Lustrous Seas of Layered Glass Are Sliced into Cross-Sections in Ben Young’s Sculptures

“Solitary Catch Awaits,” laminated clear float glass with cast concrete, bronze, and stainless steel frame, 300 x 300 x 180 millimeters. All images © Ben Young

Calm bodies of hand-cut glass pool atop jagged concrete in Ben Young’s aquatic sculptures. The New Zealand-based artist (previously) is known for his marine landscapes that position miniature figures in vast expanses of the translucent material, creating a contemplative environment that juxtaposes a minuscule representation of humanity alongside the immensity of the oceans and other bodies of water. Each piece similarly contrasts the organic topography with the perfect right angles that provide the cubic shape and revealing cross-sections.

A few of Young’s sculptures are currently available at Black Door and Red Sea galleries, and you can find prints in his shop. Explore a larger collection of his works on Behance and Instagram.

 

“Sea of Separation,” laminated float glass, cast concrete, bronze, and stainless

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Essential Tools: A Dozen Things Every Artist’s Studio Needs

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From ancient times until now, every artist has kept an assortment of necessary tools in his or her studio, and many of the objects found in contemporary work spaces would have been familiar to an artisan or craftsperson of medieval and Renaissance Europe or to a scholar-painter in ancient China. Just call to mind Ming dynasty painter Xie Huan’s Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden, with its image of an artist’s work table complete with brushes, a water container, and an inkstone. Despite the differences in ambience and setting, the functions of those implements were the same as they are today.

In our own era, tools for drawing or sketching are used by artists working in three dimensions as well as two. Inks and pigments, whether black or in … Read the rest

Three-Dimensional Botanics and Insects Are Sculpted in Elegant Stained Glass by Elena Zaycman

Detail of “The Tulips” (2021), made in collaboration with Jay Rose. All images © Elena Zaycman, shared with permission

From her studio in St. Petersburg, artist Elena Zaycman creates delicate flowers and tropical plants from vibrant stained glass. She strays from the traditional two-dimensional panels to produce lifelike forms that resemble fleshy petals and curved leaves found in nature. Whether a pair of tulips or fanned palm, Zaycman’s translucent designs refract light and cast tinted shadows in an array of organic shapes around the space.

Having worked with the medium for nearly a decade, the artist tells Colossal that prior to creating the smaller sculptures she collaborated with her sister on expansive projects that required a lengthy, complex installation in homes and other spaces. She began to produce the mounted pieces as a way to circumvent that process and make the art form more accessible to those without the resources … Read the rest

MOCA L.A. Senior Curator Resigns Over Museum’s Handling of Diversity Initiatives

One of the country’s most closely watched curators has resigned from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, accusing its leadership of being resistant to adhering to its commitment to diversity.

Mia Locks, who joined MOCA in July 2019 as senior curator and head of new initiatives, resigned from the institution late last month, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.

One of the initiatives that Locks began at MOCA shortly after her appointment began was one devoted to IDEA, an acronym for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. In an email from Locks to staff announcing her resignation on March 26, the curator said, “MOCA’s leadership is not yet ready to fully embrace IDEA,” according to the L.A. Times, which verified the email.

In an email to the L.A. Times, a MOCA spokesperson said, “We are working across our organization to fulfill our IDEA … Read the rest

Moonlit Forests, Fish, and Branches Populate Kirie Silhouettes Cut from a Single Sheet of Paper

All images © Kanako Abe, shared with permission

From a single sheet of white paper, Kanako Abe (previously) carves exquisite silhouettes of children and young adults who are awash in seas of fish or occupied by quiet campouts. She utilizes the traditional Japanese art form called Kirie—which translates to cut picture—a technique that Abe begins with a sketch before slicing the delicate material with a variety of knives. “I don’t have a chance to change the design once I start cutting, so I find it challenging,” the Seattle-based artist says. “I have to think of the right patterns, controlling negative space, and make sure all the lines are connected so the art won’t fall apart once it’s finished.” A single piece can take anywhere from six to 60 hours to complete.

