Michael Johansson is a Swedish installation artist who takes OCD tendencies to the next level with his real-life Tetris sculptures. His passion for ordinary and useless things organized into exceptionally good-looking piles makes most neat-freaks look like the biggest slobs. Johansson is obsessed with irregularities and coincidences between to disparate objects which may only be linked by a common color or a shape.
Johansson’s precisely stacked sculptures made from ordinary objects like old computer screens, keyboards, cars and suitcases, are installed both inside the gallery and jammed into site-specific spaces.
South Korean artist Choi Xooang has been sculpting for the last 10 years his unearthly but highly intricate human figures. Distorted and haunting Choi Xooang’s work reveals his deep concern for the human condition in society – and how he feels that something needs to change. Although the viewer is both repulsed and fascinated by the gut-wrenching hyperrealist sculptures of human bodies, Xooang’s mastery of the art and eye for detail right down to the smallest vein.
His freakish figurative sculptures are mutilated or abbreviated. Merging unexpectedly, flesh is sewn together with ribbons, heads are plunged together to make one, a head is replaced with that of a hound or an ostrich and fists are plunged into backs of heads Ultimately, people are silenced and held captive by their condition.
Taiwanese artist Chen-Dao Lee has created a world of violence, vengeance and a lot of semi-naked women. Lee introduces the viewers to a mysterious and erotic body of work, with his pop images reflecting as dark objects of desire on the viewers’ mind. These anime-like, twisted paintings depict a world where men are perverse pigs and women are fighting Amazons.
Lee’s characters are furious and cynic individuals who strive to survive in a world where fighting seems to be the only way of communicating. Expressing their emotions through violent and excessive reactions, the heroes fully embrace every single feeling that passes through their body.
Jonathan Chapline is an oil painter and digital artist living in Brooklyn. Each of his scenes look as if its parts have been pixelated and rendered smooth on auto-loop, the remaining shapes melodramatically lit.
He makes art that reflects the transition between interiors and exteriors of the suburban landscape that outwardly conform to societal pressures, and which hint at the reality that exists behind those facades representing the neighborhoods of everyman. The work reveals the contradiction and tension between appearance and reality, giving the viewer an opportunity to consider what subsides beyond and between the veneer of their own life experiences.
New York based Caroline Larsen has an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute. Larsen’s work has been in numerous group shows throughout Canada, America and Germany.
Her work explores the sensation of being in the tropical landscape at night, when the heat exaggerates the saturation of the night hues. The paintings also play with the idea of abstraction. The paintings coexist between a recognizable form and a non representational image, but at the same time they are pictorial.
“Using the memory of landscapes and imagery that I experienced during my upbringing in Sarasota, Florida as a springboard I create images that evoke a celebratory tropical frenzy. My interest in tropical landscapes stems from my lived experience, growing up in Florida and spending time in Panama as an adult has greatly influenced my aesthetic.
A constant focus of all of my work, is the attentiveness to color and its role of imparting feeling. My paint application, with its texture acting as line and pattern, is an organizing form in and of itself; the ridges cast shadows and create optical rhythms. The paintings use a full color palette, keeping with my intention to be as ornamental and vibrant as possible.” Caroline Larsen
New York based German artist Erik Parker turned to eye-popping color and dizzying details in his recent paintings. Seemingly in constant motion, his paintings are composed of a myriad of tiny dots, paisleys, teardrops, squiggles, and drips, in a rainbow of bright colors. Parker creates bold, graphic compositions that riff on the traditional genres of portraiture and still-life. His visionary paintings draw their inspiration from diverse elements of American subculture—psychedelia, underground comic books, the Chicago Imagists, hip hop and heavy metal— as well as Picasso, Francis Bacon and Roy Lichtenstein.
Aaron Johnson has created two distinctive and wildly innovative approaches to painting: his well-known “reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel” paintings and his sock paintings. The two bodies of work exist in counterpoint; meticulously layered Indian-miniaturesque details in his reverse-paintings starkly juxtapose the swashbuckling brushstrokes created by a clunky impasto of flung socks in his sock paintings.
Uniting his two modes of work is Johnsonʼs inimitable style, a painterly madness flowing forward from his influences of Goya, Peter Saul, Picasso, Ensor, Llyn Foulkes, and the Hairy Who. Johnson’s paintings are a delight of a seductive surface, garish color, and entangled flesh.
“In my paintings, I construct absurdist allegories featuring comic grotesque characters. Technically I believe in an experimental approach to painting that evolves the historical medium into a contemporary adaptation. I have developed two main modes of making paintings: reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel paintings and sock paintings. The methods involve reverse-painting, meticulously detailed layers, and polymer peel transfer; or the opposite: building up a chunky impasto of old socks. My spectrum of interests ranges from socio-political critique on one end to existential human questions on the other; each individual painting will fall somewhere between those two poles.” Aaron Johnson
The way Alex Garant creates, makes her painting realistic, but surreal at the same time. Traditional techniques of making portraits are combined with graphic quality, making her artworks widely recognizable. The core of her work is the pattern, she will duplicate elements, use symmetry and image superposition, creating an almost perfect optical illusion. Her unique pieces make the viewers have a hard time focusing on a face of each figure portrayed. By simply looking at her paintings, a journey begins. The journey that will make you get to know yourself, but also the artist.
Boneface is an illustrator that had a firm grip on what makes himself tick, and then developed his craft. The illustrations of Boneface are bold and rebellious — the nihilistic spittle of a fun-loving vagrant. Boneface’s drawings are bright and detailed in mischievous gore. The attitude of underground skate videos mixed with the winks and shock of an eighth-grader’s homemade comic book.
New Zealand-born photographer based in Sydney, Australia Simon Davidson has been photographing the sub-culture of burnout competitions in Australia. Davidson has become recognized as one of Australia’s leading photographers. Self-taught, he has created a successful career photographing a wide variety of subjects, creating content in both the advertising and editorial environments internationally.
With his Burnout series he recognizes beauty where it’s not immediately obvious. He finds expression in a car spinning its rear wheels with the single purpose of destruction. His images are superbly composed contemplations of the moment. Slices in time that hold the gaze with car, driver and movement balanced in an ideal expression of a sublime modernity.
“The guys and girls who compete in the various competitions across Australia are a passionate bunch. As a photographer I enjoy the visual feast of a superb and powerful car on the black of the burnout pad juxtaposed against the softness of the tire smoke. In reality a burnout is extremely loud and aggressive but in the photos there is a sense of calm… poetic in a way.” Simon Davidson