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You may have noticed the booming LA gallery scene and its thriving commercial art market, but in its peripheries is a talented and intriguing group of underground artists. They are turning towards social media and local DIY communities to show their work, sidestepping the traditional gallery route and creating quite the following. Here are five current artists who are inventing their own worlds, both in their work and in LA’s vast metropolis.
Amy MacKay is interested in how social media influences our physical space. As a formal painter, she has managed to avoid the Matrix-like cliches that tend to represent “the Internet” by contrasting the physical with the virtual. She creates ephemeral landscapes that reflect our digital selves. Ghost-like figures bleed and flux in and out of the surreal technicolor backgrounds. She is a participant of Barbara Grossman’s Breakfast Club (BGBC), where most recently she showed a digital collaboration with artist Johanna Hauser featuring video layered on top of her portrait paintings. You can explore her paintings at amymackay.com and find out where she is showing her work or collaborating with the exceptional ladies of Barbara Grossman’s Breakfast Club (BGBC) at facebook.com/amy.mackay.925
Nestled in his Chinatown studio, Andy Woll paints landscapes of real places made up of fantastic shapes. A draftsman at heart, his paintings, both large and small, are indeed drawings with paint. Carving out an aesthetic space through methodical brush strokes, he gives a fresh energy to classic subjects. He transforms the hash mark into intuitively colorful tic tacs and squiggles. This language of shapes re-imagines such iconic places as the Mount Wilson observatory and the North Atlantic ocean, allowing the viewer to visit them anew. You can find Andy Woll and his work on Facebook, and follow him on instagram.com/andywoll.
Russian-American artist Kat Genikov makes abstract paintings; more specifically, she makes paintings of digitally manipulated photographs of paintings. When you look at one, you step into a room full of texture and color, a psychic space that closes its doors behind you. Sometimes the paintings look at a specific corner of the room, and sometimes they walk around and look out the window. Their intensity creates an atmosphere that make you believe people lived and died here, with triumphs, broken hearts and all. She frequently posts new art and insights on her Facebook and Instagram pages.
When Cameron isn’t organizing and producing local shows, she is creating art on every surface. Her work is a reflection of her life: loud, glittering, and a defiantly good time. There is a saccharine and child-like quality to her paintings that is slightly disturbing, intriguing, and then wholly satisfying. Her characters loiter around or pose for their portraits in candy-colored worlds made out of pop art and noise pop. You can discover more of Cameron’s world at Cameronedison.com, and contact her via facebook.com/camerontyme.
Sylvie Lake dabbles in a bit of everything, and all of her art is an act of performance. Currently her “Fluid Beings” series ranges from black and white collages, intricately drawn landscapes, and portraits of reptile hands. Her immersive work shifts through dimensions and character archetypes, seducing you into the story. It is a meditative act on how bodies move through space and change with intention. You can find Sylvie on her Facebook, and check in with her website at sylvielake.com, or drop in on her newest mufti-dimensional project at lapublicsculpturetour.com.