Michael Shapcott is an emerging artist from Connecticut. His paintings and illustrations take traditional portraiture and add elements of folklore and dream imagery, his main source of inspiration. His work is nothing less than powerful, inspiring, and emotional.
Chicago-based Andy Burkholder has been posting a consistant supply of mind-clearing one-pagers on his wonderful tumblr. He’s got something special going, and he’s just riding the wave real hard. His work outside of the one-page bits is just as impressive, but more focused on experimentation, as opposed to a formally consistent body of work. Check out his web, his flick, and visit him at CAKE. A buttery smooth man.
I first saw Retro Stefson perform back in 2009 at an off-venue Iceland Airwaves party at a downtown clothing store in Reykjavik. The name of the store escapes me, but not the lasting impression this young band had on me. People were going crazy for this band I had never heard of, so I immediately bought their CD and followed them around wherever they played. Three years later, I’m about to head back to Iceland and low and behold, they have a new record and video out and will most likely be one of the highlights of this years Airwaves festival. I challenge you to not bounce your head up and down while watching the video for their song Glow.
Patrick D Wilson combines an interesting mix of geometry, photography, and sculpture to create new spacial landscapes where buildings are made of clouds and the stars are aligned onto fragmented planes.
Catherine Chalmers manages to make captivating and beautiful those creatures that cause most of us to feel squeamish. Chalmers travels the world to capture images and video of rodents and insects in their habitats. Being one part scientist and one part artist, Chalmers is interested in bringing focus to nature using art as her vehicle.
For her most recent project, Leafcutters, which was partially funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Chalmers captured the activities of ants. She was intrigued by the many similarities they have with humans. She noted that like us, they inhabit almost every ecosystem on Earth, are one of the dominant species in their habitats and they impact the grand structure of other biological systems. Beyond that they also wage war, take slaves, raise and keep other animals for food, and are also capable of making their own antibiotics. They’re also, as Chalmers demonstrates, highly photogenic.
Chalmers American Cockroach series, equally beautiful and tough, captured arguably the world’s most dreaded insect. Forcing us to confront our discomfort with cockroaches Chalmers wondered if she could seduce people into liking them because, as with the ants, they’re a lot like us.
Western Exhibitions in Chicago, IL recently opened an exhibition entitled Plant Life. The show was curated by Geoffrey Todd Smith and is on view through March 9th. The show brings together a group of artists with a wide variety of techniques as they approach the subject of plants, flowers, and weeds. From traditional still lifes to experimental assemblage the show injects life into age old motifs. From the press release: “Plant Life is a group exhibition of artists who take flowers, plants or weeds as their subject. Each artist transforms and manipulates, formally and conceptually, their leafy content through a variety of materials and manners of expression, asserting their idiosyncratic visions by obsessing over materials, offering the plants new context while broadening the relationship to their human neighbors.” The show features Jonathan Gardener, Chinatsu Ikeda, Heidi Norton, Tyson Reeder, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Eric Wert, and Scott Wolniak.