biodiversity since 1970, so working with vintage illustrations can be very heartbreaking as much of the diversity in these gorgeous old naturalist prints has been wiped out by human activity.
    Since then, Börsch has been collaborating with scientist Louisa Durkin, of the Nordic Academy of Biodiversity and Systematics Studies, to identify ways the artworks can spark awareness and dialogue about environmental issues. “I often say that I do not want my art to be a funerary dirge for everything we could have saved,” she says.
    In recent months, Börsch has been working on a commissioned series that will culminate in a forthcoming book, titled Why Do Tigers Have Whiskers? And Other Cool Things About Animals, which is scheduled for release by Thames & Hudson in May 2021. Follow the artist on Instagram to see her latest projects, including an immersive installation commenting on regenerative approaches to tackling problems of biodiversity, which she plans to unveil in early November. (thnx, Elsie!)

    “Intimate Immensity” (2016)
    “Intimate Immensity” (2016)
    Jungle installation commissioned by Book A Street Artist Berlin for Riem Arcaden in Munich
    Photograph by Kolja Raschke
    “Intimate Immensity” (2016). Photograph by Trevor Good
    Photograph by Kolja Raschke
    Photograph by Kolja Raschke

    #animals
    #found photographs
    #installation
    #nature
    #paper
    #plants

    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

    Fringed Paper Networks Peek Out From Vintage Encyclopedias, Textbooks, and Classics by Artist Barbara Wildenboer

    
    Art

    #books
    #paper
    #sculpture

    August 31, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Kennis.” All images © Barbara Wildenboer, shared with permission
    From the covers of René Descartes’s Cogito Ergo Sum and Homer’s The Odyssey emerge vast webs of spliced pages. Artist Barbara Wildenboer (previously) overlaps countless strands of paper as part of her ongoing Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginably Large series. The new sculptures similarly feature masses of fringed pages, with the hand-cut forms lining the edges of the opened texts and peeking through the hollowed covers. Each spine is left intact.
    Wildenboer tells Colossal she’s been preparing for SUPER/NATURAL, a solo exhibition in November at Everard Read, that considers the relationship between science and the supernatural and has influenced her recent choices in books. Alongside photographic collages, the text-based sculptures “function as narrative clues, intertexts, or ‘subtitles,’” she says.
    A lot of the new book works deal with subject matter that relate to my understanding of the nature of invisible or quantum reality—a reality that we cannot see with our physical eyes. Where nature is the visible realm, supernature also operates on ‘natural’ laws, although we can’t always see them, i.e. for example, magnetism, gravity, and electricity, the celestial orbits, and star cycles. But it’s all levels of ‘nature.’
    Since Cape Town, where Wildenboer is based, was locked down due to COVID-19, she’s been altering the vintage copies she’s had stored. The result is sculptural series fashioned from the pages of Camera Obscura, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Inventions, and the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Compared to the massive encyclopedias and atlases she often utilizes, the smaller works appear almost miniature.
    To keep up with Wildenboer’s sprawling artworks, head to Instagram.

    “Cogito Ergo Sum”
    “Classical Atlas”
    “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
    Left: “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” Right: “Illustrated Pocket Medical Dictionary”
    “Aristotle’s Politics and Athenian Constitution”
    Left: “Astronomy.” Right: “Homer’s Odyssey”
    “The Garden of Lies”
    “World Atlas”

    #books
    #paper
    #sculpture

    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

    Katsumi Hayakawa’s Congested Cities Are Constructed with Scrupulously Cut Paper Buildings

    
    Art

    #architecture
    #city
    #electronics
    #paper
    #sculpture
    #technology

    August 21, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Bonsai City” (2014), paper, inkjet printing, fake grass, acrylic elements, 8 x 118 x 21 1/2 inches. All images © Katsumi Hayakawa, courtesy of the artist and McClain Gallery, shared with permission
    Meticulously cutting each piece by hand, Katsumi Hayakawa crafts dense cityscapes and urban districts from white paper. The Japanese artist assembles towers and various cube-like structures that are positioned in lengthy rows, resembling congested streets. Dotted with primary colors and metallic elements, the sculptures evoke electronic equipment like microchips and motherboards, which references the relationship between modern cities and technology. Hayakawa’s use of an ephemeral, organic material further contrasts the manufactured nature of both urban areas and technological inventions.
    To explore more of the artist’s projects that are concerned with the complexity of modern life, head to Artsy.

