Xiaoyi Chen currently lives and works in UK and China. She received her MA in photography from the London College of Communications in 2014 and was awarded the LCC/Photofusion Prize. Chen’s work has been exhibited and published internationally.
Chen’s practice is tied to a natural, oriental aesthetic, influenced by Western abstract art and oriental philosophy. Photography is a personal tool for Chen, used to question broad concepts that migrate from the personal to the philosophical realm. Her recent work focuses on the combination of photography and printmaking, a combination of techniques used to explore beneath the surface of things by simplifying and abstracting; an approach aimed at reviving spiritual awareness and intuition before entering the symbolic nature of what we view.
Sean McCarthy received his BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University.
McCarthy’s work is enigmatic, unsettling, and darkly comic. He renders the sagging crevasses and withered underbellies of a beastly world in a state of fantastic violence. His primal dramas recall the 19th Century decadent tradition, which conjured a darkness far more vibrant than the banality of our everyday evil.
Ghent, Belgium based Michaël Borremans juxtaposes -in his figurative drawings and paintings- somber figures, jarring close-ups, and unsettling still lifes that are at once nostalgic, darkly comic, disturbing, and grotesque.
His seductive works contain timeless images of inner drive and external force, of the latent pressure involved in being human. Behind a veil of stylistic perfection, the artist simulates common rituals of interpretation and meaning. His intensely atmospheric images are puzzles involving political and psychological patterns of perceiving the world, which oscillate in a camouflaging, fragile way between inexorable realism and nebulous distance.
Istambul, Turkey based Aykut Aydogdu’s work is purely digital, drawn or painted with a tablet in Adobe Photoshop. His work walks the fine line between surrealism daydream and surrealism nightmare.
Aydogdu’s work is stunning in both quality and subject matter. Portraying scenes like a woman’s head impaled by a rose, another woman engaging in a sensual kiss with a decapitated head, and a third atop a toilet seemingly “shitting roses,” the result is both comical, dark, and deeply alluring.
Amsterdam based artist Jules Julien‘s universe crosses many opposite sides; colorful and dark, graphic and sensitive, realistic and surreal. His clean and simple aesthetic makes his work immediately recognizable. He puts in scene a world where the symbol blends with the anecdote and where the strange is concealed behind the images in his meticulous paintings.
Monochrome is Helena Vizcaíno, a visual artist and illustrator from Spain. She is currently living and working in Helsinki, Finland. She illustrates dark universes that don’t exist, elements from her imagination, natural and outer space elements. Her interests go from animation to the tattoo culture, to fashion design and advertising, where she also finds her inspiration.
Samuel Bassett studied at Falmouth University and The Arts Institute Bournemouth. He currently works from studio space in the recently renovated prestigious Porthmeor Studios in St Ives. Bassett is an artist with boundless energy enthusiasm and has an integral and honest art language where he displays a scattered image of his inner monologue, mapping a truly active mind searching for the meaning of life.
Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen is a self-taught artist whose creative production revolves around classic figurative painting, presented in a contemporary manner. Henrik explores the dark sides of life, nihilism, existentialism, longing and loneliness, juxtaposed with fragile beauty.
The atmosphere in his subject matter is often presented in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of surrealism. His focus on atmospheres rather than narratives and realism leaves his painting open for many interpretations.