James Roper processes the chaos of urbanity with his multilayered drawings. A simultaneous ode and social criticism, his latest body of work fixates on a cast of archetypical LA residents — an artist, a porn star, a gang member, a homeless “bag lady,” a celebrity publicist, etc. Roper’s exhibition “The Insceding Spiral” recently closed at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco — his first solo show in two years. The artist, who is also a script writer and filmmaker, imbues his drawings and paintings with narrative elements. But Roper doesn’t help viewers navigate the hectic hustle and bustle of city life — instead he puts the crazy on full volume, producing cacophonous images where translucent forms vie for our attention.
Emerging Swedish artist Nina Lindgren works in illustration, photography and printmaking, and most recently has added architecture to her repertoire. The artist has been developing a series of geometric, cardboard sculptures that look like tiny cityscapes condensed into tightly-packed shapes. Her most recent one, “Floating City,” was exhibited at ArtRebels Gallery in Copenhagen. The hanging piece is a multifaceted form that gives its mundane medium new life in viewers’ imaginations as they traverse the levitating metropolis.
Chinese artist Ying Yefu creates blatantly macabre paintings with a punchline. It’s as if each piece involves some sort of visual joke, where one detail is altered in such a way that the forms we thought we recognized are not what they seem. A cranium peeled open to reveal red blood doubles as a watermelon parted down the middle. An infant’s body is hybridized with a phallic, fleshy appendage that extends out of his head lopsidedly. Part of the visual pleasure of Ying’s work is deducing the various incongruous elements at play in each piece. While Ying’s art is reminiscent of the creepy-cute aesthetic popularized by Japanese painters of the generation before him (Ying was born in 1980), much of his work is executed using traditional Chinese painting techniques that tie his unmistakably contemporary style to his cultural heritage.
French duo Ciou and Malojo create illustrative works that combine their wildest fantasies and nightmares. Their previous show for Cotton Candy Machine gallery (covered here) displayed Malojo’s cartoony characters infused with colorful patterns, while Ciou’s work was mostly monochromatic. Their next show, “Freaks and Wonders” opens September 4th at White Lady Art in Dublin, and is inspired by scenes of celebration during seasonal holidays.
Over the past several months, arts organization Urban Nation has been inviting international artists and curators to do what they will with their large, interdisciplinary Berlin venue, Project M — a building utilized as a canvas from the inside out. The project’s latest incarnation, M/5, was curated by Roland Henry of the street art-focused publication VNA Magazine. While the multi-story building was covered in a new mural by Ben Eine, the surrounding area was fitted with window-installations and smaller murals by the likes of Above, Ben Frost, Klone, Yoh Nagao and many others. Take a look at some photos after the jump.
When we last caught up with artist Caia Koopman, she was preparing for her 2012 exhibition “Behind Wind and Water” featuring her colorful, tattooed characters. Almost a year in the making, her new series of paintings, “Figments”, opens October 7th at Distinction Gallery. She will display a mixture of her usual motifs and themes, inspired by love, loss and connections. Animal rights and environmentalism are political topics of importance for Koopman which she lightens up with splashes of color. See more after the jump!