The bell rings, school is out for summer, but you’re heading straight to the library to pick up your summer reading list. Sound familiar? The famous list was designed by American schools to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer, including classics like “The Secret Garden”, “Of Mice and Men”, and “A Wrinkle in Time”. Some titles have even raised concerns among parents and others that students are being exposed to material that is overly grim. For the 20 participating artists in “Summer Reading List,” now on view at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, these books are not only a part of their childhood, but continue to provide their artwork with inspiration.
Toronto-based KiSung Koh’s lifelong enchantment with the wild is evident in his entire body of work. His images (previously featured here) of realistic animals in dreamy environments, primarily in oil on wood or canvas, are painted in tribute to them. Born and raised in a small town in South Korea, Koh has been surrounded by nature from early in his life. At his website, he recalls a moment from his childhood that changed the way he looked at animals forever: “While having a nice walk, I had a chance to see a deer family very close. I can’t explain how I felt at the time because it’s unspeakable. It was just truly amazing. It’s probably easier to say that I saw not only deer, but also beautiful spirits around them.” Read more after the jump.
Paul Romano presents a new series of melancholic paintings for his solo show, “Boundless,” opening at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia on May 1. The works in “Boundless” examine the turns that life can take and celebrate the beauty that can emerge from dark times. “‘Boundless’ does have a leaning in the melancholy, contemplating ideas of oneself through tribulation and loss and then, what remains,” writes Romano. “What is left is hopeful, the vastness of oneself, not defined by outside perceptions, or objects, or a place, or a relationship.” His highly symbolic paintings draw from personal experiences, fantasy, and mythology alike, emerging with narratives that celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.
For their third anniversary, Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia decided to celebrate with three simultaneous exhibitions: a group show, a customization show, and a print show. The centerpiece of this trifecta is “Imaginary Menagerie: The Arch Enemy Arts Guide to Cryptozoology Vol. 1.” As the long-winded title suggests, Arch Enemy Arts invited a large group of artists to create works based on their chosen mythical beasts. For many of the artists in the show — like Erika Sanada (HF Vol. 31), Naoto Hattori (HF Vol. 35), and Caitlin Hackett (HF Vol. 17) — this theme is already their specialty. “Imaginary Menagerie” opens on April 3, as well as the other two shows, “Stacked” and “Full Bleed.”
Patterns dance in Nosego’s paintings of morphing creatures that shed their skins to be reborn as psychedelic spirit animals. The Philadelphia-based artist pays homage to various endangered species in his work and paints them in an optimistic light. Whether in his street art or in the studio, Nosego fills his work with interlocking designs that distort his chosen animals’ anatomies into something otherwordly. He remixes familiar imagery into whimsical compositions with dizzying details.
Opening this Friday, December 12, at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, “Wait for the Moon” is a group show based on folklore and legend. Each of the artists — such as Kukula, David Seidman, Jeremy Hush, Naoto Hattori, Ranson & Mitchell and others — was assigned a Brothers Grimm fairytale to reinterpret in their work. Many of the artists chosen for the show already work with folkloric, occult imagery and the exhibition successfully captures the dark undertones of the original Grimm stories before they were watered down for mass consumption.