    “Fata Morgana” (2014), paper, inkjet printing, glitter, 25 1/2 x 119 1/2 x 51 1/2 inches
    “Bonsai City” (2014), paper, inkjet printing, fake grass, acrylic elements, 8 x 118 x 21 1/2 inches
    “Bonsai City” (2014), paper, inkjet printing, fake grass, acrylic elements, 8 x 118 x 21 1/2 inches
    “Intersection” (2017), watercolor paper and mixed media, 29 7/16 x 59 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches
    “Intersection” (2017), watercolor paper and mixed media, 29 7/16 x 59 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches
    “Fata Morgana” (2014), paper, inkjet printing, glitter, 25 1/2 x 119 1/2 x 51 1/2 inches
    “See from the side 3” (2014), paper, wood, acrylic reflective sheet, acrylic mirror with blue film, 8 3/4 x 50 1/4 x 11 inches

    #architecture
    #city
    #electronics
    #paper
    #sculpture
    #technology

    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

    Masks, Toilet Paper, and Thermometers Transform into Miniature, Outdoor Adventures by Artist Tatsuya Tanaka

    
    Art
    Photography

    #COVID-19
    #masks
    #miniature
    #paper
    #sports
    #swimming

    August 3, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Tatsuya Tanaka, shared with permission
    In the time of COVID-19, disposable face masks, toilet paper, and other essentials are synonymous with safety, precaution, and staying indoors. But in Tatsuya Tanaka’s ongoing Miniature Calendar series, the everyday items are subverted to create the tiny sets of outdoor adventures. A folded mask serves as a small tent, toilet paper descends from a wall holder as a snowy ski hill, and a thermometer outfitted with wheels transforms into a speedy racecar. For more of the miniature scenes from the Japanese artist and photographer (previously), head to Instagram, where he publishes a new piece daily. (via Lustik)

    #COVID-19
    #masks
    #miniature
    #paper
    #sports
    #swimming

    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

    Myriad Layers of Intricately Cut Paper Construct Architectural Sculptures by Artist Michael Velliquette

    
    Art
    Craft

    #architecture
    #paper
    #sculpture

    July 30, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “My looking ripens things and they come toward me, to meet and be met” (2020), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 6 inches. All images © Michael Velliquette by Jim Escalante, shared with permission
    Despite being built with a pliable, degradable material, Michael Velliquette’s paper sculptures exude strength and durability. Densley layered walls fortify the borders of his architectural works, and three-dimensional elements evoke mechanical gadgets like gears and other hardware. The incredibly intricate structures also have more delicate features, like the tiny dots and curved flourishes decorating the small pieces.
    Based in Madison, Wisconsin, the artist hand-cuts each shape with straight-edge scissors or an Exacto knife, utilizing templates, mechanical punches, rulers, and compasses. Requiring between 300 and 500 hours to complete, each monochromatic sculpture begins at the center, and Velliquette expands outward. He shares with Colossal that he “aspire(s) for balance and symmetry in the overall design, but they are not perfectly symmetrical.” Acid-free PVA glue and hot adhesives hold the layers together.
    Velliquette first started utilizing the accessible material as a way to model larger installations before it quickly became central to his practice. “Paper comes in endless forms. It can be used in multiple dimensions. It is easy to handle and manipulate, and it is available anywhere. It is inherently ephemeral, but given the right conditions, it can last for centuries,” he says.
    The work I am now creating is non-pictorial, non-objective, and non-representational in nature. The perspective of these pieces is left intentionally ambiguous: they can be read hung on the wall like bas-relief sculptures or mounted horizontally like architectural studies. There are new issues around engineering and construction that I have had to tackle as my work has evolved in this direction. The broad aim of this investigation is to use three-dimensional structure and intricate detailing to push the boundaries of paper art literally into a new dimension.
    The artist’s work will be on view at David Shelton Gallery in Houston this fall, and he is a 2021 resident at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Until then, follow Velliquette on Instagram for glimpses into his process and studio and to follow his upcoming projects. (via Dovetail)

