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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B. 1992 Bronx, New York
“[Art] is something I’ve always done, so I figured I might as well do it forever. With art, you only get better right?” muses Eww Germs, an artist whose colorful, femme-powered digital illustrations cascade across multiple social media platforms. Embracing fantasy and the rpg (role playing game) aesthetic, Eww infuses her drawings with elements of the modern, channeling characters like Murga the Warrior, Dava the Mage, Sky the Healer and BiBi the Thief. Germs wants her characters to come off as “strong, cute and with natural/protective hairstyles.” Although she is currently working digitally via Photoshop, she is leaning toward diving back into more traditional mediums. Creatively speaking, her biggest challenges are “self doubt, the usual depressive bullshit and drawing hands.” Right now, she’s working on her “Get Money” series, a two-part drawing about four maidens who are making it rain. She’s also got themed sticker sets of her four leading characters on the way, some of which will be made into pins and charms.
Follow her on Instagram @EwwGerms
b. 1961 Honolulu, Hawaii
“I didn’t choose to be an artist, art chose me,” says Gordon Sasaki. Working primarily in painting and sculpture, his minimalist compositions grapple with the human body and perception, and are most notable for their focus on disability. In his new series, wheel chairs dominate the frame, a politically-motivated stylistic move that is meant to challenge “ignorance and assumed artistic borders.” His chiefly graphic language is infused with hard lines and opaque color matching; the masterful subtlety of Sasaki’s acrylic and ink works on paper glow with uncanny phosphorescence.
B. 1950 Chicago, Illinois
Lin Evola was born an artist. Schooled in painting and drawing, Evola’s most recent work, The Peace Angels Project, is a fusion of conceptual art, high technology and sculpture. As a comprehensive body of work, Peace Angels Project addresses the human propensity for violence, life and death, and specifically the issue of weapons. The artist destroys weapons of mass destruction (literally melting down nuclear stainless steel and titanium, street weapons such as guns, land mines and other contemporary weaponry) and transforms them into powerful symbols of peace and possibility. Her monumental sculptures provide a new platform from which humanity can move forward. Hand in hand with her work is the artist’s USA Weapons Destruction Campaign. It is requesting 1 million weapons each from three United States cities, which the artist will melt down and use to build monuments to peace. Currently, she’s rolling out the media campaign, which will make formal requests for the weapons. Lin Evola is a contemporary artist that splits her time between San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.
B. 1990 San Diego, California
SHA GAZE is a compulsive creator, nomadic fancy grrrl, dream weaver, nature boi. “We are all born artists” insists SHA GAZE, who started drawing and painting around 5 years old. In their late teens, they experienced a renaissance of creativity and have been creating ever since. “All mediums have different magic,” explains SHA, who loves to paint, sculpt, ritualize, perform, work with costumes and fiber art, as well as compose poetry and prose, among other ongoing practices. “I love sculpting because it’s so natural to fiddle and construct! I love performance because ritual and ceremony really work to shift reality! I love film and music because it’s magical!” SHA’s work reflects the dream world, and most of their creations are the result of private inner visions. SHA works everywhere, including in transit on the bus, car or plane. A natural transient, SHA calls home wherever they is at any given moment. “I work outside a lot, camping by fire, by water, anytime I’m in the desert or forest or a beautiful landscape…” At the same time, not having one consistent studio space poses artistic challenges. They have written a manifesto about their dream space and is happy to share. Service is a big element of SHA’s practice and for six years they has offered tarot readings and art therapy. They have made a deck of affirmation cards called “You Are Fortunate.” A total of 81 artists contributed images, a project they hope to crowd-fund into published form. SHA engages in ongoing activism, supporting any First Nations and melanated people in their fight for sovereignty. “I will also always be loving and finding new ways to love my queer fam, my blood fam, my chosen fam. I enjoy being of service to people and rely on it as a way to survive. I am motivated to create collective living, support and ways of exchange that are sustainable,” says the artist. SHA’s looking for ways to collaborate and sourcing artist residencies. “I’m gonna pull some real big moves here on this planet this time ‘round, and I’m always looking for people to come for the ride!”
B. New York City
Becoming an artist was a natural progression for Olga. As a dancer and philosophy major, she turned to the visual arts seeking an outlet to adequately represent her ideas. Now a mixed media painter, installation artist and designer of jewelry, her work explores the fluidity of space, gender and the environment. She’s invested in a futuristic lens interrogating how the potentially porous boundaries delineating space, gender and environment will be increasingly blurred, offering “A hybrid terrain that will redefine what it is to be human,” explains Olga. She works from her apartment where she is currently miniaturizing her sculptures into jewelry. “I plan to extend my jewelry designs and paint the forms that I incorporate in them,” says the artist, clarifying the ways in which her in installations, paintings and jewelry are interrelated.
