The current exhibition at Mon Chéri in Brussels, offers a fresh selection of young, upcoming artists. This group exhibition entitled BIEN OU BIEN?, which is organised in close collaboration with the Parisian galleries Valentin et Jeanroch Dard, features several young artists: Gabriele Beveridge, Aline Bouvy, Hamishi Farah, Mike Goldby, Manor Grunewald, Lucy Kim, Torben Ribe, Amanda Ross-Ho, Dominic Samsworth and Michael Staniak. Among these, I selected my personal favorites, on which you should keep a close eye in the future.
Hamishi Farah, a 23-year old Melbourne-based artist, had her first major solo exhibition, Albeit Tho at Blackartprojects in Melbourne earlier this spring. Her acrylic paintings reveal a strong connection, almost an obsession-like relation with the online community. This digital era as a way of life is revealed through her cartoonish-like approach to painting, with image saturations and a strong inspiration coming from graphic art and contemporary pop culture. Her work examines the contemporary society as it is nowadays, but she does it almost with a naïve approach: and this is something that makes it really fresh, finally revealing to be more realistic than ever.
The same playful line is pursued in the work of Torben Ribe, with his collages and acrylic paintings. This Danish artist (born in 1978 in Hobro, Denmark, works in Copenhagen), has already made his big début in the Parisian art scene earlier in 2013, with his major solo exhibition entitled Landscapes and Fruit at Gallery Hussenot. As a starting point for his work, he creates a strong relation with the exhibition space and interior design more generally: creating thus “interior situations”, as Frieze magazine has described (Frieze 20th April 2010). Through these arrangements, the artist creates surprising encounters in the interior space, using ambiguous domestic pieces that caught our eye: these might seem banal at first sight, but there is always a disturbing element which is strongly present.
The work of the third selected artist, Melbourne-based Michael Staniak (born in 1982), continues with the same themes as Farah and Ribe, although with a more methodological approach, studying the instant digital creations. The artist uses for example digital uv prints in his work, which create a strong visual layered effect: a good example of this is his recent series of paintings, Instapaint. Staniak studies digital strategies more within the framework of object making: even though he paints mostly by hand, by building texture with layers of plaster, his work end up resembling to digital prints, creating thus a modern trompe-l’oeil. This Australian artist had his major international breakthrough with his major solo exhibition earlier this year, Image DNA, at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles.