Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry whose subversive and oftentimes controversial paintings explore issues concerning the exploitation and misrepresentations of the First Nations in North America. His eclectic mash-up of art historical references, role reversals and revised narratives challenges the Western art canon head on — from the romantic landscape paintings of Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt to the cubist works of Pablo Picasso. Monkman has exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, and is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Nora Keyes, artist and lead singer of art-rock acts like Fancy Space People, The Centimeters, and Rococo Jet, combines painting and collage for intricate, multidimensional pieces. The absorbing work can be scrutinized from feet or inches away, maintaining the viewer’s gaze at every corner. The work can feel otherworldly, yet entirely human in their contemplation and introspection.
Robert Proch is a muralist, painter, and animator who lives and works in Poznan, Poland. His dynamic creations, featuring human figures and city landscapes, constantly push the boundaries of what we define as “street art” and “fine art” – whether they’re adorning the side of a building or displayed in a more traditional gallery setting. Proch is influenced by both genres, pulling from these two worlds to produce his unique, expressive pieces.
Scotland-born sculptor Philip Jackson has crafted faithful depictions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sir Matt Busby and served as the Royal Sculptor to Queen Elizabeth II. Yet, Jackson’s also known for his modernist, dramatic gallery works, with characters that are less specific and in many cases, eerie and haunting. The quality present each of these works is Jackson’s seasoned knack for form and inspiring awe.
Michelle Dickson is an artist living in Baltimore who combines found materials with plaster, oil paint and wax to form her surreal sculptures. For her ongoing series Neither Mine Nor Yours, the artist merged plaster casts of her own face with driftwood she collected on her various hikes throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas. The self portraits take an introspective approach to exploring identity and place in an uncertain world, as well as the impact that time has on our memories, bodies and relationships.
While many of us can’t keep a decent castle together, Carl Jara, a Cleveland-based artist, creates surreal figures and scenes that defy the medium of sand sculpture. Jara has nabbed dozens of awards and world championships, traveled the world, and even been featured on the Travel Channel for his efforts. And while many take to sea animals, pirate imagery, and other ocean fare for inspiration, Jara uses sand to inject life into the unexpected.