The way we express ourselves intimately with our partners in real life seldom resembles the glamorous heaving and sighing of movie sex scenes. Italian artist Riccardo Mannelli eschews these cinematic cliches when he conveys personal moments between couples. In his ongoing series of works on paper, Mannelli’s approach to erotica feels natural and unpretentious. The bodies he focuses on are not idealized by any means: He honestly depicts his subjects’ aging physiques, tattoos, and body hair. By embracing these so-called imperfections, Mannelli celebrates their beauty.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is as pertinent today as it ever was. The fight for racial equality continues with the widespread #BlackLivesMatter movement, and King’s revolutionary ideas still resonate with today’s discontents. Curator Roula David decided to pay homage to the influential historical figure with the group show “We Have a Dream” at Detroit’s Inner State Gallery. For the exhibition, she invited a diverse selection of local, emerging artists to listen to King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and interpret it for themselves.
Australian artist Beastman’s murals flow like freeform doodles across building facades. Tessellating triangle patterns, organic, leaf-like shapes, and radiating beams of color morph into one another to create symmetrical, mandala-like designs. Beastman’s latest work was spotted in the Re.Discover festival in Bunbury, Australia, which took place this past weekend. The new piece drapes a woven-looking pattern over a hexagonal building like a psychedelic koozie or quilt. Check out Beastman’s latest murals and studio works below.
Kazuki Takamatsu (HF Vol. 33 cover artist) paints layers of translucent, white gouache that appear to float over his matte, black backgrounds. His hologram-like, female characters look digitized, though they’re executed entirely by hand. That’s because the artist turns to depth mapping software for inspiration for his images and painstakingly renders his figures as if they were parceled into pixels. For his upcoming solo show “Even a Doll Can Do It,” Takamatsu presents a new series of paintings centered around ghostly depictions of nymph-like girls floating in cyberspace. The exhibition opens February 14 at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome and will be on view through April 4.
Jim Dingilian’s work comes in the form of a message in a bottle, which he draws with the tip of candle on the glass’s surface. The result is a smokey image nestled within the bottle’s concave shape. Dingilian uses his unconventional medium in a way that evokes India ink, impressively handling the flame like a brush. His scenes are well-defined and highly detailed. Dingilian has fun with layering opaque and translucent layers of smoke, resulting in complex scenes within each vessel.
New Delhi-based illustrator Archan Nair creates fluorescent digital art with a painterly effect. Nair composes kaleidoscopic images that resemble Rorschach ink blots. Wisps of color tumble like clouds of pigment in water, creating nebulous shapes that morph into one another. His work has a psychedelic quality evocative of the spiritually-focused visionary art movement, which borrows heavily from Hindu iconography in particular. While human subjects are at the center of Nair’s work, he melts figurative elements into textured, abstract designs and otherworldly visuals.