Nowhere is Atlanta’s international status more evident than in the city’s art scene, whose young, culturally
hyphenated creatives use a visual language that moves beyond national borders.
You don’t grow up in preglasnost Ukraine without developing some cynicism. And as a Russian Jew born to artist parents who were at one point ostracized for their desire to defect to the West, Kvares, now thirty-six, inherited a heaping helping of the fatalistic “Russian soul.” Kvares’s obsessively detailed, often grotesque drawings on topics from teenage alienation to the dissipation of the Soviet Union suggest sixties psychedelia crossed with Hieronymous Bosch. See his work in New American Paintings #94 (2011).
Taegu, Korea, native Gyun Hur often brings her heritage to bear on her beautifully contemplative,
color-drenched installation art, which earned a $50,000 prize awarded by the Hudgens Center for the Arts last fall. For a project at Lenox Square, Hur, twenty-eight, and her parents—who often participate in her art-making—spent eleven days layering rows of shredded silk flowers into a sixteen-by-thirty-foot approximation of Hur’s mother’s Korean wedding blanket. In December, see her work at Duluth’s Hudgens Center.
If you see a woman dressed in Pepto-Bismol shades riding a Barbie-pink bicycle, you’ve probably spotted this Venezuelan artist. Rodriguez, twenty-six, connected to the color pink as a child and has worn it every day since. It’s a major component of her delicate, lacelike paper and plastic cutouts that Rodriguez says reference the glimpses her surgeon father gave her into his world of bright pink innards. Winner of this year’s Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, her work is now at the Swan Coach House Gallery (8/11–9/24).
This Shanghai-born painter is currently commanding center stage at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia with a solo show of his astoundingly transportive, exquisitely detailed paintings influenced by the artist’s study of Buddhism and the anxiety of living in a post-9/11 age. The thirty-six-year-old painter, who teaches at Clayton State University, says the most American thing about him is his fondness for cowboy boots. “I always wear them.” Caomin’s work is on view at MOCA GA (through 8/13).