Dreams and random musings become reality in Ukranian artist Elena Vizerskaya’s photo illustrations. Heavily steeped in the artist’s imagination, her works combine photos of models and digital elements, resulting in ethereal visions of female beauty. Vizerskaya’s models are often found daydreaming alone. Captured looking off into the distance in wide, open spaces, their worlds seem to be filled with the sense of possibility, lightness, and ease we experience in dreams.
Throughout art history, water has been a symbol that is rich with tradition. Water is responsible for life on Earth and an important part of our natural being; it has the power to cleanse, nurture and heal. Texas-born artist based in the UK, Cynthia Westwood, carries on this tradition in her oil paintings of nudes bathing. Her imagery has been labeled as erotic, even feminist, but depicting nudity is not central to her work. Like that of American impressionist Mary Cassatt, Westwood’s art can be described as “special by not being special”. Here, we witness every day women taking part in what appears an every day act.
What do you get when you cross a roller coaster with a picnic table? Probably something that resembles Michael Beitz’s imaginative takes on the furniture we encounter on a daily basis. Beitz turns mundane objects into innovative sculptural forms that are at once artistic and functional. He flips the script on how to build desks, tables, benches, and couches — twisting their shapes, turning them into curly cues, or making them bend, stretch, and melt in unexpected ways. His work always has a sense of humor and inspires viewers to become curious about their everyday surroundings.
Ryan Salge’s drawings capture the ephemeral: Not only the fleeting, small moments in people’s lives, but ever-evolving environmental factors like clouds, smoke, snow, and light, as well. Often set in suburbia, his skillfully rendered graphite drawings offer brief glimpses into his characters’ lives, where select details make the scene appear slightly out of the ordinary. Often, he organizes them like diptychs or triptychs, revealing details in ways that aren’t quite obvious, like clever editing in a film.
Berkeley painter Deth P. Sun’s work, taken a whole, can be read almost like a comic book. With each solo show, his blank-eyed cat character — whom longtime fans have come to know well — returns for new adventures. Coming up on April 25, the artist has a solo show at Grumpy Bert in Brooklyn titled “Being and Nothingness.” This time, his mystical feline tackles themes of global proportions. Set against a backdrop of a star-lit sky, Sun places the microcosm of his protagonist’s world in the larger context of the universe. Amid the endearing visuals are bouts of melancholy as our hero ultimately must face his own mortality. “Being and Nothingness” will be on view through May 24.
William Basso’s current show at New York’s Last Rites Gallery, “Mise-en-scene,” takes its name from a French theater term that describes all the elements in a stage production or film — the actors, lighting, scenery, etc. Basso treats his mixed-media assemblages something like tiny film sets. He begins by sculpting his figures out of a hodgepodge of materials, such as clay, cardboard, string, paper, wire, tape, wood, hair, and odd bits of cloth. Then, he photographs these sculptures, alters them in PhotoShop, and uses the resulting digital prints to create textured collages. The final works live somewhere between sculpture and digital art. For “Mise-en-scene,” his assemblages are displayed alongside the original sculptures and 3D objects from which they originated. The show is on view through May 16 at Last Rites.