Afarin Sajedi is an Iranian artist that creates soul baring close-ups that make you feel like your spirit has just been scolded. Afarin is not trying to be a feminist hero or a champion for the Third World. She is just trying to scope, capture and give a glimpse of the hidden and very often unseen turmoil buried within all of us.
The use of small brushstrokes make her paintings that much more lively – the texture encourages the idea of naturalism and un-edited beauty and the color is so vibrant and detailed, like you can see every pore, shadow, freckle, and blemish that exists. Her paintings are huge, so you can see every detail up close too, even better.
New York City based artist Claire Sherman produces large-scale paintings and jewel-like drawings of natural landscapes and their details that appear both representative and off-kilter. Though she has recently started visiting the places she paints, most of her work is based on images she finds in kitschy nature books. Sherman convincingly captures the saturated colors and fine textures of nature. Her works are anything but straightforward. She paints loosely and frames her views awkwardly, building ambivalence and abstraction into her alluringly strange visions of nature.
Priscilla Yu is a multi-disciplinary artist, illustrator, and designer based in Vancouver, Canada. She paints worlds that appear to dwell in a strange gravity. Her work employs geometric forms and skewed perspective, as a stylistic constraint, which is sprinkled with the intuitive balancing of color, form, and texture that she internalized as a child.
Takuro Kuwata is a young artist who works in ceramics. He has developed his own style originally starting from traditional techniques. His focus is to push the potential of his materials, while referencing traditional forms and making functional objects.
He is known for a number of experimental procedures, including adding stones to his clay mix so that when fired, they burst or puncture the clay structure, or using needles to catch the glaze of a vessel so that it creates a bumpy texture when fired. He thus leaves the final form of the work to chance, but is careful to ensure that each piece is still functional.
Andrés Gamiochipi is a Mexican-born artist that combines cultural and geographical elements within collages that at first glance generate visual impact. Gamiochipi’s work is often influenced by attributes and the cultural environment of his hometown. Through a smile he shows his unconcern to deliver messages with extreme nuances.
With each carefully placed cut, Gamiochipi fills his work with rich textures, shades and patterns, and without fear ensures that his collages express his beliefs and convictions. Gamiochipi produces addictive pieces of art, which demonstrates his ability for reflection and fun in the day to day.
Kenne Grégoire is a Dutch painter with several thematic areas in which he explores different approaches. The most prominent seems to be still life in which he uses a combination of isometric perspective and naturalistic rendering. This is contrasted with other still life subjects in which he takes a more straightforward approach.
There are other repeated themes, such as patterned backgrounds and figurative work that varies from naturalistic to stylized. In all of his work he demonstrates a refined control of texture and color, usually casting his subjects in muted light and emphasizing their textural characteristics.
Brooklyn based Photographer David Samuel Stern builds a bridge between direct portraits and abstraction. His way of abstracting the images does not only offer his subjects a way to hide within themselves, but also turns digital photography into physical objects by adding geometric texture.
Taking several photos of his subjects, Stern then physically cuts them apart and threads them together, causing both the image and the sitter to become a complicated fracture of bits and pieces we cannot fully make sense of. The series is a kaleidoscope of splintered identities, the distortion adding another layer to what would generally be considered a standard portrait.
Paolo Del Toro (previously featured here) is a sculptor and two-dimensional artist based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Del Toro’s felt sculptures combine realism with a grotesque cartoon aesthetic, resulting in works that depict bizarre, sometimes nightmarish faces and figures, yet still have a strangely inviting texture.
From far away, his sculptures look like they could just as easily be made with ceramic or stone. The artist has also worked in wood, and it’s really interesting to be able to see the similarities between the two mediums in the artist’s portfolio.
Chilean artist Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia creates stunning textile art from small handmade fabric balls that she then groups together. Growth and accumulation, order and chaos are the driving inspiration behind her work. The effect is somewhat pixelated in the end, full of thoughtful gradations in color and contrast.
Louise Zhang creates objects that are designed to allure and repel. Depending on your proclivities, her paintings and sculptures could have either or both effects simultaneously.
Zhang’s paintings and painted sculptures are blob-like in form, slippery in texture and lurid in color. Their brightness and playfulness are striking and their ambivalent forms can be unnerving, in the same way that the wobble of jelly evokes terror in some. Her color palette and playful sense of the grotesque take their cues both from art history and contemporary culture.