Art

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Art Illustration

More Than 90 Artists Create Original Works on Vintage Envelopes for 'Couriers of Hope'

January 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

By Andrew Hem

What brings you hope? That’s the central question behind a new group exhibition presented by Port City Creative Guild. Couriers of Hope boasts more than 120 original pieces from more than 90 artists—the list includes Rosanne Kang Jovanovski, Andrew Hem (previously), Sean Chao (previously), and Yoskay Yamamoto—all rendered on vintage envelopes. Prompted by the mail art movement of the 1960s, the exhibition features an eclectic array of watercolor, pencil, and mixed-media illustrations that transform the miniature canvases into the artists’ vision for the future, whether through relaxed otters, peaches, or vivid portraits. Many of the works prominently display original postmarks and stamps and serve as a reminder that communication doesn’t have to be digital.

Students from Long Beach Unified School District have the opportunity to acquire one of the envelopes by trading their own response to the artists’ same prompt, with the guild providing art supplies for participants to ensure that everyone has access to the initiative. The show was curated collectively by a Long Beach Museum of Art, Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space, Flatline, Inspired LBC, The Icehouse x Ink and Drink Long Beach, Arts Council Long Beach, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, Compound LBC, and the Creative Class Collective.

Couriers of Hope will be on display in the windows of the Psychic Temple of the Holy Kiss in downtown Long Beach and on the guild’s site for virtual viewing from January 19 to February 28, 2021.

 

By Sean Chao

By Megan Boterenbrood

By Adam Harrison

By Bodeck Luna

By Christine Yoon

By Hilary Norcliffe

By Judy Kepes

Left: By Jonathan Martinez. Right: By Kelly Yamagishi

By Narsiso Martinez

By Rosanne Kang Jovanovski

By Sean Chao

 

 



Art Craft

Loose Fibers Billow Out of Warped Ceramic Sculptures by Artist Nicole McLaughlin

January 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole McLaughlin, shared with permission

“As a product of an American father and a Mexican mother, I am influenced by the conflicting expectations I have received as a woman within my two cultures,” says artist Nicole McLaughlin. From her studio in Marion, Massachusetts, McLaughlin combines historically domestic crafts—ceramics and fiber art—into striking sculptures that explore identity and heritage, particularly in relation to gendered expectations, traditions, and the changes that occur as generations pass.

In her mixed-media works, the artist contrasts the soft, pliable fibers with the fragility of the plates painted with blue-and-white motifs. Dyed in subtle gradients and earth tones, the loose threads are woven through the sloping ceramic edges and knotted in the center. McLaughlin explains how it’s important that the utility of both elements is removed once combined:

(The vessels) serve as vehicles for fiber.  As the fiber flows from, weaves into, or frames the ceramic, it distorts the functionality but becomes a meaningful component as plate and cloth merge. The vessels contain an expression of femininity and an essence of personal and cultural history.

These dichotomies in the materials also reflect the artist’s experience eschewing “the feminine ideals of my Mexican identity,” she says. “I am a force, and I think I tend to push the boundaries of what might be within the female expectation in Mexican culture.”

Currently, McLaughlin is serving as a teaching fellow at Tabor Academy. She sells some smaller ceramic pieces in her shop, and you can follow her work on Instagram, where she also shares glimpses into her process.

 

 

 



Art History

This Warty Pig Painting Is Thought To Be the Oldest Cave Art in the World

January 14, 2021

Grace Ebert

Deep within Leang Tedongnge, a cave tucked away on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, archaeologists discovered this mulberry-hued painting of a warty pig and two hand silhouettes potentially belonging to the artist, which is now believed to be the oldest figurative work in the world. A study published in Science Advances this week says the impeccably preserved rendering is at least 45,500 years old, which predates previously discovered depictions of mythical creatures in the region. Those prior findings date back about 43,900 years.

