Posts tagged Realism
Studio Sunday: Michelle Lee Rigell

It is the last week of our show ‘Pilot’ with PxP Contemporary so this Studio Sunday highlights one of our invited artists, Michelle Lee Rigell. She is a contemporary realist painter who is based in St. Louis and we have featured two works from her ‘1,000 Crane Project’ in the exhibition. Read on to learn more about her creative practice, studio space, and exhibitions for the rest of the year!

Bio

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Michelle Lee Rigell is a St. Louis-based contemporary realism artist who works in acrylics. Since 2015, Rigell has shown her work in several locations in the Greater St. Louis area including SOHA Gallery, Art Saint Louis and fundraising art events such as Wall Ball for Artscope and Art of PAWS for St. Louis Effort for AIDS. Rigell also volunteers as an instructor and is the assistant director of Arts As Healing Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings the therapeutic benefits of art to cancer patients and those with chronic illnesses.

Statement

I tend to gravitate toward subjects that evoke nostalgia and whimsy. I am currently working on a project called the "1000 Crane Project" because of my childhood love for origami. When I wasn't drawing or painting, I was constantly folding origami. My goal is to capture the beauty and precision of origami while incorporating the flawed nature of wrinkled papers and used wrappers and labels of some of my favorite childhood American products.

Cranes are also a symbol of good fortune and longevity in Korean culture. They have been an apt subject matter in my life because rediscovering my passion for painting began as a way to cope with my miscarriages and difficulties with infertility. I am a firm believer that art can provide healing, and I want to be able to help others heal by providing a sense of sentimentality and humor through my art process and experiences.  

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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 loved art for as long as I can remember. As a child I wanted to be an animator and graphics designer like my uncle, the other artist in our family, but in high school, I focused on getting into medical school. I was convinced by the adults in my life that this was a more practical career path, but ultimately I chose not to pursue a career in medicine after graduating from college.

After moving to St. Louis for my husband’s medical training, my mother-in-law encouraged me to take art classes. When I signed up, it never crossed my mind to pursue a career in art because I didn’t have any formal education in art and I had lost a lot of confidence in myself. Around the same time, I had a miscarriage and my second not too long after, so it was a period filled with a lot of hurt. Fortunately through the classes, I met my mentor and began volunteering for the Arts As Healing Foundation, reigniting my passion for art and opening new possibilities for me. I went on a long and roundabout journey back to an art career, but now I am sharing my love for art to others who need it and love it with more appreciation and passion than when I was younger.

We love that your work is so fun and whimsical with hints of nostalgia. Can you tell us about what inspires you and the story behind your series of origami cranes specifically?

A few years ago for Christmas, my mentor gifted me a glass jar with the Chinese character for happiness and good fortune on it. Along with art, I also loved origami growing up, so I decided to fill it up with cranes, which then led to an even better idea of painting them.

Before my “1000 Crane Project”, I was already painting nostalgic subjects like record players, musicians, vintage signs using earthy, dark tones; I grew up listening to a lot of Oldies music. But as I gained more confidence in myself and my work, I wanted to experiment with bolder compositions and colors. I had found the perfect subject that was not only iconic and symbolic but had been a big part of my childhood as well. Instead of using crisp, new sheets of paper, I thought it would be more interesting and challenging to make cranes with wrinkled, brightly colored candy wrappers that are sometimes more plastic and wax than paper. It would give me more opportunities to play with lights and darks to create all the tears and odd folds. And who doesn’t love candy? As long as I can bring a smile to the viewers’ faces, I know I’ve done a good job.

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

I fold all the cranes I paint first. Occasionally I’ll go on a folding spree and fold whatever piece of paper or candy wrapper that catches my eye, so that later if I need inspiration or a new idea I can go through ones I’ve already folded. Sometimes I have to do a little cutting and taping supplemented with thumbnail sketches especially with the candy wrappers, so I can get the right labels and patterns to show through. I prefer to paint from my still-life set up, but I also take photos to refer back to because the cranes are tiny.

Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

Currently my studio is in our guest bedroom. I’ve tried almost every other room in our house before settling into where I am now. The guest bedroom has the best lighting as it faces north with lots of windows. I try to take advantage of the natural lighting as much as I can, so my colors don’t shift. For me, lots of sunshine leads to lots of motivation and productivity. I would eventually like a space where I can make larger paintings and move more freely, but I also like being comfortable and having everything I need at home.

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What is your favorite thing about being an artist?

One of my favorite things about being an artist is being able to express myself but also being able to have a safe place for me to tune everything out. The other is that I never stop learning as an artist. I’m continuously finding ways to improve my technique and to challenge myself to elevate my artwork.

