A HEAVY FORESTED WORLD BY JESSE JACOBI

by Ariadna Zierold

jesse jacobi, painting, paintings, detroit, forest, nature, narrative, mysterious, ruins, environment, environments, upper playground

Detroit based Jesse Jacobi‘s work focuses on an unnamed culture of people living in a mysterious, heavily-forested world. While Jacobi makes it a point to not be explicit about any concrete narrative happenings, there is a clear framework of visual and thematic motifs involved: reverence for nature, the use of masks and various obscuring garb, cycles of life-death-dream, structures in differing stages of ruin, ritual and witchcraft, the space between visible and invisible environments, and the true nature of man.

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The smaller works are supplemental – images of idols perhaps used in every day life for various means of protection or intensification – and are intended to be seen as artifacts one might find within the larger world. The time and place depicted in his paintings is not made clear, but the setting is very far removed from modernity and anything involving current times.

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IMPROVISED GARDENS BY ROBERT MINERVINI

by Ariadna Zierold

robert minervini, painting, paintings, nature, plants, garden, improvised gardens, environments, environment, still life, upper playground

Robert Minervini is an artist working in painting, drawing, printmaking, murals, and site-specific public art. His work examines spatial environments and notions of utopia in large-scale cityscapes, landscapes, and floral still-life arrangements, which addresses the ecological impact of humanity.

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He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and his BFA from Tyler School of Art. He has an extensive exhibition history and has participated in artist in residence programs at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Headlands Center of the Arts.

HYPERREAL ENVIRONMENTS BY JESSICA HESS

by Ariadna Zierold

jessica hess, san francisco, hyperreal, landscape, landscapes, painting, paintings, urban, environment, graffiti, oil, upper playground

San Francisco-based artist Jessica Hess is a hyperreal landscape painter. Her depictions of the urban environment both celebrate and validate the art of graffiti through a fine art lens of oil paintings on canvas and gouache on paper.

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A graduate of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), Hess is a recipient of the Trent Burleson Painting Prize, the Faber Birren National Color Award and the Stamford Art Association Award for Excellence. Hess has been exhibiting nationally since 2002.

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“TYPEFACES: CARAS DE LA MISION” BY SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ

by Ariadna Zierold

samuel rodriguez, typefaces, caras de la mision, people, environment, colorful, faces, bay area, mission district, latino, communities, san francisco, san jose, street art, upper playground

San Jose-based visual artist and graphic designer Samuel Rodriguez depicts the unique cultural landscape via observations of people, their distinctive features and their surrounding environment. With his new exhibition Typefaces: Caras De La Misión, he examines social and cultural hybridity through sampling and remixing visual cues that we use to process identity in faces, typography, fashion, and architecture.

samuel rodriguez, typefaces, caras de la mision, people, environment, colorful, faces, bay area, mission district, latino, communities, san francisco, san jose, street art, upper playground

Caras de La Misión includes familiar neighborhood faces—both past and present—with tones reminiscent of the ‘80s and ‘90s-era Bay Area, and is dedicated to the resilient community of the Mission District. At a time of rapid gentrification and displacement, Caras de La Misión helps to forge a cultural bridge across the Bay Area, establishing a creative dialog between Latino communities in San Francisco and San Jose.

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TWISTING ECOSYSTEMS BY YELLENA JAMES

by Ariadna Zierold

yellena james, painting, paintings, painter, portland, oregon, abstract, forms, ecosystem, ecosystems, environment, acrylic, bright, colorful, abstract, upper playground

Yellena James grew up and attended art school in Sarajevo, BiH. At the age of 18 she moved to the U.S. After gaining her BA in painting and graphic design at UCF, she eventually made her way to Portland, OR. Preferring pens, inks, markers and acrylics, she combines complex abstract forms into dazzling images which take on lives of their own. Her colorful arrangements of organic shapes and tangled lines are at once floral and alien, organic and sci-fi. Each intimate world she creates seems to posses its own ethos and its own special ability to radiate emotion.

yellena james, painting, paintings, painter, portland, oregon, abstract, forms, ecosystem, ecosystems, environment, acrylic, bright, colorful, abstract, upper playground

