Zhang Jian Long, an artist based in China, crafts bronze sculptures and paintings that touch on the innocence, mischief, and broader whimsy of being a kid. Against natural backdrops, the mood and memories evoked by the pieces ring even truer. And although there are flourishes of cultures throughout time contained in the piece, the materials used give the works a timeless quality.
Max Guther, a 25-year-old illustrator living in Germany, Guther creates “digital collages by transforming photographic material, textures and self-constructed objects.” The artist uses a top-down perspective reminiscent of computer games of yesterday, offering both a voyeuristic and broad point of view. In a series of illustrations titled “The Goodlife,” Guther explores the balance of relaxation, work, and “social environment.”
Sergei Isupov’s figurative porcelain and stoneware sculptures use the material in differing ways. The artist sometimes uses the surface to create 2D renderings, and elsewhere, the characters are three-dimensional. More recently, some of the works do both on the same piece.
Esteban Diacono, a motion graphics designer based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, creates surreal animations that blend both realistic subjects and humorous exercises in staging and physics. On Diacono’s Instagram page, he often posts “sketches” and experiments, rendered as absorbing and insightful moments of his process.
Over the past year, pop surrealist Mark Ryden has tackled an unlikely new medium: ballet. Ryden designed the sets and costumes for the new American Ballet Theatre production “Whipped Cream.” The so-called “two-act confection” is based off the Richard Strauss-penned libretto “Schlagobers,” which was first performed in 1924 by the Vienna State Opera.The show kicks off on March 15 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
Chad Knight’s vibrant digital art moves between the meditative and the frenetic. A 3D designer with Nike by the day, the artist’s personal work seems to exist in alien worlds, with his works being made in Cinema 4D. These are places inhabited enormous, elaborate beings that appear in mid-evolution. The artist posts a new creation each day on his Instagram account, part of an ongoing, prolific effort.