Rainbow-colored mannequin legs, animal bones, skulls, and gold- these are just a few of the materials used in John Breed’s eclectic installations. If his choice of medium sounds frenzied, it might stem from his creative background. Now based in the Netherlands, Breed received training from a calligraphy master in Kyoto, Japan, before he moved to New York to take on graffiti, paint frescos in Rome, and study landscape painting in China. A world traveler and natural born experimenter, every piece that Breed creates is a culmination of his extensive skill set.
Miami-based painter Juan Travieso brings his work to life with vivid colors out of a sense of necessity. In his early days as a child in Cuba, his access to art supplies was limited because of the country’s trade restrictions. As a result, Travieso has a deep appreciation for color and takes advantage of the hues available to him with his full-spectrum palette. His oil and acrylic paintings on canvas often feature geometric forms interacting with birds and other animals. Travieso uses this juxtaposition of realism and design to draw attention to the adverse effects human activity has had on nature. He views each painting as a chance to give voice to the powerless and endangered species on our planet. We spoke to Travieso about the ideas behind his paintings, as well as his artistic evolution.
Opening April 21 at Galleria Patricia Armocida in Milan, Agostino Iacurci’s solo show “Appearance and Disappearance” features new paintings and assemblages that riff on the artist’s signature characters. Iacurci’s designs of these anonymous figures have a graphic sensibility: Their faces are composed of simplified, geometric forms that typically come in red, black, and blue. For “Appearance and Disappearance,” Iacurci breaks down these figures further, using their forms as a structure for introducing surreal visuals. In the weeks leading up to the show, he also put up two enormous, hand-painted billboards that tower over the Cadorna Square and Loreto Square, two highly-trafficked points of Milan.
On April 24, Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia will debut two solo shows that explore humans’ connection to nature: Nicomi Nix Turner’s “No God for a Wanderer” and Sarah Louise Davey’s “The Garden of No Distant Place.” While Davey works in clay and Turner, in pencil, the two artists share a common interest in feminine, nymph-like characters that seem to belong in the wild.
This Saturday, Merry Karnowsky gallery will exhibit 17 new works from their roster with “Aggregate”. The exhibition is part of the gallery’s expansion as the KP Projects, here celebrating their collaboration with Zero+ Publishing. Curated by founder Kirk Pedersen, the show is a unique gathering that includes Andrew Hem, Edwin Ushiro, Augustine Kofie, Yumiko Kayukawa, Lisa Adams, Mercedes Helnwein, Blaine Fontana, and Dabs Myla, to name a few. Together, their paintings embody an adventurous spirit that is in tune with their editions, also on display.
Jason Borders’s carved animal skulls are morbidly fascinating. While the ornate, lace-like patterns he engraves into the bone draw viewers in with their beauty, it’s easy to become repulsed when you truly think about the origins of his materials. “A large part of what I do involves a familiarization with death,” he says. “My belief is that, as painful as it can be, looking directly at death helps you to live your life with intent and purpose.” While, in Western culture, we tend to remove death as far away from ourselves as possible, perhaps a more holistic way of thinking about it is to view it as part of our existence. In using animal remains to create something new, Borders’ work reminds viewers of the cyclical nature of life.