Posts tagged
with animals


Dazzling Chickens Strut for the Camera in a New Photo Book by Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini

March 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs by Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini, courtesy of the artists.

Italian photographers Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini have created a glamorous book of dozens of chicken portraits, photographed in a sleek, high-fashion inspired style. The endeavor began in 2013, when the artists were inspired by the beauty of these domesticated birds at an avian exhibition in Milan. It has since evolved into a 190 page book featuring 85 high-resolution photos of some of the world’s most eye-catching avians. The photos were shot on location at the exhibition, and the photographers worked with chickens who are groomed as show birds; they struck their photogenic poses at will. Chicken is currently funding on Kickstarter. You can also follow the project on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)




Alarming Juxtapositions of Human and Natural Elements in Sculptures by Kate MacDowell

March 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Portland-based artist Kate MacDowell (previously) continues to construct discomfiting combinations of human and wildlife elements in her porcelain sculptures. She builds each piece by hand, and often layers in details after hollowing out the main form, whether it is a fox’s body encasing a human skull or a human brain filled with flora and fauna.  MacDowell describes her choice of material:

I chose porcelain for its luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture.  It highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value.

The artist’s work is included in a group show at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, which is open through April 15, 2018, and she is also leading a week-long workshop on porcelain sculpting at Idyllwild Arts in California in June 2018. You can see more of her work on her website and Facebook page.




Amok Island Paints Modern Minimalist Murals of Native Flora and Fauna

February 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2017. ‘Zeus faber’ for SOBER WALLS Festival

A native of The Netherlands and now based in Australia, Amok Island depicts flora and fauna that can be found in the locations of his colorful murals. The artist’s distinctive minimal style is reminiscent of recent trends in digital design. However, his analog use of flat fields of color and geometric shapes to interpret the nuanced forms of animals and plants is a fresh take in the current mural scene.

Amok writes on his website that if weren’t an artist, he would be a biologist. He takes many of his own reference photos (including underwater), and titles each mural with the name of the plant or animal. The artist describes his passion for the natural world:

The theme of natural exploration and conservation is a strong and constant undercurrent of Amok Island’s artistic practice. His lifelong fascination with nature and her relationships and history with mankind drive the artist’s obvious appreciation and obsession with his subjects and his urge to direct the attention of his audience to them.

Amok has finished murals in twenty five countries and counting, and also creates smaller paintings, which he sometimes editions as prints. You can see more work on his website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (side 2) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (side 1) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (in progress) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Axolotl, Mexico

Fremantle, Western Australia 2015. ‘Praying Mantis’ for PUBLIC Festival

Port Hedland, Western Australia 2015. ‘Flatback Turtle Hatchling’ commissioned by FORM WA

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016. ‘Horse Chestnut’ Commissioned by LTS / Spooker

Claremont, Western Australia 2017. ‘Mushrooms’ commissioned by FORM / Claremont Quarters

North Fremantle, Western Australia 2015. ‘Blue Swimmer Crab’ for UNDERLINE festival

Collaboration with Georgia Hill and Thomas Jackson in Erskineville, Sydney

Surry Hills, Sydney 2017 ‘Mushroom Study’ Commissiones by Canva




Hollow Animal Sculptures Constructed From a Network of Metal Branches by Kang Dong Hyun

February 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Korean artist Kang Dong Hyun constructs hollow animal sculptures from a system of metallic branches. His works often have a high concentration of these sprig-like elements constructing the animal’s face, which allow the distinguishing characteristics of his house cats, birds, bulls, and elephants to take form. In one particular piece a lion’s full facial features are brought to life through his network of sculpted twigs, a furrowed brow projecting a look of worry or remorse. You can see more of Kang’s interpretations of the animal kingdom on his Instagram. (via My Modern Met)




A Series of Ordinary Humans and Creatures Trapped Within Their Pop Culture Depictions

February 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Netherlands-based artist Super A (previously here and here) has a new series of painting and sculpture that explores the truth behind fantasy, slicing through pop culture figures to examine the reality that lays at their core. Trapped features characters such as Tweety, Mickey Mouse, Snow White and even Ronald McDonald as their recognizable features unfurl like ribbons, revealing realistically formed birds, mice, and people caught inside.

The series intends to address our skewed perception of reality through easily digestible cartoons, demonstrating that there can be no objectivity when it comes to our daily view of the world. A certain lens is always employed, a myth disguises the harsh truths.

“Nowadays the most dominant myths we have embraced as an warm blanket of truth are liberty, property and individualism,” said Super A. “We tend to see these as absolute objective truths which suit the best interests of all humanity. But aren’t we just trapped within our cozy reality? And if it’s cozy… Should we even dare to break free?”

Super A has shown works from the series in a variety of exhibitions. The Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck paintings were recently shown at Vertical Gallery's group exhibition Portrait, Tweety is on view at Pow! Wow! Exploring the New Contemporary Art Movement curated by Thinkspace Gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art, and Snow White and Pierrot will be shown at an upcoming exhibition with Galerie Droste.

“Pierrot,” 2018. 65 cm x 60 cm x 30 cm. Polyester, epoxy, resin, enamel paint.




Amanda Parer’s Giant Inflatable Rabbits Invade Public Spaces Around the World

February 2, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Amanda Parer examines the relationship between humans and the natural world in her massive inflatable artworks. The Tasmania-based artist works with a team including New York based co-producer Chris Wangro. Together, Parer Studio realizes her larger-than-life versions of translucent rabbits, a series of works called Intrude.

The white fabric appears opaque during the day as it reflects sunlight. After dark, the creatures take on a different dimension: they are illuminated from within and reduce surrounding humans into diminutive silhouettes. Parer grew up in Australia, where rabbits are a non-native species and are considered a serious pest as opposed to a domestic pet; since being introduced by settlers in the late 18th century, their overpopulation has caused substantial ecological destruction. Parer describes the further cultural contradictions:

They represent the fairytale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields. Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humour, to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work. They are huge, the size referencing “the elephant in the room”, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored.

Intrude, which Parer has created in a variety of sizes ranging from Small to XXL, has been exhibited at museums around the world, as well as installed at several music festivals. She encourages viewers to engage with the works, describing her smallest rabbits as “very huggable.” You can see part of the installation process in the video below, and find more of the artist’s work on her website and Facebook.




Haut-Relief Portraits of Animals Come Alive in Detailed Paper Sculptures by Calvin Nicholls

January 29, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Canadian paper artist Calvin Nicholls (previously) continues to build striking likenesses of wildlife, featuring birds, bears, and foxes rendered in haut-relief sculpture. Despite working in monochromatic palettes of white and off-white paper, he imbues the animal portraits with a sense of liveliness and realism. Innumerable slivers of paper create lifelike feathers and fur, and each creature is shown in a naturalistic pose—snuggled down for a rest, or wings stretched in flight.

Nicholls accepts commercial commissions and some of the works shown below are from a holiday window display for the jeweler David Yurman. You can see a video of the process and installation here, and find more of the artist’s works on his website and Facebook page.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Work in progress