If you were to find an artwork under the Christmas tree, which would you want it be? The girls and boys at Rise Art have chosen artworks by our Rise Art Prize finalists that they'd love to wake up to on Christmas morning. You can choose your favourite pieces on Rise Art too by using the wishlist function on the site.
Our Head Curator Rebecca & Artist Champion Izzy are die-hard fans of British artist Fred Ingrams:
Rebecca: With their striking use of colour and texture, these technically assured paintings bring to mind the landscapes of Hockney and Hitchens. Love them.
Izzy: Fred creates beautiful abstract works that concentrate on colour and form. His bold paintings burst with energy whilst also retaining a wonderfully simple composition that captures the strange and awkward beauty of East Anglia – an area which I am very familiar. I could stare at his work every day. Yes please!
Our CEO Scott has a thing for paintings by Scotsman Philip Maltman, another of our UK finalists:
Philip Maltman is a gifted painter, accomplished both in terms of technique and composition. His large canvas works are bold and vibrant, making a statement in any environment.
Our Data Analyst Dana has a soft spot for the Japanese born Americas finalist Hiroshi Sato:
I really like Hiroshi’s style, especially how it’s applied in this painting where he creates this beautiful quilt-like effect. All the colour shadows make me want to continue searching for clues in the scene, such as the nod to his inspiration hung up high.
Our trusty Sellers interns Nina and Kate are fond of Aussie finalist Susan Schmidt:
Nina: I love the way that Susan provides the viewer with an image that simultaneously feels familiar and artificial - as if one is recalling the wisp of a distant memory. I also appreciate the environmental aspect of the work. The texture of the painting appears weathered, subtly addressing coastal erosion and the impact it has over time.
Kate: I love the way that Susan’s work communicates a sort of presence, as if the person has just walked out of the frame, leaving a towel on the deck. Her colours are so vivid and nostalgic, like snapshots from a childhood memory.
Katie, our Marketing Director, is moved by Iranian artist Heja Rahiminia's 'Looking for Utopia' series:
Heja’s work is incredibly poignant and current. I love how he addresses the subject matter with delicacy and serenity and a level of execution that creates real beauty.
Lei Sylviye's works appeal to our CTO Marcos. Lei explores the role of virtual reality in contemporary society - and Marcos is a sucker for anything to do with VR.
Our Heads of Sales Nat has developed an affection for the work of fellow Russian Maria Magenta:
I find Maria’s paintings mesmerising - they are usually quite busy with pattern and shapes and yet they create a feeling of absolute stillness. Maria has a unique voice and vision that’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
If our Creative Associate Teddy found an artwork by Michelle Loa Kum Cheung in her Christmas stocking, she'd be over the moon:
I love Michelle’s artwork. She creates surreal, fragmented landscapes using pyrography to etch onto pieces of wood. They’re organic, intricate and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I would love to hang this piece in my bedroom and let it transport me to some beautiful, untouched place.
Jenny’s works are beautiful and this work especially is my favourite. There is a dark edge to her photography that really pulls me in. I feel like this photo induces two strikingly contrasting emotions: power and vulnerability. The blow-up crown particularly captures these opposing sentiments.
Our Head of Operations Pedro finds himself rather taken with the captivating photographs by the Japanese-born artist Asiko. His trusty intern Alys has her eyes on Stella Kapezanou's colourful paintings.
Our Editorial Associate Aimee could gaze for hours on Lebohang Kganye's family archive pieces:
Lebohang’s domestic scenes sit somewhere between photography, sculpture and performance. In each of her works the stage is set and the scene is unfolding. I find her investigation into our construction of family history through photo albums fascinating. In this particular piece, I love the interplay between fully rendered object and silhouette.
5 global regions. 16,000 artists. 26 finalists. It’s time to reveal who’s in line for the Global Artist of the Year title and the £10,000 cash prize. Our regional judges - including Sarah Martin of Turner Contemporary, the Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Touria El Glaoui, and the Deputy Editor of Financial Times How to Spend It, Beatrice Hodgkin - have applied their eye to the shortlists.
After much deliberation they’ve chosen the finalists who will go through to the global round. These artists will showcase their work at our Rise Art Prize Exhibition at House of Vans in February, where their work will be reviewed by our global panel of judges featuring renowned artists Gavin Turk, Fiona Banner, David Bailey and Harland Miller.
Our finalists from Europe produce artwork across mediums. We've got exciting photographic, painted and printed work coming out of this group. Alban's pseudo-metallic pieces are in fact painted on wood, and Kareem Rizk creates his images with materials like vintage postcards, brochures and catalogues.
Stella Kapezanou's bold colours and quirky approach to her subject matter have impressed the judges, as has Jenny Boot's striking photography (above). Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt artist agency, praises Jenny for "arresting us with her art".
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
The works by our finalists from the Middle East and Africa are rich with social commentary. Nelson Makamo explores the innocence of childhood in rural South Africa; Heja Rahiminia and Mitra Tabrizian depict migration and social disparity; and Lebohang Kganye (below) uses the concept of the family photo album to investigate how we interpret history and construct 'truth'.
