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Art

Traditional Paintings by Lino Lago Mysteriously Revealed Beneath Fields of Color

April 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

 

Lino Lago paints realistic portraits and scenes in oil and adds a layer of abstracted intrigue using bright fields of color. His recent series, Fake Abstract, is comprised of classically-styled portraits of women, mostly obscured by solid blocks of red, pink, or blue. A thin sliver or squiggle, reminiscent of a finger dragged across a foggy window, reveals a peek at the figure beneath the color. It is up to the viewer’s imagination whether Lago paints a full portrait and covers it in color, or, uses the color as the base and adds the portrait into the blank canvas left by the squiggle.

The artist has also explored juxtapositions of traditional European interiors—dining rooms, parlors, and museum galleries—with unexplained splashes of bright color that appear to explode into the rooms from doorways and windows.

Lago, who is Spanish and resides in Spain and Lithuania, exhibits widely and has upcoming shows at Bredgade Kunsthandel in Copenhagen (April 12), Geraldine Banier in Paris (June 7th), Moret Art in Coruña, Spain (end of June), and Goodwin Fine Art in Denver (November). You can see more of Lago’s artwork on his website.

 

 



Art

Trees Grow from Bricks and a Storefront on the Streets of New York by Pejac

April 3, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Elusive Spanish artist Pejac (previously) travels the world creating street interventions, often integrating natural elements into man-made structures through a combination of stenciling and trompe l’oeil painting. His most recent projects have brought him to New York City for the first time, where he has created two arboreal artworks in Bushwick and Chinatown.

Pejac formed Fossil, in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, using a brick-sized stencil to spray paint carefully placed shadows on a brick wall. This illusion of bricks sinking back and surging forward  creates a pixelated tree. Chinatown’s Inner Strength is fully hand-painted, depicting a cherry blossom branch growing out of a security gate and surrounding by flying swallows. Pejac, who often addresses humanity’s fraught relationship to the natural world, describes his newest artworks to Colossal:

Taking a sturdy structure and familiar urban element as a base, Fossil is proposing a hypothetical fatal future in which the only memory of nature is the fossilized appearance of a tree on a brick wall. Opposing the first work, Inner Strength is an empowering piece portraying another hypothetical future in which nature breaks the barriers imposed by the hand of man, recovering the lost ground along the way.

In addition to his outdoor work, Pejac occasionally creates editioned prints using a variety of techniques ranging from lithography to screenprinting. You can follow the artist’s travels on Instagram and Facebook. For those in New York, Fossil is located at 27 Scott Avenue in Brooklyn, and Inner Strength can be found at 2 Henry Street in Manhattan.

 

 



Design

Artopia: A 3D Painting App That Lets You Create Artworks for Others to Discover in Augmented Reality

March 28, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Kuwaiti game developer Omar Khalil is in the process of building an augmented reality and location-based app called Artopia, which allows users to create and save 3D paintings out in the world. Others can then encounter the paintings, which are timestamped and show the username of the creator. Khalil began working on the project as a computer science student at American University of Kuwait. As Artopia nears completion, Khalil is looking for beta testers. If you’d like to give feedback, you can sign up on Artopia’s website.

 

 



Art

Banksy Emerges in New York and Calls Attention to Imprisoned Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan

March 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Banksy (previously) has emerged this week on the streets of New York, creating at least two new artworks, his first pieces in the city since his ‘residency’ five years ago. In one large work spanning the length of the famed mural space at the corner of Houston Street and Bowery in Manhattan, tally marks form prison bars, symbolically counting the days of imprisonment for artist Zehra Doğan. The Turkish painter is currently serving a nearly three year prison sentence for the creation of a single painting. The mural is a collaboration between Banksy and street artist Borf.

Doğan, who also worked as a reporter for the now defunct Dicle news agency, created the painting in 2016 which depicts operations carried out by Turkish security forces against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The artwork, derived from a photograph, shows buildings reduced to rubble, plumes of smoke, and gathered military trucks, all part of a multi-year effort in Turkey’s southeastern towns and cities to clear out PKK militants. 

The aspect that the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court deemed a crime are the Turkish flags that Doğan included, draped over the facades of some of the standing buildings, elements that also appear in the original photo.

As a result of her artistic rendering of the destruction in Mardin province Doğan may the only person in the world imprisoned for the act of painting. In Instagram posts about his depiction of Doğan’s sentencing, Banksy is encouraging people to repost her work and tag Turkey’s president, who is also active on Instagram. 

Zehra Doğan’s painting

The photograph that Doğan’s painting is based on

Update: A previous version of this article did not attribute Borf as a collaborator.

 

 



Art Illustration

New Mesmerizing Oil and Graphite Portraits That Peer Into the Subject’s Inner Mind by Miles Johnston

March 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The Return

London-based illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) produces graphite drawings and oil paintings that examine the inner thoughts of his female subjects. His piece Withdraw literally presents a woman’s face retracting into her own head, her wide-eyed stare sinking deep into her skull. Another, Dualism, shows a woman crouched on top of a chasm in the earth, a similar fault line continuing through her body.

Johnston will exhibit these works and more at an upcoming solo at Last Rites Gallery, a gallery known for showcasing surreal and macabre works in New York City. His show will run from March 31 to April 21, 2018. You can see more of his drawings, paintings, and prints on his Instagram.

Process shot of Miles Johnston’s The Return

Withdraw

Dichotomy

Dualism

 

 



Art

Young Children Accompanied by Wildlife Take a Stance Among Urban Decay in Paintings by Kevin Peterson

March 2, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Kevin Peterson (previously) continues to paint detailed tableaux of young children and animals juxtaposed against dystopian urban environments. Solo kids, accompanied only by wild allies of polar bears, lions, and raccoons, are at the center of each painting surrounded by abandoned, decaying buildings. Whereas his earlier paintings showed the children striding forward and exploring, more recently his young subjects have been paused, seeming to be in moments of reflection or defiance.

Peterson studied fine art alongside psychology in college and his varied career included a graduate degree in social work and a job as a corrections officer before he returned to his art practice in 2005. The artist’s interest in psychology and societal dynamics helps inform the intention behind his works, which Peterson describes as dealing “with isolation, loneliness and longing teamed with a level of optimistic hope. Issues of race and the division of wealth have arisen in my recent work. This work deals with the idea of rigid boundaries, the hopeful breakdown of such restrictions, as well as questions about the forces that orchestrate our behavior.”

Peterson is based in Houston, Texas and is represented by Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California. He shares his works in progress and finished paintings on Instagram.

 

 



Art Illustration

Pat Perry’s Intricate Portraits of People Intertwined with the Natural World

February 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Detroit-based artist Pat Perry (previously) renders intricate, fantastical portraits of humans and our relationship to the natural world—a dynamic that is sometimes harmonious, sometimes adversarial.  His multi-media drawings and paintings range from monochrome sketches handheld notebooks to multicolored murals on building walls. In all of his artwork, Perry balances finely worked details with sweeping gestural lines. The artist described his art in an interview with Communication Arts: “I want to make paintings that just softly whisper to you the thing that you forgot.” You can explore more of Perry’s illustrations, including a body of work based on a residency in Katmai National Park, on his website as well as on Instagram and Facebook.