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.
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
Angola based Binelde Hyrcan is a multi-disciplinary artist working across painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance and installation. His work often addresses the absurdity represented by political and social customs and attitudes, in particular, critiquing structures of power and human vanity.
Masayoshi Matsumoto is a Japanese balloon artist that has given balloons a new meaning. Using nothing but ordinary balloons, Matsumoto twists, ties, weaves, and squishes his animals into being with remarkable detail.