WORLD’S BEST POP ARTISTS: MAIMON, LEE, HUISKENS, GRANELA, MONTANARI, GARCIA & SUNG

Pop artists from Israel, USA and Brazil score highest in Category 30 of the 2018 AMERICAN ART AWARDS.

This year the American Art Awards (www.AmericanArtAwards.com), juried by the 25 Best Galleries & Museums In America (listed below), had online art images in 50 categories submitted from artists in 59 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Haiti, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela.

The 1st Place to 6th Place winners in all 50 categories will be revealed in the news about a category a day — stretching into November, making this one of the longest winner announcements of any art competition in the world.

Yael Maimon is an Israeli artist born in 1980 in Israel. She is best known for her Catspainting series. Her special bond with cats was created while volunteering for years at an animal rescue center in her hometown. Today, Yael takes care of abandoned kittens, raises elderly cats and feed many street cats. Although grounded in realism, her artwork is often impressionist in nature, traditional yet contemporary. She enjoys painting in a variety of media including oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. Her artwork was featured in solo and collective art exhibitions in Israel and abroad and gained international recognition. More info at www.yaelmaimon.com

Yunjin Lee, currently living in New Jersey, is a Korean-American artist who was born in Seoul, South Korea. By expressing her idea through various mediums, such as acrylic paint, egg tempera, and colored pencils, she likes to experiment with new mediums each time she works on a piece. She states that one of her biggest inspirations derives from volunteering at church, where she takes care of special needs children. While volunteering, she noticed that many autistic children seem to possess certain common behaviors, such as lining up toys and repeating the same words or phrases. To truly understand people with autism and raise awareness, she wanted to portray how they view the world. By using her artistic talent, she tried to merge her interests in science and art through her painting.

“The point of view with which autistic children see the world is different, and we should try to understand them.” — She believes that people with autism spectrum disorders view the world “literally,” — thus, they might have a hard time seeing the world from another person’s perspective. For instance, she says that an autistic child, who is lining up toys, might not understand if someone says, “Look, a train is going to get a shower!”. When someone tries to set up a scenario, children with autism might not understand the situation as the train is not doing such a thing. Since they like to follow a predetermined routine, deviation from their route can irritate them. Yunjin Lee believes that to understand autistic people’s world, we should start by understanding how these children view the world since their view significantly influences their behavior.

She tried to research how the visual perspective matters in autism, and how this spectrum is related to the brain in more depth. She discovered through the research that executive dysfunction, meaning difficulties in emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects, is often due to the impairment of the frontal lobe of the brain, and related to autistic people’s obsession with routines and their difficulty in coping with change.

Her third acrylic piece, “Autism,” tried to incorporate her ideas about autistic children’s unique way of approach on the particular things based on the perspective of neurodiversity. She first arranged toy trains in a straight, long line, then took a picture. By primarily using only two colors, blue and purple, she tried to portray how many children with autism find comfort in neatly lined trains. She later painted one train pink to show that although there does not seem to be any order, there might be a specific order in which the trains are arranged in the child’s perspective. Rather than focusing on the general view or big picture, autistic children tend to focus on one specific thing, such as one train or the number. She explains that one train and one number painted in pink emphasizes this difference.

As her interest in biology and neuroscience grew, she was able to understand the phenomenon and wanted to express how people with autism spectrum disorders view the world differently. She explains: “Through my artwork, I wanted to show how people with autism view the world. Social stigma in society still surrounds people with autism and their families. By portraying their perception of the world, I wanted to raise awareness of autism.”

CATEGORY 30.- POP ART

1ST PLACE-TIE YAEL MAIMON ISRAEL www.yaelmaimon.com “Pink” 17x24" Soft pastel on sanded paper. 
 
1ST PLACE-TIE YUNJIN LEE USA yunjinstar7@gmail.com “Autism” 19x19.5" Acrylic on board.
 
2ND PLACE-TIE RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Queen Of Diamonds" 30x40” Acrylic on canvas. 
 
2ND PLACE-TIE C.A. GRANELA USA https://www.facebook.com/C.A.GRANELA “Cigar Musicians Series” 150x40" 5 canvases. Acrylic on canvas.

3RD PLACE-TIE YUNJIN LEE USA yunjinstar7@gmail.com “The Blend Of Cultures” 18x24" Acrylic on board.
 
3RD PLACE-TIE HENRIQUE EDMX MONTANARI BRAZIL www.edmx.com.br “The Lower You Fall” 21x29" Watercolor on paper.
 
4TH PLACE-TIE RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Variations On Botticelli’s Venus №5” 20x20" Acrylic on canvas. 
 
4TH PLACE-TIE RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Chairman Mao” 20x24" Acrylic on canvas. 
 
5TH PLACE-TIE RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “I ♥ Lady Liberty” 20x20" Acrylic on canvas. 
 
5TH PLACE-TIE RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Kabuki Actor Ichikawa Danjuro II” 24x36" Acrylic on canvas. 
 
6TH PLACE-TIE RON DAMIEN GARCIA USA www.rondamiengarcia.com “Stop & GLOW” 34x50" Acrylic on canvas.

6TH PLACE-TIE HANA SUNG USA hana.s1113@gmail.com 
“Faux Happy” 18x23” Acrylic on paper.

This year’s 25 Best Galleries & Museums asked to vote on art were:

BEST IN ALABAMA — ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER
 BEST IN ARKANSAS — FORT SMITH REGIONAL ART MUSEUM
 BEST IN CALIFORNIA — REVOLVER GALLERY
 BEST IN COLORADO — COLORADO FINE ARTS CENTER AT COLORADO COLLEGE
 BEST IN FLORIDA — LIK FINE ART MIAMI + LIK FINE ART KEY WEST
 BEST IN ILLINOIS — TRICKSTER ART GALLERY
 BEST IN KANSAS — BIRGER SANDZEN MEMORIAL GALLERY
 BEST IN KENTUCKY — E&S GALLERY
 BEST IN LOUISIANA — NEWCOMB ART MUSEUM
 BEST IN MASSACHUSETTS — BOSTON SCULPTORS GALLERY
 BEST IN MISSISSIPPI — THE OHR-O’KEEFE MUSEUM OF ART
 BEST IN MISSOURI — UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI MUSEUM OF ART AND ARCHEOLOGY
 BEST IN NEBRASKA — KIECHEL FINE ART
 BEST IN NEVADA — THE METROPOLITAN GALLERY OF LAS VEGAS ART MUSEUM
 BEST IN OHIO — LEE HAYDEN GALLERY
 BEST IN OKLAHOMA — JOSEPH GIEREK FINE ART
 BEST IN OREGON — JORDAN SCHNITZER MUSEUM of ART
 BEST IN PENNSYLVANIA — JAMES A. MICHENER ART MUSEUM
 BEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA — MARY MARTIN GALLERY OF FINE ART
 BEST IN SOUTH DAKOTA — SOUTH DAKOTA ART MUSEUM
 BEST IN TEXAS — ART ON 5TH
 BEST IN UTAH — THE LEONARDO
 BEST IN WASHINGTON — MARYHILL MUSEUM OF ART
 BEST IN WEST VIRGINIA — WEST VIRGINIA STATE MUSEUM
 BEST IN WISCONSIN — MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART

Enter art at www.AmericanArtAwards.com