The Top 10 Selected Pieces for our May’s 2023 ‘Maybe Mayhem’ Submissions Contest’
(In No Particular Order)
Pieces were selected by the UP Magazine Team based on what we felt best represented the theme
1) Angela Denise
I am submitting my 2 pieces entitled, “Mayhem’ and “Chaos” to your Maybe Mayhem Artist Call. I believe that these two pieces fit your theme perfectly because I suffer from a condition that causes severe chronic pain and chaos and mayhem are what I feel most days internally when my pain is at its worst. Attached is my artist bio and photos of my submissions.
Angela Denise is a Bajan-American artist based in NYC and NJ. Her artistic style is based upon the creation of abstract art by utilizing the pour/paint method for her work which features bold colors and graphic images. She uses art as an outlet to both heal from both traumatic events in her life, as well as a celebration of euphorically happy ones.
Angela began sketching as a child, but began painting in earnest in August 2018 as a way to relax and deal with chronic migranes and debilitating pain from a brain condition called Chiari Malformation 1, which ultimately led to brain surgery in 2019 and a connective tissue disorder called Beals Syndrome,(Congenital Contractural Arachnodactyly) which has also led to several surgeries over the past few years and has limited her movement. Since her brain surgery, through daily painting, her art has continued to evolve as she refines her artistic style as a way to share uplifting and positive messages. At this stage of her growth, Angela is excited to see where this artistic journey takes her. In addition to being an artist, Angela has also been a early childhood educator for the past twenty six years. She considers sharing her artistic passion with her young students as an incredibly fulfilling experience. As these debilitating conditions have brought new challenges as she gets older, She looks forward to transitioning to becoming a full time Artist and an Advocate for people with disabilities living and thriving with the invisible illnesses like herself.
2) Annette Back
Painting : I Think Therefore I Am
The background consists of newspaper articles that can be seen through the colors. It is juxtaposed with a pensive and thoughtful silhouette of a woman. I wanted to show how we get bombarded with information on a daily basis and how in one moment we can have all different thoughts and emotions.
BIO: Growing up in Frankfurt, Back explored her artistic abilities at an early age. Her family moved to NY, where her creative calling led her to the School of Visual Arts. A career in graphic and web design ensued, culminating in Back running her own Design Firm.
In a quest to discover her own true artistic voice rather than catering to clients, Back found herself craving the feeling for a paintbrush. Drawing from current events and experiences, Back tells stories. A composition could be a figure conveying an emotion or moment, a geometrically infused landscape, or the beauty of an eye. They often include text, photographs and words.
Back has exhibited with MvVo AD Artshow, ArtExpo, Market Art+Design and Conception Arts and galleries in and around NYC. She has completed an Art Residency at Kunstraum and is the sole recipient of the Artist Residency 2022, Cedar Lakes Estates. Her work is in private collections in the US and abroad.
3) Barbara Graetzer, or Barbtropolis
Barbara Graetzer, or Barbtropolis, has been working as a Creative Art Director in some of the world’s leading advertising agencies for over 15 years, but has only recently begun focusing on her personal work and emerging as a contemporary artist.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but living as a modern-day nomad, Barbara spent many years of her life living in different countries and cities throughout the globe and became interested in art after finding herself unable to properly communicate in languages she didn’t fully understand. She believes that only the visual language can be truly universal and has devoted her life to creating a multitude of expressive images.
You can read my bio on my website, https://barbtropolis.com/pages/about
Amidst the whirlwind of mayhem, an intriguing question arises. What are these diverse characters doing? Skillfully grouped together, each figure seems to embody chaos, their expressions twisted into fierce grimaces or maniacal grins. With the composition exuding a frenetic energy, the viewer’s curiosity is piqued as they examine the scene. Are they cheering, their wild expressions reflecting a jubilant celebration of disorder? Or perhaps they are protesting, their mischievous intent concealed beneath their smiles. The true nature of their gathering leaves room for interpretation and speculation. These critters, a motley crew of misfits, seem to embrace the allure of mayhem, their intentions obscure in both innocence and mischief. Their unity in chaos becomes a captivating enigma, inviting the viewer to unravel the secrets concealed within the vivid strokes of the painting.
4) Christina Gusek
My name is Christina Gusek and I am an artist from Easthampton, MA. I create futuristic illustrations/drawings using ink & marker, sometimes combined with acrylics and pencil. My work is inspired by my fascination with science, technology, and anything extraterrestrial.
I feel that my work fits the theme of “Maybe Mayhem” because it focuses on our possible dystopian future due to artificial intelligence, climate change, and/or societal collapse.
Hello! My name is Kaitlyn Maddox, owner of DichotomyArts, and attached I have three recent works of mine that I am interested in submitting to your ‘Maybe Mayhem’ competition that I believe fit the theme well!
Image 1: ‘Manic Magician’
This piece was completed with intent of placing my own chaotic spin on the magician tarot card. The piece was meant to invoke chaos and mayhem of an uncertain future or fate of the patron upon pulling the card from the deck.
Brief Bio: My name is Kaitlyn Maddox, I’m 20 years old and the sole owner of Dichotomy Arts. I am a full time artist, and am known for my heavy use of detail in my black and white ink drawings. My typical work consists of designing tattoos for clients, and I hope to land a tattoo apprenticeship in the near future.
6) George Spencer
“Bloodied yet Unbowed” is a term I often use to describe my artworks, which is also “Maybe Mayhem”.
