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Pockets of Landscapes and Still Lifes Adorn Subjects in Lavish Portraits by Aniela Sobieski

February 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Oil on panel, 8 x 10 inches. All images © Aniela Sobieski, shared with permission Aniela Sobieski is intrigued by “the human impulse to self-decorate,” a fascination that permeates every aspect of her portraiture. Evoking both baroque paintings and contemporary fashions, Sobieski adorns women and the occasional dog with elaborate makeup and sculptural accessories placed conspicuously to mask the subject’s features. She seamlessly maps classic still lifes and sparse landscapes directly onto the sitter’s face, often highlighting the natural shape of the eye and coating the figure’s lips in bold red. Apparent within Sobieski’s oil paintings is a symbiotic relationship…

 

 



Animation

A Brilliant Studio Ghibli-Style Ad for Travel Oregon Imagines the State as an Adventurous Dreamland

January 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

Imagine Oregon’s hot springs, hiking trails, and sand-dune escapades “only slightly exaggerated.” An advertisement for Travel Oregon entertains that enhanced view of the western state as it paints it in a magical light, Studio Ghibli-style: cloud figures saunter through the sky, a rock pulls a lever to shift the world from night to day, and packs of dogs frolic in the countryside. Evoking the aesthetics and fantastical imagery of the iconic Japanese animation studio, the promotional piece is the second ad for the tourism agency by creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, production company Psyop, and animation house Sun Creature—watch the equally whimsical…

 

 



Animation Art Illustration

Around the Block: David Zinn's Quirky Chalk Cartoons Spring to Life in a New Short Film

January 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

If you’ve walked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the last few decades, you’ve probably spotted the wide-eyed monsters and mischievous dragons of David Zinn (previously). Since 1987, the artist has been drawing chalk-and-charcoal creatures in site-specific works that wash away with the rain. Drain pipes become robotic dogs, a pillar morphs into a giant pencil, and a green monster pops out of a brick walkway. A new short film directed by Jonnie Lewis dives into Zinn’s practice by animating his signature cartoon cast that greets the artist as he walks around the city. Watch “Around the Block” on…

 

 



Animation

Interview: Animator Anna Mantzaris Discusses Her Penchant for Nuanced Emotion and Finding Humor in the Mundane

November 18, 2020

Laura Staugaitis

…everyday life. Her short films feature quirky felt characters that embody both idiosyncrasies and human commonality, an idea she conveys in works like “Enough,” which captures characters as they let their anger emerge. Sometimes reality is better than your imagination. Sometimes when I try to make things up, I cannot make them as funny as a really good observation of something that happens. In a recent interview supported by Colossal Members, contributor Laura Staugaitis recently spoke with Mantzanis about her experimental journey into animation, the collaborative process of commissions, and her experience working on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.  …

 

 



Photography

A New Volume Compiles Five Decades of the Pudgy, Curious, and Drowsy Pups in Walter Chandoha's Photographs

September 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

Mixed-breed and the photographer’s daughter Maria, Long Island, New York, 1956. All images © Estate of Walter Chandoha, courtesy of Taschen, shared with permission Dubbed the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer, the late Walter Chandoha was renowned for capturing the unique personalities of furry companions. From black-and-white candid shots to those posed in the studio, Taschen’s new volume, Dogs, compiles five decades worth of capricious, curious, and playful pups. The 296-page book is a sequel to Cats, which similarly collected hundreds of the iconic photographer’s images, and is edited by Reuel Golden. In his early years, Chandoha served as a…

 

 



Art

An Artistic Endeavor in Brussels Installs Custom Mosaics Outside Your Home—People Are Choosing Portraits of Their Cats

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image courtesy of John Hyphen Cats, dogs, and other mammals are known to mark their territories in myriad ways, but pet owners in Brussels have discovered a more enduring and inviting method. What began as a single project by artist Ingrid Schreyers spurred a municipality-wide initiative: the government of Schaerbeek, a suburb bordering the city of Brussels, now installs any mosaic, either created by residents or a local artist like Whitney Orville, free of charge. Many people are choosing portraits of their furry companions, although the idiosyncratic designs range from playful depictions of wildlife to urban scenes. We’ve gathered some…