Photograph by Oghalé Alex

Photograph by Oghalé Alex

Visual Language:
13 Artists Inspiring Us Right Now

Be it complex social commentary or undiluted joy, art has a way of getting across, succinctly and with grace, what many of us struggle to put into words. Visual artists are master communicators, wielding their chosen medium—paint, pencil, found objects, film—to express so much more than the spoken word ever can. And now more than ever, thanks to social media, its stirring, mood-lifting, thought-provoking power can be accessed by all. We asked four particularly well-versed staffers to share the corners of the internet they turn to when in need of inspiration. Explore, follow, feast your eyes, and if you can, support by investing in some great art.

  1. Juliette Favat

    Juliette Favat

    associate photo editor

  2. Braylen Dion

    Braylen Dion

    “Dion’s photos always feel warm, organic, and airy, and I respect how hardworking he is at such a young age (he’s twenty years old). There’s a dreamy, nostalgic quality to the saturated colors and retro styling. This quote from him is also amazing, ‘My purpose is to capture Blackness in a more soft or calming way.’”

    Braylen Dion @braylendion
  3. Kenesha Sneed

    Kenesha Sneed

    “Sneed’s work is so bright and colorful. The minimalist vibe always catches my eye, and I love how she switches between illustration, ceramics, and textiles (she also makes beautiful wooden hair picks). Her work often portrays Black women’s bodies—a subject she identifies with on a personal level—in many instances among flowers and plants and done in a color palette that’s very emblematic of Los Angeles, which is where she lives.”

    Kenesha Sneed @tactilematter
  4. Brydie Mack

    Brydie Mack

    “I’ve been following Mack for years. She is able to capture such pure moments; they never feel forced at all. Her photography feels kind of like walking in the subject’s shoes, on a permanent vacation in places like Corsica, Mallorca, and Sicily—especially appreciated right now, when going on vacation is not happening. I also love the film vibe of all her shots.”

    Brydie Mack @wolfcubwolfcub
  1. Noora Raj Brown

    Noora Raj Brown

    SVP, communications

  2. Stanley Whitney

    Stanley Whitney

    “One of my favorite ways to buy art is to look for works on paper from artists who otherwise might be out of my price range. While Stanley Whitney’s oil paintings are a permanent fantasy, his drawings and watercolors are equally special. It’s easy to be lured into the vibrancy of Whitney’s watercolors, but look deeper into the saturated hues and you’ll find influences of jazz music, poetry, and dialogues with artists like Cézanne, Donald Judd, Mark Rothko, and others. Keep an eye out for his July exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Say No to Prison Life.”

    Stanley Whitney
    In the Color, 2018
    Oil on linen
    243.8×243.8 centimeters
    96×96 inches © Stanley Whitney, courtesy of Lisson Gallery

    Stanley Whitney @stanley.whitney
  3. Tin Flats

    Tin Flats

    “Tin Flats is a collaborative artist-run space founded by Stephen Neidich that is home to the studios of Neidich and other young artists. The space also functions as an artists’ community hub, playing host to flea markets and fairs featuring the work of emerging artists, drive-in movies, and more. Its Instagram is an incredible resource to discover new artists, plus happenings like the recent drive-by art fairs, a gallery-crawl weekend of art displayed in public spaces in LA and NY.”

    Tin Flats @tinflats
  4. Charles Gaines

    Charles Gaines

    “Conceptual artist Charles Gaines is well known for using a grid construct to create parallels and tension between identity, landscapes, and objects. If you’re new to his work, wade in with his Palm Tree series, which was the subject of a solo show at Hauser & Wirth: It’s vibrant, meditative, and haunting all at once. Gaines is also a master at using art as a medium for deep political discourse: Look up his Manifestos series, a multimedia piece that can currently be viewed online at the Hammer Museum. His Instagram comprises mostly lo-fi personal snapshots, though Naomi Campbell does make an appearance.”

    Numbers and Trees: Palm Canyon, Palm Trees Series 2, Tree #7, Mission (Detail), 2019
    © Charles Gaines
    Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth
    Photo: Fredrik Nilse

    Charles Gaines @st_frances
  1. Jenny Westerhoff

    Jenny Westerhoff

    photo editor

  2. Tien Pham

    Tien Pham

    “I discovered Pham on Instagram recently, and I love her color palette and style. (I licensed one of her illustrations for a recent goop story.) Her art is infused with activism and causes she cares about, as well as her own Vietnamese heritage, which I respect a lot. Last month, she created six versions of a Black Lives Matter poster, each in a different language, with proceeds going to National Bail Out.”

    Tien Pham @ph.amm
  3. Ziqian Liu

    Ziqian Liu

    “Liu’s self-portraits seem so simple at first, but look closer and they are clearly so thought out and detail-oriented. The way she uses layers of mirrors and vellum is surreal in the most beautiful way, as is how she interacts with her floral and fruit props.”

    Ziqian Liu @ziqianqian
  4. Oghalé Alex

    Oghalé Alex

    “I love Alex’s soft palette and the dreamlike world he creates within his fashion photography and portraits. He is also the creative director at London-based Cold Laundry, where he puts his talents to good use creating beautifully stylized campaigns.”

    Oghalé Alex @oghalealex
  1. Brian James

    Brian James

    associate solutions architect

  2. Orin Fleurimont

    Orin Fleurimont

    “Fleurimont is a master of color. His photos capture color in a way that always dazzles the mind. Whether it’s a bold background, bold makeup, or bold clothing, he manages to make color stand out while not distracting from the subject.”

    Orin Fleurimont @orinary
  3. Adrienne Raquel

    Adrienne Raquel

    “I feel like I’ve jumped into a time capsule back to my childhood every time I look at Raquel’s work; it makes the ’90s kid in me so happy. She has this incredible sense of cohesion that I think every photographer strives to achieve. With warm colors and tones, film grain, and genius composition, her style makes any subject in frame interesting. She also has an incredible eye for photographing one of my other passions: automobiles. As with her human subjects, she finds the most interesting angles to showcase the beauty and details that often go unnoticed.”

    Adrienne Raquel @adrienneraquel
  4. Manzel Bowman

    Manzel Bowman

    “Bowman has this incredible ability to create awe-inspiring pieces that often capture the beauty of Black culture and the vastness of space. Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut, and I studied aerospace engineering. But I also found myself in art and photography classes alongside my math and science classes. I’ve always been both a creative and scientific person, and Bowman’s art effortlessly brings those two worlds together in a way no one else does.”

    Manzel Bowman @artxman
  5. Flo Ngala

    Flo Ngala

    “Ngala takes a natural and realistic approach to photography that I admire. I’m also not big on editing or posing my subjects. I find that the best photos capture natural expressions and movement. Ngala shoots many celebrities, but some of my favorite work of hers features ordinary people doing ordinary things. Mundane tasks are captured with so much expression and emotion that I always find myself wanting to know every subject’s full story from beginning to end.”

    Flo Ngala @flongala