SVA grad Mu Pan brings East Asian woodblock aesthetics to his colorful, animated paintings. Not much of a “Zen” vibe is to be found here, though. Full of life, the Brooklyn artist’s work explodes off the canvas in a rush of sex and violence. Base, animalistic sensibilities are collected and processed en masse within each piece, and hardly any opportunity for impact is passed over. Really engrossing stuff, whether the focus is placed on a few central figures, or all-encompassing atmosphere.
Nicole Peterson and Adam Ramirez work together and separately to create gothic fairytale-esque photos. The pair, who are based in Chicago, use interesting fashion items like updated plague masks and pea coats, which allow them to transform a camping site covered in snow into what looks like a still from the sequel to The Hunger Games. And their eye for the perfect moment doesn’t just apply to people, since they even have a whole series of photos from various zoos that make it seem like they’re travelling all over the world. Nicole, also has an ETSY shop where she sells buttons that fit within her artistic aesthetic and say things like “Adopt A Dire Wolf” and “What Would Dobby Do.”
Raunchy, suggestive illustrations with strange pseudo-human characters leave viewers unnerved, but at the same time, engaged in a conversation of questions. What is going on and why?? Melissa Stekbauer‘s works can place the viewer in a vulnerable, almost submissive, state, allowing her characters some authority. Her works present interesting narratives, especially because they are paired with a softer painting technique, which can feel more inviting and friendly than the actual content of the work. Maybe that’s why it’s “seductive”?