by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Steven Spazuk paints with the flame of his candle like the hairs of a brush, charring paper and delicately sculpting the soot with feathers, paintbrushes and other tools. His work retains the undulating quality of smoke, but certain sections are carved out with a realist precision. In his latest series, Spazuk juxtaposes birds with destructive hardware: grenades, spray cans, stove burners. Titled “Ornithocide,” the series is a reaction to the heavy use of pesticides in North America and the consequential poisoning of insect-eating birds. “Since this industrial revolution, we are quite comfortable with the idea that we can poison insects to seemingly cleanse our homes and protect our crops,” Spazuk wrote in his artist statement. “We collectively and conveniently avoid thinking about the impacts of these suicidal choices. How can it make sense to lace our food and dwellings with poisons? How dare we impose these deadly choices on all other forms of life?”

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Belgian artist Cindy Wright’s realist approach to her paintings is straightforward and traditional, but her subject matter imbues her work with an haunting, enigmatic ambiance. Wright is interested in death and decay. Her still lifes focus on single objects — one polished skull, a slab of fresh meat bleeding on the ground. Presented to us without context or an explanation, the morbid subjects exemplify the physicality of flesh. In this way, her work continues the Northern Renaissance tradition of vanitas paintings, still lifes meant to evoke the passage of time and one’s inevitable mortality.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Polish-born, German-based designer and illustrator Sebastian Onufszak has created graphics for dozens of big-name clients — from Karl Lagerfeld to Starbucks — but in his personal work, he pulls out all the stops. Onufszak’s chaotic drawings and paintings look as if the lid of his subconscious was taken off completely. Characters are piled together in an orgiastic cacophony of faces and limbs; every color of the rainbow is used liberally; loud, seemingly meaningless text is scrawled everywhere that it can fit. Calling his style dreamlike would be an understatement, as few of us have dreams quite this vivid.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

A careful collector of found objects and (ethically sourced) animal bones, Jessica Joslin creates delicate sculptures that gracefully encase skeletal remains in baroque ornamentation. Using antique metals from chandeliers, samovars and other Victorian-era relics, Joslin gives the creatures whose bones she utilizes a dignified appearance even in death. Her work is both decorative and visceral, as her intricate craftsmanship belies her haunting subject matter. The artist recently created a new body of work for her solo show, “The Immortal Zoo,”opening October 24 at the non-profit gallery Firecat Projects in Chicago. Watch a teaser video and check out our preview of her latest work below.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on


Martin Wittfooth

An esoteric concept that fascinated the first Surrealists, an “égrégore” is a sort of mob mentality. Scholar Pierre Mabille defined it as “a group of humans endowed with a personality different from that of the individuals forming it.” This concept of collective consciousness was the springboard for Yves Laroche Gallery’s eponymous exhibition, the gallery’s largest group show to date. With dozens of artists, many of whom are associated with the Pop Surrealist movement, the show builds its momentum from the multitudes of distinct yet complementary aesthetics joined together. Among the line-up are names that will be well-known to our readers: Josh Agle (Shag), Martin Wittfooth, Amy Sol, Joe Sorren, Liz McGrath, Annie Owens (Hi-Fructose co-editor-in-chief), AJ Fosik, Miss Van and many others. Take a look at our sneak peek below before “Égrégore” opens on October 30 at Yves Laroche Gallery in Montreal.

by CaroPosted on

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re seeing many exhibitions exploring darker themes and subject matter inspired by the season- from new works by the Black Moon collective to “The 13th Hour” at Last Rites gallery, and even Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkins”. Among the spookiest is opening tonight at Copro Gallery; Chet Zar’s “ALL HALLOWS’ EVE”, coinciding with their group show “Roadside Attractions” (previewed here). Lover of horror cinema, monsters, movie props and all things Halloween, Zar contributes a new body of work with some of the holiday’s most popular images in his style. Glowing skulls, witches, ghosts and the mysterious unknown are all represented in these colorful 60s-inspired illustrations.