MICA 2012 printmaking grad James Bouché is doing some really dark, meditative work touching on themes of history, death, and decay. Yeah- it’s something we’d like. Bouché’s lithographs and screen prints of desolate wastelands, crumbling artifacts, and dead soldiers hit the tone pretty well. There’s almost like an arcane magic at work here, as though the artist is in touch with the ancient Mayans, transmitting 2012 death knells via ink on paper. But even if such sinister implications are completely imagined, the works’ ability to generate them in the first place is pretty special. But I’m still hoping that James is talking to the Mayans anyway. That’d be pretty cool.
Joseph Parra, who received his BFA in Painting this year from MICA, has started his career with a running start. Back in 2008, he worked with famed architect Richard Gehry as part of HBO’s Masterclass, and last year he completed a solo show at Galerie M in Milwaukee, WI. He distorts portraits of absentminded subjects with unorthodox techniques, employing sand paper and collage. Parra’s charcoal drawings, also figurative in nature, are equally of note. His drawings (like his prints) are ghostly. His figures are presented with little distraction, no context or background. This demonstrates a confidence in his image making. He’s showing us exactly what he wants us to see.
As part of a summer workshop at Duke University’s Center For Documentary Studies, Frith Gowan and Ayanna Seals created a short film about printmaker Bill Fick. The video cuts back and forth between an interview with Fick and footage of the artist’s lino cut process. It’s always great to get a glimpse into a talented artist’s process, but the interview is really insightful as well. Fick, who features monsters and skulls pretty heavily within his work, speaks about what his subject matter might indicate about his personality, his interests, and his response to the world. He never takes himself too seriously though, which is nice to see. Watch the video after the jump. (via)
Brooklyn artist John Breiner never seems to pin himself down to one medium. Whether he’s using watercolor or ink, he always brings a lot of humanity to the table without sacrificing any aesthetic value. Breiner creates work that is really full- both in composition and technique. He’s also pretty heavily involved with music as well. Seems like he’s got too much going on creatively to really be pinned down in any one place. Definitely not something for us to complain about.
Kyle Kogut is a recent graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. His mixed media work often blends technical printmaking techniques with expressionistic, supple applications of paint. Set within a refreshing, distinctive palette, his compositions are full of energy and variation, yet never come off as cluttered or overly busy. This ability to conduct myriad elements within a functioning, harmonious whole works well with his current subject matter- Nature, and organic life. From the artist’s website:
“While impossible to surpass Her, my study of Nature and the phenomenon that is life has been a continuous investigation of organic patterns and forms, stemming both from visual observation and also subconscious mark-making.”
Kogut just closed an exhibition at Philly’s F&N Gallery. Make sure to check out his tumblr.
Alex Valentine is an artist, DJ, teacher, all around awesome guy, and a master of the offset printing medium. Offset printing is a traditionally commercial process somewhere in between digital printing and lithography that uses ink on rubber blankets to transfer images to paper, and is how magazines, cereal boxes, and Red Stripe bottles are produced. Using this process, Valentine creates layered, painterly abstractions that are intuitive and crisp, showcasing his command of color, form and transparency. His recent solo show at Devening Projects + Exhibitions in Chicago, ‘Blonder Tongue Audio Baton,’ borrowed its title from a 1950’s analog graphic equalizer and the title of a Swirlies album. And it makes sense: there’s something about Valentine’s work that indicates a stringent belief in the analog, recalling early 90s record cover design.
Bill McRight, of Philly powerhouse Space 1026, employs gnarly printmaking skills in the creation of images not confined to a place in time. In McRight’s work, Garish figures sans-pupils populate a stark environment of violence, movement, and open mouths containing sharp teeth. But it all looks so good that the reaction of the viewer is inclined toward pleasure rather than pain.
With a name like Daniel Danger, well, a certain excess of awesome is expected of you. Danger delivers. The product of an artistically-inclined family, Danger is an illustrator, printmaker, and musician working out of New England. His works feature mysterious figures wandering the midnight-shaded streets of cities in decay. Spirits rise in unison from old houses and barns where now dreams of daylight lie interred. Shadows loom, larger-than-life (or death?) in urban sprawl and twisted forest alike. Each piece tells its own dark tale.