Turkish artist Merve Morkoç aka Lakormis mocks our predilection for beauty with portraits that toy with our instincts and desires. Thin, young, model-like characters with the types of faces and bodies that line the pages of fashion magazines are her primary subjects. But Morkoç alters the women’s appearances with disturbing, fantasy disfigurations that make them the stuff of nightmares. Initial attraction quickly becomes repulsion. Morkoç waves the illusion of beauty before the viewer’s face and rips it away like a veil, revealing the strange, Frankenstein-esque details she has added to her characters.
Australian artist and designer Nick Thomm creates eye catching collage works reminiscent of a mishmash of magazine or billboard advertisements. Thomm deconstructs crisp, high-quality photos and reassembles them into new compositions with hallucinatory, digital effects. Elements of glitchy distortion are used to manipulate the images of models and ancient statues. Many of them are surrounded by vivid cyan, magenta and yellow backgrounds, turning them into a visually-engaging sensory overload.
Figures are subsumed in textured paint that drifts over the horizon like a thick fog in Federico Infante’s mysterious configurations of oils on canvas. Infante begins by working with the background, layering different pigments in an intuitive process that yields unique hues of taupe and dusky blue. But despite their abstract nature, Infante’s paintings reveal a narrative quality within his careful selection of figurative details.
Ken Garduno (Vol. 29) is an artist who sketches tirelessly for the pure enjoyment and therapeutic nature of creating. His collection of sketchbooks boasts hundreds of drawings that he never shows. Since we featured his drawings on our blog over a year ago, he’s retreated to his Los Angeles studio to develop an exciting new style of work. His mid-century inspired paintings previously addressed themes of romance, sexual desire, and modern relationships with vibrant intensity. Recently, Garduno has taken a hint from Calder and Kadinsky, while employing tribal-like patterns to create a new narrative. We visited his studio to talk about his new inspiration in this exclusive interview.
A dizzying array of laser-cut mirrors make up Miyazaki Saya and Shirane Masakazu’s dazzling “Wink Space” installation — a giant, walk-in kaleidoscope built inside of a shipping container. While the pair is not the first do a mirrored kaleidoscope installation, their piece stands out because of the complexity of its form. Dozens of mirrors were cut into triangular shapes to form the multifaceted, cave-like structure. Miyazaki and Shirane created the piece for last year’s Kobe Biennale, where artists were challenged to use shipping containers to create artworks that are mobile and, though site-specific, not confined to a geographical location.
Chinese-born, London-based artist Jacky Tsai brings his fashion-world experience to his interdisciplinary art projects, which often fuse illustration, printmaking, sewing and sculpture. Tsai says that he is fueled by his contrasting experiences living in both Eastern and Western cultures. With his skull sculptures (or “Skullptures” as Tsai refers to them) and illustrations, the artist combines the morbid with the ornate. These symbols of death and decay become the sites of regeneration as flowers blossom on the skulls like moss — a juxtaposition Tsai uses as an antidote to his native culture’s superstitions about death.