Adam S. Doyle’s oil paintings of animals and fantasy creatures emphasize the physicality of his medium. He appears to paint entire realistic creatures using just a few pronounced strokes, evoking the intentionality required for writing calligraphy. Doyle’s subjects are often woodland animals like wolves, rabbits, and crows, though he has other series inspired by mythology and folklore. His paintings resemble a dance between paint and brush and simultaneously remind us of his process while whisking away our imaginations with the final result.
Korean artist Won Beomsik disrupts the cohesiveness of city planning with his “Archisculpture” collage series, in which he cobbles together various buildings in unlikely ways. The latest addition to the series is “Archisculpture Antigravity,” in which he flips and reverses the orientation of edifices to defy physical laws. Won’s other series, “Dimension Finder,” turns buildings’ facades into kaleidoscopic patterns that look like portals into new dimensions. Using architecture as his visual language, he communicates ideas about perception and reality through these works.
As a kid, dropping your ice cream on the sidewalk was a moment of bitter disappointment. Michael Massaia makes us remember this childlike feeling of sadness with his photographs of melted ice cream — a feeling that you know is petty yet still breaks your heart. The artist simply places popsicles on black plexiglass and watches them melt over time. The original shape of a Spiderman or Spongebob pop turns into a swirling, oil slick-like pattern of pastel colors. The melted sweets evoke a nostalgic longing for carefree summers on the playground. Ice cream pops, something we hadn’t previously given much thought to, turn out to be a pretty powerful sensory symbol.
Born in Canada and based in Manhattan, Karel Funk discovered the meaning of personal space while riding the New York subway for the first time. His subjects are the every day men and women he observes there at a close range. As Funk closes in past the comfort zone, he’s met with a certain rejection. Their clothing, hair or headphones act like a modern day armor that shields the viewer from any possibility to engage. Some paintings show only a jacket, a hood, or the back of a girl’s ponytail. What is left for us to speculate are things like folds in fabric, which Funk renders to a hyper-realistic point, and we become a voyeur to these details.
Digital artist Lek Chan has a series of soft, ethereal portraits that look like they could have been painted by hand, though they were created with the help of PhotoShop. Chan works as an illustrator and game designer, though her personal work has a textured, painterly quality that is more evocative of traditional portraiture than new media. On her blog, she is transparent about how she creates her works and details the steps of her process for curious viewers to follow.
Spanish artist Liqen creates murals and illustrations filled with strange, botanical references. In his street art, giant plants seem to morph into various animals and objects, blurring the boundaries between various life forms — and the biological and the manmade. While his murals utilize a tropical color palette, his illustrations are starkly contrasting and monochromatic. He renders rich textures with precise line work, making his characters come alive in the process.