Currently on view at New York City’s Last Rites Gallery, Donato Giancola and Fred Harper’s respective solo shows take viewers into strange worlds influenced by science fiction and fantasy. Donato Giancola’s “Silent Tragedies” is a rich series of oil paintings set in a distant realm where mechanical meets Medieval. Painting with a filmmaker’s eye, he depicts his protagonists in pivotal moments of their adventures. Fred Harper’s show “Virus Like Us” takes viewers into a megalopolis where biomorphic shapes become architectural structures (H.R. Giger appears to be a big influence). Harper attributes his interest in strange cityscapes to the culture shock he experienced when coming to New York from a small Pennsylvania town. Both shows are on view through October 4, so check them out while you still can.
Northwest artist Sail creates drawings with intense contrasts, as if the marble-white bodies in his works have accidentally caught the light of a torch in the pitch black night. Feral and naked, his nymph-like characters are always obscured by shadows, not wanting to be seen. Sail is debuting his second solo show with Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, “Canna Intrat,” this Thursday alongside Handiedan’s exhibition “Vesica Piscis.” Handiedan’s new body of work, which includes four of the largest textured collage pieces she has done to date, has a much more spiritual focus than her previous work. Classic pin-up girl imagery is her signature, but this time Handiedan incorporates it into geometric patterns inspired by astrology and Eastern philosophy. Take a look at our preview of both shows before they open on October 2.
A self-described history nerd, Mike Davis is a San Francisco-based artist who paints scenes stuck in another time. His detailed oil paintings are rife with personal symbolism and minuscule narratives, evoking Renaissance painters such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Aertsen. Though he emulates the Northern Renaissance masters, Davis is entirely self-taught. He forayed into painting in his early twenties as an off-shoot of his tattoo career. The founding owner of esteemed San Francisco shop Everlasting Tattoo, Davis currently splits his time between his craft and his fine art, using his paintings as a cathartic processing tool to digest the events of his personal life.
Known for his uplifting, large-scale photographic portraits of ordinary people, French artist JR recently travelled to New York’s Ellis Island for a site-specific project on the famed historical site. The island once housed the largest immigrant processing center in the nation, filtering millions of newcomers to the States from the 1890s through the 1950s. Ellis Island now houses an immigration museum, though parts of it have been left untouched. JR was invited to reinvigorate the destitute, abandoned buildings on the island’s south side with his project “Unframed — Ellis Island,” opening to the public on October 1.
Amsterdam-based collage artist Handiedan recently visited Berlin to add her contribution to Urban Nation’s Project M, arguably one of the coolest buildings in the German capital. The arts organization has been inviting artists to create window installations and large-scale murals (see our coverage of Eine’s recent piece there) and Handiedan recently made her mark on the multi-story facade with an enormous, wheat-pasted mural. While her typical work consists of smaller-scale, textured collages of vintage pin-up girls with baroque flourishes, she seamlessly adapted this style to a larger format. Check out her piece and stay tuned for more coverage of her upcoming solo show “Vesica Piscis,” opening at Seattle’s Roq La Rue this Thursday.
Beau Stanton has new works he describes as “enigmatic illuminations”, now on view at the Crypt of Saint John the Baptist in Bristol. Curated by Andy Phipps, the show’s title “Tenebras Lux” refers to darkness and light, created by these lit panels emerging out of the crypt’s dark, anicent space. The 9 stained glass panels combine elaborate oil painting with original medieval lead framework, inspired by Classical Antiquity and religious iconography that has long influenced Stanton.