anatomy

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Art

Human Anatomy and Decomposing Flora Unveil a Surreal Mix of Dreams and Feelings in Rafael Silveira's Portraits

December 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rafael Silveira, shared with permission

In Rafael Silveira’s Unportraits, magenta curls and slick, turquoise coifs frame the bizarre scenarios unfolding in a subject’s mind. The Brazilian artist, who gravitates towards oil paints in shades of pink and blue, translates a character’s psyche through wilting flowers, gashes in the earth’s surface, and parrots with feathers that drip like wet paint. Anatomical elements like singular eyes, hearts sprouting veins, and twisting brain matter bolster the unearthly qualities of each work, which meld flora and fauna into a surreal mishmash. “From inside, we are a strange mix of dreams, thoughts, feelings, and human meat,” Silveira tells Colossal. “I think these portraits are not persons but moods.”

Peculiar situations surround the subjects as their sweaters melt like ice cream and spiders spin webs from the parched ground supplanting their necks, a visual that evokes thick wrinkles associated with aging. These fleeting actions are part of the artist’s reference to paper ephemera and the ways thoughts and feelings decompose over time. “This rich mental energy is like an invisible raw element, part of the immaterial alchemy of my works,” he says. “We can’t control what life brings us, but we can decide how to react. We make these small decisions all the time. These characters evoke the power of reaction.”

Silveira is based in Curitiba, Brazil, and has his work slated for a January group exhibition at London’s Dorothy Circus Gallery and in March in an immersive solo show at Farol Santander in São Paulo. Until then, pick up a print and keep an eye on his Instagram for new additions to his portrait series, which will be on view in July at Choque Cultural Gallery.

 

 

 



Art History Science

Anatomy and History Collide in Borosilicate Glass Sculptures by Kit Paulson

October 19, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Lungs, 2020. Flame-worked borosilicate glass. All photos © Kit Paulson, shared with permission

In a lovely clash of anatomy and antiquity, artist Kit Paulson (previously) forms impossibly fragile objects entirely from glass. By referencing historical artworks through lace patterns, or traversing the structures of blood veins and bones found in the human body, she externalizes the internal and reveals hidden visceral structures all around us. She pushes the idea further still by creating wearable sculptures like masks and gloves.

Paulson works primarily with slender tubes of borosilicate glass heated with a torch through a method called flameworking. “Even with its sterility and stability, glass must be manipulated by hand, relying on very the physical, muscle memory of the hands which is invisibly powered by blood and bone,” she shares with Colossal.

The artist just arrived at Bild-Werk Frauenau in Germany, an international forum for glass and visual arts where she’ll teach for the next 6 months. You can explore more of her work on Instagram and see dozens of her small glass objects available on Etsy.

 

 

 



Art

Unearthly Anatomical Works Sculpted in Crystal and Glass by Debra Baxter Explore Grief and Loss

October 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Catch your Breath” (2021), alabaster, bronze, and druzy snow chalcedony, 10 x 10 x 5 inches. All images courtesy of form & concept, shared with permission

Artist and jewelry designer Debra Baxter (previously) explores the endurance of grief, mortality, and human bonds in Love Tears. Comprised of anatomical and figurative sculptures, the multifaceted series blend alabaster, quartz, and wood with delicate glass or metal to create forms that contrast the fragility of the body and natural world with the rugged topographies of crystals and rock.

Simultaneously corporeal and unearthly, the spliced works evoke the Victorian tradition of mourning jewelry, which used various motifs and deep colors as memorials. In “Catch Your Breath,” for example, branch-like veins in bronze sprawl throughout crystalline lungs, while “Love Hard” bisects a smooth, glass heart with spiky quartz. “There’s inevitable pain in every form of love,” Baxter says about the series. “I’m fascinated by the ways in which we decorate this grief and mourning, and I wanted to see how far I could push myself with balancing the immediate, often ornate, demonstration of loss, and my use of permanent materials. This is about loss and legacy.”

Love Tears will be on view at Santa Fe’s form & concept gallery from October 29, 2021, to January 15, 2022, and you can find more of Baxter’s bodily works on Instagram.

