COSMOPOLITAN EDGINESS BY KATHERINE BERNHARDT

by Ariadna Zierold

katherine bernhardt, painting, cosmopolitan, edgy, edginess, lush, luxury, decadende, things, food, upper playground

Katherine Bernhardt’s paintings embody cosmopolitan edginess. Her lush canvases, which themselves pose as the currency of beguiling luxury, incorporate all the fantasy trappings of seduction, decadence and corruption, each charged with sordid soap operatic climax and the command of true-to-type bitches and divas.

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IMAGE DECONTEXTUALIZATION BY MATT HANSEL

by Ariadna Zierold

matt hansel, manipulation, decontextualization, painting, conceptual, humor, upper playground

Matt Hansel brings the Renaissance into the 21st century through image manipulation and decontextualization. Hansel’s work wrestles with the concept of the self and the human desire to be seen and remembered. He combines the rigor of traditional European painting with the conceits of 20th century conceptual art.

matt hansel, manipulation, decontextualization, painting, conceptual, humor, upper playground

The artist painstakingly recreates self-portraits of historically significant artists. Thinking of his works as re-enactments, Hansel juxtaposes past and present. By recreating the image of the artist who once was, Hansel attaches his own intentions to that of the artist. He duplicates, doubles, mirrors and inserts himself into the works. Using a mix of humor and pathos, Hansel asks us to recognize the way we see ourselves through others.

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POST ANALOGUE LANGUAGE BY ANJA SALONEN

by Ariadna Zierold

anja salonen, technicolor, surreal, faces, plasticine, colorful, painting, paintings, body, virtual, post analogue, upper playground

LA-born and bred, Anja Salonen studied fine art at California Institute of the Arts. Salonen’s paintings have a splash of technicolor plasticine world about them. While her oddly-colored figures have often human bodies, more surreal elements can be found in their faces in the form of poster-paint toned noses, eyes and lips. While aware of their historical context, Salonen’s paintings are heavily reliant on a post-analogue visual language, and explore the interaction between body and virtual.

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AMERICAN MYTHOLOGIES BY ROBIN F WILLIAMS

by Ariadna Zierold

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

Robin F Williams is a painter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her figurative paintings explore pervasive American narratives about childhood, identity and gender. Her figurative work explores closely held American mythologies about gender, privilege, and the American Dream. She uses the fictional nature of the painted image to examine the fictions we tell each other as a culture.

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

STRONG PORTRAITS BY LOU ROS

by Ariadna Zierold

lou ros, portrait, portraits, portraiture, painting, faces, abstraction, upper playground

Self-taught French artist Lou Ros launched his career on the streets of Paris at the tender age of 17 when he would go around tagging walls and creating bespoke graffiti art. Today, he’s exhibiting his paintings all across the world and has made a solid reputation for himself amongst the global art community. His art represents the visible and not so visible worlds. With paint brush in his hands colors fly, dance and rejoice with pleasure and passion.

lou ros, portrait, portraits, portraiture, painting, faces, abstraction, upper playground

“Through the colors, brush strokes, composition, background and rhythm of the painting, I attempt to create works which truly represent bodies in a space without distortion. Without having a clear idea of the final result, I stop my work before it seems finished. The moment where little is enough to suggest the structure interests me, leaving the spectator’s imagination open at the moment the scene is starting to appear. Knowing when to stop before saying too much is what I tried to do.” Lou Ros

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ORGANIC GEOMETRICS BY JOSH SPERLING

by Ariadna Zierold

josh sperling, colorful, geometric, organic, lines, hues, pattern, plywood, painting, bold, bright, color, brooklyn, new york, upper playground

Josh Sperling was born in 1984 in Oneonta, New York is a young contemporary artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Sperling’s works on canvas waver between wall sculptures and paintings. Building layered plywood structures by hand, the artist stretches canvas over these forms to create a subtle relief.

josh sperling, colorful, geometric, organic, lines, hues, pattern, plywood, painting, bold, bright, color, brooklyn, new york, upper playground

The structures range from angular and geometric to organic reminiscent of fibers and cells. Light and shadow interact with the facets of the pieces, creating an enhanced illusion of depth. Adding to this, Sperling uses bold, monochromatic hues that play with bright contrast and unexpected color combinations that appeal and delight the visual senses. 

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THE HUMAN CONDITION BY PANG

by Ariadna Zierold

pang, street art, mural, painting, london, social, mass behavior, human, faces, upper playground

Pang lives and works in London, painting both in the studio and around the city. Most of her work can be found in London, and she has painted walls in Rome, Lisbon, Paris, Vienna, Palermo, Marrakech, Ibiza, Seville and Poznan.

pang, street art, mural, painting, london, social, mass behavior, human, faces, upper playground

Exploring themes of psychology, mass social behavior and the human condition, her work contains a grisly, humorous narrative that vividly expresses her morbidly curious nature, and the more awkward questions regarding social facade, the inner-self and humanity’s constant struggle between the two.

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SURREAL PLACES BY SHARONA ELIASSAF

by Ariadna Zierold

sharona eliassaf, painting, tel aviv, new york, israel, surreal, colorful, upper playground

Sharona Eliassaf is an American/Israeli artist who has been splitting her time between Tel Aviv and New York City since childhood. As a result her art is deeply affect by the changeable notion of place, the surreal and the sublime. She holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jersualem, an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine.

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SYNTHETIC REALISM BY GREG PARMA SMITH

by Ariadna Zierold

greg parma smith, illustration, painting, synthetic, realism, acrylic, metallic leaf, baroque, pop culture, pencil, upper playground

Greg Parma Smith‘s painted realism is perversely synthetic and immaculately crafted. His works, composed of oil, acrylic and metallic leaf, are baroque in their construction and subject matter. Smith’s use of cartoons seems at the service of a more hermetic endeavor, one that further mystifies the relationship between a popular image and a rarified artwork.

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MORBID CURIOSITY BY BLAKE NEUBERT

by Ariadna Zierold

blake neubert, painting, morbid, portrait, portraiture, creepy, faces, teeth, upper playground

Blake Neubert is an American painter, illustrator and writer now based in Fort Collins, Colorado. His art specifically concentrates on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, ranchers, and American Indians.

blake neubert, painting, morbid, portrait, portraiture, creepy, faces, teeth, upper playground

Although he began his career painting relatively standard Western Americana, he has recently blazed a bold new trail into more strange and surreal work. On his Instagram page and YouTube channel, you’ll find multiple videos of what is quickly becoming a signature style: he paints a figure, typically something you’d expect to see in your great aunt’s collection of kitschy thrift store art, then to finish the piece, slides a razor blade across the top layer of paint to reveal a hidden perversity beneath.

blake neubert, painting, morbid, portrait, portraiture, creepy, faces, teeth, upper playground

The finished work is a morbid curiosity—you just can’t help but stare and wonder why exactly Superman has terrifying bloodshot eyes or how the blonde beauty got a ball gag in her mouth.

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