‘STUDIO VISIT’ BY NICOLAS SASSOON

by Ariadna Zierold

nicolas sassoon, vancouver, canada, gif, gifs, animation, loop, loops, abstract, studio visit, new media, pandora, somber, dark, upper playground

Vancouver, Canada based Nicolas Sassoon has been working on massive GIFs that span the width of a browser and actually require scrolling. His latest work, Studio Visit, depicts a studio space complete with wall panels, a brick fireplace, and multiple LCD screens. Today Sassoon is one of the most interesting artists working in the field of GIF-making and new media. He shows all over the world and has been included in exhibitions at the New Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the New Orleans biennial Prospect.

nicolas sassoon, vancouver, canada, gif, gifs, animation, loop, loops, abstract, studio visit, new media, pandora, somber, dark, upper playground

The body of work Sassoon has been producing there is called Pandora, which is the name of the street where the artist has lived, off and on, for the past four years. The series’ title also refers to small actions that have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences, and perhaps even to the darkness of the Internet. Sassoon’s pared-down aesthetic reflects that somber mood.

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SOMBER PAINTINGS BY MICHAEL BORREMANS

by Ariadna Zierold

michael borremans, painting, paintings, oil, portrait, portraiture, figurative, somber, dark, ghent, belgium, upper playground

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.

michael borremans, painting, paintings, oil, portrait, portraiture, figurative, somber, dark, ghent, belgium, upper playground

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.

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THE SATIRICAL VIEW OF HUMANITY OF DAN LYDERSEN

by Ariadna Zierold

dan lydersen, painting, landscape, satire, nature, humor, contrast, somber, upper playground

Dan Lydersen‘s paintings are a reconciliation between past and present, particularly in regard to Western culture’s notions of spirituality and the relationship between society and nature.

dan lydersen, painting, landscape, satire, nature, humor, contrast, somber, upper playground

Drawing from a variety of contemporary and historical sources, from the Renaissance to modern cinema, literature and popular culture, the paintings are an attempt to come to terms with the present through the immediate marriage of today’s visual culture with that of the past. Both theatrical and satirical, comical and somber, the paintings pose a view of humanity that is steeped in the existential turmoil that lies between materiality and spirituality, where society trudges persistently forward into the future while the human search for meaning and purpose as mortal animals remains unresolved.

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HAUNTING PAINTINGS BY ANDREW HEM

by Ariadna Zierold

andrew hem, painting, haunting, somber, upper playground

Andrew Hem has been painting all his life, first as a graffiti artist in his teenage years and now as a full-time exhibiting artist on a worldwide scale.

andrew hem, painting, haunting, somber, upper playground

Raised as the child of Cambodian immigrants in Los Angeles, Hem’s illustrative paintings bridge disparate aesthetic influences as well as cultural touchstones and sensibilities. Hem’s paintings typically highlight an individual within a group of figures, homing in on the one person who is often somberly staring out from the canvas. Using a cool palette in which the colors do not quite match up with the real world, the artist creates somber moods in illusionistic spaces set at a remove from reality.

andrew hem, painting, haunting, somber, upper playground andrew hem, painting, haunting, somber, upper playground andrew hem, painting, haunting, somber, upper playground