Though New York based artist, Kiki Smith, works with various kinds of materials, she is most widely known for her sculptures. Kiki works with many topics of which include shame, our relationship to nature, and she is even considered to be a feminist artist. But if you must define what she is “about,” I would say that she is very interested in humanity as natural creatures and our inner conflict with wanting to suppress natural urges. Even when crude, her craftsmanship exhibit so much beauty, that I am always consistently filled with feelings of whimsy.
Nina Chanel Abney, a New York based painter, creates these amazingly bold, and politically charged pieces of work. Incredibly blunt with a mix of clever symbolism (such as rubber gloves to represent “dirty work.”)
New York based Korean artist, Do Ho Suh, creates beautifully detailed installations where he constantly has us question the identity of the individual in modern day society. Those of you who live here in Los Angeles, might have seen a few of his sculptures at LACMA where he worked with the idea of the clashing of culture and identity most Korean-Americans face by crashing a traditional Korean house into a modern day American house. Inside, traditional Korean furniture spilling into various rooms of the American house, all mixing into one chaotic mess. I have always genuinely enjoyed the way Do Ho Suh communicates his concepts, and his painfully close attention to detail.
New York based artist, the theatrical Cai-Guo Qiang, is yet another artist I dream of to meet one day. He is mostly known for his gunpowder explosions, where the guided impact of exploded gunpowder creates beautiful marks on the paper it is placed over. Proof how beauty and violence are sometimes intertwined with each other, a concept Cai-Guo works with often.
We are really enjoying Nolan Hendrickson’s recent work. They remind me of the dirty side of city life – but through a colorful, and naive window. The bold colors remind me of electrical signs that pollute the city at night. But the style of which Nolan approaches these paintings are so fun and dreamlike that it feels like I am experiencing these environments as a child.
Jean-Pierre Roy’s insanely gorgeous luminescent paintings might just combine all of my favorite topics. Painted like translucent homages to Romantic pastoralism, they appear to instead catalog mystical scenes of revelation, post-2012 apocalypse. Grand, cinematic, magical, laced with the alien race, these glowing, transcendent Titian-esque tableaus are haunting and inspiring all at once.
If you’re in NYC, his exhibition at Rare Gallery opens Sept. 9 and runs until October 7. I wish I could see these in person!
Beacon, NY based sculpturist Emil Alzamora enjoys exploring the human form through his artwork. He focuses on ideas like what it actually means to inhabit the human body occur throughout his work in one shape or another.
Leonard Greco has a way of portraying people in his portraits, defiantly capturing each person’s personality in a mindful way. He has already built quite a portfolio, working with the Arctic Monkeys and Yeasayer to name a few. He currently works in New York.