Australian-born, Los Angeles-based painter Mark Whalen is known for works that exhibit both a dark humor and vibrancy, mirroring the duality of Western living. His current show, “Around the Bend,” fills Australia’s Chalk Horse Gallery with examples of this charge, with disparate, vague figures rendered in struggle.
Denver’s Abend Gallery has a new show from a trio of painters from across the world. Works from Swedish figurative artist Benjamin Bjorklund, Detroit-based painter Felicia Forte, and Lindsey Kustusch of San Francisco comprise the show “On The Periphery,” which runs through Oct. 1 at the space. Though all artists use similar elements, each offers a distinct approach and vision of the world around them.
Though viewers may not know the narratives of Karla Ortiz’s painted and drawn figures, her absorbing pieces inspire conjecture. Outside of her fine art work, Ortiz is a concept artist for Marvel Film Studios, and in the past, Industrial Light & Magic and Ubisoft. She’s also illustrated products for Wizards of the Coast and Tor Books. All speak to Ortiz’s talent for storytelling, even when the subjects are unfamiliar to the viewer.
While some sculptors sift through piles of objects in antique stores for materials, British artist Paul Hazelton can construct pieces out of the dust that collects on them. His intricate pieces are built with dust, hair, paper scraps, cobwebs, and any unwanted material that collects in the corners of our houses. Pieces like the skeletal “Old Holbein,” constructed from dust and acrylic wire, remind one of both the fragility of the material and the human body it represents.
Based in the Philippines, multimedia artist Yvonne Quisumbing has made a name for herself creating wearable art for the fashion world. Her designs have taken her to the runways of Paris and Osaka, and recently lead to a collaboration with UNIQLO. The designer also channels the fashion industry in her surreal paintings, which explore complex notions of beauty and identity.
This year, JR became one of the Olympic Games’ first artists in residence. And the French artist took the opportunity to a grand level with three massive sculptures scattered across Rio. JR’s black-and-white photos of athletes, erected with scaffolding, loom over passers-by, whether jumping over a building or plunging into the water. The images were installed in Flamengo, Botafogo, and Barra da Tijuca, respectively. JR was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 17.