It’s been a month since 2018 Armory Week, but conversations surrounding the buzzing new art trends have yet to slow down. This year’s shows provided us with a plethora of new contemporary artists to get excited about. Here are some of our favorites.
South-African artist Athi-Patra Ruga presented a series of colorful tapestries that explores notions of utopia and dystopia. He uses utopia as a lens to transform the history of South Africa’s colonial past, to critique the present and introduce a possible vision for the future. In other works, Ruga creates alternative identities, by way of physical mannequins, and manipulates them to parody and comment on the existing political and social status quo.
German-based artist Arno Beck employs a typewriter as his medium. To do so, he types an array of different letters and symbols, creating various brightness values, that look like photograph-quality landscapes upon completion. When analyzed more closely, the works are reminiscent of computer code, which highlights the connection between the natural and digital world.
American artist Danny Ferrell uses eye-catching, sunset inspired colors to paint portraits of love, whether it be between man and man, or man and dog. The realism of the figures, supplemented by the artist’s thorough attention to detail, is in no way obscured by the fantasy-like palette.
Lastly, the late Malian photographer Seydou Keïta captured citizens of the Bamako society during their transition from living in a cosmopolitan French colony to living in an independent capital. By incorporating richly patterned arabesque and floral backdrops, contrasted with intricately designed tribal costumes, the artist is able to bring a renewed sense of vitality to photographic portraiture.