Best Visual Artist
He’s a new age classical painter. This scene above has themes like a quintessential renaissance painting: battle scenes and heavenly motifs. The digital grid in the background adds time period relevancy. Angelo Maggio showed this piece, and others, at his group show at the International Childrens Art Gallery in Friendship, Pittsburgh.
With a partnership in art publication East West Magazine, Anthony shares the work of others. However, his personal work is out of this world. When looking at an Anthony Quesen piece lose to a psychedelic dream.
Painting, her work is minimalist and abstract. She’s consistent churning out commissioned work facilitated over social media sometimes. Her personal archive improves as its clear her art can go to another level.
Art’s in the cultural mix. The man behind “ArtLikeUs,” Xavier Thomas is in the room with notable people from boxers, like Canelo Álvarez pictured above, to media personalities, like Yesjulz, and to the biggest names in hip-hop, like Diddy, Trippie Redd and 6ix9ine. ArtLikeUs creates images for media to share stories about these moments in time. ArtLikeUs is part of what is current for national tastes and local. Thomas works diligently in Pittsburgh as an event and street photographer. He was rapper Hardo’s tour photographer for his legs on the “Wiz Khalifa & Rae Sremmurd Dazed & Blazed” tour.
Urban graphics feel authentic with sorts of graffiti style. Caleb’s work supports black culture in the city though because that’s where he is. He drew the cover art for the Knuccleheadz recent “Endless” freak music album, and a couple projects for rapper Heemi. He’s on tap to the OGs of the community having recently penning a portrait of Taylor Gang’s Chevy Woods.
Camo achieved a BMW art car this year. His spray paint technique so colorful and unique is on display throughout the city. He had a show at The Shop in Homewood this year. Further, he was a prominent figure at the Mac Miller vigil at Blue Slide park as he painted a portrait of the late rapper in front of an audience. Camo probably got put on the map first for his sneaker customizations. At Social Status East Liberty, Camo signed my first ever pair of Chuck Taylors.
Devan Shimoyama has an exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum, several New York Times articles about him, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale. Highly gifted and trained, you can spend time looking at the Philly native’s art on view at the Warhol Museum through March 17, 2019. His work sells for large figures and it speaks to black culture. Support a real one. Shimoyama works in Pittsburgh also as an Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.
Jack Stauber should make this list for many reasons. Rockstar Bon Jovi thanked him on Twitter for “giving great honest advice on lyrics to young songwriters.” Stauber’s music sounds so retro, but what gives his tunes the nostalgia are the VHS style music video cartoons Stauber illustrates and records himself. Browse his YouTube channel to watch Stauber in full effect.
Quaishawn Whitlock is an artist and educator. He refined his art skills and art history at the Andy Warhol Museum where he is a printmaker and instructor. Additionally, he’s credited for being a positive influence on the youth in McKees Rocks just outside of The ‘Burgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette documented his work at the Father Ryan Arts Center where he teaches screen printing. Quaishawn helps upstart T-shirt brands with the tools they need to print graphics while he works at Artists Image Resource on the North Side.
Sakony prints his own T-shirts even if it’s just to see a draft before he goes to a printer. Interestingly, he’s not too fond of Pittsburgh focused tees, but the one he designed this year was on the money. Sakony’s art supports music cover art for local rappers or people in other genres. He creates graphic renderings for jewelry. Sakony’s close to god in the Adobe suite.
Magic with a pen, how Sarica writes words beautifully. A calligrapher and general handwriting specialist, what Sarica does by hand is so perfect it looks like a computer made it. While word-marks are a major part of her design, she also does commissioned graphic work. Maybe you’ve seen her handwriting on the menus in local restaurants or coffee shops. Check out the cute stickers she makes as well. Sarica works at the Andy Warhol Museum.
Brendon Hawkins works with a camera to achieve his visual art. Most notably, over the summer, he created images for The Tenth Magazine and hit HBO TV show Insecure for a campaign supporting black queer lifestyles and a lux beach week in Cape Cod. Hawkins has his first solo exhibition called “Untitled” at Bunker Projects on December 7, 2018. “I’d like to think of the word ‘Untitled’ as an empowering description of nakedness,” he said about the exhibit that continues his process of self-discovery.
Tony Duff creates beautiful portraits with creepy fingers. Repetition plays in his photography as body extremities from the photo subject form interesting mosaics accentuating the person’s portrait. Duff also shot the look book for Senseless’ Dummy T-shirt.
Tyler Calpin’s not a “photographer,” but an artist who uses a camera to make his masterpieces. His work mixes between bleak midwestern America in old factory or rural settings and commissioned work for Pittsburgh’s culture scene. Calpin shot music cover art and merchandise promotion for Choo Jackson and Foreverkool Records. Calpin also helps the creative direction of streetwear brand Reviving Real. Tyler Calpin’s collages makes his art unique.
“Protect Black Women” was painter Wavy Wednesday’s first solo exhibition. Her art seems playful creating black Barbie, but it’d be remiss if you missed the racial and feminist messages that make her work so good. At her exhibit, beautiful and colorful female portraits featured on large canvas. The paintings, as well as signs on the wall and in the window, reinforced there’s no place for racism, sexism or any type of hatred. “If you believe Bill Cosby should be free, please leave,” a sign read. Media publication Afropunk wrote, “Pop artist Kamara Townes [Wavy Wednesday is Townes’ nom de plume] uses satire to denounce racism.” Her paintings with white and black girls interacting are particularly funny.
Christina Lee, credited with directing Pittsburgh Zine Fair, works daily as a digital designer for American Eagle operations and marketing. More importantly, Lee’s illustrations supported Public Source’s data on racial inequality in Pittsburgh. Her graphic art comes in different forms though, such as the editorial info-graphics, pins, prints, and quick strikes for social media.