Based in Santa Catarina, Brazil, collage artist Marcelo Monreal’s work is going viral for his different take on inner beauty. His latest works cut open the portraits of celebrities in Photoshop, super models and other faces of pop culture that are otherwise stagnant, to reveal beautiful blooms underneath. Monreal’s use of floral motifs stems (no pun intended) from his first job as an artist, developing embroidery for a label factory. His imagery is in a similar vein to that of the spliced vintage photographs of Matthieu Bourel, covered here, and Rocío Montoya’s manipulated, experimental photos. While his subjects are uniquely contemporary, Monreal shares the same sense of bizarre humor that combines the morbid with abstracted glamour.
Jeff Soto (HF Vol. 18) celebrated his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2009 on Saturday night with “Nightgardens” at KP Projects/MKG. We recently discussed the exhibition with Soto in our studio visit here, where Soto shared his continued interest in landscapes: “Nightgardens” is an exploration of the magic and mystery in life coupled very loosely with the tradition of landscape painting. For this show I am using the concept of “nighttime” as a symbol of the unknown. I’m working on creating an imaginary world of magic, monsters and daydreams that exists in a different time and place, yet alludes to issues in our chaotic modern world.”
German photographer Bartholot appreciates the unexplained. Bartholot is not looking to copy a kind of reality or life; his photos celebrate artificiality and design. His digital images merge his own sense of fashion with surrealism and usually start with a single thought or mood. They have been described as a combination of sculpture and photography, also reflecting his interest in colors and textures. For his latest collaboration with the Spanish creative studio Serial Cut, he created a series of photographs of draped unmasked characters.
Currently living and working in the idyllic town of Urtijëi, Italy, sculptor Willy Verginer shares a closeness with his environment in both technique and concept. His surreal wooden sculptures are carved from a single linden tree trunk with incredible precision and detail. Although their features are classical, Verginer paints bold stripes of color across his figures and poses them in awkward positions, making them completely contemporary. Previously covered here, he’s often paired his figures of women, men, and young children with other animals and objects that don’t fit together. His most recent pieces, which are on currently view at Galerie Van Campen & Rochtus in Belgium, pairs them with oil barrels.
Twoone, featured here, is a multidisciplinary Japanese artist currently living and working in Berlin perhaps most recognized for his animal portraits. His latest works, which he will debut in an open studio event, explore a range of new themes like psychology, anthropology, and the structure of nature, all inspired by his memories. We got to visit his studio ahead of the crowd last week, where we went behind the scenes of his process. At the moment, Twoone is experimenting with a new material – acrylic pieces that are displayed in a light box format. See more after the jump.
The bell rings, school is out for summer, but you’re heading straight to the library to pick up your summer reading list. Sound familiar? The famous list was designed by American schools to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer, including classics like “The Secret Garden”, “Of Mice and Men”, and “A Wrinkle in Time”. Some titles have even raised concerns among parents and others that students are being exposed to material that is overly grim. For the 20 participating artists in “Summer Reading List,” now on view at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, these books are not only a part of their childhood, but continue to provide their artwork with inspiration.