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.
Stacey Rozich paints a folkloric narrative that draws inspiration from many cultural references, building scenarios pulled from a realm of familiar fictional archetypes and traditions. Influence is taken from travel, world textiles, childhood memories and the many many hours spent watching television. All works are created in watercolor and gouache.
Street artist Stephan Doitschinoff aka Calma is an itinerant painter and muralist in Brazil. In his work, Doitschinoff expresses his interest in Afro-Brazilian folklore and religious traditions, primarily the blending of Christian and African ritual practices. He fills his delicate paintings with alchemic and pagan symbolism, Latin text, and pichação, the graffiti writing unique to São Paulo.
Milan based artist El Gato Chimney started his career as a self-taught artist, developing an early interest in graffiti that led to a successful journey into street art. El Gato Chimney has become a prominent presence in leading publications on the subject.
As the years went by, thanks to the acquisition of new knowledge and the need to continuously improve his technical skills, the artist began to prefer to work in his studio, dedicating his time to introspective research in depicting immaterial things, such as emotions and inner visions.
Currently, El Gato Chimney’s studies range over a wide variety of subjects, such as alchemy, ancient and modern art, magic, mirabilia, occultism, popular folklore, primitive art and spiritualism.
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.
Jana Brike was born in 1980 in Latvia, during it’s Soviet occupation. Having undergone rigorous academic training from an early age, she was already exhibiting her artwork on the international stage by the age of fifteen. Jana’s work now resides in collections around the world.
She is a remarkable storyteller. Narrative is the very heart and soul of her work. Much akin to the tribal folklore of Jana’s Latvian heritage, she weaves her encrypted narratives filled with haunting mystery and dramatic intrigue. Brike’s beautifully crafted oil paintings read like visual poetry. Rich in metaphor and symbolism, they are brimming with tales of growth and transformation.
Ellie Okamoto’s paintings are a maelstrom of imagery teeming with rainbow-colored human figures, animals, and grotesque creatures. Her art is replete with Japanese folklore, tradition, and symbolism. Her paintings reveal clouds swirling through lush forests, carrying the spirit of animals and mythological creatures; the extinct Japanese wolf is a recurring character, once believed to be like a mountain god and the guardian of peasants since they were great hunters in mountain forests.
Upper Playground favorite Jeremy Fish releases his Earthquake Hoodie this week with his signature style and storytelling capacity. Jeremy Fish explains the inspiration behind this art like this:
“According to the California natives, the reason we have earthquakes is because the land is built on the backs of giant turtles. Earthquakes happen when the turtles argue, and their shells grind on each other. Turtle tectonics!” -JF
Classic Fit, 10oz 80/20 Cotton/ Poly Blend Hoodie. Available now in stores and online at www.upperplayground.com