The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Author: Zach Tutor

So Youn Lee presents delicate pen and ink landscapes full of ethereal searching and mystery. Encompassing a passion for detail, Youn Lee uses the ability to create a trove of niches throughout the pieces where these dense pockets of sprawling activity are filled to the brim with mystical happenings. Though some of the pieces deal with eerie themes they do not harbor any fear and instead invite you into their pristine mysteriousness. So Youn Lee lives and works in Pasadena, California. See more images after the jump!
A lot has been said about Yue Minjun's iconic self portraits throughout the years, his status as one of China's most outstanding artists and his relation to the Cynical Realist movement. But when you boil down all of it and get to the heart of the man creating the work you'll find someone searching for answers rather than posing with a cynical outlook. Minjun's creations are works of escapism that were imagined while he was looking for direction and enlightenment in post-Cultural Revolution China. Read more after the jump!

Through a layering process Scott Hazard creates photographic and text sculptures that develop two dimensions into three dimensional constructs. Hazard's goal with these photographic sculptures and font filled landscapes is to capture the viewer within the pieces. As Hazard says, "looking into them creates an atmosphere of in-betweenness which helps frame the small extractions and resonances of the world featured in each work." Read more after the jump!

Seung Mo Park uses giant swaths of stainless steal meshing to create his complex and stunning works of art. Beginning with a projected photograph Park slowly layers the wire meshing via cuts and welding until he arrives at a three dimensional sculpture of his subject. In his latest body of work these sculptures depict a woman from a dream Park had. See more here.

The beautiful little oddities that Chris Pell illustrates are developed through stream of consciousness or as Chris says, "I don't like to think too much on what I'm drawing."  As I like to see it, it's Chris's pure imagination taking over and the end result is a nice portal to an alternate universe.  In fact, this is how Chris likes too look at it as well. "I like to imagine stories or situations I draw exist in some other universe," Chris says, "without sounding too cheesy."  Science and religion are two of Chris's main influences and his work features a strong undercurrent of both themes.  Chris lives and works in London. - Zach Tutor

Through pastel colored shanty towns and sun faded depictions of barren, long lost urban landscapes Amze Emmons' illustrations provide a disparate view of what may be.  Emmon bases his work off of visual stimuli collected from various news sources and filters them through his imagination dissecting them into socially rich comments on ruin and the future of society.  Emmon lives and works in Philadelphia. - Zach Tutor


Through an extremely toxic, resin layering process Brooks Salzwedel creates multi-faceted pieces that seek to shine light towards the also toxic affect society is having on nature. Salzwedel's spectral, foggy dreamscapes often include massive man made contraptions looming desperately in the midst of their destructive paths, hints of nature's prior existence dotting the scene and we the viewers - thanks to Salzwedel's entrancing artistic process - gaze on these monsters from the safety and comfort of the as of yet undisturbed thicket. The irony being that our safety is simply a gag designed by Salzwedel's pencil which creates the illusion of a natural window, a window not to the future but to remind us of our past. Brooks has a show of brand new work opening on March 31st at George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles. - Zach Tutor

Brad Kunkle paints ethereal females in thegrasp of the supernatural. Following in the footsteps of artistssuch as Sir John Everett Millais and Maxfield Parrish, Kunkle'spaintings glow with an eerie luminescence which is created fromKunkle's own unique process of gilding and his limit ofcolors. The result, as well as Kunkle's goal, is a surreal presencethat transcends what a person might normally see. This vision works well in his portrayal of women being onewith nature, almost organically linked to their surroundings. Oneextra quality of the paintings, when viewed in person, as Kunkle likesto point out, is that they seem to become living things as thesurrounding light shimmers off the metallic surfaces adding to theover all sense of some other reality. Kunkle lives and works in NewYork City. -Zach Tutor

