Graphic designer Justin Peters has an uncanny ability to compose fantastical landscapes and creatures by combining stock imagery using Photoshop. The 22-year-old German digital artist says that he’s often driven by the famous Picasso quote “Everything you can imagine is real,” choosing to use photography found on stock imagery sites as the source material for his digital collages. You can see more of his recent work on Instagram.
UK-based illustrator Richard Wilkinson created a series of fantastical insects based on the most famous Star Wars characters. It’s easy to imagine these incredibly life-like renderings truly existing as creatures crawling on a planet far away, and each is given a cheeky scientific name with Latin roots that relate to its sci-fi counterpart like Roboduobus Deoduobus for R2D2 or Chaetebarbatus Bonamicii for Chewbacca. Wilkinson has previous experience creating scientifically-minded illustrations for publications like New Scientist and Intelligent Life Magazine.
These first 10 illustrations titled Insects From A Far Away Galaxy are just the first set in a much larger body of work for a planned book, Arthropoda Iconicus Volume I, that will make references to other pop culture characters like Pokemon, Marvel Comics, and Disney. The pieces seen here are now available as limited edition prints, and you can follow more of Wilkinson’s work on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)
Warning: strong language. Over on the Hydraulic Press Channel, Finnish factory owners Lauri and Anni devised an awesome experiment to force a variety of soft objects like cheese, soap, and crayons through a plate drilled with holes with the help of their famous hydraulic press. The result is as funny as it is incredible, especially the squished crayons that seem to sprout straight up like sticks. The press is set to exert 150 bars of pressure (2,175 pounds per square inch) sending the various materials squirting in every direction in genuinely surprising ways. I’ve probably watched a few dozen of their videos over the years, and this an instant favorite.
Banksy’s year-old project in Bethlehem, The Walled Off Hotel (previously), has just released a new set of souvenirs exclusively available in the hotel shop. The series of works, which are each hand painted by local artists, depict the West Bank barrier in a crumbling state. A hooded figure is featured beside the wall in several of the works—either contributing a fresh piece of graffiti or physically breaking through the wall with mallet in hand. Banksy views these works as anticipatory objects, pieces that might accurately depict the wall’s end.
The hotel also released a new album during last week’s Palestine Music Expo, featuring international musicians such as Brian Eno, The Black Madonna, Trio Joubran, Roisin Murphy, and Akram Abdulfattah. The work was produced by Block9 during a “Creative Retreat” at the hotel this past February, and includes seven collaborative songs inspired by Palestine’s history. The Walled Off Hotel Creative Retreat Album is now available for free on Soundcloud.
Copenhagen-based miniature artist Katie Doka fabricates exquisitely detailed miniature birds that perch atop the ends of pencils and paintbrushes. The feathery specimens are built primarily from polymer clays, glass, jewelry wire and lambs wool or cotton with accents of acrylic paint. Although the pieces are designed primarily for use in dollhouses, their adjustable frames and appendages ensure each bird can adapt to any environment. You can see more on Instagram and in her Etsy shop. (via So Super Awesome)
To create his new documentary film Human Flow, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei spent a full year traveling through 23 countries, following the journeys of some of the 65 million people forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change, and protracted wars. Crossing oceans and visiting refugee camps in precarious border cities in Afghanistan, Greece, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Turkey and beyond, Ai documented the stories of fellow humans of all ages and nationalities who currently have no place to call home.
The individual stories of several refugees and their journeys—or near perpetual state of limbo—are interwoven throughout the film, though Ai focuses mostly on a macro view that illustrates the unimaginable scope of the unfolding crisis that has enveloped entire nations. By its nature, Human Flow recognizes that there are no easy solutions to these monumental catastrophes that impacts all of us directly or indirectly, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. A healthy dose of compassion and a recognition of a shared humanity would be a good start.
On a personal note, I felt deeply impacted by the film and strongly urge you to watch it.
On Sunday, April 29, 2018, Human Flow will be screened simultaneously across the United States. Immediately following, Ai will participate in a livestream Q&A with audiences around the country. If you are interested in hosting a public screening in a school, library, community center or elsewhere, you can find out more from ro*co films.
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)