Andy Dixon (1979, USA)
Exploring themes of decadence, patronage, and the relationship between art and wealth, Andy Dixon draws inspiration from such discordant artifacts as Flemish still-lifes, Versace silk shirts, and vintage Playboy magazine spreads. By layering historical references with contemporary social commentary, Dixon plays with the tropes of art history and questions the inherent value in luxuries from past and present. An underlying self-deprecation stirs beneath the surface of his candy-colored canvases – a poignant study in the psychology of value.
Travis Fish (1981, USA)
In his large-format canvas works, the young American artist addresses the value of pop-cultural objects and people who are currently staging their self-presentation within social media and building their own myths around them. For example, Travis Fish's recent cycle of work has been dominated by current hip-hop stars such as the MIGOS group.
Fish portrays their heads, as well as the garments they wear in public, which, through their oversize and isolated appearance on the image carrier, gain an almost overwhelming presence for the viewer. The naïve painting style, characterized by large brushstrokes reduced to its linearity, inherits a childish, admiring contemplation of the theme. For the viewer, this level of reception is ultimately familiar, as well as foreign and possibly incomprehensible as an adult. This dualism creates a tension that makes the work of the young artist so topical.
Considering the large eyes of the artist’s animation-inspired subjects, the viewer is invited to explore the interplay of darkness and light, as well as the tension between innocence and fear, femininity and anxiety. The dark fluidity at the center of Stickymonger’s work was inspired by her youth in South Korea, where — growing up in a home next to her family’s gas station — the artist’s imaginative universe was formed while playing in the shadow of oil drums and staring into the reflections of dense black petroleum puddles. Currently, Stickymonger has expanded her work beyond vinyl to include other mediums such as spray paint and acrylic. As her methods evolve and change, she continues to offer the viewer a portal into a surreal shadow-world of contradictions: as inviting as it is ominous, both delightful and disconcerting.
Ryan Travis Christian (1983, USA)
Impacted by Chicago-style figuration, the artists Ryan Travis Christian focuses on the paradoxical relationship between childish cartoons and ominous messages, musing on the technological and material obsolescence of his inspiration. The artist carefully and densely layers’ graphite to reveal high contrast graphics and dizzying patterns; wiggly figures are rendered in slow motion, living among hazy landscapes and melting fences. Christian exposes the untidy lifestyle of contemporary humanity through a vast array of topics and imagery; the economy, the environment, gender, class, hope, and doubt are contemplated with drugs, heavy petting, alcohol, violence, depression, death, and the afterlife. Christian’s recent work has expanded to comment on current nationwide and worldwide crises: his historical precedents become mirrors reflecting the common concerns of the present.
Julio Anaya Cabanding (1987, Spain)
In his still young oeuvre, the Spanish artist works with art historical quotes and their contextual shifts. By placing iconic works of art history in deserted places and painting them on the walls, Cabanding gives the viewer a strange, otherwise different level of reception, which is fueled above all by the de-sacralization of the artwork. The Trompe-l'œil paintings interact with the places, which also experience a new value as a result. Exposed to the weather, these paintings are placed in an ephemeral state that cannot be covered with the original. Cabanding thus raises questions about the aura of a work of art, the cultural-historical attribution and its content in the modern world. His canvas works also show such divergences by combining the materiality of Arte Povera art and models of European pictorial tradition. In gallery space, for example, there are picturesque imitations of iconic paintings on cardboard surfaces, such as one of Edgar Degas' famous "Heads of a Young Woman" painting.
Amir H. Fallah (1979, USA)
The artist was born in Teheran and considers himself primarily as a painter; despite he is also working in sculpture, installation, and photography. The artist produces deeply personal figurative works, which are steeped in childhood memories, formative experiences, as well as cultural legacies. Twelve years of graffiti art forms Fallah’s additive approach to painting and sculpting, which leads him to “put things on top of one another instead of forming objects or blending paint.” The works present a critical observation of the deconstruction and appropriation of portraiture in its various forms. The artists practice presents an alternative perspective to entrenched art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern art collection and art making.
Philip Gerald (1992, Ireland)
The artist works combine provocative content with naïve painting, by reinterpreting art historical works by using modern means as Microsoft Paint. Gerald examines and thus questions recurrent themes such as sexuality, consumer society and self-staging nowadays. The subtly-painted images depict figures and scenarios marked by emotional approaches as humor or anxiety. Philip Gerald confronts the viewer with inconvenient human states, which are connected within the past and present. His Instagram account adds an important part to his work, as every piece the artist uploads is complemented by a long, detailed and humorous explanation. By this Gerald broaches the issue of his own person and opens the discussion of artistic personalities and their self-portrayal within the modern social media channels.
Super A (1981, The Netherlands)
With his paintings and sculptures Stefan Thelen, better known as Super A, walks the fine line between fact and fiction and within the context of his series “Trapped” delves into the truth behind the fanciful icons of pop culture by virtually getting through to their core; Tweety, Snow White and Co. decay into a spiral of colorful ribbons and reveal their naturalistic prefiguration. The deconstruction of the easily digestible cartoons visualizes our usually idealizing view on often more complicated circumstances of reality.
Hendrik Beikirch (1974, Germany)
Beikirch‘s studies of humanity are artistic results of his own travels, where he meets the people and sketches them. After that he imbeds these portraits into new contexts and raises the question of personified life and identity. Scarred by life the monochrome faces lost the sleekness of youth long ago and allow us with the depth of their furrowed countenance to get access to their story. Initially, this high degree of intimacy seems to be at odds with the large-scale rendition on canvas and walls, but strengthens by our longing for a point of contact in cultural landscapes becoming more anonymous than ever.
JC EARL (1974, France)
JC Earl, also known as Julien Cadou, is a French multidisciplinary artist, working as graphic artist, sculptor, illustrator and painter. After more than 30 years of experience within the art scene Cadou set focus on ceramic sculptures, which are marked by comic inspired characters. The small ceramic pieces seem to develop straight out of our urban surroundings, imitating the pop cultural interests of our time, but also the physical expressions of the youth. The Parisian artist perfected his craftsmanship since the young age of eight and today crowns it with an excellent illusion of imperfection, which breathes life into the sculptures. With humor and a sensitivity for human behavior and thinking, Cadou produces life-like imitations of the young society nowadays.