Pop Austin International Art Show took place this past weekend from Oct. 23-25. This year’s theme was “Illumination,” as the United Nations deemed 2015 “The International Year of Light.” Pop Austin featured laser, neon, LED and holographic artwork and installations. Guests of all ages were immersed in light, while experiencing pieces from local and international artists.
The location of the event was Fair Market on 5th Street, with a satellite gallery at Circuit of the Americas. I was able to check out both shows, so here’s a peek at what I saw, in no particular order. Maybe you’ll be inspired to attend next year’s show!
#1 Nonotak: “Late Speculation”
Paris-based duo Nonotak combined light and sound to encapsulate onlookers in a monochromatic, psychedelic experience. Industrial and organic sounds collided, while the lights projected around them fluctuate on fabric. The installation is somehow simultaneously calming and alarming. Still photos only give a small glimpse of what these artists offer.
#2 Evan Voyles: “White Noise”
Bright white light fills most of this 96″ x 96″ piece, but the small rainbow at the bottom right offers a break from the purity. Austinites have already seen Voyles’ work, but may not have known it. Stubb’s BBQ, Chuy’s on Barton Springs and Catfish Parlor are some of the establishments in Austin with iconic signs created by Voyles.
#3 Jeongmoon Choi: “Drawing in Space – Unveiled”
A dark room filled with threads that illuminate under UV light stops many viewers in their tracks. Choi’s staggering piece encourages visitors to enter the niches created by the glowing strings. She began to make installations after she realized her desire to physically step into her 2-D geometric work.
#4 Hans Kotter: “Tunnel View”
Though this piece is only 23″ x 23,” it looks like one can dive right into it. The colors slowly change, beginning at the mouth of the tunnel, and each incarnation is striking. Mirrors help create the “endless” feeling. Getting closer and observing from different heights makes the installation seem even more like a mysterious portal.
#5 Todd Sanders: “White Luchador” and “Red Luchador”
Local artist Todd Sanders owns Roadhouse Relics (on First Street), where he displays his neon work. Though his pieces look older than they are, the nostalgic effect is actually added by his use of weathered metal. His recognizable designs are interesting close-up and dazzling from a distance.
#6 Adela Andea: “Lux Aeterna”
Walking up to this 15 x 19 x 20 foot installation reveals spinning pieces, foamy textures and growths of bright color. It’s architectural and alien, but inviting. I saw many people smiling while looking at this piece. Andea is a Romanian artist who works in Dallas and holds shows throughout Texas.
Satellite Gallery at Circuit of the Americas
Those with tickets to the races at Circuit of the Americas were able to check out the satellite art space. In this gallery, the variety of pieces more closely resembled what one might think of when hearing “pop” associated with art.
Though the rain poured down outside, the enthusiasm and love for art from Pop Austin founders and curators, Lana and Steve Carlson, shone some much-needed light.
#7 Micky Hoogendijk: “Fish Eye (open)” and “Fish Eye (closed)”
Hoogendijk is a successful Dutch actress who creates beautiful and conceptual work. She looks for “stillness and vulnerability” in her photography subjects. These peaceful images draw inspiration from around the world, but were created right here in Austin.
Working on a large scale comes naturally to Hoogendijk, which she expressed while pointing out her height. The largeness of her pieces gives them additional strength.
#8 Ugo Nonis: “City High”
Ugo Nonis drew inspiration for “City High” from a complicated situation, a forbidden inter-office romance he was involved in. The woman’s name is even in the shapes, along with watchful eyes. He used the artistic process to work through the memory, but not all of his distinctively-styled paintings have their beginning in turmoil. “RISSER,” the piece next to “City High,” was painted in one evening, inspired by Papa John’s Pizza and songs on the radio, specifically “Beez in the Trap” by Nicki Minaj.
#9 Matthew LaPenta: “Joy Emoji”
LaPenta wanted to bring the “global language of emojis into the physcial world” with his artwork. With a smile, he said he hopes these pieces “can be dug out of the ground in 2,000 years.” He has used other emoji expressions, but chose this particular image when he saw it was the most-used on Twitter.
This piece is a brighter gold than the photograph shows, but the artist can be seen in its reflection as he discussed his work.
#10 Shane Guffogg: “Amor Fati #1”
The title of this piece translates “to love one’s fate.” After working on a series inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, Guffogg said he noticed he had begun to move his hand differently while painting. The use of light and coloration of this piece also feels reminiscent of da Vinci.
Guffogg had more pieces in the gallery, and all of them held the common theme of using one continuous line to produce a balance between chaos and tranquility.
Looking Forward to Next Year
Mark Pop Austin International Art Show on your calendar as an event to check out next year! It’s a great reminder of Austin’s growing art scene. Until then, you can follow Pop Austin on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their website.
@MadameKLM wants to know:
Which art installation from Pop Austin 2015 captured your attention?