Posts tagged Figure
Interview with Moniker Art Fair highlight artist Andrew Hem
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In advance of Moniker Art Fair coming up on October 2 - 6, Create! Magazine caught up with painter Andrew Hem, who will be exhibiting at the show. Read his interview below!

Raised as the child of Cambodian immigrants in Los Angeles, Andrew Hem’s illustrative paintings bridge disparate aesthetic influences as well as cultural touchstones and sensibilities. Hem’s paintings typically highlight an individual within a group of figures, homing in on the one person who is often somberly staring out from the canvas. Using a cool palette in which the colors do not quite match up with the real world, the artist creates somber moods in illusionistic spaces set at a remove from reality. Although his color scheme—with its supernatural rendering of the natural world—elicits comparisons to impressionism, Hem also echoes graffiti art based on his straightforward and illustrative rendering of figures and space, as well as allusions to street culture, art, and fashion.

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How and when did you first become interested in art?

I became interested in art around 12 years old through graffiti. I feel like most kids who grew up in the 80s in my neighborhood had a similar start.

Tell us about what inspires you creatively.

Great designs inspire me so much - whether it be architecture, fashion, or interior design. I love color combinations. I get inspired by all the different color combos I could achieve if I had more time in the day.

What is your process like?

I start with an idea in my head. I would then do some rough sketches to plan out the composition. From there, I would shoot some references. I like to add a 50/50 blend of reference and Imagination. Before, I would do all imagination and found that I tended to repeat myself. And when I used all references it would tend to be too stiff for my liking. The 50/50 was the perfect look I was aiming for.

Describe your current studio space. What is most important about it or one thing that you can't live without in your work area?

My studio is my garage and I love it. I use to have a separate studio but spending the money to transform my garage was the nest decision I could’ve made. I have a tv in that I probably couldn’t work without. I work while listening to movies so Netflix is playing all the time in my studio.

What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you or a quote that you find meaningful?

You are going to need a Coretta Scott to be king.

Can you share a bit about what you will be exhibiting at Moniker and what viewers can look forward to?

Most people think that an artist is born with talent. They don’t really know the hard work and time spent perfecting the craft. I wanted to showcase the moment rarely seen. We see the end result and assume how talented that artist is. With this new body of work you will get a glimpse of the backdoor.

Paintings of the Natural World in a Digital Age by Josiah Ellner
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Josiah Ellner is a Milwaukee-based artist who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2019.  Ellner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but grew up in Xi’an, China and later came back to Milwaukee to attend UWM.  Due to spending his whole life living in cities, he has always felt alienated from the natural world.  Despite these feelings of alienation, he has found himself strangely drawn to natural elements that are encountered in daily urban living. This has inspired him to create work that represents the estrangement of humanity from nature.  Through using a mixture of oils and acrylics, he paints figures in urban environments and inserts natural elements.

Statement 

The natural world has changed drastically since the onset of the digital age.  With this change, the natural world as we know it has begun to fade and become background noise to new technology.  Despite this, we as humans are still drawn to the natural world and tend to hold onto natural elements in our daily lives, whether that be consciously or subconsciously.  My work tackles the growing complicated relationship that people of the digital age have with the natural world.  My paintings evoke one to further contemplate their personal relationship with the natural world.

Human Imagination Explored in the Portraits by Erin Armstrong
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Erin is a contemporary figurative artist working and living in Toronto, CA. Her work looks into the human imagination as it is expressed visually. She is particularly intrigued by the ways in which the mind can conjure and create worlds by piecing together memory, experience, and the ability of the mind’s eye to render a non-reality. She draws on the genre of portraiture as a foundation for these explorations, but chooses to depict not a person or sitter, but an atmosphere or sensation expressed inside the formal qualities of human shapes. 

Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Canada and the US as well as England, Australia, Scotland, Switzerland, and Sweden. She is currently working towards two upcoming solo shows in Seattle and Geneva in 2019. 

Select features include: Nylon Magazine, House and Home Magazine, ShopBop, Its Nice That, Domino, Cultured Magazine, The Jealous Curator.

Select clients/projects include: Nike, Anthropologie, The Drake Hotel, Portia De Rossi’s "General Public Art", Hulu’s “The Handmaids Tale”, Saatchi Limited.

