French painter Eric Roux-Fontaine (previously) creates dreamy scenes that meld wild, light-dappled environments with lavish interior elements like armchairs, chandeliers, canopy beds, and Gothic windows. In some works, animals wander through the painting, the sole subjects in the landscapes. The artist shares with Colossal that he considers his paintings “custodians of silence, initiating a poetic protocol.” Roux-Fontaine draws inspiration from his travel memories in places as far-flung as Central America and India. “Although these paintings reveal an absence,” the artist explains, “this is to enable visitors to slip through reality more effectively so that they too merge into places imbued with collective memories.”
Roux-Fontaine is represented by several galleries in the U.S. and France, including Boston’s M Fine Arts where his solo show opens in October, 2019; Waltman Ortega Fine Art in Miami, with whom he’ll be sharing work during the Miami Art Fair in December; and Hugo Galerie in New York, which will mount a solo show in May, 2020. See more of the artist’s recent paintings on his website and Instagram.
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Continuously evolving his style from early surreal comic-like renderings, to subdued portraits, all the way to abstract assemblages, Catalan artist Aryz has built his reputation as a multi-talented muralist. More recently, Aryz has reduced the quantity of new mural projects and has focused his imagery on figurative compositions built from seamlessly integrated elements.
Often leaving the brushwork as visible as possible and mixing vibrant, sometimes clashing colors, he is now fully focused on creating work that aims to translate the unmediated feel of sketching into large-scale murals. “I think, with time, you need to get rid of the technique and at the end go to the basic and go to the essence of the composition of the colors,” Aryz shares with Colossal about his unique manner of building images. “I don’t know if I’m succeeding on that, but that’s my goal at the moment.”
One recent mural, painted earlier this summer in Angers, France, depicts a shirtless man working with a large mallet. The image is constructed from various elements taken at different moments, with loose limbs suggesting energetic action. Sourcing his inspiration from propaganda posters and classical paintings, Aryz is reinventing this imagery with his own style. “I feel comfortable with it, because I like that aesthetic, instead of maybe portraying a contemporary character with jeans and piercings,” the artist explains.
A similar concept was used for a new mural in Berlin, where he conveyed a dynamic scene of wrestlers fighting. “It’s all about painting these humans that are fighting against humans as a reflection of the nowadays society,” Aryz tells Colossal. While having the rough, almost careless aesthetic of pencil drawing on paper, this four stories-tall composition is broken up by the existing window on the building. With fists, legs, and even bones appearing unexpectedly inside the composition, and expressive brushstrokes filling up the surface, the image freezes a moment of great tension.
Aryz is showing his work in several places around France this fall, including in Rouen, France at Temple Saint-Eloi through September 22, 2019, and then through November 24, 2019, in partnership with Hangar 107. In Paris, the artist’s new work is on view starting November 8, 2019. Aryz’s final French stop is at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, opening 14 Novembre 2019, and closing February 16, 2020. Follow along with Aryz’s whirlwind tour and see more of his fresh work on Instagram.
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New York-based painter Robin F. Williams captures figures—often women—in powerful poses. Her canvases usually center on one figure, whose broad shoulders and dramatic gestures fill the frame. Williams works with a range of painting styles, including more gestural, layered techniques as well as building slick, flat fields of color. In an interview with Juxtapoz (she is also on the cover of their Summer 2019 issue), Williams shared her approach to creating her unique paintings:
I am interested in micro-expressions and how we read each other’s cues. There seems to be a lot of illiteracy around body language and not enough acknowledgment that non-verbal cues can be, and sometimes have to be, very complicated. I want to compress time in these paintings by using multiple markers within one piece, either through form or narrative. The goal is not to make a painting that feels timeless, but to make a painting that feels outside of time. It’s a way to discuss how images of women have consistently been so problematic.
