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Art

Multiple Perspectives Form Elaborately Detailed Cityscapes by Nathan Walsh

August 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Pier 17" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 50 inches

“Pier 17” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 50 inches, all images via Nathan Walsh

British artist Nathan Walsh (previously) creates oil painted cityscapes by combining reference images from a range of perspectives and angles. His latest work Catching Fire was created from a combination of photographs taken during three visits to New York City over a two year period. The painting more accurately captures the feeling of Times Square rather an exact representation, presenting multiple horizon points to make the viewer feel as if they are at the center of the neon-washed environment.

In addition to taking numerous photographs of his chosen location, Walsh also spends time sketching his surroundings in a series of thumbnail drawings. “Of late I’ve found the sketchbook to be of increasing importance even for notes on color or whatever I happen to be thinking about at the time,” he tells Colossal. “This immediate personal response to the environment plays an important role when I’m back in my studio in the United Kingdom and reliant on the photographs taken.”

Once he’s decided on the subject and scale of the painting, he draws in elements in a fairly loose and intuitive way. “Freehand drawing is fundamental to all of my work, allowing me to take full ownership of photographic material,” he explains. “Rejecting the mechanical transfer of imagery forces me to construct each object from scratch and allows for a fluid and inventive approach.”

By selecting segments from a variety of photographs of each scene, Walsh is able to construct his own reality of a space within an urban environment. This includes shifting key elements of his paintings into what he describes as different perspective “zones,” which he explains allows his works to more closely relate to how we experience a city while we are walking through it.

Over the last three years, Walsh’s paintings have begun to focus more heavily on the weather conditions present in a particular location, homing in on the reflective sidewalks produced during a rainstorm or the geometric bands of light that infiltrate an urban space during a bright, cloudless day. You can view of a selection of Walsh’s New York City paintings in his upcoming solo exhibition at Bernarducci Gallery in Manhattan, which opens September 6 and runs through September 29, 2018. More of Walsh’s cityscapes can be seen on his Instagram and Twitter.

"Catching Fire" (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

“Catching Fire” (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

Drawing for "Catching Fire" (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

Drawing for “Catching Fire” (2017), oil on canvas, 53 x 108 inches

"Lake Street' (2017), oil on linen, 34 x 52 inches

“Lake Street’ (2017), oil on linen, 34 x 52 inches

"ZBAR" (2016), oil on canvas, 51 x 115 inches

“ZBAR” (2016), oil on canvas, 51 x 115 inches

"Ed Koch" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

“Ed Koch” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail of "Ed Koch" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail of “Ed Koch” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail drawing of "Ed Koch" (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

Detail drawing of “Ed Koch” (2018), oil on canvas, 85 x 56 inches

"Peninsula" (2017), oil on canvas, 69 x 133 inches

“Peninsula” (2017), oil on canvas, 69 x 133 inches

 

 



Art

Out-of-Focus Paintings by Philip Barlow Capture the Twinkling Lights of Cityscapes at Night

August 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Electric III,” oil on linen, 47 x 78 inches, all images via Philip Barlow

Cape Town-based artist Philip Barlow paints abstracted depictions of the cityscapes at night, blurring the focus of street lamps and headlights the way our eyes or a photographer’s lens might when adjusting to a city’s bright, multi-colored lights. In this way, Barlow paints from perception rather than reality, showcasing the beautiful ways we process our daily surroundings. In the foreground, the paintings feature overlapping orbs of white, red, and blue light, which obscure blurred buildings, cars, and signs that occupy the dimly painted background.

“The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them,” explains Barlow. “Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.”

You can view more of the South African artist’s blurred depictions of cities, beaches, and portraits, on his website. (via My Modern Met)

"Electric Wet," oil on canvas, 39 x 59 inches

“Electric Wet,” oil on canvas, 39 x 59 inches

"Glass II," oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches

“Glass II,” oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches 

"Glass," oil on canvas, 70 x 47 inches, and "Jingumae II," oil on canvas, 47 x 31 inches

“Glass,” oil on canvas, 70 x 47 inches, and “Jingumae II,” oil on canvas, 47 x 31 inches

"Leaving Shibuya," oil on canvas, 47 x 98 inches

“Leaving Shibuya,” oil on canvas, 47 x 98 inches

"Ultramarine," oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches

“Ultramarine,” oil on canvas, 47 x 70 inches

"One Way," oil on canvas, 47 x 47 inches

“One Way,” oil on canvas, 47 x 47 inches

 

 



Art

Synesthetic Artist Melissa McCracken Paints Abstracted Depictions of Jazz, Funk and Pop Songs

August 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"A Sunday Night"(2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

“A Sunday Night”(2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

“Wasn’t It Kind of Wonderful” (2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”Melissa McCracken paints what she hears, titling each of her abstract oil paintings after the songs that inspired the work’s expressive gestures and bright punches of color. The Kansas City-based artist has a neurological condition called Synesthesia, which causes her sense of hearing to trigger colorful depictions of songs and genres. For McCracken, jazz music appears as iridescent blues, whites, and golds, while an upbeat pop song is bright pink and purple. You can see more of the artist’s musical interpretations on her website and Instagram. (via Kottke)

"If I Was a Bird" (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

“If I Was a Bird” (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

"Fly Too High" (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 14”

“Fly Too High” (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 14”

