aakash nihalani

Tape. Paint. Corrugated board. What? This is the mind-bending work of New York based artist Aakash Nihalani. I featured his work waaaaaay back in 2010… now here we are ten years later, and his work is even more wonderfully confusing! Happy Friday.

samantha wall


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South Korean born, Portland based artist Samantha Wall is an “Immigrant Korean-Black-American” who creates art to express herself and find wholeness. “I am all of those things and none of those things, and I’m more than those things.” I discovered her work, that quote, and the video above, because of the mural she did for FBAiR {Facebook Artists-In-Residence Program, Redmond WA campus.} There is soooo much about her magical work that pulls me in… the washy ink, insane amounts of gold leaf, and don’t even get me started on those haunting eyes. ps. those eyes are drawn with graphite, not cut ‘n pasted photographs. What? True story.

scott froschauer

The mirrored START hooked me, UR OK made me exhale, and VOTE brought it home. Sigh. This is the work of Los Angeles based artist Scott Froschauer, and these are his words about this ongoing series, titled “Word on the Street”:

“How does one express humanity? I think it’s pretty complicated. Sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes less so. I don’t always know what a particular piece means and I love to discover new perspectives in conversations with viewers.

I ran into a city worker who was maintaining the landscaping around one of my street signs. He asked what the sign was supposed to mean. Of course I asked him what he thought it meant. After several minutes of explaining his search for the official meaning of this very unofficial sign, he finally said that he wasn’t really sure what it was supposed to mean but it made him feel something, something he wasn’t quite sure of… Something that felt like hope.”

Hope, indeed. START, UR OK, VOTE.

{Scott’s work is available via WallSpace, LA}

katy biele

Outside, inside, outside, inside … nope, it doesn’t matter… I love her work in both places! This colorful ‘moss’ is the work of Chilean artist {based in Canada} Katy Biele. I found her mixed media paintings first, but when I saw that she’s been taking her art out for nature walks, oh my word, LOVE. ps. Katy’s partner/photographer Josh Wicks goes with her on those walks, as these pieces are a collaborative project. LOVE {again}.

faye hall

Tiny sculptures… that you can wear! Oh my word, this is the work of UK based artist Faye Hall, and yes, it’s jewelry. Here is Faye’s description of her process and her pieces:

Originally trained in textiles, and with over thirteen years’ experience designing highly tactile fabrics for fashion and interiors, I now apply my perpetual curiosity for surface and materials to create bold pieces of art jewellery which marry my textiles practice and silversmithing. Influenced by my collage work, I am interested in finding beautiful solutions to combine materials of different weights and origins through embellishment and placement. I am very curious about the use of embroidery as both a decorative and construction tool within my work and I like to challenge that fine line.
Every piece of jewellery is handcrafted in my workshop and created in a very intuitive way; I like to be playful with my material choices and to juxtapose elements that you may not typically put together, such as linoleum and silk, or formica and gold. Working with found colours along the way only adds to the challenge of combining components that are inherently different in weight, structure and surface into an intriguing object which is tactile and harmonious.

Tactile – check … Harmonious – CHECK! Faye’s work can be found in her online shop. Happy Monday.

paulina alonso

Gah! So smart! This is the work of Buenos Aires based collage artist Paulina Alonso… one found image and some crumpled paper, and voila, a brand new {very dramatic} story in every single piece. Love, love, LOVE.

{Found via the Edinburgh Collage Collective on Instagram}

simone leigh

Now this is some very exciting art news! It was announced yesterday that Simone Leigh has been chosen to represent The United States at the Venice Biennale in 2022. She will be the first Black American woman to showcase her work in the US Pavilion {Shocking? Yes… but also no. Sigh.} Simone’s work is “informed by her ongoing exploration of black female-identified subjectivity. Leigh works in a mode she describes as auto-ethnographic. Her objects often employ materials and forms traditionally associated with African art; her performance-influenced installations create spaces where historical precedent and self-determination commingle.” {Hauser + Wirth}… I cannot wait to experience those spaces in person! Here’s the message Simone posted on Instagram yesterday after the announcement was made:

To be the first Black American woman to occupy the American Pavilion for the 58th La Biennale di Venezia is a great honor. I acknowledge the paradox of my position during this time when the depth of white supremacy in America is in full view. I also recognize that this is a time when black artists and intellectuals of the diaspora are flourishing and have reached critical mass.
My show, comprised primarily of sculpture, will engage the work of black feminist thinkers who have enlarged and transcended the limits of this democracy. Thank you Eva Respini my curator @curator_on_the_run  @icaboston , my gallery @hauserwirth , and Spelman College @spelman_college

Congratulations, Simone… so exciting, and very well-deserved. {Both bio photos above by Shaniqwa Jarvis.}

lilian martinez

California based artist Lilian Martinez. A few of the images above are from her past shows at Ochi Gallery in LA, and this is the gallery’s description of her work:

“Lilian Martinez’ work blends representation and iconographies of past with present and imaged future, combining classical architectural elements with contemporary pop cultural references to create the settings for her portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. Her flat, bold style recalls iconic predecessors like Matisse, while her impetus to center brown bodies that have historically been essentialized, if not omitted altogether, from these sorts of historical artworks recontextualizes the roles of the artist and subject at once.

Martinez’ newest body of work is both more commanding in scale, as well as increasingly focused on the figures she portrays. The figures are usually engaged in everyday leisure activities, and Martinez’ work indulges color and mood, all while maintaining a charming nonchalance. Even in the works bold simplicity, a matrix of historical and cultural signifiers exposes a boundlessness, both in connection through nostalgic specificity and limitlessness in the lack thereof. Towering above the line of sight, Lilian Martinez’ women portrayed, welcome the viewer with open arms into a dreamscape of her making.”

Beautiful! {Some of Lilian’s work is available through her shop; original work can be found via Ochi Gallery.}

alec egan

Gasp! These pattern-filled, domestic-meets-divine, narrative ‘n nostalgic paintings are not only breathtaking, they’re also packed with clever references to all sorts of things… a nod to Van Gogh’s work boots, for example (look at those juicy red laces squeezed right outta the tube!). This is the work of LA based painter Alec Egan, and all of these pieces were part of his most recent show this past summer, titled “August”, at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles. Stunning.

ps. according to Alec’s Instagram feed, he and his partner, Harper, just became parents to a sweet little girl a few weeks ago… congratulations, you three!

nicole dyer

Sooooo, who wants to start Monday morning by licking some art? Me too! Okay, fine, I won’t actually lick/touch this work by Baltimore based artist Nicole Dyer… but I really want to! Gooey paint and googly eyes, sparkly pompoms and puffy stickers. Yes, yes, yes, YES. The combination of hilarious kitsch and obvious artistic skill is one of my most favorite pairings… much like candy-covered cupcakes and grapefruit-flavored fizzy water. Ew. Actually, never mind that last one.