HUMAN FRAILTIES BY TONI HAMEL

by Ariadna Zierold

toni hamel, toronto, canada, illustration, painting, installation, nature, human, humor, drawing, drawings, narrative, narratives, upper playground

 

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.

toni hamel, toronto, canada, illustration, painting, installation, nature, human, humor, drawing, drawings, narrative, narratives, upper playground

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.

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FUZZY AIRBRUSH GRADIENTS BY MORGAN BLAIR

by Ariadna Zierold

morgan_blair_

Morgan Blair (previously featured here) is a freelance illustrator, fine artist, and desperado. She is a recent graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), now living in Brooklyn, New York and continuing to advance her interest in trees, legos and excellent music.

morgan blair, illustrator, illustration, painting, brooklyn, new york, neon, colorful, abstract, abstraction, fuzzed, fuzzy, airbrush, gradient, gradients, shapes, flat, geometric, pop culture, upper playground

Blair’s recent work explores the balance of control and freedom in her process, manifested in a mashing up of low contrast flesh tones with wild, neon color schemes; hard edges with fuzzed out airbrush gradients; smooth, flat shapes with brush marks and rough, sandy textures; and wonky, irregular forms with geometric curves and angles. The resulting optical abstractions play on the absurd in pop culture, current events, the mall, the internet, common street trash, consumerism, and personal experience.

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WHIMSICAL CREATURES BY ROMAN KLONEK

by Ariadna Zierold

roman klonek, illustration, illustrations, illustrator, germany, dusseldorf, old fashioned, color block, vintage, retro, whimsical, creatures, characters, surreal, graphic, poster, posters, upper playground

Düsseldorf, Germany based Roman Klonek (previously featured here) was born in Kattowitz, Poland. He has a spot for old fashioned cartoons and modern block printing styles. In the 90s he studied Graphic Arts in Duesseldorf and discovered a passion for woodcut.

roman klonek, illustration, illustrations, illustrator, germany, dusseldorf, old fashioned, color block, vintage, retro, whimsical, creatures, characters, surreal, graphic, poster, posters, upper playground

For 15 years he has been doing posters with a wide range of whimsical creatures, mostly half animal/half human, preferential in awkward situations. In his work, you will find a bizarre balancing act between propaganda, folklore and pop.
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MACABRE NARRATIVES BY BILL MAYER

by Ariadna Zierold

bill mayer, illustration, painting, decatur, georgia, humor, narrative, macabre, upper playground

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.

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‘EVERYTHING NOT SAVED WILL BE LOST’ BY JESS JOHNSON

by Ariadna Zierold

jess johnson, everything not saved will be lost, illustration, drawing, science fiction, surreal, technology, culture, complex, worlds, pattern, patterns, objects, figures, architectural, environments, new york, upper playground

Jess Johnson (previously featured here) was born in Tauranga, New Zealand in 1979. In 2016 she relocated permanently to New York after twelve years of living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Her drawing and installation practice is influenced by the speculative intersections between language, science fiction, culture and technology. In her drawings she depicts complex worlds that combine densely layered patterns, objects and figures within architectural settings.

jess johnson, everything not saved will be lost, illustration, drawing, science fiction, surreal, technology, culture, complex, worlds, pattern, patterns, objects, figures, architectural, environments, new york, upper playground

Johnson’s drawings are often displayed within constructed environments that act as physical portals into her speculative worlds. Her recent video collaborations with Simon Ward have involved translating her drawings into animated Virtual Reality, thus enabling her audience to have the simulated experience of entering the hypnotic realms depicted in her drawings.

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NIGHTTIME PALETTES BY KATYA DOROKHINA

by Ariadna Zierold

katya dorokhina, illustration, illustrations, illustrator, moscow, russia, neon, colorful, texture, light, color, upper playground

Moscow-based illustrator Katya Dorokhina is turning heads in the arts world with her unique aesthetic that combines nighttime palettes and neon colors. Her main interest lies in making comics and zines, animated illustration and working with 3D objects. Katya sketches compositions before digitally editing them with Photoshop allowing her to play and experiment with texture, light and color.

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NEW DARK WORK BY DEREK ERCOLANO

by Ariadna Zierold

derek ercolano, illustration, illustrations, dark, monochromatic, monochrome, brooklyn, weird, bizarre, surreal, upper playground

Derek Ercolano (previously featured here) is a Brooklyn based illustrator who’s work is super rad. He does a lot of weirdo drawings of random characters, with melting faces and riding hoverboards and basically tripping out in every conceivable way. When you look through his portfolio it’s also cool to see how he’s progressed over the last couple years. His newest stuff is absolutely killing it.

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