Spanish artist Aryz has created massive public art across the world over the past few years. His style, a blend of pop art and vibrant surrealism, looms over city streets and waterways in recent stops in China, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The piece “Axis,” above, part of the Back to School Project, was created three months ago in Chongqing in southwestern China.
Effie Pryer, a Tasmania-based artist, crafts paintings that mix various mythologies from across the world with what she considers to be a distinctly Tasmanian perspective. She describes this viewpoint as “an eccentric combination of narratives reflecting our uniquely jumbled cultural perspective.” In a recent show titled “Something Borrowed” at Colville Gallery, she relates these stories through the faces of younger, modern models.
San Francisco-based painter Sandra Yagi explores our relationship with nature, the human condition, the fragility our bodies, and broader scientific concepts in her fantastical oil paintings. Some more lighthearted scenes show deformed creatures dancing and frolicking, garnering their own grace; skulls peeled back to reveal wildlife hint at our animalistic nature. At play are explorations of genetics and evolution.
J. S. Weis, a Portland-based artist and designer, depicts scenes and creatures from nature in his drawings and paintings. And he includes the factor often removed from studies of the natural world: all of the unnatural stuff humans add to it. In two series, “unNaturalist” and “Specimens,” it’s not uncommon to see gorgeous reptiles writhing among cigarette butts or birds among sandwich bags. Weis was last featured on HiFructose.com here, ahead of his “Liquid Hymn” show at 1AM Gallery in 2014.
In Hiroaki Ito’s paintings and drawings, he depicts Japanese businessmen—referred to as “salarymen” in their respective country—in perpetual states of submission, anguish, self-assuredness, and general unrest. His intimate angles, often below the subject, looking up, punctuate the moods he evokes with these suited, white-collar workers. These men and women are caught in mid-apology, somber reflection, or even near-vomiting.
Russian-Canadian artist Ivan Alifan’s provocative figurative paintings are intended to inspire varying reactions from viewers. Yet, the artist says his portraits aren’t supposed to “render physical characteristics but rather create a language of underlying sexual subtexts.” His recent work has taken a decidedly more dessert-inspired approach, further exploring the ideas of pleasure and ecstasy.