Jessica Stoller uses clay and the grotesque as a vehicle to explore the constructed world of idealized femininity, gathering imagery across cultural lines and histories. The clay is sculpted, draped, carved, woven, and piped to create a wide range of bewildering effects. Porcelain is her primary medium, a historically weighted material that is intrinsically linked to notions of desire, mystery, and consumption.
Berlin based Maren Karlson makes drawings of powerful Amazonian women interfacing in a world of recurrent tropes that range from dominatrix Mickey Mouse, hyper-geometric interiors, and half-burnt cigarettes. The character is mammoth, with undulating arms and an anthropomorphic braid; badass, aggressive and splendid. Her ladies hold their fists high, they’re vulgar and violent and unapologetically beautiful.
Brooklyn based Amy Cutler draws from the media, popular culture, fairytales, and her own experiences to convey the complexities of womanhood. At once autobiographical and universal, Cutler’s works are sweet and dark—delicately rendered, whimsical parables illustrating the deleterious effects of the unrealistic expectations that cultures impose on women.
She received her BFA degree from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, New York, in 1997. Since her graduation she has rapidly risen to critical acclaim, and her work has been featured in major surveys of contemporary art, importantly the 2004 Whitney Biennial.
Madbutt is a Brisbane, Australia based artist who experiments with hand cut and digital collage using mixed media. She uses her laptop when she is travelling and in between hand cut works. She keeps it simple using an application called Pixelmator.
When she is doing hand cut collage she uses an xacto scalpel, archival glue, a ruler, pencil and cutting board. She has used different paints in the past but she feels as though she could have more fun using this medium with larger works. She tries to hold off on using vintage materials until she is 100% sure that she has a great concept to work with.
Parisian artist Alice Wietzel’s illustrations display the perfect combination of unforgiving geometry and soft, organic forms. Her images combine dreamy colors with abstractly shaped people and objects whilst avoiding harsh, dark outlines. Wietzel allows various colors to sit next to one another in perfect harmony, leading to dreamlike images that we never want to stop looking at.
Brooklyn based Mira Dancy’s bold paintings collate Classicism with advertising culture in order to explore contemporary female issues. Throughout her paintings, Dancy seeks to appropriate the Classic female nude as a contemporary symbol of strength and self-possession.
Taking a feminist approach, Dancy makes powerful, expressive works centered on the female nude. She works primarily on canvas, but has also branched out into wall painting, neon light pieces, projected images, and even shower curtains.
Parra (Pieter Janssen) was born in 1976 in The Netherlands and is currently based in Amsterdam. The largely self-taught artist began his career drawing flyers and posters for music venues in Amsterdam in the 1990s. In 2012, he was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) to create Weirded Out, a 60-foot indoor mural, currently part of their permanent collection.
His signature hand-drawn approach to illustration and design led to collaborations with brands such as Nike, Pendleton and Case Studyo. Parra’s paintings, drawings and sculptures have been exhibited in galleries across Europe, Japan and North America. He also co-founded the apparel label Rockwell by Parra and is a member of electronic music group Le Le.
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