This month is brought to you by the lovely folk from Universal Tomorrow...
Argentinian by descent, @felipepantone is one of the most high-profile contemporary artists to emerge from the graffiti scene in the last couple of decades, where, from the ripe old age of 12, he was ‘bombing’ walls in Valencia where he now resides.
Pantone, a by-product of the digital age, explores our relationship with new technologies and modern-day concerns about a society that is never off-line. This is characterised by his complex compositions that feature the use of gradient colour blocks, geometric patterns, computer glitches and Op Art elements – which is a form of abstract art that gives the illusion of movement by the precise use of pattern and colour – all these elements combined creates his distinctive, bold and universally recognised aesthetic.
The output isn’t just limited to works on canvas or murals on walls. Felipe has recently invested in a new ‘state of the art’ studio that includes a couple of industrial-sized 3D printers where he has produced a series of kinetic sculptures, one of which uses rotating acrylic disks to create an ever-changing palette of colour. His Instagram page demonstrates a truly forward-thinking and visionary artist that is not only willing to embrace new technologies but leading the charge and pushing the boundaries where art and digital collide.
New York-based artist @danielarsham fuses art, design and architecture in his works which manifests into beautiful yet surreal sculptures. Daniel uses a multitude of materials ranging from concrete, quartz crystal, bronze, glass to cast resin.
A couple of his best-known pieces includes 1:1 scale replicas of a classic DeLorean and a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, which featured in the 80’s classic films Back to the Future and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off respectively. My personal favourites come from his “Future Relic” series where the artist has imagined a variety of everyday objects as archaeological discoveries from a future. Casts of Polaroid cameras, cassette players, and Pokémon characters appear as eroding artefacts, illustrating how new technologies can quickly become obsolete. I count myself very lucky to have one of his Nintendo GameBoy relics in my collection.
Through eschewing the use of detail, boiling down his figures to basic yet stylised forms and applying a greyscale colour palette, American Artist @immikelee is able to amplify his messages which tackle modern-day social attitudes and anxieties like love, fear, noise and family, in a way that subverts the ‘normal’ visual cues used to express these subject matters.
His paintings (no they haven’t been generated on a computer) and sculptures possess a true beauty in its stillness, serenity and simplicity – which is something most of us could all do with a little bit more of in our lives!
South African born @cj_hendry is undoubtedly a true master of her craft. Her medium is graphite and the genre she practices is Hyperrealism. I’m always in awe and sometimes in disbelief of how real all her canvases look and feel.
Hyperrealism is one of the most challenging and ‘difficult to get right’ genres in the art world – if you’re not ‘on point’ with every single detail that covers every single millimetre of the canvas it will stand out like a sore thumb and therefore shatters the illusion. There are only a handful of artists that work in this genre that I would consider masters (Robert Longo, Duane Hanson & Zaria Forman are also sensational artists worth checking out).
Apart from the jaw-dropping images of the finished pieces, what I also really love about CJ’s Instagram feed is the ‘work in progress’ videos she’s posted as without them I don’t think I would believe that her works are not photos.
@paulinsect is another shining example of an ex-street artist who has made the successful transition from the street into the contemporary art world, where he can command five figures for his originals in today’s primary art market. The London based artist, who was already well known and highly respected in the street art world massively upped his profile when just days before his first solo show was due to open in 2007, a fellow artist who goes by the name of Damian Hirst bought the entire exhibition.
Citing the Dada movement and Modernism as his source of inspiration, the artist’s visual language, which I can only describe as highly visceral pop – in style, crashes a carefully considered array of vivid hues along with abstract shapes and forms that masks a half-tone clad portrait which the artist uses as his signature recurring subject and central theme.
But Mr Insect’s art is not the only thing that will keep you hooked on his Insta feed. You will be treated to a collection of his hand-made dancing puppets – Psychofunk pizzas, Breakdancing watermelons and Disco dancing doughnuts in the form of 15-second skits – ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the crazy world of Paul Insect.