THE WORK OF MASAMI TERAOKA

by Ariadna Zierold

masami teraoka, watercolor, painting, paintings, japan, japanese, culture, traditional, humor, funny, woodblock, print, culture, america, society, los angeles, upper playground

Los Angeles based Masami Teraoka‘s early work consisted primarily of watercolor paintings and prints that mimicked the flat, bold qualities of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. These paintings, done after his arrival in the United States, often featured the collision of the two cultures. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan characterize themes in the work in this time period. These pieces blended reality with fantasy, humor with commentary, history with the present.

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He has abandoned this style in favor of Western European religious iconography, in tune with his cultural and political critique of contemporary culture, particularly its confessional quality in America society. Teraoka’s work has been reviewed, collected and exhibited throughout the United States and abroad.

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MISANTHROPE BY RICHARD COLMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

richard colman, painting, paintings, misanthrope, san francisco, denmark, upper playground

In San Francisco based Richard Colman’s (previously featured here) vividly colorful canvases, he vacillates freely between figuration and abstraction, at times focusing on pattern to such a degree that it overwhelms any recognizable components in his painting; other times he privileges figures and narratives. Also producing sculpture and installation works, Colman incorporates a variety of media, including pencils, paper, wood, porcelain, plaster, glue, nails, and tape—typically using vibrant colors.

richard colman, painting, paintings, misanthrope, san francisco, denmark, upper playground

His new solo exhibition Misanthrope will be open April 1 – May 13, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The title of the exhibition is a reference to Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s infamous painting The Misanthrope from 1568.

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STILL LIFE ARRANGEMENTS BY CASEY GRAY

by Ariadna Zierold

casey gray, painting, paintings, still life, objects, flowers, composition, arrangements, upper playground

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.

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SYMBOLIC PORTRAITS BY VALENTIN FISCHER

by Ariadna Zierold

valentin fischer, painting, paintings, portrait, portraiture, faces, people, germany, upper playground

German painter Valentin Fischer creates digital artworks featuring portraits of various people with hints of geometry and symbolism. He is pretty much self-taught, learning from the web and the influences of other artists such as James Jean and Sam Weber. He has worked in a number of capacities as a freelance illustrator but gave that up a while ago to become an Interface Designer.

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EURASIAN ART BY YANG JIECHANG

by Ariadna Zierold

yang jiechang, eurasian, asia, europe, multimedia, monchromatic, ink, painting, paintings, traditional, contemporary, upper playground

Paris and Heidelberg, Germany based Yang Jiechang combines traditional Eastern and Western modes of representation in his multimedia work. He calls the essence of this confluence “Eurasian”. His monochromatic ink paintings combine the aesthetics of contemporary painting with the tools and techniques of traditional East Asian ink-and-wash artworks.

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MURALS AND PAINTINGS BY TELMO AND MIEL

by Ariadna Zierold

telmo pieper, miel krutzmann, telmo, miel, telmo miel, mural, murals, painting, paintings, surreal, surrealistic, detail, upper playground

Artistic Duo, Muralists and imagemakers Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann started working on their creative abilities from a very young age. Working together seamlessly, they both enjoy working in realistic styles. With loads of contrast in subjects. Technique and style have a high priority in the artwork of Telmo & Miel, true craftsmanship is what they want to produce. They work separately on ideas for murals and come together with the sketches to see if combinations can be made. The result is usually very surrealistic, with attention to detail. They always work on the same piece together and are able to switch places when ever wanted or needed.

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IDENTITIES BY AMY SHERALD

by Ariadna Zierold

amy sherald, painting, paintings, portrait, portraiture, people, faces, baltimore, upper playground

Baltimore based Amy Sherald was born in Columbus, Ga. in 1973. She attended Clark- Atlanta University where she earned a Bachelor’s of the Arts in painting in 1997. Sherald was chosen as Jurors Pick of the New American Paintings Edition 88. Her work was mostly recently acquired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art in Washington, D.C. Through her portraits, Amy Sherald explores the ways people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations.

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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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EMOTIONAL TENSION BY SALMAN KHOSHROO

by Ariadna Zierold

salman khoshroo, large scale, paintings, strokes, colorful, abstraction, figurative, emotion, human, anatomy, tehran, upper playground

Tehran-based artist Salman Khoshroo creates large-scale figures and portraits that practically drip from the canvas. Most of these pieces are several feet tall, composed of enormously precise strokes that veer toward abstraction while eventually leading to a cohesive figure.

salman khoshroo, large scale, paintings, strokes, colorful, abstraction, figurative, emotion, human, anatomy, tehran, upper playground

Working in his studio in Tehran with a large palette knife to spread oil colors directly on the canvas, Khoshroo’s paintings harness figurative abstraction to evince very concise figures of emotional tension. Beginning with portraits of people he knew, his style evolved from one based on realism to one that draws from abstract art, expressionism and fauvism.

salman khoshroo, large scale, paintings, strokes, colorful, abstraction, figurative, emotion, human, anatomy, tehran, upper playground

His interest in painting the human face is twofold, both as a conduit of human emotions, made all the more pertinent in his home country where women have to cover up the rest of their bodies; as well as an expression of identity and self-presentation in the age of Facebook.

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UNSETTLING HUMOR BY BEN SMITH

by Ariadna Zierold

ben smith, sydney, australia, painting, paintings, unsettling, humor, divergence, soubt, solace, allegory, upper playground

Sydney, Australia based artist Ben Smith’s paintings are an attempt to combine the beautiful and the unsettling, the humorous and the sincere, the ba­­­­nal and the uncanny in order to reflect his experience of life. Recurring themes in his work are doubt, divergence within a personality and the search for comfort and solace. These themes are explored through multi-layered allegory, using various expressive possibilities of paint.

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