Sean Mahan is a social realist figurative painter who works with graphite and acrylic washes on wood to depict a sense of wonder about the innate warmth of the human character and its conflict with structures of power and control.
Check out this selection of the creations by Kristian Jones, a British illustrator featuring children facing our modern technology. Jones is a freelance illustrator / artist living in the centre of the UK just outside of sunny Birmingham, producing work for magazines, clothing ranges and working for various bands and clubnights on the Birmingham music scene crafting posters and artwork of an alternative nature. His style preys on the innocence of childhood imagination, surreal worlds and fictional creatures.
California, based Hawaian artist Edwin Ushiro attended the Art Center College of Design and attained a BFA in Illustration. Since then, Ushiro has been working in the amazing world of entertainment as a Production Designer, Visual Consultant, Art Director, Storyboard Artist, and Concept Designer.
Ushiro’s childhood memories come to life in his paintings — haunting images of friends, family pets, and ghostly specters on the Hawaiian islands where he was born and raised. He captures the essence of Hawaii, youth, and nostalgia in a technique that’s uniquely his own.
Gosia is a professional sculptor living and working in Toronto. Born in Poland in 1982, she moved to Canada in 1994. With a background in Illustration from Sheridan College, Gosia has been a professional artist for six years. Her career of creating and selling artwork through galleries and contemporary art fairs has led her to her passion for sculpting.
Cornwall, England based artist Lisa Wright’s paintings hold us in the present and connect us with the past. The careful balance of both figurative and abstract elements, along with a heightened and often sensual use of color, emphasise the vibrant and contemporary nature of the work.
Fragments of history – ribbons, ruffs, wigs and petticoats – are pieced together with a contemporary sensibility. The resulting figures hover between time periods. They also hover on the brink of adulthood: childish faces with rosy cheeks and rounded bellies at odds with their formal clothing and decorative adornments.
Arx Lee was born in 1978 in Zhongshan, a city of Guangdong province, near Hong-Kong. The artist now lives and works in Guangzhou. He graduated from the Guangzhou Arts Academy and his natural love for cartoons encouraged him to found a Comic Studio and also to start a short career as an illustrator. He creates fascinating narratives that feature a very colorful dream world. Puppets and children are nomads in what feels like a kind of post-apocalyptic place.
Rebecca Hastings’ work explores themes of maternal ambivalence and subverts the sentimental romantic ideal of motherhood. Transgressing the traditional image of mother and child, Hastings charts the complexities and contradictions of motherhood, where emotions see-saw between ambivalence, affection and aggression.
She describes her works as “psychologically charged images which beckon us into an unsettling and perhaps not-so make-believe world, in which the child is strange, other-worldly, confrontational and playful.” Rebecca’s work speaks of the uncomfortable and often conflicting emotions that can accompany motherhood, employing humor and a generous sense of play to diffuse darker themes that permeate her paintings.
Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag depicts a uncomfortable collision of present and future where people much like us seem to confront a brave new technological reality. In his digital paintings children throw spears at terrifying drones, and people wander aimlessly in their yards while fully engrossed inside virtual reality helmets strapped to their heads, and sometimes there’s even a giant alien caterpillar.
The artwork is impactful as a result of this juxtaposition between the harsh realities of life and the sci-fi technologies of our dreams.
Lori Nelson explores the mysterious, frightening, and undeniably magical world of teens in “Cryptotweens Are Like”. Her new series of oil-on-panel paintings depicts monstrous tweens and teens that, on the surface, bear little resemblance to ordinary youths.
Nelson’s teens show a true humanness as they grapple with feelings of freakish outsider-ness, first encounters with romantic love, and moments of self awareness amidst their changing environments.
Mexico City based Fabricio Vanden Broeck is an illustrator, designer, painter and editor. His illustrations have been published in The New York Times Book Review, Libération in Paris and La Vanguardia in Barcelona, amongst others.
Vanden Broeck uses a variety of techniques in the creation of his illustrations from graphic engraving and scratchboard techniques, to the painterly, including acrylics, color pencil drawing, and watercolors always searching for the best medium to express the work’s essence.