universe

OLIVER VERNON

(1972, New York, US)

Oliver Vernon received his BFA from Parsons School of Design in 1995, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He has exhibited his work in cities all across the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago, and has also shown in London and Toronto. His work is part of numerous collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visually, Vernon’s paintings draw upon an incredibly varied pool of influences, from abstract expressionism, to post pop surrealism and the polished finish of figurative realism. Formally, his work is about the deconstruction, and hence the necessary reconstruction of visual space. From this central dichotomy stems many others: logic/illogic, physical/metaphysical, imprisonment/liberation. His paintings come to us, perhaps, as detailed snapshots of the few primordial milliseconds when the blueprint of the universe was being sculpted from the final throes of chaos. In this sense, anything goes. 

Each painting has it’s own set of rules, or rather the rules are being bent, broken and ultimately formed within each painting. Color, form, energy, architecture, good, evil, flesh and machine are lurking, never as physical entities, but as transient archetypes searching out their final places within the framework of the cosmos. Apart from this macro view, Oliver’s work can be seen at the micro level as well. We can view his paintings as representations of how the mind is formed from a foundation of thought, reason, and aesthetics, and how these entities are simultaneously at odds and interconnected.

Watch this video of his exhibition "Renegade Trajectories" by Colin M Day


MARS-1

MARS-1 (aka Mario Martinez) is an artist who spends most of his time in the right side of his brain, communicating through a visual language. His unique imagery explores possibilities of otherworldly existence through highly developed, multi-layered landscapes. Often employing a fuzzy-logic aesthetic, Mars-1’s artwork has a sentient appearance, like a tulpa—which in mysticism, is the concept of a materialized thought that manifests into physical form. His unique style has been described as urban-Gothic, sci-fi abstracted, quasi-organic form.

Early inspirations include: graffiti, animation, comic book characters, ufology, extraterrestrials, unexplored life, mysteries of the universe, alternate realities and the abstract quality of existence. At the age of 13, Mars-1 began writing graffiti in his hometown of Fresno. He later attended Academy of Art in San Francisco, where he currently lives and works, remaining heavily active in the city’s contemporary art scene.

The true meaning of Mars-1’s imagery is ultimately left to the viewer’s interpretation. The artist feels this brings his creations full-circle, encouraging his audience not only to decipher the messages he wishes to convey but to receive thoughts and ideas of their own, as well.

Watch this video of his studio visit in San Francisco by Friends We Love: