PHILIP MULLER |CARBON 12
Philip Mueller, Tibe guest Miles, 2019, Carbon 12
With an education from the University of Applied Arts (Vienna), emerging artist Philip Mueller‘s cacophonous large scale paintings fill the space with intense colour and form manipulation reveal narratives that perplex, entertain and entice with references too near to familiarity to ignore in his exhibitions within Austria, the UAE and several international art fairs. Mueller is one of the founding members behind “Wiener Achse”an association for Transnational and Intergenerational exchange of the Arts. Best known for the dark, surreal universe of his paintings, Philip Mueller also produces sculpture, installation, and performance work, and has explored subjects as diverse as pop culture icons, Icelandic shamans, and members of TV’s Addams Family. Painting with various techniques and brushstrokes, Mueller characterizes his style as “romantic-anarchical, complex, and greedy,” and has said: “My work is a constant trial of giving an imaginable coexistence to the extremes society creates.”
Born in 1988 in Vienna, Austria, Philip Mueller still lives and works in Vienna.
UMAR RASHID |NEW IMAGE ART
Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers), The story of how we won the whole world and only lost ourselves in the process. Andre’s lament. (Or, when Megatron is on your side), 2020, New Image Art
In intricate paintings, Frohawk Two Feathers re-imagines 18th-century colonial history, conjuring a fictional cast of subjects that includes a rebel fighting force of freed slaves, militiamen, dukes, lords, and tribesmen. Two Feathers paints ink and acrylic scenes onto coffee- and tea-stained paper, detailing colonial uprisings against the imaginary superpowers Frengland and Fenoscandia. His images contain a mashup of references, combining elements of 18th- and 19th-century colonial portraiture and folk art with visual signifiers of contemporary urban culture, including jewelry and body art associated with present-day gangsters and hipsters. Two Feathers wryly points to the instability of public histories and confronts issues of race, power, and greed.
Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers) was born in 1976 in Chicago, IL, USA. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. In 2000, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL, USA. Using ink and acrylic on paper often stained with colonial products like tea and coffee, the artist employs the medium of drawing to illustrate alternative historical narratives. Rashid focuses on the stories and perspectives of people of colour, who have often been marginalized and omitted from the historical record. These reclaimed and reinvented narratives explore the intricacies of race, gender, class, and overall power in the colonial world. Maps, flags, diagrams, body art and various kinds of iconography form the visual language of these scenes, mixed in with contemporary and historical references to pop culture, hip hop and revolutionary movements, and often alluding to cosmology, religion and spirituality.
BRIGITTE WALDACH |GALLERI BO BJERGGAARD
Brigitte Waldach, Stories, 2008, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard
The German artist Brigitte Waldach (born 1966) works very deliberately with defined frameworks, designs and materials. Her drawings are usually created with red pen on handmade paper in a certain format, but recently she has developed and loosened her expression, although she still relates to her artistic work in a dogmatic and extremely disciplined manner. The predefined rules and the relatively simple (and at first sight immediate) expression of the drawings seem to draw the viewer’s attention to the subject.
Waldach’s imagery has clear references to cultural history, literature and motion pictures, and her use of the highly symbolic red color helps to reinforce the mood of an intense psychological space that the viewer might recognize from such films, but at the same time open to the viewer’s own interpretation: “Sometimes the frames of reference explode and thus innumerable – freely floating – links become possible. However, the individual points of reference and associations made by the visitors and viewers, I cannot plan in advance – thank goodness. Humans remain unpredictable, which, for me, is a liberating realisation.”
Besides drawing, Brigitte Waldach also works with installations and site-specific works which often feature diffuse light and sound effects. Her works are represented in a number of museums, including Albertina, Vienna; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; and ARoS, Århus, Denmark.
JOYCE J.SCOTT |PETER BLUM GALLERY
Joyce J. Scott, Pussy Melon 2, 1995, Peter Blum Gallery
Joyce J. Scott is an African-American artist best known for her depictions of racially and politically charged subjects, crafted from bead work. Also working with jewelry and glass, Scott’s works are influenced by a variety of cultures, including Native American and African. “I believe in messing with stereotypes. It’s important for me to use art in a manner that incites people to look and then carry something home—even if it’s subliminal,” she has said of her work. Born on November 15, 1948 in Baltimore, MD, she is the daughter of renowned quilt maker and folk artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. First attending Maryland Institute College of Art for her BFA, she went on to receive her MFA from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The artist currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD. Today, Scott’s works are held in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., among others.
NATALIE DJURBERG & HANS BERG |TANYA BONAKDAR
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, This is Heaven, 2019, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Through sculpture, stop-motion film, sound and immersive installations Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg develop surreal narratives that investigate themes of lust, greed, exploitation and fear with a hint of the absurd. Working in collaboration for over a decade, Djurberg and Berg create scenes that are simultaneously violent and erotic, enticing and whimsical. Within these childlike fantasies, protagonists and antagonists are interchangeable and sociological foundations morph and dissolve. A range of surrogates – fairytale characters, animals, post-humans and stereotypes act out often violent or sexual offenses digging into the darker side of the human unconscious.
Working in an intuitive and curious mode, uninhibited by traditional methods of art making, Djurberg laboriously handcrafts elaborate environments and characters out of clay, plasticene, foam, wire, fabric and paint resulting in a gummy, flamboyant aesthetic. The visceral textures conveyed in Djurbergs’ figures further elaborate the emotions provoked by their misdemeanors. Berg, a musician and composer, adds yet another layer of emotional depth through sound. With his compositions, drama is either reinforced or awkwardly highlighted by contrasting the portrayed scene. Presenting familiar icons in perplexing circumstances forces us to consider our own biases, fears and fantasies and shines a light on the darkness our epoch aims to hide. Through their lens, we are forced to reckon with what it means to feel pleasure or pain and what it is to be male or female, victim or aggressor, mother or daughter.
Nathalie Djurberg was born in 1978 in Lysekil, Sweden. She studied art at Folkuniversitetet and Hovedskous Art School in Gothenburg, Sweden before earning her MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2002. Hans Berg was born in 1978 in Rättvik, Sweden and is a self-taught musician, who began playing the drums at age fourteen. Djurberg and Berg met in Berlin in 2004 and have been working together ever since. The artists’ collaborations have been exhibited widely around the world. In 2009, Djurberg & Berg presented their installation The Experiment at the 53rd Venice Biennial “Making Worlds” curated by Daniel Birnbaum where they were awarded the Silver Lion for Best Emerging Artists.