Daniel Barkley is a Canadian artist whose paintings are at their core reworkings of biblical and mythological stories. Portraying the emotional essence of the dramas, his mostly male subjects display a captivating raw vulnerability.
Carl Melegari explores both the human form and the urban landscape. He primarily focuses on the semi-abstraction within the figure. Often working from life and models, Melegari explores how the physicality of the paint combined with the density of pigment can give a sense of life radiating from the canvas. Through the veils of layers, achieved by continuously accumulating and scraping back the paint, a figure emerges as if to suggest how the sitter itself has become enveloped and partly obscured by the energy of the paint.
Roman Opałka was a French-born Polish painter who painting numbers in horizontal rows, counting from one to infinity. The final number he painted was 5607249. Source: Wikipedia
Clara Adolphs’ portraits are inspired by memories and captured in what might be described as a retro-perspective coupled with a thick impasto technique.
Scottish artist Paul Chiappe creates pencil drawings derived from old photographs. These drawings are meticulously small (some so small that the use of a magnifying glass is required), and upon closer examination, reveal odd smudges and white-outs that seemingly construct distorted versions of the anonymous memories they represent.
Influenced by a hate crime against him and his partner in 2008 at a music festival, Canadian born London-based artist Andrew Salgado (1982) painted bold, largescale figurative paintings that explore psychological states focusing on ideas of sexuality, masculinity and identity.
His current exhibition The Acquaintance at The Art Gallery of Regina moves away from that particular personal history to reveal stories of others in his familiar Baroque influenced style.
For Valerie Hegarty, the joy of her work lies in its destruction rather than its making. Centring her practice on the politics of the American myth, Hegarty’s canvases and sculptures replicate emblems of frontier ethos – colonial furniture, antique dishware, and heroic paintings of landscapes and national figures only to demolish them by devices associated with their historical significance.
Via Saatchi Gallery
Make up artist: Stephanie Neiheisel, Model: Cami Talbot, Photographer: Jesse Erasmus
Canadian artist Linda Vachon creates these intriguing dreamlike pieces of work through
photography, painting and digital manipulation.
Chad Wys, Illinois 1983, explores the idea of “objecthood”: how we decorate our lives with arbitrary as well as meaningful things; how we objectify the ones we love and the strangers we see; how we objectify pain and death; how we objectify complex and sensitive cultural histories. He also questions the concept of “the original”; the basis for his work is created by digitally painting over sections of old Victorian portraits.
“Have I offended the original? Or have I offended the lie of the original? My guess is the original painting was offended the moment its reproduction was created and used in its stead. And because my resultant work is digital in nature, where is it’s original? I’ve spent years studying how different types of paint drip down a canvas. Are those long-gone drips the originals? Or is the original (e.g. the concept) in the my, or my viewer’s, mind? What’s more: does it matter?”
Read the full interview at: The hundred in the hands
Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein (1948) has worked as a painter, photographer, muralist, sculptor, installation and performance artist, using a wide variety of techniques and media. The human condition as his subject matter has emerged and stayed consistent throughout his career. The metaphor for his art, although it included self-portraits, is dominated by the image of the wounded child, scarred physically and emotionally.
Venezuelan artist Benjamin Garcia graduated specialising in illustration for 2d/3d animation before he started to paint full time, which explains his odd combination of influences, coming from comic artist Moebius as well as painter Lucian Freud.
His style is very much inspired by the nebulous and unclear images of the mind and dreams.
Using nothing but charcoal, sandpaper and scalpel blades (the latter two for applying texture), Scottish artist Douglas McDougall creates hyper-realistic portraits with a stunning lifelike
depiction of weathered skin and grey hair.
“My medium is charcoal/graphite on 300gsm Snowdon Cartridge, it’s a combination of drawing/painting/sculpture with a nod towards the discipline of trompe l’oeil; an ongoing
tribute to the classical history of drawing.”
For her project Relics, artist Carrie Witherell uses animals that had a big presence in her childhood as a starting point. The animals each represent a part of her life; a period of time where the animals her parents kept were a backdrop to the memories and emotions she dealt with at the time.
