Articles by Justin Crowe

We are in the awkward midst of Information Age puberty. I make art about technology's affect on culture and culture's affect on technology. I am an artist and writer living in the mountains of beautiful New Mexico. Follow my thoughts through sculpture on Facebook, Google+ or at www.JustinCroweStudio.com. I am Managing Editor of DesignFaves.
Art

Meandering rope installation visualizes natural paths

Janaina Mello Landini of Mello+Landini has been creating rope-map installations for the past 5 years as a part of an ongoing project. Her site-specific pieces map the path of individuals, systems, and society, showing the similarities between the seemingly different entities as well as visualizing different paths, related to the roots of a tree. As the rope weaves throughout the space it unwinds, showing how individual’s paths can be both interwoven and also incredibly independent. The piece ‘Ciclotrama 20 (wave)’ was shown at Zipper Galeria, in São Paolo, Brazil. ...
Photography

30 million-year-old formations magically illuminated by glow worms

Joseph Michael captured these dramatic images inside of a New Zealand cave illuminated by an eerie dim light. The light is naturally occurring, emitting from arachnocampa luminosa, a bioluminescent gnat larva commonly called glowworms. It is believed the light helps the glowworms find mates. Using long exposure photography, Joseph Michael has documented the 30 million-year-old limestone formations in a truly unique way. See more from his ‘Luminosity’ series here. ...
Art

Watch this cabinet with 100 hinges open in an incredible way

Sebastian Errazuriz Studio has designed this surprising cabinet that appears simple and minimal from the outside, but holds a brilliant surprise. It is fixed with 100 interconnected hinges and acts like a fluid wave when it’s opened and closed. “I am inviting people to look at one of the simplest forms of furniture design and to forget that we’re talking about furniture, instead to see it as a way of breaking a box. I love the idea of creating beautiful furniture; nevertheless I am much more interested in using the medium as an excuse to trigger people’s curiosity and create a connection with them.” Check out more of Sebastian Errazuriz Studio’s designs on their website. ...
Creativity

Miniature pottery that fits on the tip of your finger

Jon Almeda is spicing up the world of miniatures with his incredibly tiny pots, which he makes, glazes, and fires by hand. It is interesting to think of Almeda as your average local potter, but somewhat of a giant compared to his tiny wares. He creates is bowls, vases, and teapots on a custom-designed potter’s wheel that allows him the precision necessary to create the tiny one-inch pots. The amazingly detailed finished pieces are small enough to sit atop a toothbrush or on the tip of your finger. ...
Art

Exploding installation made up of 10,000 tiny wooden sticks

What looks like a digital explosion expanding from a random point in space has emerged in the Rice University Art Gallery. It is the intriguing work of Ben Butler who used over 10,000 sticks of poplar wood to create the site-specific art installation titled ‘Unbounded.’ “I was drawn to poplar because of its abundance, low cost, and its exceptional malleability,’ explains Butler. ‘All of these factors allow for freedom of process, as I could easily generate a seemingly endless supply of materials. the hand-pegged, three-dimensional cubic grid is something that evolved in my studio over years of contemplating and playing with these sticks. previous works utilized the grid, but the space of rice gallery allowed for a large-scale exploration of the potential of this unit.” You can see more of Butler’s work that explores complex systems emerging from simple processes on his website.  ...
Art

Clever bird-like installation places cameras on seaside rocks

Prague-based artist Jakub Geltner places modern technology in its natural environment… errrr…. in a natural environment. The clever installations appear as flocks of perched birds from far away, but as you approach you get quite a shock - the “birds” are actually sarcastically placed security cameras. Geltner‘s newest piece titled ‘Nest 05,’ was presented at the 2015 Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark. The artist has been producing these sculptures for four years using common technological items like the cameras and satellite dishes. Since his start, Geltner‘s work has been placed on a former elementary school, a church facade, a waterfront, and the skeleton structure of a former KV KSC (Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia).   ...
Art