Do you have any big collaborations, projects, exhibitions, etc going on during the rest of the year that you'd like to share?

I recently finished a piece that will be up for silent auction on August 3rd at this great fundraiser, Art of PAWS by St. Louis Effort for AIDS. The proceeds help patients care for their furry companions so they can focus financially on their healthcare. I will also be in a four-man exhibition at the Angad Arts Hotel in downtown St. Louis from August 2nd to October 26th.

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Chloe Hedden
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Chloe was born and raised in Utah's wild red desert, but has had the great fortune to call many amazing places around the world her home. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she is as comfortable painting large oils as she is illustrating children’s books. In 2007, She won an International Creativity award in the category of commercial illustration for “The Peaceful Warrior.” Her first children’s book, “The Illuminated Desert,” written by Terry Tempest Williams and published by the Canyonlands Natural History Association in 2008, won The Mountains and Plains Bookseller’s Award for Best Children’s Book. She currently resides in Southern Utah and makes art full time.

Statement

As an artist, Chloe looks for the unseen patterns and hidden narratives that reveal the magnificence in all things.  Robert Henri said, "Paint the spirit of the bird rather than its feathers."  There is a still point in every moment and to capture this essential luminescence is to acknowledge the ancient wisdom in all things. She makes use of archetypes from the cultural and mystical history that connects all humans and all life forms.  Joseph Campbell said that artists are the shamans of our time.  She believes that we have the ability as well as the obligation to find and share truth and offer direction to the greater community.  It is with this inspiration that She delves into the riches of the collective unconscious and the imagery and symbolism of her dreams to draw out something bigger than herself to share with the world.

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Monica Ikegwu
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Monica Ikegwu is a 20-year-old Baltimore based figure painter. She has been awarded as a first place winner in the XL Catlin Art prize (2018), a Young Arts Finalist (2017), a Gold medal winner in the NAACP ACT-SO National competition (2016), and as a Scholastic silver medal portfolio winner (2016). Her work was recently displayed and exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis museum, as well as at Ida B’s Table in a joint show early in 2018. She now attends and studies at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) as a Junior.

Statement

Monica Ikegwu’s work is structured upon the portraiture and depiction of African Americans. She displays figures rendered in the three dimension while accompanied with two dimensional design elements. Her work brings to focus subtleties that she notices in the black community, as well as her personal life. Living in Baltimore and the way that she experiences it plays a big role in the ideas that she develops for the work. Taking feelings and aspects from her surroundings, she presents them in a way that is not only captivating but also unconventional. The figures presented in her work are often times her siblings and family from whom she draws most of her inspiration from as she watches them progress through life.

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Adam Hall

As a visual artist, Adam Hall began working mostly with charcoals and oils. Self taught, he attempts to mix traditional style with contemporary. Using palette knifes and layering techniques he creates a true richness and depth to his work. Adam believes every painting is his next opportunity in truly expressing his vision and vibe through landscape. “Art is such a powerful tool and I strive to use it in the most positive way I know how.” While his passion for art began growing up in Wellsburg, West Virginia, his professional artistic career began nearly a decade ago in Nashville. Adam quickly became involved with a local interior design firm whose clientele took great interest and demand for his art. His work is now featured in several galleries throughout the southeast United States. Adam Hall proudly resides in Nashville, TN, with his wife Thais. Adam spends most of his time in his studio in Nashville and continues to discover a fulfilling purpose through art.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamhallart/

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/adamhallart/

Michael Reedy
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Michael Reedy currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and teaches drawing at Eastern Michigan University’s School of Art & Design. His work has been included in over 150 national and international exhibitions and can be viewed in numerous private and institutional collections, including Clatsop Community College, Minot State University, Shippensburg University, and the Hoffman Trust National Collection in association with the San Diego Art Institute. Notable recent creative activities include a two-person exhibition at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco and solo exhibitions at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia and Helikon Gallery in Denver, Colorado. He will also have work featured in Spoke Art’s upcoming publication The Moleskine Project Vol. 2, Manifest Gallery’s 12th International Drawing Annual, and Hi-Fructose Presents: The Art of the Mushroom.

