Rob Sato’s watercolor paintings are whimsical clashes of documented history and personal dreaming: a magpie pictorial narrative of his own internal processing system or as he says, an “extension of writing” and “sifting through garbage. Getting a lot of trash out of my head.” His ability to condense worlds, communities, and landscapes into one surreal solid depiction, interestingly enough, conceptually harkens back to Vincent VanGogh’s statement on the watercolor medium itself as “a splendid thing” to “express atmosphere and distance, so that the figure is surrounded by air and can breathe in it.”
Matt Rich resides in Boston, where he relies on color theory and a keen eye to develop his collage paintings: a visual cacophony of latex painted sheets cut into shapes then taped together.
Minus a frame or stretcher bars, these pieces surrender to vivid organic forms when pieced together. Sometimes, Rich even paints both sides before piecing, in order to “discover” accidental color pairings when flipping the work over.
Of his collection, Rich hopes viewers and visitors walk away with a poetic experience: “The warm glow of relief after effort or a crisis has been averted. An understanding that life will continue as before, but differently.”
As traditional Middle America and the housing market continues to breakdown, its imagery on the television or in advertising seems to persist, with an eerie commercialized flatness. It is here, in this strange space, where artist Lori Larusso’s work finds its stride.
Of her paintings, Larusso explains: “I am interested in exploring the unavoidable contradictions which exist in our personal (and collective) systems of belief, by pointing to the complexity of individual situations. Very often, our ideals are a reflection of the way we wish things were, rather than a product of the way we actually experience them. I find this conflict to be in direct connection to the representational image.”
It may surprise you to know that these are not real animals – they’re probably most accurately called paintings. Artist Keng Lye brings these aquatic creatures to life by creating layers of resin and alternating them with acrylic paint. Coupled with his expert play of perspective, the fish (and other creatures) seem ultra realistic. Keng Lye has since added three dimensional portions to his ‘paintings’ as can be seen in these first four images, making them seem even more unbelievably alive and real. [via]
Teodora Axente is associated with the Cluj School, a group of Romanian artists making work after the 1989 Revolution, which ended Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime.
There is a dark sense of carousing in her work which examines the question of boredom in a secular world. Left to his or her own devices, Axente’s adult figures conjure up spirits or flights of whimsy in seemingly childlike ways, often seeking solace in shiny and tactile objects such as tinfoil, plastic wrap, or furs. However, translated to a non-secular world, each stroke Axente makes seem satirical or political, consciously examining religion or capitalism.
According to the artist, this dichotomy is the exact intention: “One of my concepts is to transform a real fact into a game . . . It is all about play from my perspective, the playfulness is more than a world of novelty in which everything happens and is reconstituted because of the freedom to act, to think.”
Jason Willome uses a diverse array of materials: acrylic, glitter, rayon flocking, archival pigment transfers, and cement, to expose ephemeral palpitations we, as humans, emote from personal experience, art history, or popular culture.
His portraits, for instance, take inspiration from a tabloid shot of glitter bombed Lindsay Lohan. Willome explains, “It was really beautiful because there was this atmosphere of glitter all around the space of the image, and there were these great cast shadows being projected through the glitter onto Lindsay Lohan, by paparazzi flash bulbs. I thought this would be a wonderful way to create a connection between an image and the surface, to kind of soften the painted illusion, but play into it at the same time.”
Likewise, on a similar note, his “Technology Series” (second, above) further investigates “the atmosphere of the glitter bomb and interpreting atmosphere as paint material.”
For both, what emerges is an airy quote lifted from mainstream media, translated with imagery that avoids the weight of celebrity by embracing another more elusive aura: how everyday abstraction beautifully haunts these spaces we build or share together.
The murals of graffiti artist Peeta definitely, and nearly literally, stand out. Peeta uses a a familiar style peculiar to street art murals and tags. However, using careful perspective and shading, he’s able to create the illusion of depth. His work seems to twist and wind just above the wall’s surface. While Peeta does also create sculptural versions of his street art inspired work, the images featured here are entirely two dimensional. [via]
America artist, Stef Cook has produced a series of wonderful watercolor portraits of men. The subjects are painted in their everyday clothes in profile. Take a look and study those jawlines!