humor

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Animation

After Her Brain Short-Circuits, A Young Girl Tries on a Second Head in a Lighthearted Stop-Motion Animation

March 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

The saying goes that two heads are better than one, except in the case of a young girl named Matilda. The titular character of a playful stop-motion short by Lithuanian animator Ignas Meilunas, Matilda is on track to be the smartest girl in the world when suddenly, mid-study session, her mind goes haywire. She recognizes that she can’t stuff a single fact more into her already packed brain and to remedy the issue, her mother decides to order her daughter a second head from a department store. Of course, this quick fix is really no solution at all, and Matilda soon realizes that there’s more to life.

According to Short of the Week, Meilunas hadn’t worked with puppets prior to “Matilda and the Second Head,” which retains all of the charm and detail of his previous pieces—you might remember him from “Mr. Night Has a Day Off.” The character-driven short already has been shown at a variety of festivals including Annecy and helped him win the Best Animation for Young Audiences award from the 2020 Ottawa International Film Festival. Meilunas recently shared an in-depth look behind-the-scenes of the project, and you can watch more of his short comedies on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art Photography

A Daily Project by Tatsuya Tanaka Turns Everyday Goods into Quirky Miniatures

February 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Tatsuya Tanaka

A scroll through Tatsuya Tanaka’s Instagram chronicles the everyday happenings of a cleverly designed world in miniature. The Japanese artist (previously) has spent the last decade reimaging life-sized objects like pencil sharpeners, sponges, and slippers as tiny sets for his cast of characters: a “P” key rests on a painter’s easel, bobsledders barrel through a bowl on a hot pepper, and ice skaters race across a white surgical mask.

Released daily as part of his ongoing Miniature Calendar project, the works often correspond with current events and cultural moments, including Tanaka’s recent scenarios referencing the Winter Olympic Games. “The theme of my work is ‘mitate’… to replace something around us with something similar or that looks like it. It is important to use something that everyone knows as a motif for my work,” he writes.

For a look behind-the-scenes, click through each day on Tanaka’s site, where he shares multiple perspectives of every work.

 

 

 



Art

Oil Paintings by Paco Pomet Brighten Vintage Scenes with Satirical Elements in Color

February 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

“A Prequel” (2021), oil on canvas, 100 x 150 centimeters. All images © Paco Pomet

Succeeding his series of paintings titled Beginnings, Paco Pomet’s Endings applies a similarly satirical veil to his provocative and outlandish scenarios: a cleaved camper reveals red steak marbled with fat, businessmen shake hands through an elongated finger trap, and a woman walks a hand-standing friend on a leash. The Spanish artist (previously) is known for his keen sense of wit and humor and distinct visual commentary on contemporary issues like capitalism, the degradation of the environment, and moments in American history that have global impacts. He shares in an interview:

I am very interested in current affairs, but in order to fully understand today’s world, it is necessary to look back and examine historical events. The past is full of hints that can unveil the present, so in some ways, we could paraphrase that statement which says that there’s nothing new under the sun. I have always thought that subjects and themes remain the same over centuries, and that human pursuits, aspirations, and chimeras are cyclical. Nowadays, we might have different tools and ways of approaching those issues, but the important questions remain the same, even though the way they show up changes throughout the years.

Often working with anachronistic scenes and symbols, Pomet depicts children of a past era sparring with glowing lightsabers in “A Prequel” and a vintage car blurring into a trail of greens and yellows in “Trip.” Each oil painting is rendered largely in neutral tones with bright, colorful elements supplying the artist’s signature dose of irony.

You can explore an archive of Pomet’s surreal works and follow his latest compositions on Instagram.

 

“Prime” (2021), oil on canvas, 38 x 46 centimeters

“Rearguard” (2021), oil on canvas, 38 x 46 centimeters

“The Restrainers” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 x 73 centimeters

“The Last Executive Committee Meeting” (2021), oil on canvas, 130 x 150 centimeters

“Amblers” (2021), oil on canvas, 73 x 60 centimeters

“Apart” (2021), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 centimeters

“Trip” (2021), oil on canvas, 100 x 150 centimeters

“Dissident” (2021), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 centimeters

 

 



Illustration

Imaginative Doodles by Vincent Bal Recast Shadows as Witty Illustrations

February 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Vincent Bal, shared with permission

Belgium-based illustrator and filmmaker Vincent Bal (previously) sees the playful potential of shadows cast by eyeglasses, a peeled clementine, and other household objects. Completed with minimal sketches in black ink, Bal’s reimagined scenes transform the holes of a colander into winter snowfall, an open headphone case into a glum dog, and the translucent blue light from a plastic cup into a swimming pool. His clever illustrations are part of an ongoing Shadowology project, which includes the inventive pieces shown here and a short film about a boy whose doodles come alive. You can shop prints, postcards, and other goods on Etsy, and keep an eye on Bal’s Instagram for information about upcoming exhibitions in London and Seoul.

 

 

 



Craft Design Food

Tools, Snacks, and Other Household Goods Become Clever Wearables by Nicole McLaughlin

February 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole McLaughlin, shared with permission

Peek into Nicole McLaughlin’s closet—or scroll through her Instagram—and you’ll find (literally) toasty winter hats, plush, pocketed work boots, and sandals that double as snacks. The New York-based designer is known for her playful edible apparel and brand-based conversions that turn household objects, logos, and individual servings of food into amusing and functional goods. Her latest creations include toothpaste tube slip-ons, LEGO shorts, and a vest designed with scent in mind. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 

 



Art

Outlandish Cat High-Jinks Become Adorable Miniatures Sculpted by Meetissai

December 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Meetissai

Fluffy catpuccinos, stealthy shorthairs squeezed into bizarre positions, and gymnastics-prone tabbies: Inspired by the real life antics of feline companions, Meetissai crafts tiny sculptures that preserve the ridiculous, most charming moments of cat life—these include fluffy characters flattened like rugs and cartoon-like distortions—as adorable miniatures. The artist often references popular memes and glitched photos, skewed perspectives, and serendipitous timing to craft the fantastically posed animals, and you can find an entire menagerie of epoxy creatures on Twitter and Instagram.