MY ADD CTION
TABLE ARTISTS of
EM EK 12 ESAO 20
EELUS 30 LORA 38 DRAN 50 JEFF 58 DAN MAY 68 MAR ION 74 MICHAEL 82 ENJOY 90
Artist Addiction #1
BAN KSY 4
Banksy, a graffiti artist from Bristol, UK, who is high up on everyone’s popularity list, including the police. His artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations around the world, and every time there is a new Banksy that appears there is always much interest. Despite receiving enormous media attention Banksy’s real identity remains the cause of much debate.
“Banksy is a graffiti artist from Bristol, UK, whose artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations around the world. Despite this he carefully manages to keep his real name from the mainstream media. Despite not calling himself an artist, has been considered by some as talented in that respect; he uses his original street art form, often in combination with a distinctive stenciling technique, to promote alternative aspects of politics from those promoted by the mainstream media. Some believe that his stenciled graffiti provides a voice for those living in urban environments that could not otherwise express themselves, and that his work is also something which improves the aesthetic quality of urban surroundings; many others disagree, asserting that his work is simple vandalism, or that his beliefs are not shared by the majority of the inhabitants of the environments that he graffiti’s.”1 “Due to the shroud of secrecy surrounding his real identity and his subversive character, Banksy has achieved somewhat of a cult following from some of the younger age group within the stenciling community. A common technique in Banksy’s art is to play on the perspective and edges of the item on which he is stencilling. Examples include ‘trapdoors’, ‘criminal rats’, photo opportunities and ‘peeing soldiers.”2
Artist Addiction #2
EM EK 14
Emek’s posters, psychedelic ‘60s imagery collides with ‘90s post-industrial iconography. To this collision of the organic vs. the mechanical worlds he adds humor, social commentary and fantasy. Even in the smallest details there are messages. All of Emek’s artwork is originally hand-drawn and then silk-screened.
“Abandoned at birth, Emek has lived a difficult, often tragic life. After being forced to work for years as a child-laborer in a plutonium mine, he won a rare mining scholarship to attend art school. Little did he know, his troubles were only just beginning. In art school, he fell in with a rough and dangerous crowd. Upon graduating most of them pursued lives of crime as freelance graphic artists, and were never heard from again. For Emek, the only hope of escaping the fate that befell his doomed peers -- advertising -was to become a rock ‘n’ roll artist. Emek now lives in many worlds. His art shows it. Born a decade after the ‘60s, he was nevertheless influenced by ‘60s culture and counter-culture. Emek was raised in an environment that supported his crazy artistic aspirations as both his parents were artists, too. He grew up listening to their music, their ideals, and their divorce. Yet, he is also a product of his own “Who, Me?” generation.”3
Artist Addiction #3
Esao Andrews is currently based in Brooklyn. Paintings by Andrews have been exhibited internationally. His illustration work has included Baker skateboards and album artwork for several bands. He currently does cover work for the House of Mystery series published by Vertigo Comics.
“I’m afraid of becoming labelled. I’m young and I’m early in my career, but things have been picking up, and I’ve become obsessed with this issue. Like, I don’t want to be known as one of those people that paints wide-eyed girls. I’ve been trying to diversify my subject matter and not necessarily always include funny elements like I usually do.” Esao Andrews grew up in the Arizona desert, and moved to New York in 1996 to complete his BFA in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts. After graduating in 2000, he spent the next few years working as a flash animator while painting in his free time. Andrews exhibited his oil paintings in coffee shops and group shows before landing his first major two-person show at Fuse Gallery in New York alongside John John Jesse in 2003. He has since collaborated with Tara McPherson for a DC Comics project, and has created album artwork for several bands, as well. Esao Andrews has developed a signature cast of dark and surreal characters, blending erotic and sometimes frightening surrealistic images, in a manner that is often compared with other American artists like Mark Ryden and John Currin.”4
Artist Addiction #4
Eelus is a master of the modern, graffiti-led art world. After moving to London from his home town of Wigan he was inspired by the graffiti art he saw on the streets to take the work in his sketchbooks and display it to a wider audience. Eelus is a mysterious stencil artist. His work is often both beautiful and haunting, humorous and sinister, a daring mixture of light and dark.