"Live in Layers" (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 12”

“Live in Layers” (2017), oil on canvas, 14” x 12”

"Love Is Touching Souls" (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

“Love Is Touching Souls” (2017), oil on canvas, 24” x 24”

"Two Drifters" (2017), oil on canvas, 20” x 20”

“Two Drifters” (2017), oil on canvas, 20” x 20”

"Wasn't It Kind of Wonderful" (2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

“Wasn’t It Kind of Wonderful” (2017), oil on canvas, 48” x 48”

 

 



Art

‘Modern Frescoes’ Present Luminous Women in Layers of Translucent Pigment by Ali Cavanaugh

July 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

St. Louis-based artist Ali Cavanaugh paints dreamlike watercolors of female subjects on wet clay panels. She refers to her works as “modern frescos,” due to their similarity to the fresco-secco style of painting, and the luminosity she creates through a method of layering translucent pigments on bright white surfaces. In each portrait Cavanaugh aims to paint the minute details of her subject’s physical appearance, while also evoking a “tender unseen presence that transcends understanding in the depth of a soul.”

Her work is currently included in the group exhibition Painting the Figure Now at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in Wausau, Wisonsin through September 28, 2018. Her new book Modern Frescoes, published by Unicorn Press, will be available for preorders this fall. You can see more of Cavanaugh’s work on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Flow Separation: Tauba Auerbach Transforms a New York City Fireboat With Contemporary Camouflage

July 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

New York City’s historic Fireboat John J. Harvey has been transformed into a dazzling display of red and white marbling in a new piece by artist Tauba Auerbach (previously). Flow Separation is a co-commission by the Public Art Fund and 14-18 NOW, a UK arts program created for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. For the new piece Auerbach used the visual language of early 20th-century dazzle camouflage, a technique invented by British painter Norman Wilkinson during WWI to distort a ship’s form and confuse enemies who might be tracking its direction or speed.

Auerbach was also inspired by the pattern created by a wake when an object moves through water, which is referenced in the work’s title. The ship flies a flag that diagrams “flow separation,” a phenomenon that occurs when areas of fluid in a wake move backwards and create eddies. To imitate this form for the design of the boat she floated inks on a fluid bath and transferred this process to paper.

For the last four years, 14-18 NOW has commissioned four artists to create Dazzle Ships in the UK, including Carlos Cruz-Diez, Tobias Rehberger, Ciara Phillips, and Sir Peter Blake. Auerbach’s vessel will be the last work in the series, and the first boat to appear in the U.S. The ship will be available for free trips through September 23, 2018, and on view through May 12, 2019. You can visit the boat at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6 until August 12, 2018, at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 from August 13 to September 23, 2018, and at Hudson River Park’s Pier 66a from September 24, 2018 to May 12, 2019. You can find more information about tickets and locations on the Public Art Fund’s website.

 

 



Art Illustration

A Centuries-Old Art Form Hides Within the Gilded Pages of Antique Books

July 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Martin Frost creates paintings in places that people can’t see, or can only find if they know exactly where to look. The UK-based artist is a fore-edge painter, which means he produces elaborate designs and scenes along the edges of gilded books. The works are discovered only when you fan the pages in a certain way, and become hidden by the book’s gold edges as soon it is closed. “It is a discrete painting,” Frost tells Great Big Story. “It is only there when you know how to unlock it.”

Vanishing fore-edge painting dates back to about 1660, but didn’t become popular until the 18th-century. Frost has practiced the rare art form for the last 40 years, and as far as he knows, is the last commercial fore-edge painter in the world. You can view more of his hidden paintings, in addition to a series of illuminated miniatures, on his website. (via Great Big Story)

 

 



Art

Swaths of Old-Fashioned Fabric Obscure Faces and Bodies in Unsettling Portraits by Markus Åkesson

July 13, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Now You See Me” (2018), oil on canvas, 180 x 140cm

In his paintings, Swedish artist Markus Åkesson depicts ornately patterned fabrics like toile, chintz, and silks wrapped around female subjects. Instead of using the old-fashioned textiles simply as signifiers of wealth and tradition, he uses the materials to take on a more sinister tone. In some of the paintings you can see expressions of sadness in the subject’s faces, while in others, the textiles completely overtake the figures beneath, obscuring their identity and emotions.

“As a child, I often sat and looked at the different patterns in textiles and tapestries,” Åkesson shares with Colossal. “I would find my own images in them, my own world, and I would dream away. For me, the pattern as a concept has a built in feeling of safety and stability, because it repeats itself over and over again. I think the use of patterns in images that depicts more melancholic or even disturbing scenes makes a interesting feeling of duality.”

The artist is represented by Galerie Da-End in Paris and VIDA Museum in Öland, Sweden, where he recently had a solo show. You can see more of Åkesson’s work on Instagram. (via I Need A Guide)

“Now You See Me (Opium)” (2018), oil on canvas, 180 x 140cm

“No One Can See You (Dysmorphia)” (2017), oil on canvas, 50 x 60cm

“No One Can See You (Dysmorphia II)” (2017), oil on canvas, 50 x 60cm

“Palmistry” (2016), oil on canvas, 100 x 120cm

“I Never Wanted You To Leave” (2016), oil on canvas, 210 x 180cm

“The Unicorn Hunt ll” (2017), oil on canvas, 200 x 170cm

 

 

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