The works of Italian artist Paolo Pedroni capture a whimsical and dark world populated by child-like maidens with an aristocratic flair. Though his art is often compared to a cross between Pop Surrealist, Mannerist and Baroque painting, it wasn’t until very recently that Pedroni discovered the Pop Surrealism genre, and he especially gravitated towards the works of Mark Ryden. More than than anything, Pedroni sees his work as a combination of two worlds- the real world in which we live and the fantasy of his own imagination. At first working in street art and graffiti, he eventually ventured into digital art, and most recently, oil painting. With each piece, Pedroni balances elements that are sweet, strange, and decidedly unnerving.
Evolution has produced a baffling diversity of life on Earth. From zebra-striped “zelephants” to camouflaged deer, some of Pop Surrealist Ron English’s most recognizable characters are wonderfully weird and wacky alternatives to nature’s own. His evolutionary marvels populate an alternate universe in his highly anticipated 22-piece exhibition, “NeoNature” for Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. “NeoNature examines the art of evolution, the flaw that propels civilization. The mutation of the ordinary stubbornly conjures new worlds,” English says in his show statement. Created throughout 2014 and 2015, his new paintings switch the colors and patterns of living animals like elephants, giraffes, monarch butterflies, to extinct creatures like dinosaurs- called “NeoNatural creations”. The exhibit will also feature an installation of sculptural works that will take up the majority of Corey Helford’s massive new 12,000 sq ft space.
Pop Surrealist Mark Ryden (Hi-Fructose Vol. 18) has long incorporated alchemy and numerology in his fairytale-like world, filled with symbols and strange letters. The Los Angeles based artist once said that if he hadn’t pursued art, his next choice would have been math or science. For his upcoming exhibition “Dodecahedron”, opening December 10th at Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, Ryden looked to geometry for inspiration. His exhibition is so named after the “dodecahedron”, a 12-sided geometric shape of perfect symmetry and mystery.
Greg Escalante has been an important figure and catalyst of new contemporary art for the past twenty years. Through his work as Copro Gallery director, co-founder of Juxtapoz magazine, and avid art collector, he’s helped catapult some of the scene’s most well known artists to prominence. On Saturday night, he began a new venture with the grand opening of the Gregorio Escalante Gallery in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles. The gallery’s first exhibition showcases some of the most notable and interesting pieces in Escalante’s collection, aptly titled “The Collection.”
Argentinian artist Lucas Lasnier, aka “Parbo”, creates colorful works spanning graphic design, painting, and large scale installations, but he began his career painting street art in Buenos Aires. Parbo is also a founding member of the Kid Gaucho artist collective, previously covered here. His recent works take influence from his roots in letter-based graffiti and stenciling combined with comics and Pop Surrealism.
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.”