In October 2015, Hi-Fructose Vol. 29 featured artist Olek visited the Virginia MOCA for a special workshop with community members and to plan a large-scale public artwork on site that will raise awareness about the waters near Virginia Beach. Over the weekend, the New York-based artist’s project was unveiled at the opening of Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose – a larger than life future New York Times article covering the facade of the museum entrance. Olek’s mural, crocheted in a photo-realistic style, imagines our Earth Day headline news in 2020.
Hi-Fructose Vol. 23 featured artist Mark Dean Veca’s colorful, dynamic paintings pop off the page in bright red, orange, and turquoise hues, with curvaceous lines inspired by the underground comic world. His work incorporates everything from pop culture references like Tony the Tiger and Scrooge McDuck to Americana elements like the Lincoln Memorial to the American Flag, to religious iconography including skulls, Buddhas, and Ganeshas – all filtered through his own gaze. The Los Angeles based artist is now in Virginia, where we’ve invited him to create special installation for the Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose, opening tonight at Virginia MOCA.
The expressionist work of British artist Antony Micallef layers the figure to the point of total distortion. His style of painting misshapen figures against soft backdrops is an amalgamation of influences from Francis Bacon, to old masters like Caravaggio and Velázquez, to more modern contemporary photographers and graphic artists- leading to the nickname “Caravaggio meets Manga” in the media. Featured here on our blog, he describes his art as “like watching a Disney movie which slowly turns into violent pornography- the trouble with pop imagery is that it doesn’t really go deeper than the surface, you have to drag it down and challenge it to make it interesting.”
Argentinian artist known as Hyuro’s art makes use of negative space through a series of repeating figures, where the location of her work is integral to how we perceive it. Featured here on our blog, this has usually taken place in the streets. But whether she is mural painting, building installations, or showing her paintings in a gallery, Hyuro is making observations about life: framed by an empty white background, the people in her work demonstrate our relationships and how we interact with one another.
Those who have seen Jon MacNair’s work might be surprised to learn that he is greatly inspired by popular children’s literature, fairytales, and Renaissance art. The Portland based artist is well known for his fantastical, quirky ink drawings, often labeled as “dark”, and we don’t mean his monochromatic palette. “Some of my most distinct memories as a kid were of looking at picture books and being entranced by the images,” he says. “Even though most of these books were for kids, there were some pretty dark undertones in the illustrations that stuck with me.” These eventually led to his current body of work which turns classically ominous imagery on its head.
When we try to recall old memories, they usually come back in bit and pieces: faces of loved ones, favorite objects, and sometimes our mind fills in the gaps with things that never were. In painting her own memories, Lacey Bryant couples strangeness with a romantic nostalgia, like an incoherent dream. Throughout the Bay area artist’s work there is a sense of alienation or escape from modern life. Suitcase in hand, her subjects navigate a pretty landscape that can suddenly turn dark, from flowery pink blooms and stately Victorian mansions to fields of abandoned vehicles catching fire.