Congratulations to the artists who have been selected for publication in FreshPaintMagazine International Issue 14, August 2016! … Keep Reading
I was born in Naples and now I live and work in Milan.
I have a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering.
On the canvas I investigate space and time, searching for a temporary escape from the common sense of reality. This is an arbitrary creation of human mind, it’s the reification of the mass of sensory experiences with whom we explore it.
I portray house interiors, people are caught while busy in searching for themselves. Space, like consciousness does, conceals gloomy areas.
We live so fleeting in places, leaving traces of life in Time’s flow, and this way we look for ourselves running behind us in the flowing of events. My painting is an attempt to stop time and during suspension, calling our knowledge into question, to give us the opportunity to investigate metaphorically new places of our existence, re-interpreting, analyzing and getting deeper knowledge of the space and time we’re living in.
“In the spring of 2015, I was assaulted by a stranger on my walk home from the gym. I was left unconscious on the street with a severe concussion, broken jaw and sinus, and shattered tooth. The assailant was never brought to justice.
“When A Man Decides to Hurt You” is not only an attempt for me to process the event, but it is also an examination of the profound physical and emotional impact of violence in America, particularly against women.
I juxtaposed watercolors with explosive fabric patterns; a pairing that is meant to both agitate the eye and champion more “feminine” media. They are framed in traditional Americana patterns, a reminder that mine is an unexceptional American story. We live in a society where physical, sexual, and emotional violence against women is commonplace, and violence stemming from poverty, racial injustice, and lack of support for those struggling with their mental health is part of our everyday landscape.
These paintings document one story in a sea of stories. I hope it leads us to a confrontational conversation: what is happening here in America? What role are we all playing in the systemic nature of violence? And what are we actively doing to stop it? “
July 22, 2016 – August 20, 2016 at Paradigm Gallery
There is a stillness as a front gathers at the northern end of the lake – a calm. The clouds gather. The light becomes brilliant then dark. The wind curls itself into a directed force. The rain comes.
There is a reckless beauty in the garden as a tulip stretches to obscene heights to capture the sun, lolling its petals as wide open as possible on their loosening connections to the burdened stem.
There is a captivating mystery in the photographs of our ancestors, smiling out of family portraits, smiling out and through our own DNA.
These are my moments of captivation. These are the kinds of experiences in my world that engage my attention and allow me to experience most fully my inner and outer self.
So then, these are the sources for my paintings. These are among the things that prompt in me honest self reflection – honest connection to what it feels to be most fully present wherever I am at the time.
I paint because I want to see this experience of connection to self in plastic form. I paint because I enjoy the manipulation of paint and how that process in itself contributes to the life and form of the final image.
If I can then allow the viewer the same experience of a moment – whether it is an affinity with my experience or one wholly their own – then I have succeeded.
Whether my image is an abstraction or a landscape, the intention remains the same. Can I manipulate the shapes, space, surface, and color to recreate a “landscape” that can find a shared sense of the beauty and poignancy of memories – of states of mind- of connections between us all?
Cara Guri holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University and has completed a residency in painting at Columbia University. She has received numerous awards and scholarships for her work, including the Takao Tanabe Scholarship, the Brissenden Award, and the Bishop’s Prize in Fine Arts. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and New York, NY. She lives and works in Vancouver, BC.
What inspired your latest body of work?
I draw inspiration from closely observing and reimagining the familiar. I am fascinated by how painting enables me to visually engage with and memorize the small intricacies of people and objects from my daily experience while creating a new narrative. My interest in the familiar also extends to the canonical works from Western Art History and the ambivalent position I occupy in relation to them. In many senses I see my current body of work as chronicling both the adoration and the criticality I feel towards the symbolism and conventions of these paintings. I take a traditional symbol, icon or specific historical work and reinvent it with objects and people from my daily surroundings in a manner that deliberately also alters its original meaning. I’ve always been interested in how the message of ideas and images changes with time and interpretation. The idea of translation – from historical symbolism to subjective iconography – is of great interest to me. Translation has a transformative power: meaning shifts, distorts and grows into something new.
Describe your creative process. Where do the images that you are manipulating come from and how are they transformed?
My creative process varies depending on the type of piece I am making. Sometimes, I want my paintings to reference a very specific historical artwork. Alternately, I think more generally about the aims of historical portraiture and play with methods to disrupt its typical intention. I find most of the images I manipulate in books of Western historical painting or by searching museum collections.