The process itself is based on the simple principle of contact printing. Carrie starts out by drawing an animal form to scale on paper. She studies reference pictures of animal anatomy and skeletal structures, but the final composition is essentially her own. She traces various parts of it onto tracing paper, after which she carefully cuts out all the layers and glues them together. With the complete animal form transformed into a tracing paper negative, she then contact prints it onto paper treated with a self made cyanotype chemistry.
Japanese artist Yu Kawakita (1983) uses natural phenomena, such as the movement of water and vaporisation as her brushes to create her paintings.
Intrigued by the impermanence of life, French artist Stephane Villafane captures its transient nature.
Philippine artist Januz Miralles manipulates his photos in a paint-like manner, seemingly dissolving them.
Swiss artist Andy Denzler (1965) endeavours to fathom the borderlines between fiction and reality. His works are snap-shots of events that take place, blurred, distorted movements, freeze frames.
French artist Philippe Pasqua (1965 Grasse, France) began painting at the age of 18, and explores various techniques in his work, primarily painting, drawing and more recently, sculpture.
The monumental format of the artist’s grand drawings and canvases is dictated by the breadth of his gestures, yet his taste for the monumental goes hand in hand with an attraction towards what is most vulnerable – bodies and faces. They become a halo, mist, smoke, stroke, vibration.
Zhang Haiying’s (1972, Beijing, China) Anti-Vice Campaign series takes as its subject the Chinese government’s recent initiatives in eradicating prostitution and pornography. Executed on monumental scale and in faux social realist style Zhang’s paintings use the devices of propaganda for non-politicised means: his works neither advocate nor criticise illicit activity, but draw from the associated issues of power, exclusion, vulnerability, and perception to create images of emotive discord.
Finding his source material on the internet, Zhang translates photographic images with subtle painterly manipulations to enhance mass media aesthetics and its conflicting messaging. His stylised figures are made to look strangely hyper-real, like computer generated avatars, or celebrities overexposed in paparazzi swarms; women objectified by their equally desirable and degrading portrayal.
Source: Saatchi Gallery
Czech artist Michael Kukla takes his cues from potent acts of nature: cells rapidly dividing, the searing effect of wind, roots pushing through earth, and employs a range of materials to explore form in both two and three dimensions.
In his drawings, he uses hexagonal shapes that can be manipulated into cubes or flattened into endless nets through a subtle shift in mark-making. His sculpture, however, is primarily focused on carving or subtracting material to reveal a hidden structure. He pierces slabs of marble, pieces of slate or laminated plywood to allow holes of light to permeate the form.
“Though the act of carving is nearly the opposite of ‘building’ shapes in my works on paper, the two pursuits inform one another.”
When French artist Pascale Vergeron was invited to exhibit in the lobby of a theater, he became inspired by the everyday theatricality we all carry around with us. The representation of his figures is deliberately androgynous as gender identity is merely a detail and the focus lies primarily on the distraught characters per se.
Tiina Kivinen (1971) started her career by depicting abstract landscapes using the mezzotint method, which is a slow, laboursome process; a subtle rebellion against the haste of modern way of living. The charasteristics of the mezzotint method are a deep, voluptuous black tint. Kivinen’s latest artworks include humans as explorers of her landscapes.
Influenced by the paintings of Toulouise Loutrec, John Singer Sargent, Norman Rockwell, Malcolm Liepke, and Milt Kobayashi, Michael Carson is primarily a figurative artist who likes to tell a story.
“I like the fact that the face can be such a subtle subject and one brush stroke can be the difference in the feel of the entire piece. That gives me the ability to work in one subject matter and still find that I learn something new in every painting.”
Spencer Herr is a self-taught painter from Arizona. His use of layering expresses an interest in the perception of memory. Having grown up in the southwest, Herr is fascinated with rough environments; his work represents this through journalistic portrayals of states of mind, as opposed to landscapes. Herr uses pencil, charcoal, house paint, and acrylics on canvas or birchwood.