Marcie Oakes’ Soft Explosions

Marcie Oakes is a young painter dwelling in the suburbs of Chicago. Her voluptuous, deeply layered abstractions often reference landscape but can often turn into something un-namable. These explosive images are penned using a wide variety of applications and painting techniques that build a surface that can only be truly appreciated in person. Jump.

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Justin B. Hansch: Girls and Grils

I grew up in rural Indiana, but Justin B. Hansch’s exhibition GIRLS & GRILS gives me a sense of nostalgia for a beach-based coming of age story that I never lived. Hazy memories of lazy days and sexy babes drive the content of the show, and a similarly instinctual application of paint is the perfect pairing for this type of imagery. Tight edged graphic elements punctuate luscious gestural moments with a natural ease. It is clear that Hansch has a solid grasp of what a well-designed painting is capable of.

The exhibition is organized in a Pac-man-esque timeline of girl, grill, girl (and so on) – which allows the paintings to operate individually and collectively as one larger installation. As summer comes to a close GIRLS & GRILS functions as “the last word” from America’s most romanticized season, and a welcome reminder that days like those portrayed will be back again next year with the same casual expectations as years past. The show will be on view at Steve Turner Contemporary until October 6th, and I encourage you to make time for it during these busy opening weeks of the fall gallery season.

P.S. I’ve included a few examples of Hansch’s previous work to give you a more well rounded representation of his practice.

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Emily Hoxworth’s Narrative Worlds

Let’s hop into the mind of Washington DC based artist, Emily Hoxworth. At the core of each of Emily’s pieces, as she states on her portfolio site, is an interest in biology, but specifically the idea that the core of our biological purpose is to reproduce our genetic material. This greater purpose, Emily explains, is a starting point for her explorations which largely take the form of alternative, narrative, worlds. The imagery is a bizarre mashup of mythology, nature, and medical illustrations. The result – a kind of psychedelic series of landscapes and scenes that are very much alien, yet somehow familiar – I like to speculate that these images are akin to the scenery we might experience upon birth. A kind of visual experience that is forgotten upon arrival. Check out more of Emily’s work after the jump.

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The Mystical Dreams and Mythologies of Ryan Samuel Carr

Ryan Samuel Carr is a native artist/illustrator of Ventura, California.  Ryan’s beautiful line work and dreamy figurative elements remain a constant reoccurring theme throughout his extensive body of work.  When I look at Ryan’s work, even if the subject matter is just the roots in a pile of weeds he always seems to capture a rare and very sincere moment only hinting at whatever secrets the particular root, or bed of flowers have to say.  Ryan’s unique line work evokes so much feeling and emotional manifestations.  Ryan shares a bit of his mark making process in this direct quote from the talented young artist himself:

“I think a lot about the ‘immediacy’ of drawing (with ink and pencils), and the individual mark in a moment of time; what that all says…it’s very mystical and meditative for me.”

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Victoria Reynolds’ Scary Paintings of Meat

 

 

It’s obvious that Victoria Reynolds is a skilled artist, but I personally don’t really see why anyone would want one of her paintings in their home or collection. They are scary and seem to promote a kind of negative energy that only a butcher or serial killer could be attracted to. But then again maybe that’s what she’s going for – that niche market of rich collectors who also have rooms full of dead bodies and future victims. (via)

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Sarah Burwash’s Modern Mythology

 

Sarah Burwash‘s watercolors weave elements of the past and the present. Her compositions read like narratives, merging elements of community, tradition, and gender into modern mythologies.  Read More >


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The Subliminal Messages and Minotaurs of Gabrielle Bakker

Gabrielle Bakker is hands-down one of the most skilled painters working today. Formally trained at Yale University, Bakker has the ability to not just reference the great masters of the 19th and 20th Centuries, but also reinterpret their visions through her own unique filter of execution — all while hiding subliminal messages and symbols into each and every painting she creates. You don’t have to look closely at Gabrielle’s paintings, but you’ll want to, since Gabrielle is herself a master of not only skill, but subtext.

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Jimmy Baker, Revisited

Jimmy Baker was featured on B/D in 2009 back when his work consisted mainly of realistically rendered portraits. Since then, his paintings have dramatically changed and, as of recently, moved away from direct representation – from photorealistic landscapes on slick resin coated surfaces from 2010-2011, to abstract figuration using oil and UV ink on canvas.

Baker draws from various contemporary media, mashing news, government conspiracies and political events with celebrity and social media dribble. His process of creating “synthesized content” is researched and extremely labor intensive; as described in an interview with Cincinnati Magazine:

“…you paint a rendering of a digitized sketch, then print a digital image over the painting, then paint the digital print that’s on top of the painting that is itself a version of the original digital image.”

His process sounds rigid, and induces one to envision a cold, obsessively constructed piece, but improvised, thick, painterly strokes contradict this notion.

The contents of the work appear identifiable in parts, but attempts to mentally construct from them a whole proves difficult due to the pieces’ alternating, detailed layers; the fleeting glimpse of recognition compels one to further inquiry.

Baker is represented by New Galerie in France and has exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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