More great work from illustrator and collage artist Georges Bousquet aka Casajordi. Bousquet is based in Perpignan, France near the Spanish border. He creates his collages by first sketching out his ideas on paper and then taking them into Photoshop. Each image has about 300 layers and takes approximately 15 hours to build.
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Baltimore based artist Gaia is best known for his large scale renderings of human and animal forms, often in states of hybridization. Animals fuse with humans or other animals, blending visual characteristics and layers of spiritual and mythological relevance. Reclaiming a long dormant visual iconography, Gaia’s images transcend cultural literacy, achieving significance on multiple levels. As contemporary urban culture deemphasizes nature, Gaia invades the city of glass, steel and concrete with a breathtaking reminder of earth and life. Functioning as a contemporary visual shaman, he facilitates uniquely urban interactions with postmodern spirit guides who in turn force us to acknowledge our lost connection with the natural and the mystical worlds.
Gaia’s latest exhibition “Resplendent Semblance” launched on March 25, 2011 with a series of projects showcasing the artist. The events include a show of new, large scale paintings and decollage on wood art works at Maxwell Colette Gallery, a site specific installation and show featuring additional pieces at the Pawn Works space and a massive window installation at State Street and Adams presented in conjunction with The Chicago Loop Alliance’s Pop Up Art Loop initiative. Resplendent Semblance runs through May 7, 2011.
Adam Neate is a British painter and one of the best known urban artists in the world. Neate was born in Ipswich, Suffolk in 1977 and studied Design at Suffolk College. After graduating, he moved to London and worked as a graphic designer in an advertising agency. He began painting on cardboard boxes using aerosols and found objects. Neate’s figurative images often become three dimensional as he tears his materials, builds them in layers and staples the pieces together.
Neate first came to the public’s attention by leaving thousands of his paintings on the street of London, for people to take, or leave. In August 2007, his first solo exhibition called Paintings Pots and Prints at Elms Lesters was a sell out. In May 2008 he joined with pop surrealist Ron English in the two man show The Adam and Ron Show.
Neate’s influences include his wife, Waleska, New York graffiti artist, Daze, and Picasso. He is a pioneer of a radical new movement, which shows street art in conventional art galleries. His work has gained recognition from the National Gallery, the Tate, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Neate’s latest solo exhibition, A New Understanding, in October/ November 2009 became one of the most talked about exhibitions of the year with record numbers of visitors, including important collectors and representatives from major international institutions.
On November 14th 2009, Neate staged a public participation event The London Show where he and teams of distributors, left 1000 works over all 33 London boroughs. An estimated 50,000 people were out that night looking for them.
Of his work Neate says, “ I wanted to drag what is perceived as painting forward to compete with the modern day barrage of visual media. We as a society are exposed to more and more visual imagery. In ten minutes on the internet a person can browse an entire world of images and instantly disregard images that hold no interest to them by the click of a button. During the past year I have taken my son to the cinema six times, to see six 3D films. His generation will grow up with an extra dimension in visual media – this language will be seen as the norm. I asked myself how can painting compete with this? With the ‘new’ painting, the viewer will be able to walk around it; light, time and space will affect / react with it.The new painting will exist! more than just depict ”
To see more of Neate’s work, visit Elms Lesters Painting Rooms.
Born in 1974 in Teaneck, New Jersey, Jesse Reno is a mixed-media painter living and working in Portland, Oregon. A self-taught artist, Reno developed his unique style through his prolific output. His pieces contain a mix of materials including acrylic paint, oil pastels, coloured pencil, wood panel, and canvas. He typically works on five to ten paintings at once trying not to get too caught up in any one piece until it is nearly complete.
“My art is a product of pure necessity…With no formal education I draw my inspiration from the primitive ancient cultures of Africa and South America, as well as modern pop culture. My style and technique is made up of quick expressed lines, smears of vibrant colors, and layer after layer of changing ideas and shapes.”
Reno has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in the US and Canada. He has been featured in publications including Juxtapoz and BLK MKT, and has published 6 books of his work.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Wangechi Mutu moved to New York in the mid-1990s. She received her MFA in sculpture from Yale University in 2000.
