Eerily cheery and cheerily eerie, Nouar’s resin-dipped mixed-media works debuted at her solo show “Satisfaction Guaranteed” at CHG Circa in Culver City on July 19. Her confectionary work — somewhere between painting and sculpture, two-dimensional and three-dimensional — was paired with Hikari Shimoda’s (HF Vol. 29) equally vivid, candy-colored series of paintings in her concurrent show “Fantastic Planet, Goodbye Man” opening on the same night.
Mexican artist José Luis López Galván works with oil paint to create dark and unsettling scenes that can be simultaneously erotic and grotesque. His paintings further estrange the viewer by calling to mind wildly different artistic styles, from the quietly dramatic chiaroscuro of Rembrandt to the surrealism of Dali. López Galván maximizes the dramatic potential of oils, creating lush and eerie tableaux that are populated by enigmatic characters, such as anthropomorphic and lavishly attired rabbits, disembodied limbs and half-human robots. As in paintings by the Old Masters, López Galván’s storybook-like scenes often feel like allegories for a larger narrative. In this case though, the background story resembles the logic of a nightmare or a hallucination more than the workings of the divine.
Finnish artist Tapio Mömmö takes utilitarianism to the next level with his digital illustrations, where bodies are fused with the handy tools that enable our survival in the wild. While humans can’t spend too much time in open water, for instance, Mömmö presents a solution in the form of a person, dressed in a practical parka, whose head has been replaced by a fishing boat. Another headless person in snow gear, under Mömmö’s digital knife, has a sled annexed to their torso. Far from elegant cyborgs, these characters offer a comical answer to the fantasy of having superhuman capabilities.
“Paramnesia”, like déjà vu, refers to a supernatural phenomenon in which dreams or fantasies are confused with reality. Joram Roukes explores this concept with his exhibition of the same name, which opened last weekend at Thinkspace Gallery. Previously, Roukes’ work centered on reflections of daily life experiences reassembled in surreal, painterly scenes. For the past six months, he collected new experiences while working in Los Angeles. The result is slightly schizophrenic. Throughout, exotic animals erupt from anonymous figures performing a variety of city professions. In a way, it recalls Craola’s use of anthromorphic characters to personify dreams (covered here), only Roukes’ are sourced from a place more terrifying- reality.
Somewhere on the scale of lovable to repulsive lie Sam Lyon’s “Jelly Gummies,” a series of experimental digital illustrations and GIFs the tickle the senses. These 3D-looking creatures make you want to reach out and poke your computer screen to feel their squishy texture, only to quickly recoil at their intestine-like sliminess. The jolly blobs flop and wiggle in Lyon’s repetitive, animated GIFs. But the illustrator and designer puts them to another surprising use: clothing and textile designs. Many of the Jelly Gummies are featured in repeating patterns that he plans to make into fabrics, adding another dimension to his otherwise multi-sensory work.
Though they tackle different subject matter, Askew One and Fintan Magee each address social issues and cultural identity in the context of a globalized society. Their two-person show “Oceanic” will briefly be on view for a pop-up exhibition at RexRomae Gallery in London July 24 through July 30. With their shared backgrounds in street art, both artists will be covering the walls of RexRomae with site-specific murals for the show.