Michael Johansson is a Swedish installation artist who takes OCD tendencies to the next level with his real-life Tetris sculptures. His passion for ordinary and useless things organized into exceptionally good-looking piles makes most neat-freaks look like the biggest slobs. Johansson is obsessed with irregularities and coincidences between to disparate objects which may only be linked by a common color or a shape.
Johansson’s precisely stacked sculptures made from ordinary objects like old computer screens, keyboards, cars and suitcases, are installed both inside the gallery and jammed into site-specific spaces.
Los Angeles based artist Orion Martin is known for his stylized, super-flat style, which re-contextualizes the still life into seductive portraits of consumerism. Often presented in over-the-top, polished plastic frames, Martin’s works combine various limbs and objects, interweaving each object into an elegantly cohesive statement.
Kirsten Beets was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. She works predominantly with oil paint on paper. Her main subjects and themes are how people interact with nature in a recreational way, usually observing things from a high vantage point and neatly rendering them in minute detail. Observations of people, places and objects (and sometimes the imaginative thoughts that were produced by them) thus recorded, transfer a fleeting moment into a physical object; elevating their significance and making them touchstones of memory.
Hudson Christie is a Toronto artist with a focus on editorial illustration and stop-motion animation. In “Close Enough,” harmless objects are misidentified as unsafe due to their incidental resemblance to something else.
New York City based Mike Lee’s (previously featured here) graphite drawings contemplate the duality between artificiality and realism by taking everyday normalcies (figures, objects and settings) and working them into their most simplistic forms. Small subjects surrounded by vast white spaces, Lee’s drawings represent fleeting moments in a large world.
Casey Gray’s work is characterized by his commitment to aerosol paint and laborious, hand cut masking techniques resulting in a type of skewed hyper-realism. Through pairing and composing specific content, sourced from both his immediate and online environments, into layered still life arrangements, he is able to form narratives, create identities and discover new truths about the world. He regularly uses historical painting tropes as a point of departure for simultaneous bodies of work, such as cabinets, pin boards and marble ledges. These platforms become a stage for disparate subject matter to mingle, interact and play.
Ontario-based artist Brandon Constans works in painting and drawing as his mediums of choice. His concentration for the past two years has involved cataloguing pictures and everyday objects, using them to create surreal-looking anthropomorphic creatures and portraits.
His work draws parallels between objects around him, his own personal history and the stories depicted in art throughout the centuries. His overall style can be described as combining influences from surrealist art, outsider art, and master artists such as Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Tel Aviv, Israel based Guy Yanai attended Parsons School of Design and the New York Studio School, and received a BFA from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Yanai’s paintings are characterized by bold colors, simplified shapes, and a shallow depth of field. He often chooses everyday objects and spaces as his subjects, flattening and abstracting them in a way that seems removed and objective.
Synthesizing a wide range of influences, from Renaissance humanism and classical antiquity to modernist abstraction and the Internet, Yanai’s work captures the sense of simultaneous anxiety and excitement characteristic of today.
Toronto-based illustrator Brandon Celi’s subjects are as varied as his work is brilliant. He works in paint to bring to life hilarious scenarios including a reimagining of the Wizard of Oz scene where the wicked witch is crushed by a house, but this time targeting surely the most evil of all footwear: Crocs.
Whatever the medium, these themes are identifiable on first glance of Brandon’s work, whether it be a card machine being held by the hand of god, or miscellaneous toothpaste. Each of these works question how we react to these consumable goods but are also easily recognizable, visually digestible pieces of fine art.
Alejandro Almanza Pereda lives and works between Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York and Mexico City, Mexico. Using poor or found materials in dangerous or unlikely combinations, Almanza creates striking works of art. A major theme is instability.
Cinder blocks, plaster sculptures, metal chains, disco balls, and light bulbs are often displayed in tenuous equilibrium. Another theme might be described as entropy. His works suggest that things are always in the process of falling apart. Alejandro’s works are focused on the present moment, the ingenuity of the makeshift; the brilliance of the stopgap measure that only makes sense for right now.