Leilani Bustamante has always balanced a romantic beauty with the darker themes in her art. The San Francisco based artist, featured here on our blog, voices themes of mortality exploring elements of death, and rebirth, and her newer works explore the loveliness of the macabre. Ripe with symbolic elements, her paintings feature figures rendered with in the tradition of classical beauties that are arranged in abstract and darkly fantastical montages.
Berlin-based artist Yusk Imai creates fragmented monochromatic figures that draw upon a variety of artistic styles. Previously featured on our blog, Imai's work channels themes found in Art Nouveau, as in his ornate detailing, or Surrealism, in more bizarre renderings, to modern day comic books. Often, these themes address the idea of an uncontrollable world all around us, whether through psychology, symbolism, or the supernatural. In his most recent works, Imai tries to understand the psychology behind feelings like forgetfulness and distraction. These explorations often take him "elsewhere", to some strange other-world within his subconscious that is governed by dark characters.
Japanese illustrator Amano Yoshitaka is perhaps most famous for his designs for the Final Fantasy video games, but he is also an accomplished painter in his own right. He shifted his focus to fine art in the late 90s, and his artwork reflects the brilliant fantasy and imagination that make his characters so appealing. Amano takes the brilliancy of his works to a new level with his latest exhibition "Aurum", currently on view at Mizuma Gallery in Japan.
Mixed media artist Lauren Brevner paints eclectic and fantastic portraits of women ornamented with a collage of Japanese motifs. Born of mixed heritage in Vancouver, she recently moved to Osaka to get in touch with her Japanese ancestry. Life in Japan has had a major influence on the self taught artist since. Not long after her move in 2009, she apprenticed under Japanese fashion designer Sin Nakayamal. The inspiration of his luxurious prints resonates in the the way Brevner dresses her subjects.
This Saturday, Junko Mizuno continues her 3-part series, "Junko Mizuno's Food Obsession", with "Ambrosial Affair" at Narwhal Contemporary gallery in Ontario. The first part was "Venus Cake", where she set the stage for these overeating witch-like idols in a state of psychedelic euphoria. They live in a world of fantasy, inspired by the fact that certain foods can get you in the mood and help get your blood flowing down there. 'Obsessed' with the theme of gluttony, Mizuno has strongly linked her subjects to their food fetishes.
On September 13th, fellow artists Victor Castillo and Alex Diamond will exhibit new paintings at Heliumcowboy's temporary space, Holstenhof, in Germany. Although longtime friends, "Weapons of Mass Seduction" is their first time exhibiting together. It was conceptualized as a joint show to celebrate their shared taste in content with a fantasy-inspired narrative.
Boston based artist Cai Vail renders her ornate, and sometimes grotesque images with a combination of watercolors and digital touches. The beauty of death is a common theme in her flowing figures and animals in a state of decay. Here, humans and animals morph together into surreal beings. Historically, anthropomorphism in storytelling allowed hunters to sympathize with their hunted animal kin. Seeing them paired together like this, one can’t help but imagine Vail’s victorious huntress and her kills perishing poetically. Take a look at some of Vail's recent work after the jump.