The New Contemporary Art Magazine

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French artist Astro takes flat urban surfaces and creates passageways into the void. Using shadows and light, calligraphy-inspired designs and winding curves, the artist’s optical illusions are made for public consumption. And even when they’re not so obvious to some passers-by and cars on a quick route to work, Astro has many of us looking at the big picture.
Ben Howe’s arresting oil paintings offer hyperdetailed and eerie reflections on humanity. A new show at beinArt Gallery in Australia collects his newest paintings under the titled “Weave.” The new show tackles “themes of mortality, isolation, longing, melancholy and loss and sits somewhere between the physical constraints of reality and the anarchic realm of the subconscious.” Howe was last mentioned on here.
Kitt Bennett’s stirring, graphical murals have a particular resonance on paved parking lots, sprawling across urban spaces. The sheer size of these works gives viewers the chance to examine the details of his murals on an intimate level. For the past few years, the Melbourne-based artist has built a reputation in both illustration and public art (and he held a a solo show in a public toilet in 2015).
John Bisbee, who welds and manipulates 12-inch spikes, has always operated under one mantra: "Only nails, always different." In recent pieces, his diverse output bends the nails into an enormous snake, a tree, and more abstract forms. Not only are the subjects depicted varying wildly, but the style in which the nails comprise them: sometimes rigid and geometric, elsewhere chaotic.
Edinburg based artist Sarah Muirhead (covered here) portrays every day people in her mottled, figurative acrylic paintings. The watercolor-like quality of her art lends to her keen observations of the body and skin tones. Muirhead elaborates on her style choice in her artist statement: "The quality of flesh, its contrasting textures and tensions, the density and potential of muscle and the irregularity and dimples in fatty tissue are important in the way I want to describe any given subject. I want the bodies I paint to be a strange mixture of lurid, glistening attraction and true empathic realism avoiding elegant cliches." She continues her unique exploration of the figure in "Bonded," which opens today at Leyden Gallery in London. 
Matt Gordon is a mixed-media artist based in Plymouth, Mich., where he crafts both surreal acrylic paintings and graphite drawings. In these images, skeleton characters, bat-human hybrids, and other creatures interact and frolic in different scenarios. Or, as the artist puts it, his works in both mediums "take place in the same dreamy world of happier times."
Using transparent cloths clad to the canvas, painter Pavel Gempler creates a "second skin, through which the lower pictorial layers shine through and create an irritating doubling," the artist says. The result is both captivating and creates a pixelated effect to his works, which then carry photograph-like benefits of the light.
In Alex Chinneck’s recent work, the sculptor bends and warps otherwise stubborn objects to his will. "Growing up gets me down" is a working oak grandfather clock "knotted" by Chinneck. "Birth, death and a midlife crisis" was an indoor sculpture that "tied a 450-year-old column in the German museum of Kirchheim Unter Teck." The artist was last featured on here.
Roman Klonek’s woodcut prints return in a new show at Galerie vorn und oben in Eupen, Belgium. "Cut²" collects several new works from artist, influenced by vintage posters and pop culture. The show arrives next month at the gallery. Klonek was last mentioned on here.
Painter Peter Ferguson returns to Roq La Rue Gallery with "Skip Forward When Held," bringing his sensibility that blends notes of the Dutch Renaissance, Lovecraftian creatures, and more. The show, running through January 25 at the space, brings new oil paintings to the space. Ferguson was last featured on our site here.

Tom Biddulph and Barbara Ryan

The Amsterdam Light Festival has returned, and with it, a startling new set of light-based public works are on display through Jan. 19. “Disturbance lies at the heart of the exhibition of the eighth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival with its theme 'DISRUPT!'” the event says. “Artists, designers, and architects were challenged to question, test and shake up Amsterdam in alignment with the theme.” Photos by Janus van den Eijnden.
We live in strange times and artists Michael Kerbow and Mike Davis both have something in common: they use surrealism and time travel to address modern and existential issues. Click above to read the Hi-Fructose exclusive interviews with painters Mike Davis and Michael Kerbow about their respective solo showings.

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