Aïda Muluneh is an Ethiopian artist based in Addis Ababa. In 2000 she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in film, radio and television from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Muluneh is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africanines de la Photographie in Bamako, Mali, as well as the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy.
Muluneh’s work on body painting is inspired by traditional body art from across the African continent. “Each work is a reflection of conscious and sub-conscious manifestations of time and space,” she writes.
Xiaoyi Chen currently lives and works in UK and China. She received her MA in photography from the London College of Communications in 2014 and was awarded the LCC/Photofusion Prize. Chen’s work has been exhibited and published internationally.
Chen’s practice is tied to a natural, oriental aesthetic, influenced by Western abstract art and oriental philosophy. Photography is a personal tool for Chen, used to question broad concepts that migrate from the personal to the philosophical realm. Her recent work focuses on the combination of photography and printmaking, a combination of techniques used to explore beneath the surface of things by simplifying and abstracting; an approach aimed at reviving spiritual awareness and intuition before entering the symbolic nature of what we view.
Originally from California, Laura Thompson moved to the UK to study International Relations at the University of St Andrews. After reading Richard Sennet’s anthropological and scientific studies, in which he states that technological advances have made us more and more detached from nature, creating a passive culture that deprives our senses, the Glasgow-based photographer knew she wanted to reflect this thought in her photographic work.
“From these findings I began to create modern day mythological narratives in which I explore themes associated with the dislocation of our senses. It is centred on constructed “yeti-like” creatures made up of either disposable manmade plastic forks, earplugs, vinyl gloves, car air fresheners or compact mirrors, each representing one of the senses. These creatures have been consumed by these modern, materialistic items and as such can no longer sense anything at all. Neither human nor animal, they wander between worlds fitting in nowhere, yearning to be part of a world they no longer belong to, and becoming a creature of myth.” Laura Thompson
The collage work of Jesse Draxler combines tendencies of immediacy, appropriation and a denial of visual ownership, though with hand-crafted technique. His mixed-media fusion of found images, typography and design sensibilities thrives in information-overload times, both in drawing inspiration as well as being viewed instantaneously. By finding source material from anything, Draxler is able to ‘remix’ fashion spreads as easily as referencing art movements, crafting a new 2-dimensional language that has an immediate accessibility.
Mana Morimoto creates out-of-this-world works of fiber art by embroidering colorful thread onto black and white photographs. Morimoto’s photograph embroidery exists in the “in between,” as her use of colorful fibers transforms vintage and often serious images into vibrant works of art.
According to the artist, she chose embroidery because she always found stitching and weaving therapeutic. She coupled this love for embroidery with a fondness for geometric shapes, resulting in an ever-growing collection of photographs hand-stitched with laser-like elements shooting out of people’s eyes and unnatural geometric objects integrated into various scenes.
Los Angeles based Joshua Dildine is a painter that repurposes family photographs, using them as armatures for abstract painting. Three different steps in his work are construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. Construction involves selection of the photography and setting up the emotional context that the image possess. Deconstruction is actually defacement of photography so he could create something new. During this step that last only a few moments Dildine works very quickly to harmonize the photo with paint. Last stage is the reconstruction of the context. Using acrylic, spray paint, oil and UV coated ink, he defaces the image into works of art.
Francis Pienaar is a visual artist based in Toronto. And that broad description is as specific as it will get. His illustration work is among the best we’ve seen in a while. But the photography and 3D work is worth mentioning too. Take a look at a selection of his illustrations here. The subtle use of lines and hard colors will surely claim your attention.
American artist Andrew Faris uses acrylic paint on canvas to render minimalist, abstract artworks, then sets them within rural outdoor settings and photographs the outcome.
Juxtaposed against cool panoramas, Faris’ paintings seem like portals to a digital world. Recalling the geometric abstraction of Frank Stella, the bold, colorful pieces sharply contrast their serene and snowy settings, tricking the eye into thinking they’re virtually fabricated.
UK based Rosanna Jones describes herself as a fashion and portraiture photographer, as well as a mixed media artist. She has all the necessary elements of alluring art; a distinctive and unique perspective, inventive technique and haunting imagery.
Jones distorts and tampers with her photographs to create unique mixed-media pieces that are both beautiful and disturbing at the same time.
“I love creating and capturing a beautiful moment, whether that be involving people or places, and then, in a way, destroying the innocence and aesthetic beauty of the image. Scratching away, or bleaching photographs is a way that I can relate to my images on a higher level; each scratch, tear or bleach mark symbolises how both society and the human mind have the power to destroy even the most beautiful of people or moments.” Rosanna Jones