At times, I paint directly from a still life created by crumpling up or altering a printed image of a historical artwork. I generally select several historical paintings that touch on ideas or concepts that I want to manipulate. I will then create cutouts of the figures from a printed copy and experiment. Typically, I print several versions of the same image and subsequently explore different methods of altering it, such as crumpling, folding, tearing, cutting, etc. When I find a 3D visual arrangement I like, I create some sketches to work out my composition before proceeding with the painting. I have also used this process on found and family photographs that are subsequently folded and painted as a still life arrangement.
Alternatively, I think about the conventions, iconography and symbolism in a particular historical piece or group of pieces and consider how these subjects or objects can be replaced or ‘translated’ into my reality with alternate or contrasting stand-ins. These new objects may roughly correlate to the devices used in the historical work or may stand in direct opposition to them. For example, I have recently been working on a painting of my mother with various drinking glasses stacked in front of her. The idea for this work came from a desire to translate the conventions behind Velázquez’s “The Rokeby Venus” into a reality that I found more relatable while also inevitably communicating something new. I chose to substitute an iconic goddess for the very familiar figure of my mother. Instead of reclining she is seated upright. I traded mirror glass for drinking glasses that in part distort and obscure rather that foreground the subject. She is clothed rather than nude. The distortions visible in my painting are quite literally the distortions I observed reflecting in the glass itself, and are not to idealize the figure or to make the mirror reflection more visible as in “The Rokeby Venus”.
On occasion, I choose not to reference specific work, but instead play with the aims and conventions of many traditional portraits and figurative works. Most often, historical portraits were made to glorify an important subject or to portray idealized classical or religious figures according to particular stylistic conventions. I will instead select ordinary and familiar subjects from my immediate environment, the most mundane of which being myself. I like to play with the conventions of posing, ornamentation and the staged nature of portraiture. I am interested in creating carefully rendered portraits of subjects who in some capacity are both concealing something from the viewer while highlighting something else. I like to call attention to features less frequently focused on in great detail such as ears, hands and feet. In many historical paintings, faces were highly rendered and hands were left looser and less detailed. I like to contradict this hierarchy by giving everything in my paintings an equal level of attention and by foregrounding features that are typically less noticed. Even for myself I find it fascinating how few details I had really internalized about the people and objects I grew up around until I had painted them. I now feel better acquainted with the scratches on my childhood drinking glasses and the subtle contours of my mother’s nose.
I prefer to complete my paintings with as much direct observation from life as possible. In terms of technical process, I always start with a series of small thumbnail sketches to determine my composition. I build my paintings slowly up over many layers to allow myself adequate time to feel as though I have internalized the subject.
Describe a perfect day in the studio.
My favorite days in the studio are long days with no interruptions. I love getting started early and having a full day ahead of me. I tend to have the most creative energy when I am either starting something new or in the very final stages of a painting.
What artists are you inspired by?
I am inspired by many contemporary and historical painters such as, Vija Celmins, Ellen Altfest, Michaël Borremans, Philip Akkerman, Mark Tansey, Vermeer, Hans Holbein, Jan Van Eyck, Vilhelm Hammershøi.
You mention you derive images from Western art history. Who are a few of your favorite masters and works of art?
I have so many favorites it is difficult to make a concise list. To name a few, I love Jan Van Eyck, Hans Holbein, Rembrandt and Vermeer. I’m captivated by Dutch Golden Age painting, in particular the still life works. I’ve also always been drawn to Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Holbein’s The Ambassadors and Velázquez’s Las Meninas. However, I find that the works I typically end up painting are not necessarily my favorites, but rather works that I am drawn to but also experience a disconnect from.
What do you hope the viewer takes away from your work?
I try not to be very attached to having the viewer derive a particular reading from my work, but rather hope that they have their own subjective encounter with it. While I do have specific intentions behind my paintings, because my practice is largely about exploring how meaning shifts with interpretation, I enjoy the idea of the viewer deriving their own meaning from the works and continuing that translation – like the children’s game of telephone.
What are you favorite activities when you are not in the studio.
I devote most of my time to my art practice, but when I am not in the studio I spend a fair bit of time reading and researching. I also study opera and have recently taken up swing dancing.
I am originally from London however I have recently graduating from Brighton University with a First Class Bachelor of the Arts (Honours) in Fine Art Painting. I have also been included in the Woon Foundation Prize at the BALTIC 39 in Newcastle where I was awarded the judge discretionary prize.
I see my works as fictitious predictions of an aftermath or dystopian realities. I am heavily inspired by the notion that nothing is truly natural anymore, particularly focusing on the idealised concept of a jungle paradise that is close to becoming an extinct mythology. I include hints of contemporary such as sports gear pointing to the man made helping ground the dream like scenes in reality.
