During the era when the 80s met the 90s, pop culture exploded. Video games and comics gave way to skateboarding videos and hip hop. Latch key kids wreaked havoc in arcades and skateparks everywhere. There were so many things that had to be had and iconic characters that would shape and define their childhood. The nostalgia of this time is the common thread that connects Brew Lamb and Dee Thurn. In some way or another, characters and techniques from their past influence their art, both individually and collaboratively.
“As a kid I remember waiting for the new CCS or Thrasher mag to come in the mail and scouring through it repeatedly. Looking at the same images to make sure I didn’t miss any references.”-BL
The collaboration between Brew and Dee began in January. Both of them had been showing individually around Kansas City and were familiar with each other’s work. While they were both being featured at a local art event, they began talking and decided to do a painting together.
Their first piece, “Myths and Legends” emerged. Mashing up Zeuss and Superman, each artist brought their signature style and the outcome was nothing short of heroic. Since then, Brew and Dee have been passing pieces back and forth to each other’s homes, creating murals around town, and talking every day about the expansion of their collaboration and artistic endeavors.
With Brew’s background in street art and Dee’s background in illustration, their work exists on two different visual planes. The different mediums and techniques they use come together in a perfectly balanced hybrid of pop surrealism. Their subject matter becomes more abstract when they create together. Bouncing ideas back and forth allows them to redefine their personal limits and invent new iconic characters.
Brew and Dee’s collaboration has elevated them as artists and companions. They challenge themselves further on each project, teaching each other and learning together. Their roles are always different and they have found comfort in the unpredictability of their process.
Trust, innovation, and passion fuel a true friendship that spawns great artwork. It doesn’t really get any better than that. Brew and Dee plan to work together for a very long time, geeking out and expanding their platform.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
Big Bear spraypaint, acrylic and paint pen on canvas, 3’x4’, 2018
Myths and Legends spraypaint, acryic and paint pen on canvas, 4’x5’, 2017
Drippy Head acrylic and paint pen on canvas, 24”x24”, 2018
A Rip in Time spraypaint, acrylic and paint pen on canvas, 4’x5’, 2018
Sabertooth spraypaint, acrylic and paint pen on canvas, 16”x20”, 2018
Wavy Head spraypaint, acrylic and paint pen mural, 15’x22’, 2018
Hiding Our Differences house paint and spraypaint mural, 10’x125’, 2018
Commissioned Mural (Parlor KC) house paint and spraypaint, 29’ x 14’, 2018
Walker, Louisiana isn’t the place that immediately comes to mind when you think of art. It also isn’t the place where people appreciate anything out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, a young native named Courtney Fulmer has defied her conservative surroundings by concocting bizarre, offbeat cartoons.
Courtney has been drawing her whole life. She’s always been fond of the odd, grotesque, what-the-fuck subject matter, even as a child. Illustration is her go-to stress reliever. For whatever mood she’s in, there’s some critter or monster waiting to be released on paper.
Often with bodily fluids oozing and a giant goofy smile, her creatures are gross and cute and funny all at once. The vivid color palettes and exaggerated proportions reflect her new-school style, while her technique brings in texture, depth and sophistication. There is nothing but fun to be had by viewing Courtney’s work. If you don’t enjoy it, you probably don’t have a sense of humor.
After working in the veterinary field for the past 6 years, Courtney is switching her focus to become a full time artist. Cartoonworks began as a side project that she started several years ago. Now, her boyfriend and fellow artist Cory Veron has joined the project and they are expanding their artworks to pins, slaps, woodcuts, commissions and more. In the future, she will delve into animation and create her own cartoon.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
WTF mixed media on watercolor paper, 12”x18”
Snail Trail watercolor/mixed media on watercolor paper, 12”x18”
Smile Baphomet Smile colored pencil and watercolor on watercolor paper, 12”x18”
Exiting the Rabbit Hole colored pencil on watercolor paper, 9”x12”
TAJ MATTINGLY was a successful graphic artist, maintaining a steady flow of work and thriving in the competitive art world. In the summer of 2016, he decided to take on a gig at a firework stand to supplement some income. As he was helping to lay concrete for a display, a Bobcat machine tipped off its axis and the blade went directly into Taj’s dominant hand. This accident would completely change the trajectory of his career. He no longer has control over the fine movements in his right hand and he experiences chronic pain following the injury.
