BROKEN LIQUID BY BEN YOUNG

by Ariadna Zierold

ben young, new zealand, glass, concrete, sculpture, ocean, landscape, landscapes, nature, upper playground

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand based Ben Young is a self-taught artist who has been making glass sculpture for over 15 years. Each of Young’s sculptural works are hand drawn, hand cut and handcrafted from clear sheet float glass, then laminated layer upon layer to create the final form. He constructs models, draws templates, makes custom jigs and then cuts the layers with a glazier’s hand-tool.

ben young, new zealand, glass, concrete, sculpture, ocean, landscape, landscapes, nature, upper playground

Young’s current work explores the use of industrial materials to compliment the organic glass shapes. He liked the idea that concrete is a basic construction material, and also the physical and visual contrasts between the textures and colors of both materials. Still noticeably influenced by the ocean and bodies of water – the concrete forms have become an integral part of his art forms as have the small bronze carvings which he sculpts initially from wax and uses to help portray the narrative suggested by his landscapes.

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SPECTRAL FIGURES BY GENIEVE FIGGIS

by Ariadna Zierold

genieve figgis, painting, oil, humor, canonical, hierarchies, scenes, landscapes, bourgeois, traditional, portrait, upperplayground

The paintings of Irish artist Genieve Figgis are possessed of a wicked, unmistakably Irish sense of humor. They ironize our attitudes to conspicuous wealth, land ownership, and social hierarchies by reimagining canonical paintings—commissioned to preserve the glory of their subjects—as nightmarish scenes, suggestive almost of depravity.

genieve figgis, painting, oil, humor, canonical, hierarchies, scenes, landscapes, bourgeois, traditional, portrait, upperplayground

Her scenes depicting bourgeois homes, traditional portraits, or landscapes are often haunted by spectral figures and leering creatures with canes and top hats. A sense of the charmingly macabre emerges from Figgis’ combination of an apparent pictorial banality with dreamlike qualities.

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PICTORIAL MEMOIRS BY PAUL METRINKO

by Ariadna Zierold

paul metrinko, sea, water, pool, landscape, landscapes, painting, figurative, seaside, upper playground

New York City based Paul Metrinko’s paintings visually explore the people, places and things that surround him. His paintings are equally a living pictorial memoir and an earnest contribution to the storied tradition of figurative painting.

paul metrinko, sea, water, pool, landscape, landscapes, painting, figurative, seaside, upper playground

Using his characteristic and vaguely abstract style, Paul morphs the noisy, harsh atmosphere of a sunny seaside resort into a sweet pastel stretch of atmospheric daubs of paint in a way that makes it completely enchanting, transforming this familiar space into a fairytale-like landscape that’s not completely without sinister undertones.

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AN EXCERCISE IN ATTRACTION BY ANDREW MCINTOSH

by Ariadna Zierold

andrew mcintosh, mackie, painting, landscapes, desolate, kiosks, surreal, magical, upper playground

Andrew McIntosh was born in Grantown On Spey in the Highlands of Scotland in 1979. Following studies at Edinburgh’s Telford College, he held his first solo exhibition at the Highland Mori museum in 2001. Since then he has exhibited widely across the UK, including at the Carnegie Club at Skibo castle in Sutherland, and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London.

andrew mcintosh, mackie, painting, landscapes, desolate, kiosks, surreal, magical, upper playground

“My paintings are an exercise in attraction. Through them I am constantly searching for new ways of communicating with the viewer. By seducing them with my imagery, I try to create a new visual language with the power to pique their attention and make them stop to ask: why? Desolate landscapes, decrepit houses, and incongruous moments of glory come together to suggest the presence of a narrative that exists as much in the viewer’s mind as in the painting. This is how I aim to use my works: as the space for an imaginary dialogue between strangers.” Andrew McIntosh

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THE QUEEN OF BOHEMIAN ARTISTS: GERTRUDE ABERCROMBIE

by Ariadna Zierold

gertrude abercrombie, surreal, surrealist, painting, bohemian, landscapes, self portrait, sorcery, upper playground

Gertrude Abercrombie was an American painter based in Chicago. Called “the queen of the bohemian artists”, Abercrombie was involved in the Chicago jazz scene and was friends with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan, whose music inspired her own creative work.

