Los Angeles based Todd Schorr is an American artist and one of the most prominent members of the “Lowbrow” art movement or pop surrealism. Combining a cartoon influenced visual vocabulary with a highly polished technical ability, based on the exacting painting methods of the Old Masters, Schorr weaves intricate narratives that are often biting yet humorous in their commentary on the human condition.
Schorr grew up as a child in Oakland, New Jersey. Showing a compulsion for drawing at an early age, his parents enrolled him in Saturday morning art classes when he was five years old. Deeply affected by fantasy movies such as the 1933 film classic “King Kong” and the early animated cartoons of Walt Disney and Max Fleischer, their influence along with comic books such as “Mad” would have a lasting effect on Schorr’s developing visual vocabulary.
Tom Eglington is a self-taught artist and writer. He has developed an illustration style that combines elements of vintage Japanese prints, 70s sci-fi, outsider art, comics and collage. From William Burroughs to Jack Kirby via Henry Darger, his work channels a bizarre fantasy world of occult symbols, lowbrow pop art and hallucinatory visuals.
Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden’s aesthetic is developed from subtle amalgams of many sources, from Ingres, David and other French classicists to Little Golden Books.Ryden also draws his inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery: old toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons and religious ephemera found in flea markets.
Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul.
Los Angeles based artist Seonna Hong was born in Southern California in 1973 and graduated with a B.A. in Art from Cal State University Long Beach. She honed her craft teaching art to children and in 2004 received an Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Production Design for her work on the animated series My Life as a Teenage Robot. That same year she released Animus, a moving picture book published by Baby Tattoo Books. Hong has exhibited at galleries around the world, most notably with Kaikai Kiki under the direction of Takashi Murakami in Tokyo, Japan.
We have been hearing that the Robert Williams documentary “Mr. Bitchin,” that premiered at LACMA on Wednesday, is badass. Robert being the godfather of lowbrow and the founder of Juxtapoz, he has earned the status. He is even compared to the Beatles in the film, so you know what that means… impact has been large and in charge.