 

“Crystal Brass Knuckles (forever)” (2021), sterling silver and quartz, 5 x 4.5 x 2 inches

Left: “Soften the Blow” (2021), walnut and glass, 9.25 x 10 x 7.5 inches. Right: “Tear Jerker” (2021), alabaster and glass, 9 x 6 x 6 inches

“Love Hard” (2020), glass and quartz, 8 x 3 x 3.5 inches

Left: Detail of “Ear to the Ground” (2020), alabaster and glass, 10 x 4 x 3 inches. Right: “See No Evil” (2020), alabaster and green onyx, 12 x 7 x 4 inches

“Holding It Together” (2021), bronze and amethyst, 9 x 16 x 5 inches

 

 



Craft

Anatomical Embroideries Use Precise Stitches and Beads to Portray Muscles, Organs, and Bodily Systems

August 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Ambroidering

A single skeletal muscle contains hundreds of thousands of individual fibers stretched in long rows, an anatomical fact that the textile artist behind Ambroidering recreates in an unusually fitting manner. Based in Shropshire, England, the artist stitches precise embroideries of the human body, defining circular systems with sinuous threads, conveying the distinct layers of skin with sparkling beads, and translating the brain’s spongy matter into thick, puffy pockets. You can find many of the biologically focused pieces shown here on Etsy, and for similarly scientific works, check out Amber Griffith’s punch-needle pieces and Emmi Khan’s bodily systems.

 

 

 



Art

Otherworldly Paintings Trap Skeletons in Perpetually Bizarre and Eerie Situations

July 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Born of Paint,” 6 x 8 inches. All images © Jason Limon, shared with permission

In his ongoing Fragments series, San Antonio-based artist Jason Limon (previously) uses muted jewel and earth tones to paint uncanny scenarios for his recurring skeleton figure. The bony subject finds itself in a variety of bizarre situations, whether bursting from a tube of paint, orchestrating a puppet show with a pair of ornate paper hands, or nervously awaiting an encroaching fire. Often set against backdrops filled with multi-colored dabs of paint, his small pieces are imbued with a sense of creative problem-solving as he traps figures in scenes with boxes of pencils, scuffed erasers, and other craft supplies.

Although skeletons are typically tied to ideas of death and afterlife, Limon sees the anatomical subject as a universal image that allows him “to portray a thought, feeling or idea without the identity of the figure getting in the way,” although he tends to pair the ubiquitous form with actions and environments that are tied to his personal life. “My biggest concern has always been what’s been going on around closest to me and that is my family. Things were not so easy growing up in our family, and these days we’ve been able to get closer and help each other out,” he shares.

Originals, prints, and a few wearables are available in Limon’s shop, and you have a few chances to see his unearthly works in the coming months: at the LA Art Show from July 29 to August 1, at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica in September and October, and at Long Island’s Haven Gallery in April 2022. Until then, head to Instagram for an extensive archive of his pieces.

 

“Grasp,” 6 x 8 inches

Left: “Breaktime,” 6 x 8 inches. Right: “Replicate,” 6 x 8 inches

“Garden of Flames,” 6 x 8 inches

“Unravel,” 8 x 8 inches

Left: “Pulse,” 6 x 8 inches. Right: “Pencils,” 6 x 8 inches

“Doodle Brain,” 6 x 8 inches

“Unbind,” 6 x 8 inches

 

 



Art Illustration

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

April 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

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 a way that balances the familiar with the unknown and visualizes the thoughts and emotions otherwise hidden inside the mind.

Whether set against a trippy backdrop or quiet beach, each piece portrays the experience of the body “through a kind of internal metaphorical language,” the artist says. He explains further:

We don’t directly experience the actual biochemical facts of what is happening in our bodies, hormones secreting, weird little proteins and neurons doing whatever it is they do. Instead, we have a whole language of expressions like stomach tied up in knots, feeling empty, torn in two, burning with anger, etc… I’m aiming for this sort of naive direct representation of what things feel like instead of a literal representation of how they look from the outside.

Keep an eye on Johnston’s site and Instagram for news on upcoming print releases and his latest works.

 

 

 

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