Best in Class: Liu Ye

Liu Ye is one of my all-time favorite artists. Based in Beijing, his pieces are instantly recognizable. His work is at once both realistic and dreamlike. Initially, I was taken back by the characters in his paintings- Liu Ye has found the medium between realism and surrealism; his characters exude childlike naiveté but also a complacency thats hard to describe.

Catch Miffy in a number of his paintings, as well as work inspired by Mondrian; his inspiration is evident in many works, taking the forefront. His work draws inspiration from the kitschiness of propaganda art of post-revolution China, but rarely has a political message behind the piece.

Watch this interview with Nicole Schoeni of the Schoeni Gallery to learn more about him.

Best in Class: Kirsten Lepore

There’s something about stop motion film that makes it absolutely magical for me. Maybe it was rediscovering it after growing up with Gumby and Wallace and Gromit, but maybe its simply the fact that the artists making it these days are so beautifully skilled storytellers.

Kirsten Lepore never ceases to amaze me. Her work is endearing, sweet, and always adorably clever. She works in a variety of mediums, from 2D flash to claymation, and she hand makes all of film sets and characters. She’s one of those rare geniuses whose client work is just as beautiful as her personal work, and remains true to her artistic aesthetic.

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Don’t forget to check out her site to watch all of her work: kirstenlepore.com