Black Hole is a project by Stockholm-based artist, Orestes Grediaga. A feeling of “void” and “emptiness” had struck the artist almost instantly – a feeling he had yet to experience. That day, the artist was drawn to a large piece of paper, on which he drew a black hole. “When it was dry, it seemed to absorb all of me as I looked at it. Inside, there were no thoughts nor feelings, no memories, no physicality, nothing. It was like a black hole. At that moment a sense of abiding calm came over me from inside, from the very same place this enigmatic void was coming from.” - Orestes Grediaga
MOMO is a street artist working internationally. His pieces can range in size from relatively small to the size of city blocks. It is his style, though that is peculiar. His murals forgo text or figuration in favor of an abstract form. His work often has a deceptively simple composition. MOMO’s technique resembles simple print aesthetics while even referencing mid-century abstract painters.
The figurative drawings and paintings of Pasadena based artist Ching Ching Cheng are remarkably captivating to me. She uses members of her family often as subject matter but continually chooses to portray them in a conceptual way embracing different ways to illustrate a memory of that person in her past more so than the realistic representation of them. Ching uses sculpture and installation mediums in her work, such as her vintage polaroid and mm camera sculptures made of found books & maps. Each camera sculpture has tremendous amounts of character to them feeling to me as if they are alive beings or the “true” soul of whatever camera they are embodying. Ching’s work is thoughtful and personal slivers of her life past and present. Her primary influences include nature, and psychology.
Polish artist Lukasz Patelczyk paints censored landscapes. The series, actually titled Censored Landscape, depicts natural scenes in severe blacks and whites. Portions of each landscape is hidden behind a white block. Some of the paintings titled variations of Avalanche and Tornado censor the effects of such natural disasters. The censorship leaves a monument like shape in the foreground of indifferent, even harsh landscapes.
Illustrator, graphic designer, and artist Jordan Speer created his own action figures (or at least illustrations of them.) Recreating the familiar packaging of childhood toys, Speer fills each one with a unique figurine. While nearly nostalgia inducing, each toy is also slightly sinister featuring warnings such as “slightly toxic”, “forbidden”, and “highly illegal”. Speer’s figures are enigmatic characters, unfamiliar and unwilling to reveal much beyond their name and accessories. Which would you collect?
Landscapes are alive in the paintings of Siobhan McBride. Different locations mesh into a single scene. Memories and colors delicately surface in the foreground. McBride’s paintings aren’t so much surreal scenes as they are subtly collaged images in paint. Speaking of her work McBride says:
“I have come to think of my paintings as views of a place where magic reveals itself differently than it does in this world. The scenes are tense with anticipation or blushing in the aftermath of an unseen event. Paintings combine disparate yet familiar fragments into spaces that are still, anxious, and temperamental.”
Stockholm, Sweden based artist Joakim Ojanen works in mediums as diverse as sculpture and zines. His paintings, however, particularly standout. Familiar snippets of cartoon characters, body parts, and shapes congeal as a hallucinatory mass. Normally lighthearted characters appear to be in a paranoid panic or a manic giddiness. Eyeballs peek from oddly placed holes or simply roll on the ground. Ojanen’s portraits don’t seem to depict monsters as much as characters mutated by abstraction.
Brendan Danielsson‘s portraits are wonderfully ugly. Though each piece incorporates the image of a sole person, there is plenty of conflict. The pieces easily explore ideas of beauty and ugliness; they are at once sensual and repulsive. While appearing almost alien each portrait is somehow still strangely familiar. Danielsson is able to portray each ‘character’ as clearly part of a larger hidden narrative.
If you can’t pull your eyes away from Brendan Danielsson’s work, make sure to check out the Beautiful/Decay Book: 9. The book features the paintings and drawings of Danielsson along with many other artists, designers, illustrators, and writers.