LA-based twins Nikolai and Simon Haas have taken the design world by storm. They have become well-known for their provocative, biomorphic, colorful, and insanely imaginative furniture, ornaments, and commissioned artistry. Nikolai apprenticed as a master carver and Simon studied blacksmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design—and together their pieces, while sleek, still retain some traces of artisanal handiwork.
Clet Abraham is a French painter and sculptor who has been changing signs in Florence, New York City and Osaka in Japan. He places specially designed stickers on his street canvases so as to make them amusing and provocative, but not distract from their original purpose
“The omnipresence of street signs, other than being a sign of the culture of “anti-responsibility”, can verge on the absurd. The message is very poor (sometimes I feel like I’m being treated like an idiot by them) and yet they have a highly invasive aesthetic. As a professional in the world of visual space, I feel called to intervene, both to notify the public of the absurdity of the situation, and to propose a constructive and respectful alternative….The final objective? That traffic keeps flowing without us feeling spoken down to!” Clet Abraham
Iranian-American artist Tala Madani paints a provocative and humorous discourse on cultural and sexual identity. Picturing the male domain in all its stereotypical glory, Madani’s portraits of Middle Eastern men play out fictive rituals of a deviant, distinctly female imagination: prayer gatherings twisted into homosexual orgies, birthday parties targeted for terrorist attack, and tattoos and body hair plucking construed as the latest in ultra-macho beauty makeovers.
Painted with quick gestures, where oozing paint often doubles as bodily fluids, food, and stains, Madani’s compositions are derived from sketchbooks where countless studies provide the skeleton for her speedy execution. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.