PAINT WORKS

Michael Kagan—Paint Works

September 15, 2011

As an artist, I have become fascinated with the connection between painting and space travel. Space images have opened up new outlets for me to expand size and painting technique, brush work, and abstraction in my most recent work. Through my work, I am constantly looking to create a tension and anxiety between abstraction and representational painting. The iconic images of astronauts and their hardware in space become the vehicle to express this tension. My paintings are not documentations of space flight, but of abstract interpretation. In these pieces of work, the paint strokes communicate space with its beautiful calmness and contradicting fast, powerful, chaotic senses of unknowingness. Thick, fast, and, at times, chaotic overlapping brush strokes cross and interweave violently throughout the canvas. However, the flurry of brush strokes dissolve then come together to form an image of peace and tranquility in space. Machinery and complex space hardware are broken up into soft sections and layers. Similar to space, my work depicts an intensity in the light resulting in almost a cinematic quality. Through my work, I am making a visual record of a place that is far away, yet in our calm and chaotic lives, relatable to all viewers.

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Jane Hamill—Paint Works

September 15, 2011

I’ve always painted nudes, but in 2008 while working in Estonia, I started to incorporate cycling racing jerseys on the figures I painted. During that time I painted the portrait of a Scandinavian boy who was wearing an obnoxiously bright GT racing shirt; it was the color of a high-strung yellow, and the boy’s skin was pale and delicate. This combination got my attention; it was a sincere and awkward meeting of two sides of life, one natural and the other fabricated. I find cycling jerseys to be a good example of synthetics; in their material and in their references to industry and corporate culture through logos. Branding is an international language that does not require physical communication to speak loudly. Since I painted that first portrait, I’ve been collecting racing jerseys from eBay; each branded with logos that show off highly saturated colors, and painting nudes partially clad in them. By painting this strange pairing of organic flesh and synthetic materials and references, I reflect my view of life’s balance.

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I am fascinated in monolithic icons of antiquity, such as the enormous heads erected by the Olmec, who lived in what is now San Lorenzo. These icons make me question what it means that our contemporary culture has so few. By placing the cast toys within the contemporary American landscape as ruins and monoliths, they become archeological evidence of a society with questionably little substance to leave behind.

The most recent works involve imagery of inhabited ruins. These post apocalyptic scenes depict a patching together of and making the most of what is left, finding solace and perhaps even joy within the aftermath.

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Intrigued by the particulars of the American dream, my work questions the expectations of the culture in which I grew up. Using a painting vocabulary rooted in modernist, figurative tradition, I explore what it means to be conditioned towards the idealized nuclear family and traditional work-life,and what happens when one deviates. The bright color establishes a dreamlike quality, while I employ images of suburban and rural landscapes, domesticity, unmoored, floating bodies and sleepwalkers to symbolically weigh the promises of happiness and predictability against the more complicated realities.

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I am interested in expressing moments that capture a person’s inner character; private moments that are hidden from the world. With this idea, I create images that contain a tension between light and dark; delving into what is unsettling, raw and deeply beautiful about each subject. I am investigating various psychological states, focusing on a single figure in each composition so as to maximize the images meaning and potency. My work involves capturing images of the places and objects that amplify the emotional state. I start my work when I want to record the sentiments evoked in person’s character. These representational pictures become objective traces for recollection. Both inner drive and external force are present in these images revealing some of what otherwise remains camouflaged from the outer world. The viewer is given a glimpse of something intensely personal about each subject, allowing them ever so briefly into the fragile eco-system of the subjects’ “self”.

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Peter Halasz was born in San Diego, California, in 1974 and is entirely self taught, having attended neither college nor studied under anyone. His paintings of primeval and numinous landscapes, haunted portraits and figures amidst ghostly vistas have been shown in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and in Turin, Italy. He is currently an artist in residence at the former De Graaf flower farm in Sandy, Oregon and is occupied with painting the foggy morn…

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My interest is in the possibilities of the imagination.

Through my art, I aim to create a gratifying and refreshing experience by stimulating contemplation and escapism in a viewer. I like to think of my paintings as puzzle segments that provide a glimpse of pictorial worlds that are inviting and free to inhabit. Through the use of abstraction, and the juxtaposition of curious references, I assign unconventional roles to familiar imagery. The whimsical reconstructions describe settings that emanate meaning over time, resulting in work that is simultaneously deliberate and vague.

A viewer may eventually find that my art, while commenting on current social and environmental issues, reveals how I see the world around me – an interconnected place, constantly shifting between the familiar and unfamiliar.

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It is my hope that my work speaks to the viewer on a grand and inclusive scale about the human condition. The most sincere and effective way to speak directly about this topic, I believe, is by working with the human figure itself. Whether it’s our own image in the mirror or the sight of another, the figure is the most natural vessel for all our emotions from the most primal to the most civilized.

The people in my portraits are painted from observation. There is no substitute for a living, breathing human being when choosing to speak about human life. My figures tend to exist in between two realities. One, which is created by attempting to achieve a truthful portrayal of my subject and the second, is created by not denying the absolute physicality of the medium itself- oil paint. Through the paint, fleeting thoughts and feelings are slowed down so that the viewer can share with me my enthusiasm for these subtle nuances of the human condition.

