Korean artist Tae Lee lives and works in Los Angeles. The focus of his work invites to ruminate on a certain state of being that is regarded as the ideal found at the peak of the human condition. He believes this ideal is found in the visage of empathy found in the expressions of Jesus, Mary, and the high Saints in the paintings of the 19th century Italian Renaissance. The faces imply a sense of understanding in the difficulties that humanity battles in it’s longing for enlightenment/salvation, but does not condescend humanity with sympathy or pity.
“The hypocritical and cyclical tendencies of the material world can only be soothed by the light of empathy, an effort mystics and shamans from times past have all championed. The illuminated visages of the Holy Mary and the Great Buddha radiate a similar empathy, their peace not denying the great cost of sustaining life. This grace, used to navigate through this tumultuous and ultimately comedic lifetime, is the realm in which I seek to explore my art.” Tae Lee
Toronto-based Troy Brooks is a contemporary surrealist painter. His work presents an elaborate pageantry of female characters observed in allegorical settings. These women play out intimate scenes, usually caught in moments where something transformative has or is about to happen. The ‘women of Troy’ have become distinctive images on the contemporary pop surrealism scene.
“I paint women because, for me, they are ultimately the most visually lyrical subject and to be honest I relate to women much more than I do men. Always have. When I was a teenager I used to spend all day in the town library pouring over books about silent movie actresses. I loved the prostitutes in Van Dongen and Otto Dix paintings. I was obsessed with the 1930’s drunken Parisian lesbians in Brassaï photographs and the “bitch goddesses” from 40’s film noir etc. I amassed quite an extensive collection of old photographs. I made endless drawings of these women. One thing that used to drive me crazy was that I always made the faces too long. It was something I used to have to go back and fix in my drawings. When I began creating my own characters I decided to just accentuate it.” – Troy Brooks
Check out the astonishing paintings and colored pencil works on paper by Monterrey, Mexico based artist Karen Reyes that seem to deal with society’s problems and the flood of media that distorts our daily perceptions of reality.
With studies in industrial design and architecture, Karen began to see beyond the possibilities; she became interested in materials and colors, as well as in the management of forms and aspects which endow her illustrations with a strong and determined character.
“I see in my drawings a reinterpretation of my obsessions and personal approach to do all the things I see.” Karen Reyes
Seattle-based artist Casey Weldon is best known for his use of melancholy and humor in conjunction with the iconography of modern pop culture.
Weldon intentionally disorients the viewing experience by juxtaposing a subject that is impulsively attractive yet eerily disturbing. With this subtle manipulation the viewer finds themselves drawn towards these subjects, yet can’t quite focus on them, as a result of the eye fatigue experienced by countless hours on the internet, often fueled by the mindless addictive nature of social media.
Brooklyn-based Emma Stern‘s work is a condensation of fantastical figures, nude humanoids, and a unique brand of web-enabled surrealism. Stern has a focused and distinct style and approach to making her work, which involves creating renderings in digital sculpting programs like Cinema 4D and translating her creations into painted renditions.
Although her work functions well as a cohesive whole, it also makes us question what inspires her to paint such disparate figures like melting flamingos, a close-up detail of someone with braces, nose pipelines, and nude women donning devil horns and elongated tails. The answer is simple: the internet.
Dutch artist Parra‘s exhibit “I can’t look at your face anymore” features a new collection of multimedia work, which includes paintings, sculpture and textiles. Showing their naked body but not their faces, the series is a study and a parody of the modern woman and her experiences in love. Parra is well-known for his provocative pieces, paintings with vivid colors and minimalist style filled with surreal creatures, many of them women.
Tokyo based artist Atsuko Goto builds on her own visions of dreams in her other-worldly mixed media drawings. Goto’s “dream-drawings” took particular prominence in her work after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, a time when dreaming offered both an escape from and reconciliation with a harsh reality. Her ongoing “Dreaming Monster” series depicts ethereal women, often described as “undead” or “zombie”-like in appearance, which can be attributed to her palette of grays and blues made from semi-precious Lapis-lazuli and gum arabic.
Take a look at the paintings by Albuquerque, New Mexico-based artist Dorielle Caimi.
Caimi paints from a place of unadulterated honesty and her paintings serve as the memoir of her journey through contemporary life as a woman. They are visual contemplations of her everyday experiences, inner struggles and growth.
Dorielle skillfully combines her inspirations from epochs within classical art with 21st century influences, creating a timelessness in her images and also the implication that her thoughts and concerns are not limited to herself, nor to this era, but extend to past generations, through to our own and beyond.
Peter Granser created this photography series, Sun City, where he traveled to a retirement colony in the American southwest, where old people go to thrive and then die. In a cookie-cutter society. In a hot part of the country. Somewhere, this women bought this dress, and wears it proud. (via)