Though wildlife is their primary subject matter, painter Sage Vaughn (Hi-Fructose Vol. 26) and photographer Michael Muller approach representing nature in radically different ways. Muller’s striking, close-up shots of sharks, lions, wolves and other dangerous predators not only captivate viewers on an aesthetic level, but are also shocking for the photographer’s audacity to apprehend these creatures in their natural environments. Sage Vaughn’s work is perhaps on the other side of the coin of Muller’s raw documentation. Vaughn instead arranges species of birds and butterflies like delicate ornaments, focusing on these animals’ visual qualities rather than their biological ones. The two artists collaborated on a body of work in 2011 and have returned with a new collaborative series of painted photographs titled “Kingdom” currently on view at The Outsiders Newcastle. These collaborations bring out similarities between Vaughn and Muller’s work, making their styles seem more complementary than dualistic. Take a look at some of the works in “Kingdom,” images courtesy of Lazarides, and see the exhibition at The Outsiders through June 15.
Last week, May 16-19, the art fair ArtMRKT made its annual appearance in San Francisco, this time on a grander scale at the Fort Mason Center on the waterfront of the San Francisco Bay. With a slew of international exhibitors present, the fair offered an array of visual bounty. This year’s offerings included sculpture, paintings and new media in a variety of styles, some from familiar faces whose work has been featured on our blog and magazine and others from newly discovered artists. We spotted psychedelic canvases from Mars-1 and Damon Soule, strangely kawaii ceramics by Eric van Straaten, Gabriel Barcia Colombo’s miniature video projections inside jars, Scott Fraser’s surreal take on vanitas still lifes, Joel Phillips’ enormous charcoal portraits and much more. Check out our exclusive photos to see the highlights after the jump.
Eduardo Mata Icaza is sparing in his use of detail. In his paintings, classically rendered nudes float in empty space, as if swimming, flying and throttling through color-saturated abstraction. These anonymous characters become vessels for his viewers’ imaginations as they are invited to fill in these figures’ histories with their own narratives. Delicate bodies explode with color or are hollowed out until only line work remains like a skeleton in these expressive works. Take a look at some of the paintings after the jump, images courtesy of Eduardo Mata Icaza.
“Mechanical” isn’t typically a word used to describe watercolors, but Scott Campbell‘s series of ink wash paintings gleam with the metallic precision of the objects he illustrates. Inspired by the spirit of human ingenuity, Campbell (featured in our current issue, Hi-Fructose Vol. 27) began the series of paintings of MacGyver-esque inventions when he was working on a project in Mexico City. During his stay there, he was exposed to Mexican prison tattoo culture and observed the elaborate and unexpected mechanisms inmates created to surmount restrictions in the name of body modification. For this series, Campbell chose ink wash painting for the inherent restrictions it imposes on his creative process — the ink brought forth intense focus and precision, as each mark placed on the page is permanent and nearly impossible to conceal. Campbell’s solo show, “Things Get Better,” will open May 23 at OHWOW in L.A. and will run through June 22. Take a look at some of the works in the show after the jump.
New York-based artist Jason Freeny is best known for his whimsically macabre sculptures that blend science with pop culture. Opened through precise vivisection, his re-adaptations of cartoon characters reveal their meticulously detailed and anatomically correct internal parts. In these sculptures, the viewer is shown a previously unimagined side to familiar icons, lending an added dose of reality to fantasy subjects. Hi-Fructose recently caught up with Jason at his studio to view his process and talk about his evolution as an artist. More words and photos after the jump.
Last Saturday, May 18, C.A.V.E. Gallery in Venice, Ca opened their five year anniversary group show, “High Five.” Featuring the work of Anthony Ausgang, Bayo, Vinz, Dan Quintana, Grady Gordon, Shark Toof, Taka Sudo, Tatiana Suarez, Craig “Skibs” Barker, Craww, DevNGosha and many other artists, the exhibition showcases a variety of aesthetic currents. From Anthony Ausgang’s color-saturated, warped paintings to Dan Quintana and Grady Gordon’s ghostly collaborative drawings to Tatiana Suarez’s glossy, doll-like portraits, the show samples many different styles at play in the contemporary art world. Take a look at some work from “High Five” after the jump.