Amidst the global pandemic, Cassia Powell has built an entirely digital universe using basic air-brush tools, 3D blender models, and The Sims virtual reality, transcending the need for a physical space to exhibit their work. In their Ugly Feelings series (2020), Powell creates vibrant portraits and collages which they upload into The Sims and display in a virtual exhibition. Sims 3 Exhibition extends beyond traditional conceptions of art and curation, where Powell puts their constructed exhibition on display as a work of art itself.
Geneviève Dumas is a Montreal-based screen-printing artist whose collage prints recall the playfulness of 1960s postmodernist aesthetics. Trained as an art teacher, Dumas was disillusioned with formal artistic training, which she felt taught students to market and manage themselves as brands rather than develop and execute creative vision. She pursued a career in digital marketing, while producing prints on the side, until she lost her job in early spring of this year due to Covid-19. Ultimately, such was the push she needed to immerse herself completely in her own work.
Ella records her daily impressions through writing and sketching in her journal, which informs much of her portraits and abstract landscapes. Some are also like family photographs, where Ella integrates a memory which can then be played with, adding words and sketches to the surrounding figures. While based on a human body, isolated forms, such as multiple arms, legs and other body parts, create a sense of expressive abstraction, which reminded me of the multi-media art of Dada artists, surrealist poses reminiscent of Leonora Carrington, Goya’s sketches, and German photographer Hans Bellmer, as well as folk shadow puppets from the Balkans and Eastern European art traditions. Ella and I had a wonderful discussion about the inspiration behind art. Ella describes...
The first artistic movement I was introduced to was Impressionism. My mom was really into art, she would take us to museums and show us art books. I really got into the impressionists and I feel like I’ve always stayed true to that style in my own work. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate other artists. My favorite artists right now are Matisse and David Hockney, and more contemporary ones are like Chloe Wise and Mark Tennant. I’m really inspired by pop culture, movies, and nature.
Al Hanyok started embroidering in 2018, with the guidance of a friend and three days of high school art courses in their back pocket. In the past two and a half years, they have been learning the fundamentals of drawing as well as developing a singularly modern embroidery style. Swinging from realism to surrealism, traditional to modern techniques, and personal to topical themes, Hanyok is alchemizing influences from across the artistic spectrum.