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.
Just as Dutch painter Joram Roukes moves freely between precise, anatomically-correct figure painting and messy expressionism, his work injects allusions to contemporary society with heavy doses of dreamlike images. We might find a character in a familiar Lakers jersey, except for his hand invitingly holds out a dead fish and his face is a polka-dotted skull. It is precisely this type of fluidity between lived and imagined experience that Roukes aims to tap into with his July 19 solo show at Thinkspace in Culver City, “Paramnesia.” Its title is derived from the term for a condition in which a person confuses reality and fantasy, something most of us have experienced to an extent with cases of déjà vu. Roukes has been living and working in LA as he prepares for his show. Take a look at some photos and a video documenting his work process below.
England-born and living in Kenya, textile artist Sophie Standing embroiders intense portraits of the African wildlife around her. At the beginning of her career, she specialized in life drawing which she utilizes in these threaded “studies” on canvas. We’ve featured several artists experimenting with textiles, such as Ana Teresa Barboz and Richard Saja, who implement fine art practices into their works. The influence of 19th century art can also be found in Standing’s work. She has an extensive collection of decorative fabrics from her travels all over the world, making her colorful ‘collages’ of flora and fauna a personal story. You could also call her narrative a political one, as she consistently displays the dominance and majesty of endangered species. Read more after the jump.
Portland-based Korean artist Samantha Wall draws perceptive representations of women who exhibit a range of emotions and attitude. Her experience with ‘multi-raciality’ between living in Korea and now the United States inspired her latest drawings, “Indivisible” but it has roots in her previous works. Her simple yet profound drawings are the result of her own experiences and feelings. Emotional desire creates moments of hyper awareness, a characteristic specific to human nature. Wall believes that how we position ourselves in the world directly relates to our bond with others. Read more after the jump.
Like Adams and Eves freshly banished from the Garden of Eden, Susannah Martin’s characters wander through lush, wild landscapes wide-eyed and bewildered at their surroundings. Martin is an American-born artist who has been based in Berlin since 1991. She sees painting nude figures as a continuation of a long lineage of artists who have used the human body to signify what she refers to as man in his purest state.