John Felix Arnold III is an artist hailing from Durham, North Carolina. A graduate of Pratt Institute class of 2002, he has lived in New York City and the SF Bay Area for the last 18 years. He works in a range of media but most commonly in painting, drawing, sculpture, wood assemblage, installation, and sound elements.
His work deals with ontology, the human experience, social and environmental issues, explorations of the emotional and the unseen aspects of life, struggle, and serenity. He utilizes a range of media to deconstruct the idea of the traditional visual narrative and presents it in immersive new experiences that create a language both shared and singular.
Chao Harn Kae was born in Malaysia. He graduated in Malaysia Institute of Art (Major in Fine Art) in 1997. He has resided and worked in Hong Kong since 2004. He has been participating in art exhibitions in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.
Chao uses clay to create the most unusual sculptures of quirky creatures, many of which combine human elements such as hands protruding from their heads. The fragility of his ceramic pieces hints at our own fragile existence on earth, and how we’re closer to nature than we might think.
New York based Natalia Arbelaez is a first generation Colombian American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. with a concentration in ceramics and sculpture from The Ohio State University, where she received an Enrichment Fellowship.
“My work serves as a bridge to research my history and culture while aiming to preserve. I look to the history of Latin American and the Amerindian people; I work with how these identities are lost through conquest, migration, and time, gained through family, culture, exploration, and passed down through tradition and genetic memory. I use these influences to contribute to a contemporary dialogue while simultaneously continuing the work of my ancestors. There has been so much loss and stigma of these communities that it is important to me that my work celebrates and honors them.” Natalia Arbelaez
Dallas-based artist Dan Lam (previously featured here) has been working on another batch of dripping otherworldly work. “Bait” offers a continued exploration of color, form and the interactions of her imaginative sculptural organisms.Whether seen in the process itself, or the final result, which exudes both an intense beauty and an intense uncomfortability, Lam plays with these polarities and examines them closely. These pieces will be on display at Spoke SF until October 28.
Matthew Quick (previously featured here) is an Australian artist. His paintings & sculpture use narrative realism to provoke & tell stories. He’s painted since his teens but was distracted by other careers – working variously as a university lecturer, photographer, salesman, art director, copywriter & interior designer. Until returning full time to painting, he was the founder and Creative Director of his own advertising agency, Q&A.
Quick is an artist who masterfully layers meaning—not only are the works a unique amalgamation of the tradition of landscape painting and surrealism, they are imbued with metaphors and stories. He tells stories and makes quirky observations of the world around us. With the combination of title and image, deeper meanings emerge, triggering the unfolding of chapters in an endless array of stories the viewer is invited to create.
Detroit-based artist Matthew Angelo Harrison investigates analog and digital technologies to explore origins of all kinds. He makes low-resolution 3D printers and uses them to reproduce authentic African artifacts. Harrison plays havoc with the usual hierarchy of objects by literally elevating the new clay 3D printed works above the wood originals. Appearing at once earthy and other-worldly, the new clay sculptures are symbolic of many African-Americans’ relationship to their own African origins.
His artwork is often created by machines that he designs and builds from scratch. Matthew is interested in aspects of manufacturing, specifically its hidden performative aspect. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has shown his work at MOCAD and the Jewish Museum (NYC), and has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Atlanta Contemporary.
Penny Byrne’s first ever European solo exhibition titled “#EuropaEuropa” opened on Friday, October 6th in Berlin, Germany. Seeking to highlight the perilous journey undertaken by large numbers of migrants across Europe, “#EuropaEuropa” aims to recreate the sheer quantity and desperation of those risking their lives by crossing the Mediterranean. Adrift in an assortment of porcelain antique household serving plates, gravy boats, cups, and bowls, the figures are stranded around the gallery in various states of safety. The crudely constructed bright orange rings that hang around the necks of the figurines are clumsily constructed, a statement from Byrne on the worrying trend of refugees being given fake or faulty lifejackets. A number of solo figurines, often without floatation aids, lay separated from the main groups across the gallery floor and attached to nails in the walls; a tribute to those left behind and those who have become victims of such a perilous journey.
“#EuropaEuropa” will be on view until the 4th of November, 2017.
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.
Barcelona, Spain based artist David Moreno works with sculptures made of steel wires that emulate the fast and energetic style of drawing in a rather wild and sometimes uncontrolled way. Though they are built using a stiff material, Moreno’s sculptures of surreal floating cabins, chairs, and figures exhibit a certain delicacy and tenderness. Using a similar technique to cross-hatching, he is able to create tonal or shading effects of carefully placed lines that are viewed from a specific vantage point.
Louise Zhang is a Chinese-Australian artist based in Sydney, Australia. Spanning painting, sculpture and installation, her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.
Nianhua (年画) is a popular kind of print in China adorning people’s doors to celebrate the new year and to act as a sign of good will that says goodbye to the past and hello to the future. A great portion of these print depict pudgy babies in states of low-key glee as they recline on giant flowers, rid fish or cuddle peaches; it’s a concoction of sweetness that just makes you want to spew up all over the place.
‘New Year Rot!’ brings together this Nianhua imagery with the visual language of the realm of purgatory known in Chinese mythology as Diyu (地獄). This project is a continuation of the artist’s recent research into how situating her desire to attract and repulse her audience is a consequence of the kinds of feelings the horror film genre, and particularly body-horror, generates.