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Art

These Absurdly Contorted Animals by Bruno Pontiroli Will Leave You With a Backache

August 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Le Tigre Reversible” (2020), oil on wood panel,18”x 21 inches. All images © Bruno Pontiroli, shared with permission

The troupe of wild animals in Bruno Pontiroli’s paintings contort their bodies into backbends and handstands that would rival even the most accomplished gymnast. A wrinkly hippo balances on its tongue, a tiger arches its torso into a 90-degree angle, and a hyena rotates its hind legs in the air. The French artist (previously) notes that he begins the bizarre artworks with easily-recognized animals that he then shapes “like the way a child plays with modeling clay or a building set for instance,” morphing a simple depiction of a nimble lion or hare into a peculiar new reality. He explains by saying:

My aim is to turn the narrow vision that we have of the world upside down and disturb our imagination while shaking an accepted reality with images that are as incomprehensible as they are familiar. Distorting a symbol or mixing opposing universes allows me to question the identity of things so that I can reinvent them in a world with no logic. Everything is possible.

Pontiroli’s series A Rebrousse-Poil, or against the grain, will be virtually on view at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles starting August 22. See what the artist has been up to in the meantime on Instagram.

 

“Le rire jaune” (2020), oil on wood panel, 40 x 50 centimeters

Left: (2020), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters. Right: “Le coup du lapin” (2020), oil on wood panel, 40 x 30 centimeters

“A rebrousse-poil”

 

 



Art

Inflatable Heads, Fantastical Paintings, and Bulbous Sculptures Comprise a Surreal Dreamland by OSGEMEOS

August 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Hyundai Card, Hyundai Capital News Room, shared with permission

Wedged between two buildings in Itaewon, Seoul, is a huge, inflatable head marking the entrance to OSGEMEOS’s latest exhibition. With a shaggy mohawk and thin mustache, the yellow character resembles a band of glowing figures that populate the inside Brazilian twins Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo’s immersive installation.

Comprised of lit sculptures, large-scale paintings, and collages in the same cartoonish style as their previous projects, OSGEMEOS: You Are My Guest is a surreal dreamland. It asks visitors to swerve around a series of bulbous sculptures that jut upward from the floor. A lime green wall houses an eclectic display of framed portraits, repurposed door frames, and sculptural figures, while a patchwork of worn album covers hangs from another. The title of the exhibition is derived from a 2016 painting (shown below) that channels the geometric shapes and bright colors traditional in Brazilian culture, in addition to more modern, energetic artforms like hip-hop and breakdance, two of the artists’ primary forms of inspiration.

Simultaneously arresting and hypnotic, OSGEMEOS: You Are My Guest is the brothers’ first solo show in Seoul and will be on view at Hyundai Card through October 11, 2020. Those unable to see the exhibition in person should head to Instagram, where the duo shares the latest on their multi-media projects. (via Juxtapoz)

 

“You Are My Guest” (2016), 126 x 206 inches

Courtesy the artists and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul

 

 



Art

Artist Seamus Wray Paints a Dizzying Series of Portraits of Himself Painting Portraits of Himself

July 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Seamus Wray, shared with permission

Channeling M.C. Escher and the Droste effect, more broadly, a Chicago-based artist has been painting portraits of himself painting portraits of himself. Seamus Wray, who’s appeared in a similar project shared on Colossal, began with a single representation (shown above) and mirrored his pose in a photograph of the work. He then repeated that process five times, which resulted in a recursive, mixed-media series that changes slightly with each iteration—two cats make an appearance in the final portraits.

Wray hopes the potentially infinite project begs the questions, “What comes next? Another painting. Are we all just living in a painting? What if this is a painting, within a painting?… I have painted hundreds of self-portraits over the years, and this seemed to be a natural progression from those, as I seem to be going mad painting myself, painting myself,” he tells Colossal.

