The visions of Mario Martinez (also aptly known as MARS-1) seem to either be extraterrestrial or drug induced. His large scale paintings hold to very realistic perspective. However, there the realism breaks down. Geometric shapes, organic like growths, and strange lighting effects intertwine to form one complex mass on his canvas. Martinez’ work seems to depict something between living and synthetic, not quite landscapes or creatures. Check out his website to seem some similarly styled sculptural work.
Even through a computer screen Tauba Auerbach‘s work is wonderfully confusing. To answer the question that you may likely be asking right now: Yes, these are paintings. Auerbach folds, rolls, crinkles, and otherwise manipulates the canvas prior to stretching it. She then sprays it with various colors of acrylic paint from different angles. The resulting paintings are definitely two-dimensional work. The process, though, produces an extremely realistic three-dimensional effect, as if the painting were indeed folded and wrinkled then lit by colored lights.
The work of St. Petersburg born artist Ekaterina Panikanova makes use of our complex relationships with books. She mounts books on the gallery wall, splayed and aligned. Panikanova use the collective surface of these books as her perculiar ‘canvas’. Like the ink and paper filling the books’ pages, her paintings are often black and white. In a way, the pieces carry an air similar to old books. They have a subtle atmosphere of nostalgia, of a recording and remembering. [via]
The paintings of Korean artist KwangHo Shin are most certainly portraits. Though they depart from many of the elements of typical portraits they’re instantly recognizable as such. Shin uses charcoal to build the underlying structure – parts resembling hair, neck, shoulders, and ears. The faces aren’t so much painted as formed by gobs of oi paint. Hints of facial features such as eyes and noses may be ambiguously implied in each piece. However, its really the inner person Shin is after, the echoes of which linger for a moment on the face.
Margaret Nomentana’s nonrepresentational art demonstrates a fascinating balance between emotionality and restraint. Often working in a spontaneous manner, and sometimes working on several paintings simultaneously, her imagery reflects moments of clarity, caught in the act of vision and revision. Whether it’s collage or acrylic painting, her gestures evoke “abstract landscapes of the mind” or terse conversations with color and movement.
Of her own artistic desires, Nomentana states, “My strong minimalist impulse is tempered with a dry sense of humor, irony, and in spite of everything, a powerful sense of hope. Alma Thomas is my hero.”
Artist Fabienne Rivory combines photography, collage, and painting in her work. She often blends two images of landscapes or scenes by bisecting and combining them as if they were reflections of one another. A touch of gouache paint is then digitally added to the photos and completes each of her pieces. The effect on the landscapes is a bit disorienting but familiar. Her work doesn’t seem to document places or times as much as it documents a feeling. The bold color of the gouache contrasts against the black and white landscapes, each pulling something out of the scene, each evoking something different. [via]
The paintings of artist Charlotte Caron explores both the ancient tendency to humanize animals and the dreams of humans to transform into animals. Caron’s acrylic paintings of animal faces are set on the photographed portraits of people as if they were masks. The people of the photographs not only assume the appearance of the animals, but nearly seem to exude corresponding personalities. The hawk seems harsh, the fox mischievous the deer gentle. The literal anthropomorphizing of animals in the paintings emphasizes how this figuratively takes place. Caron also underscores the contrast between human and animal, and perhaps by extension civilized and animalistic, by also contrasting photography and painting.
Swedish artist Camilla Engman sets a calm yet subtle eerie scene of anxiety in her paintings. For instance, a human figure’s face might appear muddled, transforming the safety of a serene woodland setting while the role of a baby or pet might be replaced with a ghosty genderless blob . . . in the most mundane everyday afternoon way.
These instances of nonchalant marring touch on our own youthful fears of masks and humanoids– or “things” that resemble humans, but deceitfully, are not humans. Think Freddy or Jason. Luckily, Engman’s world does not linger too long in these dreadful places. If we mediate on all the images collectively, we start to see her illustrated society as one where such transmutations cross over beyond the weird and into the norms of a progressive accepting society.
Of her craft, Engman states, “For me, the working part has always been more important then the finished artwork. I love to work – paint/draw/cut. But I also have to admit I don’t like to work in vain. So I have to either learn something or to like the finale. In that way this way of creating never fails me. Something always happens. Be aware, there are no shortcuts though. I have to start from the beginning and work myself through it. With an open mind and eye, and with no judgement.”