Boxing can be mayhem, maybe. The whole point of the fight is to knock your opponent to the ground. Rendering the “victim” defenseless. Boxing is a sport with rules yet some times chaos ensues.
George Spencer was born and raised in New York in 1965. Living in New York City, after his parents divorced he had to travel backing and forth between SoHo and the Upper East Side. Riding the 6 train introduced Spencer to the world of graffiti which he entered under the name/tag “MIZER”. At the 13 years old, trains became the ideal host to Spencer’s tags. Motion tagging, or the art of graffiti executed on the interiors of trains while they’re in motion, became his premier style up until the early 80′s. Spencer attended the School of the Visual Arts 1984-86 which he left early. He moved to the East Village, a decision that lead to the start of his Boxing Series. A single painting of a portrait of a solo boxer at his studio in 1987 at Charas / El Bohio in the East Village. Spencer has been involved with art organizations like the arts collective REPOhistory, Art In Odd Places, and ACRIA. In 2001, after a four year pause from his exploratory paintings of boxers, Spencer was called back to the Series and works on them to this day. In 2010 Spencer was featured in the Rizzoli Publication – ” Stickers: From Punk to Contemporary Art”. 2019 Stickers from punk rock to contemporary art VOL.2, Rizzoli
7) Goran Tomic
Statement : My Collages are a manifestation of the chaotic mayhem of Modern life in a Big city.
Bio : Goran Tomic is a Collisionist Autodidact Artist from Sydney Australia who has exhibited his Collages, Video Installations and Performance art over the past 20 years…raised on Rauschenberg and born posthumously he Flaneur’s the urban decay searching for his Wilderness robe.
8) Katrine-Beth Reigstad [KBR]
Artwork: Street Art (Paste Up) “Roe v. Wade” Bergen/ Norway 2022
Photo: Øistein Jakobsen
A statement on why it fits the theme: On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. It’s now up to each states to decide how they want to change the rules or ban abortion.
Right now states like:
Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia, has the strictest laws with abortion bans, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Mississippi on the other hand, have exceptions for rape, but not incest. Mothers and children with the toughest abortion restrictions tend to have less access to health care and financial assistance, as well as worse health outcomes. Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Arkansas, are states known to be rated for one of the poorest countries in America, also known for their least strict gun laws. Most women who are affected by this come from countries with a strong conservative, religious, or populist politicians side to restrict women’s rights. The “southern states” are now maybe the new Mayhem.
KBR is from Bergen/ Norway, and works with street art and other visual art. After lifting her first spray can on a street art project at Tine Meierier in the summer of 2020, she has made a name for herself in the street art environment in Bergen in a very short time. Over the past two years, KBR has participated in and contributed to a number of projects and festivals, including projects through Street Art (Bergen), Nuart (Aberdeen) and Løkka-Lykke (Oslo). KBR works with materials such as acrylic paint, gouache, mixed media, digital art, spray cans, stencils and paste ups. She also likes to explore new methods and materials to work with. KBR has a fondness for animals, which are often used extensively in her art.
9) Marie-Chloé Duval
I am submitting my work for Maybe Mayhem, a topic that fits my works as I work in this eternal point of balance between harmony and chaos, where life meets and split. I blurry the line of what is visual art and what is poetry, it is a dystopian vision. The artist’s approach is founded on the analysis and interpretation of society, stemming from an academic background studying humans and social issues. They feel compelled to speak up and shed light on their observations, motivating people to take action.
The artist notes that society is currently experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression, overwhelmed by an influx of information, thoughts, and questions. Through their artistic practice, the artist explores their identity as an artist, woman, and citizen, projecting their vision of modern society onto canvas. They highlight the ways in which organizations work to control people’s minds through marketing and mass data, creating art with the intention of educating and raising awareness.
The artist’s visuals occupy the space between figuration and abstraction, stillness and movement, utilizing various media, including painting, words, and photography. They argue that in this era of globalization, individuals are constantly labeled and categorized, leading to analysis paralysis and hindering our ability to take action. The artist seeks to diagnose society with empathy, exploring the unconscious endeavors that are often ignored. As someone who studied the impact of society on individuals as a criminologist and a child of the 90s, the artist’s art focuses on the issues of our current age. By deliberately obstructing certain elements and removing others, the artist creates space for interpretation, inviting spectators to question their role in the world. Through their art, the artist challenges the belief that our senses allow us to understand reality as it appears, exposing the illusions that lie behind appearances.
10) Michelle Buser
I’ve included these pieces specifically because though the appear calm, opposite of mayhem, most of the time my work is meant to cause the viewer to wonder. Wonder at what the subject is feeling, thinking, where they are from, what they’ve been through and to even identify with one or more of those things. My work is meant to reflect a sort of far away-ness in the eyes of the subject, a messiness despite composure, maybe mayhem if you will. I love leaving it up to the viewer to wonder about storytelling and background if they so choose to explore my work.
My artist bio is as follows:
“Michelle Buser is a mixed media visual artist living in Brooklyn, NY working mostly in oil paints and whose work features various themes such as ties between human condition, romanticism and nature. Her paintings celebrate both outward beauty through individuality and roots as well as embrace inward connection through shared human experience such as emotion, empowerment, and storytelling. She explores the art of leisure, relationships to the world through connection and nature and how we choose to navigate our experiences through it.”