Internationally celebrated artist Brian M. Viveros has an unmistakably arresting hand. His highly detailed paintings of defiant doe-eyed beauties summon a raw poetic of intractability. Beautiful and yet barbarous, they draw from the power of the feminine and its reconciliation of vulnerability, beauty, and power. His subjects are fighters and survivors, rendered immaculately, and just bloodied enough to remind us that they are formidable opponents not to be taken lightly. The artist’s hyperreal portraits deliver cult worthy heroines emerging triumphant from battle, complete with cigarettes anchored from parted lips, and tattoos and wounds to rival any soldier’s; they are steel tough victors rendered with something of the sublime. Viveros’ work elevates the iconography of the femme-fatale as a powerful emblem of strength and retaliation: insubordinate beauties undaunted by the unruliness of a messy fight.
A technical perfectionist, Brian Viveros’ oil, airbrush, acrylic, and ink paintings are highly saturated with pigment, luminosity, and depth, while the compositions are poignant and simple. The artist’s emphasis tends to be on focal points such as the eyes, lips, and skin, conveying the subtlety of minute expression and the power of an impaling gaze. The paintings feel cinematic, like haunting stills from a film, owing to their evocative suggestion of narrative and to the iconicity of their subjects. The artist’s creative cosmos is beautifully stylized, never derivative, and distinctly recognizable as his own.
Viveros’ recognition and exposure was catalyzed by his participation in a major group exhibition in Switzerland in 1997 entitled: The Art of Porn, in which he exhibited alongside celebrated artist and academy award winner H.R. Giger. Since then, Viveros’ work has been widely exhibited in North America and Europe, and showcased in numerous international art fairs. Most recently, Viveros’ exhibition War of the Roses was sold out as a solo presentation for Art Basel Miami through Thinkspace Gallery in Los Angeles.
Brian M. Viveros’ paintings have been published extensively in print. His work has been featured in books such as: Les Barany’s Carnivora: The Dark Art Of Automobiles, Harry Saylor and Carolyn Frisch’s Edgy Cute: From Neo-Pop to Low Brow and Back Again, Matt Jordan’s Weirdo Noir, and Erotic Signature’s The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today – Vol. 1 and Vol. II. The artist has also been featured in the pages of Juxtapoz (no. 118), Secret Magazine, In the Flesh, Skin Two, Drawing Blood, Darks Art, Joia Magazine, Tattoo Extreme, XFUNS Magazine, Let’s Motive, Truce, Digital Temple, Riviera Magazine, Uce Magazine, Ego Magazine, Real Detroit Weekly, .ISM Quarterly, Tattoo Society, Dark Art’s Parlour Magazine, Revolution Art, Iniciativa Colectiva, Fetish Magazine, and was recently featured on an episode of the TV show ‘LA Ink’ (when artist Nikko Hurtado tattooed one of Viveros’ paintings onto a client).
In addition to his painting, Brian M. Viveros has extended his practice to include film. His feature short Dislandia, marked his debut as a filmmaker in 2005, and explores the desolate dreamlike world of an unsettling young girl. The surreal psychodrama is replete with imagery from the bizarre to the symbolic, and explores a quietly eerie eroticism. Similarly, Southern 2008, Viveros’ first full length surreal film, is a highly stylized exploration of primordial impulses, troubling eroticism, and violence. The artist and the Dislandic crew were featured in a behind the scenes look at the making of the film on the Sundance Channel’s ‘Pleasure for Sale’, a feature that ultimately informed the making of Southern. Other recent films include: Tercio De Muerte, and Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries. Viveros’ filmic work, much like his painting, captures something powerfully uncanny and symbolically unsettling from the depths of our strained psyches, and yet keep us entranced by an undeniably seductive urge to keep looking.
This painting depicts the limitations society places on women, corrupting what truly is beautiful by placing them in these prisons of identity. By doing so, society is asking them to become superheroes. The work is an offset of American comics, synonymous to entertainment and fun. This is exactly the goal of the series - a daily struggle against that which is imposed by society and the very expectations we impose on ourselves I keep myself busy in many ways; single mom, business woman, artist, the household, romance, errands. It puts a lot on one’s shoulders. We overwork ourselves. We are all slaves to something or of something. And in comic books, despite all the playfulness of the thing itself and all the “POW BING BAM,” superheroes are also fragile. We are merely human men and women and we are entitled to the flaws and errors. Lets be proud of who we are, be fierce and strong.
Sandra Chevrier, who calls herself a “gaze collector,” creates hyperrealistic paintings of women that stare out towards the viewer. Reinterpreting the superhero mask, Chevrier covers these images with a collage of comic book prints, using scenes from Superman and Batman to conceal the faces of these idealized women. Chevrier selects sections of comic books that portray “fragile heroes,” promoting the idea that vulnerability often underlies heroism. Titled “Cages,” these mixed-media works encourage viewers to consider how the modern woman—like these superheroes—might also be surrounded by expectations of effortless perfection.
Jennybird Alcantara's minutely detailed oil paintings possess un-borrowed symbolism, drawing the viewer deeply into a world both strange and beautiful. Dreamlike narratives form the core her paintings where the complex interconnectedness of opposites appear through the prism of myth, fable and fantasy. Jennybird uses the symbolism of duality to explore the connection of life and death and the veil in between.
Born a minister's son in 1977 in Seoul Korea, Young Chun remembers as a child, living in a small attachment to a hillside church for a brief time. The weekdays spent running around with imaginary friends in the dim empty chapel has fueled his imagination, contributing to his artistic growth. The "chapel" has become a permanent fixture in his creative mind - where he constructs, develops, and stores works in progress, before they ever meet a sketchpad. In 2000, Young received his B.F.A, from the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena California. After several years of painting without clear direction, he stumbled into the opposite end of the spectrum - into the healthcare field - to search for "substance" and "something deeper in life". The years spent working as a respiratory therapist, helping people who were faced with life and death situations, has expanded his outlook in life; adding to his artistic vision. In February of 2011, Young resumed working as a full time artist. He currently lives and works in Orange County, California.