Liana Finck, New Yorker Cartoonist, who has been deemed by ELLE, "Instagram's favorite cartoonist," and has been featured on Adult Swim and HBO's Very Semi-Serious, as well as authored multiple graphic novels and a cartoon book (and a forthcoming novel as well), and has drawn the cover for a Justin Bieber + Ariana Grande single.
Ayoto Ataraxia 鄭博榕; pingyin: Zheng Borong; born 23 August 1985) is an artist, director, writer, performing artist, producer, poet, and musician. He graduated from Istituto Europeo di Design with cum laude in 2009, and from the School of Visual Arts with honors in New York City, 2013.
His works have been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and are part of the Beyond Fashion exhibition of the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography.
He is currently hosting Asian Provocation, exploring queer Asian diasporic identities through conversations and stories
NYC-based Iranian songwriter, producer, and vocalist Kris Esfandiari, also known as King Woman, is set to release a striking full-length album, Celestial Blues, on July 30, 2021, via Relapse Records.
Kris Esfandiari (NGHTCRWLR, Dalmatian, Miserable, Sugar High, i8i) founded King Woman in 2009 — a solo project which later gained the talents of guitarist Peter Arensdorf and drummer Joseph Raygoza.
Now wiser and holding less animosity than King Woman’s previous sentiments on 2014 EP Doubt and the highly-esteemed 2017 full length Created in The Image of Suffering, the fantasy world that once plagued Kris' psyche is dancing in a new light on Celestial Blues. Feeling compelled to reshape the biblical archetypes that once bound her, Esfandiari has created a theatrical tale of rebellion, tragedy, and triumph — a metaphor for her own personal experiences over the years — Celestial Blues was born.
Poet, artist, and Daughters vocalist Alexis Marshall has announced his solo debut LP HOUSE OF LULL. HOUSE OF WHEN for July 23rd via Sargent House and along with it the first song and video for “Hounds In The Abyss”.
Directed by Jeremy W., Marshall notes of the video’s concept “The long stare into the room of self—the universe’s middle distance—the many hidden doors we locate, the many rooms we find. Populated not only by whom else we are, but by places, we have been. The places we are. We don’t always pull away from the hot stove.”’
Produced by Seth Manchester the album is crafted around moments of spontaneity and sonic detritus. For the album, Marshall brought together an impressive group of collaborators to execute his vision, a vision that for the first time was under his full creative direction. Jon Syverson (Daughters), Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota), Evan Patterson (Jaye Jayle, Young Widows) joined Marshall in Pawtucket, Rhode Island at Machines with Magnets studio with no material. The strategy was to embrace new sounds, employ the element of chance, and capture the creative process in a song format. The genesis of a song could be anything—a fragmented piano line, a drum pattern—but the impetus was often a non-musical sound. Marshall sourced a lot of his textural contributions from a hardware store all contributing to a proto-industrial rattle-and-rumble reminiscent of early Einstürzende Neubaten.
The resulting material stands to be the boldest and exciting work of his career.
Emilio Villalba is a Mexican-American painter living in San Francisco. Born in Chula Vista and raised in Southern California, he grew up interested in drawing and art. He created a career in Los Angeles as a visual effects artist where he animated television commercials and films. After 2 years in the industry, he left for San Francisco to study fine art. He’s now focused on exploring painting figuratively, pulling inspiration from both old masters and contemporary artists—from Velázquez to Alice Neel and Basquiat.
Emilio’s latest exhibition, “People and Things” will be on view at Hashimoto Contemporary in New York from Saturday, July 17th to Saturday, August 7th, 2021.
Stuart Biddlecombe is a director of photography for The Handmaid’s Tale. Biddlecombe graduated from the National Film and Television School in 2003. He has also worked on Doctor Who, Call To Midwife, and Cold Feet.
For the first episode of AD’s Movie Club, Justin will be discussing Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2008 Film Tokyo Sonata with three of his close friends.
First, we are joined by photographer and podcast host, Yoshino.
Yoshino uses his photography to draw out deep lingering emotions while seeking to unveil a psychological truth embedded within all of us. He attempts to create a dichotomy and a confluence between his observations, molding them together between varying ideas and disparate elements. With these images, he invites the viewer to enter his world and to give space for the contemplation of their own personal framework and reality.
Yoshino is also the host of the Artist Decoded podcast.
Amirtha Kidambi is a composer, performer, and professor currently living in New York City.
