Posts By Andrew LaSane

Stop-Motion Animation Shows a Bird’s POV of the Exotic Pet Industry

Animator and director Evan DeRushie‘s recent short film “Birdlime” is about an exotic breed that escapes capture just to find itself injured and caged anyway. Birdlime features handcrafted and stop-motion animated human hands, tropical trees, other birds, and gibberish sounds in place of dialogue. The colorful kid-friendly film shows the versatility of the medium for fun, engaging, and artful storytelling.

Inspired by a trip to Thailand and his introduction to the exotic pet industry, DeRushie had the idea to the tell the story from the bird’s point of view. The characters are made from dyed and painted cushion foam. Working alone, the animator designed everything so that it would last long shoots with limited camera angles and edits.

“Thinking about the way that animals are represented in animation, and the effects in the real world (like how clown fish populations were decimated directly after Finding Nemo), I started seeing animation as a powerful and scary tool,” DeRushie said in a statement. “With this in mind, I tried to portray a respectful relationship between human and animal, and to treat the bird without too much anthropomorphism. I also wanted the film to feel like you were in the cage with the main character, and to be a bit confused by the world.”

DeRushie is the co-owner of the Toronto-based animation studio Stop Motion Department Inc.. Prior to “Birdlime” he animated and set-supervised 2015’s The Little Prince and was a part of the team that animated the short film “The Fox and the Chickadee,” which played in numerous festivals around the world. To see more of his work, click through to his official website.

Images via Short of the Week

Chrome Face Masks and Hyperrealistic Oil Portraits by Kip Omolade

Diovadiova Chrome Karyn X, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. All images via Kip Omolade

Brooklyn-based artist Kip Omolade (previously) uses molding, casting, and painting techniques to create detailed masks and large-scale hyperrealistic portraits. Contrasted against vibrant backgrounds, each chrome face appears to rise from the canvas to meet the viewer. Continuing his Diovadiova Chrome series, Omolade’s recent work explores form, connections, and the basics of what makes us human.

Since we last featured his work in 2017, Kip Omolade’s portraits have evolved to include more than one subject. “In my paintings, I previously presented each mask as a singular portrait,” he told Colossal. “In my current work, the faces are now interacting with each other. They are arranged together on large canvases measuring 13-15 feet long. The masks have become mythological characters having conversations about humanity. I see them as deities pondering age old questions about birth, life, death, identity and love.”

He has also included his three children in his work for the first time. Their portraits, titled Diovadiova Chrome Triumph after a Wu-Tang song, represent “life’s ability to survive despite environmental and societal hardships. Reflections of Times Square New York City are captured within their portraits. In a seemingly eternal sleep, they are depicted with their eyes closed…still innocent to the world.”

Kip Omolade is opening a pop-up art show in New York City on September 9. Titled The Diovadiova – Avoid a Void, the show will be open to the public at 520 West 23rd Street. For more upcoming event news and progress shots of his work, give the artist a follow on Instagram.

Diovadiova Chrome Triumph work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Triumph work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Kip Triptych III detail, Oil on canvas, 74 x 36 in

Diovadiova Chrome Diana IV, Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in

Diovadiova Chrome Trinity, Oil on canvas, 120 x 186 in

Diovadiova Chrome Tribunal work in progress

Diovadiova Chrome Tribunal, Oil on canvas, 120.5 x 156.5 in

Diovadiova Chrome Joyce IV detail, Oil on canvas, 72 x 34 in

Diovadiova Chrome Kip Triptych I detail, Oil on canvas, 74 x 36 in

Profiled in the video below by filmmaker Jesse Brass (previously), Omolade speaks about immortality, form, universal beauty, and what it means to be a diva.

Intricate Beadwork Adorns Handmade Mardi Gras Suits by Demond Melancon

For the past three decades, Louisiana-based artist Demond Melancon has created highly detailed Mardi Gras Indian suits using millions of hand-sewn small glass beads. Each suit takes several months to create and features custom patches that tell stories about African and American history.