Street artist creates crisp murals using just tape

We have seen all kinds of street art mediums, from clay to trash, but here is a new one. Buff Diss uses tape to create smooth murals on the walls of buildings around Melbourne, Australia. His art stands out against your typical spray-paint street art, but is much more temporary. Even with a short lifespan, Buff Diss is in demand, often getting commissioned by local bars and offices for his unique decoration. His imagery includes characters from Greek myths and covers a range of styles from geometric and modern, to classical figures. ...
Art

Long exposure light painting talks about modern urban life

Using long-exposure photography, Keow Wee Loong paints with light transforming figures and subway tunnels into surreal experiences. The artist only used his smartphone to create these stunning images, in which he had about seven minutes of exposure time to paint each composition. "'Rooted' is about modern society living in urban city, where we are constantly surrounded by artificial light," Loong tells The Creators Project. "The flames show anger around a woman tangled in artificial lights. Time vortex is about the feeling of being one with the speed of light. It shows the hectic lifestyle of people living in a big city, where we are constantly moving so fast that we forget the important things in our lives." Below you will see his ‘Time vortex’ series and his ‘Rooted’ series and you can check out his website for more.      ...
Creativity

Unsettling fake nails grabbing greasy, sticky foods. Perfect.

Photographer Amy Lombard and nail artist Natalie Pavloski teamed up on a disturbing project that pairs strange fake nails with greasy, sticky foods. The overarching sense of the images is appalling, bringing two distasteful things together in poorly-shot, blown out photographs. They are perfect. Lombard shoots the situations in her signature saturated style and shows greasy burgers, fried chicken, and slices of pizza. The work is a glimpse of low-brow, low-income, low-class culture brought to an artful high fashion stage. ...
Photography

Photos capture the extreme sadness of abandoned amusement parks

In a project that began in 2008, Michael Massaia has been photographing abandoned New Jersey amusement piers. The photos seem grim, depressed, and post-apocalyptic, as if they have been abandoned for centuries, but their history is actually much more recent. Many of the piers that Massaia shoots were destroyed in hurricane Sandy in 2012, where they have remained, slowly deteriorating. Massaia’s 'Afterlife,' series features mostly images from the FunTown and Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. His photos brilliantly capture the amplified sadness that an abandoned center of pleasure projects. To see more head to his website. ...
Art

Sculptures project an overwhelming sense of power and struggle

Germany-based artist Gregor Gaida pulls imagery from books and magazines to create his surreal sculptures packed with emotion and pain. His characters are often in the midst of a challenge, a mangled man with wood spikes, straining open-mouthed dogs, and a block of muscular horse legs, are just a few of his topics. “The found footage is often no more than an impulse that is no longer discernible in the further development of the shape," Gaida told Colossal. "Analogous to photography, my objects are three-dimensional snapshots. The characters are frozen in movement and often cropped along imaginary image borders. I transport the fragmented character of photos into the third dimension. Simultaneously, when dealing with color and options of shaping, painterly characteristics appear. Thus, the life-sized special interventions are formally attributed to sculpture but are equally part of painterly and photographic categories.” He uses pure, but...
Sculpture

Junk assemblage sculpture gives new look to everyday objects

Artist Martin Roller tinkers and plays with objects he finds on the streets of Berlin, Germany. He alters, ads, and combines things together leaving you expecting the unexpected and giving a fresh look at everyday items and junk. In his creative collection you will find things like banana-shoes, a hair brush made of pencils, and a tire-birthday cake. Each object is constructed in real life and then documented. They are cleverly photographed as colorful modern items, like posters ready to be displayed on a retail shop wall. See more on Roller’s website. ...
Video

Animated short film tells a story of a journey after death

Ever wonder what happens when you die? The creative animation studio And Maps And Plans explore the phenomenon in their playful short film titled 'Coda.' The story begins when a drunken man stumbles out of a bar and meets his fate by being struck by a car. The film then follows the character's ghost as he meets the grim reaper. The film was only recently released on Vimeo, but has won multiple awards and was even nominated for an Oscar. The story is an Irish tale that explores the mystery of death and the idea of always wanting just a little more time. ...
Creativity

