Last weekend, Pictoplasma (previously covered here) returned to Berlin for their 11th annual showcase of Contemporary art and design trends. Pictoplasma is well known across the globe for its character design annuals, but the festival also highlights fine art, street art, illustration, toy design, animation, and graphic design. This year saw a continued interest in character-driven Pop surrealism, which addressed modern societal issues through kitsch and cute characters by an eclectic roster. Over 40 international artists took center stage with an extensive program of workshops, lectures at Babylon theater, and two major exhibitions- Pictoplasma’s main exhibition “Form Follows Empathy” at Silent Greene and the Pictoplasma Academy Group Show at Urban Spree.
Hikari Shimoda contemplates the nature of good and evil throughout her body of work. Deceptively naive at a first glance, her brightly-colored paintings feature child characters grappling with the destruction of the world. Their physical scars and zombie-like eyes hint at the brutality they have witnessed. Shimoda’s latest solo show, which features new works as well as a retrospective, opens at Artcomplex Center of Tokyo on January 14 with a reception on January 17.
Though their styles differ, Hikari Shimoda (featured in HF Vol. 29) and Camilla D’Errico each use a fluorescent color palette and childlike, illustrative imagery to apprehend adult anxieties. The two artists teamed up for their two-person show “Niji Bambini” (which combines Japanese and Italian, the artists’ native tongues, to translate to “Rainbow Children”), opening at Brooklyn’s Cotton Candy Machine on October 10.
Last Saturday, CHG Circa offered pint sized works by their favorite artists in “Art Collector Starter Kit” 2. If you’re like most collectors, you know how to buy art on a piece-by-piece basis, but may not be all that well versed in the art that is collecting. This show offers a solution. In the gallery’s own words, “The motivation behind an exhibition of all 12”x12” paintings stems from the fact that newer collectors, or enthusiasts, who have never bought an original piece from one of their favorite artists, may now do so.”
On August 30th, CHG Circa will showcase some of their favorite artists in their second installment of “Art Collector Starter Kit”. The show was first created in 2013 to give emerging artists a platform to express new ideas, while creating a smaller-sized ‘starter kit’ of sorts for new collectors. This year highlights new faces to Circa’s walls like Yosuke Ueno (above), Yukino Fukumoto (covered here), Hikari Shimoda, who debuted last month, and So Youn Lee- paired with Circa regulars Brandi Milne, Shag, Lola, Natalia Fabia, and more.
Eerily cheery and cheerily eerie, Nouar’s resin-dipped mixed-media works debuted at her solo show “Satisfaction Guaranteed” at CHG Circa in Culver City on July 19. Her confectionary work — somewhere between painting and sculpture, two-dimensional and three-dimensional — was paired with Hikari Shimoda’s (HF Vol. 29) equally vivid, candy-colored series of paintings in her concurrent show “Fantastic Planet, Goodbye Man” opening on the same night.