Statement

The majority of my work these days tend to exist within the framework of a Memento mori (Latin: "remember that you have to die"), as I often employ skulls and other objects that serve as a warning or reminder of death. However, these images are often imbued with a degree of sarcastic self-awareness and “woe is me” self-pity. Clip-art Cherubs giving us the bird, vomiting demons, skull babies, floating brains, and organ ghosts become central to the grand spectacle that is called getting older – and not wanting to! When combined with an alien landscape full of hypno-spirals, cascading vortexes, and black holes - we find ourselves transported to another plane that is seriously trying to not take itself too seriously. This point-of-tension between hope and despair, humor and pain, and living and dying is infinitely interesting to me – and represents my mindset every time I look in the mirror and see another grey hair.

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Alex Eckman-Lawn and Seth Clark at Paradigm Gallery

Two upcoming solo shows by Pennsylvania-based artists, Alex Eckman-Lawn and Seth Clark, opening this Friday, October 26 at Paradigm Gallery.

Fragmentation by collage artist, Seth Clark, feature new multimedia works. Fragmentation is a continuation of the artist's ongoing exploration of abandoned, deteriorating architecture; however, this featured series is less representational than his previous works. Derived most notably from found paper and wood, Clark's ambitious, intricate and delicately-worked mixed media collages aim to represent the fragmented and complex nature of architecture in decline, what he refers to as the beauty of decay.

Recessive by visual artist Alex Eckman-Lawn is the artist's first solo show with the gallery. Eckman-Lawn's latest multi-layered, hand-cut paper collages continue the artist's ongoing exploration of his anxieties and fears, recurrent themes of interest particularly focused upon the body and the weight of family history. His collages, at once precise and sure-handed, have a sulfurous glow, a magical aura seemingly rising dark and ominous from the hinterland of his mind.

About Paradigm Gallery

Paradigm Gallery + Studio® exhibits contemporary artwork from around the world with a focus on Philadelphia-based artists. Established February 2010, the gallery began as a project between co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, as a space in which to create artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the community to create and collect in a welcoming gallery setting. To this day the gallery still aims to welcome all collectors, from first time to lifelong, and continues to support accessible work that welcomes a wide audience.

The Obscured Landscape Exhibition by Christopher Burk

My newest exhibition, The Obscured Landscape, plays upon the imagery of the “obscured” that occurs within the urban landscape. The exhibition continues my interest in the nocturne, with carefully composed pieces that focus on the camouflage that occurs within the exterior environments. The featured obstructions have at times been intentionally created by the hand of man, while at other moments, they have been created by nature. The level of obstruction ranges from a slight hindrance to complete obliteration - a short privacy fence separates one home from the next while towering foliage creates a complete barrier to a barren parking lot. While elements of human activity exist, such as a light shining from a window or a trash can on the corner, the paintings absolve themselves from actually depicting people. Instead, the work records and reflects upon the transformation of the urban environment by people through their action with or against the natural environment.

- Christopher Burk

Exhibition Information:

Brandt-Roberts Galleries

642 N High St, Columbus, Ohio 43215

October 5 - 31, 2018

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Opening Reception, October 5th 5:30 PM – 8 PM






Glamour Shots by Scott Scheidly

Spoke NYC is pleased to present Glamour Shots, a solo exhibition by Orlando, Florida-based artist Scott Scheidly. Glamour Shots will be Scheidly’s inaugural solo exhibition at Spoke NYC, where he will be exhibiting his ongoing “pink series” in which he depicts notorious politicians and celebrities dressed in hues of pinks and purples. Scheidly’s work presents an analysis of power, corruption, celebrity and masculinity. Through his exploration of color theory and identity, the artist touches upon themes of perception and societal norms through a satirical lens.

Popularized in the 1990s, glamour shots (photography) is known for it’s depiction of a composed image of it’s subject in a still position, often times intended for private and personal enjoyment. For Glamour Shots, Scheidly draws inspiration from this campy genre, draping figures in pearls, satin gloves and feather boas. The subjects playfully yet seductively look back at the viewer, hands cheekily grazing their face.

Consisting of 15 vibrantly painted satirical portraits, Scheidly’s humorous yet critical work challenges the viewer to consider the dichotomies of the feminine vs. masculine, and to question what is considered socially acceptable. By adorning controversial and pop culture figures in swathes of pinks and purples, Scheidly re-contextualizes them, challenging ideas of propaganda, power, strength and the machismo. Intricately detailed and shockingly pink frames complete each portrait.

About the series, Scheidly states, “the paintings are about the perception of color so by painting people in hues of pinks and purples it makes you step outside the norm and look at the subjects in a different manner. ”

Glamour Shots

Solo exhibition by Scott Scheidly Opening Reception: October 6th, 6 - 8pm On view: October 6th  28th, 2018

For more information, or additional images, please email nyc@spoke-art.com.

