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.
Clara Adolphs’ portraits are inspired by memories and captured in what might be described as a retro-perspective coupled with a thick impasto technique.
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
Canadian artist Linda Vachon creates these intriguing dreamlike pieces of work through
photography, painting and digital manipulation.
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.
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.
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.
Artist Alex Kanevsky’s intriguing paintings seem to capture the dynamics of time rather than a specific moment and drag the viewer into a mysterious world.
As a witness to the Cultural Revolution, Zhu Yi Yong shows us the Chinese “collective memory” and challenges us to think again of what the “Red Five Star” symbol means today. A perfect contradiction, the innocence of the children, but each one holding the powerful symbol of China. Via Art Square
Greek artist Fotini Hamidieli lived and studied in the U.S. and Italy. She now lives in Greece where she paints and teaches art lessons.
“The bodies that are coming out in my work now are more abstract and their surface is uneven, dug up. I have an idea of what I want to do, an idea of the structure. I don’t know exactly where I’m going, just want to keep pushing my work further to keep discovering.”
Japanese artist Tsuyoshi Imamura creates alluring images with seemingly minimal strokes.
Australian artist Rachel Coad creates hauntingly enchanting portraits…
French artist Sylvie Guillot (1972, Paris) started drawing in criminal courts, which in her view was the best drawing school imaginable; with just that element of urgency to get straight to the heart of the matter and produce a drawing that bears witness and shows emotions. Over the years her work has gradually focused more on the human figure, particularly the nude.
“I like the ideas of tension and movement, using compositions where the body seems either to stretch, to fall or to huddle up. I also like to emphasize the tension within the body by drawing contorted torsos, sharp shoulders or strong and nervous hands.”
When American artist Leah Yerpe captures her models twisting, floating and falling on a ground she sees them transformed from free individuals into symbolic figures. The influence of mythology is often hinted at in the titles, though her work is not a direct illustration of the stories.
Italian artist, Nicola Samori intensely disfigures his Renaissance influenced paintings using a palette knife, a scalpel, paint or his hands.
“I like taking the image to a breaking point, putting its form into danger. My work stems from fear: fear of the body, of death, of men. I think my nature as an artist is something like feeling hopeless. Works are just temporary shelters and painting is a leisure place where you can conceal yourself.” Quote via Huffington post
Evasion is a series of large-format paintings by Portuguese artist Pedro Batista. His figures fade into motion seemingly captured for just a moment in time.