Mary Waters’ portraits of Renaissance identical twins are intriguing, almost haunting. It is said that during the Renaissance, twins were thought to be the product of sexual promiscuity and therefore evil (The Shining anyone?). Most likely, we don’t see portraits of twins because they could not survive rudimentary birth. Waters clearly prefers working in Romanticism and Renaissance styles and mediums; acrylic, tempera, alkyd, and oil painted with a satiny sheen. However, she is set apart from the masters who inspire her.
Maude Alta carves away negative space to create snowflake-like paper-cut works filled with intricate details. Alta says that her intimate knowledge of her medium enables her to make such minuscule incisions. “When I cut paper, I feel as if I am peeling back the outer, superficial layer of our vision to reveal the secret space beneath,” she writes in her artist statement. Her works evoke line drawings with their many small markings. Many of them feature nature imagery that recalls folk art forms and storybook illustrations, though the narratives behind each of her works are not so obvious.
London artist duo Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young, collectively known as Fantich & Young, create innovative sculptures using found objects. Fantich & Young’s humorous series “Apex Predator” envisions a fantastical twist in the history of evolution. The artists glued individual teeth from dentures on to various types of footwear to create menacing-looking shoes with a bite. Stacked in rows like sharks’ teeth, the dentures give the shoes menacing grins that warn one not to get to close.
Whether working in the streets or in the studio, Russian artist Morik paints Cubist-inspired scenes filled with fractured, kaleidoscopic arrangements of color. In his recent mixed-media canvases, he utilized a combination of spray paint, acrylic, and watercolor pencil to create street scenes filled with early 20th-century nostalgia. While his studio work evokes Russian social realism, his recent street art in Miami, Poland, and Germany has been decidedly more surreal. Take a look at his recent works below.
Her art only lasts a matter of seconds. Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo has been labeled a street artist, sculptor, and monument designer best known for her “melting men”. Her ice sculptures of thousands of faceless tiny people have been staged on stairways all over the world. They are part of her “Minimum Monument” Project, or anti-monument as she sometimes calls it, an ongoing series that has toured to Brazil, Havana, Tokyo, Paris, Firenze and Berlin since 2001.
Cherub-like children with school girl bobs enter infernal abysses and haunted-looking forests in Akino Kondoh’s drawings and paintings. The Japanese artist says she is interested in exploring the eerie feeling of deja vu that childhood memories can sometimes trigger. With their dark mood and enigmatic symbolism, her characters’ surreal adventures evoke the ways our childhood fears and anxieties were once magnified in our nightmares, and perhaps still are.