Expertly mimicking the style of mid-20th century magazine illustrations, Michael Mararian‘s paintings infiltrate the wholesomeness of antiquated advertisements with elements of surprise and terror. Sometimes morbidly humorous and other times simply morbid, Mararian’s paintings explore the ways childhood fears and vulnerabilities can resonate in adulthood. “I am especially interested in examining how humor and tragedy coexist within our society. In my recent work, I deconstruct the American dream, touching upon such topics as gross consumerism, school violence, teenage disappointments, pressures and the slowly growing social isolation that are part of our childhood and adult culture,” Mararian said. The artist has a solo show titled “Recent Projects” opening at CHG Circa in Culver City this Saturday, May 18. Take a look at some of the works in the show after the jump!
This Saturday, May 18, Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City will debut three solo shows: Andy Kehoe‘s “Luminous Reverie,” Marco Mazzoni‘s (HF Vol. 27) “Animanera” and Souther Salazar‘s “Souvenirs.” Known for his multi-layered painting technique, Andy Kehoe creates mysterious fantasy worlds with convincing depth by aggregating layers of resin painted with oil and acrylic. In his latest body of work, Kehoe offers glimpses into nocturnal storybook scenes that delve into mysticism and ritual. Kehoe experimented with sculptural elements in this series of resin boxes, submerging small polymer clay sculptures in the resin to further cultivate an illusion of space despite the works’ flat, illustrative style. Read more after the jump!
Beyond the Body is a work initially created in 2012 by Dutch product designer Imme van der Haak. This concept addresses the perceptions of appearance and identity and uniquely represents ideas about the human body. Beyond the Body Project is a publication of Imme van der Haak’s work that was crafted into a small book in collaboration with Hanna Donker. Donker is a type and graphic designer who currently works as a font designer at Dalton Maag, London. By printing wearable photos of the human body van der Haak alters the perception of age, identity, gender, and physical form. In the dance performance, the dancer’s movements manipulating the translucent silk, are key elements in further distorting the visual experience. The resulting ambiguity enables the viewer to be transported beyond the body. See the film and read more after the jump!
British artist Hush builds up powerful portraits of pale-faced geishas with floral forms and graffiti tags; these figures appear to emerge from Hush’s paint strokes and personify his painting process itself. Rather than creating a tension between the geishas’ delicate robes and hair and the grittiness of graffiti, Hush does away with the contrasting connotations of this imagery and takes it for its formal qualities. We see more similarities than differences between the traditional Japanese textile patterns and the contemporary urban letter styles. Mimicking the way tags accumulate and degrade over time on city walls, Hush creates his compositions by adding layers of painted and screen printed imagery. The artist is debuting a solo show at Corey Helford Gallery this Saturday, May 18. Take a look at some of his new work after the jump!
While hard at work on a brand new series of paintings, Matt Buck invited Hi-Fructose into his studio space inside of Sacred Tattoo in NYC. Though currently focused on fine art and tattooing, Matt has made a name for himself with notable illustration projects, including the Hemlock Grove graphic novels, rapper Jay-Z’s autobiography and the cover of Chuck Palahniuk’s latest book. This strong background in commercial art carries over into Buck’s oil paintings through eye catching compositions and captivating color pairings. With his latest collection of otherworldly portraits, bodies disassemble as if parts of an organic puzzle of flesh and flora. Adorned with Renaissance costuming and painted in a classical style, each piece is a glimpse of old world aesthetic with a science fiction twist. View the complete body of work at his upcoming solo show at Last Rites Gallery, opening June 29, and check out some behind-the-scenes photos after the jump!
Fascinated by human folly, Vonn Sumner creates characters that appear somewhere between heroic and farcical in his paintings. These lonely figures border on ridiculousness with their ragtag costumes and armor made from trash and discarded objects. We find them solitary, frozen in attempts at knightly poses or looking downcast in disappointment at their own failures. Their gestures recall famous literary characters — such as Don Quijote — blinded by their own bravado to the point of madness. Sumner will open a solo show titled “Somewhere Else” at Los Angeles’ Merry Karnowsky Gallery this Saturday, May 18. Take a look at some of the works in the show after the jump.