Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason. Anyone who owns a dog understands that life long bond. For Seoul, Korea based artist Jeong Woojae, owning a dog also represents a strange combination of needing to satisfy one’s insecurities with the newfound comfort it brings. In an ongoing series of whimsical oil paintings, Jeong tells the story of a little girl growing up in Korea with her giant chihuahua. Set against vibrant and hyperrealistic backdrops inspired by the artist’s photographs of his hometown, their fairytale life feels very real.
First featured here, Seattle based artist Olivia Knapp creates cross-hatched pen and ink drawings influenced by old European woodblock engravings. Specifically, Knapp pulls her inspiration from 16th through 18th century blocks, which were in all genres including religion, art, history, science and medicine. She borrows ideas from medical illustrations for her current exhibit at Hellion Gallery in Portland, “Prehensility”. The title refers to the quality of an appendage adapted for grasping, for example, as a monkey’s tail has adapted to grasping to a branch. The show is an extension of Knapp’s previous works in both style and theme, where she explores a relationship between psychology and biology in the context of one’s environment.
Berlin-based American artist James Bullough splinters and fractures hyper-realistic paintings of women to open spaces through which complex and unfinished stories are revealed. The vibrancy of skin tone and naturalistic musculature in Bullough’s technique were learned through an intensive study of Old Master paintings. Bullough’s interest in Old Masters is also evident in the way in which several of his nude subjects stare at the viewer, while taking care to keep their faces at least partially concealed.
With her most recent series, “Viscera”, exhibiting this weekend at La Luz De Jesus gallery in Los Angeles, JAW Cooper creates intricately detailed mixed media paintings that stir up a sense of adventure and wonder. Rendering figures with graceful, technical lines and vivid, enchanting color, Cooper’s dreamy illustrations show people an imaginary archaic culture that seems foreign, but still familiar. Surrounding the figures are luscious worlds filled with exotic animals and luscious plant life than seem to live on the outside of the page.
Swiss-Italian photographer Christian Tagliavini combines theater with the language of portrait photography to create curious and open narratives. For his series “Carte,” Tagliavini built wooden clothing and frames around his human subjects to devise life-sized playing cards. This technique creates tension between the two-dimensional quality of the playing cards and the life-like attributes of his distinctive characters, such as their protruding collarbones and rosy cheeks.
Photos by Mik Luxon
On July 25th, Hi-Fructose attended the opening of Peter Gronquist’s solo exhibition “All of the Above” at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles. As recently discussed, the artist has embarked on more abstract and conceptual explorations than in previous works. For this exhibit, he chose to expand on multiple recurring themes in his art, and techniques using more varied color, form, depth and stillness – and with surprising results. Gronquist’s paintings, for example, are created using sanded plexiglass over hand-painted drop boxes, creating a foggy, luminous effect. This process flattens the image to the surface while simultaneously dropping the image back. Gronquist says, “It’s hard to explain without seeing in person, I best describe it as a glowing effect.”