Not having come from a formal fine arts background, Sydney based Marc Etherington (previously featured here) is a self-taught artist with a practice that is driven by an inner compulsion to make art. Etherington’s works make very obvious nods to popular culture. Referencing contemporary icons like the Kardashian’s, McDonald’s and Justin Bieber, he also gives a slow and deliberate wink to pop culture of the past.
Los Angeles based Masami Teraoka‘s early work consisted primarily of watercolor paintings and prints that mimicked the flat, bold qualities of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These paintings, done after his arrival in the United States, often featured the collision of the two cultures. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan characterize themes in the work in this time period. These pieces blended reality with fantasy, humor with commentary, history with the present.
He has abandoned this style in favor of Western European religious iconography, in tune with his cultural and political critique of contemporary culture, particularly its confessional quality in America society. Teraoka’s work has been reviewed, collected and exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.
London based Gordon Armstrong AKA Mr Gordo is an illustrator, or rather ‘doodler’. His playful style and approach to design is refreshingly care free and unbridled of the slightest notion of giving one single fuck.
Andrea Ucini is a self-thought Italian illustrator with a degree in composition and classic piano from the Music Academy of Florence and is specialized in conceptual illustration. The target of all his work is turning complex concepts into strong visual solutions without straying too far from the reality of everyday life.
Ogden-based Chris Bodily‘s illustrated and cartoon-like works containing beyond-normal children and and an array of creatures and monsters have been a fixture of the local art scene since becoming a professional freelance artist right out of college, earning him a place in several exhibitions.
Bodily’s illustrations are simultaneously raw, funny, messy, cartoonish, and heartbreaking. A big goofy monster holding prescriptions and wanting his heart to be seen with allusions to happiness scribbled on the wall says volumes about the human condition.
Sydney based Tony Papesh is a freelance animator/ illustrator/ designer/ artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. His passion is character animation but he is skilled in mostly any form of animation such as: 2D animation, 3D animation, hand-drawn animation, motion graphics, stop motion, and rotoscoping. He gets inspiration from cartoons, comics, and video games and a lot of the playfulness of these mediums shows through his personal art.
Team Macho is a collaborative illustration and fine art effort composed of Lauchie Reid, Chris Buchan, Nicholas Aoki, and Stephen Appleby-Barr. They create wildly playful and humorously crude works that range from rough illustration to polished paintings. They currently occupy a large studio in Toronto, Canada where their joint efforts are divided equally between illustrating for very fine clients and preparing gross quantities of highly imaginative artwork for galleries in Canada and abroad.
Designed to subvert any sense of singular authorship, their production is a collaborative form of process art by which an individual paints a portrait or scene informed by elements from his compatriots’ portfolios. The result is an endless reinterpretation of each other’s point of view. The visual components of each work, however thematic or peripheral, become a pleasant surprise to both viewer and creator. The unspoken element that is conversely integral to Team Macho’s process is their piecemeal approach to collaboration; every member has contributed to each work even if someone’s hand never touches the actual work.
Rachel Harrison’s work draws from a wide range of influence, wittily combining art historical and pop cultural references through a diverse play of materials. Grotesque and funny, Harrison’s humour derives from its carefully structured, yet open-ended suggestion, each element building up to a plausible punch line. Using visual language as a subversive tool, Harrison parodies appropriating styles and motifs with subtle knowingness, wielding artistic process as a mode of investigation.
Southeast L.A.-based AJ Dungo was born in Fort Myers, Florida. He always strives to create interesting atmospheres or capture feelings that viewers can relate to or have a reaction to.
Personal experience is a huge influence for him. Dungo tends to extract some of his most interesting images from funny or poignant moments in his own life. AJ is a big believer of the saying; “reality is stranger than fiction.” That seems to drive a lot of his work.
How many characters can one man play? Here’s a cool throwback to the 90s for nostalgic TV Junkies and sitcom fans of Sheneneh Jenkins, Roscoe, Otis, Dragonfly Jones and more. Available in two colorways, in store and online at upperplayground.com.