For Touria El Glaoui, Director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Lebohang's visual language "has undeniable presence". The artist, she goes on, "distorts the linearity of time by exploring how history, memory and nostalgia can be altered, reshaped and rewritten. In a sense she is time travelling through her work."
Our finalists from Asia, Australia and New Zealand work in very different styles. Lei Sylviye's virtual reality-inspired abstracts are ethereal and ultramodern, while Lee Yuan Ching's fluid pieces foreground organic shapes and liquid forms. Susan Schmidt (below) reminisces about the Australian beach house through retro-colour and weatherworn textures, and Michelle Loa Kum Cheung creates impressionistic landscapes on wood that reflect her Chinese-Mauritian heritage.
Vicky Xu, CEO of the independent consultancy Areteos Family Office in Hong Kong, is an advocate of Michelle's work. "The whimsical colours, with the use of a mix of interesting materials such as liquid graphite and gold leaf," says Vicky, "create a wonderful contrast to the stark pyrography, resulting in dreamlike imagery."
It's all about figures when it comes our finalists from the Americas. Peter Horvath's collage figures have mid-20th Century tones, with a surrealist touch. Hiroshi Sato takes a more impressionistic approach to his figures, which tend to be placed in interior settings. Gustavo Amaral (below) partially abstracts his figures and plays with their position in the geometry of his compositions. Nicole Gordon, Founder of Art Is My Oxygen blog, says Gustavo's collages draw her in. "I find them to have great depth, wonderfully detailed subject matter and emotional fervor... I have seen artists create similar works, yet Gustavo takes it to another level."
Amir Fallah's figures are more representative, illustrating a crossover between Western and Iranian visual cultures. Elizabeth Waggett prefers animal figures and portraits of objects like skulls. By applying gold leaf and precious metal to her figurative works, Elizabeth draws attention to themes of greed and value.
The competition for the UK Artist of the Year title is tough. All of our UK finalists have WOW factor. Tom Waugh's hyperrealistic sculptures are mindblowing, as are Keith More's hyperrealistic portrait illustrations (above).
Our photographers, Vikram Kushwah, Asiko and Gina Soden, are at the top of their game (above). Vikram's stages funky, surreal scenes, while Gina photographs ruin and decay in abandoned buildings and desolate sites across Europe. Asiko captures Nigerian women in traditional garments.
When it comes to painting, Fed Ingrams's colourful landscapes, Philip Maltman's dynamic abstracts and Emily Moore's varnished panels (above) couldn't be more different. But each has a charm that's won the regional judges over. Acclaimed UK artist Stephen Beddoe finds Emily's work "unapologetically bold". "These amalgamated images," he says of her paintings, "use modernist architecture motifs alongside alpine landscapes to provide arresting works reminiscent of Ed Ruscha and Robert Rauschenberg."
Who will come out on top? We'll have to wait until February to find out.
Kristjana Williams is consistently in our Top 5 viewed artists on Rise Art. The Icelandic artist is known for her fantastical illustrations of flora, fauna and the cityscape. Kristjana creates exotic creatures by fusing butterflies, tropical birds and exotic plants. And look closely at her cityscapes and maps - you’ll see a touch of jungle fever in those works too.
The artist has produced commissions for the likes of designer Paul Smith and Liberty department store, and she’s created installations for for hotels and exhibition centres in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Now she’s produced a selection of works exclusively for Rise Art, from exquisite 3D works to collectible hand-embellished prints. Find them on her profile - you’ll want to get your hands on one of these quicksticks before they sell out. Read on to learn more about the remarkable Kristjana.
What do you love most about making art?
I find the process of creating an artwork very therapeutic but it’s also like an adventure. With every piece you make you learn something new and discover something different. I don’t think there are any real aspects of art making which I dislike, I suppose it can be time consuming but I think it’s necessary to dedicate the time in order to be pleased with the final result.
Steven Miller is an interior designer based in the US. He runs his own design company called Sub Folk Collective. He's a gallery wall enthusiast and hosts #gallerywallhashtag on Instagram.
Winter is approaching. Time to wrap up, eat loads and enjoy the festivities. Our curators have selected five frosty artworks to get you in the mood.
Yuliya Martynova is a Kazakhstan born watercolour artist who exhibits her colourful paintings at art fairs around the UK. She works between studios in Moscow and London.
Quick Q&A with Touria EL Glaoui, Founding Director of 1.54 Contemporary African Art Fair and Rise Art Prize judge for Africa & the Middle East. Plus 4 standout female South African artists who have entered the competition.
Rise Art Prize applicant Leila Fanner paints metaphysical pieces that capture her spiritual view of the African environs that surround her.
Q&A with Rise Art Prize judge, Neo Maditla. Neo is Editor in Chief of DesignIndaba.com, the leading design and creativity platform in South Africa. She is a seasoned writer with experience in print, TV and online.
We're midway through submissions for the Rise Art Prize. Check out who has come in and what our current artists are up to.