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, December 28, 2009

Jennifer Walton

I've always loved maps and have long wondered why so few painters mine this rich material. Especially now that we all have easy access to satellite imagery. Well, Jennifer Walton, has beaten me to the punch and frankly I'm grateful. The first piece here is part of a new series.
In previous bodies of work she explored the environment and frequently the human presence within it. Sometimes they are simply depictions of the powerful forces at work in nature: fire, water, ice, etc., (and I can never resist a good fire painting). But mostly her concern was with how our activity within the natural world can enrich us. Only occasionally do we see glimpses of the obverse, of how human activity marks the environment, as in "Graffiti Rock, Petiwawa" (below). But with these satellite imagery paintings, it is hard for her to avoid taking on a less personal and more political stance. We are shown the landscape as an abstract canvas and the most compelling aspect of it is not so much the beauty and breadth of the natural world but rather how rather heavily the human hand has scrawled across it.
Visit her website to see more: www.jenniferwalton.com
And please click on these images to view them larger!

"Copper Cliff Tailings Ponds, Sudbury, View from Google Earth" 72" x 72" oil on canvas 2009

"Graffiti Rock, Petiwawa" 20"x60" oil on canvas 2007

"Swim 4" 12"x18" oil on canvas 1999

"Smoke and fire 1" 12"x12" oil on canvas 1996

"Smoke and fire 3" 12"x12" oil on canvas 1996

"Water 2" 10"x10" oil on canvas 2002

Thanks to Eric Cator at Paintblog for bringing this artist to my attention.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aron Wiesenfeld

Comparisons to Chris Van Allsburg have been made. His Charcoal drawings, especially, evoke The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. But while Aron Wiesenfeld employs a similar dreamlike realism and suggested narrative, his psychological territory skews somewhat older, a good deal darker and decidedly more complex. His characters are often young, when emotions were more visceral and less compartmentalized, when fear and loneliness and wonder could all occur simultaneously in an intense but untidy emotional package. This is narrative art, first and foremost, and he is exceptionally good at suggesting an elaborate back story to draw the viewer into a paticipatory role as storyteller. But his technique, while always subordinate to the narrative, is wonderfully rich as well. I'm sure looking forward to following his work in the years to come.
Visit his website (aronwiesenfeld.com) and for a few images not included there, check out his Flickr site.

"Early" oil on linen 12"x9.75" 2008

"The Oath Breakers" oil on canvas 62"x47.5" 2009

untitled 35"x50" charcoal on paper 2007

"Tunnel" 16.5"x14" charcoal on paper 2008

"Flood" oil on canvas 24"x24"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rein Pol

Because I come across a lot of artists through networking sites on the internet they tend to be younger, whether established or not. But Rein Pol was born in 1949, lives in the north of the Netherlands and is quietly living off of his success. Below you can see why. His idiosyncratic mix of realism, post-impressionism and occasional bouts of surrealism, is always uniquely his own. But he has also followed in the footsteps of his famous fellow countryman Rembrandt Van Rijn, by painting himself over the course of a lifetime, leaving a remarkable visual autobiography. To see all of those and a tremendous amount of other work, go to his website (www.reinpol.nl). I do not think I have yet worked my way through all of it. But that's the joy of discovering an artist who has had a long distinguished career. And thankfully, he's still at it.

"Self" 23x19cm 2007

"Memory" 22x19cm 2001

"A Northern Realist" oil on panel 1992

"Blue Angel - Spring" 80x66cm 1994

"In Plastic / Sprouts" 23x20cm 2006

This is a recent and remarkable study for a much larger work in progress entitled "pollegorie" with many varied elements to it. Most of what is posted so far is reproduced very small on his his website. I'm hoping he will consider posting a larger version of it at a later date or, failing that, at least provide more detail shots.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gregory Crewdson

For the most part I have avoided posting photography for two reasons. One, I do not think I am a particularly good judge of photography. And two, I know too many of them. But the work of Gregory Crewdson, it seems to me, bears little resemblance to most photography. There is no capturing the fleeting moment here. These large inkjet prints are very, very carefully composed and arranged, the color and light manipulated to the desired effect. All in all his approach appears to have more in common with narrative painting than anything else. Of course I love it.
It was very difficult to select images to include here since I would like to have included so many more. So please check out the rest of his work at the Luhring Augustine gallery.