Complexities of The Human Condition: O’Neil Scott

I am a self-taught, Philadelphia-based artist. Influenced early on by both my grandfather and uncle, each of whom pursued creative careers, I took to drawing as a child and spent much of my youth filling the pages of empty notebooks with images of individuals, both fictional and real. In college, I had hoped to study art. But I’d been awarded a football scholarship from Syracuse University and therefore had to prioritize my activities, which meant dropping my studio courses since they conflicted with the school’s training schedule. While I ended up majoring in Information Technology and then later earned my MBA at the University of Delaware, I never lost my passion for art. Rather, it remains a vehicle that I continue to utilize as a means to give voice to my innermost concerns.

Inspired by the Old Masters as well as contemporary realists, I always have been captivated by portraiture and its capacity to impart the complexities that comprise the human condition. It wasn’t until I stopped working with acrylic and started experimenting with oil two years ago that I started spending so much more time at the easel. Not only have I found the material’s pliability so much easier to navigate, but it’s ease of use has pushed me to delve that much deeper into my subject matter and risk voicing my trepidation about the many issues that I hold close to my heart, such as social justice, climate change, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. At their core, I want my paintings to invoke mindfulness, to inspire contemplation, and to convey understanding. 

www.oneilscottstudio.com

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Your work has heavy political themes, what is the specific inspiration behind your current series?

My current series was centered around my 2018 Solo Exhibition, “American Emotion”. The exhibition takes a look at individuals and their different emotional states in relationship to America. These emotions span from a sense of pride to a sense of sorrow and anger. Currently, I am thinking about how America as a country is feeling about its current state and trying to reflect that through each painting. Even though each painting is portraying a different topic they all have an underlying theme of society’s current state.

What is your favorite part about working with fluid paints?

For me, it’s about capturing an emotion and a sense of truth about the subject. Oil painting evokes different emotions depending on the way the paint is applied. A smooth painting can bring in a sense of calmness and a heavy thick tactile painting can easily imply a sense of anxiety and disruption. The application is just as important as subject matter.

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Were you always interested in realism? What drew you to painting in this style?

I grew up drawing nonstop, filling up notebooks with sketches of any and every one. For as long as I could remember I was sketching people, I think I fell in love with the form at an early age. To me, realism is the closest to nature and humanity. It’s about people and the things that make up the world around us. There is endless emotion in all of it.

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What do you hope the viewer will take away from your work?

I hope each painting encourages the viewer to take a step out of their current world to relate and connect with the subject. In the end, it should bring us some awareness and insight into the life of others.

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What are some goals you are working towards in your career?

My main goal in my career is to expand the level of truth in my paintings, in doing so I hope to extend my reach as an artist nationally and globally.

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Who are your biggest influencers and mentors?

I draw most of my technical inspiration from the old masters. I am currently obsessed with David and Rubens. Lately, I have been spending hours in the Philadelphia Museum of Art studying Thomas Eakins. His application of paint is impeccable. I don’t have any mentors but I often go back to the works of contemporary artist like Mario Robinson and Cesar Santo for inspiration.

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What is next for you? What should we be on the lookout for?

I am exhibiting next at Gallery MC in NYC for “Show Your World” on September 28th and have been invited to be a part of “Painting the Figure Now” at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art hosted by Poets & Artist in early 2019.

Jodi Gerbi

Jodi Gerbi is representational painter depicting human resilience through her realistic portrayals of the garbage, trash cans, and drainpipes found in her daily life. Finding the beauty in this is her way of conveying the idea that humans are often required to find something beautiful in a hard situation in order to keep going. The ability of a human being to do this is the essence of resilience. 

When painting the figure, she is trying to catch that moment of vulnerability, the  second when that person thinks no one is looking. That vulnerability is the best part of a human being and where we can really connect to each other. 

She currently paints at Reis Studios in Long Island City, New York.

Statement

In my work, I am painting resilience and hope but not always through the depiction of the figure. My oil paintings are realistic portrayals of the garbage, trashcans, and drain pipes found as I walk around New York City. Finding the beauty in this is a way of conveying the idea that humans are often required to find something beautiful in a hard situation in order to keep going. The ability of a human being to do this is the essence of this resilience and hope.

Ken Goshen

Ken Goshen earned his BFA in Fine Arts with a minor in Printmaking from Parsons School of Design (NYC). Goshen was born in 1988 in Jerusalem, Israel. In his teens he studied art at various institutions in Israel and in New York, such as Charles A. Smith Jerusalem High School for the Arts and LaGuardia High School for the Arts, followed by three years of service in a highly classified IDF unit demanding a variety of artistic skills. He is also a graduate of the three-year Master Class classical painting program at Hatahana Studio for Figurative Drawing and Painting (Tel Aviv).

