BIO: Charmaine Olivia is a Southern California native and first started exploring oil paints when she was 7 years old. Even at an early age she enjoyed painting by the sea and experimenting with various art mediums. Before Charmaine finished high school, she had sold a collection of paintings which inspired her to start sharing her artwork with the public. Charmaine is a renowned oil painter and has become a local, as well as global icon, for her art and style. She is a self taught artist best known for her paintings of beautiful women paired with an expressive quality, reminiscent of Gustav Klimt. Olivia’s main source of inspiration for her art is life itself and experiencing all of the things that can make this world truly wonderful. Some of Charmaine’s clients include; Urban Outfitters, Lady Gaga, Hallmark, Cirque Du Soleil, Volcom, Skullcandy, Urban Decay, Element, Nylon Magazine, Inked Girls Magazine, Bolia, and Society6. http://www.charmaineolivia.com
Ryan Callanan is an artist working in contemporary printmaking and graphics. Already a prominent artist on the Street Art scene, the last three years have seen Ryan move away from this aesthetic towards a new practice that draws upon his in-depth knowledge of materials and craftsmanship acquired through his training in industrial model making and 3-D design.
From the starting point of the emblematic visual sign, Ryan began a series of works using the smiley face synonymous with acid house rave culture in the 1980s. Working in bas-relief, this iconic motif was recontextualised by rendering it in material and style usually associated with traditional pub signs – gold inlay and black lacquered background. This highly technical skill obtained and finessed through Ryan’s parallel career in the sign making industry.
This lead to a series of works in this visual style of the subverted pub sign, playing with further motifs such as the Cherry and the Watermelon of a fruit machine, again their meaning sent array using this simple visual pun. Ryan chose symbols to begin with as a means to accessibility, this is art that everyone can enjoy and understand the reference point. This is a common theme that has run throughout his practice, which has seen him draw upon a broad spectrum of contemporary popular culture, including film, music and art history in work that is often refreshingly comic and accessible.
From symbols Ryan progressed this visual aesthetic onto text, using colloquial words or phrases such as ‘fanfuckintastic’ or quotes from song lyrics that were personally significant, such as 90s hip hop and rap, all in an appropriate pub style font. Important to all Ryan’s work to date is this concept of the cross reference: taking one item out of its context and splicing it with another to create something that feels familiar but whose meaning is subtly shifted. This is used to great effect by Ryan’s use of the pub sign style, something so atmospherically nostalgic and locked in the collective British psyche it becomes an unconsciously absorbed reference point against which the words or symbols can react.
Ryan continues to progress his artistic practice and is working on new projects with song lyrics as well as numerous public commissions.
Born Kyoto, Japan
Kazuhiro Tsuji is a contemporary hyperrealist sculptor living and working in Los Angeles. After working 25 years as a special effects makeup artist in Hollywood, Kazu decisively shifted focus in 2008, dedicating himself full time to fine art sculpture. Using resin, platinum silicone, and many other materials, Kazu constructs three-dimensional portraits in a scale two times life size.
Kazu is a self taught pioneer in the craft of using contemporary materials to create the illusion of life. Having discovered the art of special effects makeup for himself while perusing American magazines as a teenager, he developed skills through mimicry, trial and error. In 1987, he found the address for Dick Smith in Fangoria Magazine and initiated a pen pal student/mentor relationship with him which eventually resulted in Kazu’s first film gig fresh out of high school. As an early pioneer in Japan, Kazu founded one of the country’s first companies of its kind, Makeup and Effects Unlimited, and worked with director Akira Kurosawa in the production of “Rhapsody in August”.
These experiences made him the obvious choice to instruct the first classes dedicated to the emerging craft of special effects makeup at the newly founded Yoyogi Animation Institute. In 1996, Kazu was sponsored by Rick Baker to work on “Men In Black” in the USA. This prompted a decade-long collaboration with Baker where Kazu was project supervisor and makeup artist. In 2007, Kazu started KTS Effects Inc. in Los Angeles. In retrospect his film career had served as a laboratory for developing cutting edge styles of portrait painting, photography, and sculpture. This led to a collaboration with Contemporary Artist Paul McCarthy where Kazu was hired to supervise the projects that have become some of McCarthy’s latest major works.
Currently, Kazu is primarily focused on producing large scale hyperrealist portrait sculpture in his custom built modeling and casting studio in Burbank. The recent work he has exhibited widely at major art fairs and museums, has magnetized the attention from collectors, press, and visiting art enthusiasts alike.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Planet of the Apes
Artist Statement 2015
My aim is to sculpt portraits that go beyond capturing a likeness. I create these heads from the inside out, bringing to life the appearance of inner thought and emotion as I layer the silicone.
Empathy serves as a primary guide to my process. I strive for a kind of reticence, an ambiguity that teases your curiosity to keep you guessing at what thoughts lurk behind those eyes. When a neutral expression is adjusted just right, it can trigger an illusion that the face is on the verge of sliding into different moods. It’s a kind of subtlety that serves as a mask hiding a complexity beneath.
Face to face, viewers approach the giant heads which are eight times bigger than life size in volume. The stillness and detail allow for close examination of each pore with a level of scrutiny not even permitted to lovers. The sculptures permit an impossibly close shared moment with the celebrated.