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)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Gallery

A while back I posted a group show of themed work, called Night Scenes. So this will be only my second group post. This time the theme is halloween. As you can imagine, a few of the same artists will make an appearance.

I've posted quite a lot of art that deals with very dark and disturbing imagery but not all of it is appropriate for Halloween. It is a holiday after all. Something we celebrate. So bleak despair and man's inhumanity to man are not really what I'm after. Here we seek that side of the horrific that draws us in, that entertains, amuses or even comforts us in some way. Part of the appeal of horror and of Halloween is either knowing the nightmares are not real, or secretly wishing they were. So here's a collection of art that I think reflects this appeal.

Be sure to click on individual images that you like to view them larger (in most cases).
Click on the artist's name to link to the original post of their work. There you can find a link to the artist's website.

Andy Kehoe
 "Be Wary of the Dark Places"  8"x8"  2009

Allison Sommers

"The Sudden Picnic in the Succulent Grove"
8.5" x 7.5" gouache on illustration board 2009

Chet Zar

"Bats"  11" x 14"  oil on canvas  2010

Daniel Danger

“and i dont even like to be seen in the parking lot between the movies and the drink and the glass, whatever the hell that means”
18×24″ five color silkscreen 2009

Dan May 

"Between You and Eye"
18" x 18"  acrylic on wood panel  2010

Fred Einaudi

"Mermaid" 18x24"

Gus Fink 

"Sick Girl"
mixed media on antique photo

Jeremy Enecio

from a show called "Zombies In Love"




John Brosio

"Fatherless Bride"
60" x 45"  oil on canvas  2010

John Kenn

no title - pen on post-it note

Laurie Lipton

"Last Night I Dreamt that I Murdered Mommy" - (1980) 
63.5 x 91 cm - pencil on paper

Phil Hale 
title unknown

Scott Radke 
title unknown

Travis Louie

"Hairy Stare"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chris Mars - update

Well, Halloween is coming up. So it's a perfect time to do an update on Chris Mars who continues to explore the horrific and the horrified. If you missed my previous posts (Jan. 2010 and  July 2009) and are unfamiliar with his work, the one biographical detail that you need to know is that much of the horror in his imagery stems from witnessing his older bother's struggle with schizophrenia. What you don't really need to know, but is interesting for music fans, is that this is the same Chris Mars who was the drummer for the Replacements and who's recorded several successful solo albums as well.

These days he concentrates almost exclusively on the art. The art is about monsters. But monsters may not be as easily defined as you think. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that his art is about the other, the outsider, the ones who are truly different. Society does not abide the other. The other is a target, an outcast and unclean. I'll leave it to you to guess where Chris Mars' sympathies lie.

If you like what you see he has quite  few events coming up in: Tucson AZ, Los Angeles CA, New York City and Cologne Germany plus a whole lot more gigs in 2011. See his exhibitions page on his website for details. Go to latest for his latest work, and browse through an astounding collection of work from the early '90s to the present under index. www.chrismarspublishing.com

"The Carving Stage"

"Requiem for the Penitent"

"Munch's Hollow"

"Patent Pending"


"A Safe Distance"  scratchboard  15x15"  2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daniel Coves

 Daniel Coves is young Spanish artist, born in 1985. Last year he had a piece included in the BP Portrait award show in London. His compositions are simple and elegant and his use of a single light source, often dim and directly overhead add an atmosphere of melancholy to what are otherwise very formal images. His brushwork as well is economical, realistic without being needlessly fussy, showily bravura, or painstakingly meticulous. Everything here is direct, realistic and formal. They are traditional but with a modern, almost minimalist aesthetic. There's really not much more to say. The work speaks quite elegantly for itself.

He has a website but there is no English translation and very little work on it. Rather, go to his Flickr page to see more.
(note: A lot of the images there are a little dark. I have attempted to brighten them here while retaining the overall color balance)

"autorretrato con camisa negra"  (self portait in Black Shirt)  oil on board  90x90cm  2009

 "Eli y naranja quebrado"  oil on linen  180x120cm  2010

"Eli y blanco de plomo"  oil on canvas  120x100cm  2010

untitled  oil on linen  46x81cm  2010

Composition no. 1  oil on linen  100x50cm  2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Brett Amory

Brett Amory currently lives and works in Oakland California, and the series of paintings that he's been exploring since 2001 comes directly from that experience. More specifically they stem from his observations of fellow urbanites and the urban experience while waiting for the BART, or Bay area Transit System. Gradually some of the images have moved away from the specific locality of the Bart stations, but the overall theme and subject has remained. Whether he's painting the white washed flood of noonday or the dark of night, the figures in his work find themselves lost in a fragmented, almost abstracted environment. Sound like city life to you? His work manages to capture both the sense of disconnected isolation and the routine banality that are often the hallmarks of urban life. But there is also the underlying theme of potential change, that sense of waiting for something else, the hope that draws people to the city in the first place.
To see more, check out his website at brettamory.com or you can take a look at his work on bluecanvas.com

"Waiting #61"  oil on wood panel  10" x 48"  2010

 "Waiting #52"  oil on wood panel  48" x 48"  2010

 "Waiting #59"  oil on wood panel  24" x 36"  2010

 "Waiting #66"  oil on wood panel  48" x 48"  2010

 "Waiting #61"  oil on wood panel  24" x 36"  2010

"Waiting #48"  oil on wood panel  24" x 48"  2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joshua Hagler

Joshua Hagler's personal experiences with religious belief and indoctrination inform not only the subject of his paintings but his entire approach to them as well. He paints with a kind of frenzied ecstatic energy that crosses back and forth between representation and abstraction, detail and gesture. As he says in his artist statement, he "intentionally...obscures common conceptions of myth and reality as diametrically opposed, a strategy borrowed from religion itself." The results are a kaleidoscopic onslaught that hints at madness, the kind of madness that might be hell on earth, or the insightful madness of the mystic bringing revelation to our own blind sanity.

