by CaroPosted on

Looking at the paintings of Korean artist Egene Koo is like piecing together a puzzle. Her dramatic red portraits of anthropomorphic characters are meant to be allegorical. Just as the tortoise and the hare taught us the rewards of patience and focus, there’s a mysterious moral to Koo’s images. From what we can gather from her titles, her work addresses lessons about change and sin, such as narcissism and greed. At LA Art Show, Koo’s gallery Keumsan also pointed to her themes of environmentalism and our relationship with wildlife, represented by the variety of animals she paints.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

On January 21, Kehinde Wiley was honored with the United States Department of State Medal of the Arts for his contributions to the White House’s cultural diplomacy outreach. Wiley’s opulent paintings (featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 29) are known for sparking conversations surrounding race, colonialism, and the art historical canon. He has traveled the world to paint people of various African diasporic communities (see our coverage of his last solo show, “The World Stage: Haiti,” here).

by Nathan SpoorPosted on

Bob Schneider is what you might call a multi-disciplinary talent. He spends the majority of his time making music but still manages to create fascinating collages between gigs on the tour bus or from his home studio in Austin, Texas. He began his career as a fine artist and successfully transitioned to an award-winning musician and songwriter. Yet throughout his music career, he has maintained his creative mojo by producing new art in different media (check out his blog for proof) as well as exhibiting in galleries and museums. Presently, Schneider is working on several new collage works and has recently entered the studio to record his next album, King Kong.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Upon viewing Adam Makarenko’s photos of snow-capped mountains, turbulent waves, and rare wildlife, one might picture the artist as a fearless world explorer. But Makarenko, who also works as a director and cinematographer, actually creates these images without leaving his studio: They are photos of tiny dioramas he painstakingly builds. Makarenko’s work toes the line of believability but almost always betrays its artificiality after a few moments of inspection. While his jagged cliffs and flowing rivers are all sculpted, the artist does occasionally employ real bees that hover over his landscapes like giant monsters.

by CaroPosted on

Yasuyo Fujibe’s softspoken, decorative works immediately caught our eye at LA Art Show last week. Her pieces there represented a departure from her older monochromatic paintings of faces in favor of new bolder elements. This would be her unique portrayal of doe-eyed girls in the arabesque style of Islamic art. Her use of surface decorations are based on the linear patterns of foliage and snowflakes, tiled repeatedly in a lace-like manner. Quiet yet intense, girls stare dreamily through their veils of interwoven lines.

by Nastia VoynovskayaPosted on

Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist Wangechi Mutu’s collages ebb and flow with beauty and horror. She cobbles together images of monstrous temptresses from sources as disparate as original paintings, found objects, wildlife photography, and even porn. These seductive yet tortured characters, according to the artist, are meant to illuminate the ugly effects the legacy of colonialism has had on society’s view of black, female bodies in particular. Her women hide in fields and swamps, seeming to flee from an unwelcoming civilization.