Posts By Laura Staugaitis

Look Inside the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries in a New 560-Page Photo Book by Massimo Listri

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All photographs © Massimo Listri / TASCHEN

Portuguese photographer Massimo Listri has spent decades traversing the globe to document the spectacular architecture, sculptural elements, and furnishings of historic libraries. His new book, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, includes views inside such rarefied locations as the Palafoxiana Library in Pueblo, Mexico and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, France. Listri also includes descriptions and histories of each library. The 560-page tome is published by TASCHEN and available on Amazon and the TASCHEN website.

Klosterbibliothek Metten, Metten, Germany

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, France

Biblioteca do Convento de Mafra, Mafra, Portugal

Stiftsbibliothek Admont, Admont, Austria

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbria, Portugal

Stiftsbibliothek Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Italy

Strahovská Knihovna, Prague, Czech Republic

Baroque Underwater Photography by Christy Lee Rogers

“A Dream Dreamed in the Presence of Reason”. All photos © Christy Lee Rogers

Photographer Christy Lee Rogers produces luminous scenes of swirling figures swathed in colorful fabrics. She creates a painterly quality in her large-scale images not by using wet pigments, but rather by completely submerging her subjects in illuminated water and photographing them at night.

The works shown here are part of Rogers’ most recent series, titled ‘Muses’, which were in response to a year of personal loss. She shared in an interview that “these final images represent a soft and peaceful place that I imagine exists, where you can be free to let go and experience the beauty surrounding you.”

Rogers grew up in Hawaii and continues to shoot there, though she now lives in Nashville. Her works are exhibited widely, alongside video installations, one of which can be viewed below.  The photographer recently had a solo show at Art Labor Gallery, who will also be representing her work at the PHOTOFAIRS | Shangai, opening on September 21, 2018. You can see more from Rogers on Facebook and Vimeo. (via Booooooom)

“Our Hopes and Expectations”

“Love Live”

“Awaken”

“Alive”

“Cloud Nine”

“Rhapsody”

“Harmony”

“Apparition”

“Evolution”

A Friendly Octopus Found Within Ancient River Pebble Mosaics in Greece

Photos: Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta

Pebble mosaics dating from the 4th century BC have been unearthed in Arta, Greece. During excavations at the Small Theatre of Ancient Amvrakia, the floor of a 12-foot wide bathhouse was revealed. Achaeologists discovered carefully laid mosaics of swans, octopuses, and winged cherubic figures  surrounded by a spiral border. Each design was formed using smooth river pebbles in white, off-white, and dark tones, with amber and red pebbles acting as accents. The dig was conducted by the Ephorate of Antiquities, in the town of Arta, which has been occupied on and off since ancient times.

According to Archeology News Network, “the pebble floor is linked with a similar one located in an earlier excavation in the 70s and partly covered by the east part of the Small Theatre’s koilon/auditorium. This pebble floor had been removed from the site during the 1976 excavations. It depicts similar scenes with flying cupids, swans and dolphins and at present is in the storerooms of the Archaeological Museum of Arta.” (via The History Blog)

A Friendly Octopus Found Within Ancient River Pebble Mosaics in Greece

Photos: Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta

Pebble mosaics dating from the 4th century BC have been unearthed in Arta, Greece. During excavations at the Small Theatre of Ancient Amvrakia, the floor of a 12-foot wide bathhouse was revealed. Achaeologists discovered carefully laid mosaics of swans, octopuses, and winged cherubic figures  surrounded by a spiral border. Each design was formed using smooth river pebbles in white, off-white, and dark tones, with amber and red pebbles acting as accents. The dig was conducted by the Ephorate of Antiquities, in the town of Arta, which has been occupied on and off since ancient times.

