Although he is best known for his humorous graffiti and imagery, Kenny Scharf has long been interested in more serious political topics. His solo exhibition “Born Again”, opening this Saturday at Honor Fraser gallery, highlights his unique ability to make the mundane more fun. In his latest series, bright and colorful palette and wacky shapes are painted onto repurposed, found art. It’s not all fun and games for the artist, who sees his comical approach as an act of defiance.
Photos by Birdman
Portugese artist VHILS recently teamed up with Lebasse Projects to create two new murals located in LA’s Chinatown district. The murals are part of their ongoing Contrast Series, which aims to build on the cultural value of local areas and honor their roots. In this behind-the-scenes video, VHILS comments on how images made for Chinatown’s community have a broader significance. “This idea of creating by destroying is, in the end, inherent to all human beings… even the most beautiful poem destroys the white paper.”
The colorful works of Hawaii native Ekundayo (HF Vol. 9) combine surrealism with influences from his graffiti days. His paintings sometimes lean on the nightmarish, as in his portrayal of anthropomorphic subjects in haunting scenes. On Saturday, he will debut a new series with “Collective Reflections” at Thinkspace gallery in Los Angeles. Ekundayo describes his solo as a “gift to that feeling I know we all connect to when reaching deep within ourselves.” Check out our preview after the jump!
Kevin Peterson’s subjects exist somewhere between a wintery city and sunny Houston, where the artist is currently based. Do a web search on his art, and the response is polarizing. Hyperrealism has become a controversial art form- most admire the excruciating detail, while others disagree with copying tags or photographs. Without question, Petersons’ portraits of children in a graffiti-colored world are emotional and ironic. His current show at Thinkspace gallery, “Remnants”, portrays his own fantasy-urban jungle.
“I think my aesthetic is kind of a mash-up: realism, graffiti, stencil art, and some moves inspired at times by abstract expressionism,” shares Tim Okamura on his latest solo, “Love Strength and Soul”. Now on view at Yeelen Gallery in Miami, his show is an exploration of the figure over the past 5 years. Previously featured here, Okamura’s New York city women are a mix of traditional portraiture upgraded by personal symbolism and experiences.
With Art Basel Miami around the corner, international artists are now trickling in to Miami’s local gallery scene. Puerto Rican street artist Alexis Diaz has returned with his solo show “SUPERFICIE” (“SURFACE”), now on view at Product/81 gallery in Wynwood. His large scale murals (previously featured here and here) are instantly recognizable for their colorful, hybrid animals. In recent months, motfis of raven heads with human elements such as hands or skulls are especially prevalent. Diaz’s exhibition showcases a series of new paintings that mirror this dreamlike, or perhaps nightmarish, subject matter.