All images © Gésine Hackenberg, shared with permission

From her studio in Amsterdam, Gésine Hackenberg (previously) punches perfectly round discs from Delftware and antique ceramic dishes. The ornate, pearl-like forms are then strung together into necklaces or secured into metal bands for rings and earrings. Juxtaposing the old and new, the completed wearables are positioned alongside the original dinnerware to draw connections between the domestic objects and personal adornments that are ubiquitous in everyday life.

The ongoing collection—which Hackenberg says was inspired by her grandmother’s pearl necklaces and massive cabinet of porcelain dishes—evidences what the designer sees as “a certain kinship” between what’s worn on the body and the pieces that decorate and sustain a living space. She says:

What one keeps and owns, often contains an emotional meaning next to its practical function or worth. Possessions, especially personal treasures, define and represent their owner. Jewelry is in particular an

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As cities across the country reckon with the ways in which the contributions of Black people have long been under-recognized, the Getty will partner with the city of Los Angeles to identify and preserve places that illustrate how African Americans have been integral to L.A.’s history. Of the city’s 1,200 designated local landmarks, only 3 percent (about 36 places) can be linked to African Americans and their contributions to the city, according to a press release from the Getty.

Taking place over three years, the Los Angeles African American Historic Places Project will see the Getty Conservation Institute partner with L.A.’s City Planning Office of Historic Resources (OHR) to create a community engagement program. The two institutions will partner with other local organizations to dig up under-known histories of these communities. The project will also devote resources to analyzing the role that systemic racism plays in L.A.’s historic preservation policies.… Read the rest



What insect has the ability to extend down into the nearly foot-long nectar tube of the ghost orchid? For generations, that question has interested researchers who’ve speculated that the giant sphinx moth, which has a proboscis that often exceeds 10 inches, was one of few species with a tubular tongue that could reach the sticky pollen nestled inside the endangered flower.

Shot during the course of three years, a short documentary by Grizzly Creek Films follows researchers committed to proving this hypothesis. It draws on Charles Darwin’s 160-year-old studies about orchids’ evolution, particularly in relation to one species in Madagascar about which he famously said, “Good heavens. What insect could suck it?” In  “Chasing Ghosts,” the team wades into the buggy swamplands of south Florida alongside snakes and alligators to reach a grove of cypress trees, where the white flowers wrap themselves high among the boughs. There they installed … Read the rest

In New York, during the ’70s, the city’s rich gallery scene was dominated by a handful of galleries, including Leo Castelli, Ileana Sonnabend, Pace, Ronald Feldman, and Marlborough. Later on, during the ’80s, Mary Boone, Paula Cooper, Marian Goodman, and Larry Gagosian would join their ranks. These galleries represented the day’s top artists, from Jasper Johns to Andy Warhol, and almost all of the solo exhibitions at these spaces were devoted to white artists. At the time, to be an artist of color in one of these galleries’ stables was unusual, if not extremely rare.

The severe racial disparities affecting the New York scene occasioned a conversation in 1974 between Linda Goode Bryant, then the director of education at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and artist David Hammons. Hammons, who is now widely known for his sculptures making use of ready-made objects in service of koan-like statements about Blackness and … Read the rest

“Purple Mountain” (2020), oil on wood panel, 48 x 36 inches. All images © Seth Armstrong, shared with permission

“Color and light are basically all I think about when I’m painting,” says Seth Armstrong. Working with oil paints on wood, the Los Angeles-based artist renders the sloping hills of his native California county in bold, saturated tones. Depicting the staggered houses and vegetation in the glow of golden hour or just after sunrise, Armstrong balances both hyperrealism and more sweeping, gestural strokes. He includes the occasional candy-colored hue to veil the densely populated landscape—the artist notes that small details can be difficult to perceive when not viewing the works in person—with a layer of magic. “The paintings do become, for me, more than a depiction of light and color,” he writes. “But that’s a personal relationship we have.”

A limited-edition print of “Purple Mountain” releases on April 12 through Unit … Read the rest

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Made from pigment mixed with nondrying oil and a wax binder, oil pastels are a softer and more blendable drawing tool than either colored pencils or crayons. They can also be thinned with oil or solvents for painterly effects. Oil pastels never fully dry, so finished works should be framed behind class or sprayed with a fixative formulated for that purpose. They make up for this drawback, however, by supplying immediate, vivid color.

Can’t decide which brand of oil pastels to choose? We don’t blame you. Not only are there dozens of options available, but there are also so many factors to consider: color strength, consistency, firmness, and of course, price. If you’re just starting out with oil pastels or are looking for a set for casual use, we … Read the rest

All images © Naoki Onogawa, shared with permission

Using just his hands, Tokyo-based artist Naoki Onogawa folds scores of origami cranes with wingspans that never top a single centimeter. He then fastens the minuscule birds to asymmetric tree forms, creating bonsai-like sculptures engulfed by hundreds of the monochromatic paper creatures.

Onogawa tells Colossal that he began crafting the tiny birds following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake that devastated parts of southern Hokkaido and Tohoku, which the artist visited the next year. As he walked around the city of Rikuzen Takata, he spotted 1,000 paper cranes at the site of a school demolished by the tsunami. “I found myself in terror of how powerless we humans are in the face of nature’s wonder; yet at the same time, I felt empowered by the power of life, vitality, that shined so brightly in the aftermath of its wrath,” Onogawa says. He … Read the rest

Earlier this week, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles announced that it has acquired the archive for The History of California, Judith F. Baca’s epic mural cycle. More commonly known as the Great Wall of Los Angeles, Baca’s mural offers a vision of history from the perspectives of historically marginalized groups, including Indigenous, Latinx, Black, and Asian communities, as well as queer people and women.

“This monumental work by an iconic artist contributes to shaping a more inclusive view of life in the United States and California,” Sandra Jackson-Dumont, the Lucas Museum’s director, said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “This incredible repository uniquely positions the Lucas Museum to illustrate the significance of public murals to storytelling.”

The Lucas Museum’s acquisition of the archive includes more than 350 objects related to the creation of the Great Wall, from concept drawings and mural studies to blueprints and … Read the rest

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Delight the young artists in your life by giving them a set of creative tools. A bounty of markers, crayons, or clay can satisfy kids on rainy afternoons or long car rides—or during endless time at home in a global pandemic. Personal art and craft supplies not only help children express themselves, develop motor skills, and strengthen their creativity, but also teach them how to take care of their possessions. Plus, they encourage them to spend less time on digital devices. Below, find our best picks for kid-friendly and nontoxic crafting and art making sets.

ARTNEWS RECOMMENDS 
Crayola Colossal Creativity Tub
This thoughtfully assembled tub from Crayola gives kids a big variety of good-quality, complementary craft supplies to use. It comes with crayons, twistable colored pencils, markers, kid-friendly paints, Read the rest

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Ah, watercolors. For many of us, they represented our first forays into the world of painting. Who can forget the soupy messes of those bygone watercolor trays? Fast-forward a few decades, and now you’re seeking the perfect watercolor set for a new generation of beginners, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or a caregiver. Or maybe you’re a prodigal painter seeking to recapture the joys of your childhood and want a set for yourself. (Either way, you’ll be responsible for cleanup this time around!) What are the best and safest watercolors to experiment with? Here’s our verdict.

ARTNEWS RECOMMENDS
Faber-Castell Connector Watercolor Paints
This watercolor set by the august German manufacturer towers head and shoulders over its competition in terms of sheer creativity. Rather than a palette or tin
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