Brendan Monroe’s colorful paintings explore the process of becoming who we are

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Oakland based artist, Brendan Monroe, creates bizarre compositions that feature imaginary ‘moving’ landscapes and faceless, alien looking creatures that resemble the human body. Monroe takes inspiration from the study of science and his interest in existentialism and self-discovery.

His characters, often portrayed in purple and reddish hues, find themselves in these  multilayered, remote landscapes that present themselves as chaotic, or always in motion. The stringy, cool colored worlds precisely double their existence as a wonderful yet confusing space. Monroe is also interested in presenting his funky characters the same way he does his landscapes, as intricate forms that are always in motion.

We can take Monroe’s aesthetic and conceptual approach as one that tries to visually explore what it means to be human in a world that is contingent upon the variety and complexity of our actions, state of mind, or simply the passage of time and the progress it brings with it.

Each is a way of looking at and figuring out life. It’s that human question of what and who we are, how we are here. I also like the emotion and feeling of discovery and also the solving of a puzzle that was not known before. I lean in the direction of sciences I think mostly because I was raised that way, and I like to do my own investigations and draw conclusions.

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Local Bay Area Artists Seize The Day At Loakal Gallery In Oakland,CA

John-Wentz

John Wentz

JetMartinez

Jet Martinez

Cameron-Thompson

Cameron Thompson

On March 29, 2014 19 artists gathered at Loakal Gallery to live-paint 19 different works that would later be part of Carpe Diem, a 24-hour art show.  Each artist was given a 4′ by 8′ panel and 24 hours to complete their work. The gallery was open to the public all 24 hours of the painting day so that people could engage with the artists and observe them at work.

From street artists to classically trained painters, they all showcased their process in a way that resembled a happening- the idea of the painters’ performance was one of main ingredient is the uniqueness of this show. The artists, challenged to complete a 4′ by 8′ panel within a tight time frame, had the opportunity to perform and, at the same time, engage with spectators. Viewers not only had the chance to observe but actually participate in the process- chance was very much a part of this 24-hour art making extravaganza.

Apart from creating and sharing the process with spectators, the artist were able to engage and work with each other. For many of the artists, art is typically a solo act, done alone in one’s studio, while street artists and muralists like Ian Ross, Hueman and Nite Owl had more experience with being out in the open while creating their work. During the event, the artists involved turned to each other with a more social approach.

Full list of participating artists: Jessica Hess, Ian Ross, Hueman, Reggie Warlock, Chris Granillo, Eddie Colla, Cameron Thompson, Brett Amory, Lisa Pisa, Nite Owl, John Wentz, John Casey, Marcos LaFarga, Jet Martinez, Cannon Dill, Lauren YS, Zoltron, Max Kauffman and Daryll Peirce.

Loakal is located in the Jack London Square district of Oakland and is open 7 days a week to the public. The entire show is on view until April 28,2014. (via Huff Post)

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Vibrant Collages Mirror The Artist’s Oakland Surroundings

Amy Wilson Faville - Mixed Media Amy Wilson Faville - Mixed Media Amy Wilson Faville - Mixed Media

Inspired by her Oakland surroundings and the mysterious life of collected objects (from homeless shopping carts to a public disposal & recycling area), Amy Wilson Faville collages her own drawings in with an assortment of vibrant materials such as old mattress fabric, file folders, vintage wallpaper, and other scraps. Comparable to quilt-making, Faville’s compositions incorporate consistent patterns with eclectic pops of color, conceptually mirroring her subject matter.

Speaking on her Carts series specifically, Faville states, “My goal was to use the power of beauty to transform images of squalor into splendor.”

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Studio Visit: Serena Cole’s Glittery Paintings Tap into our Dark Desires

As part of our ongoing partnership with In The Make, Beautiful/Decay is sharing a studio visit with artist Serena Cole. See the full studio visit and interview with Serena and other West Coast artists at www.inthemake.com.

