Holly Coulis’s still lives and portraits all share an idiosyncratic relationship between background and subject; with their hodgepodge of complex patterns and vibrant color, her paintings combine a witty sense of humor with a deep regard for craft. On top of bright layers of complimentary orange, she arranges people from old photographs, animals, and plants in a flat style reminiscent of Alex Katz. Coulis brings a modern sensibility to traditional modes of representational painting.
Mark Alsweiler has some new work out and it’s just as intriguing as his last. Each piece is eerie, full of color and texture, and references a different time. I love the pilgrim like characters who seem to have wandered into a different dimension. His work shows people doing normal tasks in this disappearing, melting atmosphere. I’m excited to see what’s up next for this talented gent.
The subjects of Ridley Howard’s paintings dwell within a dreamy, still world that seems frozen in time. His figures are executed in simple but believable form; rounded at the edges and in soft focus, they are flawless characters suggestive of stylized CGI on the precipice of the uncanny valley. The scale of his paintings range dramatically, but regardless of size, his work feels intimate and yet enveloping. Abstract nooks of color takes form in between background corners – a crevice painted powder blue behind a man’s neck, a patch of yellow between two lover’s embracing. These details might initially go unnoticed, but the mood they provoke resounds.
Hailing from the Edinburgh College of Art, Sarah Muirhead’s portraits of eccentric strangers conjure an immediate feeling of intimacy. With poignant insight towards her subjects, she offers a sympathetic narrative of their lives by meshing together scraps of the subject’s environment and superficial appearance; these carefully selected details are window dressing compared to the clarity of soul that is depicted. A beer bottle, patch of leopard fabric, facial wrinkles around the eyes, brick with graffiti, a strip of red fence, bodies covered with tattoos – each have their place within the individual’s story. The subject’s gaze is often to the side and aloof; however, this does not prevent the viewer from being captivated. Beautifully painted in acrylic on canvas and board, Sarah’s paintings are compelling representations of passersby easily forgotten in everyday life.
Artist Federico Pietrella was born in Rome and now lives and works in Berlin. His work gives new meaning to the term… “time-based media,” using time and date stamps (you know, the kind from libraries) to compose his artwork. Check out a good sampling after the jump.
Greg Mamczak’s painted worlds are fascinating storybooks with a creepy calm air. I’m completely drawn in to see the different parts of his scenes, and explore the eerie feeling they exude. Each painting has so much in it, but still leaves ample room for imagination. His scenes range from people participating in what looks like cult worship, to every day scenes centered around exploration and discovery. Whatever is behind these creations, it’s peaked my curiosity. Have a look…
Carly Waito’s paintings are so crystal clear you have to look twice to make sure they’re not photos. They’re all oil paintings on panel and I’ve gotta say, this is one girl who has surely mastered her craft. She’s picked such interesting gems as subjects, and represents them flawlessly. I’m just as enamored with every new one I see as I was with the one before. She exhibits with Narwhal Art Projects in Toronto, Canada, if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, I’m sure they’re breathtaking in person.
Jennifer Davis is a painter based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota with, among other things, a great color palette, mixing muted hues with more vibrant pops of pink and yellow. Her paintings are delightfully quirky too. I mean, have you ever seen a skeleton wearing striped toe socks, or a purple goat sporting a multi-colored sweater? Well, you and I have now.