Posts By Laura Staugaitis

A Remarkably Colorful Geminid Meteor Streaks Across the Sky in a Singular Astrophotograph by Dean Rowe

Colorado-based photographer Dean Rowe recently captured the spectacular sight of a colorful Rainbow Geminid Meteor streaking across the sky during December’s Geminid meteor shower. The image was shared on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day earlier this month, and includes a helpful explanation from a professional astronomer:

The radiant grit cast off by asteroid 3200 Phaethon blazed a path across Earth’s atmosphere longer than 60 times the angular diameter of the Moon. Colors in meteors usually originate from ionized elements released as the meteor disintegrates, with blue-green typically originating from magnesium, calcium radiating violet, and nickel glowing green. Red, however, typically originates from energized nitrogen and oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Rowe, the photographer who documented this ephemeral moment, shares with Colossal that he has been interested in photography and astronomy since his early teens. He built his own telescope at the age of 13 which included grinding and polishing the mirror lens by hand. After a career in software engineering, Rowe has been investing in photography in retirement, with a focus on the wide world of nature. In addition to night and astrophotography, Rowe also frequently photographs hummingbirds in flight. You can see more of his work on his website, where prints are available for purchase, and his Facebook page.

An Audiovisual Feast Showcasing the Complete Production of a Hand-Forged Lock Box

Forged and Filed, a transfixing new video by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based filmmaker Jesse Beecher showcases the talents of metalsmith Seth Gould. In the five minute-long documentary short, Beecher not only highlights the technical prowess of Gould’s complex design and construction skills, but he also transforms the percussive sounds of the metal workshop in to a lively soundtrack. The banging of hammers, crumpling of paper, and sizzling of flames amplify the hand-forged nature of metalsmithing. Forged and Filed follows Gould’s progress as he creates an incredibly detailed lock box, shaping every element completely from scratch.

Gould graduated in 2009 from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine with a degree in metalsmithing and jewelry. Over the last decade he has shown his work widely and shared his knowledge as a visiting artist and lecturer around the country—most recently at the prestigious Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.You can see more of the metalsmith’s works on his Instagram and website, including these creative interpretations of hammers.

In addition to his personal projects, Beecher works as the Director of Photography for Northern Light Productions, a Boston-based company that creates media for cultural institutions, and has also produced work for PBS, Netflix, and Comedy Central. You can see more of Beecher’s projects on his website.

Winter’s Magic: Dramatic Ice Crystals Formed in Ephemeral Spheres

A simple mixture of corn syrup, dish detergent, and water creates magical winter snow globes when blown into bubbles on snow. Frosty shapes dance across the fragile transparent bubbles, starting out as distant stars that expand and almost tesselate to form a continuous surface pattern. The straightforward yet delicate DIY project is dramatically documented by Ontario-based nature photographer Don Komarechka in his short film “Winter’s Magic.” Komarechka’s video features the best clips from over 400 takes that were originally shot for the BBC’s Forces of Nature documentary series. The artist works in macro, landscape, and nature photography. He also teaches workshops, and sells prints of his work, from snowflakes to spiders, on his website. For the curious, Komarechka explains the process and the technical aspects of the project on YouTube. (via The Kid Should See This)

Kirie Octopus Cut From a Single Piece of Paper by Masayo Fukuda

Kirie (切り絵, literally ‘cut picture’) is the Japanese art of paper-cutting. Variations of kiriecan be found in cultures around the world but the Japanese version is said to be derived from religious ceremonies and can be traced back to around the AD 700s. In its most conventional form, negative space is cut from a single sheet of white paper and then contrasted against a black background to reveal a rendering. Veteran kirie artist Masayo Fukuda (previously) has been practicing the art form for 25 years and recently revealed what she says is her greatest masterpiece of 2018.

Although the intricate piece looks like several layers overlapped, Fukuda stayed true to the conventional form, using only a single sheet of paper to render her detailed depiction of an octopus. The level of detail at times even looks like a fine ballpoint pen drawing. But a closer look confirms indeed that each and every detail is carefully made from cut-out negative space in the white paper.

