kathleen ryan

“Bad Fruit” has never looked so delicious! This is the latest work by New York/LA based artist Kathleen Ryan. I wrote about her oversized ‘rotting’ pears, peaches and lemons last year, but these beauties are from a show she had in early 2020 {pre-pandemic} at Francois Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles. I am absolutely in awe of Kathleen’s work, for two reasons… 1. the meaning behind them, “a comment on the excessive consumption and a culture of excess that exists all over our world”; and 2. the insane detail and absolutely exquisite bits and pieces she uses to create this work. The materials list for the grapes looks like this: Amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube and copper fittings, polystyrene. And the list for the melon chunks… cherry quartz, rose quartz, agate, smoky quartz, rhodenite, rhotochrocite, labradorite, quartz, citrine, calcite, horn, stone looking beads, silver lace agate, magnacite, rhyolite, Botswana agate, carnelian, acrylic, glass, cast iron and brass flies, steel and stainless steel pins, polystyrene, aluminum Airstream trailer. Airstream trailer!?





nespoon

Gasp! These lacy, spray-painted murals are the gorgeous work of Warsaw based artist NeSpoon. From Sicily to Spain, France to Croatia she is bringing the traditional lace of each area out of the linen closet and onto the walls of the town! I’ll let NeSpoon explain:

“Why laces? Because in laces there is an aesthetic code, which is deeply embedded in every culture. In every lace we find symmetry, some kind of order and harmony, isn’t that what we all seek for instinctively? Why street art? Because it gives freedom.”

Harmony and freedom… yes please!





mónica ajenjo

Pure happiness! This is the hyper-real work of Spanish painter Mónica Ajenjo. Yes. they’re paintings. What? True story. I just read an interview Mónica did with Create Magazine, and I immediately started writing this ribbon & balloon filled post. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from the interview, specifically about this series:

“‘Bows and Balloons’ relate to our inner child and trigger memories of happiness and joyful hope. Is there anything more exciting than opening a beautifully wrapped present? They are positive omens of everything good that is to come. To me, objects such as bows and balloons are contemporary representations of the celebration of life.”

Ahhh, beautiful. We could all use a little celebration at the moment, no? You can read the entire interview right here. ps. She went to law school before becoming a full time artist. What? Another true story.





katie mccann

Oh, be still my collage-loving heart! This is the work of California based, English artist Katie McCann. There is just so much to see! Flora, fauna, random oddities, collages within collages… so weird, so wonderful. Here is Katie’s description of what’s going on up there:

“The female face is central to much of my artwork and often acts as a reflection of the natural and sometimes magical world. She can be surrounded by birds, fish and butterflies or submerged in a dense wallpaper pattern which either represents her prison or her liberation.

I have recently found that my collages are becoming more orderly and methodical – neatly arranged, strange objects fill the page like rows of paper microscope slides or specimens in a tiny cabinet of curiosity. My need to obsessively cut can sometimes outweigh the composition of the piece, so I am often left with piles of abandoned cuttings – lost bones, moths, fungi, feathers, coral, shells and butterfly wings. Eventually these too will find a place to reside.”

Yessssssssss. Okay, I have to go cut stuff out. Immediately.

{found via Kolaj Magazine}





griffin carrick

This is North Carolina based paper artist Griffin Carrick. Yeah, that’s right. This is PAPER. Giant paper doilies that I desperately want to drape over something in my yard, and delicate vessels expertly quilled. This is PAPER. Here’s part of Griffin’s backstory that I just had to share:

“A maker at an early age, I crafted my way through childhood, quilling for the first time in the third grade, a vase of flowers! But it would be another 20 years before I tried my hand at quilling again. During that extended quilling “hiatus” I pursued my other creative passions, architecture and interior design.  Designing barbie’s dream house and sketching up reimagined floor plans for the homes of friends and family. That passion lead me to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural studies  and then a Master of Arts in Interior Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I followed that up with a career in commercial and residential design while also teaching interior design online to undergraduate students.

In July of 2016, in search of a creative outlet that didn’t require the use of my computer and while on the hunt for sculptural art for the walls of my home, I rediscovered quilling and  this time I was hooked! I put my own spin on this centuries old craft  by ditching the backing traditionally used to display quilled coils and instead glued the coils to each other resulting in textural and semi-transparent paper sculptures.”

Love!





rocco pezzella

Ooooh! These things make me wanna make things! These pieces, all of which were created during the summer of 2020, are the work of Amsterdam based artist Rocco Pezzella. Clay, sculpture block, wood, sand and other found objects balanced in perfect harmony:

“This is a collection where organic and artificial forms blend together in a harmonious body. A study between design and art where different materials combine, coexisting in shapes that recall nature and the human touch at the same time.”

