The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Author: Kirsten Anderson

Amsterdam based artist Danny Van Ryswyk has been getting a fair amount of attention here on Hi-Fructose lately, but when I recently told the editors of HF that I would be traveling to the Netherlands to visit Danny (Full disclosure: Danny is exhibiting at my gallery Roq La Rue) they took me up on my offer of turning my visit into a "studio visit" post for the blog. So, without further ado, let’s take a little closer look at Danny’s upcoming work, his studio process, and what makes his work transcend the typical 3D sculpture formula.
To be honest, using the term "drawing" for Portland artist Patrick Kelly's labor intensive abstracts doesn't seem quite right. The oil slick surface of layers upon layers of graphite over watercolor paper undulates and spins with a 3D trompe l'oeil effect. The arduous labor and repetition of perfect parallel curved lines (created by using a handmade jig as a template for a line and infinitesimally inching it over to draw the next llne, and so forth thousands and thousands of times) grants a grounding solidity played off by the swooping loops and arcing shapes eventually created. These shapes invoke various suggestions of imagery, from the curve of seashells, to layers of gleaming broken record albums, to the perfect coils of a geisha's hairdo. These beguiling images capture the perfect stark hardness of man-made technological form while simultaneously evoking the sensuous mathematics the natural bio-organic world builds itself upon. See more after the jump!
Seattle-based artist Redd Walitzki paints silkily sensual portraits of slightly-feral, fairytale women. Influenced by the old world Rococo flourishes of her native Bavaria, Redd creates intricate, swirling laser cut wood canvases whose flourishes echo the fluid use of paint and mixed-media materials within. Her darkly romantic subjects are often shown in moments of ecstasy and communion with the natural world. Her technicolor muses enact a dreamily erotic exploration of both the lure of fleeting modern day high fashion glamor (her subjects are often wearing luminous eye makeup and glossy lipstick) as well as the original meaning of the term glamor, which in ancient times referred to illusory shapeshifting used by supernatural beings to perilously enchant hapless humans. Redd's work can be seen at San Francisco's Modern Eden Gallery this upcoming May.
Marion Peck's new show "Animals" opened Saturday March 30 to a full house at gallerist Michael Kohn's new project space in Los Angeles. Fans, family and well-wishers sipped wine and conversed about which of the 11 new paintings were their favorite. Marion Peck is known for her off kilter, symbolism infused subject matter rendered in a classical style, and this show was no exception. The show runs through April 27 and you can take a look online here. Check out our exclusive opening night photos by Jo David and Marlow Harris after the jump!
Painter Nicola Verlato has just launched a brand spanking new website where viewers can bask in his absolutely masterful paintings of moments captured in a freeze frame. His latest series is based on car crashes, featuring the second right before beautiful free fall become violently catastrophic. Of his work, Nicola says: "I like to investigate chaos through painting. My process allow me to set up (through the use of 3-D initial diagraming, pencil renderings and then finished oil paintings) a chaotic situation through a very methodical system. It's a very contradictory situation (chaos depicted through meticulous staging - editor) but I think contradictions are the essence of painted images." See more images after the jump!
Jean-Pierre Roy (Hi-Fructose Vol. 18) is opening a new show of his beautifully ominous paintings at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles on November 3. Known for his gorgeously rendered, atmospheric paintings of buildings in various states of decay in seemingly unpopulated landscapes, Pierre's work reads less sci-fi than that of an inevitable moment that waits just around the corner in our age of potential environmental and societal collapse. His new works however, often feature the artist himself as a giant amongst already gigantic ruins, expressing the fundamental dichotomy within mankind to prodigiously create while simultaneously causing rampant destruction.
Australian artist duo Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz, under their moniker Pip and Pop, create magical installations out of brightly dyed sugar, glitter, and tiny cheap plastic toys. Created in a manner similar to Buddhist Sand Mandalas (whose profound impermanence of their time consuming compositions are meant to be a meditation on the transitory nature of life), Pip and Pop's works jump to 3D territory, oozing past boundaries in a day glo riot of neon and sparkle. Infused with plenty of Kawaii spirit and pop psychedelia, and saturated in the fluorescent colors used in children's toys and head shop posters, these playful yet meticulously-crafted islands of sugar speak to the ideas of material abundance and dreamy nostalgia of youth.
Under the Influence - an ongoing series by Kirsten Anderson for Hi-Fructose, which explores artists of other eras who influenced today's contemporary art. You may not be immediately familiar with the name Alan Aldridge, but you most likely know his work. A legendary graphic designer (who continues to do masterful work to this day), he is known for his iconic cover of Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album, as well as the provocative poster for Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls (which earned him not only admiring praise but a warrant for his arrest under obscenity charges), and his seminal work with the Beatles, to touch on just the tip of the iceberg of Aldridge’s formidable career.
Introducing "Under the Influence," a new weekly blog series curated by Hi-Fructose Editor at Large and Roq la Rue gallery’s Kirsten Anderson. Kirsten’s brain is a veritable treasure trove of knowledge concerning the historical influences of past art movements such as Symbolist, Surrealist, Fantastic Realism, Futurism, Early graphics, Surf, Punk etc., upon some of today’s new contemporary art. Many thanks to Kirsten and we look forward to this new enlightening series.
Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens is known for her subtly startling work, making her in demand commercially. However, in her personal work it could be argued she seems to shine brightest. In her provocative series "Smoking Kids", Janssens' imagery weaves itself around the line between being slightly discomfiting, to darkly humorous, then back to disconcerting again. This reason, as well as the dreamy luminosity of her serene subjects, makes the series remain compelling throughout. Read more after the jump!