The ferocious rate that Yoshitomo Nara's work vibrates at is anundeniable chord of resounding, rock and roll honesty. It is a bodyof work which embodies the soft as well as hard, the violent, theloving... it embraces all the facets of culture which have influencedits creator's fertile imagination. From his first real art show in1984 to the present day Nara has produced a body of work unlike anyother modern artist and has cemented his position as one of theforemost artists of our time. Critic Josh Kun describes Nara's workas a "punk rock visual articulation of what it feels like not to beseen and what it feels like to be so bored you don't even careanymore." This body of work, as large and as voracious as it is, haslong needed a worthy overview. - Zach Tutor

The dream worlds of Jung-Hyoun Lee arealternate universes even unto themselves. They are bits and pieces ofcold rooms and figures that linger on the bent horizon of a silentnightmare long forgotten. Jung-Hyoun is somehow able to conjure upthe remnants of these voided dreamscapes and piece them back together,presenting them to us as beautifully mysterious pen and pencildrawings. Currently Lee is at work on a melancholic graphic novelcompletely void of words. It's about twin brothers and is drafted completely inlight gray pencil. Lee lives and works in South Korea. - Zach Tutor

Jeff Ramirez's superb, deeply personal paintedportraits feature figures whose faces are obscured or hidden completely. When asked,Ramirez explained that they reference society's current obsessions with social networks and the overwhelming amount of so called "personal" photographs on them. The obscuring of the subjects also exploresJeff's trouble trying to assimilate within different groups as ateenager. Jeff currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. - Zach Tutor

Winston Chmielinski says that it has never been his intention to create something solid with his paintings and thus we are immersed into his world of brightly painted dreams which juxtapose with a shimmering serpentine quality. There is a great deal of intimacy that flows through the veins of Winston's paintings, the ecstasy or desire is well construed through the thick brush strokes, and this intimacy allows passion to be viewed on canvas. - Zach Tutor

Tomer Hanuka's brand new monograph,"Overkill," offers a hand chosen selection from the omnipotentillustrator's luminous body of work over the past decade. Born andraised in Israel but later making his way to the United States toattend the School of Visual Arts in New York, Hanuka's work has aninnate solidarity, complex with intricacies uncommon and profound.Flipping through the pages of his work one becomes immersed byHanuka's powerful ability to create existence and propose massivestory-lines from single images, images which resonate with all formsof emotional metaphor and that are awash with exotic and brilliantcolors. As a whole, Tomer's work is a symphony which he conducts withcomplete passion, every new movement a delight to the senses. Hanukalives and works in New York City. - Zach Tutor

Allan Innman's photorealistic paintingscommandeer nostalgia with a unique and immense pleasure. They glowwith the ability to trap the essence of memory on canvas and, bypresenting the objects by themselves, allow the viewer a grandplayground for their imaginations to run amok. By doing this Innmantransports the viewer directly back to that strange and ideal placeknown as childhood and once again imbues a sense that all things areinteresting and worth investigating. You're never too old to be youngagain and Innman's work is the perfect divining rod back. Allan livesand works in Mississippi. - Zach Tutor

The artwork of Australian artist Kirra Jamisonis a pure aesthetic melody of theimperfect. With work reflecting both light and dark imagery, Jamisondisplays a knack for the beautiful even when dealing with the morbid,such as piles of bones or spiderwebs. This propensity for pulchritudeis a rarity and takes a new form each time it decides to gift itselfto an individual. In the case of Jamison it presents itself in herwork's ability to be immediately recognizable as their own entity.That is, work with a distinct, though relatable, mind of it's ownworth getting to know. Kirra lives and works in Melbourne. - Zach Tutor

Glenn Arthur is themaven of neo pin-up. His portraits of gorgeously mysterious womenseeks to revitalize the idea of the erotic pin up for a new generationwhile keeping and luxuriously building upon the ethos of those beforehim. His work commingles an astounding myriad of influences andmetaphors to ponder and salivate over while also, and this is key,offering a third dimension: each piece includes distinct and symbolic,however small, clues as to what that woman's story is. Arthur, byoffering so much to his viewers, seamlessly succeeds in all areas ofartistic ability. Arthur lives and works in Orange County,California. "The Mechanics of Seduction," a solo show, is currentlyup until November 13th at Art Whino Galleryin Maryland. - Zach Tutor