Questions remain about the exact age of the work and who made it. Archaeologists from Griffith University, who helmed the mission, utilized uranium-series dating to determine how old the speleothem, or mineral deposits, of the cave is rather than the actual painting. There’s also debate about whether modern humans are responsible for the renderings, a question that’s complicated by the fact that the only skeletal remains that date back at least 45,500 years in Sulawesi belong to early hominins.

Dr. Adam Brumm, who co-authored the study, told The New York Times that researchers expect to discover similar artworks in the region, although the cave paintings are deteriorating at a rapid rate and could fade before they’re ever uncovered. “It is very worrying, and given the current situation the end result is likely to be the eventual destruction of this ice age Indonesian art, perhaps even within our lifetime,” Brumm said.

 

 

 

 



Art

A Technicolor Flower Bed Sprouts From a 70-Foot-Tall Water Tower in Arkansas

January 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Justkids, shared with permission

A drab water tower in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, is overrun with a 70-foot-tall garden of technicolor flowers and vines thanks to artists Darren and Emmelene Mate, aka DabsMyla. The Australian wife and husband are known for their hand-painted psychedelic dreamscapes, which envelop the otherwise utilitarian tank with oversized flora. Titled “Magical Unity,” the circular mural features plants native to the region, along with a fuzzy bumblebee mid-pollination, all rendered in the duo’s playful style.

DabsMyla completed the public project in just one week, which they describe:

Color plays a big role in our work and how we create. For this piece, we wanted to produce an uplifting feeling through flowers and running a rainbow of hues from the bottom to the top. This is a really large work, and we hope that it will positively impact the community and bring happiness to everyone who passes by it.

The transformative artwork is the latest commissioned by the women-led curators of Justkids (previously) and OZ Art, which have been collaborating to revitalize areas around Arkansas in recent years. Shop pins and stickers of DabsMyla’s quirky characters in their shop, and check out more of the couple’s work on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Bold, Striking Portraits by Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe Render Expressive Subjects in Shades of Gray

January 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Red Bandana on Green Suit” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. All images © Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe courtesy of Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, shared with permission

Set against bold, impasto backdrops, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe’s portraits emphasize the subjects’ spirits, their emotional states and idiosyncracies conveyed through facial expression, gesture, and garments—striped suits, wide-brimmed hats, and bright red bandanas tied around their necks. He renders figures in shades of gray, painting distinctive artworks that embrace the multitudes of Black life through striking and powerful depictions. The goal, the Ghanaian artist (previously) said in an interview with Juxtapoz, is “to capture what they want to say but cannot say in just one image. So that when you see the figure or the painting, you wonder who the person is.”

Quaicoe’s next solo show will run from April to May 2021 at Roberts Projects in Los Angeles. Until then, see more of his vibrant portraits on Artsy and Instagram.

 

“Wilde Wilde West” (2020), oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

“Lady in Sunglasses” (2020), oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches

“Glare” (2020), oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Left: “DOPE” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. Right: “Green Wall” (2020), oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

“Observing” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

“Wiyaala” (2020), oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

“Bandana Cowboy” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

 

 



Art

Photorealistic Figures Embody Childhood Wonder in Dreamy Murals by Lula Goce

January 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Bronx, New York City. All images © Lula Goce, shared with permission

From New York City to Azerbaijan to Kristianstad, Sweden, artist Lula Goce transforms blank walls into ethereal artworks that illustrate childlike wonder and growth. Her murals merge photorealistic renderings of adolescent subjects with otherworldly surroundings: plumes of flowers and vines wind around the figures, serpentine creatures emerge from the plants, and shrunken landscapes rest in the children’s hands. Serene and dreamy, the works often center on children painted in subtle tones who peer into the distance or are deep in sleep.

Based in Vigo, Spain, Goce sells prints of her large- and small-scale works in her shop, and you can follow where she’s headed next on Instagram.

 

Kristianstad, Sweden

Belorado, Spain

Murcia, Spain

Vigo, Spain

Västervik, Sweden

Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain

Panxon, Nigrán, Spain