Seattle based artist Stacey Rozich has gained a quiet following for her unusual, graphically bold, richly colored drawings.

Much like artist multi media artist Nick Cave (HF Vol 20) Rozich blends images and patterns found in multiple traditional cultures around the world, creating something new but that resonates with a familiarity and pulls on ancient archetypal memories. Enigmatic creatures are adorned in shamanic-like masks as they cavort with varieties of real and imagined beasts and partake in both mundane activities as well as the charged spiritual tensions that the best unwatered down storytales contain. Her latest show, "The Last Wave" opens at Flatcolor Gallery in Seattle April 5th. - by Kirsten Anderson


French artist Ciou creates mixed media works on paper and canvas featuring her own "necro-kawaii" cosmology of characters mainly centered around witch-y nature girls and their animal companions. Her darkly charming works are creepy in a very playful way, reminiscent of the drawings the cool, bad girls would do in high school on their notebooks in between sneaking out to smoke clove cigarettes behind the school. Her new works feature florescent psychedelic colors as a foil for her obsessive black line work. - Kirsten Anderson

Fans of painter Jonathan Viner and his moody, evocative figurative works can get a peek at his latest paintings when Sloan Fine Art unveils his latest at Scope Art Fair in New York next week. Can't make it? Well then, we have a sneak peek of the work just for you, exclusively for Hi Fructose after the jump. -Kirsten Anderson

Ardent fans of the pop surrealist maestro Mark Ryden can pick up a new tome of work spanning Ryden's impressive career published by influential publishing company Taschen. The book is a gorgeous, giant piece work in itself, with beautifully reproduced images, tons of essays (including one by yours truly, featured in Hi Fructose Vol 11) gold leaf cover details, and many foldouts (some as wide as 59 inches across!) so the incredible detail of the paintings and drawings can be poured over.

Extra lucky fans in southern California can RSVP to a signing for the book on March 1st with the normally reclusive artist at the Taschen Store in Beverly Hills  by contacting Taschen at (310) 274-4300. -Kirsten Anderson

Artist Judith Schaechter creates shockingly beautiful, heart rending images using the art of stained glass versus traditional painting. These moving images, often depicting longing and suffering, are meant to act as a catalyst to contemplating the duality that suffering doesn't exist without ecstatic joy as well. Schaecter's images also employ a duality in both the renaissance type imagery combined with a semi-cartoonish, contemporary sensibility. The artist often displays the windows with light boxes, bringing to mind not only the image of light through cathedral windows, but the bright richness of illuminated pixels on a computer screen versus the flatness of canvas.-Kirsten Anderson

Hi-Fructose favorite Camille Rose Garcia (Vol 8) is following up her successful interpretation of Lewis Carroll's " Alice In Wonderland" with a new illustrated version of the Brothers Grimm story "Snow White" and exhibition of the complete works for the book at Michael Kohn Gallery next month. Illuminating Garcia's trademark witchy line art with her easter egg color palette- this book is sure to delight her legion of fans! Garcia will be signing books on her West Coast book tour at the end of March so check to see if she will be swinging by a city near you! View more preview images from the book and exhibition after the jump. -Kirsten Anderson

