Brooklyn based Jules de Balincourt (previously featured here) is a French-American contemporary artist. He is best known for his abstract, atmospheric paintings with saturated colors, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Force-fed on TV and an all-American mind-junk diet, his paintings are crafted with democratic gusto. Evoking notions of utopia and dystopia, de Balincourt’s paintings investigate public and private spaces and suggest an ever-changing landscape – both physical and psychological.
Los Angeles based Esther Pearl Watson grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Her family moved often, since her father’s hobby of building huge flying saucers out of scrap metal and car engines didn’t always sit well with the neighbors.
Her work is autobiographical and full of fun with her signature naive style but true painting talent. She has a wide range of styles, but it’s all rich in detail and symbolism, and powerful in its impact. Watson’s pieces are often overtly narrative, clear but mysterious scenes of houses or figures ornamented with snippets of prose telling just enough to get the viewer’s own imagination engaged, wanting to know more.
Santa Rosa, CA based Justin Margitich works with watercolor, colored pencil, and acrylic on paper. Margitich draws from anthropology, taxonomy, geology, and alchemy creating abstract paintings that offer special depth and opposing textures that force the viewer to be engaged.
In each work, brightly hued, organically flowing gradients are arranged in seemingly impossible configurations. Upon close observation, the inorganic plastic qualities of the artists’ materials become apparent to the viewer. Throughout the exhibition, these fluctuations between organic and inorganic are subtle reminders of where we find meaning in the order of our contemporary culture.
Jan Kaláb was born 1978 in Czechoslovakia, at a time when the Iron Curtain still existed and graffiti was a rare sight in the Eastern World. Luckily for us, with the fall of the Iron Curtain, Jan Kaláb was able to fall into the world of graffiti and street art, developing his unique style within the iconic street art crew DSK.
Starting off as a founder of the DSK crew he made a name for himself throughout Europe as “Cakes”. Later on, he decided to broaden his horizon and move to New York where he changed his name to “Point” and started creating huge sculpted abstract letters which he chose to put up in the streets and on walls. He thereby created another form of graffiti without a spray can, but truthful to the spirit of competition and innovation of the urban scene. He uses colorful squares and circles as his vocabulary for infinite variations around depth, time, and motion.
Dawid Planeta is a Polish artist who battles his depression by painting. He created an imaginary world where a small man is traveling through long forgotten jungle meeting his weaknesses and fears presented as giant animals with glowing eyes. The vision created by the artist is dark, mysterious, and very beautiful.
New York based artist Anne Vieux works with the idea of mediation and gesture through the lens of the screen, in painting, video, and sculpture. Vieux’s abstract paintings emerge out of real objects captured through a digital process manipulated by hand. Vernacular materials evoke familiarity while computed color fields create an otherworldly aspect.
Lausanne, Switzerland based Philippe Decrauzat professes an interest in the “direct relationship Op art provides to the viewers and the way it influences their minds.” Decrauzat’s monochromatic, geometric sculptures, wall paintings, and installations are rooted in the traditions of Op art and Minimalism established in the 1960s and ’70s. Yet in subtly manipulating the relationships between his artworks and the spaces in which they are situated—arranging his works as a sort of navigational tool in a gallery, or arraying stripe paintings to create effects of light and shadow—Decrauzat imbues his historically rooted work with a 21st-century sensibility.
Cameroon based artist Boris Nzebo’s multilayered paintings and collages conjure the astounding visual complexity typical of the West African city. Entirely drawing his subject matter from urban culture in his hometown Douala, Nzebo invests his works with psycho geographical impulse: their primary subjects are the elaborate hairstyles of men and women, which he lays on city views as integral features of the architecture.
Nzebo’s stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon’s barber shops. Appropriating the language of advertising he creates portraits taken from detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, often elaborate, and combines them with informal snapshots of local neighborhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life. This symbiotic connection allows for a multiplicity of readings of the image, rendering levels of information in a sort of visual polyphony that rhythmically integrates humans and the space they inhabit.
The paintings and installations of Hendrik Zimmer are influenced by the Internet’s impact on culture at large and its distribution. Belonging to the post-internet art generation and experiencing the changes brought from a long-since digital age and the network ideology, Zimmer develops his paintings concerned particularly with their materiality and their ways of presentation and dissemination in the physical and digital space.
Zimmer’s décollage paintings reconcile figurative elements in form of a photographic image taken from a poster or magazine and the expressionist abstract painted gestures. Most of the times the elements are parts of human figures, faces, hands or other parts of the body and fully integrated in the composition.
Abuja, Nigeria based Modupeola Fadugba is a multi-media artist working in painting, drawing, and socially-engaged installation. With a background in engineering, economics, and education, she works at the nexus of science, politics, and art. Fadugba works in series addressing cultural identity, social justice, game theory, and the art world within the socio-political landscape of Nigeria and our greater global economy.