by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

The Amazons of Dahomey were an all-female military regiment founded in the 16th century in the Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Republic of Benin). By the end of the 19th century, they comprised a third of the nation’s army and were thought to be more valuable on the battle field than their male counterparts. French artist YZ, whose portrait-based work frequently taps into civil rights themes, recently paid homage to these female warriors with her public art series in Senegal, “Amazon.” Painted on the sides of houses in a Senegalese village, the monochromatic portraits symbolize a story of female strength often left untold.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Yu Suda’s ink paintings evoke the iconic style of Japan’s Edo period, but his subject matter is a bizarre mix of anachronistic and contemporary imagery. His hyperactive work displays a thirst for action and adventure and a bizarre sense of humor. In one piece, a young man rides on the back of a horse-faced person on a skateboard. In another, a protagonist blasts away on an anthropomorphic, cloud-motorcycle hybrid with a goofy grin. Suda’s solo show “There Is Something Wrong with Yu Suda” opens at Hellion Gallery in Portland on February 5.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Ignacio Canales Aracil presses flowers using voluminous molds that shape them into fragile vessels with a colorful, lace-like surface. Even as the seasons change, his process preserves the essence of spring. With their full forms intact, the flowers have a liveliness to them, even as they transform into these manmade shapes. Canales Aracil recently exhibited at Museo Sorolla in Madrid and currently is part of a group show on view through February 28 at Galeria Lucia Mendoza in the Spanish capital, as well.

by CaroPosted on

The colorful works of Hawaii native Ekundayo (HF Vol. 9) combine surrealism with influences from his graffiti days. His paintings sometimes lean on the nightmarish, as in his portrayal of anthropomorphic subjects in haunting scenes. On Saturday, he will debut a new series with “Collective Reflections” at Thinkspace gallery in Los Angeles. Ekundayo describes his solo as a “gift to that feeling I know we all connect to when reaching deep within ourselves.” Check out our preview after the jump!

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

An avid enthusiast of mythology and cartography, Toronto-based artist Bailey Henderson sculpts the fearsome sea creatures depicted on medieval and Renaissance-era maps. She brings her bronze sculptures to life with acrylic paint and powdered pigment, creating dimensional versions of the mythical beasts sailors once feared. There’s Ziphius, a bird-faced orca rumored to slice boats in half with its dorsal fin; the cockatrice, a rooster-dragon known to kill by breathing on its victims; and the pinniped, a dog-like seal with protruding tusks. Henderson’s work is often whimsical and humorous, and brings with it a bit of history that makes it all the more fascinating.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Dave Kinsey debuts his new body of work, “Ashes to Ashes,” at Die Kunstagentin in Cologne, Germany on February 5. Known for his bold color palette of deep blues and aquatic teals with jarring, red accents, Kinsey went in an abstract direction with this new series of paintings. While humanoid characters are discernible, Kinsey only creates the slightest semblance of recognizable figures. Dabs of color coalesce into desolate landscapes with seemingly gigantic characters towering overhead. Because of Kinsey’s techniques, the narrative aspect of the work gets muffled and its formal qualities come to the forefront.