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Contemporary Art Week!

Leo and Diane Dillon

Various Illustrations

Leo and Diane Dillon were one of the greatest illustration teams in the history of Fantasy Art. Books that have used their illustrations for cover or inside art include an edition of the Narnia books, Garth Nix’s Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, Her Stories and The Girl Who Spun Gold by Virginia Hamilton, The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin, Aida by Leontyne Price, The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese by Howard A. Norman, and many, many more.

There is a blog dedicated to archiving their work here.


Check out that awesome googly-eyed velociraptor! He’s a giant industrial origami project called KitRex and he was created by Lehigh University grad student Lisa Glover.

"KitRex began as a homework assignment where I was asked to research a manufacturing process and demonstrate it in a unique way. I decided to research Industrial Origami, and over the course of 50 hours I designed, cut, and built a wearable 15-ft long velociraptor out of cardboard. I took him to a costume ball, and when I tromped into the room, literally everyone stopped to stare. He was the star of the evening, and everyone wanted one. I knew I had to do something."

Lisa then started (and successfully funded) a KitRex Kickstarter project to help her mass-produce an adorable 3-foot-long KitRex (since most people don’t have the space for a 15-ft paper dino). After months of prototyping and testing with kids between 8 - 12 years old, the final KitRex was born as a bristol board model that’s easily flat-packed and shipped anywhere (But you have to add your own googly eyes). A few lucky Kickstarter contributors were rewarded with giant 15-foot KitRexes of their very own.

Lisa isn’t quite ready to ship the KitRex, but for the time being you can click here to download a free pattern that fits on a standard 8x10 sheet of paper. It’ll be like playing with a dino hatchling.

[via Uproxx and KitRex]


German-born artist Gabby Wormann uses painstaking care to combine the delicate bodies of animals such as tarantulas, crabs and winged insects with intricate clockwork mechanisms to create beautiful creatures which she calls MeCre, or mechanical creatures.

"Wormann is interested in humanity’s intervention into complex biological systems, and her work postulates the hybrid forms’ role in the future. To the artist, they symbolize a synthesis between biomass and mechanics that will become part of our evolution. These creatures are more resistant, efficient, and technically optimized for a world where we are focused on continually improving at all costs."

Visit Gabby Wormann’s wesbite to check out more of her remarkable MeCre creations.

[via My Modern Metropolis]


Brazilian illustrator Gabriel Picolo is just over 100 days into an awesome art project called 365-DaysofDoodles. It’s exactly what it sounds like - Picolo is drawing something new in one of his Moleskine sketchbooks every day for a year. However these are some of the finest “doodles” we’ve ever seen.

Each drawing is unique and often inspired by some sort of pop culture source, featuring his own version of characters from anime, tv, movies and fine art.

Click here to view all of the daily doodles that Picolo has created thus far and then be sure to check back to watch him update the project.

[via Design Taxi]


The Kirin Beverage Company created awesomely tiny dioramas that fit into their own soft drink bottles for a series of advertisements for their line of beverages called “Sekai no Kitchen Kara” (“From the Kitchens of the World). The level of detail achieved with each handmade 1/48th scale bottled scene is completely awesome.

A tiny Thai kitchen, created for the Salt and Litchi (Lychee) flavor, features a well-stocked fridge that opens and closes, an illuminated burner for the miniature stove, countless itty-bitty food items and kitchen utensils, and even stains on the walls.

Click here to watch a video of the making of the Thai kitchen.

Visit RocketNews24 for additional images.


For a public installation entitled Magic Carpets 2014, French artist Miguel Chevalier transformed the floor of the Sacré Coeur cathedral in Casablanca, Morocco into an interactive psychedelic light show choreographed to music by Michel Redolfi.

Visitors walk across a massive carpet of light that first appears as an unstable monochromatic display before giving way to vivid blocks and whorls of color. The trajectory of the kaleidoscopic shapes and colors changes in response to visitors’ footsteps.

Click here for video of the installation in action.

[via designboom]


Look closely, these aren’t you’re average landscape photos. These are aquascapes. Did you notice the fish swimming past? Aquascaping is the craft of arranging aquatic plants as well as rocks, stones, driftwood and other hardscape elements in an aquarium. It’s gardening under water, often with fish who reside in the beautiful underwater landscape.

It’s a challenging hobby and, like many other hobbies, for those interested in such things there’s also a competitive element:

"The world of competitive aquarium design, or aquascaping, is just as difficult, expensive, and cutthroat as any other sport but requires expertise in many different fields to guarantee success. Aquarium designers possess large amounts of expertise in biology, design, photography, and excel in the art of patience, as individual aquascapes can take months if not years to fully mature into a completed landscape.”

The aquascapes seen here were part of the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC), the world’s largest nature aquarium and aquatic plants layout competition.

Head over to Colossal to view more.


This awesome Gundam mobile suit is made of stone, stands 13 feet tall, weighs 10 tons and might just be the most geekstastic headstone we’ve ever seen. It was photographed in front of a stonemasonry shop outside a Kise Sekizai Boseki Center in Yasu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan.

Kise Sekizai is a chain of Japanese grave makers in the area. According to the watermark on Google Street View it was last seen in 2013 and probably still stands there to this day.

If your business is building tombstones and your population includes an ever-increasing number of anime-loving Otaku, it seems both shrewd and ambitious to advertise such extravagantly geeky custom grave markers. We love it.

[via RocketNews24]


lifesgrandparade reblogged your photo:

…Is Mary selling a John The Baptist t-shirt in the corner there?

It’s the Veil of Veronica, an image supposedly made miraculously without paint or dye, when Saint Veronica wiped the blood and sweat from the face of Jesus during the crucifixion procession. It’s meant to be the actual face of Christ. Which reminds me of something I really wanted to talk about.