“Hello, I’m Eelus. People like me because I’m polite and rarely late. My career as a graphic artist began when I was 10 years old in the ruthless, Thunderdome like playground of a Wigan primary school. Being quite handy with the old pencil, I decided to tool myself up and began knocking out hand drawn posters of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to either sell for tuck shop money or give away to escape a good kicking due to the shortness of my trousers. Life continued, my trousers thankfully became longer and the kicking’s subsided, before I knew it 10 years had passed and I was now living in London. Before I knew it I was making a mess on walls as well as knocking out pieces on canvas to A: sell for beer money or B: give away to escape a good kicking due to the longness of my trousers. In October 2006 I quit my day job and became a graphic artist full time, putting myself on a long road of experimentation, progression, hangovers and worrying about the rent. My goal is to push my limits, learn the skills of my trade and to hopefully continue to make a living from my art.”5
Artist Addiction #5
Lora Zombie is a young self-taught artist from Russia who has amassed a massive following of fans online over the past few years. Now she is breaking into the gallery scene and is branching far outside her native Russia. Influenced and inspired by animals and politics , her diverse and multidisciplinary talents are evident in the diverse work found in her portfolio.
“My biography? I won’t tell you, it’s top secret, and besides it’s really boring to tell about your own life, whatever….how I become interested… hm..How how how? As said one person I know “you are absolut-lee informativeless, can not talk with people and only thing you do good is drawing” hah! Maybe that’s why, well….actually I have no real reason why. I just like it at all like to do that what I want to, like to share part of myself with others, like to be free in way of mind and absolutely unlimited or something like that. When I was a little, little girl I was influenced much by “looney tunes” cartoons, so I drew a pic with this characters (tazmanian devil, bugs bunny, duffy duck, etc) it was just a pic I liked (I was about 10 then, so I guess it was crap in fact). Everything kinda took off from there, I kept drawing, painting, and imagining new things in a quirky way of intelligence and eventually people starting liking my work and I became somewhat of an artist I guess. Its kinda funny how things you love doing start paying off for you. I am a 100% self taught artist who was born to draw and paint, I am now convinced!”6
Artist Addiction #6
Based in Toulouse, Dran is a multi-talented artist who uses a variety of media such as installations, paintings and drawings to convey his ironic viewpoint. He is also a fan of the absurd and has published a number of books featuring his funny sketches parodying and exhilarating things from everyday events to extreme circumstances with great doses of surrealism.
“The artist is Dran. Many of the pictures are based on a homeless puppet, Scribouille, whose life is devoted to art. “My life is devoted to drawing, thinking, and having fun. The puppet Scribouille’s daily life is similarly devoted to making the world around us a little less grey. The puppet isn’t me, but there is a lot of me and others I love in him. I’m glad to invite everyone to the intimacy of it all. No special effects, just a classic artist living in the street trying to do poetry as he can. He needs to be happy. He doesn’t need money, or new clothes. It’s simply an idea to create. The drawing was always there in my life, I can’t explain in a few words, but you know, when I was younger, I used drawing to express frustration and anger. By continuing to draw and think, and mix the two together, I began to feel better about life. Really better. Drawing took me away from the boring in life. I love them all for different reasons. For the wall it’s the same, whatever you can find and whatever speaks to you. Painting a wall, it’s all about the moment, the place, the people you are with. The atmosphere is all part of the process, which you can’t necessarily see in the finished picture.”7
Artist Addiction #7
Jeff Soto is an artist, illustrator and muralist who has exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. The artist’s distinct color palette, subject matter and technique resonate with a growing audience and bridge the gap between Pop Surrealism and graffiti. Inspired by youthful nostalgia, nature, graffiti, hip-hop and popular culture, his bold,
“Jeff Soto was born in 1975 in southern California, where he currently resides with his wife Jennifer and two daughters. In 2002, he graduated with Distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In 2008, his work was the subject of an exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum. Through his work, Soto communicates profound visions and fears, nostalgia of his youth, as well as themes of love, lust, and hope. His distinct color palette, subject matter, technique and bold themes resonate with a growing audience. Inspired by childhood toys, the colorful lifestyle of skateboarding and graffiti, hip-hop and popular culture, his representational work is simultaneously accessible and stimulating. Soto creates visual mythologies with ominous, quasi-divine apparitions, whose organic tendrils writhe from the cavities of their smoking, robotic shells and whose lumbering frames preside over sprawling urban landscapes. Dramatic lighting, textural richness and a sophisticated palette are his hallmarks. Soto’s sculptural sensibility and improvisational, grafitti-informed method of working is often reflected through his rich wall-cluster installations, which are an amalgam of disjointed storytelling and playful formalism.”8
Artist Addiction #8
DAN MAY 70
Dan May brings forth an array of potent imagery from his explorations and documentations of a world somewhere parallel to our own. The seemingly playful creatures inhabiting his vibrantly tended palette appear to have the qualities of your typical monster, all the while maintaining a humanity that reflects our own wide range of emotions and imperfections. In essence, May’s beasties and evocative scenarios bring to the forefront of the mind the core conflicts of human nature.
