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Art

Solitude and Nature’s Ephemerality Emanates from the Illuminated Forms in Sung Hwa Kim’s Paintings

September 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Untitled” (2022), soft pastels and acrylic on paper, 12 x 9 inches. All images © Sung Hwa Kim, shared with permission

A sense of solitude and the finitude of time pervade the quiet, introspective works by Sung Hwa Kim. Rendering overgrown landscapes shrouded by night, the Korean artist wields the connection between ephemerality and memory, sometimes invoking nostalgia, as well. His acrylic paintings focus on fleeting acts like a glowing lightning bug or butterfly hovering above the grass while utilizing light to “symbolize the spirit of things we once loved, have lost, despair and longing. I wanted to capture these feelings and tell the viewers that even in our darkest times, there’s always light and not lose hope,” he shares.

Much of Kim’s work revolves around witnessing the world around him, and his practice includes regular walks or bike rides near his Brooklyn home. “I’m always searching for moments that are frequently overlooked in my everyday life—weeds growing in sidewalk cracks, sneakers hanging from telephone lines, fireflies in Central Park,” he shares. “It’s essential to my practice to be actively attentive and open and receptive to the world around me. It’s these moments of pause that I still enjoy and get my inspiration.”

Explore an archive of Kim’s meditative works on his site and Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“We follow the night, looking for the light” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

“It’s alright. We’ve all been born for the first time on this planet” (2021), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 24 x 18 inches

“Your sun is my moon, my moon is your sun. Under the same sky that we share, everything is alive and has a soul” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 72 x 60 inches

“Shed your body, reveal itself. It’s with and within us” (2021), acrylic, flashe, and gouache on canvas, 30 x 24 inches

“They are not gone. They will wait for you and be with you” (2022), acrylic and flashe on canvas, 40 x 60 inches

“I woke up. The moon is full, so I send my wishes to the universe” (2021), acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

 

 



Art

Bound by Cord, the Women of Arghavan Khosravi’s Paintings Exemplify the Borderless Fight for Equality

August 26, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Miraj (2),” acrylic on canvas, wood panels, elastic cord, 120 x 80 x 6 centimeters. All images © Arghavan Khosravi, shared with permission

Through layered, mixed-media paintings, Iranian artist Arghavan Khosravi (previously) alludes to the multivalent effects of losing freedom and human rights. Elastic cord binds her protagonists to their own limbs or surroundings, their individual characteristics partially concealed or fragmented as a result of restriction. Her subjects are often women who are confined to domestic spaces, hidden behind painted wooden panels, or physically tied to a situation or person.

Working in vibrant, saturated colors, Khosravi blends surreal imagery with the motifs of Persian textiles and architecture. The artist tells Colossal that although she still grounds her work in her experiences in Iran, she’s begun to broaden the conceptual aspects of her practice. “My goal is to have a more universal approach so women coming from different countries, cultures, and generations can relate to the paintings. The fight for gender equality is universal, and there is still a long road ahead of us,” she says.

Khosravi has a limited-edition print available through Art for Change, and her first institutional show is up through September 5 at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. She opens a solo exhibition at Rockefeller Center on September 6 and has another slated for later this year at Stems Gallery in Belgium. Until then, find more of her work on Instagram.

 

“The Castle,” acrylic on canvas, wood panels, elastic cord, 105 x 80 x 6 centimeters

“The Pomegranate Garden,” acrylic on canvas mounted on shaped wood panels, 74 x 57 x 8 inches

“Dreaming,” acrylic on canvas, wood panel, 121 x 121 x 4 centimeters

“The Stage,” acrylic on canvas, wood panels, polyester rope, fifteen parts, 200 x 120 x 3 centimeters

“The Garden,” acrylic on canvas mounted on shaped wood panels, 59 x 71 x 6 inches

“The Curtain,” acrylic on canvas, wood panels, Plexiglas, polyester rope, 61 x 120 x 10 centimeters, 99 x 77 x 7 centimeters

 

 



Art

‘Division of Birds’ Opens at Paradigm Gallery with a Vast Exploration of the Avian World

August 25, 2022

Colossal

Gigi Chen. All images © the artists, shared with permission

From the caves of Lascaux to ancient engravings and jewelry, feathered life has populated some of the earliest artworks known to exist. A group exhibition opening this week at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia expands on this tradition by bringing together 11 artists working today who harness the vast creative potential of the avian world.