“When it’s threatened that you may not ever be able to make art again, you have to be flexible.”-TM
Most of Taj’s work had been done digitally and required micro movements and crisp detailing. He had to figure out how to shift from digital illustration to traditional media. He began to experiment with abstraction. He familiarized himself with his limitations and his strengths, and an entirely new way of viewing his own work. He became ambidextrous, using each hand to relieve pain from the other so that he could continue to create without delay.
Never wavering in his determination, Taj started #draweveryday as a way to train and motivate himself. Every day, he would draw a complete piece. The project allowed him to simplify his way of thinking and became a sort of technical study. Page by page, Taj began to adapt to his new set of skills and incorporate many new mediums into his vocabulary, including a plethora of different inks and paints. He found that his “mistakes” were actually the most beautiful part of his work and it liberated him to begin a whole new narrative.
“They are the things you strive to repress in artwork, and now I allow them to take the stage and be the feature.”-TM
Now, Taj’s paintings are elegant and bold and expressive. His single subject compositions allow total appreciation for technique and material. Every brushstroke and mark can be seen. He has laid bare his vulnerability for the world to see, and the result is astoundingly beautiful. Each piece is an artist’s triumph over tragedy.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
Golden Octo acrylic on canvas, 3’ x 6’, 2018
Cuttlefish ink and mixed media on paper, 22” x 14”, 2018
Tension acrylic on canvas, 4’ x 5’, 2018
Blue Octo acrylic on canvas, 3’ x 6’, 2018
Family ink and mixed media on paper, 11”x14",2018
3 Octo (part 3) acrylic on canvas, 3’ x 3’, 2018
Octo Drawing ink and mixed media on paper, 14” x 22”, 2018
Owl ink and mixed media on paper, 9”x12",2018
Taher Jaoui is a painter living and working in Berlin, Germany. Formerly a computer engineer, he could not resist the ceaseless need to paint. So he abandoned his computer for a canvas.
“I was always feeling the emergency of expressing my thoughts and feelings.”-TJ
His work exists in a sort of limbo where expressionism meets cubism and abstraction meets representation. His compositions begin with a pure, overwhelming feeling suggested in primitive strokes and high contrast color palettes. As he builds, the intellectual side takes part and recognizable shapes begin to form. He goes on like this, using his left and right brain collectively until his sentiment is fulfilled.
Jaoui is a master of medium. He uses a plethora of techniques to achieve his rich and versatile textures. Oil, charcoal, acrylic, spray paint, and silkscreen inks vibrate together on his large-scale canvases. Infinite layers recess and advance, captivating the eye and opening the realm of interpretation.
“I work on building a strong emotional and physical interaction between the viewer and the surface of my work.” –TJ
With each new composition, Jaoui creates a visual representation of the complexities of humanness. They are raw and honest and aesthetically magnificent.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
No. 168 “I Think I Found the Cobra” 6.5’x 10’
No. 68 “ Super Sounds of the Seventies” 5’x6.5’
No. 171 “The Other Half of the Orange” 3.5’x5’
No. 135 “Don’t Lose Your Focus” 3.5’x5’
No. 154 “Backdoor Man” 3.5’x5’
No. 176 “The Day the World Exhaled” 4’x5’
No. 109 “Name One Thing That Is Not Negotiable” 3.5’x5’
Today’s artistic climate is wrought with formality. Collage artist ANNA ZOLOTUKHINA, also known as SURAZICA, breaks up the monotony with her fantasy worlds built from fragments of her imagination. Her surreal compositions provide a playground for the mind. Mixing traditional collage techniques with digital animation and acrylic painting, she brings her dreams to the conscious world.