He has also created a few installation pieces, and started experimenting with 3-D modeling, and digital printing combined with traditional paint for some interesting results. If I prefer the oil paintings to the rest, I readily acknowledge that it may have more to do with my own conservative prejudices than anything else. I have no doubts whatsoever that here is an extraordinary artist with some disturbing and important things to say.

Mr. Hagler is based in San Francisco, and his work can be seen in person there at Frey Norris Gallery or in New York City at Reaves Gallery.
To look at most of his work online however, go to his website:  www.joshuahagler.com

And as usual, be sure to click on the images to view them larger!

 "Beit Lehem"  96" x 60"  2008

"Descent Into The Wilderness"  77" x 96"  oil on canvas  2009

"Golgotha"  72" x 108" oil on canvas  2008

"Return To The Garden" 16" x 20"  oil on canvas  2010

Thanks to www.escapeintolife.com for bringing this art to my attention

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Laurie Lipton - update

Although originally from the U.S. Laurie Lipton has lived in Britain since 1986. At first I thought the dark satirical cynicism that pervades her work must owe something to British culture but she herself pointed out that the truth is simply that it was a perfect fit. Be that as it may, her vision is a singular one that she realizes with meticulous draftsmanship, building layer upon layer of tiny hatch marks like an egg tempera painting. “It’s an insane way to draw”, she says, “but the resulting detail and luminosity is worth the amount of effort. My drawings take longer to create than a painting of equal size and detail.” All of that however is subordinate to the content of her work, which is summed up fairly nicely in the first piece below. It is about the insanity of a supposedly rational age, and the nightmares of technology's broken promises. But it's an insane nightmare revealed with a wit as sharp as her pencils.

I first posted some of Laurie Lipton's work back in February. I recently received an email from her that she will be showing the following pieces plus many more in a few weeks. The rest of the pieces in the show can be viewed here. The show will be in Los Angeles at La Luz Jesus Gallery from November 5 throygh the 28th. So if you happen to be in the LA area during that time, as I wish I was, I recommend taking a look.

And make sure you click on the images below to view them much larger!

 "The Illusion-of-Control Tower"  Charcoal and graphite on paper, framed  59" x 21.75"

 "Treatment"  Charcoal and graphite on paper, framed  25.5" x 29"

"Info Glut" Charcoal and graphite on paper, framed  23" x 20"

"Nut Cracker" Graphite on paper, framed  30.5" x 23"

"Recylcling" Charcoal and graphite on paper, framed  39.25" x 21.5"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nora Sturges

Nora Sturges paints narrative landscapes in several evocative series. Her most recent work depicts a night fallen world of arctic ruin, where the vestiges of a human presence seem to lie vacant and forlorn upon the ice. In some cases one wonders which is the more recent arrival, the people or the ice? They convey a haunting sense of the precariousness of life on the edges of habitability.

An earlier series called "Marco Polo's Travels" derives it's imagery from Italo Calvino's novel "Invisible Cities" in which a fictional Marco Polo describes the places he has traveled to Kubla Khan. In it she evokes medieval and Persian painting which was used to tell narratives to a largely illiterate populace. She crosses this approach with more modern ideas of tourism, exoticism and xenophobia.

In all her work a delicate and slightly primitive approach helps to create scenes that combine both the exotic and the mundane in a way that not only engages the imagination but demands imaginative participation from the viewer.
There are also two other series on her website and many more paintings in each:

Recent Work:

"Housing Estates"  2009  oil on MDF 8"x9"


"Platform"  2010  oil on MDF 8"x10"

"Observation"  2009  oil on MDF 9"x11.5"

From "Marco Polo's Travels":

 "Marco Polo Forced To Eat Moths"  2003  oil on panel 11"x10"

 This last piece may be one of my favorite titles of all time...

"Nothing Occurs Here That Is Worthy of Remark"  2004  oil on panel 5"x5.75"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stanford Kay

Stanford Kay uses the book as a source for what are essentially abstract explorations of form and color. But he never strays so far from the representation of the book itself that his subject becomes unrecognizable. Many of the pieces appear to be painted to match the size of actual books evoking a sense of verisimilitude and heightening the tension between abstraction and representation. This play on the edge of abstraction coupled with all the connotations and associations of the book as an object result in some amazingly evocative paintings. He's also able to get an extraordinary amount of mileage out of what is really a very simple and elegant concept.

Making a living off art is never easy and most of even the more successful artists posted on this blog either teach art at a university or work as illustrators and designers to support their amazing habits. Stanford Kay is no different although interestingly, in addition to illustration he also works on "litigation graphics", a field that had never even occurred to me before now. You can see samples of that on his commercial website if you're curious: www.stanfordkaystudio.com

But for our purposes please check out his fine art site: www.stanfordkay.com
and make sure to click on these images to view them larger!

"The Natural World"  2009  Acrylic on canvas  60" x 48"

"Blue True"  2007  Acrylic on canvas  36" x 40"

"Box # 3"  2008  Acrylic on canvas  20" x 16"

"Golden Section"  2008  Acrylic and collage on canvas  12" x 9"

"My Back Pages (Water's Edge)" 2009  Acrylic on canvas  30" x 36"

"Strata"  2008  Acrylic on canvas  24" x 30"

I originally saw his work posted at www.freaksonline.co.uk