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Illustration

Meet Tatsuo Horiuchi, the 77-Year-Old Artist Who ‘Paints’ Japanese Landscapes With Excel

December 4, 2017

Christopher Jobson

For over 15 years, Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi has rendered the subtle details of mountains, cherry blossoms, and dense forests with the most unlikely tool: Microsoft Excel. The 77-year-old illustrator shunned the idea of paying for expensive painting supplies or even a basic drawing program for his computer, saying that he prefers Excel even over Microsoft Paint because it has “more functions and is easier to use.” Using simple vector drawing tools developed primarily for graphs and simple shapes, Horiuchi instead draws panoramic scenes of life in rural Japan.

Great Big Story recently visited Horiuchi at his home for a brief interview and a behind-the-scenes look at how he works in the video above. If you’re even slightly skeptical, here’s two of his earlier Excel artworks you can download and explore yourself:

Cherry Blossoms at Jogo Castle (2006)
Kegon Falls (2007)

You can explore more of Horiuchi’s Excel drawings on his website and at Spoon & Tamago.

 

 



Art

Irregulars: A Short Documentary Traces Cyrille Kabore’s Harrowing Journey as a Refugee Set Against a Mannequin Factory

December 4, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Irregulars is a 2015 documentary by Fabio Palmieri that traces the first-hand immigration experience of a 20-year-old Ghanaian refugee named Cyrille Kabore. The short film is set within a mannequin factory, which provides all of the visuals seen in the condensed documentary. Kabore narrates his journey across land and sea, including harrowing details such as clinging to the bottom of a highway-bound truck, and being held out of the water by his older sister after falling out of a capsized boat.

The audience listens to his words as his actions and heartache are projected onto various mannequins in the surrounding factory. The story is a deeply personal tale, however its greater message is one that can be compared to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who painstakingly flee unsafe and oppressive forces in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East each year.

The film was produced by independent production company NotWorkingFilms, and since its debut has won 19 awards at film festivals across the globe. Watch the fascinating depiction of Kabore’s arduous journey in the video above.

 

 



Art Photography

‘The Art of Flying’ Captures the Shape-Shifting Wonder of a Murmuration of Starlings

November 30, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

A murmuration is the intricately choreographed movements of a large flock of starlings as they swoop through the sky. The phenomena appears like an undulating cloud, quickly shifting directions, density and shape as it traverses overhead. Due to a relatively warm winter in the Netherlands between 2014 and 2015, many starlings stayed in the country rather than migrating south. Filmmaker Jan van IJken captured one such air show in his short film The Art of Flying, which can be watched in full on his website. Watch the condensed version above to observe the fluidity of the birds’ movements, as well as listen to the soothing sound of the flock’s flapping wings. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art

The Monolith: Artist Gwyneth Leech Turns the Destructive Force of a New Building Into a Source of Inspiration

November 29, 2017

Christopher Jobson

NYC artist Gwyneth Leech is probably best known for her ongoing series of colorful painted cup suspensions, a project that began when she “bribed” herself with a cup of coffee in the morning on the way to her Midtown Manhattan studio, a mental trick to help overcome the nemesis of artist’s block and the drudgery of living in the city. Facing a string of personal losses, Leech was shocked to learn that the pending construction of a high-rise hotel would soon block her 13-story view of the skyline—she would also soon lose one of her primary sources of inspiration.

However, instead of moving to a new studio, Leech decided to incorporate the rising construction site into her artistic practice, painting the structure day by day as it slowly encroached outside her window. Filmmaker Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. deftly captures this flurry of creativity against a stark backdrop of grief. Via Ivan Kander for Short of the Week:

Proving the power of art, Leech is able to transform the pedestrian (like the coffee cups she’s famous for doodling on) into the profound. A construction site is magically transformed into a symbolic representation of one’s place in life. And, in turn, the film ends up being greater than sum of it’s parts—a short that while not the most polished visually, really grabs the viewer emotionally, without ever succumbing to saccharinity.

You can follow more of Leech’s artwork on Instagram.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Matereality: A Mesmerizing Short Film of Macro Magnetism Captured by Roman De Giuli

November 16, 2017

Christopher Jobson

In this mesmerizing new short film, German filmmaker Roman De Giuli worked with magnets, iron filings, reflective pigment, and glitter to create this pulsing visual montage of magnetic special effects titled Matereality. It’s amazing to think this was all done with practical effects and not CGI. Music by Son-J. (via The Awesomer)

 

 



Art

Mirror: A Short Story of Similar Objects by Tanello

November 10, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Mirror is a series of clever visual juxtapositions by Napoli-based creative duo Tanello Production. The short clip runs through a series of spot-on visual comparisons between objects that look alike, from a cruise ship and a steaming iron to a manhole cover and an oreo. If you liked this, also check out Alexandre Courtès’ music video for Cassius. (via The Awesomer)

 

 



Art History

Watch as a 17th Century Portrait Emerges From 200 Years of Discolored Varnish

November 7, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Art historian, dealer, and BBC television host Philip Mould recently posted a video to his Twitter that reveals a gleaming 17th century painting hiding underneath two centuries of yellowed varnish. The protective finish is applied to protect paintings from wear, but over time will begin to discolor. In the short video Mould gently paints a solvent to remove this layer from the work’s surface, slowly brushing it away in circular strokes.

The only details known about the mysterious lady in red is from an inscription on the painting that notes she was 36 when the work was completed in 1618. You can watch Mould remove the last bits of varnish from the subject’s face in the short clip below, and follow more of his painting adventures on Twitter. (via Twisted Sifter)