Images of Nyabinghi warriors, Haile Selassie, African nature scenes, and slavery are strung together bead by bead to form decorative costumes that weigh up to 150 pounds and are worn from 9am to 6pm on Mardi Gras. Frills and feathers frame the complex beadwork and sequins to complete the one-of-a-kind single purpose suits.

Melancon tells Colossal that in junior high school his friends “masked Indian” and that he followed them into the craft. He was chosen by the elders to learn sewing techniques as well as the history of Black Masking Culture in New Orleans when he was 14 years old. After masking as a Spy Boy for 15 years with the Seminole Hunters, Melancon earned the distinction of becoming Big Chief to his own tribe. In addition to leading his community and passing on traditions to the next generation, the honor is expressed through the size and intricacy of his suits, which can take over 4,000 hours to complete and are only worn once.

“I study our history and historical narratives to create my pieces [with] many different references,” Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters explained. He added that as a “bead master,” his style involves using the smallest beads available to pack in as much detail as possible.

Melancon’s work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. A new documentary short about his life and art titled “All on a Mardi Gras Day” (dir. Michal Pietrzyk) was the Documentary: Grand Jury Prize Winner at Seattle International Film Festival and has been shown at other festivals across America, Germany, and Denmark. For a list of upcoming screenings and to see more of the Big Chief’s suits, visit his website and Instagram.

Intricate Beadwork Adorns Handmade Mardi Gras Suits by Demond Melancon

For the past three decades, Louisiana-based artist Demond Melancon has created highly detailed Mardi Gras Indian suits using millions of hand-sewn small glass beads. Each suit takes several months to create and features custom patches that tell stories about African and American history.

Images of Nyabinghi warriors, Haile Selassie, African nature scenes, and slavery are strung together bead by bead to form decorative costumes that weigh up to 150 pounds and are worn from 9am to 6pm on Mardi Gras. Frills and feathers frame the complex beadwork and sequins to complete the one-of-a-kind single purpose suits.

Melancon tells Colossal that in junior high school his friends “masked Indian” and that he followed them into the craft. He was chosen by the elders to learn sewing techniques as well as the history of Black Masking Culture in New Orleans when he was 14 years old. After masking as a Spy Boy for 15 years with the Seminole Hunters, Melancon earned the distinction of becoming Big Chief to his own tribe. In addition to leading his community and passing on traditions to the next generation, the honor is expressed through the size and intricacy of his suits, which can take over 4,000 hours to complete and are only worn once.

“I study our history and historical narratives to create my pieces [with] many different references,” Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters explained. He added that as a “bead master,” his style involves using the smallest beads available to pack in as much detail as possible.

Melancon’s work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. A new documentary short about his life and art titled “All on a Mardi Gras Day” (dir. Michal Pietrzyk) was the Documentary: Grand Jury Prize Winner at Seattle International Film Festival and has been shown at other festivals across America, Germany, and Denmark. For a list of upcoming screenings and to see more of the Big Chief’s suits, visit his website and Instagram.

AfroArt Photo Series Challenges Beauty Standards with Young Black Models

All Images: Kahran and Regis Bethencourt. Styling by LaChanda Gatson, Shanna Thomasson and Angela Plummer

Husband and wife photography duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography capture images of children that celebrate the beauty, culture, and heritage of afro hairstyles. Often dressed in ornate African-inspired garb, Black girl and boy models are crowned with afros, twists, and braids as symbols of strength and grace.

The Bethencourts, based in Atlanta, have been working together for 10 years and began photographing children with natural hair in 2013. The “AfroArt” series began when they noticed a lack of diversity in the industry. The way the children in the series are styled and posed against warm backgrounds recalls the regal oil portraits painted of upper class men and women during the Renaissance movement. “We decided to showcase kids with natural hair to empower them (and others in the industry) to embrace it and for the kids to be proud of their culture and natural curls,” the photographers tell Colossal.

“When we first started out we were primarily working with child models, but now more than half of the kids have never modeled before,” they added. “Many parents hire us so that their child can get the experience of feeling empowered for the day. We will typically guide them on set to make them feel comfortable. Most of them just see it as a fun experience, but they usually leave the studio feeling a little more proud and self-confident.”

