South Korean artist Choi Xooang has been sculpting for the last 10 years his unearthly but highly intricate human figures. Distorted and haunting Choi Xooang’s work reveals his deep concern for the human condition in society – and how he feels that something needs to change. Although the viewer is both repulsed and fascinated by the gut-wrenching hyperrealist sculptures of human bodies, Xooang’s mastery of the art and eye for detail right down to the smallest vein.
His freakish figurative sculptures are mutilated or abbreviated. Merging unexpectedly, flesh is sewn together with ribbons, heads are plunged together to make one, a head is replaced with that of a hound or an ostrich and fists are plunged into backs of heads Ultimately, people are silenced and held captive by their condition.
Cologne-based artist Melike Kara’s canvases are sketchy and spare, economically painted in one or two colors on bare white background. The characters that populate her enigmatic canvases are regularly put through their paces. While some images seem relatively sedate, others are full of figures performing an array of impressive choreographies featuring gravity-defying somersaults and backflips. The contorted bodies, all long arms and legs, offer a casual articulation of human anatomy: with their outstretched hands and legs akimbo, the figures literally let it all hang loose.
New York City based Mike Lee’s (previously featured here) graphite drawings contemplate the duality between artificiality and realism by taking everyday normalcies (figures, objects and settings) and working them into their most simplistic forms. Small subjects surrounded by vast white spaces, Lee’s drawings represent fleeting moments in a large world.
Brooklyn-based artist Jean-Pierre Roy treceived his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2002 and was awarded a one-year fellowship from the school. Since 2003, Jean-Pierre has had five solo exhibitions in New York and abroad. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in the US and Europe and has had solo museum exhibitions at the Torrence Museum of Art in Los Angeles and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach.
Jean-Pierre’s work is imaginative, powerful and at times apocalyptic. His powerful images explore the vastness of nature and leave you feeling insignificant to the world he depicts. In his paintings, colossal figures battle out Roy’s own, personal demons and existensial questions.
Paolo Del Toro (previously featured here) is a sculptor and two-dimensional artist based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Del Toro’s felt sculptures combine realism with a grotesque cartoon aesthetic, resulting in works that depict bizarre, sometimes nightmarish faces and figures, yet still have a strangely inviting texture.
From far away, his sculptures look like they could just as easily be made with ceramic or stone. The artist has also worked in wood, and it’s really interesting to be able to see the similarities between the two mediums in the artist’s portfolio.
Thayer Nicholas Granstrom Bray is a drawer, printmaker, bookbinder, and sculptor based in Kansas City. He earned a BFA in printmaking and minor in Art History from the University of Kansas in 2009. Thayer’s work is heavily influenced by, and takes freely and openly form, the history of art, prints, comics, movies, and cartoons.
His 2-D and 3-D work, all figurative, and all ink on paper, investigates ideas of physical closeness, emotional intimacy, body dysmorphia, narcissism, frailty, snuggles, and the social and interpersonal negotiations which occur within heterosexual relationships. He is currently the shop assistant at the Lawrence Lithography Workshop, Kansas City, MO, and head binder at Red Shorts Bindery.
Alex Yanes‘ work is a staple in Miami’s Wynwood art district and he looks forward to taking his art across the U.S.. His art embodies innovative use of color and imaginative subject matter and speaks to collectors and new art lovers, alike.
Alex uses bold outlines to define his intricate figures. His most recent works are multi-media, three dimensional images. This process consists of drawing then cutting the image out of masonite board using a jig saw. Once they are cut, the individual pieces of the puzzle are sanded and painted using a mixture of acrylic, spray enamel and air brush. Finally, the pieces are attached to a background in multiple layers, revealing the completed painting.
Minneapolis-based artist Mathew Zefeldt successfully balances improbable combinations – modern with historical, digital with classical, painterly foregrounds with computer-like backgrounds – all by densely rendering them in traditional painting techniques with oils and acrylics. The figures cohesively exist alongside more modern glitch aesthetics, shifting colors, garish patterns, and computer-like repetition.
“These figures are based around my own ideas of the fictional potential of paint. The entities often appear as illustrations of heaps of paint, objects covered in paint, cross sections of imaginary impasto paintings, classical statue heads that multiply into larger heads, studio detritus, or simply figures that are liquefied into gooey, lumpy, colorful painterly abstraction. Exploring the materiality of paint as well as its capacity for figuration, my paintings self-reflexively reinterpret the history of abstraction as a collection of codes to be referenced and reworked.” Mathew Zefeldt
French artist Mathilde Roussel’s sculptures are conceived like living organisms. During her creation process, Roussel progressively gives up control over the materials she uses by letting them find their own form of existence. She selects mediums that are both fragile and resistant: paper pulp, graphite powder, incised rubber or plants. This choice allows her to explore unstable forms and observe their continuous mutation.
Mathilde is interested in the intimate link that connects the skeleton to our muscle structure — allowing us to challenge gravity. Standing requires the collaboration of an infinite number of body parts that constantly adjust our balance according to the movement we operate. Through incision, opening, recovering and suspension, the artist forces the forms she produces to find their place in space, thus expressing and revealing the movement they contain in themselves. The sculptures oscillate until they find their pivotal point.
Jess Johnson was born in Tauranga, New Zealand in 1979. In 2016 she relocated permanently to New York after ten years of living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Her drawing and installation practice is influenced by the speculative intersections between language, science fiction, culture and technology.
In her drawings she depicts complex worlds that combine densely layered patterns, objects and figures within architectural settings. Johnson’s drawings are often displayed within constructed environments that act as physical portals into her speculative worlds.