Top 5 artists to watch in 2014

The Armory Arts Show is a leading international contemporary and modern art fair and one of the most significant annual art events in New York City. After a visit there, it’s clear the 21st century art world isn’t just evolving — it’s exploding. In galleries displaying hundreds of pieces from artists around the world, it’s hard to know who to watch.

Metro attended this year’s Armory Show to find out which artists are on the rise in the world of modern and contemporary art.

1. How and Nosm

 Credit: Pace Prints Gallery
How & Nosm
Credit: Pace Prints Gallery

We live in a generation of organized chaos and nobody captures that better than How and Nosm (Raoul and Davide Perre), identical twin brothers who work collaboratively. How and Nosm are known for their large scale graffiti-based murals that adorn city walls around the world. They work mostly with red, black and white-based imagery. With How and Nosm, you’ve got things like hummingbirds and spaceships all on the same canvas. It’s a collaboration of images that creates a visual effect of harmony and energy.

Dick Solomon, director of Pace Prints told Metro of How and Nosm, “What they’re dealing with is images of their generation that come out of animation, computer games, and all kinds of things in their imagination. So what you get is an explosion of characters in a somewhat chaotic, organized fashion that is quite visually stimulating.”

2. Julian Opie

Moving Images" by Julian Opie.
Moving Images” by Julian Opie.

Julian Opie is all about bringing movement to still images. Portraits and animated walking figures are hallmarks of the artist’s style. In the image above, Opie filmed people walking past a studio then drew them in his signature style. The artist uses lenticular technology to produce animations, which rely on the viewer to make them work. As you walk past the images, the people in the images walk, too. Lenticular is an old technique that was used commercially and Opie has pushed it to its limits. He gets his inspiration from everyday people.

3. Kelly Reemtsen

Credit: David Klein Gallery

Kelly Reemtsen is well known for her playful collection of glamorous women doing dirty work, and her images continue to generate a lot of interest. Reemtsen’s work is about women being able to “do it all.” It’s the dilemma many contemporary women are facing today – the pressure of working hard and still looking good. But Reemtsen carries it off with humor.

In the photo above, Reemtsen portrays the bottom half of a delicate woman dressed in pink, wearing jewelry, and carrying a shovel. Reemtsen’s images are always playful and always faceless. Leaving the subject anonymous lets any woman looking at the painting imagine herself in that image.

“She’s been working on a series of women with tools,” says Christine Schefman, the director of David Klein Gallery. “She can run the chainsaw and still wear her party dress.”

4. Alyssa Monks

"Sleep" by Alyssa Monks
“Sleep” by Alyssa Monks Credit: David Klein Gallery

“Alyssa Monks is certainly one to look out for,” Schefman said of this New York Academy of Art graduate known for her realist figurative work.

Monks often uses glass, vinyl, water and steam to distort the human figure in shallow painted spaces. These filters allow for large areas of abstract design as bits of the human form peek through. Fans believe Monks uses these abstract surfaces in her art as a means of protection, as her work always portrays personal emotion and experiences. She may put herself on the canvas, but doesn’t let the viewer look too closely.

Fans are looking forward to a new body of work Monks is creating focusing on portraits and emotions up close.

5. Nelli Palomaki

Credit: Galleri Brandstrup
Credit: Galleri Brandstrup

Marit Gillespie, the directory of Galleri Brandstrup, talks a lot about Finnish photographer, Nelli Palomaki. Palomaki works in classic black and white photography. Most of her photos are of ordinary people wearing extraordinary costumes. Her work portrays a lonely, sensitive and quiet side of life.

Palomaki has said in interviews that what inspires her is how close she can get to a quiet moment without disturbing the scene.

“It has nothing to do with the background,” Gillespie said. “It is all about bringing the person to life through a snapshot. It’s like you’re seeing something private. This is a young artist you will see more of in the future.”


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