Artists of the month: April

Artists of the month: April

Alice's pick

Zoie Lam

"Stepping into the world of artist Zoie Lam is a true joy and experience not to be missed. The characters and stories Zoie creates are all part of her own imaginary planet, Zlism – the 'ZL' forming her initials and 'LISM' Zoie's philosophy and ideas. A planet of positivity awaits, a fun-filled neon landscape where we meet smiling, kind-hearted characters in all their wonderfully different forms, morphing into the landscape itself as plants and mountains, together in groups moving across the surface or close-up. Zoie's technique is just as unique and playful; the splattering of coloured paint, colourful patterning contrasted with bold clean lines. Zoie draws us into her world to explore and share her ideas around social phenomena. We're all massive fans at Artfinder and ready to move to Zlism. Enjoy!"

Julia's pick

Cristina Dalla Valentina

"Cristina Dalla Valentina's paintings help the viewer to slip through what feels like the natural layers of life. Through her subtle colour palette and abstract forms and her both graphic and painterly style, these are truly unique and inviting, creating a sense of movement."

Dario's pick

Chrissy Guest

"Bonjour my little angst ridden bunnies, Dario from Jealous here with this snowy April’s Artfinder artist of the month. So, without further ado…a metaphorical roll of the drums and a swooshy opening of the curtains may I introduce the wonderful Chrissy Guest. I’m very particular when it comes to my taste in abstraction and colour. I love the Fauvists, strong colours laden with intent. I love Albers as a great understander of colour (have I just invented a new word ?….I think I have). Mr Albers even wrote a book about it…The Interaction of Color. (his spelling not mine) Never read it mind you. Anyway…. Chrissy Guest. The colours are bright, instant, pop with a positive joyful attitude about them. They are so very good. These works feel as if they are expressing moments recalled, captured for us to feel rather than merely see. The forms, marks, shapes and lines made from these colours are intentional. Yes, they are perhaps instinctive but they also have purpose and an aim. I love the way they tread a fine line between abstraction with a figurative intent that perhaps sits quietly in the wings waiting to be noticed. Their allure is knowing that ‘they mean something’ and are not colour field works which take you on a different journey. These are tied to something more tangible and with that they open you up to something more personal, maybe more intimate. What I do know is that these paintings allow me to wander and come to my own conclusions without worrying if they are correct or not. And now, it’s time to bid you farewell as I’m off to tackle my dish washing…who knew I’d miss my broken dishwasher so much."

Richard's pick

Journey Gong

"Journey Gong has received numerous photography awards over the past ten years for his photographic projects that combine a traditional approach with contemporary practice. His last project, ‘Wanderlust’, combined calligraphic and watercolour elements of traditional Chinese arts with a digital approach, to recall the dreamlike vistas of the mind. In his most recent series, ‘Viewpoint’, Gong once again takes inspiration from dreams; dreams of love. These immaculately composed images are not landscape photographs, but recollections of love. Capturing the moment where the land meets the vast ocean, or where the grass meets the immense forest, Gong focuses on the little benches where young lovers once sat in the blissful hold of affection. Perfect blue skies envelope us, the sun’s heat touches our faces, and we feel the gentle crunch of green grass underfoot. These tranquil images recall sweet memories, both lived and yet to come. It’s a touching and evocative series that imbues its viewers with warmth and speaks to the positive powers of the human mind."

Dr. Matthew Eve's pick

Bart Soutendijk

"Looking back I was a lucky if not a privileged child: I grew up in a family where art and creativeness were the norm. Mum painted, my grandpa was an architect, my grandmas were excellent knitters, embroiderers and seamstresses, my aunts were art teachers and my Uncle Tony (ex-Slade School of Art) was a sculptor-teacher. Uncle Tony’s sculptures: brilliantly-conceived and constructed more often than not from wire, and sometimes, paper and fabric, elevated the ordinary (children, chicken, a gardener called Russell, a bicycle) into the extraordinary, using simplified lines and a quirky aesthetic. And there’s something about the work of my artist choice for April, American-born Bart Soutendijk, that makes me think of Uncle Tony’s sculptures and my first real taste of art. Bart Soutendijk is a sculptor who draws using wire. He has a deft shorthand, simplifying photographed figures, movements and animals into linear, almost abstracted shapes that flow and have their own lyrical rhythm. They call to mind the exquisite, sometimes erotically- and emotionally-charged line drawings of Picasso or Jean Cocteau; or those drawings one was asked to do at school without lifting the pencil or pen from the paper, all in one, so to speak. Many of his reliefs feature static nude or semi-clothed girls, some sensuous, others coquettish, the line reduced, distilled, abbreviated to the flowing essence of his subject. Movement is conveyed with equal fidelity in pieces like ’Summer Memories #1180’ where two girls swing with abandon, hair blowing in the wind, or ‘Dancing Girls #7114’ in which the up-held hands and head, twisting legs and high-blown dress express a girl in joyful full-flow. Equally clever are his sculptures of cowboys, horses, birds and jazz musicians, all of which reveal exceptional skill, clarity and sometimes, humour. As Soutendijk notes about his work: 'The way the metal bends has a lot to do with how the piece turns out. As I work with the wire a style develops naturally.' And these are certainly stylish sculptures that work equally well in- as well as outdoors: unusual statement pieces that would enliven any wall and provide a great deal of enjoyment. Highly recommended."

Alex's pick

Sava Draganov

"Sava’s wall mounted reliefs and masks show his mastery of woodcarving and his deep interest in both nature and ethnic artefacts and traditions. The combination makes for compelling viewing."

Juliana and Debra's pick

Patrick Furse

"Our artist of the month is Patrick Furse. The three dimensional artwork 'River Sun' first caught our eye for its vibrant mix of colour, form, figuration and abstraction. The chopped up white and yellow flower is reminiscent of images from the ‘flower power’ seventies and the resulting work conjures up a nostalgia for summer’s past. This is just one work from a series of over 80 works which the artist describes as ‘mementoes’. These three dimensional works are made using images and objects from the pre digital age which is actually not that long ago. The work is handmade using wood veneers and original printed ephemera, paper and card. There is a vintage feel yet the abstract elements bring them up to date and it’s this juxtaposition that makes the works so interesting. There is also the size that makes them attractive - at just 13 x 9.5 x 4 cm, they are small and tactile, an artwork that is an object that could sit naturally on a piece of furniture if wall space is limited. Patrick has collected materials and images over the years and reassembled them to make a new vision from the past. The work feels contemporary but familiar at the same time. He also makes strong graphic limited edition Giclee prints on paper that are very affordable combining the abstract and figurative elements of his collages. A series of these prints framed would make a great statement on a wall, either hung side by side or vertically depending on the space."

Helen's pick

Carla Sutera Sardo

"Italian photographer Carla’s work focuses on images of women, reflecting her desire to create dreamlike images that stand still over time. Exploring the communication between bodies and landscape, there is an overarching sense of comfort in her themes, a type of surreal nostalgia that is intoxicating. Viewing her works, one is swept away to a summery, sepia toned world, where you can almost taste the sun-soaked days."

Shop all artists of the month

Cover image via Zoie Lam


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