Japaneze illustrator Rika Ezaki, aka Kizetz, creates mixed-media works of art that look delectable at a first glance, but reveal grotesque details behind the visually-appealing compositions. Kizetz is undoubtedly influenced by Japanese Manga, as seen in the large-eyed, sharp-chinned figures found in the majority of the artist’s work. Swimming in the murky tones of deep purple and mustard yellow, signs of ailments and afflictions begin to reveal themselves. Many of the characters possess scars, bandaged sores and extra eyes — disfigurements one can easily imagine as the result of the thick, toxic-looking atmosphere that envelopes the world in Kizetz’s work.
While wood is a common sculpting material, Patrick Dougherty uses it with a completely unconventional approach. For over 30 years, Dougherty has been been creating nest-like public art installations from tree saplings that keep the materials in their raw form instead of carving into them to create something new. As if woven by an enormous bird or squirrel, Dougherty’s installations mesh with their surroundings. The artist mostly works in outdoor settings, endowing parks and gardens with a spark of the surreal. His installations often join existing trees and architecture, adding a sculptural dimension to the surrounding flora. Take a look at some of his installations from 1990 to today after the jump.
British artist Phlegm recently took off on another world tour during which he will be creating some new murals around the globe. He started off with painting this mural in Perth, Australia for the Public mural festival. The festival took place from April 5-13, 2014 and included 45 artists from around the world painting 30 big walls around the city. The Sheffield-born artist was chosen to paint this large orange wall, just around the corner from Belgian artist Roa. With both artists using strictly black and white colors, their massive and super detailed murals looked impressive on these large walls.
The work of Japanese artist Yasuaki Onishi has been compared to ethereal dreamscapes. He creates complex shapes with simple materials like dyed hot glue, clear plastic, and thread that inspire the imagination. Some see floating mountains, rain, and clouds, speaking to the broad scope of interpretation of his work. While Onishi’s flowing linear installations are site specific, they also celebrate the ‘happy accident’. Each piece begins with an organic object hung by fishing line, then connected to plastic sheets on which Onishi instinctively drizzles glue. Once the glue is dry, a cast of the object is revealed. Read more after the jump.
Japanese mythology and folktales are the inspiration behind Stephanie Inagaki’s upcoming debut solo show at Century Guild on April 26th. A southern California native, her work is a unique blend of personal history and strong sense of Japanese heritage. Inagaki’s intimate charcoal drawings of young women focus on themes of birth, growth, and emotional experience. For “Metamorphosis”, anthropomorphic female figures such as winged sirens and mermaids are mixed with colorful, traditional Japanese motifs.
Often depicted as bored, restless youngsters, Hebru Brantley’s solitary heroes exist between two worlds: their mundane realities and their boisterous imaginations, which Brantley depicts as a cacophony of black-and-white characters and scribbled text. Sometimes the imaginary layer of the work is kept to a quiet whisper, and other times it takes over the entire canvas and we know we are in the land of make-believe. There is a sense of naïveté in Brantley’s characters that evokes the child-like beings of Yoshitomo Nara. Like Nara, Brantley’s work appears flat at a first glance, but is executed with painterly, thick brushstrokes that add a sense of depth and dimension. Having exhibited extensively throughout the US, the artist recently unveiled his UK debut, “Everyone’s Everything” at Mead Carney Fine Art in London. At their core, the paintings in the exhibition are a love letter to the imagination, and an invitation for the viewers to tap into a childlike sense of wonder in themselves.