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, March 31, 2011

Ross Bowns

"Coalesced Space"  23.5" x 16"  oil on Dura-Lar  2009

"Burdened"  18" x 24"  oil on canvas  2009

"Remain"  17.5" x 24.5"  oil on Dura-Lar  2009

"Suffers Lasting Pain, But Pretends Calm and Composure"  oil on panel

"An Obsessive Regret Lingers" 16" x 24"  oil on panel  2010

Anyone who has ever painted recognizes that the process is a fascinating exercise in potentialities, where accidents often suggest whole new directions in which to take a piece. Often these happy accidents are lost in overworking. Then in frustration one wipes out large completed areas to begin anew only to marvel at the revelation one's angry gesture suddenly reveals. And so it goes. Ross Bowns' work is all about this process and how it interacts with the attempt to record perception. He begins with the conceit of representation, looking and trying to depict what one sees in two dimensions. But he makes no attempt to end there. Very quickly the figure begins to melt into the painting process itself and he searches not for a way to finish the painting but rather for the perfect moment to simply stop painting and show us how the whole thing works. The fact that he chooses the human figure as his subject is in this sense irrelevant. But in another, it is perfectly apropos. It is one of the oldest and most traditional subjects in painting, carrying with it the weight of tradition and the whole history of technique and method. But it also helps to convey the fact that his work is as much an inward looking process as an outward one.

See more at rossbowns.net

I came across Ross Bowns work recently on www.artistaday.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

Yosman Botero

paintings are untitled

From a series called "Condensation"  2010  Acrylic on layered plexiglass 28 x 32 x 10 cm

Yosman Botero is a Colombian painter and sculptor. His paintings deal almost exclusively with aerial views of large urban centers, depicting the lights spread out along the arterial highways creating a shimmering pattern on the earth below. Thanks to the ubiquity of airplane travel everyone can immediately recognize these scenes. There is certainly something mesmerizing about staring down from a tiny airplane window at the transformed world lit below, as one descends or takes off in darkness. Mr. Botero captures that gleaming abstract magic, stripping away the constricting frame of the tiny window to leave us floating above it all. There is no judgment here. We may be horrified at how thoroughly mankind has overtaken the land or we may simply be amazed at the marvelous magnitude of our invention. Either way it's an awesome sight.
In his sculptural work he builds up three dimensional images by painting on layers of plexiglass. My favorites of these are haunting, obscure faces that seem to be emerging as from a thick fog. A sense of atmosphere concealing detail, from which reality emerges infuses both approaches. To see more go to: www.behance.net/Yosman

I first came across his work at www.freaksonline.co.uk

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Robert Minervini

"Regeneration" acrylic on canvas  46" x 50"  2010

"Reclamation Project"  Oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas  46" x 50"  2010

"The Rising Tide"  acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas  46" x 50"  2010
"LA (sell me something else)"  acrylic on canvas  50" x 68"  2009 
"Tomorrow Dreams"  acrylic on canvas  75" x 126"  2011  

Robert Minervini's sometimes cryptic paintings are a curious blend of old fashioned heroic landscape from the days of Bierstadt and Caspar David Friedrich, and a modern urban post-apocalyptic chic, complete with graffiti and graphic art influences. It sounds unlikely but you can see the results for yourself. Forlorn high-rises and super highway flyovers soar into the miasma of a palm tree swamp or above the creeping reclamation of invasive city plants. He combines textured rendering with flat stenciled shapes and a graphic feel, and ties it all together with sometimes unlikely but effective color palettes. All of this lends a surreal weight to a vision of the modern urban environment which is both bleak and pop at the same time. While painting is his primary medium, he also produces installations, sculpture and murals.