Cross-stitched imagery makes surprisingly modern body art

Many tattoos have a style that can be seen as cliche, so ones that are strikingly different catch our attention. These tattoos by Eva Krbdk, a tattoo artist based in Ankara, Turkey, take inspiration from the traditional craft of cross-stitching for a surprisingly modern look on the body. Her work ends up looking like a hybrid of cross-stitched thread and digital art. The small pieces seem to highlight the "X" marks, while the larger pieces become impressive with their organized patterns and colors. Check out more of Krbdk's work on her Instagram and for more impressive tattoos check out these fine-line works of body art. ...
Art

Grim installations trick you in to exploring your nightmares

Swiss artist Fabian Bürgy creates poetry with his sculpture. It is pure, minimal, and direct, taking advantage of the sterile perfection of modern art galleries to wreak havoc in the quietest way. You may enter one of his exhibitions and find a massive crack through the gallery floor (or what looks like one) or a hovering cloud near the corner of the room. Bürgy’s work is colorless and feels natural to the gallery environment, a rare sensation for art. His installations are human-scale and quickly take you as close as you can get to an alternate world, one that is playful but grim. The crack in the floor, the ooze seeping from the doorway, and the black cloud are all slowly destroying your reality, a physically manifested nightmare that you never saw coming. ...
Art

Sculpted shoe designs push the boundaries of fashion as art

Montreal, Canada, based artist Anastasia Radevich is pushing the boundaries of fashion as art with her collection of hand sculpted shoes. Her series titled 'Alchemy' draws on the definition of the word, exploring the "philosophy and practice of liberating a physical substance from its "fixed" physical properties." Her unique 'Alchemy' collection references sea creatures, biology, death, and life and her past series cover an even broader range of themes, many of which can bee seen below. Head to her website to stay up to date on all her new designs. ...
Design

Chairs and tables are grown on this bizarre furniture farm

The bizarre UK-based furniture company Full Grown is taking a new approach to furniture making by growing all their pieces in the shape of the items. Full Grown has no need for traditional wood working tools thanks to their strange farm in Wirksworth, England, where Mr. Munro has rows upon rows of chairs and tables growing in the open air. The secret to his miraculous grown furniture is in his special technique of guiding young saplings of willow, oak, ash and sycamore trees into predetermined shapes as they grow. The designer expects to harvest the furniture next year and have the pieces available for sale in 2017. The chairs will be priced at $4,800 while lampshades will be sold closer to $1,500.   ...
Art

Aerial photos show beautiful geometry from above

Baltimore artist Alexander Heilner has had a fascination with aerial views since he was a youngster. “As the child of an airline employee,” he says “I clocked countless hours with my face pressed against the windows of various aircraft, or scrutinizing maps of my next destination.” Now, as an adult, he hires small planes around the world to help document beautiful compositions that can only be seen from the sky. His focus is on subtle patterns and geometry that seem to unintentionally interact with the surrounding landscape in an elegant way. Heilner has photographed landscapes worldwide including in Florida, Nevada, Dubai, and Norway. ...
Video

Watch these plants explode and spray seeds at a startling velocity

The internet has provided access to some incredible information so I am always surprised when I come across something as unbelievably cool as this video by the Smithsonian Channel.  In an episode of 'Amazing Plants' they feature 'Unbelievable footage of Plants Exploding' along with an explanation of the bizarre occurrence. The video is exactly what you think, it highlights 3 plants that build up pressure inside overtime and then burst, sending seeds about at a startling velocity. The best is by far the cucumber at the end. Something about plants doing animal things... just gives me the creeps!   ...
Art

Hammered steel animal heads infused with emotion

Selçuk Yılmaz (previously) is a Turkish sculptor with a unique style that has captivated an online audience. He takes strips of custom-formed hammered steel and welds them together to create expressive animal heads. As a result of Yılmaz's process his heavy steel sculptures end up looking deceptively light, like fabric. In these three new pieces, Yılmaz has created the heads of a lynx, tiger, and fox. There is even a human head inside of the lion sculpture like a myth of a human spirit in animal form. Follow his newest projects on his website.     ...
Art

