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)

Monday, August 26, 2013

David Molesky

from the series "Owlpocalypse"  6" x 6"  2013

from the series "Owlpocalypse"  6" x 6"  2013

from the series "Owlpocalypse"  6" x 6"  2013

"Polar Weasel"  oil on panel  11" x 14"  2013

David molesky apparently has some big things in the works that I'm looking forward to seeing. But for now I'd like to share some small things he just finished. His series of 50 small owl paintings is subtitled in at least one place "Owls and Flame: Sentinels aloft in a warming world". It's clear that the artist has an affinity for the natural world and a deep concern for the crisis of global climate change (In case you question my choice of the word crisis, just wait). With ever increasing forest fires in the west of North America these images look less like apocalyptic warning and more and more like a response to current events. Either way, the artist creates compelling images through sumptuous brushwork. Whether he's painting flames and billowing smoke, or steam pluming from a geyser or curling waves and foaming spume at the ocean shore, he has a gift for suggesting the movement, surging energy and chaotic power of nature. That power is now shifting, altering in ways we cannot fully predict or control. We are almost certainly responsible, but we are not the only ones who will suffer the consequences.
I first posted some of his work in January, 2011.
To see more work visit his website: davidmolesky.com
Or checkout (and like) his Facebook page.
For a little while you can see a few more owls here. They are currently on display in Pacifica, California at the Sanchez Art Center.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lu Cong

untitled  watercolor

untitled  watercolor

untitled  watercolor

untitled  watercolor

"Tabitha 11"  oil on panel  18" x 18"  2011

Lu Cong is well known for his haunting and hyper-realistic portraits of young people on the cusp of adulthood (usually girls, but not always). I've included one example here and you can see more on my previous post about his work back in July 2010. But recently he's been posting some sketches on his Flickr page. They're mostly line drawings and exhibit all the skill and and talent that is so abundantly obvious from his paintings. But scattered among them are these few watercolor studies. The loose gestural quality of the medium is a perfect counterpoint to his exquisitely controlled line work. The rough faces with their dark hollowed eyes and incomplete character lends them a quality you don't see in his very personal and empathetic portraits; for these are not portraits of individuals but sketches of animals, studies of the articulation of the limbs of naked primates. I think they're stunning. I don't know if he plans to do more of these or explore watercolor further at all, but maybe if we all bug him and say, "hey, these are awesome", he will and then we can see them and think, "dang, that guy is good" every time.
You can see more of his amazing portrait work on his website: lucong.tumblr.com
and to look all those sketches I mentioned plus other stuff go to the aforementioned Flickr Page.
Oh, and if you happen to be in New york city or Vail, CO go check out his work in person at Gallery Henoch or Vail International Gallery respectively.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dina Brodsky

"Vacant"  oil on mylar on plexiglass  8x8 inches

"Living Room"  oil on mylar  6x11 inches
"Off Northern Boulevard"  oil on mylar  8x8 inches

"Golden" oil on mylar on plexiglass  8x8 inches

"Trading Post"  oil on mylar  8x8 inches
Dina Brodsky works small. I could easily imagine these paintings large, overwhelming the viewer with their brooding atmosphere of abandonment and decay. But no. They're small. Very small. Sometimes small works get short shrift in the gallery scene. Large crowds cannot gather before a tiny painting and collectively murmur their emotional responses. No. Each individual must wait his or her turn to approach the piece and experience it alone, often leaning forward slightly, perhaps squinting, as if peering into a tiny window on another world that, for a moment anyway, only they can see. How does this effect the kind of vision that Dina Brodsky presents? I can only guess having never seen the work in person. But I like small works. I like that intimacy, the personal connection small finely crafted work demands. These are worlds I want to peer into. They echo those intimate lonely parts within my own heart. Doesn't everyone have a bit of that inside them? That's what these paintings are for. To recognize that part within you that is not only lonely, but defiantly so; that part within us all that no one else can ever quite reach but helps define who we are. I look at these paintings and I can hear the crows cawing and feel the November chill. And to me they seem inviting.

