Henry Taylor is an American artist and painter who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Taylor is most well known for his acrylic paintings, mixed media sculptures, and installations. Taylor paints quick, loose portraits of his relatives, friends, celebrities, and athletes on large and small canvases, as well as creating evocative sculptures and assemblages of found materials.
Drawing on the folk art and modernism present in a strain of African American painting that traces back to Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, Taylor has painted monumental canvases based on WPA photographs of black farm workers.
Seattle-based Kelly Bjork is an artist/freelance illustrator whose work focuses on portraiture and intimacy between friends and belongings. Bjork’s illustrations capture the funky and punky personas that thrive in her home city of Seattle. She grew up in Tacoma, Washington and graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a BFA in drawing and printmaking.
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.
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.
Berlin based Riikka Sormunen is an artist and illustrator. With her amazing eye for detail and color, and a slight flare for dark comedy, Sormunen has landed herself projects including being a contributor for The New York Times. She creates beautiful illustrations with the finest attention to detail. Her patterns and style are clearly inspired by her background in fashion design, but beneath the surface her illustrations often hold more sinister themes.
Ghent, Belgium based Michaël Borremans juxtaposes -in his figurative drawings and paintings- somber figures, jarring close-ups, and unsettling still lifes that are at once nostalgic, darkly comic, disturbing, and grotesque.
His seductive works contain timeless images of inner drive and external force, of the latent pressure involved in being human. Behind a veil of stylistic perfection, the artist simulates common rituals of interpretation and meaning. His intensely atmospheric images are puzzles involving political and psychological patterns of perceiving the world, which oscillate in a camouflaging, fragile way between inexorable realism and nebulous distance.
Turks and Caicos born street artist and New York based Bradley Theodore mixes and matches in vibrant colors key elements of art and fashion, plastering his power clashing hybrids around the city streets.
“Fashion allows people to become art. It’s the only time in our society that’s truly accepted for you to be a form of art. The average person on the street is trying to convey an image. That image could be an identity, he or she could be building himself as a painting: it might be the most super-glossed up glam queen, or they could be portraying this stupendous image of Madonna.” Bradley Theodore
He’s painted murals across the globe; done cover art for albums for the Wu Tang Clan, created art for Def Jam, Universal Records, and Sony. He’s been featured in Vogue for his iconic skeletal images of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. His works play- fully explores fashion, graphic design and popular culture.
Lui Ferreyra has been working with a signature fragmented style. The first move is substantiated by a geometric matrix which functions as surface: it embraces and emphasizes the aspect of flatness within a complex network of geometric shapes, each unique unto itself. The second move is fulfilled by the cumulative effect of all the shapes functioning together as a color-field in which each shape contextualizes every other shape, thereby providing all the necessary visual cueing to manifest a kind of window one can look through. These geometric fragments are blended by the viewer’s eye rather than the artist’s hand, producing color fields that Ferreyra intends to call attention to the connection between seeing and language.
Baldwinsville, NY based artist Lacey McKinney‘s haunting portraits depict women and distorted figures, rendered in energetic strokes and accented with bold patches of color.
McKinney demonstrates she is not afraid to continually reexamine her approach to the figure and investigate new ways in which it can be used to communicate ideas and manipulate aesthetic elements. The ideas she explores play with issues of identity and the complexities and ambiguities of “self. ” Her compositions give a nod to the multiple perspectives inherent to cubism.
Afarin Sajedi is an Iranian artist that creates soul baring close-ups that make you feel like your spirit has just been scolded. Afarin is not trying to be a feminist hero or a champion for the Third World. She is just trying to scope, capture and give a glimpse of the hidden and very often unseen turmoil buried within all of us.
The use of small brushstrokes make her paintings that much more lively – the texture encourages the idea of naturalism and un-edited beauty and the color is so vibrant and detailed, like you can see every pore, shadow, freckle, and blemish that exists. Her paintings are huge, so you can see every detail up close too, even better.