Ryota Matsumoto is a principal and founder of an award-winning interdisciplinary design office, Ryota Matsumoto Studio. He is an artist, designer and urban planner. Born in Tokyo, he was raised in Hong Kong and Japan. He received a Master of Architecture degree from University of Pennsylvania in 2007 after his studies at Architectural Association in London and Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art in early 90’s.
Ryota’s drawings explore and demonstrate the hybrid/multi-layered process where varying scale, juxtaposition of different forms, intertwined textures/tones are applied to reinvent and question the spatial conditions of drawings. Most of work combine both traditional media (ink, acrylic, and graphite) and digital media (algorithmic processing, scripting and image compositing with custom software).
Memphis-based Alex Paulus’ paintings reflect the denial of a shitty existence. Paulus has created a crowded installation of grotesque figurative paintings that are unapologetically in your face and ridiculously successful. He combines acrylic, oil and paint marker to create a variety of textures, which also add depth to his works.
A variety of misshapen and jumbled characters inhabit Alex’s canvases, and his figures are depicted trying out VR headsets, swimming with dolphins and windsurfing on a Papa John slice of pizza. Alex’s work is surreal, yet the topical and pop culture references he includes not only add humor but also keeps them grounded in a familiar sort of reality.
Tokyo based Fuco Ueda is a Japanese artist who paints with acrylic achieving a watercolor effect and powdered mineral pigments on paper, cloth, and on wood. Ueda’s work has a memorizing effect on the viewer. Most of her work centers on surrealistic scenes and young women. Her paintings describe a bizzare world with various nature elements such as animals, marine fauna, flowers, bees, mushrooms, etc..
Adam Crawford is a Philadelphia based artist. He is a graduate of both Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and UPENN. Crawford’s paintings are a mix of sharp, vibrant geometric forms and grotesque beasts, appearing in both shared spaces and separate studies, using acrylics, spraypaint, and an array of surfaces for his works.
Matthew Palladino has taken up multiple mediums, and considers each new shift as “another mutation of the thing that came before it.” Palladino first became known for his works in watercolor, ink on paper, and acrylic paint. He then moved on to three-dimensional reliefs, made in part from candy molds. Both his two- and three-dimensional works share a biting humor, variations on grid-based compositions, references to pop culture and art history, and optical illusions that distort spatial relationships. He cites his main influences as Margaret Kilgallen, Chris Johanson, and Barry McGee.
Edith Waddell is an illustrator, dancer and nature lover who was born in Peru. Her artwork is the result of an experimental process that combines acrylic painting, linocut printing, cyanotype printing, and Photoshop digital art printed on paper or canvas. By exploring different art media and embracing chance in her process, Edith has been able to give herself more creative freedom, and the end result is a dark, whimsical, and surreal style.
“My artwork is a reflection of my recurrent apocalyptic dreams and my personal relationship with the natural world. The dream world offers me a symbolic language that allows me to understand my own human nature in relationship with the world outside. As an artist, I am very inclined to investigate subjects such as metaphysics, the human psyche and dream symbolization to inspire the concept of my work. Starting from this conceptual material allows me to visualize fantastic, whimsical and occasionally macabre imagery. The main prototype I use is the hybrid animal/human creature, to represent such human dilemmas as overpopulation, genetic experimentation, narcissism, hedonism, or pollution. My goal in this is to force viewers to confront the dark and mysterious aspects of human psyche, our internal emotional conflicts and our relationship with the natural environment. My work is an invitation to an introspective examination and reflection upon our existence beyond the physical world.” Edith Waddell
Yellena James grew up and attended art school in Sarajevo, BiH. At the age of 18 she moved to the U.S. After gaining her BA in painting and graphic design at UCF, she eventually made her way to Portland, OR. Preferring pens, inks, markers and acrylics, she combines complex abstract forms into dazzling images which take on lives of their own. Her colorful arrangements of organic shapes and tangled lines are at once floral and alien, organic and sci-fi. Each intimate world she creates seems to posses its own ethos and its own special ability to radiate emotion.
“My latest works further explore the intricate and delicate forms of an imaginary ecosystem, twisting and floating together in an alluring environment. I attempt to create an ethereal place which is hypnotically familiar and yet hauntingly exotic, adding tiny little details in a sort of compulsive meditation, until a perfect balance is created. The intricacy and high detail, along with hints of existing organic shapes lend to the intimacy and believability of each new world.” Yellena James
Hongmin Lee (previously featured here) creates striking paintings and illustrations. The South Korean artist displays an exceptionally gruesome aesthetic that features some surreal imaginative characters. Lee comes from a diverse creative background, but his work consists of primarily acrylic paintings and drawings, which he exclusively posts to Instagram.
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