Top Ten NYC Artists

A curated survey of this month’s “TOP TEN ARTISTS NYC NOW” from our Art 511 Magazine digital artist database. Coming soon, top featured artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco and more! Submit your work to be considered.

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Brittni S. Winkler, "Creating the Chakras" at Namastuy Healing Collective in Bedstuy

Brittni S. Winkler

B. 1991 in Miami, Florida

Brittni began creating work while enrolled in an MFA Curatorial Studies program at Florida International University. Around this same time, she started to practice yoga. Her creative inspirations of this profound period involved identifying a connection between the creation of space in the physical and mental body while practicing yoga with the creation of space as an artist and curator of art exhibitions. Since then, she’s developed several live performances with yoga and paint as well as a workshop called “Body as Brush” in which participants create their own yoga paintings using their bodies. In April, Brittni curated an exhibition at AC Institute titled Barely Perceptible, about how artists respond to the turn to digital worlds, gaming, screens and virtual reality. In the future, she hopes to found a multidisciplinary community space, gallery and yoga studio for art and healing.

photo credit: James Horowitz

Hein Koh

B. 1976 in Jersey City, New Jersey

“I became an artist because I realized that if I don’t make art, I feel crazy and depressed,” says Hein, who makes sculptural work with materials such as metallic spandex, Poly-fil, Hydrocal and glitter in addition to drawing, photography, painting and animation at times. Her creative practice is an outlet by which she processes personal experiences, fantasies and nightmares. In particular she’s interested in the line between “pleasure and pain.” Through the use of her own person as a reference point, her work addresses the physical body’s psychological, metaphorical and spiritual associations. Often creating her own singular world, her art revels in the uncanny, surreal, and darkly humorous. Hein’s main challenge at the moment is finding a balance between motherhood (she has 21-month-old twins) and studio time.

photo courtesy the artist

Katie Macyshyn

B. 1991 in Livingston, New Jersey

Katie became an artist because it makes her feel human and express ideas in a way that transcends speech and writing. Her main medium is multi-sensory performance comprised of video, sound, costume, singing, poetry and installation. Her upbringing in choirs and musical theater adds a campy sensibility to her art. Components of performances also stand on their own as time-based media, paintings, sculptures or installations. Her work brings healing to individuals in pain caused by ego-centrism and binary thinking such as victimization/ empowerment and spirituality/profanity. She can make work anywhere with coffee, wifi and relative quiet. Katie names how to “approach mind-blowing topics without completely alienating my audience?” as one of her primary challenges. Her current project revolves around a character called XXX STACY, whose name stands for Sex Teacher Advocated Chronic Youforia. As a spiritual person, Katie created this character as a representation of higher planes of consciousness and benevolent beings who reside in the other realms. Going forward, she intends to integrate ancient wisdom and healing techniques into her work, which will rely on audience participation and the running of specific energy frequencies. She’ll be performing in NYC July 7th at Tarot Society for the opening of Intuition is Razor Sharp curated by ULTRACULTURAL OTHERS.

photo courtesy the artist

Bevon M. St. Louis-Brewster

B. 1991 in New Haven, Connecticut

“I first became an artist out of necessity,” says Bevon, who grew up in a place where individualism wasn’t tolerated or encouraged. He found an outlet for his self-expression in art, particularly clothing. His work is about making it more acceptable to feel and express difficult emotions such as sadness, anger, lust/love. Although not having a formal art education has felt like a hurdle at times, taking advantage of the beautiful artistic community in New York City and being open to different mediums has shaped his practice. Financially speaking, trying to produce work and compete with creative peers in what is still a predominantly white male controlled art world is another challenge. Bevon’s current project is called            レーサー  (Racer) a Japanese cyberpunk-inspired motor sport clothing line. A collaboration with artist James Moore, the line should be produced and available by summer. Another project in the works is an art installation called “Perspectives of the Black Heart” which will contain some of the artist’s perspective/ grid print work and serve as “a metaphor for the spaces people of color/women find ourselves confined in.”

Photo by David Berg

Bush Tea

B. 1991 in Christiansted, St.Croix

“I was born into art,” says Bush Tea, whose mother studied dance and did poetry. From a young age the artist danced, painted, wrote songs and followed the creative impulses of her soul. “My spiritual desires had a physical manifestation, so when I did my work I felt joy, happiness, alive,” says the artist. Songwriting and acting are her primary mediums. Her work is about her Afro-Caribbean heritage. She is constantly challenging a world that has made her body and culture “consumptive and edible,” and yet still able to rejoice in her feminine power. Addressing a music industry that has bastardized images of women for the viewing pleasure of others, Bush Tea maintains that in her work “I get to dictate my image – to choose how and if I package myself – and that is powerful.” Lately she’s been focused on a recording project with producers/engineers Mike Flannery, Jon FX, Kirk Thuglas and Jachary Beats in NYC and Miami, and teaches underprivileged youth in order to help fund her project. She has 5 dancey singles with divine imagery in the works for a staggered release this Spring. This past March, Bush performed at the Jungle Party at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, an event celebrating the beauty of immigrants and dance where M.I.A’s drummer, Madame Gandhi, was the headliner.

