UNDERLYING DUALITIES BY BENNETT SLATER

by Ariadna Zierold

bennett slater, painting,paintings, dualities, canada, portraiture, portrait, surreal, colorful, bright, pop culture, upper playground

Bennett Slater (previously featured here) is a Canadian illustrator, designer and graduate from the illustration program at the Sheridan Institute. Bennett’s work is drawn from the relationships the future shares with the past; the new from the old, life from death. Utilizing traditional oil methods on wood, his work plays with techniques borrowed from Flemish and Dutch master disciplines combined with bold, geometric forms linked to more contemporary futurism and deco sensibilities. This dichotomy of contrasting artistic disciplines and influences lends itself to the underlying dualities observed in his work.

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REINVENTED POP ART BY GARY TAXALI

by Ariadna Zierold

gary taxali, india, toronto, canada, pop art, vintage, retro, illustration, low brow, high brow, upper playground

Gary Taxali was born in Chandigarh, India and raised in Toronto, Canada.  Taxali graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). His retro stylized art is reminiscent of the 1930s and best described as “reinvented pop art” and rooted from an award winning illustration background. His art has a low brow/high brow appeal.

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MECHANICAL HUMAN NATURE BY HEIDI TAILLEFER

 

heidi taillefer, montreal, quebec, canada, painting, paintings, nature, human, technology, ai, upper playground

Montreal, Quebec based Heidi Taillefer is an artist who blurs the line between what is beautiful and what is grotesque. A fusion of ancient and modern, divine and demonic, mystical and technological, and altogether awe-inspiring, Taillefer’s pieces are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. She seeks to explore and provide insights into the human condition, while paying particular attention to humanity’s increasingly complex relationships with technology and the advancement of AI.

heidi taillefer, montreal, quebec, canada, painting, paintings, nature, human, technology, ai, upper playground

Originally depicting subjects as machines placed in natural settings, her work acts as a nostalgic embrace of the past, through the lens of a culture racing forward at with technological advancements. While outpacing the evolution of our bodies and minds, Taillefer’s work examines the fact that a merger with technology does not insulate us from fundamental aspects of the human condition. (via WOWXWOW)

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HUMAN FRAILTIES BY TONI HAMEL

by Ariadna Zierold

toni hamel, toronto, canada, illustration, painting, installation, nature, human, humor, drawing, drawings, narrative, narratives, upper playground

 

Toni Hamel lives and works in Oshawa, a suburb of Toronto, Canada. She describes her work as “an illustrated commentary on human frailties“. Rooted in story-telling, her art practice draws from personal experiences and outward observations to create thematic bodies of work that reflect on and interpret the psychological unease characteristic of our age. Virtues and vices, the holy and the profane, the good and the bad all share equal weight in her work and supply an infinite source of material for her investigations.

toni hamel, toronto, canada, illustration, painting, installation, nature, human, humor, drawing, drawings, narrative, narratives, upper playground

Such conceptual framework leads Hamel to work across disciplines: drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations are rendered in both traditional and non-traditional materials and are selected based on their ability to support the particular message she needs to convey. Pointing to historical and psychological references while tackling issues of universal interest, Hamel’s narratives question our behavior to eventually alert us about the repercussions of our current thinking models.

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SPACE GEOMETRY BY ALEXY PREFONTAINE

by Ariadna Zierold

alexy prefontaine, digital, montreal, canada, nature, space, geometry, surreal, neon, smooth, dreamlike, sceneries, upper playground

Alexy Prèfontaine is a digital artist and graphic designer from Montreal, Canada.
His work is inspired by nature, space, geometry and distorted perspectives that surround him. By focusing on different perceptions of the world that we live in, he hopes that the viewer can be pulled in the surreal sceneries he creates.

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SIMPLISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS BY MICHAEL GEORGE HADDAD

by Ariadna Zierold

michael george haddad, ottawa, canada, illustrator, illustration, simplistic, minimalistic, clean, bold, color block, upper playground

Ottawa, Canada based illustrator Michael George Haddad’s work transports you into a a whole new realm made up by the mad genius that is the artist, filled with feelings, emotions and sensations.

michael george haddad, ottawa, canada, illustrator, illustration, simplistic, minimalistic, clean, bold, color block, upper playground

Haddad has gone on to pull inspiration from push-pin style art, French comics, paperback sci-fi books and xeroxed punk flyers, as well as from artists such as Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann to help him deliver color-blocked, psychedelic excerpts of a land that looks as peaceful as it does bizarre.

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‘STUDIO VISIT’ BY NICOLAS SASSOON

by Ariadna Zierold

nicolas sassoon, vancouver, canada, gif, gifs, animation, loop, loops, abstract, studio visit, new media, pandora, somber, dark, upper playground

Vancouver, Canada based Nicolas Sassoon has been working on massive GIFs that span the width of a browser and actually require scrolling. His latest work, Studio Visit, depicts a studio space complete with wall panels, a brick fireplace, and multiple LCD screens. Today Sassoon is one of the most interesting artists working in the field of GIF-making and new media. He shows all over the world and has been included in exhibitions at the New Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the New Orleans biennial Prospect.

nicolas sassoon, vancouver, canada, gif, gifs, animation, loop, loops, abstract, studio visit, new media, pandora, somber, dark, upper playground

The body of work Sassoon has been producing there is called Pandora, which is the name of the street where the artist has lived, off and on, for the past four years. The series’ title also refers to small actions that have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences, and perhaps even to the darkness of the Internet. Sassoon’s pared-down aesthetic reflects that somber mood.

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SURREAL CREATURES BY KAYLA BUIUM

by Ariadna Zierold

kayla buium, toronto, canada, illustration, painting, surreal, characters, nude, colorful, humor, situation, situations, upper playground

Kayla Buium is a young emerging artist from Toronto, Canada. She grew up in North York where her grandparents introduced her to the world of fine arts. Art was always her passion but being raised in a creative family inspired her to take it more seriously. In her teenage years she attended Earl Haig S.S. and majored in visual arts where she was inspired by the world of modern art.

kayla buium, toronto, canada, illustration, painting, surreal, characters, nude, colorful, humor, situation, situations, upper playground

Her art style is heavily influenced by the works of Alex Pardee and Doctor Seuss. She explores a variety of media from sculpture, acrylic and even street signs.

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QUIRKY ILLUSTRATIONS BY JENN LIV

by Ariadna Zierold

jenn liv, jennifer liu, illustration, illustrations, illustrator, toronto, canada, print, risograph, comics, narratives, colorful, upper playground

Toronto based Jennifer Liu is an award-winning Chinese Canadian-American freelance illustrator. Occasionally she likes to print things in risograph and make comics. Her inspiration comes from the narratives and imagery she stumbles across while watching all different kinds of animation.

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MAGIC REALISM ILLUSIONS BY ROBERT GONSALVES

by Ariadna Zierold

robert gonsalves, rob gonsalves, magic realism, magic, realism, painting, canada, nature, optical illusion, illusion, upper playground

Robert “Rob” Gonsalves is a Canadian painter of magic realism. He produces original works, limited edition prints and illustrations for his own books. Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his paintings, if anything, is real.

robert gonsalves, rob gonsalves, magic realism, magic, realism, painting, canada, nature, optical illusion, illusion, upper playground

Most of his stunning paintings have an unclear boundary between the multiple stories they tell, which forces the viewer to jump back and forth between them – like an optical illusion that changes every time you look at it.

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