Born in Port Alto, Texas, Conrad Kofron went on to study at the Pratt Institute, and graduated in 2005 with a BFA in Painting. Aside from painting, he also photographs, draws, illustrates, and practices printmaking. Kofron seems to depict absence and memory through fluttery white brushstrokes.
Skateistan is a beautifully shot mini documentary about skateboarding in Afghanistan. Shot against a backdrop of war and destruction it documents young skaters and the Skateistan charity that is the worlds first co-educational skateboarding school. This gives a whole new meaning to Skate And Destroy!
Merijn Hos lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands. When he isn’t working on an illustration project he creates drawings and paintings that showcase a multitude of idiosyncratic characters and objects. In a new body of work Hos constructs lively sculptural works out of wood and paint. The simplicity of the materials adds an accessibility to his signature quirks.
Agostino Arrivabene paints dreamlike visions of pain and beauty. With tentacle-like flowers growing from ethereal faces and branches reminiscent of veins encompassing bodies portrayed as saints, his paintings exist on their own plane of reality. It is almost as if they come from a time where time itself is non existent, as they seem to be simultaneously prehistoric and futuristic. His figures are almost treated in a pathological sense, yet are delicately sentimental, creating an innate sense of wonder.
His body of work aims to mimic “a room of curiosities” — referring to a collection of exotic memorabilia gathered by travelers. However, his collection is a metaphorical culmination of the excursions he has taken internally; he relates his process to that of the journey of Dante through hell. He is an artist that mainly lives in solitude, allowing him to fully immerse himself in his own bizarre world, drawing inspiration from his own dreams and the dark nature he surrounds himself in.
His extremely introverted and contemplative practice is heavily influenced by old masters. Using traditional methods such as grinding his own pigment, making his own paint, and using a near-extinct technique that combines egg tempera with oil, he allows himself to fully utilize the complexity of color. In doing so, he interjects himself somewhere in the middle of, or perhaps, within various aspects of, the history of painting.
Agostino Arrivabene transcends art history not only through technique, but also through content. His work winks at artists from multiple eras of time. There are strong connections to Italian Renaissance painters such as Sandro Botticelli, Symbolist painters such as Odilon Redon, Visionary painters such as Gustave Moreau, and the psychological darkness similar to the work of Francis Bacon.
Italian photographer Massimo Gammacurta takes a candy already filled with sexual innuendo, the lollipop, and takes it’s meaning to a whole new level. However, these sugary delights are not the kind of candy you would give to a child. In his humorously titled series KamaSugar, he recreates positions of the infamous Kama sutra in the form of real, edible suckers. These explicit and surprisingly graphic candies are somewhere between a funny gag gift and very impressive skill. Obviously not made for the practical purpose of eating, these lollipops have brilliant colors that are rich and dripping with passion. Each cool blue and fiery red give the strikingly vivid positions a rise to a whole different kind of vibe. To add to this humor are the sometimes unfortunately placed lollipop sticks. Because the suckers contain shapes of people in which we can see through, we can spot yet another phallic shape sticking in the lollipop.
These sweet and sexy lollipops are not the only suckers that Gammacurta creates. This master of iconography has fashioned brand logos into candy as well. Being a commercial photographer as well as sly candy man of sorts, brands play a large part in Gammacurta’s life. He regularly photographs for Italian Vogue as well as other high fashion clients. His suckers have taken the shape of a many iconic symbols such as a Nike sign, a Channel logo, and the notorious Apple logo. These delectable pieces of art are so popular, that Gammacurta even has a book published dedicated to his entire Lollipop series of work.
We’ve all used hundreds of pencils in our lives since we were kids. Jennifer Maestre uses pencils too, but not the way most of us do, or even the ways most artists do. These imaginative creatures use pencils to showcase the contrast between lifelike forms and industrially produced materials. They were inspired by the texture of the sea urchin, which she has been exploring in many materials for several years.
Self-described daughter of an eccentric mechanical engineer and a stiff-upper-lipped British nurse, Canadian artist Bonni Reid specializes in exploring the spaces between worlds through her works. The Vancouver-based painter mixes together dapper gents and lovely ladies of old with exposed – and sometimes floral – anatomy, surreal landscapes, and a bit of humor at times. Her well-crafted curiosities have been shown in Los Angeles’ La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, and several spaces in Canada, among others. Take a closer look at her work after the jump.