Jeff Soto (HF Vol. 18) celebrated his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2009 on Saturday night with “Nightgardens” at KP Projects/MKG. We recently discussed the exhibition with Soto in our studio visit here, where Soto shared his continued interest in landscapes: “Nightgardens” is an exploration of the magic and mystery in life coupled very loosely with the tradition of landscape painting. For this show I am using the concept of “nighttime” as a symbol of the unknown. I’m working on creating an imaginary world of magic, monsters and daydreams that exists in a different time and place, yet alludes to issues in our chaotic modern world.”
On Saturday night, Tokyo based artist Yosuke Ueno celebrated his fourth solo exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles with “Beautiful Noise.” Over his career, Ueno has built a fantastic, vibrant universe inhabited by characters like “Hapiko” and “Efil” (“Life”), inspired by Japanese spirits. Here, they find themselves joined by those familiar to Western audiences such as Charlie Brown and Mickey Mouse, decorated with elements of contemporary culture including glittery, graffiti motifs, and Pop iconography. Take a look at our photos from opening night after the jump.
Greg ‘Craola’ Simkin’s childhood memories have long played an important role and inspiration for his artwork. The playfulness of being a child comes together with creatures of the natural world in his mythical landscapes. He calls this world “the Outside”, a place where the impossible becomes possible, and a cast of anthropomorphized animals set out on bizarre adventures. Simkins expands on this world in his upcoming solo exhibition, “Where Am I?” at KP Project/MKG, opening Saturday.
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.
No more than a few inches high, these tiny paintings by Indiana-based artist Mab Graves are very much in the spirit of the winter season. In the slightly off-putting style of Big Eyes’ Margaret Keane (Vol 34), her dolly-eyed misfits adventure through haunting wintery landscapes and county fairs. Inspired by fairytales and classic literature, along the way they make friends with characters like dachshunds and the Dish who ran away with the Spoon. They always seem to be fleeing- emancipated from the bleakness of reality into Graves’ dream world.
What a special gift for someone special, including yourself! This brooch features Mark Ryden’s “Daisy” drawing from “The Gay 90s: West” exhibition (see our coverage here) and is now available in the Hi-Fructose online store. The brooch features a mineral crystal dome and a solid metal back custom stamped with Mark’s logo and a safety pin style attachment. It comes in a black velvet pouch and box with a certificate of authenticity. Check it out in our shop.