Tours and Paris based Fabien Mérelle is a highly talented and emerging young French artist who creates delicately detailed drawings in black ink and watercolor. Although Mérelle’s drawings appear at first sight realistic in their rendering, they in fact depict outworldly scenarios, unsettling situations and dream-like occurrences.
These renderings, simultaneously absurd, humorous, ironic and cruel, weave their own tapestry of tales and legends, blurring the line between what has been written and what our memory has forged.
UK based Hitomi Hosono is a ceramic sculptor who studied pottery in Kanazawa, Japan and Copenhagen, Denmark. Ever since then she’s studied the botanical forms of leaves and flowers she found in her garden. She allows herself to be consumed by the legion of small, intricate details present in every leaf.
Often monochromatic, the works are focused on carved detail rather than color—repetition of form making each piece uniquely beautiful. The level of detail she’s able to wrestle from her porcelain sculptures is astounding. Every fragment of her botanical-inspired forms screams with intention, whether it’s in the finely-chiseled and painstakingly-researched anatomy of the plant or the mesmerizing colors of her glazes, which make the forms look equally organic whether they’re in cream and orange or black.
Amandine Urruty lives and works on her bed, with a suit case full of pens always nearby. After studying at University for long years and a brief career in underground music, Amandine spreads her repertoire of beasts and her gallery of weird characters on all kind of mediums, on paper as on walls. As she masters techniques of traditional drawing, Urruty offers us a cheerful gallery of deviant portraits, associating grotesque outfits with baroque decorum which miraculously reconcile lovers of alchemistic symbolism to young ladies with too much make up.
Urruty trusts her instincts and draws inspiration from a wealth of eclectic interests which span the wide gap between high art and pop culture. Revelling in the mystique of her decision making process, she engages in the creation of a unique and personal symbolism, which unveils and unravels itself over the course of time.
Australian artist Anna di Mezza creates photorealistic paintings based on found vintage photos removed from their original context. Combined to unexpected landscapes, she describes the result as bizarre visual narratives. Her body of work is influenced by found vintage photos, and films, superimposing images on unrelated and unexpected backgrounds to create a visual narrative.
Her paintings are of a mostly monochromatic palette with occasional pops of color. They invite the viewer to make up the plot in their own mind as if the images were taken from a surreal film frame. The inspiration for the concept of her work is the beauty and culture of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, the artists Magritte and Giorgio De Chirico as well as the film makers Hitchcock, Kubrick and David Lynch.
Colombian, Houston-based artist Johan Barrios‘ work is a universe of images in movement, whose language goes in search of different features of sonorous expressions, synchronic or asynchronous visuals, elements of action, gestures and silhouettes that pierce his paintings as an ascending vanishing line that sequentially runs through every painting so as to make us understand the meaning of interval between one image and the next, which shows us the power that is communicated by the images and the perceptive impact that stems from viewing a painting and the communicational impression it leaves on us.
This vibe creates a balance with the levity and the lightness of their bodies and with the body of the artist himself, who announces his presence in the painting, not in an explicit way, but rather from the stealthy perspective of someone who is observing in order to put together, quietly and precisely, the outlines of his characters.
Mike Lee was born in 1983 in Placentia, California and is currently living and working in New York City. He is a visual artist and he received his Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in 2006.
Alongside his commercial work, Lee finds the time to devote to his own personal artwork and often exhibits his highly meticulous figurative drawings at prestigious galleries throughout the US. Lee is also an active member of RVMP, a collaborative art group. In 2012, Mike self-published his first book, entitled ‘Bodega’, which revolves around the everyday activities of an urban corner store; each hour is represented in its 24 pages and illustrates the daily life of the neighborhood.
Zoé Byland was born in Bern, Switzerland in 1975 and currently splits her time between Bern and Vienna, Austria. Her paintings exist within a carefully constructed monochromatic universe; exuding a curious timelessness and imbued with a palpable atmosphere.
Through her protagonists, Byland invites us on a journey into intriguing territory, where past and present collide, providing us with opportunities to explore the relationships that exist between all facets of our cultural experience from high to low, the ways in which we form personal memories and how these serve to alter our expectations and perceptions. The nature of identity is also under scrutiny, as Byland’s characters often appear in disguise, or are partially obscured, inviting us to project ourselves forth, and once again granting us the occasion for valuable introspection and the convergence of philosophical contemplations.
Travis Louie was born in Queens, New York in 1964 and is currently living and working in the Hudson Valley area. He paints fascinating portraits which appear to have been unearthed from dusty vaults originating from the bygone days of some 19th century alternative reality. Louie’s portfolio is a truly magnificent archive of monochrome and sepia tinted imagery, all populated with curious characters and charismatic creatures, adorned in their finest Sunday bests; which, one can only assume, were lovingly pulled off the hangers from within their Victorian era closets and worn with pride.
Although Louie’s aesthetic may affectionately borrow from the past, much of the inspiration for his thematic content is very much rooted within his experiences in the present. Being an Asian American and having been exposed to the torment of racism and xenophobia while growing up, Louie imbues his wonderful ensemble of characters with his powerful empathetic emotions, through which they essentially personify a triumphant celebration of our contemporary cultures’ multiracial diversity.
Illustrator and designer Celi Lee works primarily as a motion-graphic designer, but she has always been attracted to print and patterns. Born in Beijing, and a graduate from University for the Creative Arts, she now lives and works in London, where she has undertaken a variety of projects from art-based briefs to commercial website design.
Her drawings are all created with graphite on paper, but Lee also likes to work with different techniques and mediums. She often uses a mix of traditional and digital techniques. Her narrative artworks have a strong connection to nature and different things around her. She combines these influences with a surreal touch of unknown or fictional worlds.
Portland based artist Jon MacNair’s work is greatly inspired by popular children’s literature, fairytales, and Renaissance art. He is well known for his fantastical, quirky ink drawings, often labeled as “dark”.
Jon’s drawings of horned monsters and other mythological creatures share an aesthetic with their medieval predecessors but underneath their scary exteriors, are not so different from us: they go sailing, take naps in trees, send each other letters, and have lots of misadventures together.