Phyllis Gorsen received her Masters of Fine Art from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2014. She has shown her paintings extensively throughout the Philadelphia region and has received several honors for her work. Many of her paintings in are in collections including the Camden County Historical Commission. She currently works out of her studio located in Philadelphia.
I have painted in several styles and mediums over the years, primarily in figurative, collage and abstract work.
In my recent paintings, I focus on how the commonality of shared patterns connects people together.
I explore this through a duality of abstraction and representation. The abstraction comes in the form of vibrant and dynamic geometric compositions that upon further exploration reveals elements of the familiar and commonplace. I consider these representational components; some are recognizable and others that are symbolic interpretations of various facets of the human experience such as language, technology, spirituality, environment, culture, etc. These components are surrounded and injected with the strong lines on the canvas which bridge and connect them together, illustrating how these elements form a shared, communal bond.
Each acrylic painting starts with an underpainting of various hues. I carefully plan and create passages with lines and space to achieve a sense of swirling connectivity. I then incorporate either symbolic patterns or representational images of the chosen elements. These multi-canvas geometric designs are intended to move the eye using energetic patterns, movement and vibrancy. My titles also play an important role in telling the story of each piece. My hope is that viewer is captivated by the visual allure of the surface to allow for a slow unveiling of the meaning of the work.
Estabrak is an Iraqi blooded former child refugee, Iran born, London raised Visual Artist and Filmmaker currently based between Muscat, Oman & London, UK.
With an arts background in Central Saint Martins and a Masters in film & media
production, she is both by nature & nurture; a storyteller.
Often lead by emotions, particular interest lies in honest approaches to silenced socio-political realities usually explored through progressive, multidisciplinary ways of storytelling.
Previous works have found themselves showcased on an international basis in such places as New York, Dubai and Berlin, along the way exhibiting at Royal Academy of Arts, & TATE Britain, London, UK.
She has been a part of some pioneering projects such as ‘Imagine Art After’ and has had her work presented to the UN as well as having been commissioned and supported by numerous organisations including ‘The Helen Tetlow Memorial Fund’, ‘Red Bull Oman’ and ‘The Alserkal Cultural Foundation’.
2015 saw Estabrak present her first multidisciplinary solo show entitled ‘Consciousness’ which, selected works, went on to be exhibited in Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Saudi Arabia and London, UK. Currently her award winning (Art Jameel Photography Award 2015, 2nd place) , limited edition, photographic series ‘Omanis Under Water‘ (OUW) has been selected for the up coming Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2016 in London. This too a part of ‘Consciousness’. She is hoping to continue creating her global underwater series over the next coming years.
Recently she was supported by ‘Mawa3eed Travel Grant’ to partake with a project in Morocco with her unique style of storytelling; LPP (Live.Projection.Painting) where she uses her multidisciplinary techniques to paint films to life, live. She presented ‘Tales of the Mother tongue’ at her first Biennale; The 6th Marrakesh Biennale 2016 (MB6), which has recently gone on to tour in Venice/Italy and Brighton/UK.
She helped create this process (LPP) back in 2012 along with her all female London collaborative; Thre3 Strokes. Since 2014 she has been developing & working on her solo collection of LPPs internationally, bringing this unique art form to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Omanis Under Water. Limited edition photographic seriesOmanis Under Water. Limited edition photographic seriesOmanis Under Water. Limited edition photographic seriesOmanis Under Water. Limited edition photographic seriesOmanis Under Water. Limited edition photographic series‘IQRA’ , Watercolour on Watercolour paper‘Pretense’ , Mixed Media on Canvas
‘Transcend’ , Mixed Media on Canvas‘Enigma’, Oil on Canvas‘Conciousness’, Oil on Linen
I am an Edinburgh based artist. Born in Cork City rep. of Ireland I graduated from the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork City, Rep. of Ireland with a degree in Fine Art Painting. I have exhibited in many galleries including Ireland, Scotland and London. I have shown work at The London Art Fair with the Compass Gallery. I have taken part in an International Art Symposium/residency in Lithuania. I had a solo exhibition at Attic Salt Gallery, part of the EAF 2008. I was shortlisted for the National Open Competition 2015. Shortlisted for the Wilson Williams Gallery Solo Award 2016. My work is in the collection of the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork City.
My current practice often relies on the counterplay of presence and absence. This has been realized through the actual depiction of the figure from behind. A reflection of detachment and attachment at once felt or not.
