Art

The Artsy Vanguard 2022

Artsy Editorial
Nov 15, 2022 5:27PM

The Artsy Vanguard, now in its fifth edition, is our annual feature spotlighting the most promising artists working today. The group of rising talents we feature this year is multigenerational, international, and multidisciplinary—their mediums range from augmented reality to tapestry, painting to printmaking. They dauntlessly address the realities of the present, from our crumbling Earth to systems of oppression and surveillance. Though it’s also through these artists that we’re reminded of art’s unmatched potential to capture and convey humanity, be that through portrayals of love and intimacy, or grief and despair.

The Artsy Vanguard artists’ artistic achievements have been met with serious votes of confidence from the art world: inclusions in major museum shows and biennials; representation with esteemed international galleries; head-turning auction records; and highly coveted spots at top residencies, to name a few. Yet one look at these artists’ works will tell you their accolades only begin to demonstrate their potential.

In addition to our editorial profiles linked below, from now through December 11th, the artists’ works will be featured on a digital billboard in New York City, on the corner of West 48th Street and Broadway in Times Square. Plus, you can discover and collect fresh works by the artists in The Artsy Vanguard Artists collection.

Here, we’re honored to present the artists of The Artsy Vanguard 2022.


Alexis Ralaivao

B. 1991, Rennes, France. Lives and works in Berlin.

Portrait of Alexis Ralaivao in his studio. Courtesy of Alexis Ralaivao.

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Alexis Ralaivao’s painting practice is an autodidact’s journey through art. As he spent more and more time in front of the canvas, his distinctive style began to take shape. His diffused portraits of exacting details, like dangling jewelry or parts of a body, are delicate and ephemeral. He plans to slowly conquer each of the motifs his beloved Dutch Old Masters did—textures like skin, metal, and cloth—but dedicate a whole canvas to a single element, like a zoomed-in version of a Rembrandt portrait.

Read the full profile on Alexis Ralaivao by Michelle Santiago Cortéz.


Anthony Akinbola

B. 1991, Columbia, Missouri. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Anthony Akinbola by Cameron Andre. Courtesy of Anthony Akinbola.

In Anthony Akinbola’s Camouflage #105 (Metropolis) (2020), a swarm of silky black fabrics, stretched tautly on a crowded rectangular surface, are pushed and pulled in every direction, overlapping in a maze of fiber that ripples with tension. At first glance, the work appears to be all one color—black—but as viewers step into the painting, a whole world of complicated hues emerges. Blackness—both literally and metaphorically—is shown to be infinitely variable.

Read the full profile on Anthony Akinbola by Zoë Hopkins.


Anthony Cudahy

B. 1989, Fort Myers, Florida. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Anthony Cudahy in his studio, 2021. Photo by Jack Pierson for W Magazine. Courtesy of Hales New York.

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Anthony Cudahy is that peculiar thing, a serious painter who’s also an unpredictable storyteller. Informed by a revival in New Narrative ideas—disintegration, intentionality, interiority—Cudahy’s images are vaporous vignettes of washed-out figures who have turned away from worldliness.

Read the full profile on Anthony Cudahy by John Belknap.


Auriea Harvey

B. 1971, Indianapolis, Indiana. Lives and works in Rome.

Portrait of Auriea Harvey in her studio, 2022. Photo by Tommaso Salamina. Courtesy of Auriea Harvey.

For Auriea Harvey, form begins, always, in code. Whether in her experiential net art, meditative video games, or uncanny 3D-printed sculptures, the Rome-based multidisciplinarian has long remained steadfast in her commitment to the digital, constructing her fantastical sculptures and mystical interactive worlds on the computer before bringing them into the physical realm.

Read the full profile on Auriea Harvey by Justin Kamp.


Cindy Ji Hye Kim

B. 1990, Incheon, South Korea. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Cindy Ji Hye Kim by Lance Brewer. Courtesy of Cindy Ji Hye Kim.

“I’m not trying to be spooky,” explained Cindy Ji Hye Kim, even as her works impart a chill with their stony vignettes plumbing the depths of the human psyche. Kim’s drawings and paintings are often strung from the ceiling like ghostly scrim, opening into scenes of dark interiors punctured with a harsh spotlight.

Read the full profile on Cindy Ji Hye Kim by Danielle Wu.


Devin B. Johnson

B. 1992, Los Angeles. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Devin B. Johnson in his studio. Photo by Yousef Hilmy. Courtesy of Devin B. Johnson.

Motivated by the journey as an artist, painter Devin B. Johnson has always been working towards a destination. Back in 2015, as a recent BFA graduate interning at various Santa Monica galleries and working as an Uber driver, his goal was to educate himself on contemporary art and build up a portfolio for a grad school application.

Read the full profile on Devin B. Johnson by Osman Can Yerebakan.


Dominic Chambers

B. 1993, St. Louis, Missouri. Lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut.

Portrait of Dominic Chambers by Arielle Gray. Courtesy of Dominic Chambers.

Dominic Chambers’s use of gestural abstraction and fabulist elements in his paintings stems from his love of magical realism. “It’s the literary counterpart to the painterly and art historical surrealism that we’re familiar with,” he said of the genre, citing the work of W.E.B. DuBois, Zora Neale Hurston, Fred Moten, and James Baldwin. “I became interested in how magical realism plays a role in Black life.”

Read the full profile on Dominic Chambers by Neyat Yohannes.


Felipe Baeza

B. 1987, Guanajuato, Mexico. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Felipe Baeza in his studio. Photo by Clifford Prince King. Courtesy of Felipe Baeza.

There is a quality of religiosity in the way Felipe Baeza begins each of his works. Though his large-scale pieces could be seen as paintings on paper, the artist insists they are more like skins—permeable, fragile, and perfect by their very design.

Read the full profile on Felipe Baeza by Nicole Martinez.


Guadalupe Maravilla

B. 1976, El Salvador. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Guadalupe Maravilla by Zoe Salaun, 2022. Courtesy of Guadalupe Maravilla and P·P·O·W, New York.

Guadalupe Maravilla’s large-scale sculptures evoke the artist’s astrological ruling planet of Jupiter, in that they are ambitious, fiery, spiritual, philosophical, and in service to his community. A spiritual healer and activist, Maravilla uses his artistic practice to attend to the needs of those around him.

Read the full profile on Guadalupe Maravilla by Ayanna Dozier.


Maria A. Guzmán Capron

B. 1981, Milan. Lives and works in Oakland, California.

Portrait of Maria A. Guzmán Capron in her studio. Courtesy of Maria A. Guzmán Capron.

When she was in elementary school, Maria A. Guzmán Capron raided her parents’ closets, demanding they donate to her their dress shirts and even a trench coat—all too many sizes too big for young Guzmán Capron—so she could reinvent her wardrobe. “From an early stage, I understood that clothing allowed you to construct a different kind of persona for yourself,” she said. “In choosing what you wear, you can make yourself.”

Read the full profile on Maria A. Guzmán Capron by Isabel Ling.


Michaela Yearwood-Dan

B. 1994, London. Lives and works in London.

Portrait of Michaela Yearwood-Dan by Kristy Noble. Courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Michaela Yearwood-Dan wants you to get close to her paintings—maybe closer than you think is allowed. Lean in if you have to. Take in the thickness of her layered strokes, the full spectrum of her pigments; her abstracted botanical motifs and fluid forms in peachy flesh tones and pops of blue, verdant greens, consuming blacks. Decipher the scrawls of cursive text. And if you’re a kid with clean hands, she may even invite you to touch it while her gallerist’s back is turned.

Read the full profile on Michaela Yearwood-Dan by Allyssia Alleyne.


Oscar yi Hou

B. 1998, Liverpool, England. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Oscar yi Hou at Silver Art Projects, 2022. Photo by Vincent Tullo. Courtesy of Oscar yi Hou.

Oscar yi Hou paints himself into the historical past, welding together two identities—gay and Asian American—that might have been irreconcilable in visual media at the time. But yi Hou’s project is not a reparative one: He’s not looking to fill the lack of Asian American representation in the U.S. with his paintings. Instead, he wants to question the more fundamental structures—myths of masculinity, citizenship, individualism—that produce this lack to begin with.

Read the full profile on Oscar yi Hou by Simon Wu.


Qualeasha Wood

B. 1996, Long Branch, New Jersey. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Qualeasha Wood with her tapestry The Pleasure Matrix, 2022. Photo by JaLeel Porcha. Courtesy of Qualeasha Wood.

“Sometimes I make tapestries or tuftings when I’m extremely emotional,” said Qualeasha Wood. “It’s like therapy.” She weaves Catholic iconography, webcam selfies, and trappings from the internet into fiberworks that reflect on her experiences navigating the digital age as a Black woman—encounters that veer from idolatry and fetishization to digital surveillance and doxxing.

