Since 2005, Brooklyn's LAND gallery has been working with developmentally disabled artists with the aim of helping to teach them life skills through the practice of making art. In the process, the gallery has assembled a uniquely talented group of individuals, each with their own idiosyncratic visual take on the world. Whether it's one of Michael Pellew's Christmas cards depicting the Kardashians in goth, or Nicole Appel's meticulous, hand-drawn collections of gas station signs, you're sure to find something surprising and beautiful at LAND.
LAND's artists have shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, London's Museum of Everything, and last week's Outsider Art Fair—and now, the gallery has published its first book.
Here, LAND gallery coordinator Sophia Cosmadopoulos introduces us to the six artists featured within.
"Having grown up listening to Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, and other reggae greats, musicians figure prominently in Kenya Hanley's work, which he contrasts with two of his other great loves: food and television."
"Michael Pellew considers himself the 'Godfather of Art,' making drawings and sculptures that are humorous ruminations on pop culture."
"Nicole Appel's saturated compositions represent a novel approach to portraiture. Loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and pop culture icons are her subjects, depicted as seemingly random or disparate objects."
"Carlo Daleo is a talented draftsman, painter, writer, animator, and voice-over artist whose interests and aesthetic influences include Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Soupy Sales, New York City cultural institutions, newscasters, and local librarians."
"Garrol Gayden is a highly prolific artist, making densely saturated drawings based on New York City's seaside amusement park, Coney Island, and specifically the ride Spook-a-Rama."
"Byron Smith depicts stylish, fashion-forward women, paying specific attention to eyelashes, fingernails, and toes."