In 2015, paper artist Cristian Marianciuc (previously) started a 1,000-day goal to create a new paper crane each day. The extravagant designs included layers of multi-color paper, detailed cuts to imitate feathers, and often gilded elements added onto the wings. After his self-imposed challenge Marianciuc has given himself more time to work on each design, allowing cranes to develop over days rather than hours. Without these constraints he is able to vary his techniques, creating increasingly difficult works that introduce more intricate cuts and folds. Marianciuc posts his cranes regularly on Instagram, in addition to selling select paper works on Etsy. (via My Modern Met)
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Swedish designer Erik Åberg (previously) wanted to recreate the concept of origami out of wood, while focusing on how the objects moved, rather than their specific form. During these experiments he developed a system of interlocking, moveable cubes called GHOSTKUBE. “I was searching for a precise, and organic life-like movement like a school of fish or a flock of birds,” explains Åberg. “There is something in human beings that when we see that kind of movement, the nature, we are drawn to it. I think we intuitively look for it.”
To create this fluid movement, the designer started with simple structures containing only two or three cubes. He then began to mirror and double their positions, discovering hundreds of versions of the original sculpture that could move, fold, open, walk across tables, and morph in all directions. GHOSTKUBE is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter for two similar packs of cubes, which either come with 12 or 24 single cubes to piece together. You can view larger and more complex experiments with the GHOSTKUBE system in the animations and video below. (via Colossal Submissions)
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Multi-disciplinary Laura Berger creates abstract environments and explores universal themes of rituals, nature, and freedom in her portraits of female subjects. Berger works primarily in acrylic on wood panel, but also brings her characters to life in ceramics and large-scale murals. Though the scenes in her paintings vary widely, Berger has developed a signature color palette and minimalist human form that is instantly recognizable.
Her female figures tend to sport dark shoulder-length hair dos, and their sturdy trunks and slender arms fold and fit together with almost Escher-like geometry. Round suns, oversized flowers, and warm-climate plants like palm leaves and cacti are most frequently alongside the women, creating visual touch points and a suggestion of narrative in the otherwise flat fields of background color. Berger explains that she studied theater performance and design, and pursued painting as a personal practice, teaching herself and developing her style on her own. She shares with Colossal,
Finding my current style has been a gradual process that’s evolved over several years of working full time at painting. It’s always changing, though I feel a bit more settled in lately and I think the changes are maybe happening in slower, more subtle ways now. I think styles continue to evolve with the changes in our own selves and lives—the things that happen in our inner world and our outer experience both play a part; getting older affects creative work as we see new things and grow as people.
Berger’s work in on view through December 22, 2018 in her solo show at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, CA. You can see more of her in progress and finished art on Instagram, and purchase original works, as well as prints, on her website.
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Black and White Vortexes Swallow Bits of Data and Smoke-Like Swirls in Looping Animations by Étienne Jacob
French student Étienne Jacob creates optically-charged black and white GIFs that suck the viewer into their repetitious animations like deep black holes. His works are often celestial in nature, appearing like animated stars or invented planets traversing an unknown orbit. Jacob publishes his works to his Tumblr, Necessary Disorder, and provides step-by-step instructions for how to make your own versions of the GIFs on his blog.
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From one-day workshops to semester-long courses, take the opportunity to immerse yourself and be inspired. If you need advice or have questions, our information sessions begin Tuesday, January 8th. Visit sva.edu/continued/events for details.
Courses are available in:
- Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects
- Film and Video
- Fine Arts
- Illustration and Cartooning
- Interior Design
- Professional Development
- Visual and Critical Studies
- Visible Futures Lab
- Visual Narrative
About the School of Visual Arts
School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College please visit sva.edu.
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Biochemistry Professor Transforms His Research into Bronze Recreations of Ancient Trilobites and Modern Insects
D. Allan Drummond (previously) is an associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and human genetics at the University of Chicago. A few years ago Drummond began turning his extensive research of fossils and prehistoric sea creatures into detailed computer renderings which he then 3D prints and casts in bronze. Although many of his sculptures are inspired by ancient creatures like the trilobite, which existed for over 270 million years before its extinction 250 years ago, he also creates modern-day insects such as praying mantises and large bug-eyed jumping spiders.
