Strange Plants III

Independent publishing house Zioxla is pleased to announce the publication of Strange Plants III, the third book in the award-winning series that celebrates plants in contemporary art. The 164-page book features the work of 50 artists, and includes large-scale paintings of overgrown cactus gardens; filmic and otherworldly photos of water lilies; glitchy textiles of roses sourced from social media; and so much more. For the book, editor Zio Baritaux brought together 10 artists who take a unique approach to incorporating plants into their work: Synchrodogs, for example, de-familiarize the natural world by contorting the human body as it moves across isolated landscapes; Megan Marrin captures the life cycle of the foul-smelling corpse flower in her large-scale oil paintings; and Rosson Crow creates maximalist fantasias of desert plants. “What I love about painting the cactus is that it’s so architectural,” Crow says.

The book also investigates how plants act as symbols for certain artists: In Martin Basher’s paintings, palm trees and birds of paradise represent the excesses of consumerism. Othelo Gervacio uses his delicate compositions to question the ambiguous nature of flowers as gifts. Through large abstract paintings, Sojourner Truth Parsons explores the emotions she attached to a garden outside her therapist’s office. Caitlin Keogh, Chloe Wise, Robin F. Williams, Louise Bonnet and Marius Bercea, among others, contributed to the “Pollination” feature, each rendering a plant in their own aesthetic. Holly Coulis made a geometric abstraction of a still life in an electric palette; Joakim Ojanen sculpted a ceramic boy with a phallic plant; and Kara Joslyn painted a shimmering, sleek diptych of monstera leaves.

Fifteen tattoo artists — such as The Magic Rosa, Soto Gang, Antoine Larrey and Charline Bataille — contributed to the “Petals” feature, which includes floral flash that ranges from a Doberman in a daisy wreath to a poodle made entirely of flowering vines.The photographer Ren Hang inspired the book’s final section, “Regrowth,” which features new work by 10 artists, including James Jean, Julie Curtiss, Kristina Schuldt and Brittany Asch. The photographs of Hang, who passed away in 2017, played an essential role in Strange Plants II — his images of friends floating in lily-pad-filled ponds at night added an eerie romanticism to that volume — and “Regrowth” is a modest attempt to pay tribute to his life and art.

“My hope is that this book continues the dialogue that the first two volumes began,”Baritaux says, “about how we understand nature and about art as a tool for interpreting and questioning our surroundings.”

Strange Plants III was designed by Affaire, a design house in Barcelona. Flower petals and seeds loosely inspired the shapes on the cover.

Strange Plants III retails for $40 and is now available for pre-order on zioxla.com.

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