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Artist Daria Aksenova Uses Cut Paper to Create Stunning Narratives
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Daria Aksenova is best known for her pen and ink, suspended, cut paper narrative shadowboxes. The current focus of her work is the creation of cinematographic storytelling through constructed dynamism - arising from layering and complexity of composition - within a static media, inspired by her past experience with the fashion and film industries. 

Daria Aksenova uses ink as it is an unforgiving medium that precludes editing and demands precision. Individual elements are then hand-cut with a scalpel and suspended against each other until the desired depth is achieved. Her technique demands a steady hand and unfailing commitment, often requiring over a hundred hours of dedication and intimacy with each piece. 

The subject matter choice is driven by her interest in symbolism, often reflecting conflict inherent to the human condition, as echoed through mythology and folklore. The balance of playful storytelling coupled with deeper-seeded significance provides unique yet relatable work. Her pieces evoke a dreamscape-like narrative that pulls in both the eye and mind, presenting a space and opportunity for the imagination to wander into a deep narrative that can only be experienced first hand.

www.dariaaksenova.com

Dreamlike, Atmospheric Paintings by Chrys Roboras
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I love to place the human figure in vast, colorful semi-abstract landscapes. In some works, my figures are depicted outlines that have been filled in with various colors and shapes - as if the human form is a 'container' - of emotions, thoughts, and memories. In other works, there is a more realistic representation of the human form, yet a dreamlike atmosphere most often still pervades. The human condition - its isolated sense of being - is a central theme in my work, and stems from my own experience as a Diaspora Greek, in limbo between two cultures, always seeking a place to call home. "It is important to recognize the natural need of a human being to find a place to belong to; a place where one can find peace."

Chrys Roboras was born in Sydney, Australia. Coming to Athens she studied at Middlesex University, achieving a Bachelor of Fine Arts & Technology with First Class Honors. She has had 11 solo exhibitions; in Athens, Paros, New York, Toronto, London, Lugano, and Los Angeles.

Chrys has participated in Art Athina, Revolution Art Fair, Parallax Art Fair, Biennale of Chianciano, Biennale of Beijing, Biennale of Santorini, Scope Art Fair, Emerging Artist Award-Dubai, Art Takes Paris, The Artist Project and The Other Art Fair by Saatchi. Chrys’s work has achieved awards in various exhibitions.

Her work has been featured on music book covers, in the book «International Contemporary Masters Volume 5», Hidden Treasures Art 2014, ArtTakes Miami 2012, 2014, 2015, Serendipity Magazine "stories from the fringe" 2013 and made the shortlist for the Emerging Artist Award Dubai 2016.

Chrys has also won the feature in the Artist Portfolio magazine.

She has participated in over 50 group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.

Her work is found at the Museum of Fine Arts in Las Vegas and in many private collections in Greece and abroad. Chrys was also an invited Guest Speaker for UnfodingArt North Carolina, USA.

www.chrysroboras.com

Lexicon Love / Harriet Moutsopoulos
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Australian born and bred, I am a collage artist who works under the name Lexicon Love.

I love collage art essentially because I enjoy the process. I am less preoccupied with the end result. I’m still not sure if I found collage or if collage found me. Either way, I simply love the idea of being able to renegotiate and manipulate the origins of an image through this magnificent medium. Ultimately it’s the way in which collage art challenges traditional notions of aesthetics, which I find most appealing.

I am drawn to the surreal and unsettling and try to inject that into my work where possible, always seeking out the unexpected connections between humor and tragedy. At first glance, the elements of humor and tragedy don’t seem to go together, yet they are so absolutely inseparable. Their relationship is complicated, and one cannot survive without the other. It is in combining the two that true magic begins.  

I don’t want to control the outcome of any piece. I do, however, want the viewer to empathize with the subject through subtle suggestion. My aim is to transport the viewer to a time and place of their own choosing. By hiding the faces, I remove any distraction and invite the viewer to slow down and join the dots in order to seek out the hidden. I guess the real power of the final composition is what can’t be seen. At this point, the viewer holds all the power and the artist none!  

