Not everyone is lucky enough to travel the world to witness the evolution of street art. Luckily there are books like Mural Masters: A New Generation published by Gingko Press to close those gaps. Authored by Kiriakos Iosifidis, the new book is over 260 pages long and showcases walls painted by more than 90 new and emerging artists.
With the help of many talented photographers, Mural Masters takes viewers on a non-linear journey across the planet, hitting Arkansas and Zurich and all points in between to check in on Alexis Diaz, Hyuro, Nychos, ETAM, and several others. Individual artist bios reveal details about where the creators are from, how long they’ve been honing their craft, and where in the world their pieces can be found. The book also includes a handy index filled with contact information and social media handles (for those who have them), as well as the locations and photographer credits for each mural included in its pages.
Mural Masters: A New Generation is available on shelves now, but you can save a trip and grab a copy here.
For this year’s Elevation 1049, a series of site-specific installations dotting the mountain town of Gstaad, Switzerland, the chosen theme is “Frequencies.” In response, Los Angeles-based artist Doug Aitken (previously) installed a house-shaped structure made almost entirely of mirrored surfaces that reflect the mountains, skies, and trees. Aptly named Mirage Gstaad after the region and its optical effect, the ranch-style structure echoes the snow-covered landscape while also disappearing into the surrounding environment. The structure’s angled walls and ceiling easily bounce light, which creates a kaleidoscopic view of the area’s mountain peaks when seen from within.
The materials for the structure were sourced locally and transported by truck to the site back in November before the snow season began. Aitken and his team tell Colossal that the location and materials were chosen in collaboration with local authorities to “be conscious of environmental issues, such as the fritting (the aluminium stripes) that were added to the reflective surface for the safety of birds.”
Having launched alongside the program at the beginning of February 2019, Aitken’s structure will continue to reflect the changing landscape of Gstaad for the next two years. Admission to the mirage and other Elevation 1049 installations is free. For locations and directions head to the project website, and for more of Doug Aitken’s work, follow his studio on Instagram. (via designboom)
In an impressive feat of dedication and patience, artist Jake Fried (previously) spent seven months creating Brain Wave, a hand-drawn animation using only ink and white-out. Fried reworked the same black-and-white drawing 1,440 times, scanning each new iteration into Photoshop and sequencing the drawings to play at 24 frames per second. He then added an original music track that frantically connects the hundreds of drawings into one 60-second video.
Centered both literally and narratively around a single, ever-changing face, the short animation takes the viewer through a wide range of emotions, settings, and themes. Because every frame is a new work of art, the piece as a whole feels like snapshots from a dream that have been remembered, recreated, and reassembled.
Working without an outline or storyboard, Fried explained to Vimeo that each successive drawing dictated what would come next. “There is an inherent logic or rhythm that emerges as I make the work, I have developed an instinct or gut-feeling for when the next frame is ready to be scanned. I can get quite obsessive about the smallest shifts within a fraction of a second.” The filmmakers’s work will be featured later this month at the Flat Earth Film Festival in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland from February 10-14, 2019 and in a group exhibition at Mills Gallery in Boston from February 23 through April 28, 2019. To see more of Fried’s work online, follow him on Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
British sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon twists, ties, and knots pieces of willow and other raw materials to create large-scale abstract sculptures which she installs both inside and outside of architectural structures. The pieces often involve several stages of sketching, and weeks of weaving using her hands and few other tools. Bacon’s twisting reddish-brown forms hug and scale buildings, walls, and other existing space and landscapes in interesting and intimate ways.
“My work often ‘grows’ from a host structure as I’m very interested in the tension between built, planned structures, and the ‘unplanned’ organic form that may grow upon it,” the artist tells Colossal. “I’m also very interested in the human scale of handmade structures and have created several woven spaces in recent years that people can enter inside—creating and entering the work can be a very sensory experience.”
Bacon finds interest and inspiration in nature and natural phenomena, like the swirling patterns or murmurations formed by some flocking birds. The visual poetry, scale, and juxtaposition of each piece to its setting can be seen from a distance, but it takes a closer approach to appreciate the seemingly chaotic web of expertly intermingled natural materials.
