Tomokazu Matsuyama’s work -- mostly acrylics on canvas or paper -- has a sense of intrigue, mystery and secrecy that draws the viewer in and demands a further look. There is also a feel of lightness, floating and movement that seems to suggest fleeting glimpses of something impermanent. At the same time, his art carries a strong implication of tradition and of enduring order.
His colors are subdued but lively, and much of the work suggest a paper-cut collage. Humans, mostly men, and animals, especially horses, populate his art, and even in the abstracts, there is a hint of an eye, a wing, a presence just beyond the immediate first glance. The implication of story and the touch of subtle whimsy make his work accessible and inviting, yet the viewer is not hit with rigid answers. One is left with an oddly comfortable sensation of incomprehension.
Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Tokyo in 1976. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York and the Sophia University in Tokyo. He lives and works in New York City. He has held solo exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and Osaka and participated in numerous shows and installations around the world. He has also worked with well-known brands including Levi’s and Nike and Adidas. Tuija Seipell
Gianluca Fallone is a designer/illustrator from Argentina, currently based in London. At only 23 years old, he has managed to build up an impressive folio that includes work with clients such as MTV, Nike and Cartoon Network.
Fallone’s stance is simple —’I love type and design, and I particularly like when both are present — and evident in much of his work. He is inspired by Japanese animation and comic books that also triggered his ’illustration-design rollercoaster,’ and his pieces are beautifully crafted and extremely detailed. Fallone is putting his mark on the Argentinean design world, and we are expecting to see great things from this young and amazingly talented artist. - Brendan McKnight
New York artist Tara Donovan is a master of seeing. Not just looking, but actually seeing. Her sculptural, one-of-a-kind art is based on her ability to see, imagine and create forms, shapes and textures from ordinary objects that most of us don't even notice. She creates art from rolls of tape, pieces of pencil, Styrofoam cups, paper plates, napkins. Her sculptural works evoke thoughts of nature. A perfect example is the 'Untitled' cloud formation she created in 2003 from Styrofoam cups and glue.
The 38-year-old Donovan has recently accomplished several things many artists never achieve. This September, the first monograph of her work was published by visual book press, Monacelli Press (now owned by Random House). A couple of weeks later, on October 10, a traveling retrospective of her work opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
But perhaps the biggest deal is the extra half-a-million dollars that she will have to work with in the next few years. In late September, she received a phone call from the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. She was informed that she had been made a Fellow of the Foundation and that she will receive a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant. It is a no-strings-attached support of her work over five years. She was selected as one of 25 recipients in 2008. Others include a physician, an astrophysicist, a violinist, a computer scientist and representatives of many other endeavours who were selected for their creativity, originality and potential to make important contributions in the future. - Tuija Seipell
The name Gary Fernandez has started to appear often enough to warrant a closer look. Fernandez is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist based in Madrid, Spain, and currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His client list is impressive, ranging from advertising heavies DDB, McCann Erickson, JWT and Grey to superbrands such as Coca Cola, Nokia and Camel. His illustrations have appeared in numerous magazines and books.
Fernandez's intricate, retro-esque illustrations marry a liquid stroke with a rigid tension, which in turn projects an underlying seething mood and latent danger. For some reason, I'm thinking Dadaism and Salvador Dali mixed with the sixties London vibes and New York's retro fashion illustrations. At the same time, some of his work is almost whimsical and merry; evoking images from Cirque du Soleil and old European circus posters. Whatever you see, you are irresistibly drawn into his world.
A fantastic recent example is his elaborate illustration book titled Introduction to Fantastic Girls, Future Landscapes & the Most Beautiful Birds Ever Seen, available -- possibly -- on his site in limited quantities.
Gary Fernandez is also the founder and creative lead of the T-shirt brand VelvetBanana. The name VelvetBanana draws its parts from The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol banana cover for their first album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967).
Fernandez started VelvetBanana in 2005 with the goal of redefining the "Art Rock T-shirt" by producing thematic collections. The themes capture certain moods, songs or bands. The latest, Collection #3, is described as having electrifying, abrasive, furious and hypnotic graphics full of energy, although the photo book of the collection appears indoorsy and tame, with clean yet fashionably brooding models photographed against a pristine white background.- Tuija Seipell
Originality is rare these days in the art world but we're pleased to report that we've stumbled upon an artist whose work is both innovative and modern. Matt Bilfield, California based artist, won us over with this incredible three-dimensional piece 'Peggy', a brilliant and ambitious interpretation of a painting by famous artist, Roy Lichtenstein. The mammoth work - its seven feet wide and three feet tall - is comprised of 2788 hand cut, sanded, and painted dowels that where then assembled together to recreate Lichtensteins image. The result is a cross between a graphic art image, sculpture, and installation which offers the viewer a different experience from every angle. By Bill T
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