    “The love that would soak down into the center of being” (2020), paper sculpture, 20 x 20 x 8 inches
    “Let your hand rest on the rim of heaven” (2019), paper sculpture, 20 x 20 x 6 inches
    Left: “Our newly awakened powers cry out for unlimited fulfillment” (2020), paper sculpture, 30 x 8 x 8 inches. Right: “All seeming things shine with the light of pure knowledge” (2019), paper sculpture, 18 x 8 x 8 inches
    “Let your hand rest on the rim of heaven” (2019), paper sculpture, 20 x 20 x 6 inches
    Left: “Then the knowing comes: I can open to another life that’s wide and timeless” (2017), paper sculpture25 x 25 x 5 inches. Right: “Then in one vast thousandfold thought I could think you up to where thinking ends” (2017), paper sculpture, 20 x 20 x 6 inches
    “My looking ripens things and they come toward me, to meet and be met” (2020), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 6 inches
    “When awareness encounters eternity it creates time” (2018), paper sculpture, 12 x 12 x 6 inches

    #architecture
    #paper
    #sculpture

    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

    Paper Wildlife Sculptures by Artist Diana Beltrán Herrera Document Nature’s Most Striking Details

    
    Art
    Design
    Illustration

    #birds
    #butterflies
    #paper
    #sculpture

    July 28, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Diana Beltrán Herrera, shared with permission
    In 2012, Bristol-based artist Diana Beltrán Herrera (previously) began sculpting impeccably layered paper birds and other wildlife as a way to record her surroundings. Her lifelike pieces continuously have captured nature’s finely detailed and minuscule elements, like the fibrous texture of feathers and the veins running through leaves.
    Today, the artist has expanded the practice to include exotic species and environments she’s never seen up close, developing her paper techniques to express the more nuanced details of the shapes and textures she studies in biology books. Now focusing on the structural elements of fungi, fruit, and florals, Beltrán Herrera shares with Colossal:
    Paper as a medium for documentation allows me to register and create notions and ideas of subjects that I have not experienced in real life but that I can experience when a sculpture is completed. I like this approach because it is not harmful, and through my work, I can show and tell my viewers about the things I have been learning, of the importance of nature just by researching and making it myself.
    Much of her work centers on conservation efforts and environmental justice. For example, a recent commission by Greenpeace UK bolstered the organization’s Plastic Free Rivers campaign. ” I am constantly looking for more subjects that are relevant to the times we are living in, so that through my work I can communicate important information that can educate or just make things more visible. The approach is very (graphic) and visual, which helps to deliver a message,” she says.
    Beltrán Herrera’s upcoming projects include a commission for a coral sculpture, in addition to plans to launch a studio with her brother by the end of 2020. Her hope is to merge graphic and digital design with her paper pieces, potentially adding in animation, as well. Ultimately, her goal is to dive into larger projects. “I don’t see my work as something I want to know how to make and stay safe, but as a challenge, that will always allow me to wonder how to execute and create things that were never made with paper,” she says.
    To see more of Beltrán Herrera’s creative process and follow her future pieces, head to Behance and Instagram.

    #birds
    #butterflies
    #paper
    #sculpture

    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

    Hundreds of Intricately Cut Layers Compose Impeccably Detailed Wildlife Sculptures by Patrick Cabral

     All images © Patrick Cabral Manila-based artist Patrick Cabral (previously) layers paper incised with decorative motifs and lacy patterns into dazzling sculptural portraits of wildlife. Ribbed tentacles with alternating gold and white dangle from an octopus, while elegant pieces comprise a rhinoceros’s exterior. Each multi-layered work contains hundreds of individual paper pieces that are […] More