Bunnie ‘Bonnie’ Reiss was born in Maryland, but raised mostly with the wide-blue sky’s of Colorado. Having come from a large Polish/Russian family, eating, loud talking and community shaped her life. She was a tiny rebel with a large imagination, knowing at a young age that she quite didn’t fit in and the world was a much bigger place than quiet suburban landscape that seemed to endlessly surround her.
Her work is heavily influenced by her Eastern European background, with its tradition of folk art, bright colors and community engagement. Her extensive travels have also added an extra layer of conversation, which make her creations unique. She has shown extensively in both the United States and around the world, in galleries, alternative spaces, bookstores, abandoned buildings, fields and forests, or any place that seems to need a little extra magic. Her brightly colored folk murals decorate many countries and can be found all over the world.
Los Angeles based Nalini ‘Deedee’ Cheriel (previously featured here) is a visual artist who started out creating record covers and T-shirts for the Oregon music scene in the early ‘90s. Born in the hippie town of Eugene, Oregon, she began her own band and record label at the age of 19. Influenced by the popular DIY culture of that time, she played in several all-girl bands (Juned, Adickdid, The Teenangels, The Hindi Guns) and co-created the semi-autobiographical film Down and Out with the Dolls. This artist has lived and studied abroad: Honduras, Chile, England, Portugal, Spain and her native India.
Cheriel’s work explores narratives that recognize the urgency and conflict in our continuing attempts to connect to the world. With influences derived from such opposites as East Indian temple imagery, punk rock, and her Pacific Northwest natural environment, her images are indications of how we try to connect ourselves to others and how these satirical and heroic efforts are episodes of compassion and discomfort. Bold elements drawn from landscapes -both urban and natural- and pop culture suggest the ability to find commonalities and relationships between ourselves and our surroundings that inevitably confirm our greater humanity and quest towards love.
Adrian Landon Brooks (previously featured here) studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and currently lives and works in Wimberley, Texas. Brooks works predominately in the mediums of painting and illustration, using found materials such as wood, metal, and old photographs as his canvas.
“Creating otherworldly backdrops for mystical iconography has long been a driving force in my work. Wormholes, starscapes and portals serve as monuments to something greater than myself. Through the process of making this work, I attempt to share my vision of a higher power and purpose.” Adrian Landon Brooks
Mark Rogers is a self-taught artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. Stylistically his work has been described as a blending of folk art, medieval renascence, and fairy tale illustration. Taking inspiration from everyday occurrences and personal experiences, Rogers crafts narratives with imaginary characters to populate.
Portland based artist AJ Fosik (previously featured here) 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. Totems and fetishes, as well as the “random, chaotic and arbitrary nature of existence,” fascinate Fosik.
Meagan Boyd aka Yin Shadowz lives and works in Los Angeles. Through her art, she explores the transcendental realm between dreams and waking life in the context of myth and magic. The work often depicts Utopian environments filled with modern day nymphs, spiritual deities, holy beings, and party monsters, relishing the interconnectivity between all animals, humans, and nature. Incorporating an explosive color palate and intricate line-work, her “freakishly folkish” aesthetic fuses nostalgia with an enigmatic urban glow. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Boyd is the art director and co-founder of the Applied Mythology Project, an organization that seeks to understand the relationship between creativity and esoteric practices in modern society.
She is launching her ‘Neon Fauves’ solo exhibitionat LA’s burgeoning Chinatown-based gallery Leiminspace on Saturday, August 12th. Comprised of acrylic and watercolor paintings on canvas and paper, the exhibition serves as the latest iteration of the artist’s bold investigations into spirituality, religious symbolism, and the Occult. Boyd’s floating deities, known as “fauves” serve as mystical centerpieces within each work, elegantly draped in flora and fauna against a flat vacuous backdrop. While grounded in present day, she re-imagines our universe as a vivid supernatural playground, seamlessly incorporating primitive art traditions with postmodern sensibilities.
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.