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.
When we last caught up with artist Caia Koopman, she was preparing for her 2012 exhibition “Behind Wind and Water” featuring her colorful, tattooed characters. Almost a year in the making, her new series of paintings, “Figments”, opens October 7th at Distinction Gallery. She will display a mixture of her usual motifs and themes, inspired by love, loss and connections. Animal rights and environmentalism are political topics of importance for Koopman which she lightens up with splashes of color. See more after the jump!
Casey Weldon (featured in our current issue, Hi-Fructose Vol. 32) illuminates nature scenes with his bright, electronic color palettes. His latest series of paintings, “Novel Relic,” will debut at Seattle’s Roq La Rue tonight, August 7, alongside Femke Hiemstra’s solo show “Warten am Waldrand” (previewed here).