Where Are the Artexpo Poster Challenge Winners Now?
Social media is redefining how the art world does business, from collectors buying fine art online to artists using Facebook and Instagram to move their art. Five years ago, Artexpo New York launched the Artexpo New York Poster Challenge, offering one artist the chance to have their original artwork on the Artexpo New York Official Poster, among other prizes—if they employed robust marketing efforts on Facebook to garner the most likes.
Since then, the poster challenge winners have gone on to showcase their work in international galleries, be named to top-artists-to-watch lists and featured in Art Business News, create their own unique styles, and refine their place in the art world.
“I must say that the poster contest is a phenomenally brilliant idea, not only for marketing Redwood as the best of the best in the art world but also to bring in new artists and expose all the new art and artists to the world through Facebook,” says Barbara Moore of Barbara Moore Fine Art Photography. “I can hardly wait for show time in April!”
In anticipation of the 2018 Artexpo New York Poster Challenge, here’s a look back at previous winners and where they are now.
2014: Times Square by Carlos Alberto Bahamón of Canapo Art Gallery
Colombia native Carlos Alberto Bahamón was an electronic engineer before he was an artist, which might be why he spent years exploring various artistic styles until he landed on his own—the one that won him the poster challenge. Embracing costumbrismo, or a pictorial interpretation of local everyday life, ways, and customs, Bahamón depicts intricate scenes everywhere from Times Square to pool rooms with dozens of figures leading the viewer’s eye around the scene. Today, Bahamón is represented by Canapo Art Gallery, the only fine Latin art gallery in Carmel by the Sea, California.
2015: Without Hesitation by Joëlle Blouin of The Signature Gallery
Informed by the theme “Passages,” the award-winning work sold on the first day of Artexpo New York for $10,000. The following year, Blouin was named among the top 40 artists to watch by Art Business News. Inspired by her interior design training and driven by her determination to constantly challenge herself as a professional artist, Blouin developed a signature patining technique that combines influences from cubism with urban art that she calls “urban cubism.” Blending and mixing her paints directly on her canvas using only a palette knife, Blouin creates a cubic texture that is rich and captivating. Today, Blouin lives in Southern California, where she is represented by The Signature Gallery.
2016: The Princess of the Strawberry Mouth by Adrian Arrieta of Cevor Gallery
Earning the top honor with his “Chroma”-themed painting The Princess of the Strawberry Mouth, Adrian Arrieta continues to create work in which color is his guide and inspiration. But there’s a deeper theme that runs throughout his work: the human being in its totality. In some of his newest work, including Freedom Awaits, Arrieta investigates what happens when someone doesn’t express themselves freely because they’re afraid of being outcasted by society, something that hits close to home for Arrieta, who grew up longing to become an artist but often felt discouraged by the impracticality of his dreams. Today, Arrieta lives in Miami, where he is represented by Cevor Gallery.
2017: Worlds Unite by Juan Luis Perez of Contemporary Art Projects USA
Juan Luis Perez’s work is hard to categorize. The winner of the 2017 poster challenge is a mixed-media work that captures the movement and connectedness of a new generation living in a global society. Some of his earlier pieces, such as Lost in Lust and Seduction, are more figurative while others, Landscape of the Soul and Flowers of Tomorrow, are more abstract. This continuous evolution of as an artist brought Perez to the Art Santa Fe stage in July 2017, where Contemporary Art Projects USA founder Tata Fernandez interviewed the self-taught Cuban artist about the impact of environment on art and the significance and contribution of Cuban artists to the world. Today, Perez lives in Florida, where he is working on a mini-series of raw canvas and organic nature called “Play Time.”
The 2018 Artexpo New York Poster Challenge theme is “Journey.” We welcome submissions from artists around the world of all skill levels in the following mediums: painting, photography, mixed media, drawing, pastels, ink, and more.