“In terms of the logical process involved in making sculpture, which gets its whole shape via the integration of parts, my work, in its piling up of variously colored acrylic boards and shaping them, is made via the orthodox method. However, the stripes of the surface created by such a process deform and delude viewers’ visions when they try to see the shape of the work. Probably no one can perceive the exact form of the sculpture. So here, you can see the contradictory relationship: the consequence of the basic process of making sculpture destroys the viewers’ visions.
In addition, each acrylic board is really well made. It can be likened to a ‘mass of color’ that might confuse the concepts of color and shape. The colors of these stripes on the surface are supported by a dense and solid materiality, in other words, by the very concept of the sculptural.” – Kyotaro Hakamata, from Volta NY
Ryan Everson’s installations speak to longing and loss and the desire for movement and displacement. There is something hopeful and comic about some of his work, accompanied by a tinge of despair as it addresses boundaries of what is and what could be. His work feels perpetually on the cusp of some sort of change or movement, of travel to another place, whether that be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Everson’s work embodies something of memory, though we can’t say of what, but that it definitely exudes a nostalgia for absent events or places. “My most recent work comes from abstract emotional states stirred up from specific self-reflective moments. These moment arise as I become more aware of myself in the present and my inability to control the future.”
Emile Morel creates surreal digital illustrations reminiscent of whimsical childhood fantasies such as The Neverending Story and Where the Wild Things Are. His illustrations depict dream worlds, often with children, and heavily feature anthropomorphic characters rife with bestial and primal imagery. His work is evocative of fairy tales, complete with a dark and foreboding element encapsulated in the “grotesque” nature of some of his figures and human animal hybrids. Intimate and highly allegorical, Morel’s attention to detail, especially in this medium, is impressive.
Igor Eskinja’s simplistic installations are elegant and optical illusory. Using basic and inexpensive materials such as tape, wires, and cords, Eskinja practices his art with precise measurements and an architectural eye. His work straddles the transition between 2D and 3D perception. He thoughtfully uses the space of the wall and floor of his installations, requiring viewers to stand at a particular angle in order to experience the effect given in these photos. The simplicity of his form and the perception between what is visible and not introduce space for interpretation and meaning. Oftentimes, after the installation is over, the work is thrown out due to the instability of his work, drawing attention to the impermanence of the forms he creates.
Whether through painting, illustration, sculpture, or installation, Kenny Scharf displays an aesthetic saturated with bright colors and playful figures. Think: Pee Wee’s Playhouse + Keith Haring on acid. With his work, Scharf seamlessly integrates pop culture into fun and fluid forms. With his pop culture appeal, it’s no surprise that Scharf has been commissioned to do commercial work by companies such as Kiehl’s, Vans, and Swatch. While other artists might have a different viewpoint on commercial work, for Scharf, the opportunity to bring his playful forms into everyday products is of significant cultural value, “One very important and guiding principle to my work is to reach out beyond the elitist boundaries of fine art and connect to popular culture through my art,” Scharf writes in his artist statement.
Kevin Francis Gray’s neoclassicist-inspired sculptures are beautifully minimalist. Most of his work is created with leather, bronze, marble or fibreglass resin, depicting a stunning color palette of white, black, grey, brown, and gold. His subject is the human form and much of his work features shrouded figures. Gray attends to the detail and subtlety of the drapery that contain his figures, sometimes with a shocking element. His work exudes a familiarity and universality that is at once haunting and captivating. His work recently appeared in 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman as a darker version of the mirror man. Gray was born in Northern Ireland and currently lives in London
Argentinian artist Fabian Marcaccio’s sculptures are paintings come to life. During the 90s, Marcaccio began to create a series of sculptures he referred to as “paintants,” a portmanteau of “painting” and “mutant,” of which he combines digitally manipulated imagery, sculptural form, and 3D painted surfaces. From this point, he began to create work influenced “by the dynamic relationship…between elements and overcrowdings that attract and string one another, link up and get activated in time and space.” His sculptures are at once stable as physical entities and unstable as representations of excess and collapse. Marcaccio uses a variety of media in his creations including oil and acrylic paints, silicon, sand, rope, plastic, wood, and aluminum. He’ll also create color-saturated brushstrokes with white or colorless silicon and stick them onto his sculptures.
Jon Kessler’s installations respond to our current information-saturated culture where the search for the self often occurs within the realm of digital media. His most recent exhibition, “The Web“, immerses viewers in our technology obsessed world. Cameras and surveillance equipment abound, constantly capturing and clicking photos and videos of participants. The installation itself is a conceptual clusterfuck that suggests our importance of ritualistic clicking over what’s actually being captured with the clicks. His other work similarly addresses themes of capture, surveillance, fame, and mass media by using related techniques. These installations confuse us and ask us to consider the nature of reality and the authority we grant to technology and mass media with regard to our own identities.