FRED STONEHOUSE’S CARICATURE DREAMSCAPES

by Ariadna Zierold

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Fred Stonehouse was born in 1960 in Milwaukee, WI. He received his BFA from UW Milwaukee in 1982. He had his first solo show in Chicago in 1983 and shows regularly in New York at Howard Scott Gallery and in Los Angeles with Koplin/DelRio. He has exhibited in Mexico, Amsterdam, Rome and Berlin. He is currently an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin.

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Stonehouse is a major figure in Wisconsin art and nationally recognized for his beautifully executed artwork and witty sense of rebellion. His style has a sophistication that reflects his diverse, cross-cultural interests, and outsider and folk art influences. His paintings are a materialization of his nostalgia for familiar cartoon figures of the past, blended with the artist’s own delicate balance of humor, beauty and derangement.

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TENDER MONSTRUOSITY BY ODA JAUNE

by Ariadna Zierold

oda jaune, painting, amorphous, bodies, monstruosity, realistic, humor, upper playground

Paris based artist Oda Jaune paints gelatinous fairies, pregnant men and amorphous bodies. Also, joyful beings, creatures in paradise and flying people emerge on her canvasses. Monstrosity and tenderness lie side by side in Oda Jaune’s paintings, just as they disturb and move those that view them.

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Born in Sofia in 1979, the painter studied at the Arts Academy in Düsseldorf and became a star pupil of Jörg Immendorff. She also became his wife. After her husband’s death she moved to Paris to pursue her work there. Her gallerist also represented Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

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FOLK ART BY AMY SOL

by Ariadna Zierold

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Las Vegas based artist Amy Sol spent her childhood years in Korea. Though the style of her work is greatly influenced by a combination of manga, folk-art, vintage illustration and modern design, she remains a self taught artist.

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She has dedicated many years of her life mixing pigments and mediums to achieve a unique color palette of subtly muted tones. The artist works intuitively from the beginning to end of each piece, with the intent that each painting’s theme or message can be interpreted subjectively. Sol’s works are characterized by young maidens in dream-like nature settings with oversized or sometimes fanciful creatures.

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MASKS BY BERTJAN POT

by Ariadna Zierold

bertjan pot, masks, rope, colorful, upper playground

Dutch designer Bertjan Pot’s masks are the product of a failed material experiment. They are made from a creative happenstance when some rugs made from stitching ropes together “got curvy.”

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“I wanted to find out if by stitching a rope together I could make a large flat carpet. Instead of flat, the samples got curvy. When I was about to give up on the carpet, Vladi came up with the idea of shaping the rope into masks. The possibilities are endless, I’m meeting new faces every day.” Bertjan Pot

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THE NATURAL WORLD OF DAVID RICE

by Ariadna Zierold

david rice, landscape, nature, wildlife, painting, organic, geometric, upper playground

Portland based David Rice grew up in Colorado exploring the surrounding mountains. The contact with nature was a great inspiration for his work where he fuses the natural and the man-made in his paintings, representing the possibility of a peaceful balance between the two.

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David uses the natural landscape and its inhabitants as his primary subject matter. Melding together an organic style with graphic overlays, his style combines a mixture of the natural world with a geometric presence.  The combination of the organic with the human engineered.

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DYNAMIC GEOMETRIES BY KATE MATTHEWS

by Ariadna Zierold

kate matthews, geomtric, shapes, colorful, optical, illusion, 3d, abstract, upper playground

Kate Matthews‘ practice explores the limits of geometric and optical painting through the use of color, repetition, sequence and distortion. She creates 3D art with a striking optical effect. In each piece of art, a 2D painting is transformed through sculpture, architecture, and geometry.

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Matthews breaks down the rules of established, modernist, two-dimensional abstraction. Obscuring the rules of fixed, consecutive arrangements, her work generates a sense of unease by creating broken and fragmented shapes whilst in a uniform composition. As the viewer moves around the work, the forms, shapes and shadows alter, creating a sense of disorientation and surprise.

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ALUMINUM ANT COLONIES BY BRAD TROEMEL

by Ariadna Zierold

brad troemel, sculpture, installation, ant, colony, aluminum, plexiglass, upper playground

New York based artist Brad Troemel loves ants and internet tutorials. Brad created sculptures using a variety of Internet-learned skills, including casting underground ant colonies from DIY forged aluminum, creating handmade paper that can grow a garden and plexiglass ant farms, amongst other stuff.

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His metal sculptures of ant colonies are made by pouring molten aluminum directly into an abandoned ant colony. The sculptures reveal the varying colony designs of different ant species, from simple branching nest of the carpenter ant to the complex colony of the fire ant.

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The artist has also worked on a series of mid-size acrylic cases that hang perpendicularly to the wall. These shiny, translucent plastic objects glow with a variety of candy-colored hues, but are actually small colonies of infertile female harvester worker ants. The small insects chew their way through a nutrient-laden gel to create randomized tunnels.

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GROTESQUE CERAMIC FIGURES BY JASON BRIGGS

by Ariadna Zierold

jason briggs, sculpture, figure, ceramic, porcelain, human, body, parts, grotesque, bizarre, abstract, upper playground

American artist Jason Briggs creates bizarre ceramic sculptures. The pieces are white skin toned and covered in hair; part of his works appear to be human skin while other portions are distinctly man-made forms like upholstery. Made of porcelain, hair and steel, his handbuilt sculptures seem to resemble the human body in an abstract way with strong sexual references. Despite their grotesque forms, each piece has an endearing name such as ‘Angel’ and ‘Baby’.

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“It’s up to you to label them: sculpture, fine art, fine craft, ceramic sculpture, figurative, abstract, surrealism, eroticism, non-traditional, biological, fucked-up, pornographic or, worst of all, decorative.” Jason Briggs

jason briggs, sculpture, figure, ceramic, porcelain, human, body, parts, grotesque, bizarre, abstract, upper playground

Though his objects contain strong visual references, he is more interested in the implied tactile ones; the things that stir in him a compulsion to touch.  Beyond other external inspiration lies this basic, primal impulse. He recognizes – and acst upon – a profound desire to push, poke, squeeze, stroke, caress, and pinch. Briggs intends for his pieces to invoke a similar sort of temptation.

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DYNAMIC GEOMETRIC MINDSCAPES BY JON FOX

by Ariadna Zierold

jon fox, geometric, colorful, illustration, angular, mindscapes, energetic, striking, upper playground

Jon Fox’s tightly packed scenes of mystical figures and their gruelling existential struggles are characterized by dynamic geometric structures, angular shapes and striking color. Born in Hereford, UK, Fox graduated in Fine Art Painting from the University of Brighton in 2004. A child of the 80s, he was initially attracted to Japanese and American cartoons, comics and computer games, along with hip hop and the graffiti styles that came with it.

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Drawing on personal introspection, Fox juggles narrative and pictorial composition to produce vivid mindscapes, layered journeys in search of an underlying energy and balance.

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“I guess my belief is that if you go far enough inside yourself as an individual, you reach a universal space that we all share and are connected to. I try to create my work from that space.” Jon Fox

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