Art Design

Painted Ants Crawl Across Vintage Porcelain Dinnerware by Evelyn Bracklow

February 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Evelyn Bracklow, shared with permission

Trimmed with gold and minuscule insects, Evelyn Bracklow’s porcelain dinnerware is equal parts pristine opulence and repulsion. The German artist (previously) hand-paints vintage pieces with tiny black ants that congregate over an imaginary morsel left on a plate and crawl along the mouth of a pitcher, transforming the ceramic vessels into distasteful displays.

Bracklow began adding the detailed creatures to found platters, teapots, and plates approximately 10 years ago and has made hundreds of the works since—shop the few pieces she has available on Etsy. “(Painting the ants) totally made sense to me on an aesthetical level. It was and still is a physical experience to paint or watch the ants move across objects,” she says. “It`s this feeling of the supposed movements, of the slight shuddering that always gives way to admiration for the animal and its ever new formations.”

Currently, Bracklow is working on a few large-scale projects, including a multi-faceted initiative called Antology, and she recently completed a collection of ant-laden figurines and other sculptural objects, which you can explore on her site.

 

 

 



Art

Red Eyes Are Bold Counterparts to Subjects in Shades of Gray in Annan Affotey's Portraits

February 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Annan Affotey, shared with permission

In his sensitive, introspective portraits, Ghanaian artist Annan Affotey (previously) sharpens the contrast between soul and appearance. His works are large in scale and rich with texture, and he often sets figures against solid, monochromatic backdrops with visible brushstrokes. Similar to artist Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Affotey renders his subjects’ skin in shades of gray and dresses them in vibrant garments and patterned accessories. The distinctions in color and fabric coincide with the figures’ facial expressions and gestures, all of which the artist uses as a prompt. He says:

The first assumptions made about people are based on sight. So things like skin colour, clothing, accessories, background, setting, and pose dictate emotion. There’s no guarantee those things match the character underneath. We’re often identified by what we’re compared to (or against). My work is a social commentary on this, asking the viewer to take a second look at what they read from my portraits and why.

Using a mix of acrylic and charcoal, Affotey also continues his signature red eyes, which reference his experience of being questioned about his lifestyle when he moved to the U.S. Now more bold, the recurring feature ranges from subtle halos around pupils to bright washes of pigment that spread across the sclera.

Some of Affotey’s figurative pieces are on view at both Arushi Gallery in Los Angeles and PM/AM in London through mid-March, and you can find more on Instagram. He also has two residencies slated in 2022, which will culminate in exhibitions in Saint Paul de Vence, France, opening on May 1 and another in mid-October in London.

 

 

 



Illustration

Intricate Cross-Hatching Layers Elena Limkina's Exquisite Illustrations in Black Ink

February 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Elena Limkina, shared with permission

From her studio in Moscow, Elena Limkina (previously) illustrates pages upon pages of sketchbooks with delicate studies of birds, architectural flourishes, and surreal compositions that trap cats and small mice inside glass vessels. She’s spent a decade drawing these elegant compositions, and while they originally functioned as diaries filled with objects, phrases, and impressions she encountered throughout her day, they’ve evolved into narratives unto themselves with recurring characters and motifs.

Frequently working in watercolor, the artist uses solely black ink, pencil, or pen in her sketchbooks, and the meticulous illustrations are shaded with circular crosshatching. “I like the complexity of the task—to convey feelings, emotions, form, without using color,” she says. “I use some parts of the sketches in intaglio printing (etchings, aquatint), and I would like to transfer some of them to large canvases and sculptures in the future.”

Limkina sells originals and prints on Etsy, and you can explore an archive of her monochromatic works on Instagram and Behance.

 

 

 



Photography

Sinister Storms and Twisters Disturb Rural Landscapes in Dramatic Black-and-White Photos by Mitch Dobrowner

February 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Lightning Cotton Field.” All images © Mitch Dobrowner, courtesy of photo-eye Gallery, shared with permission

Shooting solely in black-and-white, Mitch Dobrowner (previously) documents storm cells, tornadoes, and other menacing weather events at peak destruction. Funnel clouds plunge to the ground in spindly tunnels and churning clouds frame bright bolts of lightning. Photographed in the plains and rural regions, the images highlight a range of ominous occurrences on the horizon, a chaotic contrast to the tight rows of cotton and calm, agricultural landscapes in the foreground. To see more of Dobrowner’s storm-chasing excursions, visit photo-eye Gallery and Instagram and watch this interview for insight into his adventures.

 

“Vortex No. Duae”

“Funnel Cornfield”

“Tornado over Plains”

“Trees Clouds”

“Saucer Over Grasslands”

“White Tornado”

“Storm Over Sierra Nevada”

 

 



Art Photography

A Daily Project by Tatsuya Tanaka Turns Everyday Goods into Quirky Miniatures

February 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Tatsuya Tanaka

A scroll through Tatsuya Tanaka’s Instagram chronicles the everyday happenings of a cleverly designed world in miniature. The Japanese artist (previously) has spent the last decade reimaging life-sized objects like pencil sharpeners, sponges, and slippers as tiny sets for his cast of characters: a “P” key rests on a painter’s easel, bobsledders barrel through a bowl on a hot pepper, and ice skaters race across a white surgical mask.

Released daily as part of his ongoing Miniature Calendar project, the works often correspond with current events and cultural moments, including Tanaka’s recent scenarios referencing the Winter Olympic Games. “The theme of my work is ‘mitate’… to replace something around us with something similar or that looks like it. It is important to use something that everyone knows as a motif for my work,” he writes.

For a look behind-the-scenes, click through each day on Tanaka’s site, where he shares multiple perspectives of every work.

 

 

 



Photography

A Photo Series Captures a Magnificent Rock Formation Set Against the Tateyama Mountains

February 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Yasuto Inagaki, shared with permisison

With the imposing Tateyama Mountain Range in the backdrop, a photo series by Yasuto Inagaki centers on a smaller, recurring focal point: a few trees that have sprung from the top of cragged rocks. Inagaki, who lives in Japan’s Toyama Prefecture, visits the Amaharashi coast in Takaoka City often to capture the unusual formation among different weather, times of day, and seasons. Some shots show the sun just atop the mountains as it reflects in the water below, while others document bright daylight illuminating the snowy backdrop and an airplane flying in the distance. “The first time I encountered a miraculous scene like this one,” he tells Colossal,” the city was covered in fog, and the moon was shining brightly on the Tateyama Mountain Range…I have visited the shooting several times.”

For more of Inagaki’s photos, which include striking vistas and cityscapes around Japan, visit his Instagram.