MTV RE:DEFINE ARTISTS TO WATCH 

February 2016

Brian Willmont, Conor Backman, Chloe Wise, Mira Dancy and Awol Erizku are all artists that the MTV RE:DEFINE staff has on their radar. Click each artists name to go to their Instagram/website and see what they're up to day-in and day-out.

Brian Willmont

Brooklyn-based artist Brian Willmont explores graphic abstraction through a combination of painting techniques and a unique integration of pop culture aesthetics and classical symbolism.

Willmont had a busy 2015, participating in a number of group shows in New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Sweden amongst other locales. Not to mention was repped by The Hole Gallery at their Post Analog booth at the Untitled Art Fair in Miami.

Conor Backman

Conor Backman is known for his creation of trompe l’eoile paintings and sculptural works, in which he uses hyper-realist techniques to combine pre-modernist imagery with a contemporary stylized flatness — playing with the distinguished concepts of reality, illusion, originality and representation.

Backman has two major solo exhibitions in 2016, at Smart Objects in LA and Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia.

Chloe Wise

Canadian born painter and sculptor Chloe Wise specializes in the satirical critique of consumer culture and social media trends. Wise is known for her humorous criticism of the wealth-based phenomena of “bread-winning,” in the series, “Bread Bags”—a collection of oil-painted urethane casted baguettes, bagels, and pancakes embellished with high-fashion designer logos. In both her painting and customized reconstructions of everyday objects, Wise confronts all that is taboo and stigmatized about both herself and society as a whole.

After having a number solo and group exhibitions this past year, Wise will partake in Art Genève, a group exhibition at Galerie Sébastien Bertrand in Geneva, Switzerland in 2016. 

Mira Dancy

While Mira Dancy's feminist approach toward the female nude has traditionally occupied paint and canvas, she has recently explored the mediums of wall painting, neon light pieces, projected images, and even shower curtains. Unlike historic depictions of nudity, Dancy’s vibrant females exude a sense of strength, empowerment, and exaggerated sexuality. Borrowing from male artists, like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Matisse and William N. Copley, Dancy reclaims the female body in her renouncement of the male gaze.

Dancy has recently been featured in both group and solo exhibitions in New York and Paris, and will continue to show internationally this year.

Awol Erizku

Awol Erizku first gained acclaim for recreated famous portraits by artists like Vermeer and Ingres with contemporary black subjects—restaging these seminal works to address the critical discourse of both the past and present history of art.

Erizku's Instagram art shows and Soundcloud mixtapes—must be checked out! Currently, he is running the Duchamp Detox Clinic in LA, a gallery space he created for himself and his friends. The Clinic is full of assembled found materials: including old tarps and basketball nets and backboards that have been spray-painted and painted with house paint. The focal point of the space is an out-of-commission Porsche 914 that is filled with potted live and plastic plants. Simultaneously, he has a solo show running at Night Gallery called Bad II The Bone.