Portland based artist Meredith Dittmar‘s human-animal-plant-energy clay amalgams contain threads of common elements and colors to express deep levels of union across themes of biology, technology, and consciousness. Her characters are frequently involved in quiet expressive moments, or lounge facing their audience so they can share their inner space. Dittmar believes it is this space we recognize in ourselves, and through convening in that space, the interconnectedness of all things is revealed. She sees the act of spontaneous artistic creation as part of a larger practice of being present, and a way to better understand herself and reality.
Los Angeles-based artist and designer, Elena Stonaker makes soft sculptures and wearable art pieces using intricate quilting and beading techniques. Her soft sculpture and wearable art works have been described as evoking “a shamanistic aesthetic”, through the use of quilting techniques, beading, and myth-based narratives.
Portland-based AJ Fosik creates intricate, vividly colored three-dimensional pieces that reference folk art, taxidermy, and cultural ritual. Fosik’s wall pieces and freestanding sculptures of anthropomorphized animals are carefully crafted from hundreds of pieces of wood that he cuts and paints individually by hand. Once the basic forms are complete, he adds threatening teeth, claws, and eyes to give the objects an intimidating presence. Familiar cultural icons and traditions are re-configured, confronting the viewer with cryptic symbols from overlapping sources.
The imaginary city landscapes of Dutch artist Georg Bohle are carefully drawn in pencil and constructed on extremely large paper sheets, always looking like a work in progress where, given time, the city could eventually occupy all the blank space. He works on metaphors representing the growth of a city and exacerbating the city’s own image.
The artist begins each work retrieving his feelings and memories of when he visited a specific place, ie. Istanbul, Tokyo, Tashkent or many others and/or deeply studying its written and visual history . Uncanny stories and ancient fears may lie under a city’s own image. These underlying worlds, which contrast with the exterior face of an urban ensemble are brought to life by Georg Bohle’s drawings.
Jamie Mills is an artist, illustrator, animator and educator currently based in York, U.K. Creating intricately detailed landscapes and wildlife creatures, his work is inspired by L.S Lowry and Brooks Salzwedel. Jamie’s illustrations are beyond two-dimensional flat imagery, but tangible and malleable zines and packages that are cleverly constructed to make the viewer feel drawn in. Leaning towards a style that is naturalistic, his images are very much based on nature, and the explorations and explanation of objects through story telling.
All hand drawn, his work can be described as intensely mono, a style that has been conceived from the avoidance of computer illustration, opting for a minimalist pencil. A craftsman that is as sentimental about his tools as his craft, Jamie’s illustrations reflect a need for absolute dedication and perseverance, a process that is both tiresome and painstaking, but leads to an unquestionable fulfilment.
Graphic artist and illustrator Alex Konahin just finished a new illustration-based project centered around the subject of seriously detailed dogs. The Latvia-based artist is known for his highly decorative style which he illustrates in each of his drawn subjects.
Konahin’s series was inspired from a time when he was going through an intense creative block after a long break from his personal creative work. Alex’s first portrait in the series was of an English Bulldog, and after liking the result, followed that piece up with a German Shepherd and Pit Bull Terrier.
Simon Beck turns a walk on the beach into a work of art with these massive crop circle-inspired creations. Each piece takes a huge amount of pre-planning but physically executing such intricate designs can take a full day trudging (sometimes well into the night). He made some crazy ones on the snow in New Zealand and the Swiss Alps, too.
Japanese artist Yusuke Asai uses nothing but natural pigments and water to create his intricate large-scale murals that he calls “earth painting”.
The materials of his works are almost always collected on-site, or site-specific, made using a variety of different textures and types of local mud, dirt and dust. Each piece begins with applying masking tape to walls, then drawing shapes of plants and animals over it to create infinitely swirling images. Asai rejects commonly used art supplies that are manufactured in favor of mud, a sediment where microscopic organisms make their home, for its special connection to nature.
Carlos Rolón has been recognized for his elaborately crafted paintings, ornate sculptures and works that come out of American, Latino and uniquely based subcultures. His studio practice investigates pop culture, craft, ritual, beauty and its relationship to art history, subculture, appropriation and the institution. As a first-generation immigrant of Puerto Rican decent, the artist creates objects questioning the concept of luxury and craft making to explore questions of identity, integration and aspiration. His work also represents a detailed examination of curiosity and the process of art making and the cultures surrounding this.
Joe Hengst is a San Francisco based artist who attended the Columbus College of Art & Design and earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.
The physical experiences we interact with today are perceived by minds, some more open than others, that reside in this newly fabricated society. Hengst’s work is just a small piece of the blueprint of what really happens beneath, and in-between, the surface of these physical interactions. In his work, Hengst is representing our departure from nature through the ethereal plane, or the space between our perceptions of everyday life. With these paintings he is depicting the birth of something new and beautiful.