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.
Shawn Huckins (previously featured here) was not inspired by the likes of Van Gogh, Monet, or DaVinci. As a young boy in the second grade, Huckins found inspiration in someone who he affectionately refers to as the ‘Big Kid.’ Observing the ‘Big Kid’ and his drawing talents during a school bus ride home, Huckins took to creating his own sketches. Now a painter, Huckins’ introduction to painting came in the form of a family loss when his grandmother passed away a year later and inherited her slightly used oil painting set.
Unfortunately, Huckins’ love affair with painting did not last long. As the medium was not quite what he was used to, he became increasingly frustrated, and stepped away from painting altogether until his college years. After a little globetrotting and some brief stints as a film major, an architecture major, and then as a graphic designer, Huckins found his way back to the medium that he now skillfully manipulates.
Now settled in a creative niche that he could call home, Huckins went onto create his most notable series to date, The American Revolution Revolution and The American __tier.
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.
San Francisco based Matt Furieis an artist, illustrator and children’s book author. He’s best known for his character Pepe, a fun-loving stoner frog from his comic Boy’s Club, who has become a ubiquitous internet meme. Check out some of his illustrations.
Decatur, Georgia based Bill Mayer‘s originality and humor are present in his work and continually borrowed and imitated by other artists. With a natural flare for assembling narratives that use both his playful wit and a fascination with all things macabre, Bill sucks the viewer into dark dreamlike scenarios which frequently beguile by polarizing emotions.
Kirk Fanelly’s collage and oil paintings are a great reminder that you can create gorgeous works of art, have a sense of humor, and make the viewer laugh and be disturbed all at once. Fanelly completed his BA from Brown University in 1999.
His work is part grounded in the solidity of the day to day and the objects and people that surround him. From those points, he flushes out narratives, humor, and dimensions that are either hidden or obscure. His desire is to be influenced by his studio space at McColl Center – introducing new interiors, people, light and ideas to his work.
Memphis-based Alex Paulus’ paintings reflect the denial of a shitty existence. Paulus has created a crowded installation of grotesque figurative paintings that are unapologetically in your face and ridiculously successful. He combines acrylic, oil and paint marker to create a variety of textures, which also add depth to his works.
A variety of misshapen and jumbled characters inhabit Alex’s canvases, and his figures are depicted trying out VR headsets, swimming with dolphins and windsurfing on a Papa John slice of pizza. Alex’s work is surreal, yet the topical and pop culture references he includes not only add humor but also keeps them grounded in a familiar sort of reality.
Paris based illustrator Loïc Movellan works in four-panel comics. These short satirical stories catches your eye while scrolling through his Instagram, an intentional platform for the drawings. Each comic is chuckle-inducing in just four panels, portraying instants or anecdotes that Movellan has lived and some come directly from his imagination or dreams.
Alexis E. Mabry‘s assemblage paintings, mixed-media collages, and jewelry mix the macabre and the whimsical into a potpourri of lighthearted chaos. Wholesome American families from the 50s laugh while catching on fire, an eager young boy’s head flies off his body like a bloody rocket while opening Christmas presents, a lamb smiles wryly while getting stabbed by a dozen steak knives.
Her sources of reference and artistic material for her collages come from the same types of Christian books of older American life that she was forced to read in elementary school. A change of facial expression or of background scenery could easily transform these works into gruesome horror, but instead they become emblems of humor.