“Mutu’s work explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to colonial history, contemporary African politics and the international fashion industry. Drawing from the aesthetics of traditional crafts, science fiction and funkadelia, Mutu’s works document the contemporary myth making of endangered cultural heritage.
Piecing together magazine imagery with painted surfaces and found materials, Mutu’s elaborate collages mimic amputation, transplant operations and bionic prosthetics. Her figures become satirical mutilations. Their forms are grotesquely marred through perverse modification, echoing the atrocities of war or self-inflicted improvements of plastic surgery. Mutu examines how ideology is very much tied to corporeal form. She cites a European preference to physique that has been inflicted on and adapted by Africans, resulting in both social hierarchy and genocide.
Mutu’s figures are equally repulsive and attractive. From corruption and violence, Mutu creates a glamorous beauty. Her figures are empowered by their survivalist adaptation to atrocity, immunised and ‘improved’ by horror and victimisation. Their exaggerated features are appropriated from lifestyle magazines and constructed from festive materials such as fairy dust and fun fur. Mutu uses materials which refer to African identity and political strife: dazzling black glitter symbolises western desire which simultaneously alludes to the illegal diamond trade and its terrible consequences. Her work embodies a notion of identity crisis, where origin and ownership of cultural signifiers becomes an unsettling and dubious terrain.” (bio from Satchi Gallery)
Mutu’s work is in the permanent collections of numerous major art museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2010, Mutu was selected as Deutsche Bank Group’s Artist of the Year.
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Seattle based mixed media artist Robert Hardgrave has a new solo show at David B. Smith Gallery. Entitled “Relic”, these new works have been described as “fresh, unpredictable, spontaneous and exciting, evolving from his positive philosophy, from his spontaneous way of working, and from his use of cultural motifs.”
Of his work, Hardgrave says, “Recently, my studio practice has led me into new territories. Where I once pre-planned an idea before painting, I now require myself to approach what Iʼm doing as an “unknown.” What begins as a flat painting can now become something else entirely. I allow myself the freedom to explore different configurations. The canvas is a starting place for a conversation that leads me to new insights about pictorial and sculptural forms. Pieces become surfaces that I can “destroy,” only to take their remains and build something new. Where I once tried to present answers with my work, I now find myself asking questions about what I can do with the leftovers, how I can reconfigure the scraps and how it will change the way I paint. Cultural motifs from around the world have inspired me for quite some time now. Iʼm interested in marks that are made on baskets, textiles, and vessels. I utilize them as starting points when I paint. Most recently, Iʼve been drawn not just to those marks, but also to the objects on which they are painted. This trajectory of thought has had enormous implications for me. I wonder how I can take this idea of the “object” in its sculptural form and present it as a painting.”
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Under the name Elbow Toe, Brooklyn based artist Brian Adam Douglas has been pasting his distinctive woodcuts, stencil work, large-scale charcoal drawings and collages onto the walls of cities all around the world throughout the past decade. His diverse practice is anchored by an interest in the human gesture as a powerful form of communication, one charged with unspoken narratives and he continually transforms public space into a stage for these private moments.
Douglas’ work has always drawn from myth, symbolism and poetry, something that has become particularly important in his most recent body of collage work. Just as he builds a finished image through the meticulous layering of tiny individual bits of coloured paper, so the meaning of the image is woven through layers of references to historically and culturally established narratives. This kind of intertextuality has become the foundation for the development of his distinctive style. The result is a sophisticated visual language where personal metaphors begin to communicate universal truths. Given these intricate and delicately arranged collages have a fluidity rarely seen in collage work, they may at first glance be mistaken for paintings. Whilst the artist draws on a rich tradition of figurative painting and has qualities reminiscent of Freud and Bacon, his affluent style and medium are very much his own. Douglas consistently pushes the boundaries of contemporary image-making. (from artist website)
Douglas’ latest body of work entitled “Due Date” is currently on show at the Warrington Museum until February 19, 2011. The exhibit will then move in March 2011 to Black Rat Projects‘ gallery space in London for his first UK retrospective.