Larry Mantello’s colorful sculptures are candy coated shrines to american pop culture. Bright colors, glossy finishes, and cheap imported materials remind us of why pop culture is so appealing and disgusting all at once.
Michael Willis‘ visual language doesn’t consist of any single point of reference. Rather, it is a syncretic blend of multiple styles and influences – a sort of hodgepodge of 60s psychedelia, 80s computer graphics, and a modern view of pop culture. Imagery sometimes includes figures that are in the American cultural unconscious – Frank from Blue Velvet, for example, makes an appearance in a drawing. But more often than not this outlook on pop culture, especially looking back towards the 60s and 70s, is expressed through the utilization of stock imagery of anonymous, yet clearly old, photographs of people from days of yore.
Pennsylvania-based illustrator Jim Horwat has an affinity for pop culture. His works frequently reference popular narratives, like the mystery of Notorious BIG’s death, and the plots of various movies, especially well known horror flicks. His strongest pieces are the ones that try to explain as much of the story as possible in one big frame, creating a pastiche of images not unlike some of Will Eisner‘s sequential artworks.
“The Astounding Problem of Andrew Novick features the overwhelming and unusual collections of an eccentric individual who does not consider himself an artist. In total, Andrew Novick estimates he has over a hundred collections: Barbie dolls of every variety, Chihuahua figurines, clown paintings, anything related to teeth or braces. The truth is he has far more things than will or can ever be organized into a “collection.” Inside his home and in his rented storage space he has stacks, piles and boxes of answering machine cassette tapes full of incoming phone messages, more answering machine cassette tapes with recordings of recording almost every conversation he has ever had with a telemarketer, jars ripe with formaldehyde-free dead animals, uncommon foods and more.