BORDER CREATURES BY ADRIAN COX

by Ariadna Zierold

adrian cox, painting, paintings, painter, missouri, st louis, figurative, surreal, creatures, border creatures, mythology, fiction, fictional, upper playground

Adrian Cox is a painter living and working in St. Louis, Missouri. Cox attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate studies, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors in 2010. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2012.

adrian cox, painting, paintings, painter, missouri, st louis, figurative, surreal, creatures, border creatures, mythology, fiction, fictional, upper playground

It is through his particular passion for figurative painting that the thematic seeds for his current work were sown. Adrian has placed his focus on disrupting the ways we interpret the man-made catagories which we all resort to using when comtemplating the natural world and our place in it. During the analytic process, he started breaking down and blurring the boundaries between humankind and our surrounding environment. By way of this, Cox was inspired to create his Border Creatures and their home, the Borderlands.

adrian cox, painting, paintings, painter, missouri, st louis, figurative, surreal, creatures, border creatures, mythology, fiction, fictional, upper playground

“My work forms an ongoing narrative that mythologizes the lives of the Border Creatures, a fictional race of beings that are defined by their shifting and indeterminate edges. These recurring characters exist in a state of perpetual metamorphosis. Through their mutations, they hybridize with mineral deposits, flora, and fauna, allowing an intense physical connection to their environment. These transformations cause them to take on the characteristics of their surroundings; the distinct categories of man and nature are disrupted as the boundaries between these creatures and their wilderness home, the Borderlands, become obscured. This symbiotic relationship blurs the Natural and the Unnatural, concepts that have been central to a traditional understanding of human identity. My paintings are mythic fictions that speak to a contemporary human experience, and suggest that there is no “pure” way to exist in the world. In the Borderlands, qualities that might be seen as grotesque or monstrous are synonymous with beauty. Ultimately, these paintings create an Arcadia for the Other, for creatures with fluid identities, a space where the language of difference breaks down.” Adrian Cox

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MONUMENTAL SCULPTURES BY JAUME PLENSA

by Ariadna Zierold

jaume plensa, sculpture, sculptures, installation, structure, structures, anatomy, body, steel, glass, marble, resin, monumental, crown fountain, chicago, figurative, head, heads, wire, mesh, upper playground

Jaume Plensa produces monumental sculptures in steel, glass, marble, polyester resin, concrete, and bronze. He is best known for his Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millenium Park, two 50-foot-high glass towers set amidst a pool of water, which play giant video portraits of Chicago residents that periodically purse their lips and spout water into the pool.

jaume plensa, sculpture, sculptures, installation, structure, structures, anatomy, body, steel, glass, marble, resin, monumental, crown fountain, chicago, figurative, head, heads, wire, mesh, upper playground

Predominantly producing figurative sculpture, Plensa has created larger-than-life-sized heads constructed of fine, stainless-steel wire mesh so that their surrounding environments are visible through the works, and bronze figures cast from his own body.

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POST INTERNET PAINTINGS BY HENDRIK ZIMMER

by Ariadna Zierold

hendrik zimmer, painting, paintings, internet, post internet, abstract, geometric, digital space, decollage, figurative, expressionist, shapes, upper playground

The paintings and installations of Hendrik Zimmer are influenced by the Internet’s impact on culture at large and its distribution. Belonging to the post-internet art generation and experiencing the changes brought from a long-since digital age and the network ideology, Zimmer develops his paintings concerned particularly with their materiality and their ways of presentation and dissemination in the physical and digital space.

hendrik zimmer, painting, paintings, internet, post internet, abstract, geometric, digital space, decollage, figurative, expressionist, shapes, upper playground

Zimmer’s décollage paintings reconcile figurative elements in form of a photographic image taken from a poster or magazine and the expressionist abstract painted gestures. Most of the times the elements are parts of human figures, faces, hands or other parts of the body and fully integrated in the composition.

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SOMBER PAINTINGS BY MICHAEL BORREMANS

by Ariadna Zierold

michael borremans, painting, paintings, oil, portrait, portraiture, figurative, somber, dark, ghent, belgium, upper playground

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.

michael borremans, painting, paintings, oil, portrait, portraiture, figurative, somber, dark, ghent, belgium, upper playground

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.

