Originally from New Mexico, Oakland based artist Grady Gordon creates dark and surreal monotype prints of frightful creatures. He describes his style of work as “Monster Existentialism”, Rorschach inkblot test-like images portraying the psychology of his subjects. He creates his images first using a crude mark making tool in black ink on plexiglass, then removes the ink to reveal the final print. The nature of monotype printing makes it impossible to repeat any image, making each piece a one of a kind that conveys his monster’s individual personalities.
First featured in HF Vol 34, artist Click Mort takes vintage ceramic figurines and “recapitates” them into whimsical characters spawned from his imagination. In his latest series on view at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, the artist takes influences from his own dreams and nightmares. His exhibition “Delirium Tremens” is named after a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, which often involves hallucinations. Considering this, while his works are infused with nostalgia and humor, one cannot ignore a certain melancholy in them.
Throughout human history, stories about wild and elusive giants have been told on almost every continent. Iceland-based French multimedia artist Philip Ob Rey has reimagined such monsters in a photo series of sculptures made of VHS tapes. Rey created “V” HS Project, a set of 5 series of black and white photos and accompanying short films, in contemplation of the future of the human race. Set against the gray skies of Iceland’s landscape, the photos portray nightmarish figures wandering a cold and post apocalyptic world.
Japanese artist Hirabayashi Takahiro (not to be confused with Takahiro Hirabayashi) infuses his religion’s mythology with the experience of growing up in his oil paintings. Using “boundaries” as a central theme, his dreamy portraits examine borders between the sky, land and sea, man and nature, childhood and adulthood, and how we navigate them. His main subjects are young girls who serve as a guide or guardian for those in this inbetween state of being. Considering their young age, they share in this delicate state.
Last year, Portland based artist Peter Gronquist made a remarkable departure from his dramatic taxidermy sculptures in favor of more abstract explorations. He continues to experiment with color and form in his latest body of work for “All of the Above”, opening on Saturday at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles. The show expands on his 2014 exhibition “The Great Escape” which featured infinity boxes of holographic war planes and firearms, a recurring motif in Gronquist’s art.
Brooklyn based artist Ray Bartkus has toyed with the idea of reflections in his paintings, drawings and street art work, but not quite like this. When he was invited to paint a building along Šešupė River in Marijampole, Lithuania, the idea to paint it upside down was undeniable. “I never did anything with the reflection in the river before, but since the building was next to it, it was kind of an obvious thing to consider,” he says.