Lisa Jonasson’s graphics, posters, comics, and drawings could, at first glance, be taken for the products of a naïve approach to art, because, in great detail and opulently, they mirror the variety of the world in vast ink panoramas. But at second glance, they are not archaic, but artistic research projects treating human states of emotion and their external manifestation, perception of oneself and others, and the collective’s effects on the individual.
Henry Taylor is an American artist and painter who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Taylor is most well known for his acrylic paintings, mixed media sculptures, and installations. Taylor paints quick, loose portraits of his relatives, friends, celebrities, and athletes on large and small canvases, as well as creating evocative sculptures and assemblages of found materials.
Drawing on the folk art and modernism present in a strain of African American painting that traces back to Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, Taylor has painted monumental canvases based on WPA photographs of black farm workers.
Blanco, Texas based Adrian Landon Brooks‘ latest body of work presents universal themes of love, loss, and redemption placed within unique surreal worlds that transcend race or creed. Influenced by the purity of Folk Art, Brooks strips illustrations to their minimalist core and uses found materials such as wood, metal, and old photographs as repurposed canvases to instill an underlying sense of history for each piece.
In his paintings, huge statuesque heads hover over multi-color blocks while hands of worship float into the void. Sorrow and yearning are conveyed through the hunched postures of his figures and captured through ceremonial acts of giving and receiving. Each scene offers a fragmented tale and forces viewers to immerse themselves into the framework of the narrative.
Blaine Fontana currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Imbuing his vision with the divine symbolism of religious myths, worldly folklore and current social dynamics, his works contain a kind of shamanic exploration of meaning that recognizes the totemic quality and power of the image.
With extensive experience within the design world, Fontana’s work displays an understanding of signs and their roles within our contemporary visual culture. Straddling the physical and metaphysical, organic and architectural, painterly and graphic sensibilities, Fontana fuses multiple visual strategies to forge an aesthetic language entirely of his own making.
Zach Harris was born in 1976 in Santa Rosa, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College in 1999 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College in 2006. Harris’s painting conjures visions, in the sense that he imagines the inner tremors that remain unseen in the ordinary world, the vibrancy that animates our idea of something beyond us, whether an afterlife, a heightened state of consciousness or parallel dimensions.
His works, made from wood and often distinguished by carving on their surfaces, read somewhere between folk objects and aged devotional panels or even icons. They feel ancient, like riddles from another time whose keys have been slowly lost over generations.
Los Angeles-based artist and designer, Elena Stonaker makes soft sculptures and wearable art pieces using intricate quilting and beading techniques. Her soft sculpture and wearable art works have been described as evoking “a shamanistic aesthetic”, through the use of quilting techniques, beading, and myth-based narratives.
Los Angeles based artist Meagan Boyd‘s work often depicts utopian atmospheres filled with modern day nymphs, deities, holy beings, and party monsters who reveal the the interconnectivity of animals, people and nature. Through her art making process, she explores the transcendence between dreams and waking-life in the context of magic and myth. Using an explosive color palate along with intricate line-work, her freakishly folkish style combines the nostalgic essence of the fauves juxtaposed with a neon-like urban glow.
Portland-based AJ Fosik creates intricate, vividly colored three-dimensional pieces that reference folk art, taxidermy, and cultural ritual. Fosik’s wall pieces and freestanding sculptures of anthropomorphized animals are carefully crafted from hundreds of pieces of wood that he cuts and paints individually by hand. Once the basic forms are complete, he adds threatening teeth, claws, and eyes to give the objects an intimidating presence. Familiar cultural icons and traditions are re-configured, confronting the viewer with cryptic symbols from overlapping sources.
Fred Stonehouse was born in 1960 in Milwaukee, WI. He received his BFA from UW Milwaukee in 1982. He had his first solo show in Chicago in 1983 and shows regularly in New York at Howard Scott Gallery and in Los Angeles with Koplin/DelRio. He has exhibited in Mexico, Amsterdam, Rome and Berlin. He is currently an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin.
Stonehouse is a major figure in Wisconsin art and nationally recognized for his beautifully executed artwork and witty sense of rebellion. His style has a sophistication that reflects his diverse, cross-cultural interests, and outsider and folk art influences. His paintings are a materialization of his nostalgia for familiar cartoon figures of the past, blended with the artist’s own delicate balance of humor, beauty and derangement.
Las Vegas based artist Amy Sol spent her childhood years in Korea. Though the style of her work is greatly influenced by a combination of manga, folk-art, vintage illustration and modern design, she remains a self taught artist.
She has dedicated many years of her life mixing pigments and mediums to achieve a unique color palette of subtly muted tones. The artist works intuitively from the beginning to end of each piece, with the intent that each painting’s theme or message can be interpreted subjectively. Sol’s works are characterized by young maidens in dream-like nature settings with oversized or sometimes fanciful creatures.