Much of Wray’s work is centered on internet culture and media, and he frequently paints bright, saturated depictions of memes and iconic characters from various television shows and movies, many of which he shares on Instagram. The artist also sells prints and other goods with his work on Threadless. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Art

Gradients of Thick Petals by Artist Joshua Davison Are Layered Precisely with a Palette Knife

July 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Blue Hydrangea.” All images © Joshua Davison, shared with permission

Joshua Davison’s three-dimensional hydrangeas and other blooms began as an exploration of color theory. “As my thought process and work has developed, these flower studies have evolved into a complex balancing act between symmetry, saturation, and contract,” he tells Colossal.

Based in New Zealand, the 23-year-old artist has honed his process, allowing him to produce thick-petaled flowers with a single palette knife. He uses a combination of oil and acrylic paints and builds them up in layers on a solid canvas to create each sculptural piece. Always sticking to a tight color palette, Davison sometimes utilizes precise gradients to capture every shade of blue and purple.

The artist sees a strong tie between art and nature and strives to be incredibly realistic. At this stage in his practice, Davison is focused on mastering form and methods.  “I develop most of my techniques exempt from external influence,” he says. “We are so saturated with content of all kinds that I think in some ways it can stunt our creativity. I think it’s so important to consistently disconnect and explore concepts in your own mind.” While he considers nature to be art’s foundation, his details his approach to originality as follows:

As a traditional painter, I also think it can seem as though we live in a world where everything’s already been done. I believe the term original is very loosely thrown around these days and that true originality is incredibly rare but something that can be worked towards and earned. The prospect of one day achieving truly original work is the single biggest motivator for me as an artist.

Some of Davison’s vibrant blossoms are on view at Flagstaff Gallery through July 26. If you’re not in New Zealand, head to Instagram to keep up with his latest projects. (via My Modern Met)

 

 

“Gray Flower Wheel”

“Black Flower Wheel”

 

 



Art

Delicate Paintings by Lee Me Kyeoung Detail the Small Convenience Stores Throughout South Korea

July 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Peach blossom store” (2020), acrylic ink pen on paper, 122 × 122 centimeters. All images © Lee Me Kyeoung, shared with permission

Peeking through peach blossoms or nestled into a snowy landscape, the tiny shops that Lee Me Kyeoung renders are found across South Korea, from Mokpo to Jeju and Seoul to Gapyeong. The artist already has spent decades speaking with the store owners and weaving their stories into her delicate paintings as part of her ongoing A Small Store series. Her most recent works encapsulate the experience of standing in front of the establishments by capturing every detail: the multicolored goods evenly stacked, advertisements posted in the windows, bikes parked out front, and the sloping tiled roofs.

Me Kyeoung’s work recently culminated in a book detailing the still-open locations for those interested in visiting the shops in person. The prolific artist also shares updates on future exhibitions, in addition to photographs of the original stores she visits, on Instagram.

 

“Jeongdeun store” (2020), acrylic ink pen on paper, 122 x 162 centimeters

“Korye store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 65 x 65 centimeters

“Woori store at Haenam” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 56 x 115 centimeters

“Shingur store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 75 x 135 centimeters

“Store at Haman” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 75 x 135 centimeters

“Sinheoung store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 49 x 86 centimeters

“Deayul store” (2019), acrylic ink pen on paper, 60 x 73 centimeters

“Chestnut tree valley store” (2020), acrylic ink pen on paper, 120 x 180 centimeters

 

 



Art

Explore the Traditional Art of Ebru as Garip Ay Creates Entrancing Water Paintings

July 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Based in Istanbul, artist Garip Ay (previously) utilizes traditional ebru techniques—a method of paper marbling that involves dripping oil paint into water—to create rich artworks with incredibly complex motifs. Ay’s process recently was captured by Great Big Story in a short video that walks through his studio and documents how the artist seamlessly morphs one work into another with just a few hand motions.

After completing a piece on the water’s surface, Ay transfers the image to paper, wood, or textiles by dipping it in and slowly pulling back. Despite the meditative quality of his movements, though, the artist shares the pressures of the medium. “When people watch ebru, they think it is relaxing and soothing, but it my personal experience, it is really stressful. While doing ebru, you have control problems because you’re doing something on water,” he says. As shown, a drop too many could alter the entire piece.

Ay shares many videos and photographs of his vibrant paintings on his site, and more of Great Big Story’s projects can be found on YouTube.