Derek Aylward

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I am in love with Derek Aylward’s use of mixed media and flat renderings that create these amazingly haunting images that are just congested with expression and mood.

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Black Metal or Die

Picture 12Maggots, Baphomet, long-taloned claws breaking through evil faces, crazy scythe wielding demons, candelabras welded from the remains of human skulls, rot, decay and Mayhem (the general sense of disorder, and the band) all seem to pump their fists and raise their axes in artist Mark Riddick’s world. I would not be surprised if this dude drank the blood of a goat and burned a church or two. Okay, maybe not….but his drawings make me want to shred and paint my face…on his website he says he’s been illustrating for the black/death metal world since ’91. Stay death metal forever.

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Fabien Merelle’s Surreal Dream World

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Fabien Merelle creates surreal drawings that pack a lot of punch into the delicate drawings.

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Ryan Peltier

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Currently Brooklyn based, Ryan Peltier is a talented illustrator who is currently earning his Masters at the School of Visual Arts. He has been featured in publications such as 3×3, American Illustration, and has won awards from the Society of Illustration Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at BRIC in Brooklyn, and the Tinlark and Billy Shire Fine Arts in Los Angeles.

Ryan’s process depends heavily on the kind of surface he is working on. He makes it a point to begin with beautiful materials that hold character. The outcome is a collection of illustrations with a whole lot of awkward humor, and delightful surrealism.

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Lauren Utter

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Lauren Utter, a New Jersey native, documents her punk rock inspired, pan-handling, train-hopping adventure filled life through her aggressive yet delicately drafted drawings. Lauren briefly attended the School of Visual Arts, but decided that her experiences outside of the institution’s walls were what truly inspired her.

Every little mark on the surface is stark, rigid, and untamed. Lauren isn’t interested in dressing up her subject for the purpose of comfort or aesthetic. She wants to bring to the audience her encounters exactly as how she found it. Yet upon closer inspection, you are guided to notice the underlying beauty, and appreciate the aggressive approach of Lauren’s work. This is where the irony in her work is present. It is the moment, confrontation, and/ or eye contact captured. The kind of transient situation most of us rarely have the time or guts to pay closer attention to.

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Marcello Velho AKA Gaspar Lepage

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Marcello Velho’s work kind of reminds me of old school Nickelodeon cartoons. Think Rocko’s Modern Life or Ren & Stimpy. Except freakier. Like what was going through this guy’s head when he decided his characters should look like they’re made out of fuzzy ground beef? Genius. Also: after the cut is the picture that every mother shows her daughter to get them to practice abstinence.

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Rena Littleson-Montenegro

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The best Intervention episodes are always the really odd ones. Meth addictions are a dime a dozen, but M&M addictions are something to talk about! Artist Rena Littleson-Montenegro appears to be drawing the usual photorealistic, tortured souls, but by pairing her subjects with bottles of ginger ale and blood thirsty toy dinos she gives the concept a refreshing and playful spin. And the extreme foreshortening really lends these binges that the-first-step-is-admitting-you-have-a-problem sense of urgency.

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Zipora Fried

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Meticulous attention to detail helps Zipora Fried transform ordinary objects into compelling works of art. I recently saw several sculptural pieces by Fried at the Greater New York 2010 exhibition at P.S.1 and thoroughly enjoyed her use of playfully poignant and enigmatic materials, along with her sustained focus on repetition. Arduous process? Yes. Emphatically handmade? Yes. Beautiful in it’s simplicity, yet endlessly complex? Yes, indeed.

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