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”.
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.
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.
I first got into Zach Johnsen’s work a few years ago when he lived in New York. But for a while now, he’s been in Portland, and it looks like he’s making his raddest stuff yet. He always incorporated fantastic characters into his mixed media work, and he’s continued to do so, creating more wooden cut-out installations and a series of graphite drawings infused with explosive watercolor elements. Johnsen’s always done a great job of rendering the darker side of life. His characters are full of dark eyes and yellowing teeth. Seriously awesome stuff from this dude, always.
Sculptural and mixed media work from David Nyzio. Working in material as diverse as algae and bug excrement, Nyzio’s work defies certain classification and provides a nice testament to the crossroads that can exist between concept and aesthetics.
Wait- we haven’t featured Peter Wu on the blog yet?! Dude’s even from L.A! Showpaper in NYC hipped me to the artist a couple months back, when they illustrated a cover with one of his segmented, semi-schizophrenic mixed media works, and my brain muscles are still tingling. Looks like he’s been doing a lot of sculpture lately and has a solo coming up at Greene Exhibitions fairly soon. A few images after the jump, but be sure to check out his website for more.
Sishir Bommakanti is a freelance illustrator and designer out of Sarasota, Florida. Bommakanti employs some really creative technique in the creation of warped, figurative paintings. Definitely right at home with the work of Francis Bacon, maybe just a little WK Interact (+ color), as well.
More images after the jump, as well as a really cool process video.
Chad Kouri always dreamed of being a designer, and he took the first major step towards making that dream a reality with a freelance gig at the age of sixteen. Ten years later, he has become what some refer to as a cultural engineer. A founding member of the Chicago-based art and design incubator, The Post Family, previous Art Director of Proximity Magazine and recognition as one of Chicago’s Newcity Breakout Artists of 2010 are only a few of his numerous accomplishments. Kouri has been involved with more than thirty different projects over the last two years, and shows no signs of slowing down. For many, there is still a huge chasm between the worlds of design and fine arts, but this distinction is of no interest to Chad Kouri. Un-phased, he continues to breakdown the walls attempting to separate the two industries. A recent collaboration with artists Stephen Eichhorn and Cody Hudson at the Patty and Rusty Rueff Gallery marks his first foray into exhibiting at an institutional level, but with an upcoming solo show at the Rochester Museum of Fine Art slated for the winter of 2012 it will obviously not be his last. Kouri describes his practice as having, “equal interests in conceptual art, consumer culture, typography, design, jazz and the gray areas between these fields, my body of work is more a collection of various ongoing projects, thoughts and experiments tied together by a strong sense of composition, concise documentation and an overall vibe of optimism than a seamless display of a style or genre.” I am excited to watch this process evolve, and I wish him good luck for the future – but somehow I don’t think he’ll need it.