Not having come from a formal fine arts background, Sydney based Marc Etherington (previously featured here) is a self-taught artist with a practice that is driven by an inner compulsion to make art. Etherington’s works make very obvious nods to popular culture. Referencing contemporary icons like the Kardashian’s, McDonald’s and Justin Bieber, he also gives a slow and deliberate wink to pop culture of the past.
Andrew Fairclough is a Sydney based Illustrator, Designer and Art Director. After completing a Business Degree, Andrew moved on to designing skate and snowboard graphics in between self-instruction and full time work in a design agency.
Andrew’s work is inspired by mid-century spot illustrations and design as well as vintage sci-fi, comics, surrealism, DIY art culture, and the textural wonders of degraded print. Often working with a restricted color palette Andrew’s work seeks to hint at the nostalgia and tactility of found art, whilst also creating something completely new.
George Raftopoulos was born in Sydney in 1972, the son of Greek parents. In the 1970s, the Raftopouloses found themselves to be the only Greek family in the New South Wales town of Grenfell. George had questions of cultural identity in his youth and continues to do so in his paintings today.
Raftopoulos’s paintings have always possessed an expressionist fierceness. He describes his method of painting as an “interactive process”, in that it is undertaken without the safety net of preliminary studies. His work of the mid-1990s was full of human/animal hybrids, inhabiting a world that combined playfulness with anxiety and apprehension.
Line plays a key role in his current painting, and his line is both economical and swift. It is as firm and elastic as cartilage. Most of Raftopoulos’s works of the last couple of years have turned on a single color, which sets the temper of the painting. Recently that sole color has often been a primary color.
Sydney, Australia based artist Ben Smith’s paintings are an attempt to combine the beautiful and the unsettling, the humorous and the sincere, the banal and the uncanny in order to reflect his experience of life. Recurring themes in his work are doubt, divergence within a personality and the search for comfort and solace. These themes are explored through multi-layered allegory, using various expressive possibilities of paint.
Gunjan Aylawadi is a self taught visual artist and a qualified computer science engineer and industrial designer. Born in New Delhi, India, she now lives and works in Sydney. Through her unique and intricate, paper tapestry technique, she explores the intersection between craft traditions, sensory pleasures she experienced growing up and the new culture she finds herself in now.
Crafting thoughtful mosaics out of personal reflections, she creates works with simple materials and processes that are as important as the end result – illustrating the quiet power of slowing down and a thoughtful absorption of our environments.
Sydney-based painter and sculptor Trent Whitehead works predominantly in ink and acrylic on wood. Whitehead’s latest body of work centers around a series of hand crafted 3d wooden masks. Each character seems about to burst with some intense expression of anger, frustration or joy. The intensity of the masks captures the effervescence of the artist himself, pooling the experiences of his existence to breathe life into inanimate wood. Trent’s exquisitely patterned and highly narrative works explore the effects of extinction in a fantastical world of horned creatures and bearded villains.
Sydney-based artist Max Prentis’ style is based upon detail and a strong emphasis on visual storytelling. Machines, isolated figures and not to distant wastelands are a common reoccurring subject in Max’s work.
Prentis’ technique is unique in the way he can apply his style to a variety of tones. His body of work is one that varies from playful to aggressive, and realistic to fantastical.
Visitors attending this year’s Vivid Sydney festival were able to experience what standing inside a giant kaleidoscope feels like, courtesy of Masakazu Shirane. The Japanese spatial designer installed Light Origami, a giant spiky dome with a 3D kaleidoscope inside, right on the street. The musical space featured mirrored panels inside which reflected psychedelic designs according to people’s movements and clothing patterns and colors.
Crafted from more than 320 reflective aluminum composite panels, the dome offered an opportunity for visitors to re-imagine their own reality mediated by a sense of wonder. This way they weren’t mere spectators, but became co-creators as they played with the all-around reflections by dancing and dressing brightly for the occasion.
Memories in Motion is a group exhibition currently at M Contemporary in Sydney, Australia. The show examines the ideas of motion, repetition, line, rhythm and the methods of using pencil, charcoal, ink and paper.
Using only MS Paint, Australian artist Miranda Lorikeet creates a pastel universe with her fun but contemplative digital drawings. Many of her drawings center around two naked girls in a beautiful, chaotic world. Miranda, who is based in Sydney and grew up in the 90’s as computers and software like MS Paint were on the rise, describes her art as “childish, simple, contemplative, familiar but surreal”.
Miranda’s drawings often feature landscapes where water meets the land, and give the viewer the suspicion they are looking st something beautiful but perhaps something about it isn’t quite right.