I have an interesting post here on the work by Robert Campin of Flémalle of Saint Veronica holding the miraculous image of Christ:


Monique Scheer has a great paper that I’ve cited before (and which I remain critical of in its conclusions), that sheds so much light on what I mean when I talk about how our perception of these works has been greatly affected by people who wrote about it before our time. From the paper:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also expressed a sense of aesthetic disappointment in black madonnas in a comment from 1816: “How the most unhappy of all appearances could have crept in-that, probably for Egyptian or Abessinian reasons, the Mother of God is portrayed as brown, and the face of Our Savior printed on Veronica’s veil was also given a moorish color-may be clarified when that part of art history is more closely examined.”

^ See what I mean?

Academics writing now actually kept the whole idea, they just snipped off the part where it’s openly and blatantly racist in a way we recognize immediately.

I mean, there is plenty of text to support that that’s what a fair amount of Medieval Europeans thought Jesus looked like, more or less. You have Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love:

His clothing was full and ample, as befits a lord; the cloth was as blue as azure, most sober and comely. His expression was merciful, the colour of his face a comely brown with pronounced features; his eyes were black, most comely and handsome, appearing full of tender pity…” (118)


The brown of his fair face with the handsome blackness of the eyes was most suited to showing his holy gravity… (119)

Obviously the Europeans who created these works thought Jesus looked the way he was supposed to, and made images of him this way without really needing to “explain” it. After all, the painting above would have been instantly recognizable to intended viewers as Jesus.

It’s not the Medieval artist Robert Campin who thought he had given the Son of God “the most unhappy of all appearances”, after all!! It was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who decided hundreds of years later that he didn’t care for the appearance of Jesus in that particular work because of his skin color. And in 1816, he decided he was going to come up with some kind of “explanation” for why Jesus and Mary were depicting with a dark and/or brown skin color in so much art from that era.

Anything you read about the Black Madonnas or Medieval European depictions of Jesus with brown or black skin is going to talk about “candle smoke”, parishioners with dirty touchy fingers, aging pigments and “chemical reactions”.

Finally, I am not trying to make a “race claim” for Jesus.

I am saying that there is plenty of evidence that a contingent of Medieval Europeans thought Jesus was brown, that white people in the late 1700s and 1800s didn’t like that because they had racialized skin color and decided brown or Black skin was bad to serve their own purposes, and decided to change history because they didn’t like it.

I am saying that it’s people like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who are responsible for what we think we know about Medieval Europe, because the information we have now was filtered through the racism and colonialism of that century.

And that is “why” and “how” I can apply modern ideas about race to Medieval Art. The intent of the Medieval Artists and their original context is not my main focus here. How these works were received in later centuries and are still interpreted right now is.


For a whimsical series entitled A Tribute to Budgie, Buenos Aires-based food illustrator and stylist Anna Keville Joyce created beautiful bird illustrations on plates using nothing but food. Scattered around each plate are the edible materials used to create that particular bird.

Photos by Agustín Nieto

[via Free York]


New York-based artist Thomas Doyle creates beautifully detailed and thoroughly unsettling mixed media dioramas using models and materials originally made for model train sets. Houses fall from the sky and crash into the earth, creating dystopian suburban scenes. Elsewhere another home and its residents have been completely reclaimed by nature. However Doyle is not trying to tell specific tales with these scenes. Instead he leave the interpretation up to the viewer. Choose your own (disastrous) adventure.

Doyle is currently showing work at the Torrance Art Museum as part of the Prep School: Prepper and Survivalist ideologies and utopianism/dystopian visions show, which runs through May 15, 2014.

Click here for a bref video about Thomas Doyle and his haunting dioramas.

[via Colossal]


In a five part series called “emoji-nation”, Ukrainian Nastya Ptichek mixes the work of well-known painters with graphical elements of new media. In the second part of the series, the works of Edward Hopper are augmented with social media interface icons:

Nastya Ptichek

The first part finds emoji doppelgangers for works of fine art while the third part uses paintings as movie poster imagery for the likes of Kill Bill and Home Alone (paired with Munch’s The Scream). For part four, Ptichek places modal dialogs over art works:

Nastya Ptichek

And part five plays around with several Google interface elements:

Nastya Ptichek

Love this kind of thing. Feels like I’ve seen something like it before though. Anyone recall?


The phantasmagorical and surreal animal sculptures by Canadian artist Ellen Jewett. Between dream and nightmare, some strange creations born of a symbiosis between organic and mechanical elements, a meeting between fantasy, gothic and steampunk. Some very detailed sculptures in clay on a metal frame.

Visit her website at


(via wilwheaton)


Icelandic graphic designer and illustrator Stella Björg created this awesome typeface illustration project entitled There Be Monsters. Inspired by medieval maps that featured fantastical sea creatures, each character is made of fearsome sea monsters, fantastic sea creatures, unfortunate sailors and their ships and, of course, tempestuous waves.

Click here to view more of this extraordinary alphabet.

[via Design Taxi]


Canadian DeviantARTist Hayden Sailer gave his classic Oldsmobile a fantastic upgrade with this amazing hood ornament in the shape of Princess Luna from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

To make the shiny silver pony Sailer used a 3D-printed model from Shapeways that he coated with automotive chrome spray paint and attached to the base from a Chrysler Imperial hood ornament. From a distance you’d never guess that this big red car is an awesome bronymobile. We love it.

Click here for a complete description of the process.

Visit Hayden Sailer’s DeviantART gallery to check out more of his My Little Pony-related creations.

[via Neatorama]