Kitsch painter Luke Hillestad, based in Minneapolis, tackles age-old narratives and a primal aesthetic in his works. He partly learned his craft from legendary figurative painter Odd Nerdum, who famously forged a movement that combined the way of the Old Masters with storytelling and emotion. A former land surveyor and classically trained guitarist, there are tinges of other influences in Hellstad’s work.
Internationally renowned Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum has played the role of both national treasure and art-political rebel since the 1970s. As the founder of the Kitsch movement, he opposed the abstract and conceptual art that dominated Norway at the time in favor of honoring the old world traditions of Rembrandt and Caravaggio. His outspoken views against the modernist “art establishment” and socialist art programs in Norway has elicited backlash from his peers and, as he claims, negative attention from national authorities.
First featured in HF Vol 34, artist Click Mort takes vintage ceramic figurines and “recapitates” them into whimsical characters spawned from his imagination. In his latest series on view at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, the artist takes influences from his own dreams and nightmares. His exhibition “Delirium Tremens” is named after a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, which often involves hallucinations. Considering this, while his works are infused with nostalgia and humor, one cannot ignore a certain melancholy in them.
This past weekend, Heron Arts debuted “Ass Kicking Contest” (previewed here), a father-son art show from acclaimed artist Wayne White and his son, Woodrow White. A complete spectacle of installation and fine art, the duo presented their respective bodies of work alongside a few massive puppets. The result was a varied display of kitsch and charm. Always finding ways to insert humor into his work, you can see Wayne’s excitement in the large-scale puppets that inhabit the space. They draw back to his time as set designer for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, where he received three Emmys for his innovative work. Bringing him back to his roots as a DIY craftsman and puppet-maker, Wayne’s figures range everywhere from a cubist bust resting along a mirror to an operational 15ft reclining cowboy trying to get his boot on.