Following an outstanding couple of weeks at auction in the United States, with the Christie’s 20th Century New York Auction Evening on the 12th May bringing in over $480 million alone, the appetite for art across America is seemingly stronger than ever. With many emerging, established, and blue-chip artists hailing from the region, we spoke to our Los Angeles gallery team about the American artists that everyone should know.
Emerging from the 1980s East Village New York art scene, George Condo’s work is a blended hybrid of traditional European Old Master painting, Cubism and American pop. Originally working alongside Andy Warhol at his renowned studio, The Factory, Condo has become a leading figure in contemporary American art. His command of colour and ambitious formal arrangements means that Condo has been at painting’s vanguard for the last four decades. Synthesising the vibrant palette of pop with the non-hierarchical geometric forms of Neo-Cubism, Condo is a pioneer of the American art world.
Born in Houston, Texas in 1980, Dawn Okoro’s artwork explores themes of identity and self-reflexivity. Turning to art later in life, her work is influenced by her Nigerian-American heritage and the boundless possibilities that creative self-expression allowed her growing up. Heavily informed by her love of fashion, her paintings are a banquet of colour, with her dynamically rendered figures exuding a vivacious energy to match her vivid palette. Although relatively new to the arts, Okoro has already toured the world with her latest exhibition, Punk Noir, proving that the appetite for her work is international.
Chicago based street artist, Lefty Out There, is on a mission to cover everything with his iconic “squiggles” Known for his distinctive mark-making pattern, the young artist is inspired by a plethora of art forms from textiles and furniture to design and technology. He has collaborated with numerous brands, including Nike and Adidas, and has proven the lasting power of his success by effortlessly evolving to the ever-shifting landscape of the art world, creating his very own Non-Fungible Token (NFT) earlier this year.
Influenced by his multi-cultural upbringing in Los Angeles, California, RETNA’s artwork plays with ideas of semiotics and typography. Creating his own esoteric language inspired by tagging culture, the street artist blends characters and symbols from an array of dialects, ranging from Egyptian hieroglyphics and Arabic script to Hebrew calligraphy and blackletter. On his distinctive style the artist reportedly notes “I want my text to feel universal. I want people from different cultures to all find some similarity in it - whether they can read it or not”.
The anonymous Brooklyn born street artist, Jerkface, is known for his colourful murals and prints depicting pop culture iconography. Reappropriating cartoon characters from The Simpsons and Mickey Mouse to the Looney Tunes and The Muppets, Jerkface’s signature style is defined by geometric abstraction. With a special solo exhibition taking place with Maddox Gallery in Mayfair this June, the artist is fast becoming a global success.
Beau Dunn is a Los Angeles based contemporary visual artist best known for her satirical musings on innocence, beauty and materialism. Heavily influenced by her California upbringing, Dunn’s work is rooted in the phenomenon of celebrity culture and the societal pressures it creates. Personally, collected by host of celebrity clients from Claudia Schiffer to the Kardashian-Jenners, Dunn works in a range of mediums, from sculptures and neon’s, to photographs and mixed media canvases.