Drummond currently has a solo exhibition titled “Curiosity” at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle through January 6th, 2019. In addition to several large individual sculptures, the show features a grid of wall-mounted trilobites that pay homage to the work of the 19th-century illustrator and naturalist Ernst Haeckel. Visitors are encouraged to remove the bronze pieces to explore the underside in greater detail—a part of the creature which is often eroded in fossils over time. You can see more of Drummond’s metal recreations of animals past and present on Instagram.
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As 2018 draws to a close we decided to take a look back at the most popular artworks, photographs, and yes, hydraulic press pieces we’ve published over the last 12 months. Although 2018 was the year Banksy shredded a painting in front of a live audience, hundreds of other incredible feats of films, art, and design have also caught our attention, including Julie Gautier’s beautiful choreographed video inside the world’s deepest pool, the concentric earth-based mandalas of James Brunt, or our continued admiration of Reuben Wu’s drone-assisted landscape photography. Take a look below to see top posts from this past year, from our tenth most viewed piece, to the design object that takes the spot at number one.
This year we discovered our obsession with hydraulic press videos, specifically clips from Finnish factory owners Lauri and Anni’s Hydraulic Press Channel. The pair sets their press to exert over 2,175 pounds of pressure per square inch—smashing crayons, cheese, soap, and other semi-malleable objects into unrecognizable and often colorful tubes that spring out from the every direction.
Using glass cylinders and a variety of vessels, photographer Suzanne Saroff fractures the perspective of foods like eggplants, fish, and ripe bananas. The unique viewpoints shorten or elongate the provided edibles, creating distorted scenes that produce a creative glimpse at common fruits and meats.
Street photographer Jonathan Higbee walks the street of New York City prepped to capture unique and coincidental moments. Often graphic elements from vans, murals, and signage will be the key features that interact with everyday passersby, like the wide-mouthed shark and what appears to be a frightened pigeon in the snapshot above.
Although we covered LEGO projects or products five times in 2018, our most popular piece that looked at the stackable bricks was a campaign developed by Asawin Tejasakulsin, a senior art director at Ogilvy & Mather in Bangkok, Thailand. The designer imaged playful scenarios in which LEGO bricks interact with the real world, such as a whale bursting from the side of a bookshelf, or a fire-breathing dragon heating a pot of soup.
Our sixth most popular post came just days after the New Year when photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh captured Jamie Briard surfing on partially frozen waves just off the shore of Nantucket. Although the rare phenomenon of slurry-like waves might only be seen once in someone’s lifetime, Nimerfroh has been able to shoot the effect twice over the last few years.
British land artist James Brunt arranges and balances rocks, leaves, sticks, and other natural materials he finds within the landscape near his home in Yorkshire, England. After arranging each object into mandala-like spirals and concentric circles, Brunt photographs his creation and allows nature to again take hold of the materials.
Moments after Sotheby’s sold a previously unseen version of Banksy’s Girl With Balloon for over 1.3 million dollars, the canvas begin to shred itself into strips as it fell through its ornate frame. After the surprising incident, which had been orchestrated by the infamously secretive artist, he took to Instagram for a follow-up statement to the event saying the piece was “Going, going, gone…”
We are longtime fans of photographer Reuben Wu, who uses the aide of drones as aerial light sources to create incredible images of natural and manmade landscapes across the globe, including the brilliant blue rivers of molten sulfur in Indonesian volcanoes, and the thousands of glistening mirrors that compose Nevada’s SolarReserve. For his ongoing series Lux Noctis, Wu used light from his GPS-enabled drones to create a halo effect around cliffs and crests which are only perceptible in the resulting photograph.
This year Julie Gautier released AMA, a short film which is directed and performed by the deep sea diver and filmmaker. Gautier dives, twists, and dances within the world’s deepest pool, presenting captivating choreography nearly 130 feet underwater.
And finally, our most popular post from 2018 was a paper product created by the Japanese company Triad, whose main line of business is producing architectural models. Omoshiroi Blocks are stacks of laser-cut paper that when removed, reveal fantastic sites such as Kyoto’s Kiyomizudera Temple, Tokyo’s Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Tower.
Our editors want to extend a thank you for reading all of the pieces we have explored, obsessed over, and covered in 2018. We look forward to the spectacular artworks, science discoveries, short films, and other intriguing visuals that will be created and discovered in 2019!
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Editor's Picks: Illustration
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.