Originally from South Korea, artist Stella Im Hultberg has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and California. After studying industrial design, she worked as a designer of toys, among other products, for several years. In 2005, Hultberg turned her attentions to painting and began practicing her craft more extensively. Since making this transition, her works in ink, oils, and watercolor have been shown at galleries throughout the country. Most recently, the artist contributed a piece to Copro Gallery‘s group show celebrating the 20th anniversary of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” You can catch the show in Santa Monica, CA now through May 12th.
Gabriel Moreno does beautiful work with such basic materials: a pen and a brush. His illustrations begin in black and white, upon which Moreno builds, adding layers of color and images of other places and people tattooed into their skin. Flowers, birds, and faces organically expand from his subjects, as if a rush of creativity, or a dream, is escaping them.
Kevin Christy lives and works in Los Angeles. He utilizes unyielding iconography to present allegories about the world we inhabit. Christy seems to have a firm grasp on popular culture and historical events and uses it to mock and enlighten. From a strikingly humorous depiction of Adolf Hitler slipping on a banana peel to an extended tee shirt adorned with the American Flag Christy channels the present and the past in his satirical depictions.
Colleen Toutant Merrill works in fiber– from stitching to embroidery; and interestingly enough, it makes sense that she would use such a traditional folk medium to examine contemporary subject matter such as social media, Google, and Google Maps. These Internet resources are, essentially, a modern day electronic quilt of sorts, piecing together not only our societal curiosities or interests, but also our performative identities in a community.
On this note, Merrill explains, “Quilting bees and embroidery traditionally served as social outlets and communication. Quilts and embroidery both have encoded symbolism and explicit messages as do digital communications.”
John Miller’s representations of urban planning and architecture reminds me of childhood games with mud and found objects belonging to my parentals. And though children no more…we’re all still unable to let go of decadence and blissful ignorance…
Sigga B. Sigurdardottir‘s illustrations definitely deserve a second look. She describes the drawings as, “They simply exist to demonstrate a situation or a state of mind.” Whether they look like people or animals, these ghostly characters are haunting illusions that morph into shadows or pose as menacing figures. They fit in or belong in no particular space, yet their haunting presence is impossible to ignore.
In her latest body of work, Kimberly Brooks continues to explore portraiture, specifically the complexities of representations of female identities. While in her previous series, including Mom’s Friends (2007) and The Stylist Project (2010), the artist used figures to construct narratives, here the female form is part of a broader abstracted landscape. And while earlier portraits boasted an uncanny likeness to their subjects, Brooks’ style has shifted into something that is simultaneously looser and richer. Facial features have been abstracted and bodies distorted. Fashion and costume, a longtime theme for Brooks, is also deconstructed. Once painstakingly rendered folds and drapes have been reduced to their essential shapes and color fields. In these sumptuous new images, Brooks continues to address questions about how we frame beauty, and the phenomenon of fashion as a both pop culture and artistic touchstone. Taken as a whole, the new paintings create a meta-narrative that contemplates “threads” that define, unite and separate us across different cultures and eras.\
Make sure to catch Kimberly Brooks’ third solo show currently on view at Taylor De Cordoba through October 22nd.