“Dan May is a fine artist currently living in Chicago, IL. A native of Rochester, NY, Dan attended Syracuse University where he achieved a BFA and began to immediately pursue his artistic interests. As a modern narrative painter, May cultivates a rich texture of the surreal and mysterious in his highly original flowing style. His detail-intensive works have become widely recognized for their dreamlike ability to transcend the natural states of space and time – mostly due to his usage of a very finely honed usage of line. He wields his ability to transform thought into image with the knowledge of the struggle - the struggle to survive, to be relevant, and most importantly to live not only within ourselves but within a world that sometimes does not make sense. May’s propensity for using hair as a metaphor has become a focal point that he has built on to speak about larger aspects of humanity as well as the dream world, and gives a strong nod to his progressive personal growth and evolution as an artist. Dan has exhibited his paintings to consistently growing interest in the gallery world and is enthusiastically held in high regard by collectors the world over. May spends the majority of his time in the studio, painting new wonders or challenging his lovely wife Kendal to unscheduled debates on pro wrestling theory. His paintings have graced the pages of international publications as Hi Fructose Magazine, DPI and Communication Arts among others.”9
Artist Addiction #9
MAR ION 76
Bolognesi’s work is a study of the fragile complexities of human emotion and explores the depths of passion and beauty of expression through realistic and fluid watercolor paintings. Her work reads as both a subtle and deeply emotional divulgence of her own feelings and those of her subjects.
“Marion Bolognesi lives and works in New York City. Her interest in drawing, painting & fashion were evident at a very young age. In 2003 Marion received a BFA with a focus in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, MA. After finishing undergrad, Marion moved to New York where she has worked in the arts for the past 8 years. Her time is split between accessories design and her personal passion for expressive, illustrative watercolor painting. Marion has exhibited her paintings and work around the globe. The simplicity and minimalism is quite refreshing especially since it is loaded with detail and complexity. Bolognesi’s work appeals appreciation of design and graphic imagery, while still holding down an organic feel. The lively colors focused in on her figure’s eyes, which slightly suggest face paint or a mask and somehow reminds one of Cirque de Soleil circus performers. Bolognesi’s hand at watercolor is also impressive.”10
Artist Addiction #10
“I wanted aspects of my paintings to be real, but mainly wanted to have an abstract feel to the them. In my past paintings, I was trying to have realistic moments with abstract forms and textures. In my new work, I’m trying to move away from an illustrative, realistic, style of work to a looser,more abstract and painterly style that I have long wanted to accomplish.”
“Michael Page has shown throughout California and Europe, and currently resides in San Francisco. With his new paintings common themes kept emerging. An awareness impossible to ignore seemed to sprout in every conversation with Michael’s friends, family, and in his community. This thread of insight sewn through his every interaction needed to be expressed. So he started there. Reflecting on his work, Michael found greed, hate and war, and their anecdote, love, running deep through each piece. Environmental neglect and its devastating effects reside in many of the paintings. And, subtle or not, there is also expressed discontent with the state of our political system and those that wield their power so callously.”11
Sara McGowan is a young and determined artist who is pushing limits in the field of Graphic Design to forever make a difference in her own life as well as bettering the lives of all who encounter her. She is currently in the Rutgers State University studying Graphic Design and receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts. This book is a small window into the artist around her who she respects and admires because they stand for independence and controversy.
â€œI hope the person reading this has gained a new and exciting appreciation for the artists in this book. I, Sara McGowan, have been collecting the work of the artists in this book for over 4 years now, and my love for painting, graphic design, and graffiti art as a whole has stemmed just from following these few artists outlined in this book. Art is a very important part of my life. It allows me to release my feelings and troubled emotions onto a canvas, wall, or computer screen and following these artists inspire me to continue my education and push the limits of myself. I currently reside in Chester, New Jersey and I am continuing my education at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey to get a Bachelors in Fine Art with a concentration major in Graphic Design. I love to educate my fellow peers and under class men on what great art is and always pushing ideas to the max to create controversy as well following my heart in through the process. I hope to one day teach art to younger kids who were once as lost as I was, and lead them to a whole new view on art and life and how they coexist together in harmony. I hope you enjoy this book as mush as I enjoyed making it, and I hope you take away a new and exciting view on contemporary art as well as the creators. This is the addicting art world, and in it are these few young contemporary artists who inspire me to push limits and never give up. This book is my artist addiction.â€? Very Truly Addicted, Sara McGowan
The Artist quotes used throuout this book come from the folowing sources:
Wall and Piece (2005) 2 http://www.banksy.co.uk/ 3 http://emek.net/bio.html 4 http://www.esao.net 5 http://eelus.com/ 6 http://lorazombie.com/ 7 http://www.mystreetartgallery.com 8 http://www.jeffsoto.com/ 9 http://danmay.net 10 http://www.marion-b.com 11 http://michaelpageart.com/