Josh Keyes (HF Vol 12 cover artist) and Brin Levinson (covered here) both illustrate an affinity for animals in their paintings. Working in acrylic and oil respectively, their collective exhibition “Reclamation of Nowhere”, which opens tomorrow at Antler Gallery in Portland, illustrates desolate environments from the animal’s point of view. Josh Keyes chose to convey feelings of liberation and reclamation in his new series. “It is suggesting surrender, or letting go, or loosening of the psychological framework and preconceptions that can sometimes hold and restrain our imagination and natural impulses,” he explains. Check out our preview after the jump.
American-born Japanese artist Yusk Imai portrays highly stylized figures drawn from his dreams and mythology. Working in his studio in Brazil, Imai creates using a variety of materials and applications including sketches, painting on canvas and wood, photography and large scale wall murals. Often drawing in monochrome, ink on paper is his favorite medium. His images have been compared to Gustav Klimt for their use of intricate patterns and symbolism.
Originally from New Mexico, Oakland based artist Grady Gordon creates dark and surreal monotype prints of frightful creatures. He describes his style of work as “Monster Existentialism”, Rorschach inkblot test-like images portraying the psychology of his subjects. He creates his images first using a crude mark making tool in black ink on plexiglass, then removes the ink to reveal the final print. The nature of monotype printing makes it impossible to repeat any image, making each piece a one of a kind that conveys his monster’s individual personalities.
First featured in HF Vol 34, artist Click Mort takes vintage ceramic figurines and “recapitates” them into whimsical characters spawned from his imagination. In his latest series on view at La Luze de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, the artist takes influences from his own dreams and nightmares. His exhibition “Delirium Tremens” is named after a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, which often involves hallucinations. Considering this, while his works are infused with nostalgia and humor, one cannot ignore a certain melancholy in them.
Throughout human history, stories about wild and elusive giants have been told on almost every continent. Iceland-based French multimedia artist Philip Ob Rey has reimagined such monsters in a photo series of sculptures made of VHS tapes. Rey created “V” HS Project, a set of 5 series of black and white photos and accompanying short films, in contemplation of the future of the human race. Set against the gray skies of Iceland’s landscape, the photos portray nightmarish figures wandering a cold and post apocalyptic world.
Japanese artist Hirabayashi Takahiro (not to be confused with Takahiro Hirabayashi) infuses his religion’s mythology with the experience of growing up in his oil paintings. Using “boundaries” as a central theme, his dreamy portraits examine borders between the sky, land and sea, man and nature, childhood and adulthood, and how we navigate them. His main subjects are young girls who serve as a guide or guardian for those in this inbetween state of being. Considering their young age, they share in this delicate state.