The Top 20 Articles of 2011: Part One

by Ken HarmanPosted on

As we prepare for tonight’s New Years Eve festivities, it’s time to take our annual look back at the year. 2011 saw some amazing shows and new artists emerge, and this is our chance to highlight the 20 most popular online articles from the year, as decided by you, our readers.

Our exclusive studio visits with Miss Van, Scott Campbell and Johannah O’Donnell topped the list, along with the all-star ‘In the Wake of Dreams’ show at Thinkspace and our in-depth interview with Jessica Joslin. Newcomers such as Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, Sergio Mora, Barnaby Ward, Laura Bifano and Matt Lyon caught both our eye, and the attention of our readers this year. Get a look at the first ten of twenty most popular online articles from the year, below.

#20 – The Art of José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros – July 2011

A couple months back we covered the Everything but the Kitsch ‘n Sync show over at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles (here). The annual massive group show brings in a plethora of undiscovered and emerging talents and one of the artists that caught our eye was José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros. The Mexican artist’s reimagining of popular Disney characters were such a hit that the gallery has given him his first proper solo show, which will be opening in just a couple weeks time. ‘Disenchanted’ continues Ontiveros’ commentary on sexuality, war, identity and popular culture… oftentimes without the happy ending. The show opens on August 5th, get a look at some of our favorite selections below.

#19 – Studio Visit with Miss Van – March 2011

Filled with fuzzy textures and flesh-tone shades, Miss Van’s new series of drawings, “The Bunny Lover”, explores a more delicate side of her characters’ fantasy world. The series departs from the more sinister palette of black, ochre and dark brown she used for her “Twinkles” solo show, which debuts at Madga Danysz Gallery on March 19. Vintage photographs, prints and posters of full-figured beauty icons fill walls of Miss Van’s softly lit workspace. Whether exotic, theatrical or classic, the found images provide inspiration for the artist’s latest works, such as the poster currently in progress for Cirque du Soleil’s “SAFEWALLS” art project. Nastia Voynovskaya of Hi-Fructose visits Miss Van’s studio and surveys her new series, “The Bunny Lover” and “Twinkles,” below.

#18 – Laura Bifano’s ‘Menagerie Series’ – August 2011

Laura Bifano, whose pristine illustrationwork revolves around animals and nature, intertwining the two oftensurreally, has just finished a series of 10 pieces she calls the”Menagerie Series.” These 10 exceptionally executed pieces mix thedigital with the natural in a very enlightening way. The focus pointsare large, “pixelated” versions of their wildlife ancestors existingin their natural habitats which range to lush forests to underwaterkingdoms. Her fresh take on such a theme is livening and pure, andobviously – beautiful. Laura lives and works in Victoria, BritishColumbia.

#17 – Behind the Scenes with Scott Campbell – March 2011

Following our recent interview, our buddy Scott Campbell participated in the recent Twin Peaks 20th Anniversary Show show (see our coverage here) and in addition to creating a great piece, he also recently published an extensive behind the scenes look at his process, methods and inspiration. Get a glimpse into Scott’s step-by-step below and a more extensive look on his site, below.

#16 – The Art of Barnaby Ward – January 2011

Barnaby Ward has the much-desired gift of continuously producing mesmerizing pieces of illustration perfection. Living on the island paradise of Barbados, Barnaby has illustrated graphic novels, scenes from “Alice in Wonderland” and has drawn a great deal of very attractive women.  “I like drawing pictures of girls with odd companions or in odd locations” as he puts it.  “It doesn’t get much deeper than that.”  Though he downplays it, his work is ripe with scenes that are mysteriously thought provoking and beautiful to look at.

#15 – The Art of Matt Lyon – May 2011

The technicolor images that pour forth from Matt Lyon’s mind are spectacular bursts of artisticwonderment. Brightly colored geometric shapes, rigid in some placesand warped in others, form mystical worlds and visions that seem justbeyond our own world’s possibilities. Inspired by folk art, fine art,illustration and Matt’s own seemingly endless imagination the workexplores just how beautiful color and shape can become. Matt and hiswork are full of an energy that can be visibly felt in each and everyof his one of a kind pieces.

#14 – In the Wake of Dreams (Opening Night) – October 2011

Last weekend, Thinkspace unveiled the highly anticipated debut of new artworks by Stella Im Hultberg, Mari Inukai, Audrey Kawasaki, and Amy Sol – In the Wake of Dreams.” The exhibition is an unofficial “reunion show”, continuing the story of 2007 group show “Four Dreams” at Compound Gallery, where the artists first met. “In the Wake of Dreams” is also a progression of each artist’s skill and imagination.  The inspiration of the four artists ranges from pop culture, animation, fashion, and Alphonse Mucha, found in their unique interpretations of a modern sleeping beauty.  While Audrey Kawasaki and Stella Im Hultburg played with the infinity of negative space, Amy Sol and Mari Inukai filled their dreams with a wonderland of sweet girls, flora, and monsters.

#13 – An Interview with Jessica Joslin – April 2011

Jessica Joslin is the creatrix of a curious menagerie of hybird creatures, composed of a varied anatomy of bone, glass, leather and metal, meticulously assembled to look like real specimens. Her work recalls a sense of the Victorian era’s obsession with detail and death and yet retains a playfulness attributed to circus shows of trained animals performing gravity defying feats. Hi-Fructose was recently able to interview the artist, take a look at her intriguing responses below.

#12 – The Art of Sergio Mora – June 2011

Quirky characters converge in the enchanted landscapes of Barcelona based artist’s Sergio Mora’s paintings, where tattooed women have bunny heads and Dr. Spock appears as a toreador. His colorful world, rendered with immaculate details, have a playful narrative quality; his characters appear in impossible proportions and are grouped with unlikely companions, appearing journeying towards unseen destinations or convene for odd celebrations. View more of the whimsical work below.

#11 – Studio Visit with Johannah O’Donnell – March 2011

“When we first opened Bold Hype in Orlando, for our grand opening show I was looking to get a mix of local, national, and international artists, that way we could bring something completely new but still support the local art scene. After scouting the local venues that host art shows, like cafes, bars, and shops, and doing some research online I picked a handful of my favorite Orlando artists to be in the opening show, Johannah O’Donnell being one of them.”

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