Matty Roodt is an artist from Cape Town whose first solo exhibition Loop is currently showing at SMITH. i paid it a visit yesterday, and walked away wanting to buy sculpture for the first time in my life. the pieces are feminine and organic, but the story behind them is even more fascinating. okay, try to stay with me…
Gigi Mills grew up in a circus family, travelling with the Mills Bros. Circus as a child and going on to study theatre & dance as an adult. while travelling she spent hours sketching and studying the masters, and 15 years ago decided to pursue her dream of being a full-time artist. i can see bits of Chagall and Matisse in her work, and she cites Milton Avery as a major inspiration.
the work of UK artist David Shrigley is something you have probably seen, if not on Pinterest then certainly quoted by a friend, or randomly on Tumblr or Facebook or Instagram or wherever. i have saved a number of my favourite pieces as desktop wallpapers just for my own enjoyment. but maybe you don’t know him, or don’t know anything about him, and that’s why i’ve compiled this post. also it just gives me a great reason to look through all of his art that i can possibly find online, which always cheers up my day.
the funny thing about growing up watching American TV & movies, but not being from that country, is that you are intimately familiar with things that play no part in your actual life. for example, stereotypical things that make up an American high school: cheerleaders, football players, cafeterias, having a locker – we had none of these things, yet i’m totally familiar with them.
so there i was going down a google image rabbit hole and i found pictures of this beautiful château filled with flowers, and paintings of flowers, which lead me to French artist Claire Basler – and here we are. she lives and paints in her home Château de Beauvoir, “a natural choice” she explains (i mean, of course). and while her paintings aren’t totally my flavour, the way they compliment the dramatic interiors of this historic castle is very pleasing, impressive and kinda dreamy. also, how cool is that tree growing in the kitchen?!
when i discovered the work of NY based artist Claire Sherman i loved it at first sight – the graphic style & those prominent brush strokes are totally my bag. she actually paints many of these scenes from kitchy nature books. reading more about the story behind her work, she explains…
how amazing are these sculptures by Dutch artist Ron van der Ende! i’ve never been much of a sculpture fan, mostly because i just wouldn’t know where i would put it. and a lot of the stuff you see these days is just weeeeeird. but these are so awesome, and so beautifully made out of salvaged wood. i absolutely love the pieces of wood, made of wood.
i won’t hesitate to say that Brian Calvin is one of my favourite artist discoveries in a while. wow, i love his pieces SO MUCH. i don’t know what it is about them, maybe i see myself in these huge, graphic, goofy looking portraits – some of the girls are almost on the edge of tears in many of his paintings. they are so strange, and i love strange.
Sarah McRae Morton is an artist who has lived in Europe since 2010, but often returns to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania, working in a loft above a horse barn where “a hay hatch casts a net of north light”. i’m going to stop right there and just, well, siiiiigh. her work is heavily influenced by the masters, and the subjects are drawn from her own heritage & artistic lineage.