"Untitled (Shane), Summer 2006" archival inkjet print 57"x88"

"Untitled, Winter 2006" archival inkjet print 57"x88"

"Untitled, Summer 2003" Digital C-Print 64 1/4" x 94 1/4"

"Untitled (overturned bus)" 2001-2002 Digital C-Print 48"x60"

"Untitled, Winter 2007" archival inkjet print 57"x88"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Matt Brackett

The paintings of Matt Brackett lie firmly in an ill-defined field of narrative art. Artists like Amy Bennett, Rob Evans and the photographer Gregory Crewdson come to mind. The imagery seems too prosaic to be labelled symbolist, but too peculiar to be mere representation. There is certainly a level of personal allegory, but what I suspect matters most here is the desire to engage and intrigue the viewer. The painter works alone and so, must use him or her self as the audience, asking the questions, what does this painting mean, what is it about, and more practically, what would make it interesting enough to feel it was worth doing on the first place. Those first questions need not be answered clearly if the last one is. We as viewers after the fact, are witness to the artists own internal narratives, their waking dreams and restructured memories applied in paint. If the artist is successful those narratives will resonate within us as well. Matt Brackett succeeds.
See more at www.mattbrackett.com

"Jupiter" 48"x40" oil on canvas on aluminum panel 2009

Jupiter - detail

"Watersign" 48"x60" 2007

Watersign - detail

"Nightfall" 36"x34" 2007

"Doubting Thomas" 25"x48" 2007

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Andy Kehoe 2

It's been a year since I first posted the work of Andy Kehoe (December 1, 2008). Seeing as how he currently has a show up in L.A. at Thinkspace it seems high time to revisit his mythical world of characters both good and ill, of loneliness and chance encounters, of murderers and mystical rebirths. It is a place of perpetual twilight in an unending autumn all rendered in a visual vocabulary as unique as they come.
Visit his website www.andykehoe.net for links to his Flickr page, blog and more.

"The Unseen Gather in Secret" 18"x18" 2009

"Songs of the Dead" 10"x10" 2009

"Old Enemies Reconcile Unseen" 30"x30" 2009

"Keeper of the Beacons" 36"x24" 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sandra Allen

These enormous pencil drawings are not just pictures of trees. They are portraits of individuals. I don't know that there's much more I can say. I could perhaps wish that the images were a little larger to fully appreciate the scale and detail in these pieces. The scale is important to keep in mind. This first piece is a 12 and a half feet tall! She has taken the time to really look at and appreciate the beauty of trees and she is trying to make us do the same.
See more at her website www.sandraallen.com

"Stalwart" 150"x 84" pencil on paper 2004

"Schism" 72" x 42" pencil on paper 2004

"Respire" 84" x 52" pencil on paper 2006

for scale....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

R. S. Connett

There are artists out there who eschew traditional approaches to drawing but are nonetheless obsessed with detail as a way express what are often frightening visions of the world in general and humanity in particular. H. R. Giger and Chris Mars spring to mind. Their roots lie in the dreamlike visions of Heironymous Bosch. It is a difficult artistic path. Most who try it fail to develop a unique vision or compelling style and get mired in cliché psychedelia. This kind of work is often driven by direct experiences with drug addiction, insanity or both, which can explain the rarity of finding such artists who also have the discipline to excel. R. S. Connett has become one of those exceptions. Go to his website www.vomitus.com or check him on Flickr.

please click on these images to view them larger!

"AFS #1 (Alternative Fuel Source) 10x10" acrylic on panel 2008

"Evolutionaries" 10x10" acrylic on panel 2008

"Don Quixote Meets His Chimera" 18x24" acrylic on panel 2009

"Memento Mori (remember you will die)" 18x24" acrylic on panel 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rick Araluce

Rick Araluce creates small mysterious spaces where something has happened, maybe recently, maybe long ago. There are stories here but the participants of those stories are no longer present. In a way, these are ghost stories and we are left to wonder why they haunt us.
He painstakingly creates all the objects in his scenes including the box they exist in, the broken drywall, the lighbulbs and electrical chords. He also takes these tiny objects and distributes them in site specific locations as part of a series of outdoor installation projects. And there's a giant old-fashioned telephone receiver lying on a gallery floor with it's wire rudely cut, but sounds are coming from it. Explore his website . You'll be glad you did.

"The Fall" 5x3.5x1.75"

"The Fall" detail

"The Descent" 48x3.5x2"

"The Descent" detail

"The Difficult Lesson" 3x16x2"

"The Difficult Lesson" detail

"The Difficult Lesson" detail

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nicolás Uribe

Here's an extraordinary painter who recently had this to say on his blog: "...I like to remind myself that I actually am an illustrator (at least it says so in the diploma... truth is I am one at heart)." Illustrators often spend years developing their craft in ways that other artists all too often simply avoid. The results show when they turn that craft to their own personal endeavors. But his art goes well beyond the exceptional craftsmanship of his technique. There are enough visual ideas in his portfolio to sustain the careers of several artists.
Check out his website: www.uribearts.com. And if you want to see what he's been doing lately you could follow his blog. There's also a nice interview posted as a lonely blog entry by the artist Gage Opdenbrouw.

Oh, and you really, really ought to click on these images to view them larger!

"Oz" no size indicated 2009

"Gods & gods" 140x105'5cm mixed media 2008

"Arruinados" 139x120cm mixed media 2008

"Marriage" 75x45cm oil on linen 2007