Favio Martinez, better known on the street as Curiot, is a street artist based in Mexico City. His murals and paintings are especially colorful and complex. Curiot has a well-known and easily distinguishable style. Strange creatures populate his compositions. While each creature is definitely alien, Curiot creates them using familiar animal-like components. Often, these creatures are seen being worshiped by comparably tiny people giving the murals. In a way, this pulls Curiot’s work out of science fiction and places it more as a meditation and variations on Mexican Culture. The gallery statement from a recent solo exhibit at FFDG further explains Curiot’s inspiration:
“Curiot’s colorful paintings, featuring mythical half-animal half-human figures and scenes, which allude to Mexican traditions (geometric designs, Day of the Dead styles, myths and legends, tribal elements), are rendered in precise detail with a mixture of highly vibrant yet complementary colors. “Growing up in the States sort of gave me a diluted Mexican culture, I had no clue what I was missing out on until I moved back 10 years ago”, says Curiot. “The bright colors, folklore, ancient cultures and the beautiful handcrafts are some of the things that I embraced and which influence my work deeply”. The 11 new paintings in “Age of Omuktlans” tell the story of man’s distance from his natural path as he focuses his energy on satisfying his material pleasures and the dystopia this creates.”
With his paintings, Adam Miller recontextualizes baroque and Hellenistic style elements by placing them within a modern futuristic landscape. Miller implements mythological, ecological, and humanistic themes in order to address ideas of technology and progress and “the struggle to find meaning in a world poised between expansion and decay.” His dreamy and angelic compositions reflect contemporary concerns with a classic and realist style. Imagery that might at first appear dated and inaccessible becomes relatable and modern upon closer inspection.
For his series, Wilder Mann, photographer Charles Fréger traveled to 18 different countries to capture the costumes and masks of folk festivals and traditions. Creatures like bears, stags, mysterious hybrids and the occasional Krampus appear otherworldly—fashioned from materials like animal hides, bells, antlers, twigs and leaves. Photographed within their natural settings, the results are more film still than portrait instantly conjuring primitive stories and fairy tales. (via)
Shaun Berke is one of the most skilled artists I’ve ever met. And when I saw a Rembrandt master-copy he created for a group show, I instinctively knew that he must have had some really insane pieces hiding out in his studio. So, I took the trip out to his place, where he pulled out one amazing print after another. He had woodcuts that were as masterful as anything by Albert Dürer as well as an entire book he made for his thesis project at Art Center that was full of pop culture references you wouldn’t realize he was initially inspired by. The fact that he can execute everything from a classical painting to graphic design work is kind of unheard of. There are those who can do one or the other, but very rarely anyone who can do it all, and do it all remarkably well. In particular though, I really wish Shaun continues to make some more woodcuts, since I haven’t seen an artist do anything close to what he’s doing with the medium due to his level of detail and depth of narrative. I mean, some of his pieces have entire books that go along with them featuring mythologies he’s created based upon heavy research.
Painter and illustrator Caitlin Hackett now works out of Brooklyn, but she spent much of her early life in northern California. It was in her home state that she first developed and nurtured a love of nature, animals, and mythology, all of which inform her art today. Using mostly ballpoint pen and watercolor, she creates wildly imaginative creatures that are somewhere between human, animal, and spirit.
Says the artist: ”My work alludes to the boundaries that separate humans from animals both physically and metaphysically, and how these boundaries are warped by new scientific data, mythology, history and religious beliefs alike, blurring the lines between us as science, religion and culture clash over what it is to be human, and thus, what separates us from the beasts of the wild.”
Take a closer look at Caitlin Hackett’s dark imaginings after the jump.
James Quigley, aka Gunsho, is a new breed of occult warrior attempting to restore the grandeur of epic mythology back into the awesome realms of the unreal. Paying homage to legends and ideas whispered down through alchemical charts and ancient texts, Gunsho materializes his vision of the other side. Many of his works tap into supernatural themes, from demonology and the Goetia to the black arts. Gunsho—first seen as a sign in the waking world, and later materialized in a dream, epitomizes his unique aesthetic, that plants one foot on the ground and a third eye gazing firmly at the stratosphere beyond. Gunsho recently created the shirt design “Chomp” for Beautiful/Decay Apparel.