My work explores the role of representational art objects in an era of digital image ecstasy by highlighting the function of subjectivity in perceptions of the “real.” By bringing together traditional techniques with contemporary outlooks, I strive for my work to embody both the weight of nostalgia and an exhilaration of the unexplored.

This recent body of work, titled “Good Times Strange Times”, is my attempt to engage, express, and explore memories from my time serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. What captures me most when reflecting on those years is a sharp contrast between two opposing experiences: the somber reality of a nation in conflict and a seemingly inevitable ambient of youthful play. Israelis are mandated to join the military directly after high school, giving rise to a schizophrenic coexistence: the adolescent mentality must hastily adapt to incorporate mortal stakes and consequences. This results in an unstable hybrid of youth and maturity, full of charming imperfections. This project is inspired by moments when the child can be seen through the cracks in the soldier veneer, casting a dream-like spell on their everyday concrete surroundings.

Art as a Celebration: Podcast Interview with Alonsa Guevara

On this episode, join us for a fun and inspiring conversation with artist Alonsa Guevara. Alonsa shares her journey of growing up in Chile, moving to New York and developing her career as a brilliant painter.

Alonsa and Kat talk about inspiration, overcoming challenges, making money doing what you love and showing up for yourself as an artist. Alonsa's breathtaking paintings, personal story, hard working spirit and sunny personality will be sure to inspire you.

Alonsa Guevara is a Brooklyn based artist. She was born in Rancagua, Chile. Her paintings blur the lines between fantasy and reality while celebrating the connection between humankind and nature. A big part of her inspiration derives from her childhood spent living in the Ecuadorian rainforest with her family, growing up surrounded by tropical landscapes and a diverse wildlife.

Alonsa received her BFA from the Pontific Catholic University of Chile in 2009 and moved to New York in 2011. She was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant in 2013 while being at the MFA Program of the New York Academy of Art, and after graduating she was granted the Academy's Fellowship award 2015.

Alonsa's work:

https://www.alonsaguevara.com/

Anna Zorina Gallery:

http://annazorinagallery.com/exhibitions/

New York Academy of Art:

https://nyaa.edu/

Lindsey Warren 

Lindsey Warren is an American artist, born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Boston University, earning a BFA in 2004 and MFA in 2008. Lindsey’s paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States with recent shows in Los Angeles, New York City, and Laguna Beach. Lindsey has been a studio artist in Chashama’s Workspace Program in NYC and a participant in the Bronx Museum’s AIM program. Her public works and murals have been installed in Boston and New York City. 

I make paintings using an arrangement of shapes to construct images of moments I experience during daily activities. I capture observations using photographs, later comparing them to my memory of the time. Color and proportions are revised until the image most closely reflects my perception. I am constantly aware of the distinct colors and light within each environment and how these atmospheric differences alter the way we experience and interact with the urban landscape. The paintings are visual responses to my past and current homes and stem from observations of basic daily encounters that are commonly overlooked. 

Rachel Gregor

Rachel Gregor is a fine artist currently living and working in Kansas City, MO. She graduated from Kansas City Art Institute in 2012 and has studied abroad at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Born and raised in Minnesota where her parents own and operate a farm and greenhouse, floral motifs are a constant present throughout her drawings and paintings.


In her work, Gregor seeks to create psychological portraits of young girls caught between an awkward tension of girlhood and womanhood, innocence and sexuality. Depicted in oil, the figures are painted in a naturalistic manner but tiptoe between the line of realism and artificiality. The figures are caught in a single moment between the mundane and the melodramatic. Wide-eyed and wistful, the girls become frozen in a state somewhere between boredom and shock. The spaces can become completely ambiguous, and through patterned wallpaper or a crocheted blanket, only suggest an idea of a setting while retaining a strong sense of nostalgia.

Sergio Barrale

Sergio Barrale has been featured in Hi-Fructose magazine vol. 41, Juxtapoz, SUPERSONIC, American Art Collector magazine, as well as been shown in Mesa Contemporary Museum of Art and Honolulu Museum of Art. Renowned art critic, Donald Kuspit, has compared Sergio's work as being linked to Goya and Redon.

Statement

I work 250 hours on each large-scale drawing. I destroy around 500 pencils with each large work. When I am gone, my work will live on. I may not be immortal, but my artwork and my message will be, in that way I make work for future people. That’s my mission: carry the light.