Serena’s studio is in her Oakland apartment, a modest space that she has efficiently rigged to accommodate her needs. She’s set it up so that her studio takes up most of the apartment’s square footage, but she keeps things flexible with furnishings that are easily moved and rearranged. I’m always impressed with resourcefulness and am appreciative of the kind of ingenuity that comes out of necessity and that manages to circumvent a set of limitations. In fact, the idea of limitations kept coming up for me in thinking about Serena’s artwork because her pieces are very much visually dictated and confined by her reference material. Her work directly appropriates the fashion imagery of advertising campaigns and editorial spreads, highlighting the patterns and tropes used to elicit desire and encourage consumerism. In taking on this imagery, her work attempts to examine what is revealed about our collective psychology, the culture of consumption and escapism, and the complexity of fantasy. In our conversations, she acknowledged that she isn’t so much trying to create something new, but instead aims to deconstruct already existent imagery in the appropriation of it. But this is a slippery slope— in being so tightly tethered to the aesthetics of the fashion world, Serena’s work runs the risk of coming off as analogous instead of questioning. Serena is aware of this risk— in creating art within a framework already heavily loaded with well-established associations, value, and perimeters, she knows the trick is to get the viewer to recognize that there is actually a lot at stake amidst the glitz and glamour.

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David O’Brien’s Digital Collages of Millions of Tiny Figures

I recently met David O’Brien through a mutual friend while checking out various openings in the Culver City gallery district of Los Angeles.  This type of event draws a specific demographic, and the likelihood that you will end up discussing various aspects of art/the art world is exactly one hundred percent.  Often times these discussions involve an exchange of websites, and an eventual glance into the practice of your recently met acquaintance.  I would be lying if I said that I am generally impressed by the endeavors of my newly made friends, but this time was a pleasant surprise. Not only is David O’Brien a genuinely funny and nice human being – his work is just as engaging to be around.

In his ongoing series Human Entropy O’Brien continues to build a collection of mass portraits using a series of hyper-collage diagrams that investigate personal relationships in a truly unique way.   Much in the same way a painter (in the romantic sense of the word) may have many colors on their palette – O’Brien continues to photograph and amass an array of different people/poses as a personal visual vernacular for composing dynamic large-scale photographs.  O’Brien begins establishing the structure of each piece by placing one figure down at a time, and then repeating this process until the work reaches a level of depth and space that serves his aesthetic and conceptual needs.  Patterns begin to organically emerge from these localized interactions between individual forces to create some very compelling images.

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Molly Segal’s Brutal Brush Strokes Of Vulnerable Moments

Brutal, arresting, and violent, Molly Segal’s large format watercolors of hungry, rabid pack animals serve as symbols of both watchers of and participants within pernicious social situations; these scenarios, coupled with paintings of messy, passionate, unleashed sexuality are all depicted using loose, uncontrolled brush strokes, that often leave dripping paint behind. Her watercolors are made on a waterproof paper called Yupo, so before she even beings her process, she has initiated a battle between contradicting mediums. In her statement, she describes how this impacts her work:

“The loose, wet on wet technique of watercolor on Yupo paper helps me explore the ambiguities of our own boundaries. Because Yupo paper doesn’t absorb any of the paint all of the pigment sits on top, vulnerable to the elements and impermanent. The impermanence and vulnerability of the paint itself references the fleetingness of youth and the fluctuating nature of memory.”

Molly Segal is originally from Oakland and is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

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Molly Segal’s Brutal Brush Strokes Of Vulnerable Moments

Brutal, arresting, and violent, Molly Segal’s large format watercolors of hungry, rabid pack animals serve as symbols of both watchers of and participants within pernicious social situations; these scenarios, coupled with paintings of messy, passionate, unleashed sexuality are all depicted using loose, uncontrolled brush strokes, that often leave dripping paint behind. Her watercolors are made on a waterproof paper called Yupo, so before she even beings her process, she has initiated a battle between contradicting mediums. In her statement, she describes how this impacts her work:

“The loose, wet on wet technique of watercolor on Yupo paper helps me explore the ambiguities of our own boundaries. Because Yupo paper doesn’t absorb any of the paint all of the pigment sits on top, vulnerable to the elements and impermanent. The impermanence and vulnerability of the paint itself references the fleetingness of youth and the fluctuating nature of memory.”

Molly Segal is originally from Oakland and is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

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Grady Gordon’s Ghoulish Monotype Prints

 

 

Oakland-based artist Grady Gordon produces ghoulish black and white monotype prints. The knowledge that each image is unique contributes to a  sense that the figures depicted are real. That at any moment they could leave the paper and enter your nightmares. Until this year, Gordon only depicted heads in his work; the full figures definitely amplify the gruesome vibe. But the heads definitely have their appeal as well- leering faces that move in and out of swirling blacks. Gordon is having a solo show in Denver in October. Some of these works will be on view then.

The best way to stay current with the world of Grady Gordon is to follow the dude on instagram @joaquindead. Don’t blame me if you never sleep again though. More full figures and previews of the Denver show after the jump.

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