B. 1987 Rajbari, Bangladesh
From childhood, artist Mahedi Anjuman harbored a curiosity about metabolic functions in nature; specifically, processes of growth and change. When outward social influences drove her inward, her introversion catalyzed drawing, painting and listening to music as an outlet for emotional expression. Eventually, she turned to the formal language of art to communicate her ideas. An interdisciplinary artist – her approach traverses performance art, videography and sculpture. “My desire in making artwork is to re-connect to the authenticity that exists in nature, to remind us of our core instincts,” explains the artist. “[Art] is in every living thing, in every experience.” Her recent work responds to Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, which maintains that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. “I like to think of this law beyond the literal mathematical implications and believe that we exist in a contestant state of action and reaction – every being is psychologically reacting to every action around us,” explains Mahedi. “Things begin to lose meaning and importance through repetition. As meaning is lost, a void is created.” Her most recent works respond to this notion of the void. She’s invested in speaking through a universal visual language that is beyond written or spoken language. Currently, she’s working on her MFA in Conceptual Art at University of Nevada, Reno. Her new experimental video art and sculpture responds to the philosophies of Fredrick Nietzsche. She’s also inspired by Joseph Beuys, and plans to make a living as a full time artist as well as teach.
B. 1992 Lansing, Michigan
Jamilla Kato became an artist partially because of her father and partially for her own sense of well-being. The artist found that over the years she probed herself about what it was she wanted to do. Each and every time she came back to that gnawing feeling that she must create – it was the only way to “keep my sanity,” reflects Kato. Working primarily in photography and printmaking, her work investigates the intersection of race, identity and beauty, particularly with regard to her being of African descent. Her work engages in dialogue with the viewer. Kato also shares her practice as an art teacher at the local Boys & Girls club. Her greatest artistic challenge is speaking to an audience that might not be receptive to her work or coming from a like frame of mind. Her work encourages and supports understanding, and Kato sometimes becomes frustrated when people refuse to open their eyes to others’ perspectives. Her solo show coming up is based around the artist’s personal experience of colorism. After that she’s planning to apply to the School of Visual Arts graduate program in New York City and keep creating non-stop.
B. 1953 Brooklyn, New York
“I made a vow in kindergarten to become an artist. I think even then I had an inkling that somehow making art could be a life that made sense, holding the beauty and the absurdity in the same breath,” reveals artist Robyn Ellenbogen.
Working primarily in metal-point, her love of materials spills over into textile, animation and artist books. Ellenbogen’s abstract works feature dream-like organic forms, which evoke nature, sensation and flux. The artist works out of a
a renovated barn bordering a bamboo forest. Currently, she’s working on a scroll-like series of metal-point drawings, which illuminate the artist’s understanding of Eihei Dogen’s “Mountains and Waters Sutra.” She’s keen on the unexpected, and names her greatest artistic challenge as “having the time to pursue all the roads of creativity that beckon me forth.”
B. Groningen, The Netherlands
Artist Jos Stumpe studied Language and Literature and worked for more than twenty years as an independent copy editor and graphic designer, editing policy studies for the Dutch government on topics such as infrastructure for aviation, and water management. After many years of channeling his creativity into translating other people’s ideas into word and image, Stumpe felt the need to create something of his own. Clay became his medium of choice, and he went on to study Ceramic Design at The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Since relocating to New York City in 2012, he has explored a variety of sculptural materials such as metal and concrete, glass and steel; as well as delved into traditional painting and printmaking at the National Academy School. All of his works reflect Stumpe’s fascination with the interaction between man and nature. Currently working out of his studio in Chelsea, the beauty, danger and chaos associated with water is a main source of inspiration for his art, which he translates visually through a water-based woodblock printing technique called Mokuhanga. His ongoing series of prints is called Cross-Current. “The series expresses my conviction that we need cross-currents instead of two separated currents in our social and political landscape. Cross-currents give interaction, dynamism, exchange,” reflects Stumpe, who intends to exhibit the prints alongside older paintings and sculpture.
B. 1953 New York City
“I am an artist because I have always loved the process of creating,” says mixed media artist Denise Adler. Having grown up drawing, painting and taking pictures, she taps into her imagination to solve visual problems: “It’s what makes me happy.” Her mixed media work often takes the form of drawing, painting and collage. Magazines, photographs, trash and found materials factor into the artist’s otherworldly portraits and dreamscapes. Mythology, legends and symbols inspire the creative process as well as emotional stimulus, whether that be empathy, apprehension or disbelief. Adler explores multifaceted connections between the internal, external and virtual realms; ultimately, distilling her visions “into hybrid creations that illustrate my sense of our collective human experience.” Currently, she shares a proper studio space in Chelsea. She’s currently working on an ongoing series of dreamscapes about aspects of her life and a Goddess series. “I am always working at expanding my work to incorporate a more ethereal sensibility,” says Adler, who also names getting “lost” and discovering “solutions in that vulnerability” as a primary process related to her work.