Valentin Leonida (Valle) is a Bucharest-born 3D modeler and illustrator whose characters haunt imaginations. In his most recent series, “Heads,” Valle created five images revealing the interior of the human face as it makes emotional expressions. Titled “No.1 Rhinocerus (after Dürer),” “No.2 Melancholia,” “No. 3 Restless,” “No. 4 Concentration,” and “No. 5 Serpent Mind,” the drawings and their evocative labels prompt curiosity. One wonders if the furrowed tension in “Concentration” is revealed on one’s own face, or if the emotional state is only made visible when Valle’s golden medical contraption pulls back the skin like a veil.
You may recognize So Youn Lee from our posts about her ethereal pen drawings and candy-colored paintings. Her new work is progressively character based- following a young space explorer named “Mango” through strange environments that echo childhood memories. At her Los Angeles studio, she sketches daily and experiments with motifs, from the abstract shapes of Korean folk textiles to the hyper-real balloons of Jeff Koons. A Japanese art influence is definitely there as well. Among Lee’s favorite artists are Aya Takano and Yoshitomo Nara, and she is an avid Manga reader. Most of the pieces shown here were created as an exercise, but seem to have left a lasting impression. We went behind the scenes to learn more about So Youn Lee’s new direction and her future plans.
“I think that there is a lot to point out, and to work against in daily life, particularly with respect to American culture,” said Dane Patterson in an interview with Art Plural Gallery, where he had his last solo show in 2013. “We are creatures of habit and we can quickly fall into routine. We’re rarely aware of the way we compartmentalize everything in our lives, or have had things defined and compartmentalized for us.” His graphite drawings begin as documentations of daily life — but they evolve into strange hybrids of images intended to stir up the ritualistic qualities of our mundane existence. Patterson works from photographs in a process he describes as sculptural. First, he stages a scene, shoots it, and then combine the resulting photographic image with other sourced material to create a meticulous, surreal pencil drawing on paper.
Ukrainian artist duo Interesni Kazki teamed up with Studio Cromie from Grotagglie, Italy for their solo show “Inter Arma Silent Musae.” The show features new ink drawings and paintings created over the last couple of months. This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see studio works by Waone and Aec, who are better known for the fairytale-like murals they’ve painted everywhere from Mexico to India. “Inter Arma Silent Musae” was staged in an impressive tomb-like interior of Bottega Papocchia and their fantastical, detailed works felt at home on these antiquated stone walls.
Taiwan-born artist Chen Dao Lee’s creates ambiguous narratives of unresolved tensions. His style is nearly photorealistically perfect. His compositions are taut and vigorous. If the light in his work made a noise, it would be loud and blaring. It’s his choice of subject that makes the work provocative. Each piece features young, beautiful, semi-clad women with garish red hair. Some hold automatic weapons. Some wrestle with each other. Some engage in sexual escapades with other women. Some do so with other men. These women are young, beautiful, and… bored.
Last Rites Gallery in New York City opened two solo shows — Richard J. Oliver’s “Elements” and Stefano Alcantara’s “Waqayñan,” two concurrent interpretations of a journey — this past Saturday. Oliver’s works, which sprawled across the longest of the gallery’s walls, mark a personal evolution of the artist’s practice, specifically, as a departure away from his former foreboding narrative paintings and closer to the ebullience that has come over him in recent years.