You may recognize the fantastical work of Chiho Aoshima as part of the artist’s collective KaiKai Kiki, home to previously featured artists like Mr. and Aya Takano. Opening today, the Seattle Art Museum, in cooperation with Blum and Poe, tells the story of Aoshima’s creative journey with “Rebirth of the World”. It begins 10 years ago, when she quit her job as a member of iconic Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s design team after her own career took off. Her museum debut, the exhibition takes us from her earliest pieces to 35 new drawings on paper, large-scale prints on plexiglass, and a never before seen animation.
Painter Dean Reynolds likens himself to a magician. “The work is about the act of painting a window to a world of fantasy, of the surreal, of inner experience,” he writes in his artist statement. “The images hint to me to make them into a drawing or painting and then I work to make them into reality.” On May 2 at Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Reynolds will present a new series of surreal, candy-colored paintings for his latest solo show. The female protagonists in his work explore sunshine-yellow landscapes that seem to belong to another dimension. We follow these goddess-like characters into scenes rife with incongruous imagery and symbolism.
It’s official, ladies and gentlemen — spring has officially sprung in New York City, and people came out in droves to catch a glimpse of the legendary Ron English in action as he worked on his latest project. The world famous Bowery wall, located in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side on the corner of Houston and Bowery, has featured massive works of art by Retna, Faile, Barry McGee, and countless other street and graffiti artists.
In a fantastical style, Julie Heffernan injects the landscapes of her imagination with modern and classical allegory. For her third solo exhibition at Mark Moore Gallery, opening May 7th, she will debut a new series of self-portraits that combine personal with political themes. “Pre-Occupations” continues her previous exhibition (covered here) in both mood and visual lushness, evoking thoughts of the Renaissance but set in the future. Heffernan’s use of the word self-portrait is metaphorical here. Rather, traces of her can be found in her maidens’ surreal surroundings.
Jessica Dalva’s wall-mounted sculptures look like paintings at a first glance, but her work comes alive as the figures pop off the walls. Dalva’s mystical, feminine imagery calls to mind ancient pagan rituals that have been lost over time. Her upcoming solo show, “Hapax Legomena,” takes its name from a phrase that appears only once in an ancient text or language, making it impossible to translate. Dalva uses this reference to describe her approach to her work, which attempts to translate her emotions through visual language when words are not enough. “Hapax Legomena” opens at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA tonight, May 1, and is on view through May 31.
Mitsuya Watanabe’s new drawings take on an almost collage-like effect. The artist draws lightly shaded forms with graphite that contrast strongly with their dark backgrounds. Some of the figures have white outlines around them, flattening the scene and making them look like cut-outs, which adds to their surreal, dreamlike quality. Watanabe has a solo show coming up at Hellion Gallery in Portland titled “Immaculate Eve,” opening on May 7. A series of new drawings filled with floating objects and bizarre juxtapositions, Watanabe likens these works to interpretations of dreams.