Australian B. 1983
A wide range of environments and character types are explored in the works of New York City-based Dean West. The Australian-born (1983) artist who studied at the Queensland College of Art, is best known for his intricate and highly staged photographs that take everyday occurrences beyond the realm of natural reality. Extraordinary in their tonal range, digital clarity, and artistic vision, West’s meticulously choreographed scenes, character studies, and atmospheric landscapes powerfully yet synthetically link needs to desires and documentation to invention.
Passionately dedicated to the vast possibilities of digital photography as both a medium and a cultural epoch, West’s narratives draw inspiration from the total diversity offered by the visual arts. While the tableau photography of Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall inform West’s understanding of photography as a form of contemporary communication, the paintings of David Hockney and Edward Hopper provide evident aesthetic direction. The fictional world of cinema and the functional language of advertising have also clearly left their mark and taught lessons of their own.
International brands have embraced West’s vision through partnerships and important clients such as Disney, MTV, Bombay Sapphire, and Fox Sports. Recognized as one of Saatchi & Saatchi’s “Top 100 Emerging Photographers” in 2008, West has also been honored with “Advertising Photographer of the Year” at the International Loupe Awards (2008) and the prestigious “Arte Laguna Prize” in Venice, Italy (2009).
International art curators have taken notice of the accomplished skill West applies to both his digital photography technique and the complex, cerebral narratives offered in his images. His works have been exhibited at important institutions around the world including the Columbus Museum of Art (2012), Faneuli Hall Museum of Boston (2015), the Paris Expo Porte De Versailles (2015), Puls 5 Gallery in Zürich, and the Discovery Times Square Museum in New York City (2014). Hailed as one of the most promising artists of his generation and identified as one of the most accomplished practitioners of digital image making as an art form, West has been honored by acquisitions of his work by some of the most prestigious collections of contemporary art, including that of Sir Elton John.
American B. 1973
Nathan Sawaya is an award-winning artist who creates awe-inspiring works of art out of some of the most unlikely things. His global touring exhibitions, THE ART OF THE BRICK, feature large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks: LEGO bricks to be exact. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful.
Previously a NYC corporate lawyer, Sawaya is the first person to ever take LEGO into the art world and is the author of two best selling books. His unique exhibition is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on LEGO as an art medium and has broken attendance records around the globe. The creations, constructed from countless individual LEGO pieces, were built from standard bricks beginning as early as 2002.
Sawaya is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, recognizing his artwork and cultural achievements. In 2014, with the belief that "art is not optional," Sawaya founded The Art
Revolution Foundation for the purpose of making art a priority in our schools and our homes. He is often a featured speaker at events, including Google Zeitgeist, TEDx, and at the Clinton Library.
Nathan Sawaya has earned a top position in the world of contemporary art and has created a new dimension by merging Pop Art and Surrealism in awe inspiring and ground breaking ways. His art consists of playing with the material, color, movement, light and perspective.
In their collaboration “PERNICIEM” which is Latin for extinction, the two artist’s turn their eye towards the environment and some of its most endangered species. Covering four main habitats; oceans, forests, grasslands and the arctic, the idea is simple — that if we do not collectively act to conserve our planet and its species, then we’re left with having to create, an artificial reality. Sawaya’s sculptures are built, photographed and rendered into West’s photography, emulating a form of augmented reality that references the increasing digitization of our world.
The effects of climate change, declining sea ice, deforestation, polluted waterways and the illegal wildlife trade, have decimated the numbers of species across the globe pushing many to the brink of extinction. This collaboration forces the viewer to consider their own relationship, with a fast changing world. A percentage of the proceeds will go to NGOs that are on the ground protecting and preserving the beauty and splendor of our world.