Kidambi earned an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University, an M.M. in Voice and Musicology at CUNY Brooklyn College, and a B.A. in Voice from Loyola Marymount University. She currently serves on the faculty for the New School, teaching music history courses and heading a large-scale curriculum development project. She has also served on the faculty at Brooklyn College.
Ru Storey (They/Them)is a Los Angeles-based queer skater, graphic designer, and editor.
Ru and Justin are currently working on a short film to be premiered this summer.
Justin Daashuur Hopkins is an internationally exhibited artist and award-winning director.
Jan Hopkins is a master at creating sculptural vessels and figurative sculptures from unusual natural materials such as citrus, melon and pomegranate peels, lotus pods, fish skin, leaves, and seed pods. Each piece is a marriage of deep sensitivity and reverence to materials with a heavy emphasis on concept and innovation.
Jan studied basketry with indigenous and contemporary artists, learning the art of meticulous construction, the basics of how to gather and prepare materials, and understanding new concepts in design beyond traditional construction. In the early 90s, challenged with the depletion and unavailability of many of the natural basketry materials, she began experimenting and innovating new ways of processing organic materials that she successfully uses in her work today. Her initial aspiration was to preserve the beauty of the materials she began to by constructing vessel forms. Jan’s work evolved to more figurative work with narratives sewn into each intricately designed piece.
Jan and her husband Chris have also embarked on a deeply personal collaborative project about a part of her family’s history, The Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Piece by piece, Jan is puzzling together family stories that are both heartbreaking and inspiring. Jan states, “This project has changed the essence of my work and has challenged me to innovate new ways of construction and storytelling.” Their two-person show was exhibited at the Schack Art Center, Everett, WA in 2018. A future exhibit is scheduled to open at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art on Bainbridge Island in 2022, The timing of this exhibit marks the 80th Remembrance anniversary of the first Japanese Americans taken away from their homes on Bainbridge Island and sent to Manzanar Concentration Camp.
An award-winning artist, Jan has exhibited across the United States and featured 8 years at SOFA International Expos, held annually in New York, Chicago, and Santa Fe. Her work is included in museum permanent collections across the country including the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA, Museum of Art and Design in New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI.
Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. He is among the few occult writers whose work touches the bases of academic scholarship, national journalism, and subculture cred. Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and a PEN Award-winning historian whose books include Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; and The Miracle Club.
The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.”
He has discussed alternative spirituality across the national media and is collaborating with Emmy-nominated director Ronni Thomas on a feature documentary about the occult classic The Kybalion, shot on location in Egypt. Mitch received the Walden Award for Interfaith/Intercultural Understanding. The Chinese government has censored his work.
Damon Davis is a post-disciplinary artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. His work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. He is well known for his body of work, Darker Gods, which explores Afro-surrealist manifestations of Black culture. Davis is a Firelight Media, Sundance Labs, TED, and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. He is the founder and creative director of St. Louis-based music label/ artist collective FarFetched and his work is featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Born in Beijing and raised in Singapore, Jingna Zhang is a fashion and fine art photographer and director based in New York City and Seattle. Imbued with love for the Pre-Raphaelites and Japanese anime, Jingna’s work interweaves Asian aesthetics with western art styles, bringing unique visions of painterly and fantastical images to fashion and fine art photography.
Before photography, Jingna was a world-class air rifle shooter representing Singapore at the Commonwealth Games and World Cup. She was the only female founder of a North American esports team in StarCraft 2; and was once a concept artist and illustrator’s agent, with clients including LucasArts, Amazon Publishing, and Sony Online Entertainment.
Jingna majored in fashion design before dropping out of school to pursue photography. She is an alumna of Stanford’s innovation and entrepreneurship program Ignite and a Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 listmaker.
Jingna’s works have appeared on multiple editions of Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her clients include Mercedes Benz, Montblanc, and Lancome. Jingna’s fine art works have exhibited at Leica Gallery Milan, Tsinghua University, and Japan Creative Centre in Singapore, and she has spoken at Laguna College of Art and Design, Monterrey Institute of Technology, and Square Enix.
Graham grew up in Ojai, a small ranching town in Southern California with pink sunsets dipping below the mountains. He spent his childhood exploring Europe and the Southwestern United States with his travel writer father and family.
His upbringing informs his photography, which is largely based in simplicity, nostalgia, nature, and the truth of a moment. Graham lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and his son, an extremely inventive whippersnapper.