Read the full profile on Qualeasha Wood by Harley Wong.


Rithika Merchant

B. 1986, Bombay (Mumbai). Lives and works in Mumbai and Barcelona.

Portrait of Rithika Merchant by Carlos Teixeira. Courtesy of Galerie LJ.

In Rithika Merchant’s beguiling paintings on paper, cosmological charts intersect with mythological, hybridized creatures, plant species, constellations, and geometries. In Solar Syncretism (2021), she conjures an enigmatic ritual enacted by five fantastical creatures set against a starlit sky, entangled in stems and plumes of rainbow clouds. The artist’s clarity of line reflects the precision of her thought.

Read the full profile on Rithika Merchant by Cleo Roberts-Komireddi.


Sahara Longe

B. 1994, London. Lives and works in London.

Portrait of Sahara Longe in her Brixton studio by Bertie Hamilton Stubbs, 2022. Courtesy of Sahara Longe and Timothy Taylor.

In Sahara Longe’s stunning paintings, soft figures emerge from lavish backgrounds shaded in rich hues—purple, pink, green, orange, black, and deep red. Longe’s delicate characters stare out at the viewer and at each other with cryptic expressions. Each scene features a hidden story, inside joke, or other bit of mystery, often drawing on the London-born painter’s own experiences with her friends and family.

Read the full profile on Sahara Longe by Salomé Gómez-Upegui.


Sasha Gordon

B. 1998, Somers, New York. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Sasha Gordon in her studio. Photo by Tommy Kha. Courtesy of Sasha Gordon.

“Weird” is a fitting word to describe Sasha Gordon’s paintings, which embrace the uncanny through self-portraiture only to assert the very real feeling of navigating layered selves. They explore the full range of her personhood as a biracial queer woman, using devices such as color, scale, and doubling to define herself while pushing against real-world limits.

Read the full profile on Sasha Gordon by Claire Voon.


Susan Chen

B. 1992, Hong Kong. Lives and works in New York.

Portrait of Susan Chen in front of her painting #StopAsianHate, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

The sensation of looking at Susan Chen’s brightly colored portraits is not unlike gazing into the faces of people familiar to you. They stare back, often with calm, neutral expressions. Chen’s work has received praise for representing marginalized communities and individuals, particularly those belonging to the Asian diaspora, who don’t often see themselves reflected in fine art.

Read the full profile on Susan Chen by Mimi Wong.


Wangari Mathenge

B. 1973, Nairobi. Lives and works in Chicago.

Portrait of Wangari Mathenge in her studio. Photo by Maina Mucoki. Courtesy of Wangari Mathenge and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.

For most art, the viewer is important, though this is even more true for Wangari Mathenge’s work. The ambiguity of the subject and place demands viewers to harness their own human experiences to really engage with the work. “The beholder’s share,” the theory devised by the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl, says part of an artwork’s meaning and value is derived from the onlookers—their lens and lived experiences. This is an integral aspect of Mathenge’s work.

Read the full profile on Wangari Mathenge by Jewels Dodson.


Zhang Zipiao

B. 1993, Beijing. Lives and works in Beijing.

Portrait of Zhang Zipiao in her studio, 2022. © Zhang Zipiao. Photo by Yufan. Courtesy of Zhang Zipiao and LGDR.

Unbeknownst to us, we have at least one afterimage in our childhood memories. For artist Zhang Zipiao, it is a medical photograph of the human body’s bone and flesh from her mother’s research materials. Intensely pink and red magnified images of throats occupied Zhang’s early life. Now, she paints the innards of organisms. The biological tissues used to sustain life serve as the visual material behind Zhang’s art practice.

Read the full profile on Zhang Zipiao by Hayoung Chung.

Artsy Editorial

Header, from left to right: Michaela Yearwood-Dan, detail of “Keeping On,” 2022.Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery; Wangari Mathenge, “When It Rains … II,” 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery; Alexis Ralaivao, detail of “Jeune homme au collier de perles,” 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Bill Brady Gallery; Rithika Merchant, detail of “Festival Of The Phoenix Sun,” 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie LJ; Sahara Longe, detail of “Triptych: Man Stuff; Charisma; Just Introduced,” 2022. © Sahara Longe. Courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor, London/New York.

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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019