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. 

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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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Alex Ebstein: Honestly Interesting

Until recently I was unfamiliar with the artist Alex Ebstein, but I am glad to have rectified my lack of awareness.  There is an honesty to Ebstein’s work that I find readily engaging.  The use of yarn or string in an artist’s practice can often shift the aesthetic towards a decidedly crafty end result, but Ebstein manages to use the material with such purpose that it might as well be a drawn line in an architectural blue print.  The effectiveness of the work hinges on her ability to merge direct compositional tactics with a more playful approach to the selected materials.  Ebstein’s use of string also elevates the intentionality of her mark marking, and then quickly reasserts itself as a method of creating illusory depth in what would otherwise be relatively flat pieces.  Taught angular moments combined with purposefully relaxed textures start a visual conversation that I am more than happy to participate in.

I could have just included the ‘eye chart’ pieces because I found them extremely aesthetically pleasing, but the back-story provides a bit of insight that I think most would enjoy.  Think of it as a ‘Director’s Commentary’ for the work.  Courtesy of Miss Ebstein, “…then for the eye chart pieces. They are more of a weird reflection on (and obsession with) eyesight and my existing eye problems that force me to visit the doctor every month. I’ve had four eye surgeries in three years… I am always nervously checking my vision against things, one eye at a time, so these drawings were kind of my own dark humored joke about being an artist and constantly worrying about my vision.”  I am of the belief that ‘going blind’ is one of (if not) the most terrifying things any artist could imagine, and I appreciate the candor with which she addresses what could be an immobilizing reality to those with a more pessimistic outlook on life.  Ebstein will be starting grad school this fall, and I am eager to see how this focused environment will affect her work.  I also encourage anyone interested in contemporary art to check out the consistently interesting programming at Nudashank – a gallery she co-runs with Seth Adelsberger in the Baltimore area.

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Tim Bergstrom & Denise Kupferschmidt @ Halsey McKay

Two of my favorite upcoming artists, Timothy Bergstrom & Denise Kupferschmidt recently opened up solo shows respectively @ Halsey McKay in East Hapmton. Tim brings a new suite of his gluey material paintings that visually imitate sounds, while Kupferschmidt shows a series of studies surrounding a sculptural installation, as well as a lovely mural. Good stuff, more after the jump.

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