A momentary qualm in the belly. Not even the racy nightlife of Bangkok could stuff it. I was about to strip down the past seven years of my life in one place, and bring Plastik to Bangkok! Having grown up in the middle of war-torn Lebanon, I was surrounded by the apathy of women who turned a blind eye towards the country’s turbulent social-political situation. Today, I find myself capturing these very women, who, in denial, found a way to escape reality and recreate their own. Pristinely alluring, yet stoic and empty, my subjects are paralyzed souls lost in a most imaginary world. “Life in Plastik” was an invitation from the Adler Subhashok Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand, to feature my collaborative work, as founder of PLASTIK, with all the creative talents from all around the globe since 2008 and my collaboration from 2010 till 2014 with my creative partner Ryan Houssari, with whom I was lucky enough to share my most memorable and enjoyable projects. This exhibition came to life after being scouted during the Beirut Art Fair, last year, by the Adler Subhashok Gallery curators who cultivate my work now. It makes me ecstatic to prove that in today's world, no matter where you come from, if you work hard enough, you can make your way to places beyond* your expectations!
— Eli Rezkallah
Born in Paris, Malika Favre has been living in London for over a decade. Having worked for the illustrious airside design studio until 2011, she is today one of Britain’s most
sought-after graphic artists and illustrators. Her distinct, minimal style has been described as “pop art meets opart” and clearly betrays a love for the classy 50s, paris and graphic novels. Malika’s clients include the New Yorker, Vogue, Bafta, Gucci and Penguin books. Malika talked to Plastik about the art of illustrating, her career and inspirations, London vs. Paris, and much more.
Juno Calypso loves to dress up. She always loved to take self-portraits, but recently gave her work a different swing. By creating Joyce, a deadpan blond looking pretty in pink. In many ways, the young British photographer is more than merely a photographer, Juno looks for locations, builds sets and designs scenes for “her” Joyce to shine. Imaginary bedrooms and office spaces. in which Joyce honeymoons and works, allows Juno to explore concepts of beauty and femininity, often with the aid of such strange objects as an electric anti-wrinkle mask and vibratory face massager : consumerist symbols of progress used as tokens of Nihilism and oppression. Juno talks to Plastik about her first camera, acting, the honeymoon hotel, Cindy Sherman and of course, Joyce…
Curvy Models set against the backdrop of a mushroom cloud or walking alongside African villagers fetching water, stargazing in a cup of coffee, vacuum cleaning the great Sahara desert or a child on a swing attached to the moon: little is impossible in Joe Webb’s creative universe. Having worked as a graphic designer, the 39year old is today known as one of Britain’s leading collage artists. Propelled by the Internet, where his work was ‘liked’ and ‘shared hundreds of thousands of times, the London Saatchi Gallery earlier this year hosted a solo show of his collages, while the Royal Academy exhibited a selection of his silk screens. Webb generally uses two or three images from vintage magazines or other print material to create an altogether new and surreal reality. All of his images are handmade, as photoshop is not allowed. The artist is critical of the explosion of new technologies. “Although I now promote my art on websites, own an iPhone and use Facebook,” Webb claims on his website, “it’s confusing. I wish I had been born 100years ago”
It all started at university and on Instagram. While studying english and media Natalie “Miss Aniela” Dybisz started posting self-portraits on the popular picture site which rapidly attracted huge following. Even there her love the surreal was evident as, for example, she portrayed herself in her room floating in midair. Today in her late twenties Miss Aniela has published two books and is working on a third “surreal fashion”, her delicate mix between fine art and fashion photography , was exhibited in London and Vogue Italia in Milan. Nathalie works closely together with her partner Matthew.
Born in a tiny village in the southwest of France, Nico Therin followed his heart to be with his beloved Mel in California’s city of angels. Naturally, America’s “golden state” being a surfer's paradise helped Lure Nico, a wave rider since childhood, to head west. However, let us be clear about this: his love for Mel came first, his board second, and that should tell you something about Mel! Meanwhile, Nico become a professional photographer who is quickly carving out a name for himself. He does so with commercial work, still lifes high on pop art, as well as street photography. He most recently visited the Tokyo fish market, which is the world’s largest, and flew to Bali to capture Calungan, a Hindu feast in honor of the world’s creator. “I grew up in France, then grew out of France, and flew to la to follow the sun, surf, and Mel, Nico wrote on his website. “happy with the now, but always ready for the next, we’d rather be surfing, skating, creating, and planning tomorrow’s adventure. Professional people watcher, amateur botanist, and a dedicated father to two imaginary pets. I believe in simplicity and I have fun because it’s always worth it.”
My works derive from the notion that “everything is not what it seems”. In my works I try to prove that there is more than the tip of the iceberg. Firstly is that I want the viewers focus to be on the object rather than the background. The object itself is very complex so I believe that having a dynamic background fades out the main subject. This is why I use vivid colours for my backgrounds. I think my work can be described as minimal, classic and all in all simple.
With likeminded artists as Akram Zaatari and Rabih Mroueh, Walid Raad has been a frontrunner in putting Lebanon’s contemporary art scene on the world cultural map. Born in 1967, Raad grew up during the Lebanese CivilWar, which greatly influenced his work. Exploring the many narratives thathave emerged from this dreadful chapter in Lebanon’s history, he deals with notions of (de)constructing history and (selective) memory.
I describe it formally as compilation aesthetics. It is inspired compositionally by geometry with a heavy dose of art history and recently contemporary design elements and photography.
As a designer and 3D artist I get to do very differentthings, which always brings new challenges. My work ranges from designing all kinds of graphicstuff and branding projects to photorealisticrendering of products and environments.
Silly, perverted, beautiful, surreal, confusing, humorous, colorful, stupid and fun. But most importantly, fun.