A gift is more than just a gift. Rather, a gift is a little way that we can express our ‘biggest’ feelings for others. This philosophy is at the heart of Haven Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, “Little Big”, showcasing 8×10 inch “gift-sized” works by a selection of international artists. Opening on November 21st, “Little Big” will feature new works by Michael Ramstead, Sarah Joncas, Lauren Marx, Meredith Marsone, Brian Mashburn, Chris Mars, Josie Morway, Jessica Gordon, Genevive Zacconi, Dilkabear, and Christina Mrozik, just to name a few. Their works are as varied in theme as their styles, with motifs of the season as we enter these winter months.
For years, artists have been using GIFs in mind blowing ways to bring their visions to life. Native American GIF artist George Redhawk aka DarkAngel0ne, who is blind, uses them to “see” art. With the help of visual aides and using photo manipulation software designed for the visually impaired, Redhawk creates eerily captivating versions of his favorite paintings and photographs. He doesn’t call himself an “artist” but tell that to the more than seven million people who have viewed his work online.
Sean Newport is a San Francisco-based artist and woodworker who creates geometric, wall-mounted sculptures. Newport’s work is meant to trick the mind into seeing flat, graphic imagery before comprehending its true, three-dimensional shape. Influenced by op-art and bold, abstract forms, his sculptures attempt to test our perceived notions of reality.
Nancy Liang creates diorama-like collages out of hand-drawn elements on kraft paper. Her nearly monochromatic work features nocturnal scenes of small towns that seem to become enchanted at the stroke of midnight. Liang reworks her pieces digitally to create GIFs with subtle, animated elements. While some artists’ GIFs entrance viewers with their bold, flashing colors, Liang animates strategic details, like glittering stars or wispy smoke coming from a flame. Based in Sydney, Australia, Liang makes GIFs in her spare time and posts them on her Tumblr. By day, she is an award-winning commercial illustrator.
Orcas and wolves traverse the digital land and sea in TJ Fuller’s holographic-looking GIFs. Fuller is an artist who wears many hats: In addition to his personal work, he creates iPad apps for cats (seriously, games for your cat!) and is an animation director for Maker Studios. His personal work has a lo-fi aesthetic, like a DIY VHS recording where colors appeared pixelated. With his CMYK color palette, his pieces have a digital glow to them that contrasts with their nature-inspired subject matter.
Nicolas Fong creates GIFS and short animated films filled with peculiar characters and imaginative scenarios. In his work, psychedelic shapes morph into one another as dreamlike narratives unravel. In a recent video Fong created for the band BRNS’ song “Many Changes,” an abstract, underwater creature evolves into many different lifeforms. The video highlights the cyclical nature of life and the beauty of the natural world. In another video for Forever Pavot’s song “Green Nap,” smoke filling an 1800s-style opium den floats to the ceiling, revealing kaleidoscopic visuals and trippy patterns. Take a look at some of Fong’s work below and follow his Vimeo channel to see more of his films.