AD Non-Weekly Round Up #8 with artist, Jesse Draxler, and Yoshino.
Jesse Draxler was born in rural Wisconsin, studied in Minneapolis, MN, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. A formal mixed media & inter-disciplinary artist, Draxler has exhibited extensively both domestically and internationally.
Draxler collaborates with brands including Hugo Boss, McQ Alexander McQueen, and Ferrari, with original artwork appearing in Elle, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among other publications.
Nadia Waheed, BFA 2015 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is a Pakistani-American painter who makes partially autobiographical allegorical figurative paintings that explore selfhood, choice, and cultural trauma. Exhibition history includes shows with Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, BEERS London, Thierry Goldberg in New York, and Gallery 1957 in London. Upcoming exhibitions in 2021 include shows with Andrea Festa Fine Art in Rome, Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai, and Aicon Gallery in New York.
The son of Chinese immigrants, Nicholas came to LA by way of Hawaii and Hong Kong. Working as a truly international director, he has helmed global campaigns for brands like Google, Samsung, Disney, P&G, Kia, Dewars, and Nestle, working closely with top agencies such as BBDO, Ogilvy & Mather, and Iris Worldwide. In the music world, he is an MTV VMA nominated director having shot videos for Nick Jonas, Blink-182, Sara Bareilles, Bastille, Snakehips, Jess Glynne, Monsta X, and more.
Known for his cinematic, emotional, and dynamic visual language, Nicholas' films often center on character-driven stories deeply grounded in humanity and sensitivity. His work has been featured in most major publications including The LA Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety, The Telegraph, The Independent, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Forbes, Booooooom, Shots Creative, Little Black Book, and many more.
When not on set, Nicholas will be found tearing through the canyons in his cars or motorcycle, creating new recipes in the kitchen, or talking watches with fellow nerds.
Justin Daashuur Hopkins is a multidisciplinary storyteller (Director and Cinematographer, Musician and Composer, Graphic Designer, and Gallerist).
Born into an artistic household, to renowned Illustrator Chris Hopkins and internationally collected sculptor Jan Hopkins, Justin was raised in Mukilteo, Washington, but now lives and works in Los Angeles. At the age of fifteen, he was already doing professional work for multiple clients, including conceptual merchandising and design for Costco, sound design and illustration for RedBull, and music for ESPN TV spots. He also shot the short film “Baristas,” which played to enthusiastic audiences in New York, LA, and Seattle.
At the age of eighteen, Justin was hired at Olio Inc, an architectural firm specializing in major hotels in places like Vegas and Dubai. He spent the next five years doing architectural and sound design for international clients. In 2009, he struck out on his own, working as a freelance illustrator and fine art painter. He moved to New York and began showing in numerous international exhibitions, in addition to garnering attention for his commercial work.
Upon his return to Los Angeles, Justin co-founded NOH/WAVE, an art agency, and production company, with gallery space downtown. This has given him the opportunity to curate shows by internationally acclaimed artists. His unique aesthetic and attention to detail have made him a sought-after director of film and mixed media video for clients including Universal, RCA, Warner Brothers, Atlantic, Def Jam, and Domino Records.
Johan Van Mullem (Belgian painter born in 1959) persisted in his youthful search for wrinkled faces, seeking the beauty he recognized in an experience engraved on the faces and in the hands. Since then, the face remains the major subject of his work but over time reversing the imprint of it on his own face while these subjects seem to rejuvenate, disappearing or emerging in a halo of light in old-fashioned sfumato, offering the gaze an escape into the world of emotion, because Johan Van Mullem's work is an invitation for introspection, to a journey whose omnipresent emotional charge cannot leave indifferent as the depth is often dizzying.
Johan's work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in many important collections.
The superimposition and erasure of the very many smooth layers of the diluted inks further accentuates this feeling of inexpressible presence on the canvas. The self-taught mastery of the specific and unique technicality of his work because only executed in etching ink (an extension of his experience as an engraver) gives his work an additional exceptional character.
Complete artist, designer, painter, and sculptor, (but also poet and musician) Johan Van Mullem strives to create a multiple, diverse but absolutely coherent body of work offering links and bridges to all our senses awakened by this work that projects as much into the past as into a contemporaneity.
Mauro Martinez juxtaposes common pictorial forms from art history with the monotonous streams of online imagery that we, as an increasingly digital society, are so often subjected to. Skillfully utilizing metaphor, irony, and dark humor, Martinez’s paintings respond to the doctrines of internet culture, at once critiquing and mocking our relationship with contemporary imagery.
