When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Apologies from Chicago

I've been in Chicago and won't be back home for another week. It's been great to see some original work by artists that I've posted here. I'll have some updates and new artists when I get home in a week or so. On a personal not I had some very positive conversations with a few galleries that I hope might lead to showing some work out this way one of these days.

Art Institute of Chicago  1916  Childe Hassam

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tom Parish

"Osteria"  66" x 72"

"La Porta Verso La Luce"  60"x72"  2009

"Wait Here"  66" x 78"  2007

"Doppo Mezzanotte"  68" x 72"  2006

"Notta Serena"  66" x 72"  2009

I've never been to Venice. Until now.
Tom Parish was born in Minnesota with an English name from French and Finnish parents but his heart belongs to Venice, Italy. He's been painting scenes from his beloved city for a decade. He's captured the place in many moods from bright sunlit days to cool quiet nights. He seems to look especially for those hidden corners that all cities possess, those small places where one can imagine that the crowds simply cease to exist. There is a kind of emotional magic in those urban spaces where one can feel alone with the massive built environment that surrounds you. How much more powerful that feeling must be in a place as old and surreal as Venice. But his paintings include moments with people as well. Again they're quiet moments, not trying to depict the hectic pulse at the heart of any city but the simple moments of individuals in their daily routines. Looking through these paintings is likely to make you put Venice on the top of your list of places you must someday see.

To see more online you can check out the gallery through the link above or look through the artist's website: tomparish.net

Monday, June 17, 2013

Judy Onofrio

"Reveal"  mixed media wall sculpture  40"h x 19"w x 14.5"d  2012

"Twist"  mixed media wall sculpture  43"h x 27"w  x13"d  2012

"Hydrangea"  mixed media  42"h x 28"w x 16"d  2009

"Hydrangea"  detail

"Wrap" mixed media  10"w x 25"l x 13"d  2012

Judy Onofrio's work with bones speak so eloquently for for itself that I'm almost at a loss for words. I will keep my usual micro-review even shorter than usual. Bones are potent reminders of mortality, and her work, undeniably beautiful, even elegant, contrasts with our more usual associations with death and decay. Even in a strictly materialist sense, death is a transformative process upon which life depends. Such ideas inevitably lure us into more philosophical musings that border on edges of religion. But even a non-religious skeptic like myself can easily grasp and appreciate what the artist means when she says, "To me, they feel like prayers".
There is plenty more to look through at her website: www.judyonofrio.com
Her work can be seen in person in Minneapolis at Thomas Barry Fine Art.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eric Edward Esper

"The Water Crib Fire"  oil on linen  20" x 48"  2013  (from the series - "Chicago Disasters")

"Green Hornet Streetcar Inferno"  oil on canvas  22" x 27"  2013  (from the series - "Chicago Disasters")

"1977 CTA El Train Derailment"  oil on canvas  24" x 36"  2013  (from the series - "Chicago Disasters")

"The Manson Family's Spahn Movie Ranch, 1200 Santa Suzana Pass, Chatsworth, California, 1969"  
oil on canvas  24" x 48"  2009 (from the series - "Cult Temples")

"Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978" 
oil on canvas   24" x48"  2009 (from the series - "Cult Temples")

Eric Esper trained as an illustrator, morphed into a landscape painter and finally combined the two to paint eerily objective depictions of the dark side of American History. In his series of "Cult Temples" he painted bird's eye views of the compounds and places of some of the most tragic cults from the Manson Family in California to the Branch Davidians in Waco, Heaven's Gate and more. These paintings are straightforward aerial landscapes. The distance of the scenes keeps the images impersonal. Until you know the title. Then, you look again. We can't help ourselves.  The distance and impersonality of images may be almost too distant, too impersonal. Beyond our pre-existing knowledge of the horror associated with what we are looking at, little else is revealed. It may be that the seeming tranquility of scenes creates a kind of dissonance. But in his latest follow up series of paintings, "Disasters of Chicago", the distance and impersonal point of view is countered by the raw drama of disaster unfolding before our eyes; an El train hovering just off the rails about to fall, the fireball of an explosion just erupting after a fuel truck strikes a street car, and in another, not shown here, the curtain's of a crowded theater have just begun to blaze presaging the tragedy that soon followed at the Iriquois Theater in 1903. In all of his work he takes a historian's interest in accuracy, gathering as much photographic reference as possible in order to re-visualize each event from any angle. I look forward to seeing where Mr. Esper's gaze will next illuminate the darker side of history.

You can see more of his work at ericesper.com
Or you can go see the real thing if you happen to be in Chicago by visiting Linda Warren Projects. His work will be on display there until August 10th and for once I will actually be able to see some of the work I post. Hooray!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Jonathan Wolstenholme

title unknown

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"Two Old Tomes"

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"Secret Life of a Crime Writer"

John Wolstenholme's love of old books is obvious, and clearly matched by his wit and talent. Each of his carefully crafted watercolors is a kind of portrait, of readers, of writers, of critics, of whole genres of books. Despite the antiquarian details,(nothing in his work appears to be any more recent than early twentieth century) they are distinctly contemporary in their surrealist humor. There really is not much more that needs to be said about these, for they speak quite clearly for themselves without any need for explication. One only needs to see them to appreciate them, and to recognize that just as there is no end to the art form of the book itself, Mr. Wolstenholme is unlikely to run out of material for his tremendously entertaining and engaging work. You can see just few more through his representatives at: portalpainters.co.uk
and one or two more at: hifructose.com
I don't know about you but I would love to see many many more.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trevor Young

"Claim Etiquette"  50" x 50"  oil on canvas  2012

"Blue Brand"  42" x 42"  oil on canvas  2012

"Civilian Departure"  42" x 42"  oil on canvas  2013

"Three Squares"  48" x 48"  oil on canvas  2013

"Man in Box"  42" x 42"  oil on canvas  2011

Trevor Young's paintings combine minimalism and realism in perfect combination to capture the peculiar loneliness that haunts America's constructed landscapes. This atmosphere or spirit of loneliness is especially strong at airports. Traveling by car, bus or train, it is possible to open a window and breathe the air rushing by, which somehow turns the act of transportation into adventure. Airplanes and Airports are containers in which everything is in a state of suspended unreality, disconnected from the larger world. And yet, there is still something latent within them that holds a promise... for they also are the means of the most significant physical translocation available to us. They represent not only the very limits of impersonal tedium but also the promise of unlimited exploration. This kind of dichotomy is present in much of our contemporary built environments. The artist seems to love the cold impersonal structures of modernity in a way that is not remotely ironic, but rather it's opposite. There is wonder here. It seems to me as if the artist somehow possesses that spirit of loneliness, as if he becomes it, personifies it, and coolly observes with seeming detachment, and yet captures with aching nostalgia, places that most of us never look at twice or even notice at all as we bustle through or past them.
You can see more at his website, www.trevoryoung.net
or the websites of his galleries, J. Cacciola Gallery in NY, and David Klein Gallery near Detroit.