Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Artist 50: George Morton-Clark

George Morton-Clark is a contemporary figural painter. His work, which contains abstract and non-objective elements, attempts to "deconstruct" his perspective on the world to show the necessary truths of human society. According to his artist statement, his art specifically explores the pressures we place on society and vice-versa. Utilizing vibrant colors and distorted figures, he accomplishes just that.
What I like most about his work is that his heavy use of distortion makes for characters that are incredibly emotionally charged. Despite his reluctance to portray detailed or explicit facial expressions, his figures display true human emotion in a way that is both distinct and indescribable. One does not need to look at his work long to be overwhelmed by this aura. The fact that he creates these moods with less visual information adds even further to the effect.

His website may be found here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Artist 49: Nicholas Simmons

Nicholas Simmons is a contemporary watermedia artist currently residing in Washington D.C. A native of Iowa, Simmons has studied under significant watercolorists such as Barbara Nechis and Valfred Thelin. According to his website, his subject matter is defined as a "dazzling mix of figures juxtaposed with printed lettering, graffiti, Japanese block prints, neon lights, reflections, and lavish corners of nature.
  The ultimate result is an aesthetically pleasing collage. While thematic elements and concepts appear ambiguous or nonexistent (similar to maggie taylor's work) there is a lot to see and appreciate.

Particularly, my favorite two aspects of his work are his pieces' texture and composition emphasis. Despite using watercolor, his work has a vibrancy of color and texture that is characteristic of paint or pastel. It is a welcome change to see a bridge between these two diverse mediums. Additionally, his work consistently has well-balanced compositions. The relationship between positive and negative space is always artfully delineated.

His website may be found here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Artist 48: Jenny Oeleis

Jenny Oeleis is a contemporary abstract figurative painter and sculptor. Similar to the impressionists, her paintings are largely composed of broad erratic strokes which capture the feeling of the composition rather than a direct copy. Where she breaks out of the impressionist mold is in her use of unnatural colors, which are typically heavily saturated and bright. Her sculptures, on the other hand, emulate the human form with more accuracy but certainly exaggerate and distort. They are composed of plaster and ceramics. According to her artist statement, she seek a dichotomy of tension and fluidity through the use of vivid color that expresses what one's perceived emotions are at that given moment in time. 

What I like most about her work is that it expresses so much with so little detail. Her art is mechanically very simple. However, it surges with emotion in such a way that a single glance allows it to give a powerful impact. Additionally, all of her work is representational yet abstract, which allows for a great degree of visual recognition and emotion at the same time. Indeed, she delicately brings a perfect balance of the two with her work, both sculptural and painting.

Her website may be found here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Artist 47: Pnina Granirer

Pnina Granirer is contemporary Canadian mixed media figural artist. After studying at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem, she traveled the world studying, eventually settling down in Canada. Her style may be defined as erratic, dynamic, highly textural and abstract. However, in all of her works, figures are the clear focus. They are representational yet also slightly abstracted and distorted. According to her website, she presents the body at the center stage while also dealing with themes such as man's relationship with technology and the dichotomy of male and female.
What I like most about her work is that she is so free with her use of texture and brush strokes. Some may view this style as unrefined or "sketchy" but I see it as a purer form of art that reflects more of the intuition of the artist rather than the cold meticulous articulation of her hand. I'm also smitten with her work comparing man with their technological counterparts. The clash of organic and synthetic has always been an interesting theme for me..

Her website may be found here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Artist 46: Antoine de Villiers

 Antoine de Villiers is a contemporary american figurative painter. A frequent traveller, Antoine has studied numerous styles and art movements from around the globe, paying special attention to incorporating her learnings into her work. Having been exhibited in over 60 exhibitions around the world, her figure works have certainly gained fame as a result of this. Her style may be defined as realistic yet containing abstract elements. According to her artist statement, her artwork attempts to break down reality to its most "barebones" essentials and reconstruct it so that it may illustrate a new perspective.

I'm really fond of the approach she takes. While her artwork is clearly representational, it has lots of unnatural texture and vibrant color. Some times her figures appear hyper-realistic; other times they are distorted and strange. Her painting style, however, is consistent throughout her entire body of work. Each of her paintings utilize similar dynamic lighting and texture. Overall, she has quite a unique perspective on figurative art.

Her website may be found here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Artist 45: Christy Lee Rogers

Christy Lee Rogers is a contemporary figural painter. Similar to the art of the Baroque period, Rogers's work is rife with dynamic poses, chiaroscuro, and tenebrism. What separates her art from other baroque works, however, is her widespread use of distortion and abstraction, which is accomplished by adding a high amount of organic line and curves. The result is almost similar to looking at a figure through water. It is hazy and unclear, but at the same time brimming with emotion.

My personal favorite aspect of her work is that her paintings are often borderline abstract but still convey a clear idea of a figural composition. With much of abstract work, it's hard to figure out what is really going on; what it represents and so forth. With Rogers work, however, it is clear despite the haze of her brushwork. The principles of light that govern her art allows the viewer to instantly recognize a figure. The shapes that enshroud it and the distortion of the form pull away but not so much that the representation is lost. She strikes a perfect balance between abstraction and representation.

Her website may be found here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Artist 44: Costa Dvorezky

Costa Dvorezky is a russian-born contemporary figural painter. According to his artist's biography, his work attempts to expose the symbols in everyday life through the portrayal of the human form. While these symbols may be unclear at a glance, there is certainly a heavy emotional charge pervading nearly every aspect of his works. Overall, his style may be characterized by "dark and surreal" imagery but much of what makes his work so interesting is that it provokes the viewer to question the nature of the composition. Very little narrative elements are provided and thus the viewer must supply them.

 Personally, I find his dynamic compositions to be the most appealing part of his artwork. Throughout his entire portfolio, his figures are  contorted in a foreign manners with a high degree of tenebrism that is shockingly similar to Caravaggio's work. Another inspiring quality found in his work is his use of running paint lines. These vertical landmarks break his compositions in  myriad ways. Strangely enough, they appear right at home with his realistic figures and combine to create some seriously dark imagery.

His website may be found here.