The skin-toned, sporadically hairy ceramic sculptures crafted by Jason Briggs can be both unsettling and entice one to touch. The artist says he aspires to create things he’s “never quite seen before.” And as for compelling viewers for closer inspection, that’s part of his charge, too: “Though my objects contain strong visual references, I am more interested in the implied tactile ones; the things that stir in me a compulsion to touch,” his statement says. “Beyond other external inspiration lies this basic, primal impulse. I recognize – and act upon – a profound desire to push, poke, squeeze, stroke, caress, and pinch. I intend for my pieces to invoke a similar sort of temptation.”
Esteban del Valle, a Chicago native, is an interdisciplinary artist now based in Brooklyn. Del Valle’s work mixes painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and street art. That versatile approach can be seen in the recent body of work “Displacing Waves,” a vibrant, distorted collection of pieces that tap into the style of political cartoons. The artist displayed the work at Superchief Gallery in Los Angeles earlier this year, and most recent works-in-progress can be seen on his Instagram, here.
Annemarie Busschers (featured on our blog here) is fascinated by human imperfection. As a society, we tend to run away from anything that renders us imperfect – yet from the artist’s viewpoint, these traits we so eagerly try to disown are what lend to an individual’s distinction. Busscher’s embrace of all imperfections is reflected in her raw, emotive portraits of people, which focus deeply on the lines, textures, and colorations of the skin’s surface to draw attention to her subjects’ flaws and irregularities.
In her series Femina Plantarum, Elsa Mora pulls from elements of the natural world to illustrate intimate journeys of personal evolution and transformation. Her paintings of female figures with root limbs, bird heads, and other human/nature hybrids are all at once entrancing, surreal, and provocative. Throughout the series, these creatures are caught in not only the midst of dramatic physical change but also introspective moments of intellectual and spiritual awakening. The artist portrays her botanical women from the viewpoint that change can be frightening and uncomfortable, but also a vital and even sacred part of human life.
French artist Astro takes flat urban surfaces and creates passageways into the void. Using shadows and light, calligraphy-inspired designs and winding curves, the artist’s optical illusions are made for public consumption. And even when they’re not so obvious to some passers-by and cars on a quick route to work, Astro has many of us looking at the big picture.
Brooklyn artist Roland Mikhail masters the technique of airbrushing to create images of people, objects and wildlife that, as the artist says, “speak to the parts of us we do not know are looking.” His work is bold and instinctive, layered with complex imagery that explores the interconnections between our conscious and subconscious.