Abe shifted to full-time in 2020 and now balances her practice between commissions and ongoing personal projects, a few … Read the rest

The Best Acrylic Matte Mediums for Artists and Hobbyists

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Acrylic medium is a versatile product for use with acrylic paint and in mixed-media projects. A liquid that’s milky when wet and translucent when dry, it can be added to acrylic to increase fluidity; the more you add, the thinner and more transparent the color will become. This makes it particularly handy for glazes and blending. It can also be used to create a clear ground on canvas or paper in place of gesso, and it works as an adhesive for use in collage and image transfers. Most acrylic mediums come in two finishes: glossy and matte. Since acrylics tend to have a glossy finish to begin with, choosing a matte medium to mix in with your paints can make a significant difference in your work’s final appearance. Whether Read the rest

RISD Continuing Education Launches 160+ Online Summer Courses

Artwork by RISD Summer Programs faculty Polly Becker for a course called Illustration: The Assembled Image

Experience Rhode Island School of Design this summer from anywhere in the world. Choose from online classes with live Zoom sessions or asynchronous learning with no required meeting times. Whether you’re an artist or designer looking to advance your practice, a college student hoping to earn credit, or a high school student interested in pursuing art and design, RISD CE is offering 160+ online courses for adults and teens this summer.

RISD Summer Programs students can earn college credit from live studio classes and liberal arts courses that are pre-recorded and delivered asynchronously. Students work with renowned RISD faculty and receive personalized instruction to advance their creative practice. All courses are three (3) credits and run for six weeks from June 21 to July 30, 2021.

RISD Advanced Program for High School Students provides … Read the rest

Robert Colescott Painting of George Washington Carver Set to Break Artist’s Auction Record

Robert Colescott’s 1975 painting, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware River: Page from an American History Textbook, a riff on Emanuel Leutze’s widely-known 1852 painting of the first President of the United States crossing the Delaware river by boat, will be sold at auction next month. The painting will be offered with a guarantee during Sotheby’s contemporary art evening sale on May 12, where it is expected to achieve a price of $9 million–$12 million— far above the artist’s auction record of $912,500, which was set in November 2018.

In Colescott’s painting, he has replaced the white figures in Leutze’s scene, which has been in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection for more than a century, with Black figures representing racist tropes that have been used throughout American history. Colescott, who in 1977 became the first Black artist to represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale, is recognized … Read the rest

Join PAFA This Fall for a Unique and Flexible Art-School Experience

The Annual Student Exhibition is an academic capstone event offering PAFA’s emerging artists the opportunity to curate, install, and sell their own work in America’s first art museum. All images © PAFA

100{81ba776f17fec9454490d7b8fbf4dc8c5c5020b4f83f6b2aaca6427b8ebffab5} of students receive merit scholarships; Fall ’21 applications are open

Finding an art college that best fits your desires and wallet can be challenging. Studio arts training should provide the foundational skills, intellectual context, discipline, and creativity needed for a lifelong pursuit of making art. An art-school experience that supports student development through curriculum, highly-mentored education, training in the business of being an artist, and access to a world-class museum sounds like an unattainable dream. Adding financial support and flexibility to the list makes it seem impossible. Making the impossible possible for student-artists is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) mission.

PAFA educates artists worldwide to be innovative makers and critical thinkers, to cultivate a … Read the rest

New Documentary Showcases Bill Traylor’s Bracing Visions of the Past and the Present

Although Bill Traylor is now coming to be considered a major figure in 20th century U.S. art history, little is known about his life. The facts are these: Traylor was born in 1853 into slavery, and he died in 1949. A Black man in Montgomery, Alabama, he spent the majority of his life enduring Jim Crow oppression. He came to art-making late in his career, working with charcoal, paint, crayon, paper, and other materials when he was already in his 80s. Historians are aware of various details throughout, but there are still a number of gaps, leaving questions about who Traylor really was.

The reason many have remained fascinated in Traylor, though, is not the lacunas in his biography, but the explosive creativity that can be seen in his art. His output was so singular, it seems that it was always just waiting below the surface, ready for Traylor to … Read the rest