When Finland based artist Kim Simonsson began experimenting with figurative ceramic art in the 90s, it caught people by surprise. The term ‘ceramic’ brings to mind sophisticated objects, but his is a decidedly unusual mix of Eastern traditional materials and pop culture. “The subject of my work, as a rule, are children, animals, or something in between,” he shares. There are glazed-white ghostly children ‘bullying’ exotic wild animals like panthers and deer, or jumping into metallic puddles. See more after the jump!
This past weekend, Philadelphia-based artist Jim Houser opened his solo show at FFDG in San Francisco. Titled “Night Got Quiet, Not Quite Light.” The exhibition consists of Houser’s highly recognizable patchwork assemblages, as well as some minimalist mixed media works and site specific installations. Predominantly confined to his signature square format, this new show is a continuation of Houser’s exploration into the relationship between the visual and the aural. The interplay between text and imagery in Houser’s work makes way for an emotional narrative open to the interpretation of the viewer. Playfully rendered and meticulously composed, Houser acts as a visual storyteller, evoking an unencumbered youthful sentiment.
“Sasayaki No Tsudoi” Translation: Gathering Whispers. On Saturday night, Giant Robot celebrated Edwin Ushiro’s new ‘tra-digital’ works on plexiglass (previewed here), a luminous combination of traditional and digital. When we last saw him, it was back in 2010 for his show with Yoskay Yamamoto at Roq La Rue, Ushiro’s first trial with this technique. His unique manner of working was recently documented in Thrash Lab x Giant Robot’s artist documentary series, which played at the opening. It offered a rare insight into his private process of sketching, digitally painting, and reapplying the work onto plexiglass for final, hand painted touches.
The hyper-realistic oil paintings of Joshua Suda will make you question whether you’re looking at a painting or a photograph as he recreates the features of the human face with stunning accuracy. Going beyond replicating life, many of Suda’s pieces also have elements of surrealism. Bizarre compositions, mixed with Suda’s impressive attention to detail, result in uncanny contortions of the human face. He often breaks the fourth wall, playing with the foreground and background to make it appear that the subject is bursting through the surface of the piece. In other works, he paints to mimic other media, replicating the detail of everything from pencil drawings to old photographs and contrasting them with how the subjects might appear to the human eye.
Currently on view at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, “Morpheus” is a group show guest curated by Morpheus Gallery. Morpheus began as a publishing house in 1989, carving a niche for themselves by showcasing the late, Swiss artist H.R. Geiger and other dark surrealists. The influence of Geiger’s disturbing, biomorphic creations can be easily spotted in the current group show at Copro. Dariusz Zawadzki, a Polish artist, does not shy away from horror and gore, painting foggy scenes in which everything appears to be connected by a tissue-like moss, adding to the feeling of an unescapable, nightmarish world.
Chilean artist Alvaro Tapia finds something sinister even in his most innocent subjects. His portrait illustrations feature friends, famous people, artists and others he admires. What lurks beneath the surface in these subjects — something grotesque and often evil — is what most attracts the artist. The end result, however, is far from ugly. Bursting with color and life, his portraits are high-impact. Tapia arranges contrasting colors, vector lines and geometric shapes so that they vibrate off one another. His subjects not only seem alive but ready to jump off the page right at the viewer’s throat.