“My latest works further explore the intricate and delicate forms of an imaginary ecosystem, twisting and floating together in an alluring environment. I attempt to create an ethereal place which is hypnotically familiar and yet hauntingly exotic, adding tiny little details in a sort of compulsive meditation, until a perfect balance is created. The intricacy and high detail, along with hints of existing organic shapes lend to the intimacy and believability of each new world.” Yellena James

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RED LIGHT INSTALLATIONS BY NICOLAS RIVALS

by Ariadna Zierold

nicolas rivals, red, light, neon, installation, nature, landscape, la linea roja, paris, environment, upper playground

Paris based photographer Nicolas Rivals has realized the series ‘La Línea Roja’ — a visual study of geometry and form in dialogue with nature.

nicolas rivals, red, light, neon, installation, nature, landscape, la linea roja, paris, environment, upper playground

Across scenic landscapes in spain, rivals has installed luminous, neon-hued triangles, squares and lines intersecting with the surrounding environment. Each temporary piece was captured in a series of long-exposure shots that reveal an unusual juxtaposition between fabricated objects and the natural world.

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ANTHROPOMORPHIC SYMBOLISM BY HANNAH YATA

by Ariadna Zierold

hannah yata, painting, surreal, landscape, nature, culture, masks, environment, detailed, symbolism, upper playground

Hannah Faith Yata was born and raised in a small town in Georgia. She is half Japanese and Caucasian. She grew up with a deep love of nature and animals passed down by the beautiful surroundings in the country and her mother. As a young adult, she studied feminism, psychology, and art in college.

hannah yata, painting, surreal, landscape, nature, culture, masks, environment, detailed, symbolism, upper playground

In her own work, Yata seeks to interweave political ideas, (using nature, women, and feminism almost synonymously), environmental degradation, and themes of moral injustice into increasingly chaotic paintings. She uses masks from a mix of other cultures to speak to the different relationships that native tribes and cultures have with the earth, while giving anthropomorphic qualities and symbolism to the animals to speak their consciousness.

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ENVIRONMENTAL LANDSCAPES BY JOSH REYES

by Ariadna Zierold

josh reyes, drawings, paintings, animals, nature, environment, landscapes, planet, world, upper playground

Portland-based artist Josh Keyes received his BFA in 1992 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in 1998 from Yale University School of Art.  He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and has work in private and public collections.

josh reyes, drawings, paintings, animals, nature, environment, landscapes, planet, world, upper playground

Though often steeped in satire, Josh’s drawings and paintings are also suffused with a sincere admiration of our planet. His altered landscapes reveal both the intricacy of the earth as a system and the complexity of our response to the natural world, while retaining a sense of specificity and intimacy.

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HYPERREALIST ENVIRONMENTS BY JOSHUA COCKING

by Ariadna Zierold

joshua cocking, surreal, hyperreal, landscape, composition, environment, portrait, people, balloons, australia, broome, upper playground

Broome, Australia based artist Joshua Cocking is quickly becoming known for his surreal compositions and hyperrealist style. Within his compositions, Cocking addresses the relationship humans have with their immediate environment, how one can affect the other and that they are inextricably linked.

joshua cocking, surreal, hyperreal, landscape, composition, environment, portrait, people, balloons, australia, broome, upper playground

After 15 years painting, Joshua has found his visual voice and in the last 4 years and has received acclaim in several prestigious Australian Art Prizes.  In 2014 he was the winner of the 2014 Cossack Acquisitive Art Award  and was awarded a highly commended in the 2015 Paddington Art Prize and 2015 Black Swan Portrait Prize.

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Porcelain Prodigy | KATE MACDOWELL

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy’s Dismaland group exhibition.

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (1)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (2)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (3)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (4)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (5)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (6)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (7)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (8)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (9)

Sculptor, Kate MacDowell, creates beautiful porcelain sculptures depicting the union between man and nature. Her work shows the relationship to be one of friction and discomfort, exacerbating human and animal vulnerability by the destructive impact technological advancements have created on the environment. MacDowell highlights stressors such as climate change, pollution and genetically modified agriculture. Just last year, MacDowell was a featured artist in Banksy's Dismaland group exhibition. Via news.upperplayground.com (10)