oil painting

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Art

The Aquatic and Terrestrial Life of Southern California Merges into Hybrid Creatures in Jon Ching’s Paintings

August 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

“King Tide.” All images © Jon Ching, courtesy of Beinart Gallery, shared with permission

Los Angeles-based artist Jon Ching imagines the fantastic possibilities of melding Earth’s flora and fauna, rendering bizarre creatures with mushroom feathers and striped tulip fins. His latest oil paintings, which are on view this fall in Habitat at Beinart Gallery, extend this interest in hybridity by blending aquatic, aerial, and terrestrial organisms and their environments.

Marine ecosystems appear in many of the pieces, alongside cacti and succulents native to Ching’s home in southern California. In “King Tide,” for example, rising water approaches a cockatoo with plant-like plumage, and “Acclimate” depicts two green parrots perched on aloe growing below the surface. Each work envisions how different ecologies could converge and references nature’s resilience, the climate crisis, and the growing necessity of adapting to a changing world.

Ching’s solo show Habitat runs from September 11 to October 2 in Melbourne. Prints and stickers are available in his shop, and you can follow his latest works on Instagram.

 

“Acclimate”

“Reparation”

Left: “Hygge.” Right: “Think Tank”

“Double Vision”

“Flash Point”

Left: “Jungle Gym.” Right: “Neogenesis”

“Long Game”

 

 

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Art

In Introspective Paintings, Artist Ocom Adonias Explores Narratives of Blackness

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Here After,” oil on canvas, 200 x 180 centimeters. All images © Ocom Adonias, shared with permission

Fusing history with the political and social contexts of today, Ocom Adonias’s work interprets the experience of moving through the world in a Black body. His vibrant, realistic paintings portray people in ordinary moments of ritual, solitude, and bonding, honing in on individual narratives to convey a broader message. “I’m particularly interested in the global conversation of what being an African and what being Black means, history, and the representation of the Black figure in the contemporary sense,” he shares.

Having worked primarily with charcoal on newspapers for years, Adonias recently shifted to oil painting, swapping the hazy layers of his previous works for bold color palettes and clean lines. He continues to focus on those around him, though, translating their conversations into intimate, introspective pieces.

The artist is based in Kampala, Uganda, and has a residency at Montresso Art Foundation slated for this fall. Currently, he’s working on a painting referencing myth and Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” fresco, which you can follow on Instagram.

 

“Letters from us,” newspapers and oil on canvas, 150 x 130 centimeters

“Saloon secrets (we are who we were),” oil and collage on canvas, 130 x 150 centimeters

“King Adebwa”

“Utopia duality,” newspapers and oil on canvas, 200 x 150 centimeters

 

 



Art

Bizarrely Flexible Wildlife Twist into Acrobatic Poses in Bruno Pontiroli’s Perspective-Bending Paintings

July 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Le Quintupède I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 80 x 70 centimeters. All images © Bruno Pontiroli, courtesy of Beinart Gallery, shared with permission

Kangaroos, koalas, and the venomous platypus take on peculiarly acrobatic personas in a new series of oil paintings by Bruno Pontiroli (previously). In Expression Corporelle, the French artist renders a cast of gymnast-emulating animals native to Australia, each with unusually strong appendages and flexible backs. The creatures balance on their tails and bend at perfect 90-degree angles, defying physics in favor of warped perspectives and the opportunity to see the world from a different point of view.

Expression Corporelle is on view through August 7 at Beinart Gallery in Brunswick. Pontiroli also sells prints on his site, and you can find more of his shape-shifting characters on Instagram. (via Supersonic Art)

 

“Psychologie Inversée II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters

Left: “La Queue Leu Leu I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Figure De Style I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 50 centimeters

“Le Diable Au Corps” (2021), oil on wood panel, 50 x 40 centimeters

“Figure De Style II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 50 centimeters

“Le Pieds Marin” (2022), oil on linen, 81 x 100 centimeters

Left: “Le Quintupède II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 80 x 70 centimeters. Right: “Psychologie Inversée I” (2021), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters

“Les Basses Voltiges II” (2021), oil on wood panel, 30 x 24 centimeters

 

 



Art

Set Against a Backdrop of World Events, Tim Okamura’s Bold Portraits Emanate Commanding Energy

July 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Fire Fighter” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 x 76 inches

Marked with visible brushstrokes and drips of paint, the portraits of  Tim Okamura (previously) blend realistic portrayals of his subjects with the fervent, unrestrained qualities of street art. The Japanese-Canadian artist, who recently moved his studio from Brooklyn to Queens, centers his practice around storytelling and honing in on the distinctive energies of those he paints.