While many painters these days are painting crystalline forms in their work, Seattle artist Debra Baxter actually uses the real thing for her conceptually driven and dynamic sculptures. Created in crystal, carved alabaster, resin and paint, the work is often an absurdist recreation of everyday artifacts (such as her crystal brass knuckles, glittery barf bag, or crystal and alabaster gun holster) or a darkly humorous exploration of the ephemeral nature of relationships and our desire for deeper links to the temporal and spiritual.- Kirsten Anderson

No matter where you stand on the "taxidermy as art" debate, it is beyond question that some fascinating and dramatic work is being produced in the genre. Les Deux Garcons, the Netherlands based artist duo of Michel Vanderheijden van Tinteren and Roel Moonen, obtain ethically sourced (we checked) creatures from taxidermists and vets to craft their wondrous chimeras and fantastical siamese twins. Reveling in the whimsically absurd as well as providing subtle commentary on the role of animals in mankind's world, Les Deux Garcons fanciful beasts are shocking and compelling at the same time. - Kirsten Anderson

Self- taught painter Suzanne Falk paints photo realistic montages focused on nostalgia. Depicting childhood storybooks and the type of kitschy knick knacks found on pre-teen bookshelves worldwide, the Arizona based painter seeks to reconnect the viewer with a less jaded time, full of the amorphous anxiety of childhood ending but also youth's simple summer day pleasures. -Kirsten Anderson

Self- taught painter Suzanne Falk paints photo realistic montages focused on nostalgia. Depicting childhood storybooks and the type of kitschy knick knacks found on pre-teen bookshelves worldwide, the Arizona based painter seeks to reconnect the viewer with a less jaded time, full of the amorphous anxiety of childhood ending but also youth's simple summer day pleasures. - Kirsten Anderson

Painter Stephan Balleaux is deeply entrenched in the mysticism of painting and its role in a world that grows increasingly more digital and focused on photographic documentation to portray the "truth" of what the world is. Balleaux's canvases (he paints in oils and sometimes uses pastels) often feature loosely rendered, cinematic images culled from film and documentary stills.

These are then embellished with dark, sinewy, ectoplasmic shapes that seemingly pop into the scene as if from another dimension. These strange emanations seem to radiate their own sentience, as if existentialism morphed into a somewhat tangible shape. The blobs of stretched out and twisted paint are actually all trompe l'oeil, as flat as the painting they seemingly ooze out of. Clearly influenced by artists such Gerhard Richter, Balleaux's paintings take the idea of using the methodology behind different mediums to create paintings that evoke a fuzzy surrealist-noir vibe but sharpen it up to create dynamism within the static. - Kirsten Anderson

The venerable printing establishment Pressure Printing is releasing a special print by Travis Louie entitled "Sarah and Emmett" based on a painting of the same name. Owner Brad Keech has built up a stellar reputation as a publisher of gorgeous hand printed and embossed prints that offer up something a little more special, detailed and handcrafted than the standard giclee or lithograph, so much so that he was picked by artist Mark Ryden to run Ryden's own imprint Porterhouse.

For "Sarah and Emmett", Pressure Printing has teamed up for the second time with historical fantasist Travis Louie, known for his immaculately painted daguerrotype-style images of kindly monsters in Victorian garb. Each print is additionally hand titled by Louie, who arguable has the best handwriting of any artist working today!More images after the jump.

Award winning Canadian ceramicist Dirk Staschke will be opening an enticing show at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington this March, entitled "Falling Feels A lot Like Flying." Showing a specially made exhibition of bountiful-to-the-point-of obscene food tableaus, Staschke's work is notable for its large scale size and impressively realistic depictions of abundant stacks of desserts, king's table cornucopias, and strings of strung up animals about to be prepared for the table.

