Yoshino is a visual artist, writer, entrepreneur, and host of Artist Decoded.
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Fashion and advertising photographer from Singapore turned 3D virtual model creator, Shavonne Wong creates artworks with her virtual models that juxtapose realism and surrealism together, placing the virtual models in scenes that cannot be done with a real human model. She is part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2020 and has recently done an NFT for the first-ever NFT cover of Vogue.
Sarah Zucker is an artist + writer based in Los Angeles.
Her art merges the gorgeous and grotesque through humor, psychedelia, mysticism, and the interplay of cutting edge + obsolete technologies.
She works across mediums, specializing in mixing digital and analog video techniques and the use of VHS. Her GIF art has been viewed over 6.7 billion times on Giphy.
She has been involved in Crypto Art since early 2019, tokenizing single and limited editions of her screen-based artwork on the blockchain. Her NFTs – digital art editions – can currently be found on SuperRare, NiftyGateway, Foundation, KnownOrigin, Hic Et Nunc, and Rarible.
She holds a BA in Theater/Creative Writing for the Media from Northwestern, and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU.
CJ Hendry (b. 1988) is a New York-based artist originally from Brisbane, Australia. Hendry transforms her fascination with contemporary material culture into large-scale, hyper-photorealistic drawings. Cj Hendry’s exhibits aren’t intended to be passively observed but, rather, actively experienced through engaging, fun, and thought-provoking exhibits. For her exhibit Monochrome, Hendry and her team built an entire multi-room “home” inside a warehouse with each room entirely monochrome-colored from floor to ceiling and everything in between. For Rorschach, guests jumped through a gigantic bouncy house maze in order to reach and finally view the impressive series. Each Cj Hendry exhibit, from Miami to Melbourne, draws massive crowds with attendees waiting in line for several hours - and, in the end, everyone leaves more enriched than when they arrived. With her celebrity clientele – and many works in private collections - Hendry’s waitlist is now well over 3,000 collectors with a wait time of up to five years to get their hands on a piece.
Alice Brooks (ASC) is a cinematographer who has photographed award-winning feature films, television shows, and commercials. Her next feature project is director Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the hit musical WICKED.
Brooks most recently photographed tick tick…BOOM! for Netflix and Imagine Entertainment, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and produced by Ron Howard.
Her other recent work includes the 2021 summer release of Miranda’s IN THE HEIGHTS directed by Chu. The film’s cinematography received widespread critical acclaim.
Brooks is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600. She became a member of the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers in Oct. 2021.
Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult.
Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library, lecturer-in-residence at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America; One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; and The Miracle Club.
Skygolpe interviewed by Jesse Draxler
The essential figures that emerge from Skygolpe’s research have an openly disruptive immediacy and impact. His work represents the artist’s tension towards the definition of a clear idea and a path outlined towards direct introspection. Skygolpe explores the NFT medium in a unique and original way. His single digital editions are sought after by major collectors and demonstrate how works created with a strong meaning and a defined concept can have a lasting place in the new world of digital collecting.
After a high profile career designing, drawing and painting images for movie poster art in Hollywood — Return of the Jedi, Labyrinth, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom — Chris now feels driven to produce works which celebrate compelling stories of American perseverance — the Tuskegee Airmen, First Nations peoples of America’s Pacific Northwest, and the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during WWII.
It’s been an unusual career path, to say the least. Chris was a star on the Southern Oregon College wrestling team when he dropped out in 1974 rather than bow to the inevitable pressure to become a high school wrestling coach. He loaded up his ’68 sky blue Camaro and hit the road, picking up jobs from southern California to Montana and living out of his car. After he ran out of gas in Boise, Idaho, he settled there for a year and a half and worked as a bouncer at the Bronco Hut (the college bar where he met his wife), a lift operator at a ski resort, and as an utterly unqualified counselor at a home shelter for troubled boys. All the time he created art — drawing behind the bar, sculpting unflattering portraits of ski resort personnel, and carving the bar’s Billy club into a more appealing shape.
Chris’ older brother convinced him he’d soon be too old for this bohemian, aimless lifestyle and that he might want to apply to the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He put together a crude portfolio, submitted an application and remembers “it surprised the crap out of me when I was actually accepted”.
