NATURE AND INDUSTRY BY MARTIN WITTFOOTH

by Ariadna Zierold

martin wittfooth, oil, painting, nature, industry, landscape, upper playground

Martin Wittfooth was born in Toronto in 1981, and spent most of his childhood in Finland, moving back to Toronto in 1993 where he earned his BAA in Illustration from Sheridan College in 2003. He currently lives and works as an illustrator and fine artist in New York City, where he earned his MFA at the School of Visual Arts.

martin wittfooth, oil, painting, nature, industry, landscape, upper playground

Wittfooth’s oil paintings explore disquieting themes of industry and nature, unhinged evolution, the clash of old ideologies with modern fears, and the growing shadow of the human footprint on the earth. Set in atmospheric landscapes rendered over many paint layers on canvas, linen, or wood panels, these themes are realized through a combination of symbolism, the juxtaposition of visual narratives, and the displacement of expected realities. The worlds created in Wittfooth’s paintings implore the viewer to question the status quo, to challenge that which is taken for granted, and to proceed with caution on our present course.

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SCULPTURES MADE OF FAKE NAILS BY FRANCES GOODMAN

by Ariadna Zierold

frances goodman, sculptures, nails, repetitive, colorful, humor, female, acrylic, south africa, upper playground

Frances Goodman is a multimedia artist born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working with objects commonly associated with female identity, such as acrylic nails, false eyelashes, and jewelry, Goodman explores how their habitual usage evolves into obsession and neuroses. Her humorously dark sculptures and installations suggest how self-conscious anxieties play a disproportionate role in governing women’s lives.

frances goodman, sculptures, nails, repetitive, colorful, humor, female, acrylic, south africa, upper playground

The repetitive and meticulous gestures used to make her works mimic the repetitive and meticulous labors of nail salons and beauty maintenance regimes. By employing these materials and efforts Goodman’s work draws attention to popular culture definitions that narrow the possibilities of female identity to extremes of consumption, aspiration, obsession, desire and anxiety.

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WOVEN PORTRAITS BY JASON CHEN

by Ariadna Zierold

jason chen, woven, photography, portrait, upper playground

Intricate portraits by Jason Chen, a Philadelphia-based photographer, come from multiple images of the same subject. As the artist weaves them together, in a process he says explores “time, movement, process, and mutation,” a new representation of the individual emerges. The artist, originally from China, has worked as a photographer in the worlds of editorial, fashion, and alternative process.

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CARDBOARD SCULPTURES BY WARREN KING

by Ariadna Zierold

warren king, cardboard, sculpture, lifesize, people, upper playground

Warren King is an American artist who lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. King has been working on a collection of life­sized figures constructed from cardboard.

warren king, cardboard, sculpture, lifesize, people, upper playground

The impetus for this body of work came after King visited his grandparents’ small village in China for the first time. After meeting elderly residents who had known his grandfather, the artist began to reflect upon their shared history, memories, and a sense of relation which has stayed with King ever since.

warren king, cardboard, sculpture, lifesize, people, upper playground

When Warren left his own home in the U.S. and moved to Stockholm, the connection to his grandfather and the lost relations from this village accompanied him. With a heightened awareness of the time and distance that comes with being far away from home while creating home anew, King has often found himself reflecting on “the nature of personal and cultural connections, the consequences of severing them, and the limits to how much they can ultimately be restored”.

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INTRICATELY DETAILED BOTANICAL-SCAPES BY NICOMI NIX TURNER

by Ariadna Zierold

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

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San Francisco based illustrator Nicomi Nix Turner is recognized for her intricately detailed botanical-scapes, esoteric symbolism, provocative renderings. She conjures up intricate images which explore biological phenomena and subjects revolving around the arcane.

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

Combining her love of nature with a deep fascination for ancient practices belonging to belief systems such as alchemy and religion, Turner constructs narratives within her work which allude to themes of regrowth, biological deconstructionism and the power of belief.

nicomi nix turner, botanical, symbolism, biological, nature, alchemy, animals, skull, graphite, illustration, drawing, monochromatic, upper playground

Her works are created using graphite on paper in a way that has been described as a rare talent for manipulating and “painting” with the basic medium.

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THE ABSURD LENS OF MARC ETHERINGTON

by Ariadna Zierold

marc etherington, pop culture, childhood, humor, painting, sculpture, upper playground

Marc Etherington’s works take pop culture, childhood memories and everyday domestic life as their subject matter, rendering them through a darkly humorous and sometimes absurd lens. References to Jurassic Park, Freddy Krueger, old-school video game aesthetics and boom-boxes point to experiences of coming of age in the 1980s and 1990s, while landscapes and interiors are depicted with an eye for amusing detail.

marc etherington, pop culture, childhood, humor, painting, sculpture, upper playground

Self-taught, Etherington has maintained a consistent practice in painting and small sculpture for over a decade and more recently has worked with larger scale sculptural installations and ceramics. His sculptural works touch on themes such as mass production and collectibles.

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COOL NIGHTLIFE ILLUSTRATIONS BY PABLO BENITO

by Ariadna Zierold

pablo benito, nightclub, nightlife, illustration, facades, barcelona, club, upper playground

World-famous nightclubs including Berlin’s Berghain and London’s Fabric are illustrated in this series by Barcelona-based graphic designer Pablo Benito.

pablo benito, nightclub, nightlife, illustration, facades, barcelona, club, upper playground

Benito created artistic homages to Berlin institutions Berghain and Tresor, Spanish clubs Sala Barraca, Sala Apolo and Razzmatazz, New York’s Paradise Garage, London’s Fabric and the recently defunct Trouw club in Amsterdam.

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THE CRYSTAL SHIP PHOTO COVERAGE IN BELGIUM BY HENRIK HAVEN

by Ariadna Zierold

henrik haven, crystal ship, belgium, mural, festival, belgium, upper playground

Henrik Haven is finally ready to share his comprehensive coverage of The Crystal Ship in Ostend, Belgium!

henrik haven, crystal ship, belgium, mural, festival, belgium, upper playground

The Crystal Ship is a contemporary art festival specialized in public space which sets sail to the city of Ostend, Belgium with talented creatives. World-renowned artists created gigantic murals and fantastic art installations that form a permanent artistic trail in the city.

henrik haven, crystal ship, belgium, mural, festival, belgium, upper playground

The curator of The Crystal Ship, Bjørn Van Poucke, is extremely enthusiastic about the collaboration with the city of Ostend. “Nowhere else in Europe have so many artists in this genre been brought together for a joint arts festival. With The Crystal Ship, we wish to bring art to the people and that is exactly what we did: Over the course of 2 weeks we created +20 impressive murals and +200 smaller interventions. Right in the centre of the city, the place where people live and work. That is pretty unique!”

Check out more of Henrik’s work here.

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