New York based Caroline Larsen has an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute. Larsen’s work has been in numerous group shows throughout Canada, America and Germany.
Her work explores the sensation of being in the tropical landscape at night, when the heat exaggerates the saturation of the night hues. The paintings also play with the idea of abstraction. The paintings coexist between a recognizable form and a non representational image, but at the same time they are pictorial.
“Using the memory of landscapes and imagery that I experienced during my upbringing in Sarasota, Florida as a springboard I create images that evoke a celebratory tropical frenzy. My interest in tropical landscapes stems from my lived experience, growing up in Florida and spending time in Panama as an adult has greatly influenced my aesthetic.
A constant focus of all of my work, is the attentiveness to color and its role of imparting feeling. My paint application, with its texture acting as line and pattern, is an organizing form in and of itself; the ridges cast shadows and create optical rhythms. The paintings use a full color palette, keeping with my intention to be as ornamental and vibrant as possible.” Caroline Larsen
New York based German artist Erik Parker turned to eye-popping color and dizzying details in his recent paintings. Seemingly in constant motion, his paintings are composed of a myriad of tiny dots, paisleys, teardrops, squiggles, and drips, in a rainbow of bright colors. Parker creates bold, graphic compositions that riff on the traditional genres of portraiture and still-life. His visionary paintings draw their inspiration from diverse elements of American subculture—psychedelia, underground comic books, the Chicago Imagists, hip hop and heavy metal— as well as Picasso, Francis Bacon and Roy Lichtenstein.
Aaron Johnson has created two distinctive and wildly innovative approaches to painting: his well-known “reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel” paintings and his sock paintings. The two bodies of work exist in counterpoint; meticulously layered Indian-miniaturesque details in his reverse-paintings starkly juxtapose the swashbuckling brushstrokes created by a clunky impasto of flung socks in his sock paintings.
Uniting his two modes of work is Johnsonʼs inimitable style, a painterly madness flowing forward from his influences of Goya, Peter Saul, Picasso, Ensor, Llyn Foulkes, and the Hairy Who. Johnson’s paintings are a delight of a seductive surface, garish color, and entangled flesh.
“In my paintings, I construct absurdist allegories featuring comic grotesque characters. Technically I believe in an experimental approach to painting that evolves the historical medium into a contemporary adaptation. I have developed two main modes of making paintings: reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel paintings and sock paintings. The methods involve reverse-painting, meticulously detailed layers, and polymer peel transfer; or the opposite: building up a chunky impasto of old socks. My spectrum of interests ranges from socio-political critique on one end to existential human questions on the other; each individual painting will fall somewhere between those two poles.” Aaron Johnson
The way Alex Garant creates, makes her painting realistic, but surreal at the same time. Traditional techniques of making portraits are combined with graphic quality, making her artworks widely recognizable. The core of her work is the pattern, she will duplicate elements, use symmetry and image superposition, creating an almost perfect optical illusion. Her unique pieces make the viewers have a hard time focusing on a face of each figure portrayed. By simply looking at her paintings, a journey begins. The journey that will make you get to know yourself, but also the artist.
Boneface is an illustrator that had a firm grip on what makes himself tick, and then developed his craft. The illustrations of Boneface are bold and rebellious — the nihilistic spittle of a fun-loving vagrant. Boneface’s drawings are bright and detailed in mischievous gore. The attitude of underground skate videos mixed with the winks and shock of an eighth-grader’s homemade comic book.
New Zealand-born photographer based in Sydney, Australia Simon Davidson has been photographing the sub-culture of burnout competitions in Australia. Davidson has become recognized as one of Australia’s leading photographers. Self-taught, he has created a successful career photographing a wide variety of subjects, creating content in both the advertising and editorial environments internationally.
With his Burnout series he recognizes beauty where it’s not immediately obvious. He finds expression in a car spinning its rear wheels with the single purpose of destruction. His images are superbly composed contemplations of the moment. Slices in time that hold the gaze with car, driver and movement balanced in an ideal expression of a sublime modernity.
“The guys and girls who compete in the various competitions across Australia are a passionate bunch. As a photographer I enjoy the visual feast of a superb and powerful car on the black of the burnout pad juxtaposed against the softness of the tire smoke. In reality a burnout is extremely loud and aggressive but in the photos there is a sense of calm… poetic in a way.” Simon Davidson
London based Canadian artist Anthony Gerace creates mysterious collages by combining vintage portraits with colorful tiles that fragment the image resulting in dreamy compositions in paper – often working chromatically, and using tiling to abstractive effect. Because parts of the subject’s face are hidden, the artworks leave the viewer to fill in the missing pieces with their imagination.
Throughout his career, John Kacere devoted his attention almost solely to idealized and highly sexualized depictions of the midsections of the female body, clothed in revealing lingerie. Originally an Abstract Expressionist, Kacere adopted a photorealist style from the 1960s onwards, although he rejected the term as a description of his work. His larger-than-life images of the female form—usually lying on their sides in a horizontal picture plane—have drawn criticism from feminists, prompting Kacere to reply: “Woman is the source of all life; the source of regeneration. My work praises that aspect of womanhood.”
Tel-Aviv based illustrator, animator and avid doodler Ori Toor (previously featured here) deals mostly with experimental 2d animation and obsessively drawing heaps of noodly landscapes and shapes. He never sketches or plans ahead, instead he improvises. The slightly darker undertones to Ori’s work are emulated by the shadowy color palette of changeable purples and blues.
Prague, Czech Republic based Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu spent most of his years in the 60’s living on the outskirts of society, depending on other men’s trash and surviving cold nights behind garbage bins. In his spare time, Ion would create amazing pieces that can be described as a mix of Pop art, Surrealism and Dadaism. The hermit-like artist had always kept his work under wraps for a number of reasons. Firstly, he had no one in particular to show it to, and secondly, its often biting political nature meant that while the communist regime held sway in Romania, it had to remain clandestine.
Today we can all enjoy his pieces. Barladeanu sees his works as miniature movies, the act of assembling clipped-out artwork on hand-painted backgrounds akin to the roles of screenwriter and director. While many of his works are infused with comedy or light-hearted satire, others are the stuff of subversive film noir.