Archaic Technology As Painting Platform

Nick Gentry - Mixed MediaNick Gentry - Mixed Media

Nick Gentry - Mixed Media

According to Ray Kurzweil, scientist & Singularity theorist, “We [as human beings] can ‘go beyond’ the ‘ordinary’ powers of the material world through the power of patterns . . . It’s through the emergent powers of the pattern that we transcend.”

Similarly, these concepts of materiality, patterns, technology, and transcendence haunt the mixed media paintings of Nick Gentry, who hails from the London street art scene and beyond.

As far as process goes, Gentry engages in what he calls a “social art project”, whereas people mail archaic technology (film negatives, floppy disks) to his studio/gallery to help build the base of his work. Instead of just relying on a pictorial image, Gentry allows the “history” and “variety of unique memories contained in used objects” to also serve as the subject of each piece. The result is reminiscent of 1990s Electronica and aches of a strange collective sense of contemporary loss.

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Rik Garrett Transforms Two Bodies into One

Artist Rik Garrett explores physical relationships in his series Symbiosis.  By painting directly onto the photograph, Garrett literally fuses two bodies into one.  Two writhing bodies seem to become one organism.  It’s a nearly a literal interpretation of “two becoming one flesh”.

Garrett says, “Symbiosis is a new series exploring ideas regarding love, relationships, magic, Alchemy and mutually beneficial partnerships in nature.”

While the idea sounds romantic the imagery can appear otherwise.  The single masses almost appear to be struggling against itself, perhaps alluding to the complexities of sexuality and relationships.

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The Mixed Media Work of Xochi Solis

Artist Xochi Solis‘ work combines painting with collage into smartly layered pieces.  Rather  than spreading the elements throughout the composition, Solis places them all at the center.  She layers each piece on the on top of the one before it, revealing only pieces of found images or painterly strokes.  The round images almost appear cellular though still resisting easy interpretation or identification.  The Austin, Texas based artist’s materials range from acrylic and oil paint to found images and acetate.

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Mark Schoening’s Explosive Paintings

 

Mark Schoening‘s paintings appear to explode on each panel.  Colors and patterns seem to erupt like uncontrollable viruses supplanting the composition.  In a way Schoening’s work develops in a similar fashion.  Each piece begins with an idea, information.  The concept is elaborated on further and further layering glitter, resin, silkscreen, acrylic, latex, and spraypaint.  His newest works are an investigation of the way floods of information are spread and consumed.  Schoening says:

“I do not have the luxury of escape.  In this century, in this moment, few of us do.  Information piles up: the advertisements, the mechanisms, the media, the people.  I am attached to it, in the midst of it, a part of it.  However, as a painter, I am also a witness and a reactionary.”

Mark Schoening opens a new solo exhibit, Recordings of a Lone Infantryman, November 29, 2012 at Marine Conemporary in Venice, California.

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Camille Rose Garcia’s Dark Fantasy Paintings

 

 

If you don’t know about Camille Rose Garcia and her twisted fantasy worlds, now you know. The artist has been killin’ it for a while with dark mixed media paintings that are easy on the eyes the way the poisonous apple in Snow White tastes good- you know there’s something sinister at work here, but you can’t help yourself anyway. Garcia’s colorful works feature animals and pretty ladies, neither of which are innocent. Watch your back. More snaps after the jump, and check out her blog, which, if not updated regularly, is a nice window into what the artist’s thinking.

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CKirk’s Raw, Emotional Paintings of the Human Figure

Sometimes things are better off being left “unfinished”. There’s more power that way. More raw, sticky, human emotion. Add such a methodology to an almost random selection of media and you have these works from Texas based artist Ckirk, who says he can “paint with anything”. Aerosol, watercolor, coffee, tobacco ash- he’s doing it. The paintings seem to say, “this is who we are, with all our ugliest inclinations completely exposed. Take it or leave it.” Ckirk has a new monograph out entitled “Ckirk Art: I Can Paint With Anything”.

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Kara Joslyn’s Quietly Emotional Paintings

CCA grad Kara Joslyn is based in Oakland. Joslyn works mostly in black and white and mixed media to create stark, quietly emotional paintings. There’s a lot of hardened dignity in the artist’s work. The black and white depictions here of crumbling stone, ancient pottery, and dried parcels of wood can’t help but lend a resolute seriousness to each painting. This (and their stunning visual qualities) allows them to be taken in with purpose, as though something very special is captured and any time spent with the work is not wasted. By rendering material which was once strong and hard in a state of brokenness and neglect,  Joslyn brings us to considerations of the inevitable effects of neglect and time, and the realization that hardly anything remains prominent forever.

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Clustered Paintings with Just Enough Abstract Mystery From James Kirkpatrick

The texture on these mixed media paintings from Canadian artist James Kirkpatrick  is insane. Packed with color, the artist’s nebulous, jumbled works, which contain just the slightest hint of concrete elements here and there (is that a car? –wait– is that a face, now?), exist very close to complete abstraction. This deft “one foot in, one foot out” dance is indicative of great skill on Kirkpatrick’s part. The subtlety of these paintings is really where their greatest value is. In a culture where everything is increasingly spelled out for us ahead of time, it’s nice to preserve a little bit of mystery.

Kirkpatrick is taking part in Zaga Zow, a group show at Cooper Cole in Toronto, until August 18.

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