5 Artists From Around The Globe Who Wowed Us At The VOLTA NY Art Show

The collision of art and culture at its best.

To say the VOLTA NY art show was a sensory overload would be an understatement.

The show, which celebrated its first decade's anniversary with the theme "Ten Years of Solo Focus," featured 96 galleries and artist-run spaces across five continents, 46 cities, and 38 nations. If that's not enough to leave you stunned, the beautiful and diverse collections exhibited definitely would.

While there are too many artists to highlight in one story, there were certainly exhibits at the art show, which ran from March 1-5, that stood out with prominence due to their visual appeal and captivating stories.

Check out the five artists that wowed us at VOLTA NY.  

TIM OKAMURA

Brooklyn-based Tim Okamura's exhibit Begin Transmission presented by ANOKO Art Social Club was a highlight at VOLTA NY. Okamura's awe-inspiring work brings the raw beauty out in urban art and the "urgency of communication, introspection, and illumination of personal history, conveyed via photorealistic portraits of a multi-ethnic cast" made up of Okamura's friends and neighborhood personalities.

One piece displayed showed a beautiful, curly haired brown girl with the words "Keep Ya Head Up" written above her.

"This piece was just brought in today and the paint was still drying," an ANOKO rep explained to A Plus.

1. "Keep Ya Head Up"

Courtesy of Tim Okamura
Courtesy of Tim Okamura

2. "Rosie"

Courtesy of Tim Okamura
Courtesy of Tim Okamura

3. "Lines of Communication"

Photo Credit: Feliciano Garcia; Art by Tim Okamura
Photo Credit: Feliciano Garcia; Art by Tim Okamura

SHANNON FORRESTER

With the so-called new and improved travel ban making headlines this week, Shannon Forrester's piece "Liberty with Justice-Yates, Healey, Swanson, Dein, Donnelly, Burroughs, Brinkema" speaks volumes.

Inspired by the first Muslim ban, Forrester's piece documents a moment of true patriotism in our country when the judicial branch held strong in defense of the United States Constitution when several attorneys general and federal justices filed suit against the administration.

"The painting celebrates the work of the leading members of the judicial branch who fought to suspend Trump's unconstitutional executive order," she told A Plus.

Topping the portrait is none other than former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who President Trump fired after she refused to defend the ban on behalf of the federal government. Also included are attorney generals from Minnesota, Lori Swanson (top left); from Massachusetts, Maura Healey (top right); as well as U.S. District judges from the District of Massachusetts Allison Dale Burroughs; from the Eastern District of New York, Ann Marie Donnelly; and finally, on the middle right, is U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein.

"They surround Justitia and the Statue of Liberty," Forrester added, "symbols of the key American values and ideals of justice, liberty, and welcoming immigrants."

"Liberty with Justice-Yates, Healey, Swanson, Dein, Donnelly, Burroughs, Brinkema"

Courtesy of Shannon Forrester
Courtesy of Shannon Forrester

NAOMI OKUBO

Tokyo native Naomi Okubo "just moved to New York City," as she told APlus, one week before the VOLTA NY art show. What she brought with her is pure magic. The star in her pieces is herself, because art is a personal journey that connects with people on a larger scale, according to Okubo. By challenging societal standards of beauty and appearance, Okubo conveys a beautiful self-reflection that almost anyone could personally relate to.

"Mass media provides us the images of created appearances, as well as the images of lifestyles and ways of spending our time," she explained on the art show's website. "We admire these images, and adopt them to create our own images, but we are overly exposed and consume these images so much, that we become confused about what is real and what is contrived. The consequence is that we become addicted to them."  

1. "The Girls Are Walking to the House With the Wolves"

Photo Credit: Feliciano Garcia; Art by Naomi Okubo
Photo Credit: Feliciano Garcia; Art by Naomi Okubo

2. "This is Not My Life #1"

Photo Credit: Feliciano Garcia; Art by Naomi Okubo
Photo Credit: Feliciano Garcia; Art by Naomi Okubo

FEDERICO SOLMI

The Los Angeles-based Federico Solmi created an intersection between portraits and animated video works that was too intriguing to walk past. The Brotherhood is a series of absurd and grotesque portraits of some of the world's most feared and beloved leaders all belonging to the artist-created secret society "whose goal is to keep chaos alive in the world." From this body of work comes "The Ballroom," which was on display at VOLTA NY. The exhibit included five unique videos arranged in the form of a classical theater. The lavish ballroom party displayed captivates "multiple narratives of gluttony, gossip, and over the top exuberance, resulting in a chaotic folly of drinking, smoking, dancing, and feasting." In short, it's vanity at its worst, with leaders focusing more on being a part of modern-day celebrity culture rather than reimagining history.

"The Ballroom"

FAIG AHMED

Faig Ahmed hails from the country of Azerbaijan, which is the nation, and former Soviet republic, bounded by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains. He is a student of modern and ancient languages, including Sanskrit and Arabic, and has interwoven his love for linguistics in his carpet art.

"He reimagines carpets as a source code for visual communication, writing, design, art and event science," the Sapar Contemporary Gallery said in a statement to A Plus about Ahmed's collection, Source Code.

His reinterpretation of coded messages found in ancient carpet designs is the inspiration for Ahmed's collection, which "links early human history with the digital age."

A beautiful piece displayed at VOLTA NY was a bright red carpet with a romantic pattern that's shredded from the middle to the bottom. The carpet is intended to symbolize a "Virgin" set to marry.  

1. "Virgin"

Courtesy of Faig Ahmed
Courtesy of Faig Ahmed

2. "DNA"

Courtesy of Faig Ahmed
Courtesy of Faig Ahmed

3. "Epiphany"

Courtesy of Faig Ahmed
Courtesy of Faig Ahmed

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