Smithsonian Magazine recently announced the finalists for its 11th Annual Photo Contest. 50,000 photographs submitted by photographers from 132 different countries were whittled down to the top 60. Ten photographs were selected from each of the six categories: the Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images, and the new category Mobile.
The finalists cover a remarkable variety of photography, but they all hold one thing in common: capturing the beauty and spirit of all walks of life that exist in nature, including animals, plant life, and people from across the globe. Whether the photos depict lush and sunlit rice terraces, a group of children joyously playing soccer, or a sea turtle gliding smoothly beneath the surface of the ocean, they all inspire a similar desire to venture forth into the world to see and experience as much as possible.
New York-based artist Michael Mapes continues to expand his portfolio of meticulously assembled artworks made of thousands of collected specimens. Each piece in the artist’s newest and laboriously executed collection consists of countless materials that have each been pinned to a board to form a Dutch portrait. His unique method of creation is an astonishingly time-consuming process that offers an intriguing perspective.
Whether it’s numerous bits of shredded photos, tiny gelatin capsules, glass vials, sequins, dried botanical matter or even insect pins, Mapes manages to turn the cluttered, random objects into a cohesive portrait. Altogether they create a collage of a regal figure from Dutch history, though it all depends on how close you are to the piece. From afar, one sees the unified image, yet up-close they seem like scattered, unrelated bits of materials.
Selections of Mapes’ work will be featured in a group exhibition titled Face to Face at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Montana starting March 20th.