After years of practicing realistic portraiture, Korean-born artist Shin Young An decided it was time for a change. Her work was once focused on depicting her subject as faithfully and realistically as possible. She now moves beyond the surface and aims to engage politically with the viewer and motivate introspection, even action.
On Saturday, Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles will open highly anticipated side by side shows by Audrey Kawasaki, Tara McPherson, and Deedee Cheriel. The event marks Kawasaki’s first exhibition in over three years with the gallery, while McPherson and Cheriel previously exhibited together in 2012 (covered here), bringing a unique female perspective. Where their past showing followed a lyrical narrative, this new pairing explores themes of life and emotional experience as far reaching as the cosmos. See more after the jump!
In the summer, the city of Vienna, Austria quiets considerably as renowned opera houses and classical institutions take a break from their year-round fanfare of traditional cultural ventures. But on the streets, a nascent art festival is making major waves despite this year only being its second iteration. HilgerBROTKunsthalle is a spacious gallery nestled between other contemporary art spaces in a former Ankerbrotfabrik (bread factory) building. The space – opened by esteemed gallerist Ernst Hilger – organizes the annual Cash, Cans & Candy festival and its concurrent gallery exhibition, an operation dreamt up by curator Katrin-Sophie Dworczak. Running for the months of summer and into the start of fall, the festival consists of new murals by a myriad of artists well-known in the ever-evolving contemporary street and urban art scene.
Brian Cooper’s abstract paintings have heft. Filled with zig-zagging lines, his configurations of shapes look like they could have easily been built out of wood and covered in house paint as strange, sculptural forms. Cooper gives them weight with dramatic angles and shadows. His trompe l’oeil style makes the shapes appear as though they could be objects in the material world. But there’s something celestial and maybe even spiritual about his work, too. Set against blackness, the forms appear to float in the night sky. Some of them were inspired by the ways we map out constellations with geometric lines, says Cooper, imposing artificial limits onto something more infinite.
Partners in art and in life, Ferris Plock and Kelly Tunstall collaborate seamlessly, almost out of necessity. They work in close proximity to one another in their studio, switching between parent duty to their two young children and working on their paintings. Elements of Plock’s blocky, geometric style end up on Tunstall’s softer, more painterly canvases and vice versa. The couple, sometimes known by the monicker KeFe, currently has an exhibition at San Francisco’s Shooting Gallery titled “Floating World: Part One” on view through August 9. Part two of this body of work will open at Antler Gallery in Portland on July 31, creating a visual dialogue between two cities.
In a 200 year old building in Mexico City’s central historic district, illustrator, graphic designer and street artist Smithe brings to life scenes from another world. Downstairs from his studio, there is a cantina that still houses a bullet fired from Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa’s gun. The street outside is on the route of the city’s largest civic demonstrations, which regularly block traffic to the area. Some 20 million people live their lives in the near vicinity. When Hi-Fructose visited his studio and showroom for the Tony Delfino clothing line, for which Smithe serves as creative director, the 26-year-old artist said his work is meant as an antidote, albeit temporary, to this urban madness.