The work of James Jirat Patradoon ispure, electrically charged visual nirvana. Shouts of neon colorwrithe their way through the coarse black veins of Patradoon's linework, reaching the fevered pitch of aesthetic punk rock. Theresulting explosions of voltage and lightning are some sort ofneo-illustration portraits of crazed, masked biker bandits and theirdevil worshipping women. Violence and masculinity are prominentthemes, but also an idea of true freedom reigns in each piece callingout to the viewer to live their life wild, free and at the speed oflight. James lives and works in Sydney, Australia. - Zach Tutor

Meticulous, breath-takingly elaborate, and original are the firstwords that come to mind (along with a flurry of statements such as"beautiful!," "wow!," or "Jesus Christ!") when viewing Vasco Mourão's architecturally designed, insanely detaileddrawings. The works speak for themselves as pillars of complex renderings done in pen on large sheets of paper, withseemingly endless pieces of their puzzling arrangements to gaze over.These larger works included here are thoroughly backed by a hugeamount of smaller pieces which can be gawked upon over on Vasco'sblog. Vasco lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. - Zach Tutor

Ryan Browning's landscapes are adventurousspectacles and Browning plays with alternate reality as if he is adirect descendant of the idea. The worlds that appear in his workaren't so much unreal as they are visions of what might be. Aschildren we create things that don't truly exist, but continue topretend they exist, playing games in the backyard or going on treasurehunts in the forest. Browning's paintings are the gold at the end ofthose rainbows. He makes reality out of the unreal and I lovebelieving in his work. - Zach Tutor

Upon which point does the artwork of Von separate into surrealism from it's obvious points of realism? And whois to say it truly even departs entirely from realism? The mysteriousqualities of Von's fine line work linger on a delicate line betweenthe two forms, seemingly in a constant state of limbo foreverperpetuating the idea of what is real and unreal. Or perhaps it'ssimply a lapse in our own judgement, a tiny millisecond where oursight has tricked us and Von's work is the photographic capturing ofthis quark. Not only are the pieces thoroughly thought provoking butthey are also a study in technique, one which blends the digital andanalytical world seamlessly. The illustrations speak for themselvesin a tone that is both immediate and fleeting. - Zach Tutor

French artist Lou Ros's portraits are revealingspectacles of human decisions and inner turmoils. Ros expresses theseemotions through jousts of color and disfigurement which creates quitethe unusual, but splendid final image. Lou started doing graffiti atage seventeen and found painting to be a natural progression, so he taught himself by injecting influences into his mind fromthe realms of the cubists and surrealists. The resulting body of workleaves much to be pondered upon and admired, especially his mostrecent pieces which deal with the social idea of ourselves on theInternet. - Zach Tutor

Antony Micallef likens himself to amad scientist. The British artist wants to create a world where -without our knowledge - synthetic and giftedly un-pure beings slowlyinfiltrate our everyday consumerist onslaught. Something like a virusthat infects our central nervous system and attaches itself to ouroptic nerves providing pornographic, seductive images across ourviewing plateau. Highly pop influenced with a great deal of Basquiatin his blended, most likely alcoholic beverages Micallef provides anerotic explosion of color to play with our senses and massage ourimaginations to climax. Antony Micallef has a solo show opening atLazarides on September 9th in London. - Zach Tutor

