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.
Last year, Nychos produced an installation of Sigmund Freud being dissected. This amazing piece was displayed in New York City’s Flatiron Plaza from June 16 to 18. The statue aimed to homage to the visionary’s inner life as the pioneer of psychoanalysis.
Louise Zhang is a Chinese-Australian artist based in Sydney, Australia. Spanning painting, sculpture and installation, her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.
Nianhua (年画) is a popular kind of print in China adorning people’s doors to celebrate the new year and to act as a sign of good will that says goodbye to the past and hello to the future. A great portion of these print depict pudgy babies in states of low-key glee as they recline on giant flowers, rid fish or cuddle peaches; it’s a concoction of sweetness that just makes you want to spew up all over the place.
‘New Year Rot!’ brings together this Nianhua imagery with the visual language of the realm of purgatory known in Chinese mythology as Diyu (地獄). This project is a continuation of the artist’s recent research into how situating her desire to attract and repulse her audience is a consequence of the kinds of feelings the horror film genre, and particularly body-horror, generates.
Berlin, Germany based Chiharu Shiota is a Japanese performance and installation artist best known for creating room-filling, monumental yet delicate, poetic environments. She weaves human-size webs from thread, turning entire galleries into labyrinthine environments and often enclosing personal objects or even herself.
Central to the artist’s work are the themes of remembrance and oblivion, dreaming and sleeping, traces of the past and childhood, and dealing with anxieties. Shiota finds diverse visual expressions for these subject matters, the most celebrated being impenetrable installations made of thread which often enclose various household and everyday, personal objects: a burnt-out piano, a wedding dress or a lady’s mackintosh.
Lucy Sparrow hails from Bath, in the West Country of England and works mainly in felt to create art that evokes delight and emotional responses from nearly everyone who sees it. Her world is very much about having an emotional response to the work she produces and to bring people closer to her creations. Lucy’s work has often been described as childlike because of the bright primary colors that she uses and the quirky little touches that she adds to almost everything she makes.All ages delight in the ingenious way she subverts everyday objects and turns household objects to life with playful faces and a joie de vivre that is totally infectious.
Already, Lucy Sparrow’s Feltism has caused quite a stir on the urban art scene and this culminated in 2014 with her audacious and fabulously inventive Cornershop. For the entire month of August, Lucy took over a rundown corner shop in Bethnal Green, East London, and filled it with more than 4000 hand-stitched felt replicas of everyday items that you’d normally find in a local shop. Tins of tomato soup jostled for shelf-space alongside felt cat litter and a freezer-full of felt ice pops.
Devin Troy Strother is known for his intricate alternative narratives in a variety of mediums such as mixed-media, sculpture, neon, and installation. He finds inspiration in snippets of overheard conversations, movies, television, music, stand-up comedy podcasts, and the work of numerous canonic artists such as Joseph Cornell, Marcel Duchamp, and Henri Matisse. Strother likes to incorporate humor and language relevant to his peers and does not shy from the outrageous; his titles often serving as the punch line.
Michael Murphy‘s (previously featured here) work is currently showing at the Wonderspaces pop-up event in San Diego. “Come Together,” an installation made of 2,200 descended parts, appears as a closed fist at certain angles. The fist is what the artist calls a “perceptual shift” sculpture. Stand in the right spot, and the piece shifts from an abstract collection of suspended cylinders to a fist.
Angola based Binelde Hyrcan is a multi-disciplinary artist working across painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance and installation. His work often addresses the absurdity represented by political and social customs and attitudes, in particular, critiquing structures of power and human vanity.
Sui Park is a New York based artist and an interior architect born in Seoul, Korea. Her work involves creating 3-dimensional flexible organic forms of a comfortable ambiance that are yet dynamic and possibly mystical or illusionary.
“My work involves creating 3-dimensional organic forms mostly in generic and biomorphic shapes. Through these forms, I attempt to express seemingly static yet dynamic characteristics of our evolving lives. While they resemble transitions and transformations of nature, the forms are also to capture subtle but continuous changes in our emotions, sentiments, memories and expectations.
I weave and connect traces and tracks of the subtle changes into organic forms. The organic forms are made with mass-produced industrial materials, in particular Monofilament and Cable Ties. They are non –durable, disposable, trivial, inexpensive and easily consumed materials. But, when I weave and connect them, they are transformed into organic visualizations. I want them to be creating lasting moments, evoking and encapsulating our precious thoughts.” Sui Park
Jaume Plensa produces monumental sculptures in steel, glass, marble, polyester resin, concrete, and bronze. He is best known for his Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millenium Park, two 50-foot-high glass towers set amidst a pool of water, which play giant video portraits of Chicago residents that periodically purse their lips and spout water into the pool.
Predominantly producing figurative sculpture, Plensa has created larger-than-life-sized heads constructed of fine, stainless-steel wire mesh so that their surrounding environments are visible through the works, and bronze figures cast from his own body.