Although my mental approach is analog, my physical techniques are digital. The most significant challenge for me is giving each artwork the slight imperfections of hand and the general look and feel of being made entirely from traditional analog practices.

To achieve this, I do not use any sophisticated software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Instead, my tools of choice are extremely, extremely basic and closely mimic analog techniques. It’s like working with your hands in the traditional sense.

My process begins by finding the trigger for each piece. This is usually a single image that really catches my eye, grabs me by the throat, and triggers the all-important starting point.

Remixing the old with the new to create new truths, I organize and reorganize until it ‘feels right.’

 www.lexiconlove.com

Rebecka Skog
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Born in Sweden, Stockholm in 1986.

She likes to travel, discover other cultures and fixation by all the colors found in culinary dishes, in music, and in any artistic discipline.

Rebecka has exhibited in different European cities, (London, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna) and publications in magazines such as Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire.

She is currently living between the Canary Islands and Copenhagen working on different projects.

www.rebeckaskog.com

Wenyan Xu
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Wenyan Xu began her career in art almost twenty years ago as a BFA student studying in the Academy of Art & Design, Tsinghua University, a top art college in China. In order to further understand contemporary art, she journeyed across continents to study art in the United States. Having completed her M.A. in the Art and Visual Culture Education Program at the University of Arizona, she focused on her artistic process and production. Through the M.F.A. painting program at Indiana University in Bloomington, she is fulfilling her artistic dream. Her paintings had been shown nationally and internationally, including at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), China; the Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR, U.S.A; and the M.A.D Gallery, Milan, Italy.

Statement

My current body of work is about space-time and emotion. Through my painting, I invite viewers to experience a journey from space to time, to engage in the interweaving of emotion and reality, and to be aware of spiritual energy versus the limits of daily life.

Space-time is a physics concept, which describes the universe with the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time. We usually think that we are not able to live beyond space-time and are only subject to reality, yet never realized that our emotions can change the track that we go through. The human emotion is historical, interrelated, spontaneous, unarticulated and passionate in my painting. Emotion, as an innermost power of human, has been spreading the energy throughout human history and contributing to our civilization. How much do we give credit to this internal motivation? Instead, knowledge, skills, and intelligence are regarded as main drivers for the development of society. In my opinion, knowledge, skills, and intelligence can only build a world in three dimensions. Their product can last and add up throughout the length of time but cannot exceed it. However, emotion can go beyond space and time. It can outreach the world of four dimensions, target a location in the chaos of four-dimensional space, and then build a time tunnel, which you had not anticipated but would go later on in your life. Therefore, emotion has a different dimension with reality in my work. It also has potential energy to change reality, the world in three dimensions.

The reality is abrupt and rational, devoting itself to breaking down and rebuilding our emotions. I abstract marks and symbols from daily life to display a sober and unordered present. They represent rules and laws unassociated with personal emotions.

www.wenyanxu.org

Sarah Detweiler
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Sarah Detweiler is a Philadelphia-area based, mixed media painter whose most recent works incorporate embroidery with watercolor, gouache, and oil. Sarah has a BFA from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited in group and solo shows in various locations including New York City, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and Pennsylvania.

My work explores narratives around themes of feminism, female empowerment, and the human experience through figurative, mixed media paintings. I integrate the traditionally feminine craft of embroidery to challenge the boundaries of feminism. The embroidery allows my work to be revealed in stages and acts as a visual invitation to take a closer look. My art reflects the feminine experience through personal and global issues because, in many ways, a woman's experience is universal.  Whether it acts as a mirror to the viewer or as a window into another person's narrative, ultimately, my art is about making connections.

www.sarahdetweiler.com

Dolls Exploring the Experience of Motherhood: Interview with Nicole Havekost
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By Alicia Puig

Nicole Havekost is an artist living in Rochester, Minnesota. Her own work is varied in media and technique but linked by her interest in material and process. Recently, Nicole was both a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant recipient and Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council Advancing Artist Grant recipient. She has recently exhibited work in New Orleans, Dallas, and Tasmania, Australia. Nicole earned her BFA in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of New Mexico. 