gertrude abercrombie, surreal, surrealist, painting, bohemian, landscapes, self portrait, sorcery, upper playground

She painted many variations of her favored subjects: sparsely furnished interiors, barren landscapes, self-portraits, and still-lifes. Many compositions feature a lone woman in a flowing gown, often depicted with attributes of sorcery: an owl, a black cat, a crystal ball, or a broomstick. 

gertrude abercrombie, surreal, surrealist, painting, bohemian, landscapes, self portrait, sorcery, upper playground

Abercrombie’s mature works are painted in a precise, controlled style. She took little interest in other artists’ work, although she admired Magritte. Largely self-taught, she did not regard her lack of extensive formal training as a hindrance.

gertrude abercrombie, surreal, surrealist, painting, bohemian, landscapes, self portrait, sorcery, upper playground

Her work evolved into incorporating her love for jazz music, inspired by parties and jam sessions she hosted in her Hyde Park home. Musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Jackie Cain and the Modern Jazz Quartet were considered friends. Dizzy Gillespie described her “the first bop artist. Bop in the sense that she has taken the essence of our music and transported it to another art form”.

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ABSURD ART BY DAVID IRVINE

by Ariadna Zierold

david irvine, toronto, prints, vintage, painting, pop culture, redirected, humor, landscapes, upper playground

Toronto-based artist David Irvine has always had a fondness for old prints found at thrift shops. He used buy them to paint over and reuse as blank canvases, then one day started painting on the pictures themselves. Seven years on, he has upcycled hundreds of paintings, adding incongruous pop culture figures such as Darth Vader and Pac-Man to conventional scenes.

david irvine, toronto, prints, vintage, painting, pop culture, redirected, humor, landscapes, upper playground

Irvine has been refining and pushing the boundaries of “redirected” art with a unique and original spin almost as long as his good friend, Marcel Duchamp. David’s quirky and very popular style is created by repurposing unwanted prints or original art from thrift stores or found at yard sales and painted upon using his own style of creativity. Seemingly random subject matter including pop cultural references, political comment, the camp and the absurd, often combining all these elements to create truly original art pieces.

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MESSY SITUATIONS BY SHAI AZOULAY

by Ariadna Zierold

shai azoulay, painting, situation, detailed, israel, jerusalem, people, landscapes, upper playground

Born in Israel in 1971, Shai Azoulay lives and works in Jerusalem. He received both his BFA and MFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem.

shai azoulay, painting, situation, detailed, israel, jerusalem, people, landscapes, upper playground

Azoulay works has been exhibited around the world, including shows in New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Rome. In 2011 Azoulay had his first major museum show at the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art. His work was featured at Frieze art fair, London and is in major privet and public collections.

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ANIMATED DESERTED SPACES BY GEOFFROY DE CRECY

by Ariadna Zierold

geoffroy de crecy, animation, loop, loops, automated, landscapes, abandoned, deserted, motion, machines, upper playground

Animator Geoffroy de Crécy created a series of short animated loops depicting how deserted spaces and abandoned automated landscapes, left to perpetually continue in their motions, would continue to live on. Focusing on the machines we have created to make our lives easier, the machines in their loops seem very obsolete, almost sad looking.

The rolling sushi counter presents us with a continuous flow of perfectly presented plates, waiting to be picked up by the absent customers.  Elevators and escalators are plagued by cans that keep them going, whilst the ski lift moves in circles, waiting to transport someone to the untouched ski slopes. These empty places show just how we have defined the landscapes and how redundant they would become without us in it.

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CONDENSED PAINTINGS BY GUY YANAI

by Ariadna Zierold

guy yanai, painting, abstract, flat, bold, colorful, objects, landscapes, tel aviv, israel, upper playground

Tel Aviv, Israel based Guy Yanai attended Parsons School of Design and the New York Studio School, and received a BFA from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Yanai’s paintings are characterized by bold colors, simplified shapes, and a shallow depth of field. He often chooses everyday objects and spaces as his subjects, flattening and abstracting them in a way that seems removed and objective.

guy yanai, painting, abstract, flat, bold, colorful, objects, landscapes, tel aviv, israel, upper playground

Synthesizing a wide range of influences, from Renaissance humanism and classical antiquity to modernist abstraction and the Internet, Yanai’s work captures the sense of simultaneous anxiety and excitement characteristic of today.

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