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Kevin Luong

“Courage Wolf” (2010): Kevin Luong is a freelance illustrator and student at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. I don’t usually gravitate toward this kind of aesthetic – bold, garish cartoons full of saliva and color – but I liked reading about Luong’s experimental foray into silkscreening with this print on his blog. See more: http://cargocollective.com/kevinluong

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Ray Caesar

The mind of London-born digital artist Ray Caesar was warped at an early age, perhaps when he began sleeping with a book of Dali’s paintings under his pillow. Caesar combines traditional portraiture with surrealism, resulting in a bizarre juxtaposition of beautiful and repugnant subjects: most often precocious little girls with half-hidden disfigurements, time-traveling teens with hinted smiles at the corner of their red-painted mouths. Caesar refutes that his pictures are of children, but rather that they are “of the human soul, that alluring image of the hidden part of ourselves”. Take a moment to get lost within his website, where an animated gramophone will play a dreamy and liturgical soundtrack for your exploration of this incredibly alluring artist: http://www.raycaesar.com/

“Day Break” (2008)

“Madre” (2006)

“Sleeping By Day” (2004)

Takay

“Colored Valley” (2008): Taken in Shigakougen, Japan by talented landscape photographer Takay with a Pentax K10D. Part fairy-tale, part dreamscape, it’s awe-inducing to think about the technicolor wonder of nature around the world.

Lee Misenheimer

“The Great Masticator”: graphite-and-gouache artist Lee Misenheimer is soothed by the repetitive line technique he uses to create his drawings. He is inspired by Japanese imagery, and in his own words, “organic/floral/natural textures… mushrooms… plus many ideas about air/wind/breath”. I am enchanted by these dragon-like figures, which evoke ancient mythology and are perfectly executed. Misenheimer hails from the Carolinas, is currently based in New York and on occasion uses the pseudonym ‘Destroy Rock City’. More here: http://destroyrockcity.com/devildowsing/shop.html

Korean sculptor Jaehyo Lee (b. 1965) creates ingenious forms using both nature and steel, playing with the idea of dualities, appearing both hard and soft. Some of these sculptures are biomorphic (a nonrepresentational form or pattern that resembles a living organism in shape or appearance) while others are truly functional, like this chaise lounge made from pine tree. The material is meticulously shaped and sanded, bringing forth a contrast between the rough and smooth. See more from this playful artist here: http://www.albemarlegallery.com/artists/lee-jaehyo

Ana Himes

“Drink Life” (2010): The editorial collages of Spaniard Ana Himes are distinctly vintage-inspired with modern flair. Himes studied advertising and public relations before she was given her first camera, unleashing her artistic side. Now she finds beauty in repurposing old pictures and ads, as well as capturing decay and abandon (broken windows, rusted signs, overgrown gardens) through her photographs. Enjoy more here: http://www.anahimes.es/

Shawn Barber

“Tattooed Self-Portrait” (2008): Los Angeles denizen Shawn Barber (b. 1970 in New York) is a seasoned oil painter who has been widely recognized for his portraiture. Barber explores and transgresses traditional portraiture through his depictions of tattooed subjects – often skipping over one’s face and instead copying details of their inky marks in his signature style. No longer just a scholar/reflector of tattoo culture, Barber picked up the needle and opened his own tattoo studio in 2010. See more of his work here: http://www.sdbarber.com/

Isaac Cordal

“Follow the Leader” (2010): Perched on window sills or reaching through metal grates, the tiny cement figures of Brussels-based sculptor and street artist Isaac Cordal inhabit grimy urban spaces. Cordal’s critique of modern industrialization and subsequent alienation from nature is both understated and humorous. Here, defeated corporate drones file into a puddle as though committing suicide, although in other sculptures these suits float on oily puddles in miniature life preservers – a pointed jab at the twisted ideology behind big-business and their artful dodging of accountability. See more of his Cement Eclipses here: http://www.isaac.alg-a.org/

