Seven Artists To Watch in 2016

    the next new wave

    by · January 12, 2016

    Photo via Salome Ghazanfari.

    With Art Basel Miami Beach, the London Art Fair, and the Armory Show putting the best of the best on display, 2016 looks like it will be brimming with exciting, fresh artistic talent that we can’t wait to behold. Navigating newcomers to the game can be cumbersome, to say the least, so NYLON has handpicked seven artists that have already caught our attention. Click through the gallery to see what some of our favorite young artists on the rise have to offer.

    Photo via Micah Ganske.

    Micah Ganske

    Queens, New York

    Micah Ganske works with video and augmented reality to create a look at fantastical futures. For his recent exhibition “The Future Is Always Tomorrow” at 101/Exhibit gallery in Los Angeles, he presented large-scale 3-D printed renderings of a concept for a fleet of spacecrafts. In the paintings and video work for that show, he imagined a desolate space habitat inspired by the once-prosperous coal-mining town Centralia, Pennsylvania. Of his soon-to-be-released monograph, modeled in part after the Star Trek Technical Manual, he says: “You’re either a Star Trek or a Star Wars nerd, and I’ve always been the former.” What’s next: Ganske will release an e-book version of the monograph in 2016. After that: “I’m going to move on to a whole new body of work.”

    Photo via Caris Reid.

    Caris Reid

    Brooklyn, New York

    Caris Reid’s transfixing paintings depict women amid sumptuous patterns rendered in flat planes of color and bathed in silvery light. Her latest body of work explores themes centering on the moon and its peculiar movements. “The paintings are inspired by 1970s feminist-infused text on lunar cycles, divination cards, and the healing arts,” she says. “My work often channels female archetypes of strength. And I’m interested in how many myths and religions have personified the celestial entity of the moon as a woman.” What’s next: a dual exhibition at Denny Gallery, New York, April 7 (a new moon!).

    Photo via Sacha Vega.

    Sacha Vega

    Brooklyn, New York

    From still lifes of photographs pinned to a wall to physically corrupted images of water bent into shapes, Sacha Vega strives to “interrupt the expectations in the act of looking at photography” and challenge any notions of the medium being flat or static. As such, her work often blends elements of installation and audience interaction. For “Sky’s the Limit,” a recent show at Brooklyn’s 99¢ Plus Gallery, she printed images of clouds on adhesive photo paper and covered the gallery floor. “The floor not only changed with every person who walked in the space but also set the stage,” she explains. “I wanted people who walked in to feel as included as possible while ultimately leaving their own mark.” What’s next: Vega’s collaborations with two different photographers are set to appear in spring 2016.

    Photo via Celia Perrin Sidarous.

    Celia Perrin Sidarous

    Montreal, Canada

    Celia Perrin Sidarous’ work is as much about collecting as it is about photographing: She gathers found objects—shells, rocks, old photographs, etc.—which are then rearranged until she finds the right combination. Her arrangements are influenced by aspects of theater, such as “the stage, the scenography, the idea of mise-en-scène, decor, and objects and spaces imbued with meaning and narrative potential,” she explains. She prefers not to disclose the origins of her source materials: “I am interested in their past lives, privately, and in the speculation this entails, but in the photographs it is all about potential and possibility.” An element of mystery is key to the visual alchemy, she says: “I do not like to reveal too much.” Recently seen at: Untitled art fair in Miami, December 2-6 (with Parisian Laundry gallery).

    Photo via Tamar Ettun.

    Tamar Ettun

    New York City

    Tamar Ettun’s sculptures lie “somewhere between davka and awkward,” she says, davka being the approximate Hebrew translation for “deliberate.” Born in Jerusalem, the artist creates pieces that bring an element of movement and play into their fixedness. For her series “Performing Stillness,” she takes apart commonplace objects—a coffee filter, a tiny planter, a violin—and combines their elements into spindly, totemic, or diminutive forms. Ettun’s collective, The Moving Company, incorporates dance and acting to translate Ettun’s sculpture into performance. “I bring objects I’ve been working with to the studio and we play,” she explains. Recently seen at: Untitled art fair in Miami, December 2-6 (with Fridman Gallery).

    Photo via Salome Ghazanfari.

    Salome Ghazanfari

    Berlin, Germany

    Salome Ghazanfari’s work in installation, performance, sculpture, and photography takes a good amount of inspiration from billboards, graffiti, and posters, or what she calls “simplified forms of communication for quick comprehension.” She adds, “I am trying to convert walls and billboards into a medium that can transport messages that have detached themselves from advertising commodities and advertising purchasing power and give the voice back to the people. Before walls in urban spaces became carriers for advertisement they were a means for people to express their thoughts.” Recently seen at: NADA art fair in Miami, December 3-5 (with Bruce Haines Mayfair).

    Photo via Jenné Afiya Matthews.

    Jenné Afiya Matthews

    Baltimore, Maryland

    Jenné Afiya Matthews works in collage, video, photography, and even webcam. Her focus at the moment is a new short film based on her experiences growing up. She is also the founder of BALTI GURLS, “an art squad of black and brown female-identified artists,” she says. “I’ve always been impressed by all the girl power I have seen and continue to see on the Internet. And I was also feeling this frustration, that our local arts scene was not considering issues of race, gender, or ‘identity’ in general in the ways I would have liked.” Her “tv youth” series repurposes moments from Beverly Hills, 90210, and was born out of “borrowing multiple seasons of TV shows from the library and binge-watching them.” She photographed typical high school scenes from the show in black-and-white film, which “touched upon my own experience as a black teenage girl at a white private school—and how my teenage sense of self was often informed by these sorts of images.” What’s next: many updates to come at

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