Miniature Figures Navigate Human-Sized Threats in Slinkachu’s Humorous Interventions

All images © Slinkachu, shared with permission

At first glance, Slinkachu’s scenes might appear to be a heap of multi-colored pills or a mess of children’s toys left behind on a London street corner. Closer inspection, however, reveals minuscule figures navigating human-sized items as if they occupy an alternate, miniature world occurring in sidewalk alcoves and planter boxes. Characters find themselves in a sea of medication that’s reminiscent of arcade ball pits, while others create a tower to fend off a nearby bee that’s triple each of their heights. Imbued with humor, the site-specific scenes often comment on contemporary social issues.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slinkachu (previously) has shifted to creating works in his home to minimize exposure to passersby. Although many of his projects were canceled or postponed, the Natural History Museum commissioned both the mushroom and bee works shown below for its … Read the rest

All images © Slinkachu, shared with permission

At first glance, Slinkachu’s scenes might appear to be a heap of multi-colored pills or a mess of children’s toys left behind on a London street corner. Closer inspection, however, reveals minuscule figures navigating human-sized items as if they occupy an alternate, miniature world occurring in sidewalk alcoves and planter boxes. Characters find themselves in a sea of medication that’s reminiscent of arcade ball pits, while others create a tower to fend off a nearby bee that’s triple each of their heights. Imbued with humor, the site-specific scenes often comment on contemporary social issues.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slinkachu (previously) has shifted to creating works in his home to minimize exposure to passersby. Although many of his projects were canceled or postponed, the Natural History Museum commissioned both the mushroom and bee works shown below for its … Read the rest

Cutting-Edge Art Takes Over Soon-to-Be-Obsolete New York Phone Booths in Outdoor Exhibition

Can a phone booth become an art space? That was the question artist Damián Ortega and Bree Zucker, director of New York’s Kurimanzutto gallery, had in mind when they organized “TITAN,” an exhibition in which 12 artists’ works are situated in phone kiosks on Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan (through January 3).

The art spaces will be temporary in more sense than one. Sometime early next year, after the show ends, New York City, which took over ownership of the kiosks from the now-defunct Titan, will remove the booths, rendering obsolete what has long been an integral part of the city’s landscape. (In their place will be kiosks offering wifi.)

Choosing booths between 51st and 56th Streets was intentional. For Ortega and Zucker, the location represents an important “circuit” of the city, with the Museum of Modern Art and Radio City Music Hall, various public sculptures, and, most importantly, … Read the rest

Painted on Vintage Postcards, Flora and Fauna Celebrate Farming Traditions and Wildlife of the Midwest

All images © Diana Sudyka, shared with permission

Twenty-seven years ago while studying at the University of Illinois, illustrator Diana Sudyka (previously) retrieved a bundle of postcards from a dumpster. The ephemeral correspondence revealed a relationship between farmers and workers from the Harvard area and a man named John Dwyer, either their accountant or investor who lived throughout Chicago, Cicero, and Berwyn. Dated from 1939 to 1942, the short letters generally contained information about livestock sales and farm expenses.

Now based in the Chicago area, Sudyka repurposes the envelopes as canvases for her watercolor and gouache paintings of flora and fauna native to the Midwest. “I have a strong attachment to the envelopes for various reasons, not least of which is that I was born and raised in Illinois, and spent a good deal of time in rural areas of the state,” she shares with Colossal. The penmanship, … Read the rest

Curator Lauren Haynes Revisits a 1966 Profile of Spiral, Pioneering Black Art Collective

In 1963, 14 Black artists in New York formed the Spiral group. They met regularly to discuss issues affecting Black artists of the time, mounted one exhibition together, and disbanded within a couple years. Recently, artists and art historians have been revisiting Spiral’s significance, especially the ways in which the group intentionally complicated the relationship between art and Blackness. One of the few extensive accounts of Spiral’s activities in the press appeared in a 1966 issue of ARTnews. For a fresh perspective on that article—“Why Spiral?,” in which Jeanne Siegel quoted several prominent artists in the group—ARTnews connected with Lauren Haynes, a curator at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, who organized a survey exhibition of Spiral at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2011. Speaking in June, just days after a group of Black artists and workers banded together to pen Read the rest

Gagosian Gallery Director Sam Orlofsky Terminated Amid Misconduct Investigation

Sam Orlofsky, a New York–based director at the mega-gallery Gagosian, has been terminated as part of an investigation into his alleged misconduct. He had been with the gallery since 2001 and had in that time become one of the most prominent figures involved with the enterprise.