I make figures that are doll-like in form. I began making these figures when my son was small. I expected these figures would teach my son about my world, but instead, this work has been a way to teach me about his. These figures are observers, thoughtful participants in the process of discovery. They nurture and protect, yet they are neither beast nor human. These animals are my evolving experience of motherhood; the profound change of body, heart, and desire I never expected and couldn’t control in a new world rich with possibility.

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How did you first become interested in art, and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today?

I've always loved to draw. I didn't know a person could be an artist, and the only art form I was familiar with was the newspaper comics. So I wanted to be a cartoonist. That interest later turned to fashion design, but after my foundation year at RISD, I realized there were so many other possibilities. I graduated as a printmaker but began making sculptural objects during my senior year. I haven't stopped since.

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Tell us about the inspiration behind your artwork or a specific series that you're currently working on.

I currently have two different bodies of work in progress, but they both come from the same place. I am deeply interested in exploring what it feels like to be in a body. The animal dolls that are published in Create! Magazine reference my transition to motherhood and how it felt to nurture another soul in this world. The other work includes mixed media sculpture exploring my bodily experience of sickness, pregnancy, aging, and recently, perimenopause.

Can you talk about some of your favorite works, and what makes them special to you?

My favorite works are often the ones I make at the beginning of a series. I don't yet know what the work will look like, but I can tell we will be the best of friends once it is complete. Often as the work progresses, there are stronger pieces, but that first one always holds a special place. It was there before I saw it, and then I made it. I love creating doll-like forms; my "Candy Lady" series of figures with candy innards are some of my favorites.

What is your process like? Do you do a lot of sketching or make work more intuitively?

I work intuitively. Mostly I keep a list of descriptors related to the series I am working on. I am terrible at planning at planning my work; I get too tight. I like to have to problem solve my way through the process. Natural consequences make the work pretty interesting.

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Do your works often undergo a lot of changes before you consider them complete? How long does a piece take?

My work does change as I make it, but that's because I am responding to the process as I work instead of altering original plans. Because I do so much hand stitching in my work, progress is slower than I would like. But the process is deeply meditative and brings me much joy while I am doing it. I haven't paid attention to actual hours, but I can account for the time in episodic television. Some works take the length of several seasons of a Netflix binge, while other processes are a couple of stand up specials. I can't watch anything I really have to pay attention to when I am stitching, but I can keep track of large narratives. It is the best way to work.

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Are there any exciting exhibitions, projects, or collaborations going on this year that you're currently working on or will be soon?

I am excited to be shipping work to the Southbend Museum of Art Biennial 30 next month as well as the exhibition "Modern Archetypes" at Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City, Michigan. I will be participating in RISDCraft 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island in October and teaching the workshop "The Doll as Storyteller" at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in November.

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Sebastian Riffo Montenegro
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Chilean visual artist that also currently works as an Art Director in Marketing and Advertising. He maintains a solid production of artworks that criticize consumer society and socially constructed beliefs. Faceless figures in raincoats maneuver through deconstructed color-field backgrounds. Working with a selective palette and controlled lighting, reveals the intent of his work through veils of lucid colors and mysterious forms. Absence presents clear criticism of social mores, the paintings provoke the need to discern new meaning and awaken the tacit human condition of free will.

www.riffomontenegro.com

The Stranger, Solo Exhibition by Alex Merritt at Booth Gallery
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Booth Gallery is proud to present The Stranger, a debut solo exhibition by Alex Merritt, on view May 17 - June 12, 2019, at 325 W. 38th St in New York. Popularly known for his large-scale oils and brutal approach to painting, Alex Merritt will be exhibiting 20 new paintings and drawings in large and small formats.

Merritt’s works include a recurring motif visualized through expansive landscapes juxtaposed by isolated figures which directly confront the viewer. In works like “Hermetic Bliss” (detail above), the subject is visceral and haunting yet vulnerably human. A distinct narrative is intentionally concealed and left for the viewer’s interpretation, much like the artist’s process: it is hidden amongst the layers.

Through a constant working and reworking, the paint is scraped down and built up to range from a thick paste to liquid. The sheer physicality of the canvases showing layers of paint 3-4 inches in depth reveals they are as much of an object sculpturally as they are a 2-dimensional image. Subject and object become one, and the finished works represent a direct result of these layers, weaving in and out of one another, often obfuscating the literal.

