Martin Wittfooth was born in Toronto in 1981, and spent most of his childhood in Finland, moving back to Toronto in 1993 where he earned his BAA in Illustration from Sheridan College in 2003. He currently lives and works as an illustrator and fine artist in New York City, where he earned his MFA at the School of Visual Arts.
Wittfooth’s oil paintings explore disquieting themes of industry and nature, unhinged evolution, the clash of old ideologies with modern fears, and the growing shadow of the human footprint on the earth. Set in atmospheric landscapes rendered over many paint layers on canvas, linen, or wood panels, these themes are realized through a combination of symbolism, the juxtaposition of visual narratives, and the displacement of expected realities. The worlds created in Wittfooth’s paintings implore the viewer to question the status quo, to challenge that which is taken for granted, and to proceed with caution on our present course.
San Francisco based illustrator Nicomi Nix Turner is recognized for her intricately detailed botanical-scapes, esoteric symbolism, provocative renderings. She conjures up intricate images which explore biological phenomena and subjects revolving around the arcane.
Combining her love of nature with a deep fascination for ancient practices belonging to belief systems such as alchemy and religion, Turner constructs narratives within her work which allude to themes of regrowth, biological deconstructionism and the power of belief.
Her works are created using graphite on paper in a way that has been described as a rare talent for manipulating and “painting” with the basic medium.
South Korean artist Su-Jeong Nam’s work mirrors the biological processes of her subjects. She begins with the base of color, applied with dry pigments. And then, line by line, vivid portraits of the natural world are grown.
From a young age, Nam’s weak eyesight forced her to train herself to view objects in a different way. Now, instead of looking at a flower and seeing a flower, she sees the lines that make up the flower — not just the outline or the lines that might be visible on the surface, but lines down to the cellular level.
She says her detailed images are grounded in the familiar, yet highlight “an aspect invisible to most people, through the language of my own artistic process.” The result is metaphysical, a study of the harmony between the natural world and a broader understanding of the universe.
Jess Riva Cooper explores themes of reclamation and transformation in her ceramic sculptures where nature overwhelms and takes over her subjects. Particularly inspired by invasive plant species, the Toronto based artist uses clay to express her fascination with chaos erupting into order.
San Francisco-based collage artist Travis Bedel aka Bedelgeuse creates astounding anatomical collages that splice together bones, tendons, and organs with flora and fauna. His collage work, mostly a hybrid of analog and digital techniques, takes on a surrealist quality as human anatomy seamlessly intertwines with crystals, flowers, and feathers. Deeply moved by the mysteries and potentialities of the human body, Bedelgeuse’s work revels in the relationship between humanity and nature.
Living and working in Warsaw, Poland, Ewa Prończuk-Kuziak expresses a fascination with life in her paintings of figures in magical rearrangements. Appearing to be woven out of thread and decorative fabrics, Ewa’s animals are a combination of still life, nature, and fantasy.
“My source of inspirations are fairy tales, dreams, my own experiences and stories from childhood,” she says. Working primarily in oil paint, her ongoing “The Still Life Series” depicts rainbow-colored visions of animals that appear to be made out of materials.
Doug Fogelson‘s colorful and mesmerizing photogram works are pictures produced with photographic materials, such as light-sensitive paper but without a camera. Each image is a mere shadow of the original form, which can appear either opaque or having a ghostly translucence depending on the transparency of the subject. Fogelson turned his attention back to photography to produce vivid new images of nature, titled “Creative Destruction”.
Milan, Italy based artist Paolo Pibi paints from the natural world. He describes his surrealist landscapes as images of the inside of his mind. Like Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dali, and other Surrealists before him, Pibi’s acrylic paintings break free from the straight representational landscapes that are familiar and take us into other worldly territory.
Vanessa Foley is a self employed artist based in Newcastle, England. She has always lived in the city, and loves it, but her heart lies in the wild Northumberland countryside that surrounds her bustling town.
Her love for nature and art are inseparable, and she could never imagine one without the other. Vanessa regularly shows her work in notable galleries in the UK, America and New Zealand. Her work is in private collections worldwide.
Portland-based Zoe Keller is an illustrator and designer exploring the intersection of art making, activism and the natural sciences. She uses graphite and ink to create highly detailed images that blend hints of narrative with images from the natural world.
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