XFF proudly presents the ARTISTS for 2012:
Kevin Mack is a pioneering Digital Artist and Academy Award winning Visual Effects Designer. He received the Oscar for his work on the film "What Dreams May Come".
Mack's fine art is focused on philosophical, spiritual and scientific imponderables. His goal is to create compelling psychoactive objects of contemplation that inspire a transcendent experience of awe and mystery.
In the mid-eighties, Kevin began experimenting with computers to make his art and music. Recognizing it's potential for film work, he helped pioneer the use of computer graphics for visual effects and became a creative leader in the digital revolution. In 2007 he received an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from Art Center for his contributions to the field of motion picture visual effects.
Mack's work is the result of research in a wide range of fields from neuroscience to quantum physics. His work in artificial life and rule based systems, used on "What Dreams May Come" and "Fight Club", inspired the development of tissue simulation software that has been used in virtual stem cell research. In 2006, Mack received the title of Honorary Neuroscientist, from UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, for his lectures there on perception, visualization and creativity. Kevin is currently consulting with CERN on the visualization of recent discoveries in particle physics.
Kevin's fine art has been exhibited at The Laguna Beach Art Museum, Carnegie Melon University, Siggraph Art Gallery and Animation Festival, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, The Barbara Mendes Gallery, Banzai!!! in New York City, Visual Amalgam and various LA art events.
Kevin is a native of Los Angeles, California, where he lives with his wife, artist Snow Mack. They have two sons, Jon Mack and Ray Mack, both of whom are gifted artists. Jon works in visual effects and Ray is a musician, DJ and music producer.
Shayna Yates grew up in Southern California and began honing her observational drawing skills diagramming insect dissections at the age of five. Illness and lack of funds kept her out of college for entomology, and instead she succumbed to her obsession with making and became a painter, a sculptor, a clothing designer, and a comic-maker. To fill in the blanks she has worked odd jobs as a speed-drawing street busker, constructed props and doohickeys, run a newspaper at an organization for working class rights, painted portraits, made party hats, worked construction, and disguised herself as a business lady to get into conventions for free meals. She still reads biology textbooks and does experiments with insects in her spare time. She currently lives in Oakland where she makes things at a full-time fever pitch.
Jeff Belsham is an English artist currently based in its capital city of London. Before picking up his brushes full time he worked in both the music and film industries. His musical career ranged from at one time producing Victoria Beckhams (pre Spice Girls) first demos to playing lead guitar with an embryonic version of Black Metal gods Ackercocke.
Jeff has also written several scripts and had his short films appear in international film festivals and he is a graduate of the London Film School. (where he studied for two years.)
His influences come predominantly from both the esoteric and the futuristic. He admires the work of H.R. Giger, Da Vinci and William Blake and is currently preparing for the first auction of his work in London.
Jeff can be contacted at email@example.com and you can check out his website at www.therainbowserpent.com.
After earning his BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2009, Karl Doerrer drove out to Los Angeles, California to explore new opportunities and to find new inspirations. In February 2010 he was accepted as a full-time resident artist at the 18th Street Arts Center where he has worked harder than ever to create his first post-graduate series of paintings. His artistic process is a meditative creation of abstract images which are an amalgamation of subtle geometric elements fused with organic shapes created by use of dark and bright colors, shading, and an obsession with line work. Karl sees his art as a visual conversation with the audience; his work could be described as a type of "communal Rorschach test" meant to expose the viewer's individual subconscious thoughts and emotions. The psychoanalytical intention to his work is amplified by the ambiguity of the imagery in his paintings that engage the individual's imagination and provoke changeable perceptions that are fun to discuss.
Having completed his residency, Karl is now developing an artist community and market called, "Art4bot," dedicated to exposing the public to the amazing advancements in nanotechnology. This will be the first online artist market to connect artists and others who may not be involved in science, directly to groups of researchers developing molecular manufacturing. In an age when much of our lives involves an increasing exposure to imagery rather than text, Karl finds it imperative for artists to take responsibility to ensure that the images and information associated with nanotechnology stay positive and inspiring. He believes that the majority of mainstream nanotech media found on the internet, movies, and television is negative and fearful. To alleviate this issue, the Art4bot community will use the beauty of art to reverse the negatives effects of mainstream media on nanotech awareness. Art4bot is currently in its infancy and Karl looks forward to meeting others at the Extreme Futurist Festival who want to join and help the cause.
In his most recent work, Words of Traitors: 7 Lives in Transition, James put together a small art team and collaborated with them in illustrating a collection of short stories. The premise of the project was memory, and how much memory betrays us all. ("Words of traitors.") Each story comes from a fictional narrator, but is based out of a jigsaw of real memories. When we no longer want memories, they become fiction. This project was a very intense alchemical process, one might even say an attempt at laying bare the inner workings of hope and loss, love and despair, in the midst of a complete mental breakdown. At the brink of death, and our life flashes before our eyes, is that memory a lie? This work seeks to explore that.
Each story was written as a part of the overall creative process, visual pieces inspiring the narrative and vice versa. Many of the pieces are dioramas constructed from a wide array of materials from fragments of art, old love letters and mementos, and pieces representative of concept of book as body: metal, wood, flowers, water, bones, blood, even a heart given to us by a cow that didn't need it anymore.
As is often the case with James' work, along with pushing the boundaries of genre and format, the means of producing the art was not restricted to any particular medium. You will find acrylic, watercolor, pencil, ink, diorama, digital and lighting techniques, as the end result is aimed at the message, not the medium.
As a senior currently in high school in Sacramento, California Nick Fesler devotes what remaining time he has left to art. His art deals with being able to create what is only imaginable and unrealistic, often with futuristic tones. He deals primarily with watercolors and various types of ink.
He is currently engaged in many labors such as drama, maintaining seven classes, and attempting to maintain a social life. Having two parents who live far away from both eachother and his school, he lives as a migrant vagrant sleeping at friends' houses. He is applying to Southern California colleges for Film and Television Production. Currently he is writing his first film script, a futuristic Action-Adventure mystery about betrayal. Art is not the largest part of his life, but rather an equal piece of a many sided congregation of activities.