Merritt’s influences include the likes of Chaim Soutine, Joan Eardley, Antonio Mancini, and Frank Auerbach; Inspired by their bravado to compose large-scale works and to experimentation with surface quality.

Alex Merritt was born in 1981 in Washington, DC. In 2015, he received his B.F.A. in painting from the Mary- land Institute College of Art and in 2018 completed his MFA from The New York Academy of Art. The artist joined Booth Gallery in June 2018; this will be his first Solo show to date. Works from are in numerous private collections worldwide and currently has had a collection of works acquired by liana Gore Museum in Tel Aviv, Israel.

On Friday, May 17, 2019, an opening reception will be held from 6-9pm and is open to the public.

Loreal Prystaj
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Loreal Prystaj is a visual artist from New York now based in London. Presently she is attending the Royal College of Art, to obtain her MA in photography, and previously received her BFA in photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. Surrounded by a thriving “fashion environment” she planned on becoming a commercial photographer but chose to take a Fine Art direction where she felt she could express her ideas more freely.

She has had three solo exhibitions and participated in over thirty group exhibitions, including Arles Photo Festival (2018), MIA in Milan (2016) and selected to show with LifeFramer's travelling exhibition (2017).  Her work has been seen in galleries throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and China, and she presently has pieces included in the permanent art collection at the Erie Art Museum, Pennsylvania, since 2014.  Prystaj’s archive of work has led to guest lecturing at accredited universities, such as NYU, FIT and Columbia, in New York. She has been awarded jury prizes from more than ten photography competitions internationally, including Ashurst Art Prize (2018), ArtSlant (2017), Neutral Density (2016), and TIFA (2018), alongside with being published widely, from The Guardian (2018), The British Journal of Photography (2018), My Modern Met (2017) to multiple articles in L'oeil de la Photographie (2017, 2016, 2015).

Statement

Her work often exposes the relationship between a specific time and space, with a juxtaposition of the human form and its environment. She expresses ideas through her photography and uses the medium consistently - in installation and interactive pieces - as well as using herself as a character or form in her images, performance and video work.

Jamie Bates Slone
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Jamie Bates Slone is a sculptor living and working in Norman, Oklahoma where she is Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Oklahoma. Jamie received her MFA from the University of Kansas and her BFA from the University of Central Missouri. Her work addresses the fragility of the human spirit in relation to her personal history with physical and mental illness.

Statement

Through conjured memory, I revisit my personal history with physical and mental illness. My current work is a reflection of those memories with an emphasis on the relationship between human biology and human emotion. By using the figure as metaphor, I am able to reflect the sentiments often correlated with feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, and loss.

In my studio practice, anxieties about my own physical and mental health and obsessions with mortality manifest themselves in the choice of scale, charged surfaces, and uneasy body language within the figures. My surface choices are derived from diagnostic imaging of the human body focusing on their color and visual texture. My intent is for one to imagine the surface of the skin as a reflection of what is happening inside the body and mind. These are ideas that are continuously shifting and evolving as I think about how I want these objects to be perceived

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Erin Fitzpatrick
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I am constantly inspired by patterns and prints, my travels, summertime, Instagram, interior spaces, my immediate surroundings, fashion magazines, textile design and meeting new people. I have an iPhone full of screenshots, and sketchbooks, notebooks and a studio wall covered in notes and clippings — my collections of visual stimulants. A seed from these images, a West African textile, a languid Miu Miu model, a Slim Aarons photo of poolside decadence, inspires the vibe for each painting. I plan each piece around this initial idea by creating a storyboard depicting wardrobe, model type/look, textiles, and setting. I source my models from my peers and social media, import textiles, shop for wardrobe, and build a set. I style my models and chat with them as I take hundreds of reference photos. The model becomes the focal point in my world of clashing patterns, textiles, and plants.

I’m a Baltimore native and graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art.  I started painting portraits in 2008 and this body of work now contains hundreds of paintings and drawings of artists, musicians, business people, my peers, and commissioned subjects. I have collectors all across the US and around the world.

www.erinfitzpatrickportraits.tumblr.com

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