Williams’ solo show, With Pleasure, recently opened at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, and runs through October 26, 2019. In addition to creating her own work, the artist has been an adjunct faculty member at the School of Visual Arts since 2013. If you enjoy Williams’ intimate, dynamic approach to female portraiture, also check out Hope Gangloff and Kathryn Engberg. Follow along with Williams on Instagram. (via this isn’t happiness)
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Mountains and Rivers Merge with Feathers and Fur in Sujay Sanan’s Finely Detailed Watercolor Paintings
Watercolor artist Sujay Sanan (previously) continues to build his “A Place I Know” series, which melds flora and fauna in delicately rendered paintings. Hummingbirds and whales, owls and tigers, and other land and sea-dwelling animals form the outlines for snippets of natural landscapes. To further enhance the naturalistic feeling of his paintings, Sanan often documents each work in the outdoors, framing the painting with the colors and textures used in its composition.
With a degree and career in graphic design, Sanan began working on fine art projects in 2013, when he moved to South Africa from the Himalayas, and now focuses almost exclusively on his art practice. Originals and limited edition prints are available on the artist’s website.
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Filipino artist Olan Ventura creates lavish acrylic paintings in the tradition of 17th century Dutch still lifes. Replicating the smallest details of iconic works such as Jan Davidsz de Heem’s Vase of Flowers (c. 1660), Ventura veers off course with striking glitches and drips that shoot off the canvas edges, seeming to pull grapes, lobsters, and roses from the past into the present. A statement on Yavuz Gallery explains that Ventura is interested in identity, technology, popular culture. Ventura holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from University of the East, and has been exhibiting in solo shows for the last 15 years. His most recent show, Colour Feast, ran this spring at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore. Ventura keeps a low profile online, but you can explore more of his still life paintings on Yavuz’s website, and a wider range of his work on artnet. (via Hi-Fructose)
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Artist Arghavan Khosravi creates multi-part worlds in her carefully composed paintings. Contemporary human figures commingle with ghostly limbs and classical Greco-Roman sculptures. Bright red lines of string, Persian decorative motifs, and found textiles connect the disparate figures. The artist begins each painting with an intensive brainstorming and research phase, which results in a detailed sketch that outlines about 85% of the completed work.
“Before I start a new painting, I keep thinking about what I want to say in it. It can have a specific narrative or just convey a mood or feeling—it mostly reflects on a memory, life event or something I have recently read,” Khosravi explains. “While I have this general idea/theme in my mind, I go through a lot of source images and put aside those that trigger something in my mind. I juxtapose those images to come up with the main visual structure and composition.”
One of Khosravi’s main sources of inspiration is societal issues in Iran: “Human rights and, more specifically, women’s rights issues, patriarchy, and some levels of gender apartheid. I am more interested in addressing these concerns in a symbolic and subtler way and have an indirect approach.” She also studies and incorporates art historical traditions, ranging from Persian miniature painting and Islamic architecture to medieval painting and ancient sculpture.
The artist shares with Colossal that she began to take art seriously at the early age of 12, but felt pressure to pursue a more practical career like engineering. She pivoted slightly with a commercial creative career: after studying graphic design in college, Khosravi worked in the field for almost a decade, while also earning a Master’s in Fine Arts in illustration, and illustrating nearly two dozen children’s books. Last year, Khosravi achieved her dream of becoming a painter and completed her Master’s in Fine Arts in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Khosravi has most recently exhibited in a group show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan in China, and in SPRING/BREAK, a part of New York’s Armory week. You can see more of her detailed, multi-layered paintings on Instagram. (via Booooooom)
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French artist Julien Malland, aka Seth Globepainter (previously), has spent the summer exhibiting a large body of work inside and outside of the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez. Located in Bordeaux, France, the historic chateau was built in the 18th century and now doubles as a cultural center. Malland’s takeover includes dozens of paintings, installations, and sculptures that have transformed the castle into a colorful record of his travels and a look into his mind.
Titled 1,2,3, Soleil, the exhibition features over 50 of the artist’s faceless characters. Each room in the chateau has a theme that represents one of Malland’s previous projects in countries around the world. Vibrant colors and geometrical shapes are complicated by themes of conflict and loneliness. The exhibition includes site-specific installations as well as collaborative pieces made with artists Mono Gonzalez and Pascal Vilcollet.
The walk through Malland’s world will remain on view in France through October 7, 2019. In addition to his solo show, Malland also recently completed two murals in Denmark as part of Kirk Gallery‘s annual Out in the Open mural initiative. To keep up with the artist’s latest projects, follow him on Instagram.
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Editor's Picks: Street Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.