Artist Robert Bowers paints tranquil jungle scenes that feature four-legged friends nestled within their lush green leaves. His work is 50% to 75% plants that make it impossible to see beyond their walls of tropical flora… but I’m not complaining. The low depth of field is otherworldly, and Robert’s images offer a form of escapism in which animals rule the land and we’re merely visitors.
Robert has an Instagram that includes a lot of works in progress—so a lot of plants. Give it a follow if you want Henri Rousseau-inspired botanicals in your feed.
Tomorrow, I’m traveling from Baltimore to Los Angeles for an exciting reason—I’ve curated a show at the Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena! It’s called Inside / Outside features works that explore indoor and outdoor spaces. I’ve lined up fantastic artists and illustrators, so I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together.
The opening is this Saturday, August 13, from 6:30PM to 9:30PM at Flower Pepper Gallery on Union Street. If you’re local, please stop by! I’d love to meet you and say hello.
Here’s a sneak peek—a few more pieces that’ll appear in the show!
Anna Valdez, Plants on Black Wool Embroidered Bed Cover
Betsy Walton, Resting Garden Two
Sarah Burwash, Dawn and Dusk
If it looks like a stump of wood… it might not be a stump of wood—it could be a book! Artist Pochiko HO has done exactly this with a handmade text that’s about insects. The clever book’s natural-colored pages are contained within a small chunk of tree bark. Simply remove the book from the circular stump and reveal the winged insects that live inside.
Here’s another mixed media piece, also about insects:
Hayley Mitchell paints people that you want to meet. Clad in bright colors, the Cubist-inspired ladies are adorned with beautiful headpieces and jewelry. They’re abstract, yes, but still display unique personalities, and the pigments give us some insight into who they are. Wouldn’t you like to know?
Hayley has created prints of these characters and sells them all on Etsy.
Artist Monica Rohan combines elements of realism and fantasy to create works that are as beautiful as they are alluring. They’re inspired by a “rural-idyll of a childhood in South East Queensland” and 19th century novels. Each contemplates the genre of autobiography, using this form of mysterious self portraiture to do so. Here, the figures’ faces are obscured by colorful blooms, tall grass, and patterned fabrics. Though they’re partially grounded in some sort of space, the area around the subjects is empty, giving us the feeling that these people are floating in some sort of abyss.
Saddo is an Romanian artist whose career has switched gears. Starting out as a muralist, his style was was noticed by advertising agencies and galleries in cities around the world.
Saddo’s visual language has many disparate influences, including horror movie posters, comics, Hieronymus Bosch, Henri Rousseau, naturalistic illustrations of plants and animals, pop surrealism, and religion. Wow! This is reflected in his paintings and illustrations, which feature realistically-formed figures that are often in busy, lusciously-colored scenes.
If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you might remember when this artist collaborated with Aitch on Memory. Check it out—it’s my favorite iteration of the classic card game.
Using an X-Acto knife and some careful cutting, Ukraine-based artist Eugenia Zoloto creates intricate silhouettes out of twisting vines, beautiful blooms, and winged insects. The large, lacy portraits—around 15 inches by 11 inches—look stunning against a range of backdrops (check out the vibrant green grass, below). Some of them are now available in Eugenia’s Etsy shop, where you can frame them however you like.
I’m a long time fan of Kate Pugsley’s paintings and illustrations. They feature a fantastic mix of styles, riding a fine line between realism, fantasy, and abstraction—it’s what makes her compositions so memorable. My favorite pieces involve figures in flattened landscapes where the trees and plants are stylized versions of palms and cacti. I find them both aesthetically pleasing and conceptually interesting—what will happen to these heroines?!
Kate sells prints and originals in her online shop. And fans of Instagram—don’t forget to give her IG a follow! It’s a favorite of mine.
Collage artists—need some inspiration? Here are some of Kate’s scraps:
Brooklyn-based artist Keri Oldham has recently opened her latest solo exhibition at Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Dallas, Texas. Entitled Labyrinth, her beautiful watercolor paintings are an allegorical series that’s inspired by the 1980 cult-classic film, as well as the ancient myth of the Minotaur.
The gallery describes the work in Keri’s show as combining “images of demons and warriors with tragic figures and victorious ones. With armored women at its center, these pieces spin a new story on Theseus entering the maze and confronting the beast within.” The alluring pieces fuse medieval beasts with fashion and fantasy, representing inner turmoil and desires the many of us feel—to find meaning and success in our adult lives.
I love both the concept of Labyrinth and the style of Keri’s at-times grotesque paintings. They’re created with pigment, graphite, and applied paper pulp, adding these brilliant textures to her dizzying colors and patterns.
If you’re in Dallas, check out her exhibition! It’s up until November 14 of this year.
Artist Jennifer Angus has created an installation that might gross you out, but it’s sure to fascinate you! Called In the Garden, she has wallpapered a hot pink-painted room with a gorgeous textured pattern that comprises 5,000 (!!) bugs. She collected the critters from southeast Asia and arranged them on the wall with their natural coloring intact—think iridescent greens, blues, and pearly mauves. The creatures form skull shapes and other decorative motifs and take over a room in the newly-renovated Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. (This space officially opens on November 13.)
Jennifer’s piece is one of nine artworks in Wonder, the inaugural exhibition of the Renwick Gallery. In addition to her bugs, the other artists will each occupy a different gallery in the building and turn their space into a room-size installation. I’m not far from its location in Washington, DC, so I’m going to pop in one weekend and check it out. Fun! (Via designboom)