anatomy

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Illustration Science

Precise Lines and Stipples Detail Tattoos of Exquisite Scientific Studies by Michele Volpi

March 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Michele Volpi, shared with permission

Bologna-based artist Michele Volpi (previously) inoculates his monochromatic tattoos of anatomical figures and biological diagrams with a dose of the surreal. Working in black ink, Volpi renders exquisite scientific illustrations across botany, astronomy, physiology, and chemistry with precise detail. He uses intricate linework and stippled shading to create realistic renderings of human skeletal systems and weather cycles, while skewing the scale or pairing seemingly disparate subject matters to achieve the more unusual qualities.

Although Volpi’s books are closed at the moment, he plans to announce new slots this spring—keep an eye on his Instagram for specifics—and he also has prints and shirts available in his shop.

 

 

 



Craft Science

Hand-Blown Glass Vessels by Kiva Ford Are Exacting Miniatures of Scientific and Household Goods

March 3, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Kiva Ford, shared with permission

Artist Kiva Ford (previously) spends his days shaping minuscule vessels for chemists, engineers, and physicists. He manages the custom scientific glass shop at the University of Notre Dame, where he’s tasked with creating unique instruments designed for specific research projects. The exacting quality of these pieces is reflected in all of his hand-blown works, which range from Klein bottles and flasks to vases, pitchers, and jars holding anatomical sculptures in miniature.

COVID-19 increased the demand for his wares, Ford tells Colossal, and he currently has a number of colorful pieces available on Etsy. On March 19, he’ll be hosting a demonstration of nesting a small vessel inside a larger, identical work at the International Flameworking Conference in New Jersey. You can also find videos and images documenting his process on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Polished Feet and Ears Emerge from Rugged Hunks of Marble in Dorothy Cross's Sculptures

March 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Blue Dive” (2021), sodalite, 70 x 30 x 30 centimeters. Photo by Stephen White & Co., courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery. All images shared with permission

In Dorothy Cross’s “Blue Dive,” a pair of feet with curled, spread toes breach a rugged fragment of vibrant stone streaked with white veins. The sculpture casts the Connemara-based Cork-born artist’s own extremities into a block of rare Brazilian sodalite, a nod to the fleeting nature of human time in comparison to the longevity and enduring qualities of Earth’s resources.

The rich, stone carving is just one anatomical piece in Cross’s solo exhibition titled Damascus Rose, which is open through April 14 at London’s Frith Street Gallery. From a sleek, tiled walkway to a pillow bearing a single ear, many of the sculptures on view are chiseled into the red-hued titular stone and were born out of the artist’s experience in Carrara, Italy, a region known for its marble.

Like her broader oeuvre, these new pieces consider the body’s relationship to time. Cross’s chronology is lengthy, spanning from the biblical stories of St. Paul to the current crises in Syria that confront “the horror of human evacuation and the thwarted attempts by thousands forced to migrate across oceans to supposedly safer lands,” a statement says. Other works like the uncanny “Red Baby” are more personal and are modeled after the artist’s childhood pillow, portraying an ear protruding from the center where an impression might otherwise be.

 

“Red Baby” (2021), Damascus Rose, 40 x 40 x 10 centimeters. Photo by Stephen White & Co., courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery

Earlier projects fall under similar themes of change and subsequent loss, including a 2019 sculpture in which a small shark emerges from a white marble flooring. The sprawling piece links the marine animal’s 400-million year lineage to the more recent development of the stone and addresses the threat of over-fishing and finning to the current population.

Because of its size, “Red Erratic,” the imposing block topped with multiple pairs of overlapping feet, is unable to be displayed in Frith Street Gallery and instead will be on view during the next year at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in Cornwall. Cross’s site includes a vast archive of her works across mediums, and it’s worth taking a look at her Instagram to view the carving process.

