The 80s Wave in Art, Now

Noticing the trend the last 5 years for nostalgia of 80s design come about in web design, fashion, and graphics, inspired me to throw together a brief list of artists who are doing the same. I had asked about this phenomena and more than a few people cited Vaporwave as an inspiration or possible conduit.

So would this “New Futurism” (not to be confused with Neo-Futurism) be considered Vaporwave art? I’m not sure since Vaporwave itself relies heavily on aesthetics paired with the music.

The Dorito chip shape, swiggle line, and cube grid has made a hot comeback as well as neon colors and acid wash jeans. As a child of the 80s I thought these things were hideous, but I suppose when enough time goes by anything is bound to get recycled and reworked. It is very interesting to see it trickle into fine art. Several of these artists have been at this vibe before Vaporwave became a thing — some of whom I have exhibited with — and some it seems, are have adopted it for newer bodies of work.

Either way, it makes me think of all my old Mead notebook covers and Trapper Keeper art with fondness. Supposedly, Vaporwave is “dead” but I was told over and over that painting was “dead” in art school 20 years ago.

Jaime Treadwell

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Signe Pierce

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Kristen Liu-Wong

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Annie Vieux

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Chad Wys

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Justin Mays

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Brian Willmount

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Scott Listfield

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Ben Jones

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“Beeple” Winklemann

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Francesco LoCastro

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Dan Perkins

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Jen Mann

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Lisa von Hoffner

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Hilary White

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Justin Friedman

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Manuel Fernandez

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Dirk van Lach

Dorian Legret

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These are just a handful of artists working today I thought of off the top of my head. There’s so many more working in installations art, animation, GIF art, and so on. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a strange urge to go listen to saxophone solos while staring out venetian blinds.

Artists I Like Right Now: Skin, Hair, and Cats

Current contemporary artists with some painterly strokes, fine details, and some high contrasts to boot. Click to enlarge what you fancy.

Megan Ellen MacDonald

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Stuart Snoddy

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24″ X 29″

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Robin F Williams

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Karen Hsiao

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Art in My Pad

The art I’ve been able to collect thus far is nothing like my own, and I think some people are surprised by certain pieces. I collect sparingly, not because I don’t like doing it, but because I hate clutter on my walls and it’s really hard when you are a half-assed minimalist. A “salon style” wall of art drives me crazy; I really hate it when galleries do it at exhibitions. Rotation of artworks happens often in my apartment, and it keeps me sane.

But, there are still so many things I would love to get my hands on! If only I had been paid better when working at a very old gallery in L.A., as the place was an art history candy store of fashion illustrations, pop art, set designs, lithographs and etchings I would have enjoyed very much! I still kick myself for not grabbing an Albrecht Durer woodcut for $1200, although it could have easily been a fake; a Robert Longo drawing from when he was on the ascent; an Abraham Walkowitz  drawing that was bought out from under me by the director of Forum Gallery at the time; a tiny Friedel Dzubas painting; the Larionov portrait that was actually better than most.  Ah well, great taste and thrift store finances has been the story for some time.

Lucky for me I seem to pick the winners when it comes to increasing in value. I almost feel like I should go into this as a consultant. Mind you, I would never ever sell anything of mine no matter how much they may be worth, now. I don’t buy things to flip or impress visitors; I buy because I love them.

Beyond my own work here and there, I thought people would like to see the work by others I have hanging around. This does not include several limited edition rock posters and other drawings, paintings, and photographs yet to be framed (that’s a whole section of my closet right now). These are just the originals and limited edition fine art prints. Click on each photo for the description…