Featureless, animal-like characters populate the works of Brendan Monroe. He renders them with visceral textures and biomorphic shapes that evoke some sort of primordial goop from which life emerged. While the Oakland-based artist is known for creating paintings, drawings and wooden sculptures, he recently collaborated with Los Angeles studio Heath Ceramics on a series of ceramic works that will be exhibited in “Blobography,” his solo show opening on November 1 at the same location.
Chinese artist and beekeeper Ren Ri collaborates with the stinging, black-and-yellow insects to create sculptures catalyzed by natural processes. The artist builds geometric, plastic forms and plants the queen bee in the center before introducing the rest of the hive. The bees naturally build their habitat around the wooden sticks inside of structure, creating organic, irregular shapes that contrast with the pristine plastic prisms that encase them.
In her latest series, “Seer,” mixed-media artist Hilary White explores the possibilities of scientific progress and our faith in its explanation of reality. With her unique combination of painting and sculpture, her works have a cosmic feel to them, like portals into other worlds. By combining bright glossy colors with actual light sources and mirrors, her sculptures glow and come alive, becoming a mesmerizing bit of eye candy for the viewer to lose themselves in.
Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Bordalo II creates resourceful assemblages out of the junk he collects in his city’s streets. Using a bit of spray paint, the artist configures the found objects into playful animal portraits. His street art work hybridizes muralism and sculpture. A portrait of an owl conceals layers of scrap metal; a painting of an apple contains bent bicycle tires, cans, wood and cardboard. Bordalo II’s art brings whimsical visions to Lisbon’s streets and invites viewers to imagine creative ways to reuse their discarded items.
Whimsy, humor and fantasy collide in the sculpture of Beijing artist Wang Ruilin. Some pieces are realistic reproductions of animals’ bodies while others manipulate these bodies to create an unexpected effects. His “Horse Play” series feel especially humorous. The horses have expressive eyes and tuck in their necks almost petulantly. In one piece, horses pile on top of each other into a pyramid; at the top a horse stands with his head cocked to one side. Wang highlights each flesh fold on these horses, making their sculptural bodies seem lively.
Troy Coulterman’s resin sculptures evoke the vibrant colors and over-the-top expressions of animations and graphic novels. His illustrative style is somewhat unexpected to experience in three-dimensions. The Canadian artist (who was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 27) recently debuted an exhibition in his hometown, Regina, Saskatchewan, at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Titled “Digital Handshake,” the show takes inspiration from the abstract ways we communicate online. In the candy-colored sculptures, figures appear to dissolve into pixel-like blocks. In the show’s centerpiece, a man and a woman are separated by an abstract mass — perhaps a metaphor for the barrier we put between ourselves and the world as we increasingly opt for digital experiences over physical ones.