It’s on the
cutting edge as far as contemporary art fairs are concerned, so it’s no
surprise that NADA is bursting at the seams with ultra-experimental art. Some
artists play with radical materials (think eggs, soap bottles, urethane toast,
and hypothetical commissions), while others tackle a range of difficult and
twisted subjects. Here are ten of our weirdest favorites from the fair, sure to
demand second and third looks, if not to find their way into your nightmares.
1. Richard Kern
, Angela dbl,
2013: By the
standards of Kern’s infamous nudes, this latest series is relatively tame.
Nonetheless, his double-exposure portraits offer the artist’s eerily sexual
version of x-ray vision.
2. Asher Penn
, Untitled (Kimono Stand Swastika)
2011: Displayed in a manner inspired by HYPEBEAST
, Penn’s objects and recurring symbols—in
this case, an XL T-shirt printed with a swastika—are largely left to do all the
talking and evoke their own associations.
3. Soshiro Matsubara
, Purple fried eggs
Matsubara is no stranger to unusual materials and subject matter, but this
acrylic-painted egg made with Tokyo-based experimental collective XYZ reaches a
4. Karen Heagle
, Three Vultures and a Deer Carcass
2013: Heagle’s works explore themes of sexuality
and mass consumption through parodies of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish genre
and still life painting, particularly the moralizing thrust of memento mori
5. Francesco Vezzoli, Untitled (Study for an Homage
to Giorgio de Chirico)
, 2012: Vezzoli
is known to pay homage to his artistic forebears in unusual ways
, nowhere more evident than in this (appropriately
Surrealistic) collage that sets de Chirico’s head atop a classical equestrian
6. Ryan McGinley
, Marmoset (LSD)
, 2012: McGinley
loves to pair idyllic nudes with animals, but there’s something particularly disturbing
about the gaze of this tiny creature, perched atop a woman’s scarred lower half
inscribed with a tattoo that reads “LSD”.
, So Funny/It Just Occurred To
Me/I Haven’t Thought About Suicide In Weeks
, 2013: Self-explanatory.
8. Steven Claydon
Claydon is known to explore the associative power of objects and symbols—in
this case, a magnified bat portrait accompanied by a pound symbol and a
9. Devin Troy Strother
, a shark just ate my boo
Despite the childlike style of much of his work, Strother has been described
as a “wickedly
funny master of cut-and-paste collage” and a “sly spinner of side-splitting
stories about such loaded subjects as blood, money, and sex—otherwise known as
race, class and gender.”
10. Kris Lemsalu
, When the big trees were kings
2011: Not convinced of the creepiness of Lemsalu’s woolen camel-cum-table with
ceramic tongue-fountains for humps? Watch this video
of it in action.