Inspired by 16th century Vanitas paintings and the opulence of the Baroque period, Staschke's work mixes extravagant decadence with a sense that such seductive overindulgences are on the cusp of deteriorating and our age of excess and over consumption may be about to crash and burn. Staschke graciously gave Hi Fructose a sneak peek of the show, more images after the jump..-Kirsten Anderson


Painter Seamus Conley's work is a blend of photo-realistic imagery and moody magical realism. His enigmatic paintings feature people with their back predominantly to the viewer or faces concealed in some manner, often a hard visual trick to pull off yet executed successfully through Conley's combination of intricate detail and romantically isolated atmospheres. Dressed in modern clothing, his subjects are often juxtaposed against (and sometimes gazing longingly at) epic, timeless landscapes, or modern settings that nonetheless have a dreamlike, pristine aura, evoking contemplation of the transient nature of time, our place in the world, and moments of transcendence found in even the seemingly mundane. View more images after the jump. -Kirsten Anderson

Alongside the epic resurgence of non-traditional figurative and narrative art, the time honored tradition of landscape painting has morphed quietly itself, producing a sub genre of artists who create works of serene yet semi-apocalyptic landscapes, such as Jean-Pierre Roy (HF Vol.18) and Gregory Euclide (HF Vol.17) for example, an emotional tug of war between the longing for the diminishing natural world versus a painful look at what seems destined to be.

Portland painter Adam Sorensen falls within this category, with his imaginary worlds of crystalline structures and bright irradiated colors contrasting with smooth, lava flow dark bumps and luminous waterfalls. Oddly cheerful in it's otherworldly- ness, the work invokes the idea of a melted, post-mankind landscape and gives the landscapes their star turn as seemingly sentient personalities of their own. See more after the jump. -Kirsten Anderson

We profiled Christopher Conn Askew in HF Vol.16, so we thought it was high time to see what he has been up to lately. With a rabid cult of fans for his razor sharp line work and arcane imagery, the semi-reclusive Askew finally gave in and held his first full solo show at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles, entitled "96 Tears" last November. On display were a series of new paintings that showcase Askew's distinctive punk bohemian demimonde imagery in his trademark palette of reds, ochres, blacks and powdery blues. His theatrical imagery draws from his years as a tattooist, yet his work continues to beautifully evolve to where his paintings evoke a feeling of a much earlier, old world era. -Kirsten Anderson

Painter Thomas Woodruff's powerful, lushly dark and decadent paintings are full of macabre wonders, strange allegories that weave the troubling effects our current culture inflicts upon us with a sense of fantastical majesty in an opulent swirl of visual alchemy. These intense and intricate narratives call to mind both the symbolic botanical grandiosities of 16th Century Dutch and Flemish painters, to 20th Century Fantastic Realism.

His work is reined in from becoming too self important by the slightest touch of cartoon-ishness, with glimpses of modern life interjected within surrealistic narratives, such as tattoo and body modification imagery, or the use of contemporary couture/subculture costumery. - Read Kirsten Anderson's interview with the artist after the jump.

Artist Kim Keever’s luminous, strangely affecting images are on display this month at David BSmith Gallery.A former painter, Keever used his back round as an engineer to instead start creating 3Dlandscape “sets” built inside a giant fish tank. He then fills the tank with water, lights it withvarying light sources, and then adds plumes of pigment and other ephemera to create cloud andfog effects. Once the scene is set he photographs the tank as the pigments roil like coffee creamclouds, and then exhibits the results. The effect is that of an enigmatic, quite painterly scene thatevokes not only the great landscape painters of the 19th century, but create also conversely bringsto mind primordial alien worlds that are similar enough to ours to look familiar, yet are alsodifferent and artificial enough to cause a slight yet fascinating discordance when viewing.The artist recently talked with Hi Fructose about his compelling work. - Kirsten Anderson

Here at Hi Fructose we love all manner of things that gobump in the night, and so always look forward to the Halloween season. Thisyear brings a special treat via artists Daniel Martin Diaz and Paula CatherineValencia, who curated a special show entitled “Santa Muerta” which opens in Tucson,Arizona on Friday October 28th. Meant to originally pay tribute to the darkerside of Southwestern spiritual tradition ("Santa Muerte" is a death goddess figure who is purported to have arisen as a convergence of Catholic and Meso-American beliefs, and whose worship was forced underground only to re-emerge with a bang in the late 20th century), the show has since organically branched out father withthe inclusion of artists from around the globe offering up beautiful albeitslightly spooky offerings for the exhibition. - Kirsten Anderson


Kate MccGwire, whom we currently feature in Volume 21, will beshowing two new works this winter at Maison Rouge in Paris. These newsculptural pieces, entitled Quell and Lure, both showcase MccGwires trademarkfeather covered sculptures that express both a sensuous flow as well as aconstricted tension. Join Kirsten Anderson after the jump for an in depth look at the two new works, here on Hi-Fructose.

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