Colossal

An art, design, and visual culture blog.

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Flowers Mutate into Peculiar Blossoms in 18th-Century-Style Paintings by Laurent Grasso

“Future Herbarium,” distemper on wood, 33.5 x 24 x 4.2 centimeters. Photo by Claire Dorn, courtesy of Perrotin. All images © Laurent Grasso, shared with permission In Laurent Grasso’s Future Herbarium, small bunches of flowers evolve into bizarre forms with doubled pistils and petals sprouting in thick layers and tufts. Painted in distemper or oil,...

Figurative Wool Sculptures by Nastassja Swift Explore the Memories and Narratives of Blackness

Detail of “Passage, when momma lets my braids flow down my back,” wool, synthetic braiding hair, wood, plaster, resin, satin. Collaborators are Kiki Jewell, Nyja Amos, Grace Jewell. Photo by David Hunter-Hale. All images © Nastassja Swift, shared with permission In her salient text, In The Wake: On Blackness and Being, scholar Christina Sharpe delves...

Candid Moments Captured in Vintage Photos Are Magnified in Mohamed L’Ghacham’s Murals

“Confinamiento” (2019), Cheste, Valencia, Spain. All images © Mohamed L’Ghacham, shared with permission Whether depicting a birthday party or a child’s first steps, the expressive murals by Mohamed L’Ghacham (previously) enlarge sincere, unposed moments into monumental celebrations of everyday life. The Moroccan artist recreates vintage photographs...

Graphite Portraits Distort and Intertwine Subjects to Visualize Metaphors of the Body

All images © Miles Johnston, shared with permission Malmö, Sweden-based artist Miles Johnston portrays subjects whose figures are in states of flux, whether through fragmented bodies, multiplied faces, or limbs contorted into impossible positions. Often depicting Johnston (previously) or his partner, the graphite portraits distort typical anatomy in...

Figures Experience Constraint and Confinement in Bronze Sculptures by Khaled DAWWA

“Sans titre” (2020), bronze, 35 x 14 x 13 centimeters. All images © Khaled DAWWA, shared with permission Whether folded into a box, bound by cords, or fragmented and stacked, the nondescript figures that Paris-based artist Khaled DAWWA sculpts experience some form of confinement. Their bodies are contorted into cages or squeezed into each other’s arms,...

150,000 Hearts Representing Lives Lost to Coronavirus in the UK Line the COVID Memorial Wall in London

All photos © Henric Alderon for Colossal Nearly 500 meters of small, red hearts will soon cover an expanse of concrete facing the River Thames in London. Now dubbed the National COVID Memorial Wall, the poignant display publicly commemorates the 150,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom so far. Each heart represents one victim,...

Massive Curved Vaults Mimicking Traditional Kilns House a Jingdezhen Museum Dedicated to Porcelain Production

All images © Studio Zhu-Pei Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China is widely recognized as the porcelain capital of the world with a more than 2,000-year history of producing prized ceramics. As an homage to that tradition, architects from Studio Zhu-Pei constructed an open-air structure with towering arches mimicking traditional kilns. The expansive brick vaults...

Cosmic Nature: A Spectacular Polka Dot-Filled Exhibition by Yayoi Kusama Sprawls Across New York Botanical Garden

Now inhabiting the verdant, 250-acre campus of the New York Botanical Garden are oversized flowers sprouting in seasonal arrangements, a glowing pumpkin-packed infinity room, and a sea of 1,400 reflective spheres by Yayoi Kusama (previously). Teeming with squiggly sculptures, site-specific installations, and smaller pieces covered in the Japanese artist’s...

Run Forever: A Figure Undergoes Metamorphosis as It Trudges Through Myriad Environments

The team at Universal Everything is back with its latest video artwork, “Run Forever,” that stars a now-familiar amorphous figure as it gradually changes from material to material. While previous projects in the series have focused on structure and texture, this new short was created in collaboration with Hyundai Motorstudio as a metaphor for the group’s...

A Sleek Deck of Cards by Studio LO Honors 12 Black Figures Who’ve Revolutionized History

All images © Studio LO, shared with permission Kansas City, Missouri-based designer Kearra Johnson of Studio LO describes her standard 54-card deck as anything but traditional: it’s revolutionary. On one side of each playing card is a raised fist, a symbol that’s synonymous with the fight against oppression around the globe. But on the K, Q, and J...

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