This conscious decision to explore an alternative aspect to the figure is an attempt to objectify the subject and give a viewer more freedom to interpret. Perhaps as a voyeur we are invited to watch the one who is unaware.
The genesis of the work comes about from the found or stumbled upon image. I do not work from life or particular individuals as my intention is more engaged with the ‘everyman’. I build up a bank of imagery from which I dip in and out of looking for a kind of awkward tension mixed with a beauty of form and shape as the starting point. From there every work takes on its own condition of being – vulnerability, sexuality, humour, anxiety and marvel, and is once more removed and detached from its original intention.
The very act and process of painting is itself a metaphor for the conditions I try to create – complete immersion, emotion and detached analyzing.
In essence I am trying to grasp a state of being, to coerce it into existence through the physicality of the medium of paint.
Valerie Savchitz was born to a Russian-speaking family near the Baltic Sea in Latvia in 1993. She graduated from the University of Salford in 2016 with a degree in Visual Arts. Artist’s work mainly explores ideas of identity and reversed aesthetics or beautiful ugliness as well as issues and struggles of the post-soviet generation. Guided by the dada, trans avant-garde and neo-expressionist movements, she intentionally adds mistakes and imperfections to her paintings. Savchits exhibits her work nationally and internationally and has been also shortlisted for The Jackson’s Art Prize 2016. Her work appeared on a digital display at Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery, and in printed format at the Uniqlo in London. Some of artist’s work has also been featured at the Guardian and in several art magazines.
I received my Bachelors degree in studio art from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MFA in Painting from the University at Albany. My work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country. I’ve been featured in publications such as 100 Painters of Tomorrow published by Thames & Hudson, The Huffington Post, Seattle’s City Arts, LUXE, New York Times, Fabrik, and Apogee magazines. I am a recipient of the 2015 NYFA fellowship in painting and the 2015 Emerging Artist Award recipient from the Art Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. I also sit on the board of Collar Works, a not-for-profit, artist run gallery and exhibition space that showcases challenging exhibitions monthly in the Capital Region of New York.
Investigation into my own inherent interest in organic form and color is what drives my art-making. These inquiries come from a desire to create abstract images that serve to replace feelings, ideas and other unseen phenomenon into densely colored abstractions. The continual organic nature of my work stems from contemplations on human beings and our relationship to organic matter. I approach composition centrally on paper, creating bodies in space that are frontal to the viewer, examining ways of yielding formal variety. I consider these bodies as presented cross-sections, revealing otherworldly realms inside that are reminiscent of a variety of sources such as: natural organisms, psychedelic patterns and early modern abstraction. My animations allow me to further these dissections as I capture macro shots of my paintings and manipulate them into small stop-motion videos. These videos feed the paintings in terms of inventiveness and allow me to create conversations that address tensions between flatness/depth, containment/expansion, and handmade/digital.
Erika Stearly is a painter based in Pennsylvania. After earning a BFA from Kutztown University and a MFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she served as the Emerging Artist in Residence at Penn State University in 2015.
My paintings feature furniture and other household objects as a way to contemplate abstraction and representation. As their titles suggest, these paintings depict actual residences. These paintings balance an impulse to faithfully render the objects in these spaces against the emphasis on the hand of the artist. The coexistence of abstraction and representation, along with the liminal hybrid of the two, serve to orient the viewer, inviting them to construct their own narrative of the scene.
Work that accompanies this artist statement can be found here.
I work in my studio at Philadelphia’s Crane Old School. Born in Detroit MI, I currently live with my family in Bucks County, PA.
For several years, I have worked on five, sometimes overlapping, bodies of work that lead me from figuration to marine painting and ultimately abstraction in various forms. I categorize the work according to underlying derivational impetuses. To me, art is a circular journey and everything is fair game for a painting!
Shape, color, space, line Collaborate with a subject Track its every move
Observe the subject
It could be anything really Collaborate with a subject
Track its every move Translate into form Research the subject
Map movements in space
Retreating to silence Searching for semblance
Passage caught in time Meaning rendered cryptic Twist, turn, interrupt
Jed Williams was born in Philadelphia in 1975 and grew up in Paris, France; he is a French and American citizen and now lives in Philadelphia, USA. He graduated from the University of the Arts (BFA in Painting and Drawing, 2000) and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Certificate in Painting, 2005), both located in Philadelphia. He now works on his art, shows regularly and since 2005 owns/operates Jed Williams Gallery, where he shows and promotes local contemporary artists in different media, as well his own art and art process.