Much of Okamura’s portraiture develops in series, whether as the Healthcare Heroes collection devoted to the nurses and doctors working tirelessly throughout the pandemic or the commanding figures of the ongoing Women Warriors—many of these works will be on view as a solo exhibition in September of 2023 at Pittsburgh’s August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Rendered primarily in oil with the occasional acrylic or spray paint addition, the pieces capture the raw nature of Okamura’s process and the distinctive, powerful presence of his subjects.

If you’re in Los Angeles, visit the Academy Museum to view the artist’s portrait of the late writer Toni Morrison. Otherwise, find more of his paintings on his site and Instagram, and browse limited-edition prints in his shop.

 

Toni Morrison circa 1993

“Nurse Tracy” (2021), oil on linen, 40 x 60 inches

“Blood, Sweat, and Tears (Portrait of the Artist Marc Andre)” (2022), oil on linen, 32 x 26 inches

“Rites of Spring” (2021), oil on canvas, 64 x 64 inches

“Rich Medina” (2022), oil on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches

“Luminescence” (2022), oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

 

 



Art Food

Vivid Oil Paintings by Kristof Santy Present Humble Meals as Bold Gastronomic Decadence

July 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Bloemen en kaas” (2022), oil on canvas, 160 x 140 centimeters. All images © Kristof Santy, courtesy of Unit London, shared with permission

Referencing Marco Ferreri’s mordant 1970s satire by the same name, La Grande Bouffe, or The Big Feast, saturates the simple foods found in pantries and fridges with unexpected grandeur. The solo exhibition on view at Unit London showcases vivid paintings by Belgian artist Kristof Santy that transform humble fare like a cheddar wedge or slice of watermelon into bright, gastronomic celebrations.

Often positioned against textured tile backdrops or striped wallpaper, the oil-based works tend to be either devoid of human life or portray figures in rigid stasis: a butcher stiffly lifts a broom in the shop doorway, a finger peels back a tin of fish with precision, and pans filled with sausages and other meats fry on a stovetop unsupervised. Rendered with Santy’s signature flatness, the tableaus highlight the sometimes unnoticed and yet sumptuous qualities of everyday food.

La Grande Bouffe is on view through August 6, and you can find an archive of the artist’s decadent works on his site and Instagram.

 

“Fornuis,” oil on canvas, 140 x 160 centimeters

“Fruitmand,” oil on canvas, 140 x 160 centimeters

“Frietpot” (2022), oil on canvas, 170 x 180 centimeters

“Vismarkt,” oil on canvas, 240 x 200 centimeters

“Beenhouwerij” (2022), oil on canvas, 200 x 240 centimeters

“Sardienen met kerstomaten,” oil on canvas, 180 x 180 centimeters

 

 



Art

A New Collection of Works by Collin van der Sluijs Channels a Dreamlike Collision of Emotion

July 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Collin van der Sluijs, courtesy of Vertical Gallery, shared with permission

In one of his most ambitious bodies of work to date, artist Collin van der Sluijs (previously) references two forces being incidentally forced together. “These strange times have caused a collision between me as a person and my work,” he shares, “I want to be free and not a puppet on strings directed by anybody.”

This sentiment pervades the Dutch artist’s latest collection opening this week at both Vertical Gallery and Vertical Project Space in Chicago. Aptly titled Collision, the solo show is broad in medium and subject matter, containing 15 canvas paintings, 12 on panel, and more than 50 works on paper. Similar to his earlier pieces, this collection harnesses van der Sluijs’s signature dreamlike style, whether through depictions of nature’s most ethereal qualities or frenzied mishmashes of brushstrokes and smaller, more realistic elements. The works include emotionally chaotic portraits, serene renderings of singular birds, and dense landscapes in which life and death converge.

Collision runs from July 9 to 30. While in Chicago, van der Sluijs will also create a few murals, which you can follow on Instagram.