Capricious Characters Express Emotional Ambivalence in Yoshitoshi Kanemaki’s Glitched Sculptures

“Fleeting Moment Caprice.” All images @ Yoshitoshi Kanemaki, courtesy of FUMA Contemporary Tokyo, shared with permission

Japanese artist Yoshitoshi Kanemaki (previously) carves fickle, ambivalent, and even contradictory sentiments in his figurative sculptures that embody a range of emotions. The wooden characters are surreal in form with multiple limbs, duplicate features, and recurring faces that wind entirely around their bodies. Whether conveyed through kaleidoscopic or blurred techniques, each portrait “expresses the dignity of life as a human being, the hate and harassment that people experience, and the importance of environmental awareness,” the artist says, explaining:

It’s the hesitation, contradiction, two-sidedness, or multi-sidedness, double standard. These are the problems that all people have, and I express them as sculptures under the concept of “ambivalence.” I want to portrait a modern person, who visualizes the “ambivalent” state that everyone has.

Kanemaki is based in Nagareyama City and is currently altering one of his … Read the rest

The Best Brush Pen and Dual-Tip Brush Pen Sets with Gray Inks

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To achieve shadows and depth in their artwork, many artists rely on a set of gray drawing implements. An achromatic color—meaning it has no hue—gray comes in all kinds of shades, and many art brands have thoughtfully curated sets of gray markers and pens. These are a smart way to efficiently build a palette at less expense than purchasing individual implements. Here we focus on gray brush-tip pens and markers (which can typically achieve both fine and broad lines) and present our top picks below.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set
Tombow’s dual-tip pens offer a wide variety of grays at a relatively low cost. You get nine markers ranging in tone from black to a very light gray, plus a colorless blending brush so you can create
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The Best Art Sets and Gift Boxes for Adults

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If you want to make a creative friend smile, give him or her a set of art supplies. There are kits that cater to a specific medium but also beautifully put-together boxes that allow users to experiment with all sorts of materials—paints, oil pastels, and more. Art sets offer a convenient way to learn something new while carving out some personal relaxation time. Note that because they are often designed as an economical way to explore different media, the quality of the products are typically student-grade or intended for hobbyists. In other words, they’re a great option for beginners who would like to familiarize themselves with painting or drawing before investing in the absolute best materials. Read about our favorite art sets for adults below.

Artist’s Loft Read the rest

Nimble Pugs and Other Cheery Canines Are Chiseled into Stocky Wooden Sculptures by Misato Sano

All images © Misato Sano, shared with permission

Studies show that people are inclined to adopt canine companions that resemble themselves or family members, a psychological impulse that Misato Sano (previously) flips on its head. Rather than carve a pack of doggy doubles, the artist creates textured wooden sculptures of curly-haired poodles and acrobatic pugs imbued with different aspects of her own personality. Encompassing multiple breeds, expressions, and physical traits, each work is a self-portrait. She explains to Colossal:

For me, using the form of dogs is the most appropriate, highest-resolution method to materialize what I think and my inner self. Materializing myself in various states is about having an honest, direct dialogue with myself. In facing myself, I would like to be passionate, free, and loving, like a dog. My works are also about myself looking at myself. In that sense, I might have been making an existence that

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How Sir Peter Blake Became Britain’s Preeminent Pop Art Star

Peter Blake, whose storied six-decade career continues to evolve, is one of Great Britain’s foremost artists. Known as Sir Peter Blake since being knighted in 2002, he helped establish Pop art in England, where the movement took on distinctive qualities of its own while coinciding with the rise of American Pop in the 1960s. And as befits a Pop pioneer of his stature, Blake ranks in an uncommon class of artists whose notoriety has roamed beyond the confines of fine art—most notably into the realm of music, thanks in part to his iconic cover art for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. At the age of 88, Blake has long been the subject of tributes and testimonies, and a new book—Peter Blake: Collage, forthcoming from Thames & Hudson in June—offers a monographic survey of decades’ worth of work in one of his favored mediums, with … Read the rest

The World’s Oldest Cave Art Is Being Destroyed By Climate Crisis, A New Study Finds

Some of the world’s oldest cave art is being lost due to the detrimental effects of climate change, according to a new study on the effects of climate change on Sulawesi’s Pleistocene rock art conducted by Jill Huntley and others from the Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit at Griffith University in Australia. In southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, more than 300 cave sites are at risk of deterioration—this notably includes some of the earliest cave art ever created, even older than some better-known sites in Europe such as Lascaux and Chauvet.

