Much of David Rice‘s work focuses on the themes of nature and its personifying characteristics. Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, he has a special connection with the outdoors. 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. Blurring the boundary between manmade and natural. Instead of only a natural world existing, or one that is manmade, the two can coexist harmoniously if the dominant party yields to this cohesive existence.
Orlando, Florida based pop surrealist painter Johannah O’Donnell‘s paintings use natural and figurative symbolism to comment on our connection with the universe and our shifting cultural perceptions in the digital age. She tends to turn up the contrast on the wild cast of creatures and figures found in her acrylic works. These characters, who often times are found among cosmic landscapes, shine boldly with brilliant shades of purple, blue, and pink.
Johannah paints with open body, also known as slow drying, acrylics on wood panels that are hand crafted by her husband, carpenter and sculptor Adriaan Mol. Her work is influenced by 70’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy art and the American Pop Art movement and uses figurative symbolism as a narrative surrounding ideas of the human condition.
Korean artist Wookjae Maeng works with ceramics, focusing on the relationships between humans and animals. The ghostly pieces often resemble commemorative busts or mounted heads reminiscent of big game trophies.
“I concentrate on art as a vehicle to communicate contemporary social and environmental problems to the viewer by stimulating, not just emotion, but sensibilities and memories. In this regard, ‘stimulus’ plays an import role in the expression of my work and in its perception by the viewer. Visually or sensually appropriate stimuli evoke curiosity in the viewer and their desire to grasp the inner meanings of the work. Within this process the viewer not only intellectually comprehends the work but also viscerally appreciates it if their preconceptions are challenged or senses other than sight are stimulated. This three dimensional appreciation-which engages the viewer both physically and sensually-I believe conveys the message of a work on a deeper level.” Wookjae Maeng
Adrian Arleo is a ceramic sculptor living outside Missoula, Montana. She studied Art and Anthropology at Pitzer College and received her M.F.A. in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design.
“For over thirty years, my sculpture has combined human, animal and natural imagery to create a kind of emotional and poetic power. Often there’s a suggestion of a vital interconnection between the human and non-human realms; the imagery arises from associations, concerns and obsessions that are at once intimate and universal. The work frequently references mythology and archetypes in addressing our vulnerability amid changing personal, environmental and political realities. By focussing on older, more mysterious ways of seeing the world, edges of consciousness and deeper levels of awareness suggest themselves.” Adrian Arleo
Portland based artist AJ Fosik (previously featured here) creates intricate, vividly colored three-dimensional pieces that reference folk art, taxidermy, and cultural ritual. Fosik’s wall pieces and freestanding sculptures of anthropomorphized animals are carefully crafted from hundreds of pieces of wood that he cuts and paints individually by hand. Once the basic forms are complete, he adds threatening teeth, claws, and eyes to give the objects an intimidating presence. Totems and fetishes, as well as the “random, chaotic and arbitrary nature of existence,” fascinate Fosik.
Socially awkward and full of repressed anger, Linda Cordell anesthetizes herself spending mindless hours carving detailed texture on humorous and/or uncomfortable animal sculptures. Her work reinterprets the figurine enabling animals to break the chains of cuteness and noble savagery. An appreciation of the ridiculous, a love of beauty and skilled craftsmanship, and the belief that domestic objects are social propaganda all contribute to her work.
Cordell’s meticulously sculpted, lifelike porcelain figures depict animals juxtaposed with everyday domestic objects, raising questions about our need to control or deny nature’s ugly realities. Cordell focuses on animals’ more base tendencies: hunger, aggression and reproduction. Rooted in an aesthetic reminiscent of the grand European porcelain manufacturers reflecting a lifelike realism and classical style, her meticulously sculpted porcelain figures depict animals juxtaposed with everyday domestic objects, with afflictions or in compromised situations.
Hamburg, Germany based Stefan Marx was educated by skate culture in his early teens, and is now the creator of a vast artistic universe, characterized by humorous line drawings of people, animals, and landscapes. He is constantly drawing everything he sees around him, transforming every scene to hundreds of drawings with his quirky style.
Seattle based artist Erich J. Moffitt paints fables, told with totemic animals, archetypes and talismanic objects. Moffitt is an internationally exhibited painter and illustrator, born in 1982, in the United States. His work often re-imagines classical themes from legend and myth via contemporary subject matter, frequently in a narrative style. His paintings are fables, featuring totemic animal archetypes and talismanic objects.
Bruno Pontiroli lives and works in Paris. After studying in Supinfocom, he turned to drawing and painting to express his desire for artistic creation. Pontiroli creates surreal worlds inhabited by fantasy characters: centaurs, mermaids and other creatures which contradict all laws of nature. In his poetic and mysterious painting we can see the unlikely become a reality. The artist brings to life all our childhood dreams and gives us a new way to see the world.