Victor Rodriguez‘s acrylic paintings defy the simplistic categorization of the hyperrealistic or photorealistic. His work includes surrealistic, abstract, and cinematic elements, giving a fresh feel to the realist aesthetic. Portraiture is often his style, though he alternates between representations of still-life objects and human figures. Using realistic imagery within a dream-like context, Rodriguez’s work offers viewers a peek into a finely-detailed, deeply personal narrative.
Sarah Rosado, a self-taught illustrator and photographer, has recently implemented the medium of dirt scavenged from New York City’s parks to create quirky and playful images for her most recent project, Dirty Little Secrets. Oftentimes, she will accessorize the dirty images to give them a 3D effect and render them more realistic. She sets her dirty images against a stark white background, playing with the contrast of dirty/clean. A simple concept with a graceful execution.
The artist known only as strng on Flickr creates technically impressive and visually compelling collages. He combines imagery from human, animal, natural, and mechanical worlds into one image. Elements that don’t seem to have much in common become a part of each other, and strng illustrates these startling images in such a way as for them to appear natural or ordinary. Part of this involves strng’s aesthetic, which is resonant with the pages of anatomy and biology textbooks.
Penny Byrne transforms vintage porcelain figures and other found objects into work that makes a humorous or political statement. Though the themes of her work are dark and heavy, the lightness and treatment of the porcelain contrasts this, formulating a new perception of these themes. As a respected ceramic conservator and restorer, she claims that what she is doing with these “sacrosanct” found figures is quite inappropriate with respect to her field of work. Byrne lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2005, Heather Benning acquired then began restoring a 60s-era abandoned and decaying farmhouse near Sinclair Manitoba, Canada. After finishing her restoration and furnishing the home with 60s-era furniture, she then removed the north-facing wall and replaced it with plexi-glass. In June 2007, the house was opened to the public where it remained “tomb-like” as a life-size dollhouse until this March 2013. Eventually, the house began to deteriorate and the safety of the structure was compromised, leading Benning to end the project with fire. The Dollhouse images are currently represented by “Telephone Booth Gallery” in Toronto.
Kazuki Guzmán‘s unique heritage (he has a Chilean father and a Japanese mother) informs the playful and fluid approach to his work. Guzmán’s creations range from toothpaste (!), nutshell, pencil, and gum sculptures to embroidered bananas and meat. For Guzmán, the essence of play is fundamental to the outcome of his work. “I equally enjoy allowing my materials to define the context of my artwork, and conversely, the challenge of letting the context of my work dictate the material execution. Most of my inspirations arise from mundane events… Most importantly, I strive for intricacy and exquisite craftsmanship in my work, while focusing on not losing my very whimsical sense of humor and play.” Guzmán lives in Chicago.
Alicia Eggert creates kinetic, electronic, and interactive sculpture and installation work. With a background in interior and architectural design, Eggert builds her work with a temporal conception reflected in the stillness and movement of her pieces. Implementing a variety of objects in her designs, such as clocks, flashing LED text, a perpetually spinning bicycle wheel, and re-usable ceramic coffee cups that shatter down a perceived assembly line, Eggert uses simple ideas to convey a world of depth. Some of her work is created in collaboration with other artists, as she values sharing the creative experience with another person. She currently lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches sculpture and architecture at Bowdoin College.
Ibon Mainar uses visual multimedia to create whimsical and colorful work. Whether he is creating gifs, torn cardboard designs, Instagram videos, video projections onto foil and tinsel, or sculpting gum and popcorn, Mainar’s aesthetic is contemporary and playful. His interjections into Edward Hopper’s paintings create a curious juxtaposition of modern and contemporary aesthetics. With simplicity and humor, Mainar develops a visual language across various media that feels novel and universal. Mainar lives in San Sebastian, Spain.