Curated by Colossal’s founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson, Division of Birds flies through a wide array of styles and mediums in 30 pieces that consider winged creatures through both realism and fantasy. Working in vibrant acrylic, Gigi Chen imagines moss enveloping an oversized bluebird, while Calvin Ma creates a beaked disguise for his signature character. Other pieces include Drew Mosley’s caged owls and the energetically swirling feathers by Fio Silva.

Division of Birds runs through September 18, and if you’re in Philadelphia, join Colossal at the gallery for the opening reception on August 26.

 

Felicia Chiao

Fio Silva

Roberto Benavidez

Dina Brodsky

Calvin Ma

Drew Mosley

 

 



Art

The Aquatic and Terrestrial Life of Southern California Merges into Hybrid Creatures in Jon Ching’s Paintings

August 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

“King Tide.” All images © Jon Ching, courtesy of Beinart Gallery, shared with permission

Los Angeles-based artist Jon Ching imagines the fantastic possibilities of melding Earth’s flora and fauna, rendering bizarre creatures with mushroom feathers and striped tulip fins. His latest oil paintings, which are on view this fall in Habitat at Beinart Gallery, extend this interest in hybridity by blending aquatic, aerial, and terrestrial organisms and their environments.

Marine ecosystems appear in many of the pieces, alongside cacti and succulents native to Ching’s home in southern California. In “King Tide,” for example, rising water approaches a cockatoo with plant-like plumage, and “Acclimate” depicts two green parrots perched on aloe growing below the surface. Each work envisions how different ecologies could converge and references nature’s resilience, the climate crisis, and the growing necessity of adapting to a changing world.

Ching’s solo show Habitat runs from September 11 to October 2 in Melbourne. Prints and stickers are available in his shop, and you can follow his latest works on Instagram.

 

“Acclimate”

“Reparation”

Left: “Hygge.” Right: “Think Tank”

“Double Vision”

“Flash Point”

Left: “Jungle Gym.” Right: “Neogenesis”

“Long Game”

 

 



Art

Playfully Surreal Scenarios Emerge from Innumerable Acrylic Dots in Quint Buchholz’s Paintings

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Quint Buchholz, shared with permission

When viewing the uncanny scenes of Munich-based artist Quint Buchholz, it’s evident that play, experimentation, and exploring the uncharted are central tenets of his practice: a string quintet precariously balances above the sea, sightseers take advantage of the view atop a giant man, and a pigeon doubles as an apartment complex.

Each piece toys with scale and sensibility, and Buchholz enlarges some characters to preposterous sizes while positioning others in strange, seemingly impossible situations. “I enjoy the various possibilities that emerge when you reflect on the world and on your own life and move beyond the boundaries of what we believe is real,” he shares. “For me, the notion of play, of trying things out is a central element in art. And playing in this way opens up many unexpected doors.”

Painted with brushes in various sizes on paper or cardboard, the grainy texture present in the works evokes pointillism or film photography, the latter of which Buchholz says was an early inspiration. The dotted effect is also “a way of connecting the very calm character of my painting technique with a structure that was still lively,” he says, noting that the style also “lifts (the characters) out of known reality, maybe into a different mode of reflecting and associating.”

The artist will open a solo exhibition at KunstRaum Heilsbronn this October, and he has a number of prints available through Beuteltier Art Galerie. Find more of his surreal paintings on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

In Introspective Paintings, Artist Ocom Adonias Explores Narratives of Blackness

August 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Here After,” oil on canvas, 200 x 180 centimeters. All images © Ocom Adonias, shared with permission

Fusing history with the political and social contexts of today, Ocom Adonias’s work interprets the experience of moving through the world in a Black body. His vibrant, realistic paintings portray people in ordinary moments of ritual, solitude, and bonding, honing in on individual narratives to convey a broader message. “I’m particularly interested in the global conversation of what being an African and what being Black means, history, and the representation of the Black figure in the contemporary sense,” he shares.

Having worked primarily with charcoal on newspapers for years, Adonias recently shifted to oil painting, swapping the hazy layers of his previous works for bold color palettes and clean lines. He continues to focus on those around him, though, translating their conversations into intimate, introspective pieces.

The artist is based in Kampala, Uganda, and has a residency at Montresso Art Foundation slated for this fall. Currently, he’s working on a painting referencing myth and Michaelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” fresco, which you can follow on Instagram.

 

“Letters from us,” newspapers and oil on canvas, 150 x 130 centimeters

“Saloon secrets (we are who we were),” oil and collage on canvas, 130 x 150 centimeters

“King Adebwa”

“Utopia duality,” newspapers and oil on canvas, 200 x 150 centimeters

 

 

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