Soze Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles came to our attention over a year ago and has been steadily turning out bold shows by established and emerging artists, usually of the street art scene. By bold, we mean artists here sometimes go left field in favor of experimentation and collaboration. Among those who have shown on Soze’s walls, both inside and out, are Miss Van, Ciro, Moneyless, Dave Kinsey, Cyrcle, Retna, Victor Castillo, and Dan Quintana to name a few. The gallery is now moving shop to West Hollywood, starting this Saturday with “Further Adventures in Abstraction” by graffiti artist Remi Rough.
Currently on view at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, “Sight Beyond Sight” is a group show that explores an age-old human impulse: our aching desire to predict the future. The show’s title evokes the idea of the third eye, which symbolizes intuition and even psychic abilities in many cultures. The works in “Sight Beyond Sight” indulge in the occult and the surreal. The featured artist in the show include Naoto Hattori, who is known for painting his dreams, 100taur, whose fantasy paintings of strange creatures apprehend more than just the future of humanity, as well as Chris Leib, Aof Smith and others. The show opened on July 11 and will be on view through August 31. Take a look at some of the artwork after the jump.
John Dolan is one of the East London’s most unique artists. He spent 20 years living on the streets of London and was in and out of prison during this period, stuck in what he refers to as a “revolving door of prison and homelessness” with no hope in sight. Hope came around five years ago when Dolan adopted a Staffie puppy from a homeless couple for the price of a strong can of lager. Having to take care of a new friend was a life changing moment for Dolan as going to prison again would mean losing George.
Michael Kvium has worn many hats through the decades: painter, performance artist, choreographer, sculptor, director. The list goes on. The interdisciplinary Danish artist shines the spotlight on his painting practice in his latest body of work, “Painter’s Nest,” which just came down at Nils Stærk Gallery in Copenhagen. Cynically autobiographical, the series focuses on the figure of the painter. The figure in question is a disrobed, aging gentleman who stands with his back to the audience holding paint tubes and brushes in his tired hands. Kvium presents this painter in many different fantastical settings, examining the various temperaments of an artist.
Argentinian-born artist Nicola Constantino pushes the controversial issue of animal rights and the relationship between birth and mortality in her sometimes graphic, always peculiar sculptures of animals. Whether a pig hanging from a conveyor belt, or birds compressed into perfectly round balls, the sculpted animals in Constantino’s works are manipulated in ways that feel forced and staged for human needs.
Chinese artist Zhou Fan creates whimsical depictions of natural growths gone amuck: fungi, weeds and fluorescent drippings of alien goo stack upon characters’ heads and faces like strange, invasive species. Fan says that the inspiration for these colorful paintings came from a dream he had in which jellyfish fell from the sky and became mushrooms. The human characters appear to be overtaken by these extraterrestrial entities as they lodge themselves onto their faces and limbs. Fan’s paintings have a flat, illustrative quality that evokes Japanese Pop Art and animation (Miyazaki and Murakami come to mind when viewing his imaginative works). Fan described that in one piece, a little boy is crying because he doesn’t want his dream to end, perhaps a reflection of the artist’s own penchant for daydreaming and fantasizing.