In addition to developing two very large pieces that will use several tons of stone and willow, the artist says that she will be exhibiting a new work with jaggedart at this year’s Collect: International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design. The fair opens at London’s Saatchi Gallery on February 28 and runs through March 3, 2019. You can view more of her sculptures by visiting her website, Instagram, and Twitter.
Photographer Justin Dingwall recently collaborated with South African model Moostapha Saidi on a series of images that speak to themes of perspective and of perception. “A Seat at the Table” was informed by Saidi’s experiences living with the skin disease vitiligo, in addition to conversations between the photographer and model. Taken at face value, the images showcase a man with missing skin pigment, but as the South Africa-based photographer explained to Colossal, the ideas and symbolism are more than skin deep.
Brightly colored and stark white sets contrast Moostapha’s dual-toned skin in each of the images. Dingwall uses precious stones and googly eyes as a commentary on the way that Moostapha is objectified by strangers who stare, point, and see him as an other because of the way he looks. “I worked with the old saying ‘a seat at the table’ to represent the idea of an opportunity to be heard, to be seen, to have a voice and an opinion, and in this way to make a difference,” he explains to Colossal. “The images that I have created with Moostapha aim to start conversations about preconceived ideas and perceptions based on appearance, and how what we see affects what we think.”
Dingwall says that during his first collaboration with the aspiring model he learned about his story and about the disease that, at first, was a challenge and later became a source of pride and confidence. “Vitiligo is a topic that I did not know much about and I am always interested to expand my world through my art and learn about something that is not seen as ‘usual,'” Dingwall tells Colossal. “I decided to create a body of work that engages with this topic on a much deeper level, and that raises questions about perspective, as well as how the media and representations subjectively perceive the world and other people.”
Because of his appearance, growing up was difficult for Moostapha, Dingwall says, but things have changed. “Through these challenges he has gained strength and confidence from looking so different. He no longer sees his vitiligo as a hindrance, but as something precious and unique… As in previous bodies of work, I hope in these images to highlight beauty in difference. In these images it is now Moostapha who is staring back at the viewer. Questioning our gaze.”
“A Seat at the Table” has helped Saidi pursue his dream of becoming a model, as he is now signed to one of the top agency’s in South Africa. In 2019 Justin Dingwall plans to create more images in the series, has three new bodies of work planned, and a few upcoming exhibitions in Europe. Follow him on Instagram for future updates and to see more of his photography.
French visual artist Aude Bourgine’s work is informed by her love of the environment and a sense of guilt for what humanity has done to the natural world. Using textiles, beads, and sequins, the artist creates displays that capture the beauty and fragility of coral for a series called “Poumons des océans,” which translates to “Lungs of the Oceans.”
Bourgine’s sculptures mimic the unique shapes, intricate textures, and vivid colors of living coral. Encased in glass bell jars, they are simultaneously isolated as objects of wonder, and also protected from harm caused by the hands of humans. “If we do not rapidly change our relationship with our environment, oceans will be dead by 2050,” the artist said in a statement on her website. “Their disappearance will entail a disastrous imbalance on all ecological, climate and human levels…We must take heed for this universal cause, which concerns each and every one of us.”
Bourgine has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Saint Julien Chapel in Le Petit-Quevilly in northern France from June 7 through 30, 2019. You can see more of Bourgine’s sculptural works of the sea on Instagram. (via The Fiber Studio)
A panel of National Geographic photo editors have chosen the winners of the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest from a pool of over 10,000 entries. The grand prize winner, and top pick for the “Places” group is an aerial shot (above) by Jassen Todorov of a Volkswagen and Audi graveyard at the Southern California Logistics Airport in the Mojave Desert. The striking image shows a fraction of the 11 million cars that Volkswagen fitted with devices that could alter performance during emissions tests by the EPA. Todorov’s image uses a plane for scale to visually demonstrate a story of environmental issues. As the winner, Todorov earned $5000 and a feature on National Geographic’s Instagram.
Submitted across three categories (People, Places, and Wildlife), the other winning images and honorable mentions span the globe in terms of content and photographers. To read more about each image, check out their respective captions below, and head over to the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest website.