HERITAGE RECONECTION BY NATALIA ARBELAEZ

by Ariadna Zierold

natalia arbelaez, sculpture, new york, colombia, colombian, heritage, culture, dripping, melted, upper playground

New York based Natalia Arbelaez is a first generation Colombian American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. with a concentration in ceramics and sculpture from The Ohio State University, where she received an Enrichment Fellowship.

natalia arbelaez, sculpture, new york, colombia, colombian, heritage, culture, dripping, melted, upper playground

“My work serves as a bridge to research my history and culture while aiming to preserve. I look to the history of Latin American and the Amerindian people; I work with how these identities are lost through conquest, migration, and time, gained through family, culture, exploration, and passed down through tradition and genetic memory. I use these influences to contribute to a contemporary dialogue while simultaneously continuing the work of my ancestors. There has been so much loss and stigma of these communities that it is important to me that my work celebrates and honors them.” Natalia Arbelaez

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THE PRECISE STYLE OF CHRIS BUZELLI

by Ariadna Zierold

chris buzelli, painting, new york, painter, illustration, illustrator, surreal, portraiture, creatures, upper playground

New York based Chris Buzelli is a powerful and imaginative painter and illustrator with a classically precise style and a surreal, cutting-edge creative sensibility. He was influenced by painting side by side with his grandfather, Armondo Buzelli. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design, Chris moved to New York City. His oil paintings have appeared in many publications, books, and projects for design and ad agencies, and he shows in various galleries throughout the US.

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PURVEYOR OF DOODLES JON BURGERMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

jon burgerman, new york, doodle, doodles, doodling, drawing, drawings, pop culture, urban, colorful, characters, cartoons, upper playground

New York based Jon Burgerman is a UK born artist instigating improvisation and play through drawing and spectacle. He is a purveyor of doodles and is often credited and referenced as the leading figure in the popular ‘Doodle’ art style.

jon burgerman, new york, doodle, doodles, doodling, drawing, drawings, pop culture, urban, colorful, characters, cartoons, upper playground

His work is placed between fine art, urban art and pop-culture, using humor to reference and question his contemporary milieu. His is a pervasive and instantly recognizable aesthetic that exists across a multitude of forms including canvases, large scale murals (indoor and outside), sculpture, toys, apparel, design, print and people (as tattoos and temporary drawings).

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FUZZY AIRBRUSH GRADIENTS BY MORGAN BLAIR

by Ariadna Zierold

morgan_blair_

Morgan Blair (previously featured here) is a freelance illustrator, fine artist, and desperado. She is a recent graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), now living in Brooklyn, New York and continuing to advance her interest in trees, legos and excellent music.

morgan blair, illustrator, illustration, painting, brooklyn, new york, neon, colorful, abstract, abstraction, fuzzed, fuzzy, airbrush, gradient, gradients, shapes, flat, geometric, pop culture, upper playground

Blair’s recent work explores the balance of control and freedom in her process, manifested in a mashing up of low contrast flesh tones with wild, neon color schemes; hard edges with fuzzed out airbrush gradients; smooth, flat shapes with brush marks and rough, sandy textures; and wonky, irregular forms with geometric curves and angles. The resulting optical abstractions play on the absurd in pop culture, current events, the mall, the internet, common street trash, consumerism, and personal experience.

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‘EVERYTHING NOT SAVED WILL BE LOST’ BY JESS JOHNSON

by Ariadna Zierold

jess johnson, everything not saved will be lost, illustration, drawing, science fiction, surreal, technology, culture, complex, worlds, pattern, patterns, objects, figures, architectural, environments, new york, upper playground

Jess Johnson (previously featured here) was born in Tauranga, New Zealand in 1979. In 2016 she relocated permanently to New York after twelve years of living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Her drawing and installation practice is influenced by the speculative intersections between language, science fiction, culture and technology. In her drawings she depicts complex worlds that combine densely layered patterns, objects and figures within architectural settings.

jess johnson, everything not saved will be lost, illustration, drawing, science fiction, surreal, technology, culture, complex, worlds, pattern, patterns, objects, figures, architectural, environments, new york, upper playground

Johnson’s drawings are often displayed within constructed environments that act as physical portals into her speculative worlds. Her recent video collaborations with Simon Ward have involved translating her drawings into animated Virtual Reality, thus enabling her audience to have the simulated experience of entering the hypnotic realms depicted in her drawings.

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CARTOONISH WATERCOLORS BY ALFRED STEINER

by Ariadna Zierold

alfred steiner, watercolor, watercolors, cartoon, cartoonish, grotesque, pop culture, humor, compositions, new york, upper playground

New York based Alfred Steiner describes his work as drawing influence from both “art historical and pop cultural sources, especially those with a penchant for the grotesque,” and lists Hieronymus Bosch and Homer Simpson among his inspirations.

alfred steiner, watercolor, watercolors, cartoon, cartoonish, grotesque, pop culture, humor, compositions, new york, upper playground

Steiner’s cartoonish watercolors are made through a laborious process: he slowly gathers fragments of unseemly images—including those of toys, half-eaten fruit, rotting teeth, dead insects, sea creatures, artillery, and sexual organs—that he then pieces together into narrative compositions or resemblances of pop culture icons. Steiner’s practice is also informed by the artist’s prior 15-year career as a copyright and trademark lawyer, and his extensive knowledge of intellectual property regulations.

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ABSTRACTED FACE SCULPTURES BY DAVID ALTMEJD

by Ariadna Zierold

david altmejd, sculpture, sculptures, faces, face, abstract, abstracted, texture, holes, gaps, new york, upper playground

David Altmejd is a sculptor that lives and works in New York. Altmejd creates highly detailed sculptures that often blur the distinction between interior and exterior, surface and structure, representation and abstraction. For Altmejd, the process of making is paramount – he is interested in how the act of constructing an object and defying traditional material conventions generates meaning.

david altmejd, sculpture, sculptures, faces, face, abstract, abstracted, texture, holes, gaps, new york, upper playground

Motivated by the invisible worlds that often exist just beneath the surface of things, the artist reveals the hidden structures in his own works through negative spaces: gaps, holes, fissures and crystal filled orifices are a recurring motif. In contrast, the reflective surfaces of his mirrored sculptures are impenetrable and both define and destabilize, as well as multiply, the spaces around them.

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BIZARRE EDGED CHARACTERS BY AYA KAKEDA

by Ariadna Zierold

aya kakeda, tokyo, japan, brooklyn, new york, illustration, illustrations, sculpture, sculptures, characters, colorful, bizarre, cute, upper playground

Aya Kakeda was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Now she draws and creates imaginative worlds in Brooklyn, NY. She has produced art for books, products, posters, magazines, and store installations from clients all over the world. Her sculptures and illustrations often depict cute characters with a bizarre edge to them.

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