Toy photographer Brian McCarty comes to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art on Oct. 6 to share insight on his ongoing project, WAR-TOYS. The artist has visited countries like Syria, Iraq, and Israel since 2011, allowing kids to art-direct his photographs of found toys. The scenes emulate the atrocities witnessed by the children and their fears. At times, the backdrops for these photos are the actual sites of the events described. A piece by McCarty appeared on the first issue of Hi-Fructose Magazine.
Eguchi Ayane is a Japanese artist whose oil paintings transport the viewer to candy-colored fantasy lands. Yet within these whimsical worlds, startling scenarios unfold. Juxtaposing ‘cutesy’ images of teddy bears, bow ties and charming creatures with the darker undercurrent of her narratives, the artist expresses the duality of not only her world, but ours as well. Find more of her work on Twitter.
Marlène Mocquet is a French artist whose chimerical paintings and sculptures portray strange worlds full of quirky, animated characters. Her surreal creations often have a sense of childlike whimsy and humor; other times, they turn dark and tumultuous, and verging on grotesque.
Australian artist Kate Shaw combines “paint pours”, collage, glitters and inks to render psychedelic landscapes. The colorful images yield awe-inspiring effects, yet are accompanied with a dark undertone. While they may capture the “transcendent beauty” of nature, at the same time they hint at the troubling environmental changes brought on by human activity.
Zolloc is the moniker of Austin-bred, New York City-based artist/animator Hayden Zezula. When HiFructose.com last checked in with the Tumblr-lauded phenom, we called his gray-toned, mutant baby-filled GIFs “chill-inducing.” Many of the GIFs in this piece take on a more abstract form, vague structures that bubble and evolve. There’s still an organic aspect to those creations, and somehow, the artist’s work maintains its ability to be both absorbing and inspire uneasiness.
Artist Emma Hopkins describes her work as painting “people from the inside out.” This idea seems to work on both physical and emotional levels, as her arresting portraits and meditations are teeming with vulnerability. Her subjects are often unclothed, and even when she focuses on isolated body parts or strips off their skin, humanity is present.