FRENETIC DESIGNS BY SAM TAYLOR

by Ariadna Zierold

sam taylor, illustrator, illlustration, illustrations, blobs, doodles, colorful, surreal, pop culture, sci fi, pulp, characters, upper playground

Sam Taylor translates tech-related questions in a magazine he works in into his frenetic designs: angry blobs, raging batteries and bug-eyed iPhones make regular appearances. The creative freedom makes it a dream job for Taylor, though he does impose rules on the process to make sure everything gels. Taylor draws inspiration from pulp sci-fi covers and sci-fi in general, and has a revolving cast of characters and motifs now that he’s been at it for a minute.

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INTERNET THEMES BY ALEXIS PRICE

by Ariadna Zierold

alexis price, painting, paintings, internet, meme, memes, emojis, pop culture, colorful, bright, people, surreal, rainbow, oil, animals, upper playground

Alexis Price is a self-taught painter from Raleigh, North Carolina currently residing and working in Brooklyn New York.  In her most recent work, she has been playing with themes that mimic internet culture such as bright colors, memes, emoji’s, etc and partners them with darker imagery.  This darkness speaks to parts of the human reality that our internet culture is masking.  Alexis has also been exploring the idea of perspective and reality and how each person’s reality is so vastly different from the next- and has been experimenting with the idea of what’s “real” and what is not.  She works primarily with oil, is inspired by animals, and has a strange fascination with the color pink.

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GRAY SCALE FIGURES BY TOMOO GOKITA

by Ariadna Zierold

tomoo gokita, tokyo, japan, gray scale, monochrome, portraiture, collage, painting, paintings, pin up, pop culture, neo expressionistic, humor, upper playground

Tokyo, Japan based Tomoo Gokita’s gray-scale paintings depict archetypal figures, such as a pin-up girl or a geisha, with their faces concealed. With a background in graphic design, the artist was initially inspired to create art by his love of manga and animation. His paintings reflect these pop cultural influences, evoking iconic celebrity headshots and pornographic magazines. Executed with extreme technical precision, his erasure of the face through Neo-expressionistic flourishes or scraping gestures disturbs and adds a humorous element to his compositions.

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UNDERLYING DUALITIES BY BENNETT SLATER

by Ariadna Zierold

bennett slater, painting,paintings, dualities, canada, portraiture, portrait, surreal, colorful, bright, pop culture, upper playground

Bennett Slater (previously featured here) is a Canadian illustrator, designer and graduate from the illustration program at the Sheridan Institute. Bennett’s work is drawn from the relationships the future shares with the past; the new from the old, life from death. Utilizing traditional oil methods on wood, his work plays with techniques borrowed from Flemish and Dutch master disciplines combined with bold, geometric forms linked to more contemporary futurism and deco sensibilities. This dichotomy of contrasting artistic disciplines and influences lends itself to the underlying dualities observed in his work.

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PURVEYOR OF DOODLES JON BURGERMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

jon burgerman, new york, doodle, doodles, doodling, drawing, drawings, pop culture, urban, colorful, characters, cartoons, upper playground

New York based Jon Burgerman is a UK born artist instigating improvisation and play through drawing and spectacle. He is a purveyor of doodles and is often credited and referenced as the leading figure in the popular ‘Doodle’ art style.

jon burgerman, new york, doodle, doodles, doodling, drawing, drawings, pop culture, urban, colorful, characters, cartoons, upper playground

His work is placed between fine art, urban art and pop-culture, using humor to reference and question his contemporary milieu. His is a pervasive and instantly recognizable aesthetic that exists across a multitude of forms including canvases, large scale murals (indoor and outside), sculpture, toys, apparel, design, print and people (as tattoos and temporary drawings).

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FUZZY AIRBRUSH GRADIENTS BY MORGAN BLAIR

by Ariadna Zierold

morgan_blair_

Morgan Blair (previously featured here) is a freelance illustrator, fine artist, and desperado. She is a recent graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), now living in Brooklyn, New York and continuing to advance her interest in trees, legos and excellent music.

morgan blair, illustrator, illustration, painting, brooklyn, new york, neon, colorful, abstract, abstraction, fuzzed, fuzzy, airbrush, gradient, gradients, shapes, flat, geometric, pop culture, upper playground

Blair’s recent work explores the balance of control and freedom in her process, manifested in a mashing up of low contrast flesh tones with wild, neon color schemes; hard edges with fuzzed out airbrush gradients; smooth, flat shapes with brush marks and rough, sandy textures; and wonky, irregular forms with geometric curves and angles. The resulting optical abstractions play on the absurd in pop culture, current events, the mall, the internet, common street trash, consumerism, and personal experience.