Zolotukhina has always been an artist, but only began her journey into collage three years ago. As soon as she started working in the medium, she knew that it aligned with her view of the world. She’s full of existential philosophies and theories about the human existence. She rearranges the physical world to reflect the dualities of life; instinct versus intellect, material versus emotional, form versus function.
“The perfect form is the harmonic balance of beauty and ugliness in a single whole.”-AZ
The results of her process are mesmerizing. Zolotukhina’s pieces are freaky with tinges of dark romanticism and delicate femininity. The plethora of textures and colors and body parts and machinery and animals are meticulously accumulated into giant dreamscapes.
“All these are small pieces of reflected reality which are passed through unconsciousness and randomly stitched together forming a new world.” -AZ
Originally from Russia, Zolotukhina is currently based in Thailand soaking up the inspiration and piecing together her latest projects.
FB Surazica Art
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
“Smile” 125cm x 100cm, 2018
“Sunshine” 140cm x 100cm, 2016
“Message” 110cm x 82cm, 2018
“Trust” 90cm x 70cm, 2017
“Apple” 120cm x 95cm, 2016
“Hunter” 135cm x 95cm, 2018
“Coock” 118cm x 84cm, 2017
“PINK CREAM” animation, 2018
“HA!” animation, 2015
In the chaos of big cities, things tend to disappear. Once in a while, they reappear with layers of intricate pattern and faces and teeth. This is how you know that alesha has been there. This illusive artist abducts items from the street and transforms them into offbeat, captivating pieces of art.
Currently based in Kazan, Russia, alesha is a creature of the city. He’s lived in Russia, England, and New York, covertly bombing his art on their streets. He takes his inspiration from the direct environment around him. The shapes that he sees in architecture, street art, and nature find their way into abstract compositions. There are countless details and dimensions within his work. The layers of color and line and texture are seemingly infinite.
alesha chooses trashcans, wood panels and newspaper dispensers as his canvases. They are purely functional, common objects that he paints to be beautiful and uncommon. After hours of work in his studio, he delivers these pieces back to the street for the public to view. All he asks in return for his art is for people to pay attention.
“You can put 10 trashcans in a row and still people will throw trash on the ground.”-a
Hollywood is a sunny, glamorous, weird, wild, cliché, fantastical town. Every morning, Mark Roden hops off at the Hollywood/Highland metro stop and walks to work. The familiar stretch of about 500 feet becomes a stage for the oh-so-entertaining performance of humanity. At least three days a week, he captures the wonderful characters that appear during rush hour on Hollywood Boulevard. The iconic street draws in a plethora of people from all walks of life.
Tourists, travelers, performers and panhandlers live candidly in front of Roden’s lens. His subjects are completely unaware of his presence, allowing him to seize the purest moments. Through his camera, Hollywood Boulevard turns into a social commentary, revealing the spectrum of the human experience. It’s comical and sentimental, sometimes tragic, but mostly magical. The beauty of life is not lost in Roden’s photographs.
“I like to find someone who’s genuinely smiling, someone who’s genuinely experiencing the moment they are in. I despise posed photographs.” -MR
Roden began taking street shots in 2017, mostly on his extended visits to Mexico. Later, when he started his IT job in Hollywood, the subway was the most convenient way to commute. He realized it was a perfect opportunity to develop his documentary style photography. So he initiated his stealth commuter project as a way to study and interact with his daily milieu.
“It serves as a creative outlet to remind me of the world around me, and to try to find the rhythm of life outside of my own little bubble.”-MR
So far, he has managed to stay mostly anonymous to the native Boulevarders. Once he begins to be recognized, he will move on to a new project. Until then, we get to peek into the strange little world of Hollywood through his eyes.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
‘Just Taking the Fish to Work’
‘Which Twin is the Evil One?’
‘Today’s the Day for the Oscars!’
‘El Luchador de Hollyworld’
‘The Family that Plays Together’
‘Becky, Should We Give the Money to this Guy?’
‘Next Level Wheelchair Jousting’
‘Make America Kind Again’
‘Spider-men Greeting Ritual’