Montreal, Quebec based Heidi Taillefer is an artist who blurs the line between what is beautiful and what is grotesque. A fusion of ancient and modern, divine and demonic, mystical and technological, and altogether awe-inspiring, Taillefer’s pieces are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. She seeks to explore and provide insights into the human condition, while paying particular attention to humanity’s increasingly complex relationships with technology and the advancement of AI.
Originally depicting subjects as machines placed in natural settings, her work acts as a nostalgic embrace of the past, through the lens of a culture racing forward at with technological advancements. While outpacing the evolution of our bodies and minds, Taillefer’s work examines the fact that a merger with technology does not insulate us from fundamental aspects of the human condition. (via WOWXWOW)
Toni Hamel lives and works in Oshawa, a suburb of Toronto, Canada. She describes her work as “an illustrated commentary on human frailties“. Rooted in story-telling, her art practice draws from personal experiences and outward observations to create thematic bodies of work that reflect on and interpret the psychological unease characteristic of our age. Virtues and vices, the holy and the profane, the good and the bad all share equal weight in her work and supply an infinite source of material for her investigations.
Such conceptual framework leads Hamel to work across disciplines: drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations are rendered in both traditional and non-traditional materials and are selected based on their ability to support the particular message she needs to convey. Pointing to historical and psychological references while tackling issues of universal interest, Hamel’s narratives question our behavior to eventually alert us about the repercussions of our current thinking models.
Adrian Arleo is a ceramic sculptor living outside Missoula, Montana. She studied Art and Anthropology at Pitzer College and received her M.F.A. in ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design.
“For over thirty years, my sculpture has combined human, animal and natural imagery to create a kind of emotional and poetic power. Often there’s a suggestion of a vital interconnection between the human and non-human realms; the imagery arises from associations, concerns and obsessions that are at once intimate and universal. The work frequently references mythology and archetypes in addressing our vulnerability amid changing personal, environmental and political realities. By focussing on older, more mysterious ways of seeing the world, edges of consciousness and deeper levels of awareness suggest themselves.” Adrian Arleo
Yuichi Ikehata is an artist born and based in Chiba, Japan. In a series titled “Fragment of Long Term Memory”, Ikehata sculpts human bodies or body parts using wire, clay, and paper. Next, he photographs the sculpture and digitally adds in skin, hair, eyes, and other features. The final image is so seamless that the viewer cannot tell what is real and what is not. Each sculpture is frozen in a state of unravelling or partial decomposition, their skin flaking off to reveal the structure beneath, as if they were real bodies caught at the edge of an explosion.
Nathan Sawaya was born in Colville, Washington and raised in Veneta, Oregon. He attended New York University. Sawaya lives and works between his two studios located in New York City and Los Angeles.
Since his first solo exhibition, Sawaya’s artwork has grabbed the attention of art critics and pop culture novices alike. His artwork has been shown in major art institutions throughout the world, and held in the collection of both prominent private and public collections. Sawaya was the first contemporary artist to ever take LEGO into the art world as a medium. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful. Sawaya’s ability to transform LEGO bricks into something new, his devotion to scale and color perfection, the way he conceptualizes the action of the subject matter, enables him to elevate an ordinary toy to the status of fine art.
Laura Berger (previously featured here) is a visual artist living and working in Chicago, Illinois. She received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2002. Berger has shown her artwork both nationally and internationally, with exhibitions in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, and New Zealand.
Her existential explorations take place within minimalistic environments, populated by a cast of culturally diverse naked human bodies. These entities are often engaging in spiritually enriching activities, both together and alone, highlight the importance of our basic human connections and the time required to reflect and grow.
Rogan Brown (previously featured here) has been working on one of his largest pieces. “Cell Cloud Variation” is composed of almost 1000 separate laser cut elements painstakingly mounted by hand using long entomological pins so that everything floats.
He also worked on a new piece inspired by the structure of bone, cells and neurons in the human body.
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.
Oslo, Norway based Fredrik Raddum works with sculpture, installation, photo and performance related journeys. He has exhibited at various spaces since 2001. Raddum popularizes serious themes and embodies them in tragicomic animal and human figures resembling cartoon characters. Clichés and icons are twisted and turned in to new settings. Without obvious display of critical attitude, Raddum’s sculptures drop subtle hints encouraging the viewer to think beyond the initial encounter.
Copenhagen, Denmark based gouache and watercolor painter Esther Sarto aka Miss Take combines elements of mother earth by coinciding them with our personal & social aspects of our lives. She often uses bare, entangled humans and plant-life to express her sentiments.