Eoin Ryan

“Pattern 2”: Eoin Ryan is a London-based illustrator and animator hailing from Ireland. His work is is imbued with a muted color palette and a distinctive texture that he conjures with pencil, charcoal and ink. Ryan draws inspiration from woodblock art, old Chinese maps and infographics. The artist describes his work as “folk, wave and geometry”. Browse more succinct and subtle images at his website: http://www.eoinryanart.com/

Linden Gledhill

There’s something to be said for the unlikely art-makers out there, such as biochemist and pharmaceutical researcher Linden Gledhill, whose photographs of water based paints triggered into motion by sound from a speaker are otherworldly. The result – captured by a high speed 10 megapixel Nikon D2000 – are like psychedelic fungi that come alive for a split-second before melding into rainbow puddles. See hundreds more of these ephemeral sculptures at his Flickr set: http://bit.ly/bKwjq

Jeremy Geddes

“The White Cosmonaut” (2009): The oil-on-board paintings by Melbourn-based (New Zealand-born) painter Jeremy Geddes send a veritable chill up my spine. The eerie images of dangling astronauts – fallen angels in bubble-top helmets, their stories and vital signs unknown – suggest ever-increasing alienation. Geddes is methodical in his preparation of these large-scale paintings, going through many drafts before beginning a grisaille underpainting. Grisaille (French for ‘grey’) works are entirely monochrome, and then layers of colors are may be added. After attending art school, Geddes worked in video game development and has been painting full time since 2003. See more seriously stunning imagery on his website: http://jeremygeddesart.com/paintings.html

Victoria Topping

“Black Orpheus and Voodoo Funk” (2011): Artists have been making collages for hundreds of years, and the medium is alive and well in contemporary art. The term derives from the French “colle” meaning “glue”, although the word applies to plenty of forms besides the two-dimensional, including music, literary, architecture, and film. Enter Victoria Topping, a London and Berlin-based artist whose own interpretation of collage involves Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and traditional drawing & painting. Her work blends musical themes – disco lyrics, floating notes, LP covers – with a distinctly modern flair. Awesome and vibrant stuff from an artist to keep an eye on: http://cargocollective.com/victoriatopping

Victor Rodriguez

“16 Eyes”: Victor Rodriguez (b. 1970 in Mexico City) is an especially sophisticated oil painter living and working in New York City. Recurring themes in Rodriguez’s work include eyes, Rubik’s cubes, and naked women stretched lithely across the canvas (he also pays homage to Edouard Manet’s ‘Olympia’ painting, that historically tantalizing subject). I am impressed with Rodriguez’s skin tones, interesting compositions and indisputable skill with a paintbrush. For more see his site: http://web.mac.com/victor.rodriguez/

Andy Ralph

“Lawn Chairs” (2010): San Diego sculptor Andy Ralph has an affection for household objects and seeks to bring them to life by playing with their conventional structures, materials and measurements. Ladders, trash cans, rulers and lawn chairs – once relegated to dank garages – gleam with new anthropomorphic purpose. Ralph’s fascination with turning traditional items into avant-garde sculpture suggests that art is all around us, just waiting to be unleashed. See more of this artist’s work here: http://www.andyralph.com/

“Poon”: Step into the absurd text-and-image landscapes of painter, puppeteer and production designer Wayne White, whose lauded Word Paintings are known for their satiric and irreverent messages. Bold typography dominates reproductions of banal, vintage-looking landscapes, creating a juxtaposition that triggers a comedic or thought-provoking response. “Poon” is a fairly straight-forward example of White’s project, but other phrases jostle the landscape for space, often bending to his whim or disappearing into the horizon lines of the tepid nature scenes. These are the kind of images hanging on grandparents’ walls, and the kind of half-baked quips you hear in passing conversation. The combination of the two is wonderfully unexpected, and all in the name of poking fun. White writes, “I’m often as frustrated at the world as most people are. But I think frustration is hilarious. One of my missions is to bring humor into fine art. It’s sacred.” Wayne White is also known for his work as a set designer on Pee Wee’s Playhouse and his direction of music videos. Don’t take anything too seriously as you peruse his website: http://www.waynewhiteart.com/