Mérida, Venezuela based artist Miguel Devia injects an emotional intensity into his portraits of close friends and figures of literature. Though his subjects are ones that he is familiar with, he often strays from capturing their likeness or any particular sense of familiarity. Rather, his primary interest seems to be in their expressiveness, playing with line and contrasting colors to evoke the emotion of the person or setting. Devia works in both digital illustration and oil painting, and in both mediums, he combines a psychological acumen with graphic design and illustrative devices.
Some of the most compelling art comes from the combination of opposing values. The group exhibition “A Primitive Future”, opening on December 5th at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles, aims to address questions of a future interpreted through the past- questions like, “How will colonialism take shape in the future?” or “What can the future look like?” The show features new work by artists featured in Hi-Fructose and on our blog: AJ Fosik (HF Vol. 18), Ben Venom, Frohawk Two Feathers, Haroshi (HF Vol. 30), Lucien Shapiro, and Ravi Zupa. The six artists collectively weave together past and future practices in a variety of media, never landing on one particular interpretation.
Sparkles, tapestries, sculptures, tampons (she calls them “pussy bullets”), toys, they all find their way into Ebony G. Patterson’s art. The Jamaican multimedia artist has a sobering, even majestic, allure about her over the top combinations of materials. She presents her work in blinged-out installations that pose tough questions about identity and gender within ‘popular black’ culture. Perhaps her work is best described in her own words, a reference to “beauty through the use of the grotesque but visceral, confrontational and deconstructed.” Patterson’s exhibition, “Dead Treez” at Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, uses the predominately male Jamaican dance hall culture as a way to discuss masculinity.
When British artist John Walter walked into a sex club a few years ago, he was surprised by the connection he made with people there. In this place where people pay money to walk around naked in search of companionship or to have sex with people they have never met before, he realized that there was a special power in it. It had the potential to entice and entertain, making it the perfect basis for his project “Alien Sex Club.” Walter is firstly a painter, drawing references from high and low culture, which he then applies to his environment in wild and engaging installations. Humor, camp, as well as hospitality, are central to his ability to engage viewers in the themes that he wants to discuss. In “Alien Sex Club”, that subject is one of his most taboo- HIV among gay men.
Cannon Dill has been living in Oakland for over 14 years, and credits much of his time spent in the city to the development of his artistic style. He once said that the confinement of a daily routine left him daydreaming about nature. Featured on our blog, his illustration work and murals are painted in response to this push and pull between our uniquely human lifestyle and that of animals. With his upcoming exhibition “In My Own Time” at Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco, Dill takes a moment to further explore his immediate surroundings.
Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most famous woman artist best known for her numerous self-portraits, is portrayed once more as hyperrealist Kazuhiro Tsuji’s latest subject. Tsuji, featured here on our blog and in Hi-Fructose Vol. 35, has become well known for his larger than life portraits of celebrities, artists, presidents and other popular figures. Rendered with a heightened realism, Tsuji’s Frida is made of resin, platinum silicone, and other materials by the same technique that he once practiced as a special effects makeup artist.