San Francisco-based painter Sandra Yagi explores our relationship with nature, the human condition, the fragility our bodies, and broader scientific concepts in her fantastical oil paintings. Some more lighthearted scenes show deformed creatures dancing and frolicking, garnering their own grace; skulls peeled back to reveal wildlife hint at our animalistic nature. At play are explorations of genetics and evolution.
J. S. Weis, a Portland-based artist and designer, depicts scenes and creatures from nature in his drawings and paintings. And he includes the factor often removed from studies of the natural world: all of the unnatural stuff humans add to it. In two series, “unNaturalist” and “Specimens,” it’s not uncommon to see gorgeous reptiles writhing among cigarette butts or birds among sandwich bags. Weis was last featured on HiFructose.com here, ahead of his “Liquid Hymn” show at 1AM Gallery in 2014.
In Hiroaki Ito’s paintings and drawings, he depicts Japanese businessmen—referred to as “salarymen” in their respective country—in perpetual states of submission, anguish, self-assuredness, and general unrest. His intimate angles, often below the subject, looking up, punctuate the moods he evokes with these suited, white-collar workers. These men and women are caught in mid-apology, somber reflection, or even near-vomiting.
Russian-Canadian artist Ivan Alifan’s provocative figurative paintings are intended to inspire varying reactions from viewers. Yet, the artist says his portraits aren’t supposed to “render physical characteristics but rather create a language of underlying sexual subtexts.” His recent work has taken a decidedly more dessert-inspired approach, further exploring the ideas of pleasure and ecstasy.
Two years ago, artists Marianela Perelli and Pool Paolini debuted the show “Barbie, the Plastic Religion,” garnering press worldwide for Barbie and Ken doll versions of Biblical characters. Now, the show comes to La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles with new additions. Through Dec. 31, the gallery shows the models, two new paintings, 12 Via Crucis altarpieces, a nativity scene, more than a dozen smaller gold leaf paintings, a Barbie Porsche 911 with Ken as Krishna, Jesus, and Buddha.
Jean-Michel Bihorel, a Paris-based digital artist, crafts bewildering illustrations of otherworldly figures and scenes. These creatures can have a natural make-up, like floral collections or delicate landscapes, or they seem entirely alien. Bihoral works as a CG supervisor for Mécanique Générale and is a co-founder and mentor of CreativeSeeds, a training school for aspiring animators.