Lorne Lanning is an American game designer, director, writer, and voice actor. He is co-founder and creator of Oddworld Inhabitants. He is best known for creating the Oddworld series including the games Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, and Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. The next Oddworld game titled Oddworld: Soulstorm will be released on April 6, 2021.
Initially studying photo-realism and commercial illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Lanning soon attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, where he graduated with a BFA in Character Animation.
Working as a Technical Director at TRW, Lanning later moved to Rhythm & Hues Studios in Hollywood, where he would later meet producer Sherry McKenna, who helped co-found Oddworld Inhabitants.
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Dr. Bruce Hoffman did not choose the Medical Arts as a vocation. Originally, he wanted to be a writer and poet. His interest in health and healing developed later in life, after a long and winding road of self-discovery, life experience, and learning. He only applied to medical school, so he could complete a residency in psychiatry and subsequently study Jungian analysis to understand the human condition and behavior. As life would have it, his destiny took him on a different journey. He never did formally pursue a psychiatry residency or Jungian Analytic Training, but his love for art, poetry, and psychology remain.
Dr. Hoffman was born and educated in South Africa and obtained his medical degree from the University of Cape Town. After two years of compulsory military training, his distaste for the local regime convinced him to emigrate to Canada in 1986 where he pursued family medical practice in rural Saskatchewan, Canada.
Once ensconced in the practice of family medicine, he quickly realized that his interests in medicine were broader than just drugs and surgery. The allopathic medical practice was limited to treating symptoms and illnesses but failed short in restoring the patient’s health entirely.
Bruce embarked on a journey to understand what constitutes the human experience, what are the triggers and mediators that perpetuate human suffering. He wanted to assist his patients not only to be free of disease but to realize their maximum potential.
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Jesse Damiani is a writer, curator, and cultural producer living in Los Angeles, CA. He covers art, media, and technology on Forbes, and serves as . Other writing appears in Billboard, Entrepreneur, Quartz, The Verge, and WIRED. He has consulted with Google, Oculus, and the Sundance Institute, and served as a mentor in the YouTube VR Creator Lab. He is also Founder and Series Editor of Best American Experimental Writing. He was the Curator/Producer for the XR art exhibition, Spatial Reality, at sp[a]ce gallery; Co-Curator of Virtual Futures with LACMA for LA Art Show; and Co-Curator of SIM-CINEMA with FLOAT and Wevr. He is Curatorial Advisor for CURRENTS New Media and founded the AWE Arts Initiative, where he curated and produced the Immersive Arts Symposium. He also curates The Tech Zone at DesignerCon and XR For Change, the XR summit at Games For Change.
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Nolwen is a first-generation Colombian-French photographer and director, working in Los Angeles. As a mixed-race queer woman, her identity plays an active role in the type of narratives she is drawn to.
Her interests lie in shifting social consciousness, breaking down gender norms, and representation. Exploring portraiture within the landscape of American culture, Nolwen’s photographs deal with vulnerability and gaze between both subject and viewer.
She has photographed a multitude of prolific figures and her client list includes The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Netflix, Dove, amongst others.
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Brian Booth Craig (b. 1968; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a contemporary American representational sculptor. Sculpting from life and imagination, Brian’s work translates traditional techniques into depictions of contemporary human presence, capturing moments of individual self-assertion. Through ambiguous actions, surprising talismans, and subtle gestures, Brian endeavors to reveal the subjectivity of narrative perspective.
Brian holds a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. For ten years he was the apprentice and studio assistant of the painter and sculptor Audrey Flack. Brian is represented by Louis K Meisel Gallery in New York City.
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Vanessa Prager (b. 1984) is an American artist, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Known mainly for her large-scale, abstract oil paintings, Prager‘s main subject is the female figure. Thick, loose, heavily impastoed bodies melt in and out of their form, and what we consider beauty and identity is often a central theme to her work.
Prager has had solo shows at The Hole, New York; Richard Heller, Los Angeles; and Kristin Hjellegjerde, Berlin and London; and group shows in Los Angeles with Over The Influence; M+B; and Diane Rosenstein Gallery.
Vanessa’s latest solo show, “Static” shows at the Diane Rosenstein Gallery from February 20th to April 10th, 2021
Topics Discussed In This Episode:
Topics Discussed In This Episode: