Five Artists You Should Know

Hilary Pecis artwork via David Kordansky Gallery

Hilary Pecis artwork via David Kordansky Gallery

Five Artists You Should Know: Exploring Identity in Art

In contemporary art's dynamic and ever-evolving world, it is exciting to see unique approaches from up-and-coming artists. This article delves into the creative processes and journeys of five extraordinary artists: Khari Turner, Hilary Pecis, Sara Anstis, Joshua Hagler, and Maria Esmar. Let's take a look at their artistic landscapes to understand how these artists are redefining the boundaries of visual expression. 

1. Khari Turner

Khari Turner pictured with his work
Khari Turner pictured with his work via Interview Magazine

Painter and mixed media artist Khari Turner brings a fresh new approach to portraiture through ever-evolving abstract paintings. As stated by Artsy, many of Turner’s paintings “suggest the various mythological and historical roles that bodies of water have played in the Black experience.” These breathtaking representations communicate powerful and dynamic messages, all while being straightforward and pointedly cutting. Check out Turner’s Website & Instagram to learn more.

Khari Turner, Moonlit King  via Phillips
Khari Turner, Moonlit King (sold) via Phillips 
Khari Turner via Juxtapoz Magazine
Khari Turner 's portraiture via Juxtapoz Magazine

2. Hilary Pecis

Hilary Pecis photographed by Laure Joliet courtesy David Kordansky Gallery via Art Space
Hilary Pecis photographed by Laure Joliet courtesy David Kordansky Gallery via Art Space

Renowned mixed media artist Hilary Pecis adds a modern twist to a timeless art form: the still life. Her work introduces viewers to never-before-seen vibrant depictions of the mundane, making everyday scenes bright and cheerful. Her bright mix of colors and abstract composition serves up a visual feast, crafting a menu that transcends the concept of eye candy. Follow Hillary’s artistic exploration here.

Hilary Pecis, Favorite Vase, 2018 via Amma Art
Hilary Pecis, Favorite Vase, 2018 via Amma Art
Hilary Pecis, Botanical Gardens, 2019 via David Kordanksy Gallery
Hilary Pecis, Botanical Gardens, 2019 via David Kordanksy Gallery

3. Sara Anstis

Sara Anstis via Instagram captioned "The Petal and the Wrist is open till November 4th @vsf LA"
Sara Anstis via Instagram September 27, 2023, captioned, "The Petal and the Wrist is open till November 4th @vsf LA"

London-based figurative painter Sara Anstis channels surrealistic abstractionism in her exploration of the human body. She uses soft brush strokes to communicate captivating stories depicting daring female figures. One Juxtapoz article states that Anstis’ paintings “focus on femininity while slithering into fantasy or iconographic imagery. Unrestrained by rules of reality, her stylized characters traverse nature alone, often engaging in sexually suggestive acts that carry a surprising, fantastical twist.” Stay tuned for more fantastical twists by following Anstis’ website and socials here.

The Crescent Seat, soft pastel on paper, 25 x 30 cm, 2021
Sara Anstis, The Crescent Seat, 2021 via Saraanstis.com
Sara Anstis, Dogged Moon, 2021 via Saraanstis.com
Sara Anstis, Dogged Moon, 2021 via Saraanstis.com

4. Joshua Hagler

Joshua Hagler
Joshua Hagler courtesy of Ostrich Magazine

Mixed media artist Joshua Hagler constructs enticing worlds through larger-than-life paintings and three-dimensional compositions. His creations feel like a portal into another realm, beckoning the viewer to step inward both physically and mentally, to reach uncharted territory. The use of color and composition is breathtaking, with every paint stroke providing texture and a new dimension. Follow Hagler’s work here for more textures and dimensions to come!

You Have Chosen a Splendid Life
Joshua Hagler, You Have Chosen a Splendid Life 2023, courtesy of @haglerjosh on Instagram
Parliament (after Kiki Smith)
Joshua Hagler, Parliament (after Kiki Smith), courtesy of @haglerjosh on Instagram

5. Maria Esmar

Maria Esmar
Maria Esmar via José Art Gallery

Maria Esmar defines herself as a fine painter, designer, and creator. We asked Maria for a quote about her work, and she said, “My abstract works are a reflection of my own inner world, an exploration of the world as I see it, a celebration of the beauty found in chaos and complexity. They are an invitation to step outside the boundaries of logic and immerse oneself in the realm of pure sensation and emotion.” To me, her work speaks for itself. Follow along here for more.

Maria Esmar, La Dolce Vita via Artsper
Maria Esmar, La Dolce Vita via Artsper
The Brightside Painting
Maria Esmar, The Brightside Painting via Saatchi Art

Each artist's distinct style and vision contribute to the ongoing dialogue of what art can be and how it can influence our perception of the world. Turner's evocative abstract portraits, Pecis' vibrant still lifes, Anstis' surrealistic figures, Hagler's immersive mixed media art, and Esmar's introspective abstract creations are visually stunning and intellectually and emotionally stimulating. Let this not mark the last time you encounter these five artists, so continue to engage with their ongoing journeys. Theycalling us as viewers to question, experience, and delve into our surrounding worlds, each in their own unique ways. 


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