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38 posts tagged France

Behold the awesomeness that is Long Ma the fire-breathing dragon-horse, the latest creation by French artist François Delarozière and his art production company La Machine. The 46-ton kinetic sculpture stands almost 40 feet tall and features articulated limbs that can gallop, rear up, and fold beneath him when he wants to sit down. His neck rises and falls and his wonderfully expressive face features eyes that open and close. Best of all, his chest swells from the pressure building in his lungs before he exhales fantastic plumes of smoke from his nostrils and jets of fire from his mouth.

This marvelous interactive sculpture was just debuted in the French city of Nantes and will soon be traveling to Beijing where he’ll be presented in October as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China. Long Ma is based on a creature from Chinese mythology, Longma, a fabled winged horse with dragon scales, and will be the hero of a performance entitled “Long Ma Jing Shen” or “The Spirit of the Horse Dragon” during which he’ll face off against a giant spider.

Click here and here for video footage of Long Ma in all his fiery glory.

Visit the La Machine Facebook page for additional images.

[via Kotaku:Screenburn and Laughing Squid]

Check out these awesomely cute and sleepy pieces of topiary in the Jardin des Plantes de Nantes, a botanical garden located in Nantes, France. Created by French artist and children’s book author Claude Ponti, they’re part of the “Journey to Nantes" (Le Voyage à Nantes) art festival. These delightful topiary sculptures are just one stop on the festival’s 10-mile-long trail of public artwork on display throughout Nantes.

Photos by Molaire & Tentacules, Les petits nantais, Jean-Sebastian Evrard and Big City Life Nantes respectively. (The sleepy bird in the bottom image is from the 2013 festival.)

[via Neatorama]

Today the Department of Awesome Anamorphic Artwork presents a new piece by French artist Bernard Pras (previously featured here). It’s an anamorphic assemblage portrait of Ferdinand Cheval, a French postman who, starting in April 1879, spent thirty-three years of his life building Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”) in Hauterives in southeastern France.

The palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture. And it’s where Pras’ portrait of Cheval is currently on display. We’ve included a photo of the Cheval himself (see above) to help illustrate how accurate this piece is. It was constructed using objects found around the palace itself and is actually much larger than it first appears.

Click here for a short video to get an even better look at this remarkable installation.

[via Junkculture and boredpanda]

We think break dancing is so awesome that we made it one of the subjects of our old series of Super Awesome Trading Cards. Created by French videomaker Tomson and entitled No Limit, this short video is one of the most captivating demonstrations of this acrobatic form of street dancing that we’ve ever seen.

Set to the cinematic sound of “Adagio for Tron” by Daft Punk, French breakdancer Bboy Marco, one of the finest breakdancers in the world, dances in the middle of a Parisian shopping mall. To our surprise, some shoppers walk right past him as though he were invisible. But others are stopped in their tracks by Bboy Marco’s awesome moves.

Take it from us, this simple description does little justice to the athleticism, artistry, and beauty of this short video. It’s well worth a couple minutes of your time.

[via Kuriositas]

This year marks the 81st Fete du Citron à Menton, the annual Lemon Festival in Menton, France (previously featured here). The theme for this year’s festival is “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. Over 300 artists worked with 145 tons of citrus fruit to create a variety of awesome sculptures inspired by Jules Verne’s classic 19th century science fiction novel about the adventures of Captain Nemo. We’re particularly fond of the giant octopus and squid, but the Nautilus, whale and Nemo himself are pretty great too.

Photos by Lionel Cironneau, Sebastien Nogier, and Olivier Anrigo respectively.

[via NY Daily News]

A bird ballet from Neels CASTILLON on Vimeo.

Last year we shared an awesome video of a breathtaking encounter with a massive flock (or murmuration) of starlings flying over the River Shannon in Ireland. Now we get to experience the same amazing phenomenon in a different place though a different set of eyes.

Filmmaker Neels Castillon shot this enchanting short video in Marseille, France while waiting at the airport of Provence. Entitled A Bird Ballet, we watch in awe as impossibly vast flocks of European starlings move across the darkening sky in ever-changing organic shapes. It’s one of nature’s most dazzling displays.

"The mesmerizing act is typically seen at dusk throughout Europe, between November and February. Each evening, shortly before sunset, starlings can be seen performing breathtaking aerial manoeuvres, before choosing a place to roost for the night. These range in number from a few hundred to tens of thousands of birds. Murmurations exhibit strong spatial coherence and show extremely synchronized maneuvers, which seem to occur spontaneously, or in response to an approaching threat."

[via Faith is Torment]

For a spellbinding series of photos entitled Géométrie de l’impossible (Impossible Geometry), 21-year-old French photographer Fanette Guilloud created site-specific anamorphic paintings in locations in Toulouse, Bordeaux and the French Alps near Lyon. Bold 3D geometric shapes appear to emerge from dilapidated walls and hang in mid-air.

"Guilloud employed a method of anamorphic projection similar to the work of Felice Varini [previously featured here] to create the illusion of a painting superimposed on an image, when in fact there is no digital trickery whatsoever. The image is actually painted on numerous surfaces at varying depths and only appears like what you see here from a particular vantage point.”

Visit Colossal to view more examples of Fanette Guilloud’s awesome anamorphic artwork.

French street artists Ella & Pitr, also known as Papier Peintres, have created a playful series of site-specific anamorphic paintings entitled Anamorphoses.

Dilapidated spaces were transformed into dreamlike scenes containing giant anamorphic picture frames. With people posing in front of them, the frames appear to be enormous portals into vibrantly painted or wallpapered rooms - a juxtaposition that makes the viewer fee as though they’ve just stepped into Alice’s Wonderland.

"The artists completed this project as part of a campaign for the National Dramatic Center of St Etienne, choosing locations that they refer to as "forgotten parts of the city." Working with the people of Etienne who volunteered to pose for their pictures, the pair managed to accumulate a collection of whimsical portraits in the otherwise dead spaces."

Visit My Modern Metropolis to view more of Ella & Pitr’s awesome Anamorphoses series.

Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich (previously featured here) created this awesome large-scale art installation as part of the 2012 Journey to Nantes art festival in Nantes, Frances. Entitled Monte-Meuble, l’Ultime Déménagement (Monte Furniture, Ultimate Moving), the surreal outdoor installation depicts a mundane scene taking place in seemingly impossible circumstances. A section of the facade of a building is impossibly suspended high in the air while an electric ladder leans against it, paused in the middle of moving pieces of furniture from the open window down to the ground.

Photos by Martin Argyroglo

[via Neatorama]