The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Tag: Nychos

It's no coincidence that octopi are a major motif in emerging artist Lauren YS's work. The artist certainly has some chops when it comes to working with ink, the eight-legged creature's weapon of choice and her preferred medium. After collaborating with Austrian artist Nychos during his recent stay in San Francisco, she was invited to Vienna for an artist residency at Nychos's gallery, Rabbit Eye Movement. Her solo show "Kraken" opens there on August 13. The German word for octopus, "Kraken" comes from the Norwegian root "krake," which translates to "unhealthy creature." Following this etymology, YS's line-heavy illustrations depict nightmarish yet humorous versions of human-octopus hybrids. According to the artist, they've become a metaphor for the dark turns an anxious, manic mind can take.
A biographical fact Nychos often mentions in interviews is that he grew up in a family of traditional Austrian hunters. This explains the artist's lack of squeamishness: He seems to relish inventing characters and then slicing them open for his viewers to see. While it may be extreme for some, his grotesque display of cartoon violence speaks to the image-saturated, short attention spans of millennials who grew up on a steady diet of Ren and Stimpy and Ninja Turtles. Hot off the heels of his solo show at Fifty24SF in San Francisco, the artist recently traveled to Sao Paolo paint a new mural dubbed "Horsepower." The title is a nod to Nychos's energetic aesthetic and notoriously high-speed painting process. See progress photos of the new piece after the jump.

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