CreativeSoul Photography has an online shop where images from the AfroArt series can be purchased as prints, calendars, and other products. They also recently signed a book deal, so keep an eye out for that at your local bookstore. In the meantime, follow CreativeSoul Photography on Instagram for more striking images and future updates.

Fine and Street Art Aesthetics Merge in Anthony Lister’s Expressive Murals

Australian artist Anthony Lister paints illustrative murals that blur the line between street art and fine art. The subjects on his walls range from figurative paintings of dancing ballerinas, to large scale portraits with rosy cheeks and red noses. Lister’s unique style is a result of his early influences and experience with graffiti, as well as his formal art education at Queensland College of Art and mentorship with New Zealand artist Max Gimblett.

For Lister, blending styles and exploring aesthetic ideas through what he calls “adventure painting” is something that came with time. “I used to try and keep all of my disciplines quite separate from each other, or at least I thought that was what I was doing,” he told Lost At E Minor. “Over time, I slowly let go of keeping one style and approach isolated from the other and so they quite organically and slowly merged to be what it is today.”

Explaining the difference in emotion between his studio work and his street faces (and why he use his full name for the former and his surname for the latter), Lister told LiveFastMag that “a face on the street represents freedom. When I’m painting on the street I don’t want to sweat over problems that I don’t feel comfortable solving in the public world or in front of an audience, because that’s often what painting in public turns into. [In the studio] I’m thinking conceptually and aesthetically, reflecting about anti-beauty, adventure painting and problem solving; whereas on the street I try to keep it simpler for myself.”

Anthony Lister has an upcoming solo exhibition titled “Modern Masters” opening at Mirus Gallery in Denver, Colorado on September 6. For updates on the show and to see more of his studio work and street art, follow Lister on Instagram.

 

The Full English Alphabet Painted on Store Shutters in 26 Different Fonts by Ben Eine

PHOTO CREDIT: OurTypes 2019

Nearly a decade after completing the “Alphabet Street” project in East London, English artist Ben Eine has again painted all 26 letters from A to Z on over 40 shop shutters. “Alphabet City 2.0” uses 26 bespoke fonts and a wide range of spray paint colors to transform the area into a vibrant street art destination.

Made in association with Global Street Art and the Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA), the “Alphabet Street” shows the evolution of Eine’s style over the past 30 years. Bold letters emerge from the metal shutters with deep drop shadows and layered graphic elements. Each glyph has its own personality and dimensionality that allows it to stand alone while also being a part of the larger set.

It’s that exploration of type that Eine and his team are bringing to clients with their new creative agency; “Alphabet Street” also marks the launch of Eine’s new creative design studio, Our Types. “Our minds are always busy, even when sleeping, it refuses to rest,” he said in a statement. “It is the only true tool for manipulating the world about us. Our Types is going to be the visual drug your brain has been looking for.”

To learn more about Our Types’ fonts and projects, visit the agency’s website. To see more of Ben Eine’s street art, follow the artist/creative director on Instagram.

Wild Creatures Emerge From Thrown Sand in Photographs by Claire Droppert

Dolphin

Netherlands-based photographer Claire Droppert (previously) has created a new series of images that depict the silhouettes of animals appearing in clumps of thrown Holland beach sand. Dolphins, snakes, lizards, and other animals in the Sand Creatures II collection defy gravity and float through the air in Droppert’s photographs. The “Gravity Project”  highlights natural elements set in nature but unencumbered by the force that keeps them grounded.

“The Sand Creatures series focuses on nature in an unexpected way,” Droppert writes on her website, adding that the “explosive and at times powdery scenes of the grainy sand being thrown into the air can be taken as a manifesting life form” as images of silkworms, cobras, and dogs appear against the backdrop of the horizon and the hazy sky. The photographer has labeled each animal in the series, but the abstract nature of the images gives the viewer some freedom to determine where the boundaries of their anatomies lie.

Prints of Claire Droppert’s photos from this series and others are available to purchase in various sizes from her online shop. To see more of her finished work and a few behind-the-scenes shots, follow her on Instagram.

Silkworm

Moth

Cobra

Shark

Lizard

Wombat

Dog