visual artists you need to know now, pt. 2: street art

1. iemza

French artist iemza works with deterioration. The walls he paints are abandoned, crumbling, and maybe so are his characters. The forms are heavily abstracted and expressive; there’s an almost tangible tension. An interactive push and pull between the figures anchors them to each other and to their environment. His work embodies the new formality of street art.



2. oscar lehermitte

I was exposed first to Oscar Lehermitte’s urban stargazing project via Don’t Panic Online. He’s working with a few (two, I think) other artists to pull off this massive feat. The urban stargazing project creates parachutes equipped with LED-formations that mimic existing constellations and also invent new ones. The project is intended to be a commentary on the problem of skyglow in our light-it-bright-24/7 world. People living in cities never see the stars, and he seeks to make people aware of that loss. Here’s a diagram of the constellations he’s made in London, visible only by the naked eye on a night-walk:

He’s done other great work, but this appears to be his first foray into street and installation art.


3. ROA

He’s belgian and magnificent. Though he appears to not have a site, google him and a plethora of articles dedicated to his work will surface.

One of my favorite aspects of his work is the visceral reaction that it provokes. Maybe it’s that he often depicts rats and decay and grime, the animal underbelly of urban life, or it could just be the stark quality of his lines. Much has already been made of his work, so I won’t make much more of it. Decide for yourself:


neo-traditionalism, up next.

can’t fake the funk.

as always, laissez les bon temps rouler,

the girl


visual artists you need to know now, pt. 1: graphics

1. beth hoeckel

Beth Hoeckel is a Baltimore-based artist who works primarily with collage, fusing photography and painting into one dynamic whole. Her interpretation of identity and spectacle are just astonishing; notice how her figures interact with the viewer, and with each other. She also seamlessly connect images and ideas that ought to seem jarring- her skill and her vision is most evident at these seams.



2. retrofuturs

Though a small selection of his works will never do him justice, here are a few choice pieces. He composes thematic collections of graphics, clever with some serious social commentary. He also plays with photography, but some of his text-heavy pieces are just remarkable. Many of his works deal with history and the conflict between past and present. It appears he’s a romantic.


Hope you enjoyed those two. Up next, street art!


laissez le bon temps rouler,

the girl