ABSTRACTLY SHAPED PEOPLE BY ALICE WIETZEL

by Ariadna Zierold

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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.

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FLUID FEMININE NUDES BY MIRA DANCY

by Ariadna Zierold

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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.

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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.

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POST POP FEMALE NUDE BY PARRA

by Ariadna Zierold

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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.

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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.

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GORGEOUS PORTRAITS BY TAE LEE

by Ariadna Zierold

tae lee, painting, portrait, portraiture, los angeles, women, magical, surreal, emotional, mystical, upper playground

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.

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“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

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THE WOMEN OF TROY

by Ariadna Zierold

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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.  

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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

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MEDIA FLOOD BY KAREN REYES

by Ariadna Zierold

karen reyes, monterrey, mexico, oil, pencil, media, women, surreal, upper playground

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.

karen reyes, monterrey, mexico, oil, pencil, media, women, surreal, upper playground

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.

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“I see in my drawings a reinterpretation of my obsessions and personal approach to do all the things I see.” Karen Reyes

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MYSTICAL WOMEN BY CASEY WELDON

by Ariadna Zierold

casey weldon, portrait, portraiture, colorful, bright, melancholic, humor, women, pop, culture, upper playground

Seattle-based artist Casey Weldon is best known for his use of melancholy and humor in conjunction with the iconography of modern pop culture.

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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.

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MELTING NEON BY EMMA STERN

by Ariadna Zierold

emma stern, neon, surreal, melting, painting, women, upper playground

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.

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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.

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“I CAN’T LOOK AT YOUR FACE ANYMORE” BY PARRA

by Ariadna Zierold

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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.

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“DREAMING MONSTER” BY ATSUKO GOTO

by Ariadna Zierold

atsuko goto, tokyo, dreaming monster, painting, women, drawings, dreamy, upper playground

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.

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