Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden’s aesthetic is developed from subtle amalgams of many sources, from Ingres, David and other French classicists to Little Golden Books.Ryden also draws his inspiration from anything that will evoke mystery: old toys, anatomical models, stuffed animals, skeletons and religious ephemera found in flea markets.
Ryden’s vocabulary ranges from cryptic to cute, treading a fine line between nostalgic cliché and disturbing archetype. Seduced by his infinitely detailed and meticulously glazed surfaces, the viewer is confronted with the juxtaposition of the childhood innocence and the mysterious recesses of the soul.
New York-based Croatian artist Dora Budor creates sculptures and films that expose the technical and otherwise overlooked elements of movies. Budor most regularly engages with movie props—objects which are inherently fake or flawed, yet appear real and perfect on-screen—in order to “reanimate” them and give them a second life through recontextualization.
A series of sculptures built around discarded movie props with artificial weathering, rust, and dust positions the objects as modern-day fossils. Budor views cinema through an anthropological lens, seeking to explore how people interact with films and the way that fictional characters become part of a collective emotional reality.
Brooklyn-based artist Jules de Balincourt paints the social, political and economic landscape of the United States, where the Paris-born artist has lived since childhood, is subject to satirical analysis and exuberant reimagining. He is best known for his abstract, atmospheric paintings with saturated colors, blurring the line between fantasy and reality.
Working from the position of an outsider, the artist questions structures of power and influence, laying bare injustices and hypocrisies while maintaining an amused attachment to the myths through which identity – individual and national – is constructed.
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.
The focus of Andrea Joyce Heimer‘s work is narrative painting. Much of the work speaks from her status as an adult adoptee whose records are sealed, meaning she have no access to her own biographical, birth, and heritage information. The narratives represent different perspectives of her experience as an adoptee: first-person autobiographical, the outsider-looking-in neighborhood observer, the archetypal orphan (the charming tramp). Self-authored mythologies of her own origins as well as mythologies of her home state, Montana, are interwoven with these themes.
The figurative elements focus on the interactions between human beings in moments of disconnection or detachment. Emotional themes of loneliness, anger, and longing are performed in symbol-laden environments including houses, yards, forests, and bodies of water. The distinctive flatness with which the scenes are rendered recall the flattened perspective of medieval art and speak to the “flattened” experience of the adoptee, whose lack of background knowledge represents a deficiency of depth to one’s selfhood.
Los Angeles-based artist and designer, Elena Stonaker makes soft sculptures and wearable art pieces using intricate quilting and beading techniques. Her soft sculpture and wearable art works have been described as evoking “a shamanistic aesthetic”, through the use of quilting techniques, beading, and myth-based narratives.
Los Angeles based artist Meagan Boyd‘s work often depicts utopian atmospheres filled with modern day nymphs, deities, holy beings, and party monsters who reveal the the interconnectivity of animals, people and nature. Through her art making process, she explores the transcendence between dreams and waking-life in the context of magic and myth. Using an explosive color palate along with intricate line-work, her freakishly folkish style combines the nostalgic essence of the fauves juxtaposed with a neon-like urban glow.
Los Angeles based artist Lola Rose Thompson was born in Studio City, California. She studied sculpture at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and received her BFA from Otis College of Fine Arts. Thompson is interested in the idea that objects can receive and transmit information that they may or may not contain; and moreover, that these objects have vast stores of data and figures, that may be difficult to see.
“Lately I’ve been thinking about groups of people – clubs, fraternities, gatherings, secret societies – I like to image that through these paintings I can delve inside territory that is exclusive and make it inclusive – by allowing the viewer to identify with the subjects of the painting. The painting is the invitation to the party.” Lola Rose Thompson
Los Angeles based artist and musician Luke Pelletier’s art work is full of energy, and varies depending on his mood or what he is doing at the time. Pelletier enjoys working in different mediums: photographs, paintings, sculptures prints, social practice, graphic design, writing, craft and collage works. His art has gathered a range of influences, such as American lifestyle, culture of tourism and consumerism.
Boston, MA based artist Nick Zaremba is a Drawer, Painter, and Installation Artist. His constantly evolving and morphing artwork ranges from small framed drawings and site specific 3D installations to large scale commissioned murals all the while translating what he does by hand to digital graphics able to be placed on products such as snowboards, apparel, and packaging.
Zaremba draws influences from his youthful adventurous side, the colors in nature all around him, psychology, and semiotics. These influences along with his curiousity of the human condition mixed with lifelong ingredients including skateboarding, graffiti, DIY culture, are his driving force to create.