Reached for comment, a Gagosian representative sent ARTnews a letter to staff from Larry Gagosian, the gallery’s founder, in which he states that an unnamed “colleague” was let go as part of the investigation. That inquiry is being conducted by an outside counsel and is not yet closed, according to Gagosian’s missive.

The letter says that the investigation’s subject is “claims from current and former employees that a colleague engaged in serious misconduct, primarily targeted against women in the Gallery.”

A gallery representative declined to clarify the nature of the allegations. In mid-October, when news of the investigation was first made public, … Read the rest

Skillshare Classes to Keep Your Creative Energy Flowing All Winter Long

In preparation for both winter and the need to pull ourselves away from the news, we’ve gathered a selection of Skillshare courses that we’re loving here at Colossal. This new grouping features multi-lesson courses focused on various mediums to channel your creative energy, whether through portraiture, personal essays, or visual storytelling. For even more art, design, and illustration lessons, check out our previous recommendations from the popular online platform, too.

Artist Chris Hong is adept at sketching whimsical scenes and rich portraits, a skill she shares in a 12-part course. Aimed at those with some drawing experience, the class explores the basics of light, shadow, and structure and how to infuse renderings with life-like qualities.

 

Writer and editor Roxane Gay is known for crafting nuanced essays that expertly connect personal moments with larger conversations about race, gender, and identity. Through 11 lessons, Gay offers practical advice about generating … Read the rest

ARTnews in Brief: Kasmin Now Represents George Rickey—and More from November 2, 2020

Monday, November 2

Kasmin Now Represents George Rickey
Kasmin gallery in New York now represents American sculptor George Rickey, who died at the age of 95 in 2002. Rickey is best known for his monumental abstract sculptures—“useless machines,” as he called them—whose movements were guided by changes in air currents. The gallery will present two simultaneous exhibitions of work by the artist in fall 2021, starting with the installation of nine large-scale sculptures along Park Avenue, as part of a public art program organized by the Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue in collaboration with NYC Parks. Also on display will be three works on view from Manhattan’s High Line. Eric Gleason, senior director at Kasmin, said in a statement, “George Rickey is a singular entity in the history of 20th-century sculpture, and his numerous innovations within the realm of kinetics helped to create and define a … Read the rest

Sindika Dokolo, Congolese Collector Who Faced Corruption Scandal, Dies at 48 in Diving Accident

Sindika Dokolo, a key African art collector who earlier this year faced widespread allegations of corruption, has died at 48. Outlets based in Angola, where Dokolo was based, reported that he died after suffering an embolism while diving in Dubai.

Within the African art world, Dokolo had been considered a towering figure who was leading a fight to repatriate looted objects in Europe and helping kickstart a market on the continent. But a scandal in January tainted that reputation, leading various figures in the international art scene to attempt to distance themselves.

In 2020, Dokolo and his wife Isabel dos Santos, who Forbes has ranked as two of the richest people in Africa, were the subject of an investigation following the leak of 715,000 emails and documents showing how dos Santos built an empire worth $2 billion. That cache of documents, known as the Luanda Leaks, revealed that … Read the rest

Remedios Varo’s Mystical, Surreal Paintings Continue to Captivate

Upon the sudden death of Remedios Varo in 1963, her peer André Breton noted that death made the painter “the sorceress who left too soon.” It was a fitting way of bidding goodbye to Varo, whose faith in magic, mysticism, and the power of nature inspired her fantastical, allegorical work. She died at the height of her success—her posthumous retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City in in 1971 surpassed attendance records at the institution for shows by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

In death and life, Varo was defined by her Surrealist associations. After fleeing her native Spain, the French poet Benjamin Péret introduced her to the Parisian avant-garde crowd, whose members she exhibited and studied alongside. Varo worked within a psychoanalytic framework, but her approach left little to accident or automatism. She was a meticulous architect of dreamscapes, planning well in advance the Read the rest

With Main Exhibition Postponed, São Paulo Biennial Names Artist List for New In-Person Show

As cultural institutions in parts of Brazil begin to reopen, the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo announced that it would stage a new in-person exhibition in November that is related to its larger group biennial show postponed until next fall.

The new show, titled “Vento” (“Wind” in English), will run from November 14 to December 13 at the biennial’s traditional home, the Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo in São Paulo’s Parque do Ibirapuera. The exhibition will be free to the public but will require visitors to book tickets in advance.

“Vento” will feature a group of 21 artists, including 10 artists who have just been added to the biennial exhibition. They are Alice Shintani, Ana Adamović, Eleonore Koch, Gala Porras-Kim, Jacqueline Nova, Koki Tanaka, Luisa Cunha, Melvin Moti, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, and Paulo Nazareth, who will stage a streamed performance in the pavilion on November 13. Other artists included in “Vento” are … Read the rest