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SUE KWON

(US)

Sue Kwon began her career at The Village Voice, shooting subjects that ranged from runaways to underground Jamaican nightclubs in Queens. Her photographs have since been published in The Source, Vibe, and Paper, and she has become a well-known portrait photographer of hip hop stars. 

Her work has been featured in group shows in New York and Copenhagen and been the subject of solo shows at A Bathing Ape Gallery in Tokyo and Clic  Gallery in New York. Her first monograph, "Street Level: Photographs 1987-2007" featured twenty years of her black and white street photography and was published by Testify Books in 2009.

RON ENGLISH

(1966, Texas, US)

Ron English is an American contemporary artist who explores brand imagery and advertising. He is known for the use of color and comic book collage.

One of the most prolific and recognizable artists alive today, Ron English has bombed the global landscape with unforgettable images, on the street, in museums, in movies, books and television. English coined the term POPaganda to describe his signature mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones, from superhero mythology to totems of art history, populated with his vast and constantly growing arsenal of original characters, including MC Supersized, the obese fast-food mascot featured in the hit movie “Supersize Me,” and Abraham Obama, the fusion of America’s 16th and 44th Presidents, an image widely discussed in the media as directly impacting the 2008 election. 

Other characters carousing through English’s art, in paintings, billboards, and sculpture include three-eyed rabbits, udderly delicious cowgirls and grinning skulls, blending stunning visuals with the bitingly humorous undertones of America’s Premier Pop Iconoclast. English was one of the on-camera subjects interviewed for the documentary Super Size Me (2004), which showcased his McDonald's-themed artwork -- inspired by English's belief about the effect of fast food franchises andrestaurant chains on the American culture.

Watch this interview by Hurley:


RICO DENIRO

Rico Deniro leans on the last men and women of the earth who don’t use computers or technology to make things. People that use no power, and use only primitive tools and the precision of their hands to interpret dirty contrived icons of the world that the so-called “advanced civilizations” worship.

The artisans have little or no relationship with most of the icons and people represented in this body of work. Highlighting the emptiness that is in direct conflict with the billions of dollars spent convincing us that these icons do have value and worth.

The resulting masks show these idols at a level which we rarely see them: exposed. Not in the way that the news media ‘exposes’ celebrities, because in that case there’s a symbiotic dependency, but in the way that these idols are exposed for their lack of substance other than the media and marketing that convinces us of their substance.

Watch this video by Walrus TV:


JAVIER ROCABADO

(1959, Bolivia)

Often times Javier Rocabado combines themes into installations that feature real US currency alongside human figures or icons and real objects. These icons are then embellished with 22 k Gold Leaf halos, cultured pearls, semi-precious stones, 18k gold and silver jewelry, the vials of used injectable HIV medications filled with holy water or olive oils. I also use inert bullets, maps, cloth and a myriad of common house-hold objects.

Although he uses a variety of materials, his theme and methodology is consistent in each of the art pieces in this series. All the pieces are linked by recurring formal concerns and throughout the subject matter. The subject matter of each piece thus determines the materials to be used and the form the piece will take.