medium /// contemporary




andrea wan

Gasp! Painted paper-cut pieces … GORGEOUS. This is the latest body of, always elegant and slightly bizarre, work by Hong Kong born, Vancouver raised, and now Berlin based artist Andrea Wan. All of her work is fantastic, but this latest series took my breath away. Oh, and I highly recommend following her on Instagram, because her work in progress shots are absolutely beautiful and totally inspiring. In fact, I’m heading into the studio to put some paint on that scary black paper I’ve been avoiding.





shirin gunny

Gasp! No need for paint, paper, or beads when you are surrounded by Mother Nature’s art supplies! This series, titled “Floral Accord”, is the work of Mauritius born, Montreal based artist Shirin Gunny. Here is a small snippet of her story, how these natural wonders came to be:

… After a few wanderings between China and Montreal, Shirin decided to return to her native island. Driven by her passion to create and interest in experimentation, she started looking for unique materials. One day, while foraging and plucking flowers in her tropical garden, she was stunned by the richness of the shapes and colours available at hand. She decided to arrange the organic materials and discovered that the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating ephemeral art using seasonal flowers.

“When I start, I never know what the result will be. It all comes together in a very natural way. Whether it’s the amount of flowers I’ve managed to pluck on that day, the colours and shapes I was able to find. Part of the process feels a bit like magic because I always end up having the exact amount of seeds, petals and leaves that are required to finalise a piece.”

Read her whole story right here … it’s a good one!





jessica hess

Yep, they’re paintings {close-ups included as cold hard evidence}. This is the work of American artist Jessica Hess. All of these gorgeous pieces are part of her upcoming show, titled “Less is More”, that opens at Hashimoto Gallery in San Francisco this Thursday, August 31 / 6-9pm, and runs until September 23. Here is Hashimoto’s description of this exhibition:

“Less Is More” expands Hess’ ongoing survey of derelict spaces void of human presence. The vivid paintings transport the viewer to locations around the country, such as the Heidelberg project in Detroit or the rural backroads of New England. Hess’ new work develops the narrative set forth by her previous exhibition “More Is More” by detailing the continuous change in these vacated structures. Graffiti saturated buildings have been buffed over, abandoned homes are boarded up and repainted. These subdued moments provoke contemplation of the cyclical nature of our built environments.

The exhibition also highlights key developments in Hess’ creative practice. She continues to skillfully manipulate the reality of her subjects through interventions of painterly abstraction. One piece, entitled “North Adams” {first image above}, portrays an abandoned home, its vibrant color starkly contrasts the surrounding bleak forest. Hess renders the painting to resemble a physical photo collage, offering a glimpse at the intermediary process between her source and its final painted form.

You’re going to go, right? Yes!





martha rieger

Oooooh, “Shibori Bubbles”. This gorgeous ceramic series, from 2016, is the work of Martha Rieger, a Brazilian-Israeli ceramic artist and sculptor, working in Tel Aviv and in Jingdezhen, China.

“In a project from 2016, Martha Rieger created sculptures, shaped as a bubble meeting a horizontal surface, in that fragile moment before snapping. Adventurously crafted by using traditional Chinese techniques and contemporary innovation, the bubble sculptures are hand-painted by Rieger in the Japanese Shibori style, known in its western versions of Tie-Dye or Batik. By using sponges, fishing nets and duct tape, Rieger created an overall illusionistic pattern, transforming each bubble into a world of its own.

Under Rieger’s hands, the intangible short-living bubble, a perfect existence that suddenly breaks, is transformed into an entire universe that lures the viewer to its frozen beauty, encapsulating a potential of longevity, movement and the ability to grasp an existence that seemed impossible.

The manufacturing of the sculptures was a collaboration between Rieger and He Yongjun Lio and Wei Tong’s workshop in Jingdezhen, China.”

Some of Martha’s beautiful work will be shown at The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair in January 2018 (18th – 21st). Pop that in your calendar now!





sam branton

A dreamlike, imaginary, and very pink world that might exist in the aftermath of a “Deluge”. This series – color pencil on paper – is the beautiful work of UK based artist Sam Branton, and this is what it’s all about:

Deluge is a collection of miniature drawings which imagines the bizarre, comical and confused moments that could happen during the aftermath of a great downpour. Newly paired and mystified inhabitants are set against idyllic, pastoral landscapes – a whale hangs from a tree, waiting for his weight to break the branch; elsewhere, a horse, awkwardly struggles escape from an inflated pufferfish; and a baby elephant struggles to carry a beached whale back to the water.

That pufferfish and horse? I could not love them more. ps. Some of his work is available as prints.





zoe young

Annnnnd exhale. Ah, these quiet, everyday moments have been captured beautifully by Australian painter Zoe Young. All of these pieces are from her series titled “Space Between Hours”. Here’s the write up from her site about this work:

“Space Between Hours” is a retreat and a space to meditate, away from the noise and chaos of modern life. It is the expression of an artist whose life and artistic practice are harmoniously intertwined.

This body of work reveals the significance that objects, both collected and inherited, hold for the artist. For instance, Young incorporates studies of artworks that have resonated with her since childhood, such as Benjamin Edwin Minns’ etching Aboriginal mother & child (1925) which features in Ode to Minns (2017). In this way, she pays homage to her Grandfather’s art collection and enters into a dialogue with these artists across time and space … Zoe Young’s still life compositions are unashamedly feminine, and are an intimate reflection of her environment and lifestyle, as a mother of two working from a countryside studio. Since having children Young has become wary of the accelerated pace of modern life. Her paintings are an attempt to slow down and grasp time, by capturing unique, tranquil moments and distilling them on canvas.

Lovely. {ps. Note that the first painting is hanging on the wall in the last painting!}





monica lee-henell

Big beautiful abstract-ish blooms! This is the newest body of work by American artist Monica Lee-Henell. She’s worked as an illustrator for years, but has recently decided to begin moving away from the commercial world to create her own personal work. Enter these large-scale paintings, a saturated, rich fine blend between floral and abstract. I love the final pieces but, I have to admit, I’m a sucker for her works in progress / studio shots … you can find more on her lovely Instagram feed. Here are a few words found on Monica’s site about why she has made this creative change in her life:

“An artist’s job is to be awake. Remain awake and awaken others. We are not meant to slumber through our gorgeous, lush lives.

I want my art to feel intimate and generous, to create a sensory experience for myself, and for the viewer. The art is meant to linger in the delicate space of your psyche. As an artist, I want to create an emotional impression causing you to ask yourself what you might not be seeing on the surface.”

Lovely.





josepha gasch-muche

Glass. I know, I was wondering what exactly I was looking at too! It’s glass… thousands of shards of reflective, delicate, glass. The still photos do not do the work of German artist Josepha Gasch-Muche justice! I saw some of her breathtaking work in person last week while attending Glasstress in Venice. Here’s a short video I took in an attempt to do the final piece above a bit of justice:

Happy Monday.

 





caitlyn murphy

Hot summer in the city – I can smell these paintings from here! Yep, a fine blend of overripe fruit, damp cardboard, and cigarettes. Ahhh, makes me miss the days when I lived at Queen & Spadina … kinda. This is the memory-inducing work {gouache on paper} of Toronto based artist Caitlyn Murphy. Happy Friday… and don’t forget to buy your watermelon in the morning before it gets too hot!





mark wagner

Who needs regular old art supplies when you can just cut up money to make your collages! Yep, American artist Mark Wagner has been slicing and dicing American currency for years. My favorite series is titled “Washington at Large”. Why? Well according to Mark, “It’s only natural that Washington’s “Head of State” should grow a body and start walking around and doing stuff.” I absolutely agree. Also, I really love that George is out there mowing all that green {see what I did there?}. Here is more about Mark and his reasons for cutting up thousands of dollars every year:

Mark Wagner is best known for his intricate collages made entirely from deconstructed US dollars. Wagner destroys thousands of bills yearly to create works which pointedly and playfully explore the intersection of wealth, power, value, and American identity. Wagner’s audacious (and unlawful) destruction of this revered icon of American commerce is checked only by his virtuoso material manipulation, which renders what you will… portraits, plant life, fantastical beasts, or allegorical scenes recasting George Washington in every roll.

Wagner’s artwork is an entry point to a conversation extending far beyond the art world. Decades dedicated to destroying banknotes has provided Wagner with a unique perspective on the nature of money. Modern man’s obsession with finance and our wistful attempts to tame it through economics belies money’s emotional, mercurial… even fictional nature. Wagner addresses these issues in writing, lecture, and interview as eloquently as he does through his artwork.