Contemporary artists I’m loving right now
6 January 2017
Art is an incredibly subjective thing. What one person loves another might despise. Here I’ll share the artists who are alive and kicking that I draw a lot of inspiration from.
My number one favourite artist right now Timmy makes art I wish I could make.
Here’s what I like about his work:
His use of pop cultural icons
Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bart Simpson, Buzz Lightyear…. these characters, icons, symbols from our collective childhood trigger rushes of dopamine in my brain. Using pop cultural icons that are loved makes his work relatable.
How he paints pop cultural icons in his own way
This is where Timmy takes it to the next level. He could simply copy pictures of Donald Duck or Scrooge like many other contemporary artists but that would be really boring.
It’s very simple to copy an image without adding anything new or different. Timmy paints in his own style. Bold strokes of colour and outlines of different characters overlap each other, photos of hip hop artists, basketball legends, film icons and crime lords are pasted in and he works with his own unique neon colour palette.
It is awesome. It is unique. It his distinctly his own style.
His work is aspirational
A lot of his work has logos of luxury brands, quotes or photos of people who’ve excelled in their craft and made a name for themselves. The captions of his work on Instagram are hip hop lyrics talking about working hard, dreams and going straight for the very top.
His work reminds me to play bigger, his work makes me want to play bigger.
Shelby and Sandy
Shelby and Sandy are two brothers working alongside each other. Together they create visceral nostalgia – icons from the 80’s and 90’s.
What I like about their work is:
These guys paint BIG. Like canvasas that are 2metres by 2 metres. Their work has scale that hits you in the face. Then you have the bright bold colors that they use. The reason I like boldness is because I believe art should hit the viewer, it should make an impact, it should scream out ‘look at me!!!!’ and these guys nail that.
Man the colors in their work are so beautiful I want to eat them. Bright fun beautiful colours make their work a joy to look at.
Depth and shadow
What makes their work pop and have more impact is the shadow they paint into their work which gives it more depth, it makes their work more interesting to look at.
You can see more of their work on instagram here.
A common theme with the artists that I love are that they paint icons from pop culture. I’ve got a real thing for bright colour and cartoons.
As you can guess Matt Gondek paints cartoons 🙂 But in a way you’ve probably never seen before. His cartoons are exploding.
What inspires me about Matt is his work ethic.
Every day when I log onto Instagram there’s a photo of him painting, or an Instagram story showing him painting live. Every day is a new day and every day he’s painting.
Before becoming a full time artist he was creatively frustrated in his job so he started a clothing boutique which failed. Out of desparation he began to paint. Three years of painting full time and he’s come a long way. Originally from Pittsburgh Pensylvania he took the leap of moving to LA where there’s a booming art scene and the risk has paid off. He’s partnered with a gallery in Hong Kong, sells lots of commissions and is living his dream of painting.
Check him out on instagram here!
And those are my three favourite contemporary artists. I’m sure you can detect a theme 😛 Who are your favourite contemporary artists? Share their Instagram handle if you can, I always love discovering cool talent.