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HARD EDGE METHOD BY HUEMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

hueman, mural, street art, oakland, abstract, figurative, upper playground

Hueman is an artist based in Oakland, CA. She is constantly seeking balance: between the beautiful and the grotesque, the abstract and the figurative, and the golden moment between sleep and wake.

hueman, mural, street art, oakland, abstract, figurative, upper playground

Hueman’s work is shaped by a free association approach, so she produces dream-like disrupted compositions which represent almost hybrid beings or shapes in the state of emotional chaos or calmness.

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AMERICAN MYTHOLOGIES BY ROBIN F WILLIAMS

by Ariadna Zierold

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

Robin F Williams is a painter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her figurative paintings explore pervasive American narratives about childhood, identity and gender. Her figurative work explores closely held American mythologies about gender, privilege, and the American Dream. She uses the fictional nature of the painted image to examine the fictions we tell each other as a culture.

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NEW AGE IDOLS BY RAMESH MARIO NITHIYENDRAN

by Ariadna Zierold

ramesh mario nithiyendran, sculpture, penis, phallic, new age, vibrant, disquieting, enticing, form, scale, figurative, sex, upper playground

Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran creates rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols that are at once enticing and disquieting. He experiments with form and scale in the context of figurative sculpture to explore politics of sex, the monument, gender and religion. Self-portraits make frequent appearances and the dual presence of male and female organs suggest gender fluid realms of new possibilities.

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PICTORIAL MEMOIRS BY PAUL METRINKO

by Ariadna Zierold

paul metrinko, sea, water, pool, landscape, landscapes, painting, figurative, seaside, upper playground

New York City based Paul Metrinko’s paintings visually explore the people, places and things that surround him. His paintings are equally a living pictorial memoir and an earnest contribution to the storied tradition of figurative painting.

paul metrinko, sea, water, pool, landscape, landscapes, painting, figurative, seaside, upper playground

Using his characteristic and vaguely abstract style, Paul morphs the noisy, harsh atmosphere of a sunny seaside resort into a sweet pastel stretch of atmospheric daubs of paint in a way that makes it completely enchanting, transforming this familiar space into a fairytale-like landscape that’s not completely without sinister undertones.

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NATURALISTIC RENDERING BY KENNE GREGOIRE

by Ariadna Zierold

kenne gregoire, painting, dutch, portrait, portraiture, still life, naturalistic, isometric, subjects, figurative, texture, upper playground

Kenne Grégoire is a Dutch painter with several thematic areas in which he explores different approaches. The most prominent seems to be still life in which he uses a combination of isometric perspective and naturalistic rendering. This is contrasted with other still life subjects in which he takes a more straightforward approach.

kenne gregoire, painting, dutch, portrait, portraiture, still life, naturalistic, isometric, subjects, figurative, texture, upper playground

There are other repeated themes, such as patterned backgrounds and figurative work that varies from naturalistic to stylized. In all of his work he demonstrates a refined control of texture and color, usually casting his subjects in muted light and emphasizing their textural characteristics.

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EMOTIONAL TENSION BY SALMAN KHOSHROO

by Ariadna Zierold

salman khoshroo, large scale, paintings, strokes, colorful, abstraction, figurative, emotion, human, anatomy, tehran, upper playground

Tehran-based artist Salman Khoshroo creates large-scale figures and portraits that practically drip from the canvas. Most of these pieces are several feet tall, composed of enormously precise strokes that veer toward abstraction while eventually leading to a cohesive figure.

salman khoshroo, large scale, paintings, strokes, colorful, abstraction, figurative, emotion, human, anatomy, tehran, upper playground

Working in his studio in Tehran with a large palette knife to spread oil colors directly on the canvas, Khoshroo’s paintings harness figurative abstraction to evince very concise figures of emotional tension. Beginning with portraits of people he knew, his style evolved from one based on realism to one that draws from abstract art, expressionism and fauvism.

salman khoshroo, large scale, paintings, strokes, colorful, abstraction, figurative, emotion, human, anatomy, tehran, upper playground

His interest in painting the human face is twofold, both as a conduit of human emotions, made all the more pertinent in his home country where women have to cover up the rest of their bodies; as well as an expression of identity and self-presentation in the age of Facebook.

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