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Art

Dreamlike Narratives of Solitary Figures Lost in Thought

April 15, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Los Angeles-based artist Andrew Hem paints stylized scenes of solitary figures caught in moments of motion, introspection, and reverence. While integrated into their surroundings through carefully modulated color palettes, the figures’ floating poses and distant expressions suggest a dreamlike state. In an artist statement, Hem cites an early interest in graffiti as informing his current narrative style, which he creates with a combination of gouache, oil, and acrylic paint.

Hem was born during his parents’ flight from Cambodian genocide and was raised in southern California where he graduated from ArtCenter College of Design with an illustration degree. The artist has exhibited and lectured widely, and his upcoming show is at Galerie Open Space in Paris, France from June 23 to July 20, 2019. You can see more of Hem’s paintings, illustrations, and murals on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 



Art

Social Commentary with Surreal Twists in New Paintings by Paco Pomet

April 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“A Journey” (2019), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 cm

Paco Pomet (previously) combines chilling social commentary with humorous juxtapositions of past, present, and future in his satirical paintings. All-new works from 2018 and 2019 include meditations on melting glaciers, differences of opinion in frontier settings, and the symbolism of setting suns. The Spanish artist often combines greyscale and full color within a single painting to draw the viewer’s attention to specific details, like a car driving toward a bubblegum pink slime-slide, and two settlers in neighboring buildings enveloped by different-hued auras.

Pomet’s latest solo show, “No Places”, opens April 4 at Galleri Benoni in Copenhagen, Denmark, and runs through May 10, 2019. You can see more from Pomet on Instagram, and if you enjoy his work, also check out Toni Hamel.

“The End” (2018), oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

“Siesta” (2018), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 cm

“The Last Evening” (2018), oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

“Ambush” (2018), oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cm

“Same Planet, Different Worlds” (2018), oil on canvas, 65 x 92 cm

“Levante Poniente” (2018), oil on canvas, 130 x 170 cm

“Claim” (2019), oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm

“El Apasionado” (2019), oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm

 

 



Art

Paint Smudges and Smears Form Abstract Portraits by Kai Samuels-Davis

March 31, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of Kai Samuels-Davis

Images courtesy of Kai Samuels-Davis

California-based artist Kai Samuels-Davis layers linear paint strokes and large washes of color to form shapes that are recognizable as faces, but without all of the visual information seen in traditional portraiture. The artist relies on the process to find the image, often starting with a sketch or a simple circle to build upon for the face. Working in a space between the representational and expressive, the artist is able to focus on emotion through abstraction so that the viewer can form their own narrative through each gesture and colorful brush stroke.

“None of the final aesthetic is planned,” Samuels-Davis tells Colossal. “Each mark, brush stroke and color is a reaction to what came before it. When I’m working on a portrait the subject appears to morph between multiple individuals over the course of the painting, often times becoming slightly androgynous in the process. I tend to bounce around the surface a lot, pushing and pulling between background and subject, painting over parts, figuring out what each piece needs until there’s nothing I would change.”

Working primarily with found images, Samuels-Davis spends months or even years on his portraits, with dozens of works in progress at a given time. His work will be included in the group exhibition PAINTGUIDE at Thinkspace Gallery this November. To see more of his completed paintings of faces, flowers, and animals, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Mind the Gap: A Surrealist Exploration of London Street Life Seen From Above and Below Ground

March 27, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Mind the Gap is a new complexly layered watercolor from the mind of illustrator Marija Tiurina (previously), which melds fictional scenes from above and below ground. The work is jam packed with both realistic and highly imaginative characters that exist in a parallel universe to North London. Cool colors denote what is happening above ground while reds and pinks towards the bottom right corner signal that the work has moved into the London Underground. The work was inspired by Tiurina’s daily commute on the Central line, which is one of the deepest and hottest lines in the city, and is known for its particularly heated rush hours during the summer. Take a peek at other rich watercolor works by Tiurina on her InstagramFacebook, and Behance.

 

 



Art

Hand-Painted Ceramics of Everyday Objects Inspired by Classical Chinese Paintings

March 11, 2019

Anna Marks

Photo by Wan Liya

Photo by Wan Liya

Chinese artist Wan Liya paints natural sceneries inspired by traditional Chinese paintings onto ceramics of contemporary household items. Soda bottles and soap dispensers become highly decorative objects, blurring the line between traditional and contemporary craft.

Each piece has its own detailed illustration—some feature birds perching upon blossomed trees, while others depict rugged mountainous forms. However, when the objects are arranged together, they compose a larger picture. The images are inspired by Wang Ximeng’s 12th-century painting One Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains, a large piece depicting mountains and lakes meticulously painted on Chinese silk.

“The idea of this installation work is based on one of the top ten [most classic] paintings in Chinese art history,” says Wan. “The Emperor Song Hui Zong liked [Wang Ximeng] very much and called him into the imperial palace and taught him personally when he was 18 years old. He died when he was 21 years old. Now, this is the only painting by him left.”

Influenced by Wang Ximeng’s skill and craft, Wan Liya reinvents his traditional Chinese style by placing the imagery onto contemporary objects, elevating the meaning and beauty of ordinary, everyday items. To view more of his work visit the China Design Centre’s online gallery and visit Wan’s website.

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

Photo by Wan Liya

Photo by Wan Liya

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

China Design Centre, photo by Phoebe Guo

Photo by Wan Liya

Photo by Wan Liya

 

 



Art

Children and Animals Commune Within Neglected Landscapes in New Paintings by Kevin Peterson

February 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

For several years artist Kevin Peterson (previously) has created paintings that occupy the same fictionalized world. His imagined environments are occupied by children and animals— individuals band together as they navigate depleted urban environments. The works pair the innocence of its subjects against a broken and crumbling world, addressing the various journeys we each take through life.

Recently, Peterson has begun to paint just the animals in these scenes, rather than pairing them exclusively with children. “In my head, it’s the same world,” the Houston-based painter tells Colossal, “the animals and kids just haven’t met up yet. Maybe they’re searching for each other.” His solo exhibition Wild opens at Thinkspace Projects in Culver City, California on March 2, 2019 and continues through March 23, 2019. You can see more of his paintings on his website and Instagram. (via booooooom)

 

 



Art

Cows, Moose, and Camels Contort into Yoga Poses and Other Surprising Positions in Paintings by Bruno Pontiroli

February 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Bruno Pontiroli creates mind-bending explorations of the relationship between humans and animals, painting limber cows doing impressive handstands or an over-eager man embracing a large walrus, much to its chagrin. The artist shies away from labeling his work as Surrealist or Dadaist, instead proposing a new version of reality without categorization. Pontiroli will exhibit work with Galerie Klaus Kiefer at art KARLSRUHE from February 21 to 24, 2019 and with Fousion Gallery at Urvanity Art Madrid from February 28 to March 3, 2019. You can peek further inside Pontiroli’s bizarre world of shape-shifting humans and balancing bovines on his website and Instagram.