Over the past month, the art world’s attention has been focused on the Venice Biennale, one of the most notable international shows on the planet. Many artists who are not in the invitation-only exhibition come to Venice to share their work in unaffiliated gallery shows and take advantage of the Biennale-boosted foot traffic. One such artist chose a more unorthodox setup for his Venice sideshow. Banksy (previously) joined the hordes of street vendors selling paintings to pedestrian tourists with a salon-style setup that merged several paintings together. Titled “Venice in Oil,” the multi-panel work depicts a gas-guzzling cruise ship towering over the ancient city as gondoliers in traditional dress row by.
Last week, many media outlets speculated that a stenciled artwork on a canal wall, depicting a migrant child holding up an S.O.S. flare was created by Banksy. But the British artist verifies his own work by sharing it on Instagram and his website, where the piece has yet to appear. The video below offers an on-the-ground view of the artist’s guerrilla street stall.
Japanese sculptor Yoshitoshi Kanemaki (previously) captures the emotional complexities of youth in his glitched 3-dimensional portraits. Kanemaki carves tree trunks into figures—often young women—whose faces are multiplied in expressions that range from distressed to joyful in a single sculpture. The figures’ casual, natural poses seem to capture them in real time: some of the artist’s characters perch on chairs mid-conversation, and others gesture with their arms to express confidence or bashfulness. In his finished works, Kanemaki usually uses lifelike coloring, but for one recent sculpture shown in detail below, the artist experimented with creating the sensation of an out-of-focus image by using soft, blurred shapes and colors to complete the expression. See more of the sculptor’s finished and in-progress works on Instagram and Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)
An eagle named Bruce, resident at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Ontario, recently took a dive over open water at the conservancy. Amateur photographer Steve Biro happened to be there at just the right moment, with camera in hand. Bruce’s arced wings reflected in the water below form a an almost perfect oval, and the bird’s bright yellow beak and piercing gaze are directed squarely at the camera. Bald eagles can have a wingspan ranging from six to seven and half feet.
“I snapped a couple images from the side and decided I wanted to get a vantage point where I might be able to shoot him more straight on,” Biro explains to Colossal. “There was a large rock right at the water’s edge were I laid down beside and rested my upper body on trying to get as low as possible.” Biro notes that Bruce was flying close enough to him that he could feel the draft from the bird’s wings, so he was able to a macro lens to capture the moment. Follow along with Biro’s nature explorations on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)
In a new brand video from the Hong Kong Ballet, swarms of brightly dressed ballet dancers demonstrate traditional techniques in a contemporary urban environment. The 40-year-old dance company underwent a dramatic rebrand in 2018 courtesy of Washington, D.C. based-agency Design Army, and the recent video builds on their new identity. Sporting a mix of classic tutus alongside contemporary sportswear, the dancers pas de deux across basketball courts and stroll en pointe through crosswalks to the remixed tune of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. Find more moments of dancers in motion on the Hong Kong Ballet’s Youtube channel and take a peek behind the stage curtain on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)
Master balloon artist Masayoshi Matsumoto (previously) continues to amaze with his incredibly intricate animal creations. Using only balloons—the artist abstains from using any additional materials like markers or adhesives—Matsumoto shapes his raw materials to mimic the unique limbs, spikes, and wattles of a wide range of animals. The graceful silhouettes of birds and insects with their textural exoskeletons frequently appear in the artist’s body of work, but he also tackles flora including pitcher plants and cacti, and other creatures from mammals to maggots. Discover more of Matsumoto’s inflatable menagerie on Instagram and Twitter.
Turkish artist Uğur Gallenkuş uses split images to emphasize the grave differences between war-torn countries and privileged, peaceful societies. Gallenkuş often specifically references Western visual culture in his juxtaposed images, such as Christian iconography of the Madonna and child, and the Instagram aesthetic of the ice cream cone portrait. In each composite image, the Istanbul-based artist pairs a carefully matched slice of prosperity with jarring documentation of conflict and poverty to show what occupies the attention and defines the experiences of people around the world, depending on where they live.
Gallenkuş has been creating these divided images for several years as a personal project, and has garnered global attention for his work, which he shares with nearly half a million followers on Instagram. In a recent interview with Juxtapoz, the artist explained, “If we want to live in peace and trust, we must have healthy knowledge and empathy. Wrong and biased information and hatred make these problems even worse.”
The popular 36 Days of Type challenge (previously) is an annual open call for designers, illustrators, and artists to bring the alphabet and numbers one through nine to life. For its sixth year, Barcelona-based motion designer Albert Oriol collaborated with 36 fellow creatives to animate individual letters and numbers. By tapping a wide variety of illustrators with unique styles, Oriol’s end result is a highlight reel of diversity in design. From a Bauhaus-ish B to a graffiti-inspired Y, the animated letters and numbers expand, bounce, pixelate, and evaporate. Watch the full sequence below and see more from Oriol on Behance and Instagram.