According to Archeology News Network, “the pebble floor is linked with a similar one located in an earlier excavation in the 70s and partly covered by the east part of the Small Theatre’s koilon/auditorium. This pebble floor had been removed from the site during the 1976 excavations. It depicts similar scenes with flying cupids, swans and dolphins and at present is in the storerooms of the Archaeological Museum of Arta.” (via The History Blog)

New Synchronized Photographs of Swimmers by Mária Švarbová

New photographs from Slovakian artist Mária Švarbová (previously) continue her exploration of strangely melancholy poolside scenes. Coolly detached young swimmers in matching outfits are frozen in synchronized positions, a surprising diversion from the usual youthful exuberance of kids in pools. A statement on her website describes Švarbová’s unconventional work: “Maria’s postmodern vision boldly articulates a dialog that compels the viewer to respond to the mystery, loneliness, and isolation of the human experience.” The photographer has published a book of this series, titled Swimming Pool. You can see more of her work, including non-aquatic subjects, on Instagram.

Curved Benches Created by Steam-Bending Hardwood by Matthias Pliessnig

Brooklyn-based furniture designer and sculptor Matthias Pliessnig creates sumptuous, twisting benches by steam-bending hardwood. He first developed the process in 2006 while studying wooden boat building techniques at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when he realized that by flipping his boat-inspired creations over, he could use the hollow form as a sturdy bench. Once he has designed his works using Rhinoceros 3-D software, Pliessnig places a strips of wood into a tube filled with hot steam. After ten minutes the wood is malleable enough to bend into his desired shape, but only for about 30 seconds. In eight hours, the wood is fully hardened, and back to its original strength. You can see more of the designer’s undulating furniture on his Instagram.

Photo: Sam Amil

Nigerian Hair Culture Documented in Rainbow-Hued Portraits by Medina Dugger

Purple Kinky Calabar. All photographs © Medina Dugger

Lagos-based photographer Medina Dugger documents colorful hair culture in the coastal Nigerian city with her ongoing series Chroma. The collection of portraits pays homage to J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, a renowned African photographer who documented women’s hairstyles in Nigeria for over 50 years, starting in the mid-20th century.

Prior to decolinization, Dugger explains, wigs and straightening had replaced much of the indigenous hair culture, and ‘Okhai Ojeikere’s documentations sought to celebrate traditional hairdos. She continues, “African hair braiding methods date back thousands of years and Nigerian hair culture is a rich and often extensive process which begins in childhood. The methods and variations have been influenced by social/cultural patterns, historical events and globalization. Hairdos range from being purely decorative to conveying deeper, more symbolic understandings, revealing social status, age and tribal/family traditions.”

While ‘Okhai Ojeikere’ images were in black and white, Dugger updates the documentary style with brightly colored backgrounds, a diverse array of vibrant contemporary fashion, and rainbow hues integrated into the hairstyles with thread, beads, and dyed extensions. You can see more of Dugger’s colorful editorial photography on her website and Instagram.

Blue Coiling Penny Penny

Blue Beri Beri

Golden Eggs

Left: Purple Irun Kiko / Right: Pink Buns

Yellow Tip Twist

Emerald Abebe

Aqua Suku

Left: Violet Irun Kiko / Right: Yellow Monocle

Pink Didi with Cowry Shell

Blue Star Koroba

Calabar Bun Trio

Life-Size Animals Emerge from Persian Rugs in Perception-Defying Sculptures by Debbie Lawson

“Red Bear”

British sculptor Debbie Lawson works in the space between two and three dimensions, forming wild animals that emerge from old-fashioned rugs. The artist builds her animals from scratch, using chicken wire and masking tape, and then covers them with identical or near-identical Persian carpets to create the illusion that the creature is fused with the hanging rug.

Lawson explains to Colossal, “I have always ‘accidentally’ spotted images in patterns, on textured walls and floors made of wood or lino – any material really. It’s an obsession that I decided to explore in the studio, using first wood grain and then carpet to make work in which the pattern morphed into an actual image or form…More recently I have focussed on animal forms to explore the idea of camouflage, and of its opposite: display.”

Red Bear is on display until August 19 2018 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of the 250th Summer Exhibition curated by Grayson Perry. Persian bear is permanently displayed (along with a moose in the same style) at London’s Town Hall Hotel. You can see more of Lawson’s finished works and take peeks into her studio process on Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Red Bear Head”

“White Stag”

“Red Bear Head” and “White Stag” (detail)

“Persian Bear”