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Art

Banksy Sets Up Amongst Venice Street Vendors to Share a New Multi-Panel Painting

May 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Over the past month, the art world’s attention has been focused on the Venice Biennale, one of the most notable international shows on the planet. Many artists who are not in the invitation-only exhibition come to Venice to share their work in unaffiliated gallery shows and take advantage of the Biennale-boosted foot traffic. One such artist chose a more unorthodox setup for his Venice sideshow. Banksy (previously) joined the hordes of street vendors selling paintings to pedestrian tourists with a salon-style setup that merged several paintings together. Titled “Venice in Oil,” the multi-panel work depicts a gas-guzzling cruise ship towering over the ancient city as gondoliers in traditional dress row by.

Last week, many media outlets speculated that a stenciled artwork on a canal wall, depicting a migrant child holding up an S.O.S. flare was created by Banksy. But the British artist verifies his own work by sharing it on Instagram and his website, where the piece has yet to appear. The video below offers an on-the-ground view of the artist’s guerrilla street stall.

Update: The morning of May 24, 2019, Banksy claimed the rumored migrant child stencil in addition to his streetside setup.

 

 



Art

Head-Turning Historical Portraits by Ewa Juszkiewicz

May 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ewa Juszkiewicz subverts the traditional notion of female portrait sitters as passive, simple subjects in her subtly unusual oil paintings. The artist constructs each painted portrait using familiar tropes from European art history, sometimes even citing specific paintings as inspiration. Female subjects with smooth, pale skin and luxurious apparel are placed in front of abstract or generically bucolic settings, sometimes with a “gender-appropriate” item in hand, like a paint brush, small book, or feather.

But in place of the beautiful face a viewer would expect in the center of these pleasant trappings, Juszkiewicz has turned the subject’s head 180 degrees to show an elaborate hairstyle, or filled the face with unruly plants or ribbons. A statement on the artist’s website explains, “Through the deconstruction of historical portraits, she undermines their constant, indisputable character and tries to influence the way we perceive them. Juszkiewicz experiments with the form of the female figure and face, balancing on the border between what is human and inhuman.”

The artist lives and works in Warsaw, Poland. She is represented by Galerie Rolando Anselmi in Berlin, where she will have a solo show on view in November and December, 2019. Juszkiewicz shares updates from her work and travels on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Crumbling Buildings and Graffiti-Covered Walls Are Meticulously Documented in Oil Paintings by Jessica Hess

May 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Oakland-based painter Jessica Hess documents landscapes and built environments in moments of transition. Combining open skies and lush plant life with crumbling walls and frayed rebar, Hess finds equivalency in growth and decay. The artist, who works in oil paint, shoots photos while exploring abandoned locales, and uses these real life references to build her carefully framed worlds on canvas.

Hess graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and has been exhibiting nationally for over 15 years. Her solo show, The Chaos Aesthetic, is currently on view at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, and runs through May 25, 2019. You can keep up with Hess’s impressive exhibition schedule, which includes four additional shows this year on her website, and see more of her work on Instagram.

 

 



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.