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Top: “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” (1675) by Mattia Preti. Bottom: Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photo. All images courtesy of ArtButMakeItSports, shared with permission
What do an injured Kelley O’Hara and “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” by Italian Baroque artist Mattia Preti have in common? The exasperated soccer star and 1675 religious masterpiece find unexpected synchronicity thanks to LJ Rader, the creator behind the wildly popular meme account ArtButMakeItSports.
Since 2015, Rader has been cleverly pairing photos from professional sports with art historical works. What began as a personal project that involved visits to museums and some of the week’s most intensely emotional images from soccer matches or basketball games has evolved into Twitter and Instagram accounts with considerable followings. “At first, it was starting with the art and then thinking about what it could be if it were sports,” he says. “As time went on, I realized the ones that resonated the most were the mashups—and using sports images that were in the moment/news cycle played the best.” A running Megan Rapinoe might imitate Apollo chasing Daphne, for example, or a long, lean leg might evoke that of an Alberto Giacometti sculpture.
Left: A photo of Bill Russell by Dick Raphael. Right: Patrick Henry (1775), Panel 1 from “Struggle Series” by Jacob Lawrence (1955)
Beyond the obvious visual similarities, though, Rader’s mashups tend to go a step further as they masterfully draw the two seemingly diametric fanbases and cultures together. One comparison features an image of the late Celtics player Bill Russell and Jacob Lawrence’s Struggle Series, for example, because both the basketball great and American painter were highly active in civil rights work.
Now numbering upwards of 1,000, the all-star pairings are an internet sensation in their own right, and ultimately, Rader’s goal is to dive into “what art means and (explore) the intersection of culture between two sides—art and sports—that rarely meet.”
Top: Photo by Tom Stillman. Bottom: “Christ Healing the Blindman” (1725-30) by Gerardus Duyckinck I
Right: “Neptune and Amphitrite” (1691-94) by Sebastiano Ricci
Top: “Apollo pursuing Daphne” (1616-18) by Domenichino and assistants. Bottom: Photo by Nikita
Right: “L’Homme qui marche II” (1960) by Alberto Giacometti
Bottom: “Abstraktes Bild (649-2)” (1987) by Gerhard Richter
Photo by Sinna Nasseri
More photos from recent issues of our magazine. Excited for more issues, coming soon.
If you have been wondering why there hasn’t been much action here lately it is because we have been moving. Hamburger Eyes is now based in San Diego. Settling in and getting comfy is taking longer than normal, but know for sure that new issues are on the way and that these new issues will be coming in hot, like maybe multiple issues in the next few weeks. Maybe.
Photo by Gabe Campo
Photo by Zach Rubin
Photo by Louis Fabries
Photo by Holly Bailey
All images © Jochen Gerner, shared with permission
Lines and basic shapes are the basis of Jochen Gerner’s distinct, almost paradoxical style that’s sometimes referred to as “abundant minimalism.” The French artist, who lives and works between Lorraine and Burgundy, draws birds and dogs that are sparse in form and yet rich in color and texture: checkered patterns overlaid with a chaotic array of markings create a shaggy fur coat, while variegated patches of feathers distinguish the tail from wing or breast.
In a note to Colossal, Gerner shares that he’s working primarily with vintage schoolbooks, a substrate that serves as much as a vessel for his drawings as it does a limitation on the work itself. He explains:
I like to work with simple shapes and lines. The simplest images are often the most effective and direct…The paper texture and format of the notebooks are important to me. The very graphic and varied lines allow me to integrate them by transparency in my drawings. It is a constraint from the start but it helps me to structure the forms and it is an integral part of the drawing.
If you’re in France, you can see Gerner’s works at La Métairie Bruyère in Parly, Anne Barrault Gallery in Paris, and Musée Buffon in Montbard. Otherwise, head to Instagram to explore more of his stylized characters. You also might like Albert Chamillard’s crosshatched geometries.
Photo by Pejac. All images © Pejac, shared with permission
The entrance to a building housing some of Aberdeen’s most vulnerable residents and charity organizations is the site of the latest work by Pejac (previously). Comprised of minuscule figures congregating as a welcome mat, the streetside intervention confronts the hardships people face when relegated to society’s margins. The idea is that they’re “tired of being stepped over,” the artist says, and that there’s hope, dignity, and pride to be found when we’re united.
Photo by Brian Tallman
Photo by Clarke Joss
Photo by Pejac
Photo by Pejac
All images © Archi-Union Architects
Daoming Town in Sichuan Province, China, is known for its bamboo weaving traditions. “The practice,” says Archi-Union Architects, “is more than a rural industry. It is an integral part of the way families in the town spend time together and how neighbors visit with each another.”
One of the firm’s projects titled “In Bamboo” is an homage to this rich local custom. Constructed in just 52 days back in 2018, the multi-use pavilion stretches 1,800 square meters and contains space for exhibitions, gatherings, and dining. The steel and wood structure supports a twisting, infinity-shaped roof of small ceramic tiles, which slopes down near a reflective pool at the center of the building.
Evoking the brushstroke of a traditional Chinese landscape painting and situated amongst a bamboo forest, the Mobius-style design is meant to capture the relationships between interior and exterior and heritage and innovation. “The new definition offered for traditional paradigms and the rethinking of rural and urban issues provide a lens for thinking about the meaning of architecture in the present time,” said lead architect Philip F. Yuan.
Find more photos of “In Bamboo,” in addition to an archive of Archi-Union’s projects, on its site.
“Why did they do this to us” (2022). All images © Diane Yevtukh, shared with permission
Ukrainian artist Diana Yevtukh draws inspiration from her surroundings by carefully situating cornucopian floral arrangements made of thread in the hollows of trees. Based in Lviv, her work has assumed more urgency since the invasion of her home country by Russian forces earlier this year, and pieces like “Why did they do that to us” draw on her background in photography and design to spread the crucial message that Ukraine remains under threat.
The artist’s meticulous needlework pieces feature a medley of vibrant flowers like poppies, daisies, and sunflowers, which nestle into the surfaces and appear to effervesce from within. Her works are often juxtaposed with rough or decaying surfaces like old stone walls or rusting metal to “heal” the damage, emphasizing the possibility for beauty and strength in unexpected places.
You can find more of Yevtukh’s work on Instagram.
“And the spring will come, and night will be gone”
“Life is breaking out of the mysterious hideaways”
“Stitch by stitch, cracked and forgotten wall blossoms with new life”
“No cage can hold the radiance of hope”
All images © David Cass, shared with permission
In the multi-media works of Athens-based artist David Cass, memories and tokens of bygone eras are assembled into compositions that evoke both nostalgia for the past and serve as a reminder of fluctuations in nature due to a changing climate. Cass collects a variety of items like old letters from flea markets, matchboxes, and tins, especially those associated with safekeeping. In some pieces, he accumulates small boxes into larger vessels like cabinet drawers, while in others, the item itself serves as the canvas for original paintings responding to the surface.
An ongoing theme in Cass’ practice is the way attitudes toward nature have shifted in recent generations, describing in a profile about his creative process that “ours is the first epoch in which the natural world has been seen as a problem, as itself in danger.” A recent exhibition called Where Once the Waters, which comprised dozens of tiny painted tins and was shown during the Venice Biennale, focused on a shifting horizon line. Water plays a central role in the connections he draws between past and present, highlighting the changeable nature of the sea and how oceans are rising around the world. A motif of flowing lines signifying the movement of the liquid appears in many of his works, responding to the texture, scale, and patina of each unique object.