If you’re interested in Fukuda’s work, she’ll be showcasing her kirie in a joint exhibition planned for next year. She’ll be showing her work along with fellow kirie artist Jun at Miraie Gallery in Osaka from April 24 – April 30, 2019. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Elaborately Collaged Newspapers by Myriam Dion Transform Current Events into New Visual Narratives

In the patient hands of Myriam Dion (previously), daily newspapers become timeless works of art. The artist reads each newspaper she transforms from cover to cover before envisioning an entirely new visual identity for the inexpensive yet information-dense material. Using a combination of collage, X-ACTO knife cutting, gilding, and painting, Dion forms intricate patterns, often adorning and emphasizing a single image across the broadsheet.

“By crafting thoughtful mosaics out of the world events, I question our appetite for sound-bite news and sensational art, showing the quiet power of a patient hand and an inquisitive eye,” She explains in an interview with Huffington Post. “I am creating a new newspaper that can be interpreted, that encourages people to think more deeply about the news that we consume too easily.”

In addition to working with current events, Dion also engages vintage printed materials, like a 1953 issue of The Gazette that lauds a young Queen Elizabeth, and fact sheets from mid-century beauty pageant contestants. The artist is based in Montreal, Quebec, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Quebec. Dion is represented by Division Gallery. You can see more of her work on her website.

Oil Paintings by Clive Head Layer Gestures to Visually Express the Passage of Time

British artist Clive Head captures the complex beauty of everyday movements in his dizzying oil paintings. His long career has seen a dramatic evolution of his style, from early work in the tradition of Realism to more recent math-inspired works. Head first gained prominence in the 1990s for his Realist urban landscapes, but began to experiment with spatial mathematics in the 2000’s, sparking his current intuitive style.

“Rejecting the conventions of perspective, the resulting panoramas seamlessly merged different spaces into plausible but impossible totalities,” a statement on the artist’s website explains. Often set in cities, Head’s painting’s depict travelers on public transit or customers at coffee shops, environments where frequent and dense movements are natural. Each painting contains fractured gestures that demonstrate changes in time, while also presenting a psychological perspective.

The artist, who lives and works in York, U.K., has exhibited his paintings widely, and previously founded and chaired the Fine Art department at U.C.Scarbrough for York University. In addition to painting, Head also works in printmaking, drawing, and has published essays on painting. You can explore more of the artist’s work on his website. (via Juxtapoz)

A Nostalgic Winter Scene Takes a Sinister Turn in a New Welsh Work by Banksy

Yesterday, Banksy (previously) left his mark in the South Wales town of Port Talbot, his first in the UK nation. The area drew attention earlier this year when a World Health Organization report named it the most polluted community in the UK (the designation was later revoked). The street artist seemed to be referencing this undesirable ranking in his piece, which is placed on two adjacent sides of a cement brick garage. A young boy clad in winter gear and with a small sled appears with arms outstretched, his pink tongue catching what appears to be snowflakes. But the nostalgic scene takes on a different meaning when both walls are viewed together, as the “snow” is revealed to be flakes of ash from a dumpster fire. Banksy has declared the work to be his in a video posted earlier today on Instagram, where you can join 5 million others in keeping up with his latest hijinks. (via Juxtapoz)

 

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When the Sun Sets in Baiona, a Seemingly Simple Whale Mural Reveals a Belly Full of Sailors

A new collaborative mural by Barcelona-based artists María López and Javier de Riba undergoes a dramatic shift from day to night. Titled Hizkuntza, the mural appears to be a simple outline of a whale by day, but darkness reveals an intricate glowing design. The placement of the whalers inside the whale’s belly suggests an ambiguous power dynamic: did the whale swallow the sailors, or did they overtake the beast and turn it into a ghost of its former self?

The mural is located in Patxa Plaza in Baiona, a small city on the northwest coast of Spain that is a popular tourist destination. The Plaza in particular is a site of public gathering and celebration of Basque culture. In a description of the mural on Behance, the artists explain that they were inspired by the complex history of whaling. Commercial extinction of the Eubalena Glacialis whale in the Cantabrian Sea forced Basque sailors to explore new horizons, which created new languages like Basque-Icelandic and Algonquin-Basque.

López and de Riba often work in glowing paints, and focus on the culture and history of the locations where they install their murals. You can see more of their work on Instagram and see behind-the-scenes in videos on their Vimeo channelHizkuntza is also available as a limited edition glow-in-the-dark print from the artists’ website, Reskate Studio.