The art world’s heart has a hole in it today. “The Pizz” (a.k.a. El Pizzo a.k.a. Stephen Pizzurro), the self-described Lowbrow artist who evolved into a celebrated influence to a generation of artists, has left us. He was only 57. Born in 1958 and raised in a large Italian family in Orange County, California, The Pizz grew up creating art – he once said that he began drawing since he had a pen in his hand. He caught his first big break working on Rat Fink comics for his personal inspiration, cartoonist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, before going on to design cover art for punk label Sympathy for the Record Industry, and eventually entering the gallery world with fellow notable artists like Robert Williams.
Painter Hilda Hiary uses bright colors and fleeting patterns to create images that unite instead of divide. Born in Ammam and self-identified as an Arab-Jordanian artist, Hiary forgoes ethnic markers in her characters in favor of soft swirls and fading lines. Just as her lines are never straight, Hiary’s characters are never still. Whether talking or smoking, they are always invigorated with a sense of movement. The dynamic energy is only bolstered by the oscillating patterns.
Baby Tattoo is an independent publishing company that was created in 2003 to share the unusual works of then-up and upcoming artists and counter culture. Featured here, the publisher also hosts a number of events for art lovers, such as their popular Baby Tattooville annual retreat. Co-curated by its president Bob Self, the publisher recently celebrated over 10 years with its exhibition “Baby Tattoo: Carnival of Astounding Art”. Currently on view at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), the exhibit highlights the pioneers of Lowbrow, Pop Surrealism, Pinup and other such works that have graced its pages (and ours).
With the invent of GPS technology and map applications, paper maps are waning in use – but they are an essential material to English artist Ed Fairburn, who uses them as the canvas of his detailed portraits. Fairburn’s work is an imaginative incorporation of the human form and topography. He’s used maps of places from all over the world. The winding layouts of streets and rivers are enhanced to form wrinkles, veins, and other features of his subjects’ faces.
Spanish artist Lita Cabellut paints 17th century Spanish and Dutch Baroque inspired portraits that are larger than life. A visit to Madrid’s Prado Museum when she was young affected her deeply, where she first saw the works of Diego Velázquez, Francisco Goya and Frans Hals. She captures the spirit of those old master paintings in a fresh way using a mixture of traditional fresco technique with a combined palette of muted colors with spots of vibrancy.
Conrad Roset is a watercolor and ink artist based out of his studio in Barcelona, Spain. Roset, who was profoundly influenced at a young age by the enigmatic Expressionist, Egon Scheile, explores the sensuality and fragility of the feminine form. Roset’s new paintings are a continuation of his “Muses” project, in which the artist searches for beauty in the effects of the watercolor and black India ink washes.