 

“ROOM” (2019), Carrara marble. Image courtesy of Kerlin Gallery

“Red Erratic” at Studio Carlo Nicoli, Carrara, Italy. Photo courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery

“Red Road” (2021). Photos courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery

“Red Road” (2021). Photo by Ben Westoby, courtesy of Frith Street Gallery

“Listen Listen” (2019), Greek marble. Image courtesy of Kerlin Gallery

 

 



Art Food

Realistic Garnishes Top Sushi and Other Fishy Sculptures Carved Entirely from Stone

February 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Mari Kohei, courtesy of Mari Hamahira, shared with permission

Mari Hamahira’s sushi appears like tender slices of tuna and creamy sea urchin, but its texture is nothing like the soft, rice-based bites. From rough slabs of stone, the artist carves lifelike nigiri and rolls of gunkan-maki that are assembled into deceptively realistic sculptures and garnished with scallion rings, wasabi, and tiny mounds of roe. The coloring of each work is derived entirely from the material’s natural pigments, whether through smoothing and polishing or combining powdered granules into new hues.

Mixed within the delectable offerings are more unsettling pieces that include human body parts like fingers, brains, and ears. A critique of consumption and wastefulness, the series is in response to the artist’s work in the seafood industry, where he witnessed creatures harvested for their meat and then subsequently thrown away without being eaten.

Hamahira’s sculptures are on view through February 27 at Joshibi University of Art and Design, and you can see much of his stone-carving process on Twitter. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Art

Human Anatomy and Decomposing Flora Unveil a Surreal Mix of Dreams and Feelings in Rafael Silveira's Portraits

December 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rafael Silveira, shared with permission

In Rafael Silveira’s Unportraits, magenta curls and slick, turquoise coifs frame the bizarre scenarios unfolding in a subject’s mind. The Brazilian artist, who gravitates towards oil paints in shades of pink and blue, translates a character’s psyche through wilting flowers, gashes in the earth’s surface, and parrots with feathers that drip like wet paint. Anatomical elements like singular eyes, hearts sprouting veins, and twisting brain matter bolster the unearthly qualities of each work, which meld flora and fauna into a surreal mishmash. “From inside, we are a strange mix of dreams, thoughts, feelings, and human meat,” Silveira tells Colossal. “I think these portraits are not persons but moods.”

Peculiar situations surround the subjects as their sweaters melt like ice cream and spiders spin webs from the parched ground supplanting their necks, a visual that evokes thick wrinkles associated with aging. These fleeting actions are part of the artist’s reference to paper ephemera and the ways thoughts and feelings decompose over time. “This rich mental energy is like an invisible raw element, part of the immaterial alchemy of my works,” he says. “We can’t control what life brings us, but we can decide how to react. We make these small decisions all the time. These characters evoke the power of reaction.”

Silveira is based in Curitiba, Brazil, and has his work slated for a January group exhibition at London’s Dorothy Circus Gallery and in March in an immersive solo show at Farol Santander in São Paulo. Until then, pick up a print and keep an eye on his Instagram for new additions to his portrait series, which will be on view in July at Choque Cultural Gallery.

 

 

 



Art History Science

Anatomy and History Collide in Borosilicate Glass Sculptures by Kit Paulson

October 19, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Lungs, 2020. Flame-worked borosilicate glass. All photos © Kit Paulson, shared with permission

In a lovely clash of anatomy and antiquity, artist Kit Paulson (previously) forms impossibly fragile objects entirely from glass. By referencing historical artworks through lace patterns, or traversing the structures of blood veins and bones found in the human body, she externalizes the internal and reveals hidden visceral structures all around us. She pushes the idea further still by creating wearable sculptures like masks and gloves.

Paulson works primarily with slender tubes of borosilicate glass heated with a torch through a method called flameworking. “Even with its sterility and stability, glass must be manipulated by hand, relying on very the physical, muscle memory of the hands which is invisibly powered by blood and bone,” she shares with Colossal.

The artist just arrived at Bild-Werk Frauenau in Germany, an international forum for glass and visual arts where she’ll teach for the next 6 months. You can explore more of her work on Instagram and see dozens of her small glass objects available on Etsy.