NARRATIVE CERAMICS BY LEE YUN HEE

by Ariadna Zierold

lee run her, sculpture, narrative, ceramic, ceramics, south korea, stories, emotions, mystical, fantastic, upper playground

Lee Yun Hee creates narrative ceramic pieces inspired by literature and story telling. She uses both Western and Eastern influences, creating a style of her own that is striking, unique and undoubtably contemporary. Her work is fragile and flawless, almost creating an aura of effortlessness. She uses her work to reflect upon stories of everyday people; their struggles, fears, hopes, and anxieties.

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Hee’s work is mystical and fantastic. Though balancing modern, classic, Eastern, and Western styles, she has creating an epic body of art that is honest, profound, and truly unique. Her work acts as windows into her own version of a fairy tale; she is able to re-create morality stories within her own framework.

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WHIMSICAL PARABLES BY AMY CUTLER

by Ariadna Zierold

amy cutler, illustration, popular culture, pop culture, fairytales, woman, women, womanhood, narrative, upper playground, brooklyn

Brooklyn based Amy Cutler draws from the media, popular culture, fairytales, and her own experiences to convey the complexities of womanhood. At once autobiographical and universal, Cutler’s works are sweet and dark—delicately rendered, whimsical parables illustrating the deleterious effects of the unrealistic expectations that cultures impose on women.

amy cutler, illustration, popular culture, pop culture, fairytales, woman, women, womanhood, narrative, upper playground, brooklyn

She received her BFA degree from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, New York, in 1997. Since her graduation she has rapidly risen to critical acclaim, and her work has been featured in major surveys of contemporary art, importantly the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

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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.

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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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VINTAGE PHOTORREALISTIC PAINTINGS BY ANNA DI MEZZA

by Ariadna Zierold

anna di mezza, painting, collage, narrative, vintage, monochromatic, bizarre, australia, upper playground

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.

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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.

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LAYERED NARRATIVES BY LARS ELLING

by Ariadna Zierold

lars elling, portrait, portraiture, canvas, painting, photography, narrative, abstraction, figurative, atmosphere, blurred, upper playground

Lars Elling‘s paintings are layered narratives told in a fragmented visual language that incorporate allusions to film and photography, sometimes also invoking nostalgia with references to private photo albums.

lars elling, portrait, portraiture, canvas, painting, photography, narrative, abstraction, figurative, atmosphere, blurred, upper playground

In Elling’s large canvases, human bodies rarely take entirely conventional forms. Rather, their faces and limbs melt into nonfigurative elements–atmosphere, blurred color, scrubbed-out regions of neutral tint–gesturing toward a broader horizon, nodding at persona and narrative while ultimately frustrating any drive toward coherence or story.

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CRISPLY RENDERED PAINTINGS BY GREG ITO

by Ariadna Zierold

greg ito, los angeles, painting, illustration, bold, colorful, narrative, upper playground

Los Angeles-based artist Greg Ito’s paintings are crisply rendered, each with several symbolic images: a pair of hands; a burning candle; an hourglass; a distant view of a tropical isle; and a burning pleasure boat, airplane or house. His work suggests an open-ended narrative, part fantasy and part nightmare, existing somewhere in the twilight zone. Plucked from a widely distributed and universally ‘agreed’ upon language, the messy chaos of intimacy is compressed into a coherent and singular narrative.

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EMOTIONAL NARRATIVES BY ANDREA JOYCE HEIMER

by Ariadna Zierold

andrea joyce heimer, emotional, illustration, narrative, figurative, symbolism, scenes, flat, upper playground

The focus of Andrea Joyce Heimer‘s work is narrative painting. Much of the work speaks from her status as an adult adoptee whose records are sealed, meaning she have no access to her own biographical, birth, and heritage information. The narratives represent different perspectives of her experience as an adoptee: first-person autobiographical, the outsider-looking-in neighborhood observer, the archetypal orphan (the charming tramp). Self-authored mythologies of her own origins as well as mythologies of her home state, Montana, are interwoven with these themes.

andrea joyce heimer, emotional, illustration, narrative, figurative, symbolism, scenes, flat, upper playground

The figurative elements focus on the interactions between human beings in moments of disconnection or detachment. Emotional themes of loneliness, anger, and longing are performed in symbol-laden environments including houses, yards, forests, and bodies of water. The distinctive flatness with which the scenes are rendered recall the flattened perspective of medieval art and speak to the “flattened” experience of the adoptee, whose lack of background knowledge represents a deficiency of depth to one’s selfhood.

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TRIPPY COMICS BY BEN MARCUS

by Ariadna Zierold

ben marcus, illustration, comic, lines, clean, trippy, manga, narrative, upper playground, chicago

Chicago-based artist, Ben Marcus makes comics that feel inspired by all things trippy, alien, and David Bowie. His favorite manga is Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. His comic has a particular clarity in the line work because he wants the reader to keep track of the plot. Clean and clear language for dramatic and poetic purposes.

ben marcus, illustration, comic, lines, clean, trippy, manga, narrative, upper playground, chicago

“The proportions of the facial features is important to me and I draw and re-draw them. Too many times. I wanted my characters to have a contemplative complexity to them. A depth of consciousness that a sense of animation is born of.  I drew everything by hand and scanned it and added the half-tones in photoshop.” Ben Marcus

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ISOMETRIC EPIC BY DAVID JIEN

by Ariadna Zierold

david jien, illustration, narrative, isometric, perspective, epic, narrative, creatures, anthropomorphic, science fiction, pencil, paper, upper playground

Los Angeles-based artist David Jien’s epic narrative is about the chronicles of an allegorical future detailing a battle in which human and anthropomorphic beings continue the struggle against a race of balloon-headed creatures and cold-blooded reptilian overlords who seek world domination.

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Taking inspiration from the infinite possibilities of science fiction, the isometric perspective and narrative geography of Nintendo and Chinese scroll paintings, the eroticism of Japanese pillow books and the limitless transformations of graffiti, Jien has crafted these intensely detailed scenarios in colored pencil on paper.

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NOMAD CHILDREN BY ARX LEE

by Ariadna Zierold

arx lee, painting, post apocalyptic, children, narrative, surreal, dream, illustration, upper playground

Arx Lee was born in 1978 in Zhongshan, a city of Guangdong province, near Hong-Kong. The artist now lives and works in Guangzhou. He graduated from the Guangzhou Arts Academy and his natural love for cartoons encouraged him to found a Comic Studio and also to start a short career as an illustrator. He creates fascinating narratives that feature a very colorful dream world. Puppets and children are nomads in what feels like a kind of post-apocalyptic place.

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