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Robyn’s work is a painted mythology of the limited self - a summation of self-authored-fictions, impressions of experiences – the idea of who we are that feels permanently and uniquely “me,” or “you” or “I” or “he,” or “she.” Frank invents allegorical self portraits with characters or “players” to enact the dramas and experiences of her limited self.

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With an artistic training in figurative realism and a background in graphic design, my paintings unite my interest in the psyche as expressed through the human form and a personal graphic aesthetic. Thematically, my paintings address the complexity of memory, by blurring the lines between recollection, projection, and reality. Each painting becomes a psychological landscape or waking dream, reinforcing the fluid relationships between time, memory and place. The projected image as object, and the notion of projection, is the most dominant visual metaphor pervading the compositions and gives my paintings the look of theater, video and installation art. By merging both real and fictitious images in these painted fictional documentaries, I explore the conflation of our media-saturated lives and our lived reality; we live among images and in many ways as images. Our memories of events have become distorted. With media today, we have grown accustomed to watching ourselves and living from a voyeuristic standpoint. With these paintings, the viewer’s imagination plays an important role in the piece, while also being implicated in the voyeurism depicted.

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Monks’ paintings explore the tension between abstraction and realism, using different filters to visually distort and disintegrate the body. In this shallow painted space, the subject is pushing against our real space. Strokes of thick paint in delicate color relationships are pushed and pulled to imitate glass, steam, water and flesh. “When I began painting the human body, I was obsessed with it and needed to create as much realism as possible. I chased realism until it began to unravel and deconstruct itself,” Alyssa states, “Realism and Abstraction are in a symbiotic relationship – they need each other to exist and eventually become the same.”

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daniel Baltzer lives and works in East Harlem, New York City. His fascination with layered imagery, as well as the human figure, drives the making of his collage-like oil paintings.

Technology has found its way into the fabric of our relationships.  Its development and maintenance has become, in part, based on modern innovations.  The evolution of human relationships using communication technology is explored in broadcast.

broadcast is a series of paintings exploring technology and its use to develop relationships. To participate in this process involves taking risks, as children do when they play. Children use play earnestly as an opportunity to explore and connect, creating the framework by which they learn and make more complex decisions. Communication through play is a basic element to understanding the world and the link we have to society through the networks we have formed. These interwoven networks make for a seemingly smaller world.

The paintings are made by Googling imagery from disparate sources and painting them in layers, like a painted collage.  The visual information shared between the imagery is in flux because the audience brings myriad of reference to the paintings. No assertions are made about this technology as good or bad, but it seems the paintings evoke both responses from their audience.

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James Herbert has work in the permanent collections of the MoMA, Whitney, Walker, and the Pompidou; and has shown in two Whitney Biennials and P.S.1.

He has received two Guggenheims (one juried and supported by Jasper Johns), a Tiffany, Gottlieb, and 3 NEA Senior painting grants. His work has been collected by Martin Scorcese, Gus Van Sant, Larry Clark, Michael Stipe, Elton John, Coca-Cola, and NationsBank.

Herbert is currently living and painting in NYC.

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I am narrating a backwards system, a non-functioning system, in which the symptoms of success are illusory. When glimpsed through an alternate lens one finds that man’s creations appear nonsensical: under the guise of stability, comprehension and palatability, lie illogical, disposable spaces. I create environments in paint and collage that respond to these illusions of functionality and purpose by focusing on their aesthetic, their form.

I construct mixed-media paintings of unstable landscapes. I forge space by emphasizing the impermanence of architecture and object. In these environments one detects the degradation: traces of de-evolution and the post-industrial. These paintings document and in-betweeness’ – that which remains within the structures of past and present. They expose the misconceptions of “progress” by offering interplay between the futuristic and the de-evolutionary.

My work attempts to reveal the indelible effect and imposing forces of man upon the natural landscape. The 1990s heralded a construction boom that swiftly substituted forest and field for large, poorly constructed homes. Traces of place and past were erased, community sacrificed and environment disrupted. What prevails is a system of impermanence in which destruction is rewarded…

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I paint nudes, figures, portraits and still lifes in the classical tradition. I draw on allegorical, mythological, and narrative themes, and I want to continue the classical pursuits of representational painting, with my eye on the contemporary world, to share it with a modern audience. The recurring theme in my painting is the spiritual human presence of the subjects in the paintings. Whether it’s a “Flora”, or a “Bacchus”, or a portrait subject, I want the viewer to connect with the spirit of the subject, the soul if you will. One of the central guiding principles of my work is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. The connection of the spirit between painter and subject, and between the subject and the viewer, shows the resonance of all human interaction. Formal training is the indispensable underpinning of my practice. I seek to follow and build upon the artistic intelligence and traditions of the past, and bring them anew to my own generation.

I live and work in Brooklyn, New York. I am excited to be a part of a growing school of New York Classicists that are seeking to create beautiful representational paintings that will add our contemporary experience to the tradition of painting.

I sell through galleries, such as John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, Hirschl & Adler in NYC, and the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor, NY. I have had solo exhibitions at St. Louis University Museum of Art and at the Forbes Gallery in Manhattan. I also do commissioned portraiture, and am represented by Portraits, Inc.

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