Leilani Bustamante's work cuddlesyou with it's beauty and then whispers in your ear the nightmares andspectres that are just beyond the pale light. Growing up on theoutskirts of suburbia between Santa Rosa and Fort Bragg, California,Bustamante's youth was full of contrasting images revolving aroundgrowth and the yet undeveloped rural areas near Fort Bragg. Thesepoints of views evolved into themes of decay versus growth and surfaceversus what is underneath, culminating in her artwork as darklyinviting images, full of mystery but also very full of life. You canview her work in her debut solo show, "Prey: New Works by LeilaniBustamante" opening August 20th at Modern Eden Galleryin San Francisco. - Zach Tutor

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. - Zach Tutor

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamtof in your philosophy" Hamlet exclaims to his best friend after seeingthe ghost of his father at the end of Act 1 of Shakespeare's Hamlet.The statement sets the tone for the rest of Hamlet but more so, itputs into words the mystery of art quite exquisitely. Tessar Lo'sart is a perfect example of things whichwords cannot describe. They are living dreams, placed upon canvasesby unforeseen forces brewed deep within Tessar's imagination. Andthough philosophy seeks to explain such magic, the words are best leftunsaid as the beauty of the work, the actual piece you see in front ofyou - defying all logic - is real. It is a real thing. Tessar livesand works in Toronto, Canada. - Zach Tutor

The work of Brian Donnelly is at firstsomething near electric shock, a volt that causes one to stand erectand gaze with mouth open in wonderment at the strange beasts thatappear before them. For what are these creatures? Human bodies withanimal's heads that are dripping with... glue? These questions thatarise allow Donnelly a strong hold on his viewers and allow him toexplore many themes and metaphors through his attachments onto nude,human bodies. Donnelly wants you to wonder "why?" as that's where thefun lies, as with trying to answer these questions Donnelly's arttakes root visually. Work such as this is hard to shake. - Zach Tutor

Jonathan Bergeron, aka Johnny Crap, is adevious and slick painter. Though Canadian (he's from Montreal) hiswork combines contemporary American surrealist themes with mexicansugar skulls and multitudes of pop and urban culture all into a nicelypowerful punch of fresh, artistic air. On par with the number ofthemes he works with is the array of mediums Bergeron uses, which isjust about every medium available. Where most would lack in oneaspect or another of a different media, Bergeron shines across theboard and brings is signature style to each and every particulardeviation. He's certainly a force to be reckoned with and alsoenjoyed. - Zach Tutor

I don't know about you but, when I really sit down and think about it,nightmares are fantastically beautiful ruminations of our innermostconscious, pure imaginations so to say. This is no better expressedthan through the work of Russian artist, Ivan Solyaev. His haunting landscapes aresurrounded by icons of the apocalypse, sly references to pop cultureand seem to deal head on with the idea of ghosts and death. Themorbid quality of air is juxtaposed by the stark grey and white makingthe pieces seem as though they're from long ago or some other placeand time, certainly from a creative mind unlike any other. - Zach Tutor

The sparse, alleged landscapes that Greg Eason fails to provide behind his provocativesubjects leave much to mind to ponder upon; a free range for ourimaginations to reign supreme thanks to Eason's perfectly drawnsubjects which act almost as ingredients. The negative space andsense of depth is what Eason wants us to deal with, the emptinessprevailing over the subjects, and with this obvious freedom of spacewhy are the subjects so seemingly trapped? What can be derived fromthe symbolism of his subjects? A sense of mortality seems strong andbeckons Ozymandias by Shelley, "Round the decay / Of that colossalwreck, boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch faraway." - Zach Tutor

Pamela Tait uses colored pencils as hermedia of choice and creates portraits that are exquisite destinationsfor the eyes. The added combination of phrases, usually conjoinedwith the subject in some form or fashion, add an extra layer of depththat is sometimes poignant and sometimes comical, other timesmysterious. These elements - which are sometimes very design basedand lend their hand to a sort of pop art feel in her work - makePamela's work quite unique in a sea of contemporary portrait makers.Pamela lives with her husband in the north of Scotland and will behaving a solo show this September at FB69 Galleryin Köln, Germany. - Zach Tutor

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