35,000 years ago, man picked up some bones and charcoal off the ground and drew his first cave painting- only instead of painting a picture of himself, he painted animals. He watched the herds cross the plains and thought they were beautiful and magical, and retained this image in his mind and translated them on the cave walls with graceful and accurate curves. A new group exhibition titled “Animalia” at Abend Gallery in Colorado will showcase contemporary artists whose work has been influenced by animals, and takes a look at how we relate to them today.
When digital painter and sculptor Danny van Ryswyk was eight years old, he had an unusual encounter with a UFO, an experience that continues to profoundly impact his artwork- illustrations and 3D printed sculptures of moody, Victorian-styled figures, often displayed in glass bell jars as if they were scientific specimens. Like that flying saucer from his childhood memory, Ryswyk’s characters are darkly fantastical and strange, monochromatic figures that blend his unique interest in the meaning of dreams and the inexplicable like aliens and Victorian spirit photography.
Hollywood based artist Deirdre Sullivan-Beeman adds an enchanting, fairytale-like charm to her paintings made by a 14th century technique of oil paints and egg tempera. Her youthful images evoke the romance and luminosity of works by Old Master painters like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, combined with elements taken from religion, legends, and glyphs or pictograms, used to tell her stories. Her primary subject is often a little girl, sometimes wearing a pinafore dress, depicted wandering in a nonsensical realm with talking flowers and white rabbits, recalling images from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The main source of Beeman’s unique mythology, however, comes from her own personal experiences and what she writes down in a dream journal that she has kept over the years.
Porcelain has been a highly prized material for centuries, impenetrable, tough and strong, yet it has the magical translucence found in sea shells from which it earned its namesake. These contrasting aspects of porcelain are what make it so fascinating for sculptor Katusyo Aoki, first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 21, who has chosen this material to express a multitude of emotions. She is perhaps best known for her intricately carved skulls that are colored in a variety of pure white and blue tones, relating them to a macabre religious object. Her recent pieces have included associations to 18th century designs, Norse folk magic, and more modern references to abstract art, as in her taller, distorted pieces that resemble tree branches or ocean waves. For her current exhibition at Jason Jacques Gallery in New York, “Dark Globe”, Aoki combines her swirling designs with regal, yet dark subject matter.
Christine Wu’s oil paintings feature multi-layered images of figures with haunting and sensual undertones, often reminiscent of double-exposure photography. She likens the people that she paints to apparitions, displaying a sort of uneasy flux about them and evoking a sense of nostalgia for distant memories. When we last caught up with her, Wu explained, “The concept behind the work is a variation of the ideas that appear throughout my paintings: the feeling of or search for transcendence.” Since then, Wu has moved from Los Angeles to Brooklyn, New York, where she has been busy working on her latest body of work that debuted over the weekend at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles.
Nothing beat a cardboard box growing up because it wasn’t just made of cardboard. Cardboard could instantly become your ticket to a rocket on the moon or your dream fortress where you ruled the world. Using this simple material and a lot of imagination, artist duo Zoey Taylor and David Connelly have built the world they wish to live in. They call it “The House of Cardboard”, better known as “Dosshaus”. The two (or as they say, “Les Deux”) first met in 2010 and it was a match made in heaven that works together as a team, cutting and gluing together the cardboard pieces into life size installations, which feature the creative couple living in a monochromatic black and white house.