In the middle of the college program, Chris still hadn’t figured out a painting system that he liked, so one weekend he locked himself in a room and refused to come out until he’d conquered it. In 1979, he graduated from Art Center with honors.
A diploma from art school, so what next? Pouring and finishing concrete for foundations, walkways, driveways and most everything else that required concrete until he heard that legendary illustrators Charles White III and David Willardson were starting a studio and looking for young talent. Chris’ persistence paid off and he was hired. After months of
sketching he was finally assigned to paint the marquee art for The Mountain Men. Soon afterwards he discovered the airbrush and the whole process became fun, especially incorporating brushwork with airbrush techniques. He painted the clouds, skies, and water all from his Pacific Northwest childhood memories, and was known as The Sky King, a tribute to his unmatched ability to paint natural backgrounds
After four years, Chris left Willardson and White ready for his next challenge — painting people. Yes, he learned to do that, too painting and drawing the comprehensive and finished poster and magazine promotional art for Return of the Jedi, Peggy Sue Got Married, Labyrinth, The Abyss, and who could forget the portrait of the studly Harrison Ford on the Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom theatrical advance poster art?
In 1988 he picked up his family and relocated to the state of Washington where he’s once again tackled a new, but classic, technique. Now he’s brush-painting stories of American perseverance.
Colborn Bell is currently the co-founder and curator of the Museum of Crypto Art (M○C△), an immersive digital art center in virtual reality. Unconstrained by the limitations of physical reality, the aim of this project is to create bridges to Metaverse spaces and usher in a creative renaissance that empowers digital artists and reawakens the imaginations of its participants. He is a long-time blockchain and venture investor.
Guest Interviewer: Jesse Draxler
Hayden Silas Anhedönia, a Florida native better known as Southern Gothic musician, Ethel Cain, creates her art with the same simple intention behind a Sunday morning sermon; to not only be heard, but also felt. Combining her Southern Baptist upbringing with her love of folk, country, and rock music, as well as all things horror and drama, she aims to create nothing other than a visceral experience that lingers long after consumption.
After studying filmmaking with Leslie Thornton at Brown University, and French New Wave director Eric Rohmer at The University of Paris-Michelet, Sam Levy began his professional career as an apprentice to cinematographer Harris Savides.
Sam first gained recognition as a cinematographer in his own right when he photographed Wendy and Lucy for director Kelly Reichardt - voted one of the “Best 25 Films of the 21st Century” by The New York Times.
Sam went on to shoot three films for director Noah Baumbach: Frances Ha, Mistress America, and While We’re Young.
Sam’s recent films include Lady Bird - nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture - as well as two projects for director Spike Jonze: Changers and Untitled Frank Ocean Project.
Sam has photographed commercials and music videos for such directors as Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, Fredrik Bond, Stacy Wall, Randy Krallman, Lisa Rubisch, and Brigitte Lacombe among others.
John Wentz is a contemporary painter born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. His interest in art began at the age of 6 when he first discovered Batman and Spiderman comic books. After years of copying comics panel by panel, he worked in the commercial arts as a muralist, billboard creator, and freelance illustrator. After learning to paint by doing airbrushed billboards, he decided to pursue fine art and work in oils. Since then, he has had 3 solo exhibitions in San Francisco and numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. His works have appeared in many publications and have won multiple awards.
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Joe Sill is a filmmaker and founder of world-building lab Impossible Objects.
Joe likes to think big. He forged his path as a live-action feature and commercials director, often using visual effects to bring new worlds and ideas to life. His love for telling grand visual stories has led him to work with top brands such as Apple, NASA, Nike, and Tesla, as well as his first foray into feature filmmaking with "Stray”.
Recently, Joe decided to double down in the landscape of animation and virtual production, energized by the constant innovation and ability for artists like himself to imagine and create without limitation.
Joe is currently developing an original television series with writer Matisse Tolin based on their short film, “Autonomous”, with Jon Berg and Greg Silverman of Stampede Ventures producing.
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.
Alexis Marshall's "House of Lull, House of When" on Bandcamp
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.