Gregory Chiha’s Distorted Figures

 

French artist Gregory Chiha’s gripping and curious works conjure dark, imaginative inquiry. Realistic backgrounds are populated by vague, distorted figures depicted with thick, abstract, primary-colored strokes of paint. Dense forests and calm interiors stand solid and immortal in stark contrast to the fleeting vision of denigrating souls that vaporize amidst forces unknown. At times they seem aware of their morphing physicality, holding up their hands as if to shield their faces; other times they stand with arms loose and at their sides, giving in and letting themselves be overtaken by this unstoppable force. Some subjects appear to be participating in everyday motions when the event occurs: lounging in the living room, playing in a room strewn with children’s toys, staring into a mirror; others are roaming through sylvan groves – perhaps they went outside to address an unnerving sound or vision? One figure sits at the kitchen table staring at a loaf of bread; the subject ignites, though the bread, indissoluble, withstands. Are these figures ghosts trapped in limbo? Are they in the midst of taking their own life, or victims of an unspeakable tragedy such as a modern day Pompeii? Could these paintings be the depiction of the exact moment of death? Whatever is the nature of their contents, Chiha’s paintings lead to an abyss of theories subjective. However, their immediate intuitive impact stands inarguably emotional and compelling, dark and disturbing.

Chiha is represented by The Lloyd Gill GalleryRead More >

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Martin Eder’s Erotic Kitsch Nightmares (NSFW)

Martin Eder is a German artist based in Berlin, whose nightmarish and perverse paintings abound with contradicting romantic cliches and infantile desires; his work displays lolitas in pornographic poses that are montaged with skycaps, warm bedroom interiors, and saccharine, girly kitsch that includes oversized crying kittens, giant candy, songbirds, fluffy poodles, puffy clouds, and cuddly white bunnies. Eder works exclusively from photographic references, making full use of high contrast and flat shadows and edging subjects with cyan and magenta. His paintings look imperfect and rushed in places, as if he works on his paintings only until they seem convincingly realistic enough. This slightly unpolished quality facilitates the paintings’ exploitative, creepy aesthetic and especially affects his female subjects, making them feel nondescript; the consequences of this purposeful lack of care in turn references the faceless and aggregative nature of pornography. A recurrent aura of seediness and the slightly distorted proportions of Eder’s subjects are reminiscent of the work of German Expressionist Otto Dix, although the anonymity of Eder’s subjects is a theme not reflected in those of Dix.

Edger is represented by Eigen + Art Gallery and Hauser + Wirth. In addition to being a painter, he plays in his own experimental rock band under the name Richard Ruin ed Les Demoniaques.

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Steven Jon Yazzie’s Coyote Series

Steven Yazzie is a Native American (Navajo Nation) artist who lives in Arizona. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps before pursuing painting through residency at the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and is currently pursuing his BFA in painting from the University of Arizona. Although this review focuses exclusively on Yazzi’s Coyote Series, he has an extensive body of work that ranges between abstraction and surrealism, incorporating an interest in pattern, shape, the Southwestern landscape, and Navajo culture and history.

Yazzi’s paintings question the relationship between man and nature, and between interior and exterior spaces. Elements of the wilderness and the playful trickster Coyote are placed alongside modern, minimalist domestic spaces; several paintings even reference the ultimate minimalist establishments – the gallery space – drawing from principles (if not necessarily the practice) of Institutional Critique.

Looking closer, all of his interiors are symbolically suggestive of their original elements – an animal printed ottoman, stone colored couch, grassy rug, unprocessed lumber table, and landscape paintings adorning the walls all mimic the desert landscape to which they are adjacent; the coyote must still feel somewhat at home within these fused environments.

Among his many achievements, Yazzi has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Santa Fe, NM. Phoenix Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Museum of Northern Arizona and has been featured in the 2011 West issue of New American Paintings. Read More >

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Carol Carter’s Watercolor Solarization

Carol Carter is a contemporary watercolor artist based out of St Louis, MO. She is such a prolific painter that it proved nearly impossible to select just seventeen images to feature out of the hundreds documented throughout her website. Her subject matter is incredibly varied, ranging from swimmers, nudes, flora and fauna, to interiors and landscapes of the Everglades and Italy. In spite of painting such a vast range of subject matter, her work remains consistent with her personal style; painting with an electric color palette, she saturates values of light and dark with a brilliant range of unpredictable color that often takes on the effect of solarization. Her technique shifts between wet-in-wet application and controlled execution, producing work that is peppered with an incredible amount of detail and spontaneity. Carol’s mastery of watercolor and divergent way of seeing the world is apparent in her remarkable paintings.  Read More >

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Sean Anderson

 

Sean Anderson is a painter based out of Santa Barbara, CA. The jungle is a reoccurring theme in his work, and connects to his past experience of being an artist in residence in Bolivia for two years. He plays with novel color relationships and combines non-traditional media, such as spray paint and florescent enamel alongside oil on canvas. Bold and vivid, with their dilapidated houses fixed in florescent hues, the paintings often appear lit as if by nuclear blast.

His jungle paintings sometimes demonstrate an interest in commercial art and advertising, taking direct influence from pop artist Ed Ruscha by combining landscape and text to bring new meaning to ordinary or nonsensical phrases.

In addition to his work as a painter, Sean is co-curator of the Anderson Art Collective and works alongside his brothers (also artists), Benjamin and Ron Anderson. He has an upcoming show at Firehouse30 gallery in Walla Walla, WA.  Read More >

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Lauren Gibbes’ Dominating Opulence & Feminine Vice

With a display of dominating opulence, feminine vice, and diamond dust, Lauren Gibbes’s paintings masterfully deconstruct traditional romantic narratives and flourish as examples of modern Rococo. Born in the south and currently working out of Ashville, NC, Gibbes draws influence from beauty pageants, magazine ads, exhibitions of decadence, and the legacy of southern charm and chivalry. Her work is both beautiful and confrontational. Lauren Gibbes is represented by Galeria BickarRead More >

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Falk Gernegross’ Magic Realism- NSFW

Falk Gernegross’s paintings are executed in the style of Magic Realism, calling forth the likes of such great artists as George Tooker, Alex Colville and Tony Phillips. His figures are often depicted nude with bodies that are polished and sculpted like marble. Soft, contrasted shadows envelop his subjects against a simple, bright hue of color; other times the painting’s surroundings are full of wooded forests, sunny beaches, and lakes. His work is painted in a way that is flat yet realistic, and projects a fluid exchange of feelings that range between awkwardness and eroticism.

Falk Gernegross’s work is represented by Galerie Kleindienst in Germany. Read More >

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Glen Sorenson’s Night Painting

I like to use the shorthand of “night paintings” to describe Austrian-born, Swedish painter Glen Sorenson’s solemn, melancholic works. He consistently utilizes black backgrounds against a washed out, expertly mixed color palette that consists of pink, lavender, yellow, periwinkle and turquoise hues. A large majority of his work is made up of simplistic still lives of slumped over, crispy, dead flowers; his remaining works depict unconventionally cropped objects and wistful, stagnant scenes .  Read More >

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