Kathy Ager is a Canadian-born artist based in Amsterdam. It’s what flows beneath the surface that interests her. In Ager’s current body of work, she braves the mind’s basement, ventures into the heart’s deep dark woods, plundering pieces of people and things she encounters. The images that emerge are physical records from these intimate depths. Both deeply personal and universal, they are cryptic messages directed towards the audience. She challenges the viewer to face the discomfort and to see the beauty and power in letting yourself feel.
She describes subjects such as dead animals, which frequently appear in her paintings, as the intimate and tender offerings of our nature which are subjected to the subtle brutality of consumable, disposable modern life and love. Sometimes strikingly eery or underlyingly violent, her works are crafted in a way that is original and appealing to the eye, and in a way become her weapons against the pain of letting oneself be vulnerable.
Mexican surrealist painter Jose Luis Lopez Galvan’s work and fine art develops into dark surrealism, in a world where Velasquez and Hieronymus Bosch could go into ecstasies in front of a version of Rembrandt’s ‘Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp’ with dwarf rabbits.
Animals and humans inhabit the work of Galvan, fighting for their membership to both bestiality and civilization. Some creatures in between are at the limit of lycanthropia and could easily be affiliated to the universe of American horror writers H.P. Lovecraft and William Hodgson. Some pieces even allude to cannibalism, with a bizarre subtle eroticism. Disturbing compositions, poetic metamorphosis and portraits of femmes fatales complete his work and he is not afraid to promote the odd beauty of nightmares and Freudian subconscious.
A painting contractor by day and a self-proclaimed artist by night, Dusty Ray’s (previously featured here) life is paint. Having earned his degree in English Literature from Colorado State University, he says his days as a writer bleed into the small narrative he creates with paint. Dusty’s subject matter mainly consists of the animal wildlife found in his beautiful home of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Alan Brown aka ‘Medusawolf’ is an illustrator living in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from Delaware College of Art and Design in 2004. Alan uses watercolour and gouache for his paintings. He also makes comics, toys, masks and lots of other fun things.
He paints portraits of demons, beasts, and robots – each radiating their own agonizing, pulsating energies. These intensely hued dimensions merge bits of insanity, beauty, and humor and crunch it all down into a fun but very warped output.
Norway based artist Lars Elling was educated at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. Elling’s works have been purchased by the Norwegian National Gallery, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, the EU Commission, and Arts Council Norway, and appear in many private collections in Norway and abroad.
Elling’s paintings are layered narratives told in a fragmented visual language. He incorporates references to film and photography into his works, letting them impact on the abstract grammar of the paintings. In this way the fleeting photographic image is interpreted through the inert state of the painted image. A subtle interplay of figurative and abstract elements arises in the alternately clearly focussed and indistinct areas of the picture. Nostalgia is often present too, intimated in references to private photo albums, opening for us an enigmatic corridor into a dreamscape of memories.
Derek Ercolano (previously featured here) is a Brooklyn based illustrator who’s work is super rad. He does a lot of weirdo drawings of random characters, with melting faces and riding hoverboards and basically tripping out in every conceivable way. When you look through his portfolio it’s also cool to see how he’s progressed over the last couple years. His newest stuff is absolutely killing it.
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.
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.
Alex Gross (previously featured here) is a visual artist currently working in Los Angeles, California. He specializes in oil paintings on canvas whose themes include globalization, commerce, great beauty, dark mayhem, and the remorseless passage of time.
Gross is a master at cutting straight through the lines of code and the technology they’ve created, to reveal the concerning repercussions of our immersion in a world which fosters alienation, dislocation and distance. The apparent pessimism emanating from Gross’ paintbrush is undoubtedly justified and through his art he provides a meeting point where we can all unplug, reconnect with one another and greet tomorrow with fresh perspectives.
Michael Reedy (previously featured here) works with elements of photorealistic anatomy in his drawings that are blended with pop surrealist fare, combining anatomically-precise figures with strange, bug-eyed monsters, Classicist cherubs or geometric designs arranged in the background. Reedy uses his penchant for photorealism to create bizarre and sometimes haunting juxtapositions; we see characters with their internal organs and bones exposed, adding an element of vulnerability to his work.
In his most recent drawings he has revisited the timeless themes of life, death, and the human condition. This new interest in the expulsion and the fall of man has been paired with his prior leanings, which have long been rooted in fringe images of the body, medical illustration, ornamentation, dark comedy, and the uncanny.