Jed works on his images in different kinds of media: oil paint, acrylic, mixed media. He always seeks to make his images as intense as possible, through his use of color, shape and line, trying to convey the struggles and joys of his experience of life in a mysterious yet heartfelt artistic exploration. He is on a fundamental level an abstract painter who has in much of his work integrated elements of the human figure and especially the human face into his work; these elements represent touchstones of meaning or significance balancing out the pure exploration of color, line and different types of marks Jed dives into. Jed’s purely abstract paintings, and especially those done in the past year, always start out from a visual/graphic reaction to images referencing the human figure; through this method the artist seeks to keep an element of figuration in his process leading to the expression of intense human states of mind and emotions.
Paradigm Gallery and Antler Gallery are excited to present a co-curated group exhibition which spans two themes and two cities, with an opening reception on each coast. Both galleries invited 16 artists, asking them to make two pieces tackling the themes of Growth and Decay.
We live in a time when progress and destruction — physical, economic, and sociological — seem to go hand in hand. This theme opens up space to consider the binary nature of the world we live in. The theme was selected as we felt it was universal enough to be explored by the vast majority of artists yet also offered a distinct duality which fulfills the desire to open different shows in each city. Both aspects of the theme needed to be cohesive with the other but also be able to stand alone as its own show in isolation, as all of the “Growth” works will be on display in Philadelphia at Paradigm Gallery and all of the “Decay” works will be on display at Antler Gallery in Portland, with openings less than one week apart. The works may be viewed as stand alone pieces, but many also serve as diptych works.
For us, this dual city exhibition collaboration is a way to bring the artists we work with to a new city and gallery and a new audience in tandem with colleagues that we know and trust. The ultimate goal is an expanded reach and increased exposure for all of the artists/parties involved.
The relationship between Paradigm and Antler began two years ago, predicated by the fact that we both work with a handful of the same artists. Caitlin McCormack, Drew Leshko, and Jeremy Hush are among the Philadelphia-based artists who exhibit with both spaces. Upon meeting, however, we realized that this commonality extends beyond overlap in the artists on our rosters. Both galleries started in humble, small spaces before moving to larger premises, both galleries are co-owned by a male/female team and both galleries share an ethos about curation and art collection which is sincerely artist forward.
Since becoming acquainted we have frequently shared experiences and advice across a wide range of subjects in support of one another. It seemed natural that we would want to work together in a more substantial and collaborative way. This show is the result of that desire to combine forces.
Featuring Artwork by:
Jeremy Hush • Brin Levinson • Michael Bukowski • Susannah Kelly • Jeanne D’Angelo • Brian Mashburn • Paul Romano • Jon MacNair • Caitlin McCormack • Josie Morway • Katherine Fraser • Keith Carter • Drew Leshko • Morgaine Faye • Luke O’Sullivan • David Rice • Alex Eckman-Lawn • Christina Mrozik • Amze Emmons • Zoe Keller • Sean Talamini • Miranda Meeks • Nick Pedersen • Susanne Apgar • John Slaby • Neil M. Perry • Clint Tillman Reid • Jennifer Parks • Jason Chen • Casey Weldon • Michelle Avery Konczyk • Gosia
I create paintings inspired by the overgrown landscape and rich culture of the Southeastern United States. I am compelled by Southern storytelling, folklore, and the rural landscape. Having grown up on a fourth-generation farm in New Jersey, my attachment to place, family, and narrative is strong. As an outsider living in the South, I draw inspiration from my current surroundings, and I view the Deep South as a distinct place, rooted in tradition with a dark and complicated history. With deep appreciation and curiosity, I am haunted by the South’s mystery and beauty, which I appropriate in my work.
I collage my paintings from memory, found images, and personal photographs taken throughout Florida and the Deep South. I create an image by building thin washes of oil paint to different levels of completion, leaving specific areas of the painting undeveloped in order to show my process and add mystery to the work. These scenes are meant to feel voyeuristic as if the viewer is looking into a private moment. In my paintings, clear, reflective pools turn abandoned and overgrown. Stained washes reveal figures swimming in the murky waters of a swampy hot spring. Shallow layers of tinted foliage foreground haunting figures. These allegorical scenes explore nature and biology on a primal level through the traditions of representational figure and landscape painting. Looking through the overgrowth is a metaphor for navigating modern life and examining who we are in the context of the world. I am interested in the visual language of emotion, our non-verbal experiences. Staging narrative through painting allows me to create an image in which body language and mood convey a quiet rambling inspired by the South.