Although he is best known for his humorous graffiti and imagery, Kenny Scharf has long been interested in more serious political topics. His solo exhibition “Born Again”, opening this Saturday at Honor Fraser gallery, highlights his unique ability to make the mundane more fun. In his latest series, bright and colorful palette and wacky shapes are painted onto repurposed, found art. It’s not all fun and games for the artist, who sees his comical approach as an act of defiance.
March 14th marks the third solo show for San Francisco based surrealist Leilani Bustamante (covered here) at Modern Eden Gallery, “Haunt”. Her work often voices themes of mortality exploring elements of death, rebirth, and beauty. Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ supernatural story “The King in the Yellow”, her show offers newly haunting, romanticized scenes that follow an abstract narrative. In the story, characters such as artists and decadents are followed by an ominous entity known as “The Yellow King” which induces fear and slowly leads to the unraveling of their self identity. They are further plagued by the theme, “Have you found the Yellow Sign?”, an eerie symbol of nonhuman origin and purpose that is never fully explained.
Italian artist El Gato Chimney will present a series of mystical watercolors in his upcoming solo show at Stephen Romano Gallery in Brooklyn, “De Rerum Natura” (which translates to “The Nature of Things” from Latin). Opening March 5 and on view through April 30, the exhibition features whimsical works that pull pagan symbolism from a variety of cultures to create a fictional world of animal deities and anthropomorphic spirits. Though Chimney delves into various spiritual traditions, he does so with a sense of humor. His work is filled with absurdist juxtapositions and open-ended symbolism that alludes to a forgotten time that never truly existed.
Erik Johansson disrupts the quiet stillness of life in the countryside with images of idyllic scenes gone awry. His photography borders on photo illustration, as Johansson takes great liberties with his imaginative editing. In one piece called Land Fall, for instance, a field drops off into an abyss like a waterfall, leaving a small cottage on its precipice. In other works, Johansson muddles the distinction between indoors and outdoors, creating optical illusions that play with our understanding of space. In addition to working on his personal projects, Johansson is a commercial photographer and the highly-polished look of his commissioned work comes through in his fine art.
Howard Griffin Gallery is currently setting up “Perception,” the debut London solo show of Iranian painter and muralist Medhi Ghadyanloo. For this show, the artist will create a full-scale sculptural installation at the gallery space and exhibit a new body of work that is loaded with symbolism. During his stay in London, the artist will be creating a series of outdoors murals around the British capital similar to the ones he’s been creating in his hometown of Tehran.
Known for his retro-futuristic murals, Italian artist Pixel Pancho has a show coming up at London’s StolenSpace Gallery on March 12 titled “Memories of Our Life.” DIY, steampunk-inspired robots are a common motif in Pancho’s street art, which we previously covered on the blog here. For his exhibition, he will transform one of StolenSpace’s galleries into an immersive installation that will transport viewers into the world of his surreal automatons. With his latest work, Pancho says he is exploring man’s impulse to play god. Check out some teasers below and stay tuned for an update on the installation once it’s complete.