Best Up-And-Coming Visual Artists In Detroit

April 14, 2014 9:00 AM

(Credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Effective art gives viewers something to think about. It may not always be the original intent the artist had when creating the piece, but once the work is available to observe, the artists themselves have little control over the thought process, reactions and emotions their work conveys to the public. Detroit’s creative scene has drawn artists from down the street and around the world to establish themselves in this often misunderstood urban land. Below are some of Detroit’s best visual artists. Please know there are many more talented artists waiting to be discovered in one of the many galleries and exhibition spaces around town.
Nicola Kuperus

Nicola Kuperus is a photographer and musician whose work transcends reality, effortlessly crossing into surrealist territory. Her photographic series in the past has a dreamlike quality featuring women caught in awkward moments who manage to appear poised and ethereal at once. Kuperus’ current work is outwardly complex, but somehow still retains the subtle moments exhibited in her previous art.

Hygienic Dress League

Hygienic Dress League is a duo who fights crime and corruption in the fair city of Detroit. Not exactly, but they are a pair of street artists, a husband and wife team, who have been making their mark in the city, one building at a time. Their renegade work has been featured on abandoned motels, dilapidated restaurants and the castle-like facade of the Grand Army of the Republic building. They have traveled to locations near and far to imprint their unique version of street art in alternate universes.

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Dessi Terzieva

The work created by artist Dessi Terzieva is ironically romantic. It exists in a space that normally would not evoke feelings equated with this emotion due to the destruction present in many scenes. A portion of Terzieva’s collection consists of stylized graphic images teetering between daydreams and nightmares, its concepts conjuring up recollections of Dali and Magritte. Other pieces establish a pop-influence, made avant-garde through the artist’s use of color and shape to disparage the sometimes iconic images.

Tadd Mullinix

Tadd Mullinix is a visual artist and renown electronic musician and producer. Mullinix’s paintings combine an understated palette of rich colors with thick black lines that intersect throughout the piece, creating work that is both tranquil and chaotic. This juxtaposition creates a tension that exists humming in the background of the observer’s mind. Other work in his collection exhibits more conflict; the colors are even more subdued, with actions that appear listless yet frenzied at the same time.

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Kim Hoxworth

Kim Hoxworth is a photographer who shoots using photographic equipment she created herself. Her low-tech approach suits her subject matter, portraits of people seemingly cut off from the world moving around them, just on the other side of the print, somewhere. Hoxworth’s imagery can be compared to tintypes, once the norm for photographers in the mid-1800s. The visions conveyed through Hoxworth’s work are haunting and convey a lingering story to tell somewhere within each subject.

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and

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