Thursday, November 24, 2011

Doily Science

Sometimes I neglect to mention artists who strike me as well-known, or blogosphere favorites. But, I would be remiss to neglect Lisa Solomon's 'doily drawings' which are at the cross-section of art, science and needlework, as they are both beautiful and very much in keeping with magpie&whiskeyjack's favorites things.

doily brain: 2006, coloured pencil and embroidery on duralar, 12 x 9 inches

doily lungs: 2006, coloured pencil and embroidery on duralar, 12 x 9 inches

Solomon writes, "when I started drawing doilies I realized that en masse they reminded me of internal organs.... these doily body drawings represent the 4 things I think you need to make art: your lungs, heart, brain, and guts." She's also used doilies and colour pencils to show beautiful versions of the chemical structure of toxins and the geometry of viruses. More recently she's moved on to even more sculpture representations of molecules by combining the crochet with glass balls.

carbon tetrachloride, 2007
colored pencil, acrylic, graphite, watercolor and embroidery on duralar
10" x 10"

chloro benzine, 2007
colored pencil, acrylic, graphite, watercolor and embroidery on duralar
16 3/4" x 20 1/2"

crochet doilies on glass
3.5 x 8.5 x 8.75 inches
8.9 x 21.6 x 22.2 cm

As well as anatomy, chemistry, toxicology, and microbiology, she's also tackled deforestation, tanks and rifles (which would fit in with the craftivism post) and a variety of domestic themes. Her work includes the aim of fusing and 'mending' masculine icons with traditionally feminine crafts. You should check out her extensive portfolio.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I wrote previously about my favorite book which I've never seen in person (or, should I say, in analogue form), the Codex Seraphinianius, by written and illustrated by Italian architect Luigi Serafini from 1976 to 1978. It's a visual encyclopedia, of a foreign, paradoxical yet familiar, world, complete with its own language and obscure meanings. Today, I bring you more art which reminds me of this particular brand of marvelousness; personal wonderland wunderkammer.

English artist and illustrator Ellis Nadler describes his "pictures as key frames or storyboards for some sort of bizarre movie. Or perhaps as stage sets for an opera I shall write some day." The "Scenes from the Speonk Archipelago" (one of which appears above) and gloriously mysterious and surreal Tarot-like 'Cards of Wu' in particular, make me think of Serafini. Do yourself a favour and peruse his portfolio!

from "Scenes from the Speonk Archipelago"

from "The Cards of Wu"

from "War"

Finland-based Vladimir Stankovic also creates bizzare, otherwordly wunderkammer (see in particular his Biophilia set), strange yet somehow familiar characters and a sort of personal mythology.

Beautiful feeling*
Beautiful feeling

The Mushroom Princess
The Mushroom Princess

Underneath the Reflection - Her Majesty
Underneath the Reflection - Her Majesty

"The Cursed Forest" characters/paper dolls
The Cursed Forest

Local Toronto favorite, illustrator Nicholas Di Genova (currently being exhibited at Galerie Dukan Hourdequin, Paris, but often found here in Toronto at Magic Pony or Narwhal) has invented this incredible, detailed, pseudo-scientific diagram style of illustration, complete with his own imaginary wunderkammer of composite creatures and seemingly obessive compulsive sets of flora and fauna - which has to be seen to be understood. He's quite prolific, so you should expect to spend some time at his site. Consider 'Angler Tortoise', 'Chluthu Toad' and '211 Herbivores' below, but do visit his site for a better look!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I found this inspiring. I am a fan of murals and graffiti. Who doesn't love variations on the theme of the matryoshka, or Russian nesting doll? Or braids and rainbows? Mostly, the film makes this collaboration between Supakitch and Koralie, working on their installation Euphorie for the Metroplastique boutique exhibit in Paris, seems natural, organic and spontaneous. (via HonestlyWTF and fubiz)

SUPAKITCH & KORALIE "Euphorie" Paris from Raphaël Hache on Vimeo.

Or, for that matter, I do love calligraphy, Japanese art, anthropomorphic animals and paper boats too (from CULTURE MUSEUM // GÖTEGORG+).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Olympic Art

The BBC News website has a article on and collection of photos of the 12 posters commissioned for the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. I could not help but share one by Bridget Riley, because it reminded me of the magpie&whiskeyjack banner I created (in 2009), though horizontal, different aspect ratio, more muted and uniform in colour selection. Still, though I'm new to her art, there's a certain coincidental something akin.

"Bridget Riley is celebrated for her optically vibrant paintings. The horizontal lines in Rose Rose (pictured) indicate the direction of the Olympic swimming lanes or athletic tracks. Riley, who began her career using only black and white patterns, started to experiment with colour in 1967, the same year she began painting stripes"

See the rest of the posters here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Destino: Dalí meets Disney

Beginning in 1945 Salvador Dalí spent eight months, with Disney story board artist John Hench making storyboards for a short film called Destino but the project was abandoned. Rediscovered in 1999 by Roy E. Disney (nephew to Walt), the film project was completed by director Dominique Monfréy at Disney Studios France, 58 years after it began, by 2003. They were able to encorporate 17 seconds of completed film, and seek advice from Hench and Dalí's widow Gala.

I found the baseball player the most unexpected thing in this intriguing surrealist animated short.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Day of the Dead

Mound by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

This lovely short film by Allison Schulnik, stop-motion, claymation even, is so beautiful and ephemeral, with its dancing skeletons and trembling ghosts. Plus, it feature Scott Walker's 'It's Raining Today' which really sets the tone. The motion of the clay is beautifully choreographed to the music (though she identifies Walker by his birth name, Noel Scott Engel). (via TeenAngster)


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