Ah yes, human touch… remember that? Happy Monday.

{Found via Andenken Gallery’s IG}




isabelle feliu

Le sigh… this is the absolutely lovely work of Norway based, Quebec artist / illustrator Isabelle Feliu. I have been a little bit obsessed with seashells in my own work lately, so when I came across these personal pieces {ink and gouache on paper} by Isabelle, well, I was instantly smitten. Soft pastels, elegant lines, feminine subjects… is it just me or can you smell the powdery, rose-scented perfume that would go perfectly with this post? Happy Friday.

ps. Isabelle’s personal work is available in her shop, or reach out to her for commercial illustration projects right here.





caroline wayne

“Pretty Objects”. Yes they are… until you dig a little deeper to find out what all of those pretty beads and stitches represent. This is the work of Brooklyn based artist Caroline Wayne. Some {if not all?} of these pieces were part of an exhibition, titled “Grown Cyclone”, at A.I.R Brooklyn at the end of 2019. Here is part of the gallery’s description:

“Rounded soft felt forms are adorned with sequins, pearls, and beads, packed and overlapping like armor. Thumb tacks position themselves with pointed-side up in a mechanism of defense. Scrolling across the ornamented circumferences of these narrative vessels, painstakingly embellished scenes examine the distant memories and dreams of the artist’s own sexual traumas.

Each sculpture’s apparent beauty—the laborious result of extended emotional, physical, and psychic effort— illustrates Wayne’s lifelong endeavor to process and reshape a complicated and harrowing past. Through onerous mark-making, she exposes the suffering that a body can accumulate over time. The artist’s own cyclic path through healing acknowledges the overlooked stories of survivors, whose fiercest pain lies not in the traumatic event itself but in the way one has to navigate their world for a lifetime after.”

That is not what I expected. You? As a survivor of an abusive relationship, this gave me chills…. and I just realized I was holding my breath through that entire final paragraph. So beautiful. So powerful. ps. A few of these pieces are currently available via PXP Contemporary.





kwesi botchway

Oh. My. These paintings are the jaw-dropping work of Ghana based artist – and founder of Worldfaze Art Studio – Kwesi Botchway. Those eyes… they literally stopped me in my tracks, and I couldn’t look away. Turns out, that was Kwesi’s beautiful plan:

“I’m interested in depicting compelling figurative portrait paintings from different generations. My point of focus is the Eyes, Nose and Mouth which is where our emotions are best portrayed, I also believe it helps us better visually experience one another’s feelings; an exchange of information without using words.

My Paintings help create an intriguing dialogue between the subject’s message and the viewer. My work compels the viewer to become physically and emotionally invested in the subject’s story.

I aim to celebrate, capture the spirit, essence and heritage of my subjects and use this as an opportunity to lend the world a glance into the lives and struggles of people whose stories are yet to be fully told.

My paintings are meant to trigger emotions of pride or shame, honor or disgust and sometimes even humor. It’s all about the story of my subjects, which words cannot fully explain.”

‘An exchange of information without using words.’ See? So beautiful. ps. Some of his work is available via Gallery 1957.





juliette clovis

Gasp! This is the latest work from French sculptor Juliette Clovis. I wrote about her nature-covered busts in 2017, but these never-ending, scaly wonders took my breath away. I should say, I have a major snake phobia, but luckily, these aren’t snakes. I’ll let Juliette explain… poetically:

“Manis Tetradactyla is a species of pangolin: a small long-tailed mammal living in West and Central Africa. Like the animal, thousands of porcelain scales interlock into each other and form a carapace which covers entirely the surface of the sculpture. The final shape draws an abstract line, invasive and sinuous, almost looking like snake curves. Like a gigantic Gordian knot, Manis Tetradactyla has neither beginning nor end. An hybrid and reptilian creature with an immaculate beauty born from Intertwined and sprawling forms.

The course of events seems then reversed. The cycle of life takes another turn and instead of disappearing, a new living being emerges from the pangolin’s scales. A powerful form springs out fragile porcelain shards. The spectator is faced with an unknown animal. Is it one of a kind? Are they several? Is it a threat? The impression of strength and invasion is palpable. But the delicacy and fragility of porcelain soften this tension making the animal less disturbing than intriguing. Strength and fragility are balanced to give life to a new form of harmony. 

Manis Tetradactyla scrambles the tracks and plays the spectator who no longer knows if he is in front of a prehistoric animal resurfaces from the past or a metamorphic and futuristic creature announcing the birth of a new era.”

Ahhh, a new era. That sounds great.