As an artist whose illustrations have natural fluidity, it’s no wonder that Kelly Vivanco found herself painting water in “Peculiar Tides”. Her latest solo at Thinkspace gallery has a water theme, an element that has captured our imagination for centuries. Water is a source of life and vitality, doomed disasters, bold adventure stories and some of the world’s most curious mysteries. Telling its story is an undertaking felt by Vivanco’s roughly 40 paintings created over 8 months, sculptures, and a narrative starring childlike heroines that vaguely resemble the artist.
Coinciding with the opening of “BLAB!” at Copro Gallery last Saturday was Yoko d’Holbachie’s “Genesis of Girls”. Over the course of her career, featured in Vol. 6 in 2007, d’Holbachie has created candy colored paintings inspired by the stories of time. One of her greatest inspirations is traditional Japanese folklore and legends. Her characters are non-human and androgynous with a feminine touch, found in her symbols of butterflies and birds representing fertility. Her latest solo show is a reimagining and exploration of the origin of girls from various cultures.
Robots battle in a world that seems simultaneously prehistoric and futuristic in Rob Sato’s watercolors. The artist (first featured in HF Vol. 16) defies the limitations of his medium both in content and in format. While watercolor paintings are typically kept small, he works at mural scale, rendering the precise outlines of his giant robots, warriors on horseback and bizarre humanoid characters. The softness of the watercolor is still there, adding a handmade touch to his mechanical subject matter. Sato’s latest exhibition “Curses” opens on September 20 at Martha Otero Gallery in LA and features several massive works, folded paintings that become sculptural objects, some simplified sketches and painted baseballs that seem to take their cue from the cave walls of Lascaux. Take a look at our preview below.
London-based illustrator and artist Martin Tomsky turns the dancing line of the pen into dynamic sculpture with his multi-layered woodcuts. In one artwork, several wood pieces in varying degrees of brown are cut into swooping arabesques and lain over one another to create the essence of a whirlwind. At the center, a cube is trapped inside a slightly larger box. A larger-than-life insect with menacing fangs watches over the heart of the piece, as if protecting Pandora’s box. In his illustrations, Tomsky invents fantasy worlds where good and evil battle one another in nature. The same thematic oppositions can be seen in his woodcuts. Trees and clouds meld into one another to create a single ominous sky-canopy. In the darkness below, owls hide in trees, supposedly from the giant bearded millipede that wraps itself around a central tree trunk. The ground below, sprouting with mushrooms and speckled with unknown creatures, is as petrifying as the sky above.
This Saturday, CHG Circa will debut “Giants Among Us,” a group show that challenged artists to interpret the figure of the giant and how it plays out in folklore, contemporary culture and their own mythology.The group of mostly narrative painters each had their own unique interpretation of what a giant might look like. In John Brophy’s digital-looking painting, a triumphant character in a furry battle costume appears to be the giant compared to a small firefly resting on her finger. Korin Faught and Armando Marino also opt for subtle ways of approaching the theme. In Faught’s Impressionistic work, a larger-than-average human skull hints at a giant’s presence, while a dark shadow over a river makes us wonder what’s about to happen in Marino’s piece.
Fans of Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama need no introduction to the Kusama pumpkin- her dotted signature motif and yes, alter ego. Her pumpkins have been famously recreated from hotel rooms to textiles and designer hand bags by Louis Vuitton. She’s even taken us inside of their surreal, organic structure, as in her Selfridges London pop-up store this time last year. So the story goes, Kusama’s family once owned a storehouse full of pumpkins during World War II, and she developed a fondness for them. Ever since, she has continually used them throughout her career as a symbol of growth and fertility. Just in time for Halloween, Victoria Miro in London is showing a new body of bronze sculptures and paintings 2 years in the making, simply titled “Pumpkins”.