Her website is alas no more. Her galleries have only older or very limited work to view:
Artana Gallery and  Mark Miller Gallery
The best way to see more right now appears to be on her Facebook page or you can see all her work from this year on a temporary(?) wordpress page dinabrodsky.wordpress.com

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hubert Blanz

Geospaces - M 1:115000 C-Print, matt foil on aluminum  180x180cm  2002

Geospaces - detail

Roadshow no. 1  C-print, Diasec on aluminum  80x120cm  2007

"X-Plantation 11"  C-Print  Diasec on Dibond  100x150cm  2008

"Fifth Face no. 1"  C-print, diasec on dibond  117x135cm  2010
I had a hard time picking out just a few images to represent Hubert Blanz's work. And in addition to the photographic work there's film, installations and sculpture. But my favorites are these collages of freeways and airports and cities, and his satellite-like views of landscapes composed entirely of microchips, motherboards and other computer circuitry. One just sort of gets this work viscerally and immediately. It doesn't require much in the way of analysis. The environments most of us live in are so far removed from the natural world that these images trigger a instantaneous spark of recognition. The artificial pushes aside the natural sometimes so completely, whether in the real life of our actual cities or in the second life of online digital environments, that scale begins to seem meaningless, and what's real vs. unreal is called into question. Each of these images is from a series with many more examples to look through on his website: www.blanz.net

Friday, August 9, 2013

Michael Brophy

"Pacific Wonderland" series of 36 gouache paintings on paper  2012
from "Cascadia Exit" a series of 40 gouache paintings on paper

from "Cascadia Exit"

from "Pacific Wonderland"

from "Pacific Wonderland"

from "Cascadia Exit"
Last year Michael Brophy spent some time on the roads of Oregon crisscrossing the state and producing a slew of small gouache studies. Many of these are currently on display this month in Portland, Oregon. Those familiar with his work might be more familiar with his large oil canvases (often 10 feet across). But his vision scales down nicely. In them delicate lines of paint scrawl out the shapes of trees or reflections on water with a calligraphers confident ease. The scenes are rarely the epic ones that artists, photographers and tourists might be expected to gravitate to. Rather they are the ordinary scenes one often passes by without much thought. For Michael Brophy every angle, every new scene, even the seemingly emptiest (yes, especially the emptiest) is not only worth looking at, but worth recording and rendering, allowing the rest of us to see his home state through his eyes. I first posted his work in September, 2010 and he still doesn't have a website. Though there are plans in the works for one it could be a while. So for now the only place to find his work online is at Laura Russo Gallery which also where you can see the work in person if you're lucky enough to live in Portland.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Damon Kowarsky

"Istanbul I"  etching and aquatint from 6 copper plates  22.5 x 47cm

"Blackbird" with Kyoko Imazu etching & aquatint from 2 copper plates  32x21cm

"Night March"  with Kyoko Imazu  etching & aquatint from 2 copper plates  32x21cm

"Spring Street"  etching & aquatint from 2 copper plates  32x34cm

"Shalami Bazaar"  charcoal on paper  109x240cm

I posted Damon Kowarsky's work way back in June 2009. He's kept busy since then. His career has taken him all over the planet. He studied in Scotland and Australia and taught art in Pakistan. He worked on an archaeological dig in Egypt, and has executed work based on travels in Japan, Korea and the United States. At the center of all his work is the city, sometimes modern, but more often the ancient cities he's visited in his travels, ancient cities that stand as living links to the archaeological artefacts he has occasionally illustrated for scientific publication. He has a knack for expressing architecture not as the perfect straight lined preplanned illusion of blueprints and conceptual renderings, but as the organic evolving things they actually are. Sometimes the city is portrayed for it's own sake, for the love of it's rooftops and windows and labyrinthine complexities. But in much of his work he invites figures, both human and animal to enter the urban realm in scenarios ranging from the ordinary to the dreamlike and surreal.
You can see more at hs website: www.damon.tk

And if you happen to be in Melbourne anytime in the next couple of weeks he currently has new work showing in Armadale at Gallery 1156.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nick Sheehy aka Showchicken

"The Sitting"

"The Woodcutter"

"The Damage"

"Masque of the Red Death"

cover art for the first issue of Tiny Pencil magazine

I posted Nick Sheehy's work almost two years ago (Sept. 2011) and he's been busy since then. While I enjoy pretty much everything he does just recently this series featuring a peculiar double skull character has resulted in some of my favorite pieces to date. Nick is an Australian born artist who studied sculpture in Tasmania, only to drop out of art altogether for a spell. Now living in southeast England his artistic interests were reignited by the low-brow and graffiti art movements. I rather like what I wrote last time so for once I'm going to simply paraphrase what I said before:

His unique surrealist narrative vision begs the viewer's mind for a rich tapestry of story and myth. It's as if the mythology, the gods, heroes and queer characters that inhabit his work always existed but we forgot about them. That is until Mr. Sheehy's came along with these illustrations to remind us of this elaborate and haunting heritage.

His work has a mythic dimension and an almost epic scope, even while the individual pieces themselves are small and delicately drawn. It's well worthwhile to take some time and look back through the evolution of his imagery. You'll see familiar motifs and characters recur not because he's stuck on old ideas but because that's how stories work. Each time something recurs it's as if a familiar thread is being brought back into an ever growing and elaborate tapestry of myth making.

Check it out on his Flickr page or on his website: www.showchicken.com