Stockholm, Sweden based artist Joakim Ojanen aims to make work that is timeless. Joakim’s approach to timelessness is unconventional: His woozy characters are intended to be both 8 and 30 years old at the same time.
There’s something undeniably grotesque about the lumpy sculptural works of Ojanen, though this is balanced with a sense of humor and a child-like naivety which, in all, creates a confusing feeling for the viewer.
David Altmejd is a sculptor that lives and works in New York. Altmejd creates highly detailed sculptures that often blur the distinction between interior and exterior, surface and structure, representation and abstraction. For Altmejd, the process of making is paramount – he is interested in how the act of constructing an object and defying traditional material conventions generates meaning.
Motivated by the invisible worlds that often exist just beneath the surface of things, the artist reveals the hidden structures in his own works through negative spaces: gaps, holes, fissures and crystal filled orifices are a recurring motif. In contrast, the reflective surfaces of his mirrored sculptures are impenetrable and both define and destabilize, as well as multiply, the spaces around them.
Drawn to art at a young age, but raised in rural South Texas with very little access to any art education, Roberto Benavidez followed a secondary interest into a BFA in acting at Texas State University. After a few years of moderate acting success in the Texas market, Benavidez found himself drawn back to sculpture and headed west to California. He reorientated himself with art classes at Pasadena City College in sculpting, drawing and painting, extending into bronze casting where he initially worked in an abstract, figurative style and exhibited in group shows. He and now specializes in sculpturally elegant and fantastical piñatas.
Lucy Sparrow hails from Bath, in the West Country of England and works mainly in felt to create art that evokes delight and emotional responses from nearly everyone who sees it. Her world is very much about having an emotional response to the work she produces and to bring people closer to her creations. Lucy’s work has often been described as childlike because of the bright primary colors that she uses and the quirky little touches that she adds to almost everything she makes.All ages delight in the ingenious way she subverts everyday objects and turns household objects to life with playful faces and a joie de vivre that is totally infectious.
Already, Lucy Sparrow’s Feltism has caused quite a stir on the urban art scene and this culminated in 2014 with her audacious and fabulously inventive Cornershop. For the entire month of August, Lucy took over a rundown corner shop in Bethnal Green, East London, and filled it with more than 4000 hand-stitched felt replicas of everyday items that you’d normally find in a local shop. Tins of tomato soup jostled for shelf-space alongside felt cat litter and a freezer-full of felt ice pops.
Portland based artist AJ Fosik (previously featured here) creates intricate, vividly colored three-dimensional pieces that reference folk art, taxidermy, and cultural ritual. Fosik’s wall pieces and freestanding sculptures of anthropomorphized animals are carefully crafted from hundreds of pieces of wood that he cuts and paints individually by hand. Once the basic forms are complete, he adds threatening teeth, claws, and eyes to give the objects an intimidating presence. Totems and fetishes, as well as the “random, chaotic and arbitrary nature of existence,” fascinate Fosik.
Aya Kakeda was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Now she draws and creates imaginative worlds in Brooklyn, NY. She has produced art for books, products, posters, magazines, and store installations from clients all over the world. Her sculptures and illustrations often depict cute characters with a bizarre edge to them.
Mario Mankey is a Spanish artist now living in Berlin who is challenging himself to study and learn from artists and culture to find his own distinctive voice. Combining elements of comics, animation, primitivism, deconstructed graffiti, abstraction, Miro, Picasso, and Basquiat, the energy powering his assembled exploration is a professed desire to learn from and to talk to an audience.
In his new monumental installation, giant legs tear through the ceiling. Titled ‘Ego Erectus’, the sculpture takes the form of two enormous feet stomping through the roof of the Haus exhibition venue in Berlin. Standing in the middle of the room, the limbs engage with the architecture of the site, with pieces of the ceiling scattered across the floor.
Mexican hyperrealist sculptor Rubén Orozco has taken over the internet thanks to his talent in creating life-like figures of various characters that have attracted the glances of everybody due to their realism. Among his most important monuments are: the statue of Pope John Paul II in Guadalajara, Jalisco; The statue of Juan José Arreola in Ciudad Guzmán and in the Rotunda of the famous Jalisco people; and the statue of Goddess Themis at the Supreme Court of Justice of Jalisco, among many others.
Israeli artist Ronit Baranga’s (previously featured here) sculptures are based on contrast and duality in meaning, unexpected and viewer experience, using the metaphor of the body to transfer unsettling yet powerfully expressive human gestures and emotions to everyday objects, which lose their functionality to become instead active, alive, capable of feeling, of interacting with each other and deciding their own path. Her education in psychology and literature resonates through her intimate and connective works on human nature, that blur the lines between living and still life.
Socially awkward and full of repressed anger, Linda Cordell anesthetizes herself spending mindless hours carving detailed texture on humorous and/or uncomfortable animal sculptures. Her work reinterprets the figurine enabling animals to break the chains of cuteness and noble savagery. An appreciation of the ridiculous, a love of beauty and skilled craftsmanship, and the belief that domestic objects are social propaganda all contribute to her work.
Cordell’s meticulously sculpted, lifelike porcelain figures depict animals juxtaposed with everyday domestic objects, raising questions about our need to control or deny nature’s ugly realities. Cordell focuses on animals’ more base tendencies: hunger, aggression and reproduction. Rooted in an aesthetic reminiscent of the grand European porcelain manufacturers reflecting a lifelike realism and classical style, her meticulously sculpted porcelain figures depict animals juxtaposed with everyday domestic objects, with afflictions or in compromised situations.