Jason Levesque aka Stuntkid is having an upcoming show May 4th – May 29th at the Jfergeson Gallery in VA.
Stemming from a desire to challenge the conventions of traditional portraiture, Bryan Drury has carefully selected affluent members of society to sit for him, and rather than acquiescing to expectations of flattery, he exploits the power of oil paint to describe their corporeal flaws as precisely as possible. Finding liberation in this reversal of patronage roles, Drury focuses on the organic quality of the flesh and shows the animalistic side of humans that we so commonly attempt to conceal. The works feature a single subject, executed with a painstaking degree of realism. The small-scale portraits capture the condescending and supercilious attitudes of the sitters, who gaze at the viewer with an air of disdain. Set against solid backgrounds, the sitters seem separated from the outside world, and their lifeless artificiality imbues the works with a sense of isolation. In an attempt to expose their vanity and the disconnect that exists between the corporeality of the body and the abstraction of identity, Drury meticulously renders facial details, paying special attention to imperfections and blemishes. His skillful use of light and shadow in portraits highlights the contours of the sitters’ faces, while the subtle glossy backgrounds further accentuate the tactile nature of the skin and hair.
Jacek Yerka is a Polish painter whose work melts pastoral beauty into worlds of fantasy and psychedelic dreams. Featured here is the series 4siders, wherein the four “walls” of each scene have been staged and fused together to create multidimensional spaces; rotate the images, and a different room (or landscape) appears. In “Budoir,” for example, the furnishings of an entire house loop dizzyingly around each other; in “Four Seasons,” a lonely bungalow slides from winter’s chill to spring’s awakening while the eye is drawn to the uniting, empty sky beyond. Both logical and disorienting, the 4siders paintings demonstrate how slight shifts in perspective can alter our notions of the rational world.
Blending the classically creative styles of Bosch and Bruegel with reality-bending contemporary art, it is no surprise that Yerka has achieved much recognition in the world of fantasy art — fantasy, after all, derives from a melding of history with the outer edges of the imagination. Some of Yerka’s genre-related accomplishments include collaborating with fantasy author Harlan Ellison in the compositions of Mind Fields (a collection thirty short stories accompanied by Yerka’s surrealistic paintings), as well as the notable reception of the World Fantasy Award for best artist in 1995.
Yerka currently lives in rural Poland with his family, where he paints his immersive dreamscapes in the shade of an “old and mysterious” apple tree (Source). You can learn more about his work on his website, Facebook, and Twitter. (Via Fubiz)
Christo Dagorov’s drawings are beautifully crafted with detail and precision. With a bird’s-eye view landscape that mimics cracked lips, a forest that’s tree trunks create the illusion of small teeth, and perfectly shaped bodies as pursed lip crevasses, his illustrations truly come alive. The work is hauntingly graceful, yet captivating and complex. Each piece is paired with a precise, one word title, allowing every drawing to become of moment of inquiry.
For example, his drawing titled Aspiration depicts a city. Here we may see a desire for or missed connection to the urban world. Or, perhaps, he is he glorifying the amount of ambition it takes for a city to be built — a sort of homage to the achievements of man.
Next there is Authenticity, illustrating trees with exposed roots. Is this simply a statement that nature is utterly and unarguably the most authentic entity?
Indiscretion shows a figure behind bars, hinting, perchance, at the recklessness of lawlessness. Or, even further, the general rashness of humanity.
The drawing Negligence portrays snakes and jellyfish — animals that can poison. Maybe this drawing acts as a warning for those who neglect either themselves, the purity of nature, or their own relationships with others.
However, Dagorov’s use of lips provoke greater meaning than just that of his titles. Lips have various powers. They have both the power to speak and to seduce. We can use our lips for acts of good, acts of lust, as well as acts of harm. Paired with these sinful versus virtuous words — are the lips creating a platform for which both darkness and light can be portrayed on equal playing ground?
Or, perhaps these lips suggest a discussion of language. Are they used as a means to hint at the the subjective nature of semantics? If language is something that simply comes from ones lips, what does it truly mean? If history proves anything, it is that language is single handedly one of the most dangerous devices of them all.
Somewhere In The Fold is an exhibition that recently closed at the San Francisco Gallery The Popular Workshop. The show was curated by Luca Nino Antonucci who is an artist and co-founder of Colpa Press as well as the San Francisco Newsstand turned zine shop Edicola. The exhibition examines the intersection of fine art, design, book making and publishing. From the press release: “There is a broad dialogue between publication and art object, far more complex than the straightforward union of the two into the ‘art book.’ Somewhere in the Fold is a survey of the relationship between the current state of publishing and the art practices of contemporary artists. These disciplines have converged into processes of editing and editioning, making once disparate fields singular. The participating artists and publishers of Somewhere in the Fold approach this conversation by showing work that deliberately confuses the terms ‘publication’ and ‘art object’, while attempting to discover a place where they can exist together both in form and concept.”
Ryan Schneider was making some cool paintings when I stopped by his studio.
Adam Vaudin makes art about everything that people should make art about like pizza, nachos, aliens, and pentagrams.
Experimental typography, playful illustrations, and a nice mix of hand drawn and digital wizardry by Pomme Chan.