THE WORK OF MASAMI TERAOKA

by Ariadna Zierold

masami teraoka, watercolor, painting, paintings, japan, japanese, culture, traditional, humor, funny, woodblock, print, culture, america, society, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based Masami Teraoka‘s early work consisted primarily of watercolor paintings and prints that mimicked the flat, bold qualities of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These paintings, done after his arrival in the United States, often featured the collision of the two cultures. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan characterize themes in the work in this time period. These pieces blended reality with fantasy, humor with commentary, history with the present.

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He has abandoned this style in favor of Western European religious iconography, in tune with his cultural and political critique of contemporary culture, particularly its confessional quality in America society. Teraoka’s work has been reviewed, collected and exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

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RECONSTRUCTED PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOSHUA DILDINE

by Ariadna Zierold

joshua dildine, photographs, family, photography, decpnstructed, reconstructed, abstract, abstraction, painting, acrylic, ink, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based Joshua Dildine is a painter that repurposes family photographs, using them as armatures for abstract painting. Three different steps in his work are construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. Construction involves selection of the photography and setting up the emotional context that the image possess. Deconstruction is actually defacement of photography so he could create something new. During this step that last only a few moments Dildine works very quickly to harmonize the photo with paint. Last stage is the reconstruction of the context. Using acrylic, spray paint, oil and UV coated ink, he defaces the image into works of art.

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DAZZLING CANVASES BY NICOLA VERLATO

by Ariadna Zierold

nicola verlato, painting, italy, verona, los angeles, pagan, contemporary, classic, dynamic, unsettling, dazzling, epic, upper playground

Los Angeles based Nicola Verlato was born in Verona, Italy. He started to paint when he was 7, and to sell his paintings when he was 9. His artistic education has been quite unorthodox. He considers himself almost self thought. However, from 9 to 14 he spent every summer at the studio of a monk-painter in the monastery nearby his village in northeast Italy.

nicola verlato, painting, italy, verona, los angeles, pagan, contemporary, classic, dynamic, unsettling, dazzling, epic, upper playground

Verlato’s paintings fantasize the many ways that pagan themes and elements might survive and reappear in contemporary society. Dynamic, unsettling and skillfully executed, his canvases dazzle and bewilder.

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MISCHIEVOUS MICROCOSM BY BONETHROWER

by Ariadna Zierold

david m cook, bonethrower, illustration, skulls, surreal, colorful, los angeles, upper playground

David M. Cook is the architect of a mischievous microcosm. Amicable and unassuming, he hardly seems the “type” to consistently and skillfully crank out such a lewd labyrinth of work, but the cheeky hedonism comes all too naturally. Based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn, but originally from Louisville, Kentucky, David (who also answers to Bonethrower) uses no shortage of fine lines to design a world that is equal parts modern mysticism and memento mori—at the end of the day, it all sinks in like a psychotropic drug.

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DRIPPING INSTALLATIONS BY STERLING RUBY

by Ariadna Zierold

sterling ruby, sculpture, installation, los angeles, dripping, paint, colorful, psychologies, graffiti, craft, punk, dirty, splattered, upper playground

Los Angeles based artist Sterling Ruby works in a large variety of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and video. Often, his work is presented in large and densely packed installations.

sterling ruby, sculpture, installation, los angeles, dripping, paint, colorful, psychologies, graffiti, craft, punk, dirty, splattered, upper playground

The artist has cited a diverse range of sources and influences including aberrant psychologies (particularly schizophrenia and paranoia), urban gangs and graffiti, hip-hop culture, craft, punk, masculinity, violence, public art, prisons, globalization, American domination and decline, waste and consumption. In opposition to the minimalist artistic tradition and influenced by the ubiquity of urban graffiti, the artist’s works often appear scratched, defaced, camouflaged, dirty, or splattered.

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AMERICAN CULTURE BY JIM SHAW

by Ariadna Zierold

jim shaw, media, imagery, painting, american culture, comic book, pulp novels, posters, pop culture, symbols, narrative, landscape, upper playground, los angeles

The practice of Los Angeles based artist Jim Shaw spans a wide range of both artistic media and visual imagery. Since the 1970s, Shaw has mined the detritus of American culture, finding inspiration for his artworks in comic books, pulp novels, rock albums, protest posters, thrift store paintings and advertisements.

jim shaw, media, imagery, painting, american culture, comic book, pulp novels, posters, pop culture, symbols, narrative, landscape, upper playground, los angeles

Providing a blend of the personal, the commonplace and the uncanny, Shaw’s works frequently place in dialogue images of friends, family members, world events, pop culture and alternate realities. Often unfolding in long-term, narrative cycles, the works contains systems of cross-references and repetitions, which rework similar symbols and motifs, allowing a story-like thread to be perceived.

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FANTASTIC PIECES BY CHYRUM LAMBERT

by Ariadna Zierold

chyrum lambert, ink, acrylic, oil, artwork, collage, layer, abstract, surreal, landscape, los angeles, abstract, upper playground

Los Angeles based artist Chyrum Lambert uses ink, dye, stain, acrylic, wax, epoxy, and oil to create the pieces of his artwork, which he cuts up and layers into these fantastic pieces. Some of the artwork is more abstract while others have a semblance of figures or plant-life, familiar shapes slowly appearing.

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INTERPRETATION OF SPACE BY KATIE GRINNAN

by Ariadna Zierold

katie grinnan, sculpture, installation, los angeles, kinesthetic, structure, form, upper playground

Los Angeles based Katie Grinnan uses sculpture, photography, sound, and video to explore the relationship between our visual and kinesthetic experience and our resulting interpretation of space.

katie grinnan, sculpture, installation, los angeles, kinesthetic, structure, form, upper playground

Grinnan’s most recent work reflects the search for structure and form within complex systems such as the brain and the universe that resist resolution and are largely speculative. It is the alchemical, yet paradoxical relationship between actual experience and our interpretations that has become the underlying focus of her work.

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FLUID IMAGES BY ALEX GARDNER

by Ariadna Zierold

alex gardner, symbols, fluid, anatomy, surreal, landscape, minimal, faceless, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based artist Alex K. Gardner‘s works are a constant exploration of human nature, which the artist links to water symbols and fluid images, in an unusual cube patterned surreal landscape. Driven or confronted with a force greater than their own, his minimal, often faceless, characters express desire, anxiety, sadness, or the hardship to achieve what they long for.

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