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NEON SURREALISM BY JOHANNAH ODONNELL

by Ariadna Zierold

johannah odonnell, painting, paintings, surreal, neon, vibrant, colorful, florida, orlando, cats, cat, animals, portrait, portraits, pop culture, cosmic, landscapes, scifi, fantasy, upper playground

Orlando, Florida based pop surrealist painter Johannah O’Donnell‘s paintings use natural and figurative symbolism to comment on our connection with the universe and our shifting cultural perceptions in the digital age. She tends to turn up the contrast on the wild cast of creatures and figures found in her acrylic works. These characters, who often times are found among cosmic landscapes, shine boldly with brilliant shades of purple, blue, and pink.

johannah odonnell, painting, paintings, surreal, neon, vibrant, colorful, florida, orlando, cats, cat, animals, portrait, portraits, pop culture, cosmic, landscapes, scifi, fantasy, upper playground

Johannah paints with open body, also known as slow drying, acrylics on wood panels that are hand crafted by her husband, carpenter and sculptor Adriaan Mol. Her work is influenced by 70’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy art and the American Pop Art movement and uses figurative symbolism as a narrative surrounding ideas of the human condition.

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A SHITTY EXISTENCE BY ALEX PAULUS

by Ariadna Zierold

alex paulus, alexander paulus, memphis, painting, paintings, humor, funny, grotesque, figurative, acrylic, oil, pop culture, upper playground

Memphis-based Alex Paulus’ paintings reflect the denial of a shitty existence. Paulus has created a crowded installation of grotesque figurative paintings that are unapologetically in your face and ridiculously successful. He combines acrylic, oil and paint marker to create a variety of textures, which also add depth to his works.

alex paulus, alexander paulus, memphis, painting, paintings, humor, funny, grotesque, figurative, acrylic, oil, pop culture, upper playground

A variety of misshapen and jumbled characters inhabit Alex’s canvases, and his figures are depicted trying out VR headsets, swimming with dolphins and windsurfing on a Papa John slice of pizza. Alex’s work is surreal, yet the topical and pop culture references he includes not only add humor but also keeps them grounded in a familiar sort of reality.

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CARTOONISH WATERCOLORS BY ALFRED STEINER

by Ariadna Zierold

alfred steiner, watercolor, watercolors, cartoon, cartoonish, grotesque, pop culture, humor, compositions, new york, upper playground

New York based Alfred Steiner describes his work as drawing influence from both “art historical and pop cultural sources, especially those with a penchant for the grotesque,” and lists Hieronymus Bosch and Homer Simpson among his inspirations.

alfred steiner, watercolor, watercolors, cartoon, cartoonish, grotesque, pop culture, humor, compositions, new york, upper playground

Steiner’s cartoonish watercolors are made through a laborious process: he slowly gathers fragments of unseemly images—including those of toys, half-eaten fruit, rotting teeth, dead insects, sea creatures, artillery, and sexual organs—that he then pieces together into narrative compositions or resemblances of pop culture icons. Steiner’s practice is also informed by the artist’s prior 15-year career as a copyright and trademark lawyer, and his extensive knowledge of intellectual property regulations.

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MODERN REALITIES BY ALEKSANDAR TODOROVIC

by Ariadna Zierold

aleksandar todorovic, serbia, culture, cultural, political, comics, pop culture, illustration, painting, modern, complex, f¡greed, upper playground

Aleksandar Todorovic is the child of the Serbian 90’s, meaning he has been exposed to a dramatic collapse of major moral and cultural values, along with the break-up of Yugoslav republic and the unfortunate war-colored years after. This period proves to be crucial in the formation of the artist’s visual language, as his learned impulse is that politicians equal evil. His style has been influenced by comics and pop culture, video games, and illustration, through which the artist endeavors in depicting the modern reality, such as it is – complex, crooked and festered with greed and ill will.

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