Contorted bodies are exposed, awkward and… empowering

Bogdan Rata's figure sculptures are uncomfortable, exposed, painful, awkward, and insecure. He makes his contorted and misshapen figures out of polyester, synthetic resin, paint, and metal and decorates them with bright colors reminiscent of plastic products. They do a brilliant job of relating to the viewer in our often life-long journey of feeling comfortable in our evolving skin. The Romanian artist's sculptures, though, are at the pinnacle of rawness, letting pain, gravity, and mutation take over, giving the viewer a better perspective of their own body by being the extreme situation. Take a look at Rata's figures below and ponder how they make you feel about your own body... ...
Furniture

Functional Logs bursting with a mysterious interior glow

Duncan Meerding's logs are the bursting doors to interdimensional travel. The Tasmania-based designer adds bright yellow LEDs to sustainably sourced logs giving a surreal effect of a shining inner energy. Meerding utilizes natural cracks in the wood for a realistic look convincingly paired with a dream-like effect. His lamps can be used as stools, tables, or simply a light accessory and are available in stores across Australia. Check out more of his eerie furniture on his website. ...
Interior Design

Couple builds astonishing swirling walls from stone

Artists Andreas Kunert and Naomi Zettl are master wall-builders, stacking stones in seemingly impossible patterns in public spaces and in people's homes. The couple works out of Vancouver Island, Canada,  and uses smooth rocks to create large-scale swirling compositions. “Our aspiration in coming together, is to create sacred spaces, portals and other connective works of art that allow our clients and viewers a visual glimpse of the other-side, what is invisible to our human eyes but felt within.” Their company Ancient Art of Stone has constructed walls worldwide and have limited edition prints of their most popular works available in their online store. ...
Art

Mechanized sculpture uses magnets to draw intricate patterns in sand

Artist Bruce Shapiro has been experimenting with computerized motion control for about 25 years and specializes in making devices that could be seen as modern day Zen sand gardens. He calls his inventions ‘Sisyphus Machines’ which are shallow trays filled with sand, a metal ball, and underside robotics. The mechanism under the tray moves the metal balls in intricate patterns using magnets, resulting in mandala-like patterns carved in the sand. His impressive machines have been installed publicly around the world including Switzerland and Australia, but a tabletop consumer version is in the works. If you are interested in owning one join Shapiro’s mailing list here.   ...
Art

9 GIFs of people going through depressingly repetitive acts of pleasure

  The blog it’s no biggie has a seemingly endless collection of GIFs animating simple ideas in entertaining ways. This is the work of Thoka Maer who has been adding her addicting illustrations to the blog for more than 3 years. She animates the overlooked moments in life like the repetition of jumping on a trampoline or the momentary joy of trying to grab a toy with a claw game. At first they all seems very joyous, but after you see a few, there is an underlying sense of sadness in the robotic looping of banal scenarios. The blog is a whole collection, a whole culture, of individuals going through happy motions without finding happiness. ...
Art

Startling portraits imagine distorted bones beneath human flesh

Istanbul-based artist Can Pekdemir imagines what human faces would look like if their bone structures were radically distorted, but flesh still covered them flawlessly. The designer has created these incredibly disturbing portraits using photography and digital manipulation. The realism is the most startling aspect of the images, showing everything down to the individual hairs and creases in skin. Pekdemir is a full-time instructor in the Department of Visual Communication Design at Istanbul Bilgi University and if you liked this series check out his "hairy alien figures" here. ...
Architecture

A vacation paradise hides inside this unsuspecting airplane hanger

In a former Soviet airfield 60 km south of Berlin, there is what looks like a paradise micro-world filled with beaches, waterslides, ideal weather, and LOTS of vacationers. Opened in 2004, The Tropical Islands resort spans 710,000 sq. ft and is a surreal vacation gem in the center of Europe. From the outside, it looks like your average airport hanger, but stepping through the massive doors reveals an entirely unexpected environment. The space is open all day, every day, and is kept at a perfect 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Tropical Islands can accommodate 6,000 people at a time with endless fun and luxury activities on hand. Take a look at the space below and ogle at the magnitude of this strange modern-day paradise.    ...
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