Chicago-based Illustrator Diana Sudyka uses vintage stamps from Europe as the starting point for fanciful paintings created using gouache, ink, and watercolor. These miniature engravings of portraits, architecture, and ships become fully formed figures and landscapes that merge with trees and flowers and convene with animals. Many of the artist’s paintings include phrases of hand-painted text that add an additional narrative element to the works.
Sudyka tells Colossal that she begins each new piece by selecting a stamp, but without a specific idea of the painting that will emerge from it. “I let the stamp inform the subject matter and color palette. It’s a very intuitive process. The stamp is really just a stepping off point to get my imagination going.”
Working mainly as a children’s book illustrator, Sudyka creates her stamp paintings primarily as relaxing interludes between client projects. She explains to Colossal that her background is as a fine artist, specializing in intaglio printmaking, and her history with stamps goes back to her days as an undergraduate when she was inspired by collage artist Joseph Cornell, and picked up some vintage stamps at a coin collecting shop in her college town. Sudyka offers prints of many of her paintings on her website, and she also shares her work on Instagram.
There is perhaps no other director who can blur the lines between art and advertising like director Spike Jonze. From his 2016 hit dance video for KENZO perfumes all the back to his early ads for Levi’s, the Oscar-winning director has an extraordinary ability to present contemporary dance against stunning visual backdrops. Enter his latest short for Apple HomePods: Welcome Home featuring English musician and dancer FKA twigs rocking out in her apartment to a new Anderson .Paak track called ‘Til It’s Over.
It appears the 4-minute short was filmed largely (if not entirely) using practical special effects to create colorful sets that stretch out like a skewed digital glitch. Mum’s the word on exactly how Jonze filmed the piece, but we’re sure to hear more in the coming days about how exactly it all came together. (via Adweek)
German photographer Kilian Schönberger (previously) is known for capturing otherworldly images of his natural surroundings. His latest series, Winter’s Tale, was shot in the mountain ranges of Germany and central Europe and showcases the desaturated, hushed landscapes of snow-covered forests. Schönberger describes the mystical quality of his Winter’s Tale series: “Winter was the time when tales and legends were told at home, the whole family sitting around the tiled stove. The mystic figures are just waiting in front of the doorstep, snow and frost seem to make trees alive.”
The photographer shares with Colossal that challenging conditions are part of the game when shooting outdoors during the winter. Schönberger treks in with snowshoes or cross country skis, and sometimes waits two hours or more in frigid temperatures for the right shot, while battling shortened battery life and fickle sunlight that is needed to illuminate a scene without melting delicate frost. In addition to his Behance portfolio, you can see more of Schönberger’s work on his website and Instagram.
Self-described “artist and destroyer” Graziano Locatelli has created an inventive take on bas-relief sculpture by building subway tile walls that shatter to reveal human forms. Some works contain subtle shifts and cracks that reveal their portraits, while other sculptures expose more fully-formed figures pushing through the tiles. In his pieces with distinct three dimensional figures, the bodies are cloaked in an anonymizing layer of white “fabric” that erases their faces and blends in with the white tiles. Locatelli shares his work on Instagram and Facebook.
With the push of a button or the crank of a handle, these whimsical wooden automata by Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada spring to life, with figures that bounce and dance across a miniature stage like puppets. Harada is a prolific designer of mechanical designs fashioned from wood both large and small, from tiny single-crank pieces to giant labyrinthine playscapes in galleries and museums. The delight in many of his automata is derived from their simplicity, but lately he’s explored increasingly elaborate devices like a dot matrix printer and longer sequences akin to a Rube Goldberg machine.
Moscow-based paper artist Ekaterina Lukasheva first tried folding paper at the age of 14 when a mathematics professor brought in a book on kusudamas. The traditional paper sphere technique requires an understanding of geometry to ensure the individual units fit together perfectly with the help of glue or string. A few years later she began to explore much more complicated designs like tessellations, aided by a university degree in mathematics and programming. Through her experimentation and commitment Lukasheva has become so proficient with paper that she’s authored several DIY books featuring some of her original designs. You can follow more of her work on Flickr and Instagram. (via Twisted Sifter)
Multidisciplinary artist Miguel Rothschild works across a wide variety of mediums from modified photography to glass sculpture and textiles. In several recent works the Argentine artist has captured the slow roll of ocean waves in suspended fabric installations titled Elegy and De Profundis. Both artworks seem to play with the viewer’s perception, appearing both as waves or perhaps a slice of the sky. Even the filament that holds the artwork airborne seems to glisten like rays of sun or rain. You can see more of the Berlin-based artists work on his website.
You might need your glasses for this one. Quantum physicist David Nadlinger from the University of Oxford managed to capture an image that would have been impossible only a few years ago: a single atom suspended in an electric field viewable by the naked eye. The amazing shot titled “Single Atom in an Ion Trap” recently won the overall prize in the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) science photo and imaging contest. You can see the atom in the shot above, the tiny speck at the very center.
To be clear, the photo doesn’t capture just the atom, but rather light emitted from it while in an excited state. From the EPSRC:
‘Single Atom in an Ion Trap’, by David Nadlinger, from the University of Oxford, shows the atom held by the fields emanating from the metal electrodes surrounding it. The distance between the small needle tips is about two millimetres.
When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. The winning picture was taken through a window of the ultra-high vacuum chamber that houses the ion trap.
Laser-cooled atomic ions provide a pristine platform for exploring and harnessing the unique properties of quantum physics. They can serve as extremely accurate clocks and sensors or, as explored by the UK Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub, as building blocks for future quantum computers, which could tackle problems that stymie even today’s largest supercomputers.
“The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality,” shared Nadlinger. “A back-of-the-envelope calculation showed the numbers to be on my side, and when I set off to the lab with camera and tripods one quiet Sunday afternoon, I was rewarded with this particular picture of a small, pale blue dot.”