When we launched Plastik Magazine in 2009, we were in the midst of the digital shift, unaware of its impending implications on society, culture and the arts. We found ourselves at the forefront of art’s democratization, redefinition, and expansion - a once elitist world now made accessible to everyone and anyone with a smartphone. A myriad of artists benefitted from unprecedented exposure and the countless opportunities that ensued.
Today, art has found itself in a thankless place. Whereas anyone can fleetingly scroll, double click and zoom into the most pristine pieces, only a privileged few can truly experience contemporary artwork organically. Galleries have not yet been able to embrace the new face of art in the digital era: art that transcends canvases or 5-inch screens. After all, art is a series of encounters and most importantly, a dialogue that is best experienced up close and personal.
The release of our 34th issue marks the launch of Plastik’s latest venture: Plastik Gallery – a post-internet experiential art gallery that showcases neo-contemporary art, and that vows to be at the forefront of the evolution of art.
— Eli Rezkallah
Blending landscapes, still lives and self-portraits, American photographer Delaney Allen forces the viewer on a journey through his personal universe, in which things are not necessarily what they may seem. Getting lost is a prerequisite for finding home.
Polly Nor is famous for her sharp and insightful digital illustrations about womanhood, inner-demons and the way our mind can play tricks on us in our digital day and age. Her knack of getting inside of all of our heads, and illustrating our struggles, insecurities and sometimes irrational behavior is particularly striking. What you may not know, is that Nor is a skilled multi-disciplinary artist, and after reading this interview, you will assertively agree that she also stands out as one of the most important and contemporary female voices in the art world today.
Aurora Reinhard’s work is a deep-dive exploration about gender identity, gender boundaries and gender elasticity. Often challenging, constantly eye-catching, and consistently thought-worthy, her work is a clear testament as to why art can bring society forward by encouraging conversation about pressing social issues, and finding beauty in their complexity.
American photographer Simone Lueck shot to fame with her series The Once and Future Queens. She talks about that and other beauties, including Minnesota, Cuba TV, the State Fair Dairy Princess and curling. Yes, curling.
Turning heads FEAT. SASHA VELOUR
Rather than following the beaten path of her fellow Drag Race winners, Sasha Velour has devoted her rise to fame to empower gay activists around the world, as well as to shed some light on other forms of Drag that the general public has not yet been exposed to. A living and breathing art installation, she consistently pushes the boundaries of drag with each of her head-spinning designs, fueled by an undying vocation to ‘turn darkness into power’. Plastik took advantage of her iconic stay in Beirut to shoot and interview her.
A series of images by visual artist Eli Rezkallah.
A series of images by visual artist Eli Rezkallah, featuring Jermaine Browne.
John Yuyi’s work juxtaposes intimacy and sensuality with digital iconography – a daring combination that strikes a chord with an entire generation trying to find human connectivity within a hyper-connected digital world. Anyone who follows Yuyi on social media however, knows that her art is not only manifested through her photography, but through herself. Rarely will you find an artist as candid and open about her feelings, inner-turmoil, and every day struggles, making her not only one of the most relevant digital artists of our generation, but also a poignant digital performance artist.
Based in beautiful New Mexico, American artist Jennifer Nehrbass uses a photorealist painting technique to create amazing surrealist portraits and landscapes that come across as collages cut and pasted together from contemporary magazines. One of her main objectives is to examine and reinterpret how women have been portrayed in art, media and literature through the ages.
Lebanese artist Raed Yassin delves into pop culture to re-create memories. His work is rich, colorful and often funny, even though deep down it is rooted in a profound sense of loss.
While she has always been a creative child, Dina Broadhurst has worked in a wide spectrum of creative fields before finding her voice as an artist. Last year was arguably her breakthrough year with a series of exhibitions including Art Basel Miami. One thing is certain: the world has not seen the last of this Australian flower …
French photographer Dani Olivier uses the female body as a canvas to create the most sensual otherworldly landscapes with the light as his only brush. Who would not want to explore and get lost amidst his imaginary dunes?
Instagramming is art. It requires the three Cs – Creativity, Consistency and Commitment. From photography to illustration, these young artists have colored our daily feeds with exciting visuals that sometimes evolved into work projects and opportunities.
Get your finger on the “follow” button right this insta!