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10 NYC artists 35 and under you should know

Check our list of up-and-coming contemporary artists doing everything from painting to video and guerrilla curating

Photographs: Melissa Sinclair

The rent may be too damn high in New York, but that hasn’t stopped young artists from flocking to the city; it remains the art capital of the world, after all, with the world’s largest concentration of galleries (from Chelsea to the Lower East Side to the Upper East Side, not to mention Brooklyn and Queens) and art museums (such as the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art), where they all hope to show some day. With studios costing an arm and a leg, the hurdles to success here are formidable, but even so, young artists in New York manage to attract the attention of gallerists, curators and collectors with innovative work. Here are 10 doing just that.

Artists 35 and under you should know

1

Trudy Benson

Like a lot of painters today, Benson is a revivalist of sorts, digging into the recent past to unearth and update a particular style—in her case, Abstract Illusionism, the name bestowed by the critic Barbara Rose on a quixotic, abstract variant of trompe l’oeil that enjoyed a brief vogue during the mid-1970s. Artists like James Harvard applied thickly ornate patches of color onto canvas, then spray-painted shadows under each, making it appear as if they hovered above the painting’s background. Benson works in a similar fashion, levitating cartoonish cutout shapes, and squiggly lines straight from the tube, above airbrushed marks that don’t necessarily conform to the foregrounded forms. The result is a kind of trompe-trompe l’oeil that is both an homage and a send-up.

Trudy Benson

Trudy Benson

Trudy Benson, Inbetweens, 2016
Courtesy the artist

2

Caroline Chandler

Using yarn, Chandler hand-crochet characters that hang on the wall like figure-shaped psychedelic afghans. According to the artist, they depict, “trolls of varying sizes, centaurs, cowbois [sic], beach bums, ballers and giants” who inhabit a “gaylien” universe where queerness is the 'normative' state.” Exuberant, hilarious, with a more-than passing resemblance to folk art, Chandler’s work has an infectious energy that celebrates non-conformity and the freedom to be who you are.

Caroline Chandler

Caroline Chandler

Caroline Wells Chandler, installation view
Courtesy the artist

3

Ian Cheng

Cheng describes his computer-generated animations as “simulations” resembling “video games that play themselves.” Cheng employs video-game software, but instead of building relatively fixed, narrative environments populated by characters both human and not, Cheng programs his work to keep creating new combinations of pictorial information, resulting in colliding combinations of discordant imagery that often revert to purely abstract pixelation. Collages updated for the digital age, Cheng’s work symbolizes the cognitive dissonance of change.

Ian Cheng

Ian Cheng

Ian Cheng, simulation detail
Courtesy the artist

4

Cy Gavin

Gavin has already made his mark with haunting paintings that channel Expressionism and Symbolism to allegorizes African-American experience. Naked figures are often set in desolate landscapes—some covered in needles like a cactus, and some blotted out all or in part by flurries of black paint. Poignant, surreal and livened by moments of dark humor, Gavin paintings speak to the intractable stresses of racism in America.

Cy Gavin

Cy Gavin

Cy Gavin, Portrait of My Father, 2015
Courtesy the artist and Sargent's Daughters

5

Chris Hood

Hood’s approach to painting is somewhat unusual because he paints his combination of gestural marks and image fragments on the reverse side of unprimed canvases, leaving viewers with a milky surface created by pigments bleeding through the material—a bit like what you’d see on the back of a used painting tarp. Hood’s technique also recalls 60s colorfield painting, only festooned with doodle-like depictions—of eyes, knives, hearts, and other random items—as well as quotations from Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Together, they bob against their backdrops like carrots in an Expressionistic stew cooked up in a dream.

Chris Hood

Chris Hood

Chris Hood
Courtesy the artist and Lyles & King Gallery

6

Rose Marcus

This Atlanta native bases her mixed-media collages on incidental snapshots of New York that purposely look accidental—the kind of images that would ordinarily be deleted on your smartphone. Marcus blows them up into large-format prints augmented with pieces of fabric, paper and shaped incisions or cut-outs. Disjointed and opaque, they subversively comment on the culture of causally shared and disposal imagery in the age of social media—“pressing you” as Marcus puts it, “to look and then look again.”

Rose Marcus

Rose Marcus

Rose Marcus
Courtesy the artist

7

Annina Roescheisen

A German-Slovenian artist who splits her time between New York and Paris, Roescheisen is a sort of performance artist, using her own self as an anchor for lyrical video meditations on the shared vicissitudes of life—or, as she describes it, “existential universality.” Her multi-media approach also includes still photography, sculpture and installation, all of it creating a body of work that is both hypnotic and poetic.

Annina Roescheisen

Annina Roescheisen

Annina Roescheisen, La Pietà, 2013
Courtesy the artist

8

Pacifico Silano

To some people in the LGBT community, the period between the Stonewall riots and the onset of AIDS represented a Golden Age of gay culture, where the most onerous restrictions on gay life were lifted, allowing an era of unbridled sexual and personal freedom. Silano’s photos revisits those times in photo-montages of gay ephemera from the 1970s and 1980s, including appropriated images from vintage gay men’s magazine, and items like a matchbook from a leather bar. Rather than trading in nostalgia, however, Silano views his work as a way of memorializing a lost generation that included his own uncle. Born at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Silano came of age during tremendous strides for LGBT rights that culminated in the legalization of same-sex marriage. In light of that, Silano’s photos are reminders that an historical trauma still separates then from now.

Pacifico Silano

Pacifico Silano

Pacifico Silano, Glory Hole, 2015
Courtesy the artist

9

Sei & Ki Smith

While these twin brothers are both artists, they collaboratively engage in a guerrilla practice of organizing pop-up exhibitions in institutional settings where they aren’t welcomed. Their curatorial interventions have taken place in the courtyard of MoMA PS1, and also in the stairwell of the Whitney—from which they’ve banned for life, thanks to their efforts. The Smiths follow the example of previous transgressions against institutional authority, most notably Yoko Ono’s self-proclaimed “one-woman show” at MoMA in 1971, for which she released dozens of flies in the museum. As the Whitney’s reaction suggests, such acts are still deemed as being too radical—though it should be noted that Ono was officially invited back MoMA for her 2015 retrospective. Perhaps the same will happen to the Smiths.

Sei & Ki Smith

Sei and Ki Smith

Sei and Ki Smith, installation view of pop-up exhibiton at MoMA PS1
Courtesy the artist

10

Jennifer Sullivan

Sullivan describes her work as “a constellation of different components” that includes performance, video and paintings, as well as works that combine all three. Colorful and funky, her works stand out for their humor, much of which is based on autobiographical details.

Jennifer Sullivan

Jennifer Sullivan

Jennifer Sullivan, detail of “Revenge Body”
Courtesy the artist

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Comments

1 comments
shel g
shel g

this age based list is so pointless... i know for a fact not all of these people are 35 and under, so why bother with the stupid pretense?