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Comprehensible Craftspeople: Five Great Modern Artists You Can Enjoy

Updated on February 9, 2012
Incomprehensible modern art?
Incomprehensible modern art? | Source

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Art requires that the artist and the viewer communicate in a language that both can understand. Many of the world’s artists operated under this paradigm for thousands of years, which enabled the common person to understand even the loftiest works. Then modern art arrived allowing artists to communicate in whatever language they chose. While this allowed great freedom of expression, it rendered a lot of work inaccessible to the average art lover. Fortunately, enough craftspeople are still willing to use their work to communicate in comprehensible terms.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
FishwalkerOnce Upon a TimeThree Blind Mice
Fishwalker | Source
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time | Source
Three Blind Mice
Three Blind Mice | Source

Fantasy World

James Christensen is easily the most commercial artist mentioned here, with books, prints, bronzes and replicas available on Amazon. Snobs may thumb their noses at his “selling out” but no artist I know would not lust after similar success. Christensen is able to communicate his vision to a wide audience and work at what he loves to do full-time. For those who eschew such inexpensive mass production, the artist sells many originals on his website.

The appeal of his creations lie in the fine and realistic detail that he imbues subjects from a world outside of our own. In Fishwalker, a colorful squire takes his green pet fish out on a walk using a leash. In Once Upon a Time, a human storyteller relates tales of our world to a rapt audience of fairies, ogres and dwarves. And in Three Blind Mice, the humanlike rodents try to make sense of a blue pet beetle.

Goldfish in Sake Case (2003)
Goldfish in Sake Case (2003) | Source

Everlasting Fish

Don’t be alarmed by the cramped quarters of the goldfish on the right. It cannot move within its 3.3-inch square sake case because it is not alive. Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori created this masterpiece in resin by pouring each layer and then painting on it.

The first exhibit of his work in the west appeared in the ICN Galley in London, England, from December 2011 to January 2012. The artist is also skilled with traditional two-dimensional painting as shown near the end of the video.

You can see more of his fine work at his website, which Google translates from Japanese into English.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jim & George: Space Cadets (2005)Motorcycle GirlGreeting & Salutations from the Planet Grape (2003)
Jim & George: Space Cadets (2005)
Jim & George: Space Cadets (2005) | Source
Motorcycle Girl
Motorcycle Girl | Source
Greeting & Salutations from the Planet Grape (2003)
Greeting & Salutations from the Planet Grape (2003) | Source


There are industrial versions with great practicality and no personality, movie and TV examples that entertain and threaten, and plastic toy ones that amuse with their movement. But the robots I liked that best are the humanoid versions from the 1940s and 50s, designed with Art Deco futurism and solidly built of steel and other metals. These were always friendly and content to be machines that were helpful to humans.

Lawrence Northey evokes that era with his creations of brass, aluminum, copper and glass. Most are less than three feet tall though they are not always confined to human representations. Since most of them do not move, they are more properly called sculpture and must depend on the artist’s considerable skill to project emotion through the use of lifeless metals. Many are available for sale on his website. He also does commissions.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Last Chance to Impress 2008ngers 2008They’re Not Pets 2007Company Car 2008
Last Chance to Impress 2008
Last Chance to Impress 2008 | Source
ngers 2008
ngers 2008 | Source
They’re Not Pets 2007
They’re Not Pets 2007
Company Car 2008
Company Car 2008

Little People

UK artist Slinkachu deals with the world of the very small. His people come from HO-scale railroad modeling. This represents a proportion of 1/87, which makes each figure just under an inch high. The tiny size of his work demands a macro lens for photography, with the examples on the right showing them slightly larger than actual size.

His creations comment on the impersonal and gritty nature of urban life by forcing passersby to stop and squint for viewing. Those who do are rewarded with social commentary disguised as a bit of whimsy. He does leave his works to become part of the environment. Their temporary nature only adds to their value. You can find more information about him at his website.

Animated Sand

Art is supposed to be permanent – a legacy that can be enjoyed through several generations. So why would any artist in their right mind use sand as a medium, given that it is easily blown away into impermanence? Check out what Kseniya Simonova does with sand and you’ll have your answer. Born on the Crimean peninsula, this hipster was discourage form pursuing her dream by parents concerned that she should have a practical and successful life. She pleased both herself and her family by pursuing studies in both the fine arts and psychology.

Encouraged by her husband, a theater director, she developed a theatrical skill with sand, which she used to stun the crowd in the TV show Ukraine’s Got Talent. On the right, you’ll find her eight-minute piece about war, which brought the audience to tears. She won the competition and is now a worldwide celebrity. You can view more of her work by clicking the front page of her website.


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    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the introduction of these very fine artists. They are all so fabulous. I am especially intrigued by the works of Riusuke Fukahori and even more so by Kseniya Simonova. The story she tells with sand is mesmerizing.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Really enjoyed this article Alocsin! That robot was awesome. It is wild what some consider junk, others consider as art. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The robots are fun to look at! Fun!

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a brilliant collection of artist's, I absolutely love the work of James Christensen. Those weird characters seem to harken back the Grimms fairy tales.

      I also like the miniatures, they make us look at things literally from a different angle.

      Kseniya Simonova is just so talented too. The impermanence of sand, I guess reflects the impermanence of life itself. Great video.

      Great hub Aurelio 4/5 votes. Tweeted.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi alocsin, this was really interesting, I am not sure about the goldfish! lol! but the sand and the macro are amazing, voted up! and thanks for sharing!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      7 years ago from Chennai, India

      An entertaining hub on modern artists. I liked the works by James, goldfish in sake case and Slinkachu's little people which are ideed cute!

      Thanks for SHARING. Awesome & Interesting. Voted up.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What an interesting and eclectic collection of artists. Enjoyed this quite a bit. :)

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      7 years ago from India

      Wow! This is unbelievable

      First when I was glancing at your hub, the gold fish caught my attention.

      What a marvellous piece of art!

      I bow my head in awe before these artists

      Thanks for SHARING:)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      It is incredible the number and different types of crafts that are out there - and so beautiful and fascinating as well. I hadn't seen the animated sand either - so moving and incredible.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      7 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      i've seen the animated sand before. it's very cool. I've never seen the fish though. that was mindbogglingly cool!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I really liked the wide selection of different types of art that you portrayed in this hub. I liked all of it in different ways but that robotic art really caught my eye. The sand art...amazing! Voting this up and interesting. Thanks for SHARING.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks guys. I've finally posted the robot pictures. I was waiting for clearance for the artist.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      7 years ago from Space Coast

      As a working artist, I loved this piece. It is not only fun and informative, it is inspirational. I like the way you presented such varied personalities, styles and techniques. It opened a door of possiblities for me.

      Marketing is my biggest challenge, and I am way behind. Your other contributions are a big help in that regard. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I particularly like these artists because it's easy to have their work speak to you.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      What a great learning experience! I am not very educated in art, but this is a great guide. I usually just like the pieces that speak to me. LOL. I like the Sand Art. Well done!!!


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