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7 Contemporary Mosaic Artists Keeping the Ancient Art Form Alive

Mosaic Art

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From Ancient Greek artifacts to pre-Renaissance biblical murals, Islamic architecture, modernist designs, and even subway stations, mosaics have been a popular art form for centuries. The timeless craft involves arranging colorful fragments of tiles or glass into patterns, pictures, and other decorative motifs that are then held together with grout or adhesive. The earliest examples were found in a Mesopotamian temple from the 3rd millennium BCE, and were made of ivory, seashells, and stones. The resulting abstract artworks laid the groundwork for mosaic art made thousands of years later, and the craft is still practiced today.

Many contemporary artists are reinventing the ancient art and pushing the boundaries of their chosen materials. While some artists put a modern spin on the styles of the past, others are creating their own medium by combining sculpture, installation, and even digital art with the aesthetics of the age-old art form.

Discover the work of some of today’s mosaic artists below, and if you’re feeling inspired, learn how you can make your own colorful creations.

Check out the work of these 7 contemporary mosaic artists inspired by the ancient art form.

 

Nick Misani

 

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New York-based designer Nick Misani combines his love of typography with his skills in digital art to create a growing collection of travel-inspired mosaic art. The series, titled Fauxsaics, features different city names set against patterned tile backgrounds. Each digitally created design looks like real decorative flooring and represents each location according to style and color palette. London is visualized as a balanced, black-and-white pattern, while sunny Los Angeles manifests as Art Deco-inspired typography and a rosy-pink color scheme.

You can buy prints from Misani’s Fauxsaics series on Society6.

 

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Jason Dussault

 

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By combining tile, paint, grout, resin and vintage porcelain, Vancouver and New York-based artist Jason Dussault crafts portraits of pop icons and superheroes. Each shattered piece is meticulously combined like colorful brushstrokes in a pointillism painting, resulting in incredible abstract works full of tone and detail. A labor of love, Dussault spends around 2-4 weeks on each large-scale piece, showing true dedication to his art.

 

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Jim Bachor

 

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Artist Jim Bachor adds beauty to the pavements of Chicago by transforming potholes into colorful mosaics. He uses tiny hand-cut pieces of Italian glass and marble to create various motifs—such as flowers and food—that stand out against the surrounding gray, cracked pavements.

“Trying to leave your mark in this world fascinates me. Ancient history fascinates me,” says Bachor in his artist statement. “An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? I find this idea simply amazing.”

 

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Isidora Paz López

Chilean ceramist, mosaicist, and muralist Isidora Paz López is known for her stunning public art projects that transform city streets into colorful, mosaic landscapes. With the help of more than 100 other people, she embellished 83 pillars of 4 stations in Puente Alto with colorful tiles, transforming the concrete pillars into brilliant artworks that show the flora and fauna of the region.

“I like to think that I have chosen a good mission because bringing art to the streets is necessary,” says López. “I think that this world, in the insane times that we are living, needs an urgent change of vision to see life in another way.”

 

Doreen Adams

"Alice in Wonderland" by Doreen Adams

Calling her process, “painting with glass,” Malibu-based artist Doreen Adams creates colorful mosaics that express her love of nature. The self-taught artist began exploring the possibilities of colorful tiles in 2000, and has since created a number of impressive works that are full of color. For her series, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Adams meticulously arranged colorful tiles to illustrate famous scenes from the storybook, such as the Mad Hatter’s tea party and The Queen’s surreal croquet game.

Mosaic Arts International Exhibit 2012

 

Lilian Broca

Artist Lilian Broca creates large-scale mosaic glass artworks inspired by historical and biblical iconography. Born in Bucharest, Romania, but now living in Vancouver, Broca pays tribute to her roots by creating works that reflect the mosaic style of Eastern Roman Byzantine art. Her Queen Esther series depicts the biblical story of the beautiful Jewish queen and her dramatic transformation from obedient wife to courageous heroine.

“The magic of mosaic art begins when the intrinsic natural beauty of the mosaic material is first observed and secondarily from afar when the image begins to emerge from within the abstract of a calculated arrangement of closely fitting mosaic glass tesserae,” says Broca. “The result is spectacular and eternally enduring.”

 

Jason Middlebrook

 

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Mixed media contemporary artist Jason Middlebrook uses the art of mosaic to transform mundane spaces. For his site-specific outdoor installations, Underlife (2010–13), he covered natural objects such as tree trunks with thousands of mirrored glass tiles, transforming them into glimmering objects on the forest floor. He reveals, “I started working with mosaics because I wanted a material that was painterly yet could also act as a skin for sculpture.”

 

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Related Articles:

Learn the Ancient History of Mosaics and How to Make Your Own Colorful Creation

Illustrated Typographic Floor Mosaics Document Designer’s Journey Around the World

Superhero Portraits Made of Mosaics by Jason Dussault

Artist Transforms Ugly Chicago Potholes Into Colorful Mosaics

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