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  • Writer's pictureYefeng Wang

Take Magazine - ARTISTS TO WATCH IN 2018

Selected by curators, our ten New England Artists to Watch reinvent their chosen media to bring viewers the unexpected in 2018.

Even though we at Take get to look at art made by different New England artists all day long, we are still regularly, pleasantly surprised by the work of someone new—or several someones, as you’ll see here in our third annual listing of artists to watch.

We asked curators from esteemed galleries and museums to tell us about artists they’ve been especially impressed by lately who deserve a wider audience, and were thrilled to get input from Trevor Smith, curator of the Present Tense, and Lydia Gordon, assistant curator for exhibitions and research, both at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; Elizabeth Spavento, visual arts programmer at SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine; Lindsey Stapleton, codirector of GRIN in Providence, Rhode Island; Suzette McAvoy, executive director and chief curator at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine; Will K. Wilkins, executive director of Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut; and Alan Chong, director and CEO of the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.


Wang Yefeng, a screenshot from Drifting Stages, 2016, dimensions variable


Wang is a digital media artist whose surreal, disorienting animation should really be seen in motion to be fully appreciated. In one of his video pieces, generic, vaguely Asian MIDI music backs a tableau of Hooters waitresses with C-3PO heads holding meat grinders that cascade blood onto a plastic toy figure of a man in a suit, who’s lying in a bathtub with pigs’ feet, and . . . well, it’s better to visit his website and see it for yourself.

As a Rhode Island–based digital media artist with a sculptural background, Wang has been recently rediscovering his love of working with physical materials, including 3D-printed objects. Over the coming year, he plans to experiment further with mixing multiple disciplines to discover the best ways to make his ideas real.

“He’s making work unlike what we typically see in New England, probably in part because he splits his time between the United States and China,” Stapleton says. “There’s always a narrative—usually a surprising, semi-autobiographical one—behind his work, but it never gets too personal. There’s reservation in his lavishness, and now that he’s back in the States for a while, we’re looking forward to what he will come up with.”




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