'Art 16 presented 134 galleries from 41 countires in its 4th edition of the contemporary art fair. Passion Palette was there to sample some of the leading artists' on display...
Todor Tamas: At the Thuja.
Tamás Todor, 1989, belongs to a new wave of Romanian artists appearing in the European Art scene. His work is becoming a regular presence at leading Art Fairs across the continent alongside peers such as Radu Baies.
Todor's work creates a compelling atmosphere as he merges surrealist qualities with abstraction & the figurative form. He explores nature & Society's relationship within it through the use of bold brushstrokes & a carefully selected palette, which hint at the visual world.
Working freely in his expressive style the artist captures the natural world in transition. He takes inspiration from artists such as Francisco Goya, Picasso and Miro all of which were famed for their innovative & ever advancing approach to art. Tamás Todor's harnesses this affect & transfers it into his own work as he frees himself from the boundaries of traditional practices. The artist manages to achieve a balance between his surrealistic approach & the laws of nature to preserve the harmony of the visual universe.
Athier Mousawi, (1975 - )
British Iranian painter Athier Mousawi graduated from London's Central St. Martins in 2007. He has spent time leading workshops in various refugee camps and comunity centres since, which has influenced his work.
Geometric Islamic forms are weaved into his paintings and presented in exuberant colour. These shapes combine to form an inner frame, which help the artist play with perspective. The scale and colour of these shapes take the viewer through a journey of each narrative contained within his paintings.
Lin Hung-Hsin: The Fairy Tale in Moonlight
Lin Hung-Hsin is a Taiwanese artist who continues to embody the flâneur series his work portrays. The self-reflective model in his paintings leisurely present the artist casually observing society. The white face serves to remove individual identities, masking these in favour of obsurity.
This painting titled, The Fairy Tale in Moonlight, feeds into general illusions about the Moon, said to be romantic. Some even worship the Moon in prayer, music and literature. Lin Hung-Hsin informally scatters suggestive imagery into the painting such as the Target Zone, Mountains, Arrows and a broken ladder, which allude to a greater symbolic meaning. In fact, there is no connection between each to the artist who uses them to insinuate a complexity rich in narrative, in turn delivering a comment on society's need for connection.
Bedri Baykam: Sadder than Water,
Turkish multimedia artist Bedri Baykam is recognised as a filmmaker, novelist and installation artist as well as a painter. His work is connected across each genre by his philisophical and political motives. Baykam is often mentioned in the same breath as his father who was a Deputy in Turkish parliament and Bedri credits his father as a continued source of inspiration. Many of his paintings comment on the strained relationship between the Middle East and the Western World including a series on the Oil Wars. Baykam played an influential role in driving the New Expressionism movement forwards in the 80s. His work has become more detailed over time as a painting would have taken 7 hours to complete during this period now taking weeks to months to complete. This piece, titled Sadder than Water, takes its name from a line from American Poet Jack Kerouac and is from Baykam's series Voyeur of History. The muse featured in the painting is an international model, Adriana Lima. Bedri Baykam continues to push the boundaries of the contemporary art scene and is a regular collaborator of collage works.
As the world of technology combines with human activity to the stage where we are intrisincally linked artist Justin Bower asks how we define ourselves in this digital and virtual world. He is referred to as an abstract expressionist due to the fractured nature his subjects acquire. Layers of eyes, ears and facial features fragment in a frozen digital interception, whilst also acknowledging the loss of identity experienced without such technologies.
Bower also comments on the establishment's use of technology to control, influence and manipulate society. He poses the question 'is free-will compromised in a society that deploys technology in an effort for more and more control over the individual'?
The San Francisco born artist has shown his work across America, Mexico, London and Singapore since graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2010.
Caterina Silva: Untitled Squared
Italian artist Caterina Silva investigates the primary emotions fear, joy & delirium, which drive her towards the creative act. Leftovers of previously destroyed art-works are reassembled in search of new configuration. A process of deconstruction gives rise to a new creation that contains the value of each separate piece collectively. The artist applies a self destructive approach to her art as she pushes the boundaries of each image in search of its collapse before arriving at the finished piece.
Untitled Squared incorporates different materials such as fabrics and fragments of painted canvases
stapled on the surface of the painting.
Radu Băieș: The Entombment II, 2015
Radu Băieș is part of the resurgence of painters playing an important role in the current Cluj art scene. This generation of artists, born around the time of the Romanian Revolution in 1989, the communist past of the country is no longer the main issue in their art. Băieș paintings provide a social commentary on the dissipation of traditional rural communities & the shift in human values caused by this.
The artist takes inspiration from his immediate context. Entombment II seeks a dialogue with 16th Century Venetian painting as the artist creates a spiritual aura around the painted figure.
Sarah Bahbah: Sex and Takeout
There was also a strong presence of photography at ART15 with Australian photographer Sarah Bahbah featuring her series 'Sex and Takeout'. Bahbah combines the pleasures of fast food and sex as she remarks on the nature of instant gratification. Inspired by her over-indulgence of fast food, whilst traveling with a partner she comments “I wanted to capture these moments of intimacy and indulgence by creating and recreating intimate experiences that everyone can relate to, whether between a one night stand, two lovers, special friends or even an individual. Capturing naked people with various kinds of food, which are used as props to conceal otherwise revealing parts of the body. This saucy comment on present-day works very well as the series continues to grow.
Manuel Felisi (1976 - )
Milanese artist Manuel Felisi moves between painting, photography & installation art to be referred to as a multimedia artist. Each variation of art is connected by the artist's common theme of 'Time'. He creates art that tells stories about people, places & objects.
In this series the artist structures his work in a grid depicting trees. His work incorporates the use of digital technology as he combines photography with paint before applying final tweaks using specialist software. More information to follow in an upcoming interview...
Isabelle Grobler: The Cannibals' Banquet
Isabelle Grobler is a South African sculptural installation artist who also features printmaking and drawing in her portfolio. Her work borders on the surreal as she explores the absurd affect of power on social status as well as our relationship with money. A promoter of reclaimed materials Grobler uses discarded and obsolete objects to create rich atmospheric settings populated by hybrid machines constructed from urban debris. The characters she creates connect with their viewer as they communicate a likeable curiosity, whilst carrying a subtle warning.
This work is titled the Cannibals' Banquet an intriguing encounter of 3 inquiring characters as concerned with studying you as you are of them. Their shadows cast upon the back wall only serves to further humanise these structures.
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