Tattoo artist, painter, and sculptor Fred Laverne has a dark surrealist sensibility, blending in odes to pop culture and pulp tropes into his work. The artist resides in Menton, France, and has garnered a reputation in both tattooing and fine arts, practices he keeps in parallel.
Telmo Miel, the artist duo consisting of Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann, brings their surreal, distinct collaborative work to Thinkspace Projects with a new show. "Encounters," opening on February 1, offers several pieces created over the past year.
Reza Bahmani's oil paintings, with each's distinctive texture and scale, carry a distinct intimacy. In his recent show at Saless Gallery an accompanying score that required the use of headphones further beckoned viewers to focus on the massive portraits.
Luca Ledda’s surreal works deal with both our conception of the world and our consumption of its resources. The Turin artist offers these scenes in murals and gallery work across the globe. Recent projects include pieces in Belgium, Mexico, Bosnia, and beyond.
Shozy's illusionary murals use subtle techniques that enhance the life of a work. For instance, with the pieces above, packing bikes into a “hole” in the structure, uses reflective chrome paint that will change hues with the sky of the day.
For more than a decade, Jan Vormann has used LEGOs to craft “dispatchwork” for centuries-old structures, public spaces across the globe, and other eroded areas. Within these pieces, which take hours and hours to create, he hides passageways and windows that ignite the imagination. The multi-colored blocks can sometimes have a glitch-like effect, when activating otherwise everyday spaces. These projects have appeared in Korea, various parts of the U.S., his native Berlin, and beyond.
With "Scatter My Ashes on Foreign Lands," Amir H. Fallah's largest solo museum exhibition is currently on display at MOCA Tucson. Exploring identity and the immigrant experience, his vibrant portraits of veiled subjects, botanical paintings examining classical Dutch work, and a new series of autobiographical pieces are included in the exhibition. Fallah was last featured on our site here.
With Leon Keer's recent output, the painter continues to craft illusionary gallery work, murals, and installations that play with depth and nostalgia. A recent piece for Thinkspace's anniversary show, titled "Addicted" (below), also saw the artist toying with lenticular painting. On his Instagram page, Keer has also been sharing his anamorphic rooms, in which he moves in and out of the scenes to show their actual planes.
Unit London is hosting a retrospective and memorial show to honor the late Tom French, the brilliant young painter who lost his battle with cancer on Christmas Day 2019. "Transcend" offers a riveting set of mostly monochromatic works, 16 in total, from the artist, who was born in 1982. The show runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 29 at the space.
Bisa Butler offers new narrative quilts with two exhibits this spring, at Claire Oliver Gallery and her first solo museum effort at The Katonah Museum of Art. The fiber artist creates startling portraits and scenes with fabric, with her work often being mistaken for paintings. An extended feature on her work appears in Hi-Fructose Vol. 54. Her gallery show runs Feb. 29 through April 18, and her museum show runs March 15 through June 14.
The illusionary works of Thomas Medicus include "What It Is Like to Be," an anamorphic sculpture consisting of 144 hand-painted strips of glass that reveal new images when turned. Each of the strips were painted separate from another, and specifically, the new images are revealed when the piece is turned 90 degrees.
The illustrations and personal work of artist Jay Torres have a dark surrealist edge. The El Paso-raised artist, now based in Pasadena, moves between analogue and digital tools to craft his creations.
Daisy Collingridge crafts wearable, stitched suits inspired by what's contained beneath our skin. The artist's background is in fashion, but "her practice has continued to revolve around textiles and fabric manipulation but has developed into the realms of sculpture and performance," her site says.
Photographer Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case on a project focused on the Boda Boda motor taxis roaming Nairobi. As the drivers crafted vibrant and accessorized bikes to stand out each other, the pair worked with a set of them to create attire to match. The result is the photo series “Boda Boda Madness.”
Vivian Greven's oil and acrylic paintings, bridging Greco-Roman art and a contemporary sense of depth and space, are studies of intimacy. The artist's command of color and negative space offer riveting results, her treatment of the canvas as a membrane allowing her figures to move in and out of the plane.
Toshio Saeki, the legendary Japanese artist known for blending eroticism, horror, and humor in his works, passed away in November at the age of 74. During his life, he was given the moniker “the Godfather of Japanese Erotica,” amassing a dedicated underground following before a widespread, renewed interest in his work arrived during the past decade. Among the symbols of that resurgence were appearances in shows at Nanzuka, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Art Basel in Hong Kong, Jiu Xiang Ju Gallery in Taipei, and Arts Factory in Paris.
In John Jacobsmeyer’s parallel reality, pop culture and art history collide with the backdrops of his suburban youth. In his third solo show at Gallery Poulsen, titled "Locus Colossus," he offers new paintings and linocuts with these startling convergences. The show runs through Feb. 15 at the Denmark venue. (Jacobsmeyer was last featured on our site here.)
With "Kurobōzu/Dark Stranger," artist Nicola Roos depicts the real-life figure of Yasuke, "the only Black Samurai in Feudal Japan." Using recycled tire tubes, textiles, and other materials, the artist crafts four different representations of the historical figure for the show at Ever Gold [Projects] in San Francisco, running through Feb. 29. Roos pulls on the varying threads of Yasuke's story, though no official recording or portrait of the artist exists. Below, you can see one sumo scene depicting a wrestler some have surmised to be Yasuke.
A writhing amalgamation of architectural forms is currently inhabiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park's 18th-century Chapel. The installation, from artist Saad Qureshi, is titled “Something About Paradise” and explores what the idea of “paradise” means to people of differing backgrounds.
Carrying a mystical undercurrent, Chie Shimizu’s sculptures are rooted in an exploration of "the significance of human existence.” The artist, born in Japan and based now in Queens, New York, has crafted these riveting figures over the past couple decades, moving between different scales and textural approaches.
The middle-aged figures inhabiting Madeleine Pfull's paintings are extracted from 1980s suburbia. The Australian artist has said that "beautifully painting mundane heroism is a large aspect of my work.” Pfull has said that she has modeled for herself to craft the paintings, donning wigs and accessories to embody the energy of her subjects.
Lisa Lach-Neilson’s vulnerable oil paintings often examine identity. The artist, hailing from Denmark, has shown across the globe over the past few years. She’s been painting professionally since 2012, with a background in clothing design as a master's student at Royal Danish Academy of Design.
Teiji Hayama's oil paintings, often depicting the celebrities of yesterday, meditate on the idea of celebrity and how it's evolved in the digital age. In his new show at Unit London, titled "Fame," the artist offers 17 paintings that feature the likes of Monroe, Taylor, and Bowie. The show runs from Jan. 16 through Feb. 15 at the space.
Oscar Oiwa brings his immersie mural work to USC Pacific Asia Museum with the new installation "Dreams of a Sleeping World." The artist describes this new work as a "360° dreamscape," created over two weeks and handrawn with 120 Sharpie markers. Oiwa was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
The mixed-media assemblages of Christopher Bales come to La Luz de Jesus Gallery for a new show next month. “Death, Renewal, and the Second Enlightenment," running Feb. 7-March 1, collects new works from the artist, who finds material at flea markets and other troves of forgotten, storied gems. His works are known for having a particularly spiritual quality, with the gallery offering more context:
Painter Maha Ahmed’s creature-filled paintings are inspired by traditional Persian and Japanese techniques and sensibilities. Rendered in gouache on paper, the works often feature the beasts fully enveloped by their natural backdrops.