The art was created using red and mulberry pigments, and includes hand stencils, animal depictions, and images of human-animal hybrids. The Sulawesi caves are home to the oldest animal depiction—a warty pig that is at least 45,500 years old—as well as the oldest hand stencil in the world, made more than 39,900 years ago. One cave even contains what … Read the rest

The Best Erasers for Graphite

Before rubber was first used as an eraser in the mid-1700s, people employed everything from pumice to damp bread to expunge their errors. Luckily, we no longer have to turn to the bread box to cleanly remove graphite from paper, but sorting through erasers to find the right one can be a headache, especially when they appear so similar. We’re here to help. For erasers that work beautifully on graphite, last a long time, and don’t leave your workspace grubby, take a look at our top five recommendations below.

Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser
Plastic erasers like the Pentel Hi-Polymer are soft enough to avoid traumatizing your paper but firm enough to offer a high level of control. This eraser, which comes in small (1.7-inch), large (2-inch), and “super XL” (4.5-inch) sizes as well as in pencil-cap form, don’t smear or ghost. Most important, they receive the highest marks in
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Ceramic Mosaics Mend Cracked Sidewalks, Potholes, and Buildings in Vibrant Interventions by Ememem

All images © Ememem, shared with permission

Throughout his home city of Lyon, Ememem is known as “the pavement surgeon.” The artist repairs gouged sidewalks and splintered facades with colorful mosaics that he describes as “a poem that everybody can read.” Intricate geometric motifs laid with pristine tiles hug the cracks and create “a memory notebook of the city. It reveals what happened, the life in these public places,” he tells Colossal. “Here cobblestones have been picked up and thrown. There a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt…”

Ememem’s first mosaic dates back 10 years when he found himself in a damaged alley in Lyon. At that time, he already was working in ceramic and translated that practice to revitalizing the outdoor area. Since 2016, he’s been consistently filling potholes and other divots throughout France. “It’s a succession of a lot of places and reflections, … Read the rest

Move Beyond the Blackboard with these Quality Liquid Chalk Markers

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There’s no reason chalk drawing should be consigned to a fond, faint childhood memory. After all, the possibilities of an easily washable, blendable drawing tool are too great to ignore. Cue liquid chalk markers: a sophisticated alternative to traditional blackboard chalk, sans the noxious, messy chalk dust. Use chalk markers to decorate photo frames, mirrors, windows, dry-erase boards, and many other nonporous surfaces (when drawing on an actual chalkboard, you’ll need to determine whether or not it is nonporous—we recommend testing first in an inconspicuous place). What you can create with chalk markers is limited only by your imagination—and, of course, the quality of the markers at your disposal. To help you find the best ones for your project, we’ve assembled a list of favorites for artists of all Read the rest

Nature Resurges to Overtake Abandoned Architecture in a New Book of Photos by Jonk

Manoir, Taiwan Manor, Taiwan. All images © Jonk, shared with permission

From dilapidated power plants, abandoned medical facilities, and amusement parks left in rusted ruin, the compelling scenes that French photographer Jonathan Jimenez, aka Jonk (previously), captures are evidence of nature’s endurance and power to reclaim spaces transformed by people. Now compiled in a new book titled Naturalia II, 221 images shot across 17 countries frame the thriving vegetation that crawls across chipped concrete and architecture in unruly masses.

This succeeding volume is a follow-up to Jonk’s first book by the same name and focuses on the ways the ecological crisis has evolved during the last three years. He explains the impetus for the book in a statement:

On the one hand, the situation has deteriorated even further with yet another species becoming extinct every single day. Global warming continues and has caused repeated natural catastrophes: floods, fires, droughts,

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