image courtesy the artist

LESPHINXX

B. 1980s, New York City

“I believe that my abilities have carried over from past lifetimes. I’m blessed, there are many musicians and artists in my family. I have music DNA in my blood,” says LESPHINXX. Making electronic music, installation art and video about the underworld, fairies, ghosts, goddesses and animal spirits is her prerogative. “I write songs to give women power,” says LESPHINXX. Although sometimes even showing up is difficult, meditation and prayer have helped to offset the artist’s occasional feelings of indifference and lethargy. Currently, she’s working on new LESPHINXX videos, with a tour coming later this year.

Wiild Toris at Songzhuang Art Village, Beijing, 2016, photo credit: Feng Du

Wiild Toris

B. 1988 Arlington, VA (Mág Ne Tá) and 1979 in Moscow USSR (Vlady Voz Tokk)

Performance duo Mág Ne Tá and Vlady Voz Tokk, “Wiild Toris,” came together to make art and “Live life for a higher power.” Working in the medium of interdimensional intervention, their work is about “glitching the system.” Despite being a little “too real” for some folks, they manage to work everywhere. Currently they are spreading their work around the world.

Nobody deserves to be raped, 2013, Acrylic and mixed media canvas collage, 16 x 16 inches

Bibi Flores

B. 1976 in Austin, Texas

From a young age, Bibi was surrounded by art. Her father was an artist with a studio at home and art materials of all kinds were her playthings. With paint as her main medium, Bibi works in acrylic and occasionally oil. At times, her work takes the form of photography, sculpture, and instillations, but she always comes back to paint on canvas or paper. Her most recent series, “Goodbye to Assholes, I deserve much better,” is a feminist body of work addressing a society in which women are often the target of violence and oppression. A personal exploration about boundaries and repressed feelings, these paintings are about removing “assholes” (cabrones in Spanish) from her personal life. Each piece is a mantra, amulet or protective shield of sorts, and represents a healing process for the self and other survivors of abuse around the world. Moving forward, Bibi plans to continue with this series and through her passion for art, help to heal and inspire others.

Crackerzz Barrel (pictured) by Nicky Ottav

Nicky Ottav

B. 1994 in Los Angeles, California

“Art is a blessing that I never take for granted!” says Nicky, whose parents are both really artistic people and have always put the right tools in his hands to create. After receiving a degree in photography, he realized it’s just not his medium. Today he prefers to work with his hands, especially with collage and mixed media. His work is about feeling different and embracing it. Nicky’s new project Saints of a Different Order celebrates people who have influenced the artist’s personal style. His portraits of these figures reference the way in which the visual language of coinage, noble portraiture, and Christian symbolism is oppressive to the vast majority. In creating his own visual language the artist celebrates queers, people of color and everyone else disadvantaged by systems of heterosexual white male power. He sometimes wonders whether people will take his work seriously given it is so colorful and fun. Often inspired by cartoons, the work reflects that. Nicky encourages viewers to look more deeply at the imagery and the political values he upholds therein. Currently, he’s designing a digital ad campaign for Red Bull and working on a collection of clothes with Print All Over Me. “It’s so important now more than ever to make art about how you feel,” says Nicky.

Photo by Eric Estrada

Ximena Balmori

B. 1992 in Cancún, Mexico

Ximena Balmori is an interdisciplinary artist who uses video, installation, performance, dance, sound, painting, acting, modeling, and styling as mediums of expression. “The medium chooses me,” says Ximena, known by some as Mimi. She aims to demystify the erotic, empower women to step into their divinity, create atmospheres, play dress up and manifest beauty. Says Ximena, “The most challenging thing about being an artist is finding your voice. There are so many distractions in the media, that steer you away from your authenticity, and may cloud your vision. It’s important to remain true to your highest self.” Aside from knowing who you are amidst constant change and transformation, she sees promotion and networking as the most “work”, if you see it that way. Eventually, any art maker/young entrepreneur/dream builder will find with whom and where to place themselves. She believes that whatever you look for, you will find. Mimi confided that although people come and go, especially in such an overpopulated metropolis as this, you’ll know it when your “friends” become that consistent and supportive network of Colleagues who “Maybe see something in you, you don’t see yet.” Currently, Ximena is starring in Sk8r Grrl, filmed, directed and produced by Rae Phoenix, works at Dana Foley NYC, a vintage clothing store in the LES, and is the Social Media Managing Editor at ART511 MAG. Moving forward, she’s looking to transition more into fashion production, modeling and acting, and build upon her perforative persona, Luna Leve in collaboration with Alexis Karl’s sound project, LEX: The Blood Suite.