There is something desolate about Ryan Pierce’s woodblock-style paintings, although they’re filled with color and often the riotous bounty of nature…maybe it’s the lack of human presence that makes all of his scenes feel somewhat abandoned. A couple of the pieces below, in particular, are very Van-Gogh-ish in their paint handling and palette, a reference I feel I haven’t seen explored much out of young contemporary artists. Ryan seems to update the expressionist ethos into a post-industrial landscape.
Mark Todd is an illustrator based out of Los Angeles who’s revered as a mystical figure in the world of zines. His booths are always the most presentable and his work has this well-balanced dichotomy of childlike proportions and lucid clarity, which makes for a fun finished product. When he draws people, like he did in his book BAD ASSES, they not only look like perfect personifications of their originals, but also give off this nostalgic vibe as well. It’s like he’s able to channel the innocent energy of the kid in grade school who was the best artist in the class, while also being able to back it up with a vicious stealth attack. I mean, you try drawing someone random like Geraldo Rivera, getting a stranger to recognize it without giving them any hints, and then repeating it with others — so now the strangers not only recognize your subjects, but also your own style as an artist as well. Mark is a busy guy and when he isn’t influencing the crap out of young minds at Art Center or working on a commercial project, he and his wife, Esther Pearl Watson, run the publishing company Fun Chicken.
Oakland based artist, Brendan Monroe, creates bizarre compositions that feature imaginary ‘moving’ landscapes and faceless, alien looking creatures that resemble the human body. Monroe takes inspiration from the study of science and his interest in existentialism and self-discovery.
His characters, often portrayed in purple and reddish hues, find themselves in these multilayered, remote landscapes that present themselves as chaotic, or always in motion. The stringy, cool colored worlds precisely double their existence as a wonderful yet confusing space. Monroe is also interested in presenting his funky characters the same way he does his landscapes, as intricate forms that are always in motion.
We can take Monroe’s aesthetic and conceptual approach as one that tries to visually explore what it means to be human in a world that is contingent upon the variety and complexity of our actions, state of mind, or simply the passage of time and the progress it brings with it.
Each is a way of looking at and figuring out life. It’s that human question of what and who we are, how we are here. I also like the emotion and feeling of discovery and also the solving of a puzzle that was not known before. I lean in the direction of sciences I think mostly because I was raised that way, and I like to do my own investigations and draw conclusions.
Don Porcella has a show of his signature, brightly hued sculptures and encaustic paintings up for one more week at Spattered Columns in NYC. The show is entitled Everything and Nothing at All. In a recent conversation Don and I had, he brought up his love of imagery that could be read in multiple ways. He talked about painting secrets, and casting shadows in multiple directions, dislocating literal time and space into a psychological time and space. He is an artist worth paying attention too. His show has a closing party on October 26th, from 6 to 8pm. Porcella will also be playing music during the closing party. Porcella has performed his music in San Francisco, Nashville, and recently at Robert Miller Gallery in NYC. Should be a very good time.
Do you revel in hot, anguished tears rolling down the innocent face of a child? We certainly do not. How can you solve this world-wide problem? We suggest you subscribe to Beautiful/Decay. As artist C.W. Moss has illustrated in Reason #2 of our hand-painted illustrated series, a subscription a year will erase every child’s tear.
For anyone who grew up in the 80’s & 90’s, Hiroyasu Sakaguchi’s House T will look vaguely familiar, namely because House T is laid out like a level in Mario, or most other Nintendo games for that matter. All the spaces in a house that we have gotten used to as individual, semi-private rooms have been stripped of their walls and joined into one long inter-connected space. I love it because it reminds us of the tension between psychological and physical space, how we compartmentalize various aspects of our life into respective spaces. House T reminds me of Gordon Matta Clark’s work, albeit much cleaner, Japanese, and way less punk rock, but the altering of our perception of space is in them both. (via)