Our Favorite Artists Right Now
We could talk about Picasso or Basquiat, but their lives have been documented extensively by all forms of media. There's also the route of addressing artists like Kaws, and Takahashi Murakami, who have established their standing within the culture surrounding streetwear. But we want to talk about our favorite 21st-century artists that are creating works we love.
Probably the biggest name on this list, Wes Lang made a name for himself creating the infamous art of Kanye West Yeezus merch, which in my opinion might be some of the greatest concert merch of all time (and if you didn't know, I am not the biggest fan of the merch trend). But his accomplishments and work go far beyond that collaboration. His LA-based studio has walls filled with canvases and pictures and shelves filled with books and trinkets that he has collected over the years that inspire his work. His art is a mix of exploring childhood experiences, motorcycle culture, and the American dream. With no social media, a very long waiting list for work and a no photograph policy in his studio, you probably won't ever see him or meet him unless you know someone he knows, but that's part of his appeal.
Born and raised in Denmark, the painter mixes the real with the surreal, or as he puts it "between physicality and something that is within the mind, touching our inner world." He has found beauty within the beauty of the anatomy of the human body and the features of animals, often mixing the two. His brother is also in the art world but has chosen the photography route, who merges the human body with objects rather than the parts of an animal. As an artist, he often paints paintings with paintings and uses it to frame his work in a natural way. He is also extremely talented at mixing mediums in a authentic way on his canvas.
Growing up in San Fransisco, and then living in New York for some time, before moving back to California to LA, he blames his obsession with southwest imagery for inspriing a lot of his work. To me, part of his style reminds me of Edward Hopper's work without the people, especially his paintings from the collection "Not As It Seems, Nothing As It Seems" which is part of what attracted me to his work. Part of his obsession with the southwest, he loves the idea of cowboys, and this is truly shown with his exploration of Marlboro and the Marlboro Men, which is a great representation for the standards of masculinity between the 50's and the late 90's when they stopped running the campaign. Other than painting, he also has substantial experience in making films and also does a lot of tattoo work.
I came to know about Spencer Mcmullen through his involvement in the Kickstarter campaign for the potential movie Karoshi by Weston James Palmer. Although the movie was never created, because of lack of funding, Mcmullen is making an impact on the fashion and art scene, with custom painted Air Force 1's and Cortez's as well as recently designing an ad for Ian Connor's Revenge X Storm. The Jacksonville native now lives and works out of LA. His art explores contemporary American iconographies such as the flag, brands, and consumerism. He recently had his first solo exhibition titled "LYNWOOD", which was held at the Florida Mining gallery in his hometown. At such a young age, with already such an extensive portfolio of work, he truely has a bright future ahead of him.