You can look through all of it on his website: robertminervini.com and keep track of latest news and other tidbits on his blog, robertminervini.blogspot.com

His work was published recently in New american Painting 91

Monday, March 21, 2011

Christopher Stevens

Theatre of the Whole World [2004]  oil on panel  45 x 68 cm

Washed Up [2009]  oil on canvas  137 x 183 cm

Whistling in the Dark [2008]  oil on canvas  137 x 183 cm

Slow March of the Tides [2001]  oil on panel  38 x 57 cm

Leviathan [2006]  pencil on paper  25 x 35 cm

Christopher Stevens is  a hyper-realist artist who has long been fascinated by the transformation that takes place in the mind when one scrutinizes the very small. What seems at first an insignificant detail becomes an entire landscape. What seemed minuscule becomes vast. He's peered at and explored pieces of cloth and carpet and tiny portions of photographs printed in magazines. But his greatest fascination has been the transformation of paint itself. The idea of paint as a medium which can be used to represent anything else on a two dimensional surface is toyed with here in a fascinating way. He depicts in two dimensions, the three dimensions of paint on the palette. In this way the paint becomes a world of its' own, full of unique landscapes and creatures and mysterious forms that rise up from the surface as if from a new sea. It is a fascinating and happy marriage of high artistic concept with meticulous and compelling execution.
You can see more of his work at the website of his gallery: www.mummeryschnelle.com

I'd like to thank visualinventory.blogspot.com for making me aware of this artist.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Robert Josiah Bingaman

"Nevada"  2010, acrylic on linen, 54 x 120 in

"Nevada"  detail

"New Mexico"  2010, acrylic on linen 54 x 96 in.

"Concavity"  2010, acrylic on linen 54 x 42 in.

"Minnetonka Senescence"  2010, acrylic on linen 42 x 54 in.

Robert Josiah Bingaman is an artist of the open, empty American spaces. Which is to say that he is an artist of the west. Or perhaps the idea of the west. He has set out on the road to find and photograph the lonely spaces that haunt the American imagination. His work focuses especially on such scenes at night when the artificial lights of the human presence transform the landscape into a dreamlike place, where one can be still be filled with awe by the empty darkness on every side. By taking his photographs and memories and transforming them into these almost surreal paintings he is, in some way, able to take us with him. Or rather, allow us to inhabit his experience. For these are not visions one shares. They are an expression of what it means to be lost and gloriously alone and stare dumbfounded at the strange world we've created in a vast dark land.

You can see more work on his website (robertjosiah.net) and there's a fine video of his process of the first painting ("Nevada"). But be warned that the first half of the video is of prepping the canvas and only the second half gets into the painting itself.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jeremy Mangan

"Rorschach"  acrylic on panel  18" x 36"  2010
"Hotel & Bar"  18" x 20"  acrylic on panel  2010
"Evening Sky"  12" x 18"  acrylic on panel  2009
"Moon Lantern (End of the Beginning)"  9" x 12"  acrylic on panel   2010
"Western King"  16" x 20"  acrylic on panel  2010
Jeremy Mangan's imagery begins with the barns and grain silos of the American west. These tin-roofed white clapboard buildings form a starting point from which he riffs, ad-libs, re-invents and fantasizes with obsessive zeal. It's a fun ride to look through the last few years of his work and see all this transformation taking place. When, in real life, you see one of those enormously tall house-like structures rising up out of the plain along a lonely stretch of rail line, it's not unnatural to wonder at the ant-like business of human beings. Mr. Mangan's work takes this notion and kicks it around the block a bit, playing up not only the hubris of mankind's endeavors but also the sheer wonder and strangeness of it all. His paintings are full of wit and invention with a fine long view of our peculiar impact on the landscape. To see much much more got to www.jeremymangan.com

PS on the trivia side of things, I think it's interesting to note that the artist has supported himself as an ice-sculptor in New York City. How that may tie into his painting imagery I'll leave to you to ponder. There are ice sculptures to view on his website including one of a Hummer, which I think is kind of hysterical.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gale Antokal

Group Shot 2  14 ¾ x 42 Pastel, Flour and Ash on paper 2007
Place 11  18 x 25 Pastel, Flour and Ash on paper 2007
Place 12  15 x 20 Pastel on paper 2007

 Gale Antokal's delicate pastels describe a kind of mundane surrealism. The surrealism stems not from the the subject matter (that's where the mundane comes in, the ordinary simple everyday events and places in the world around us) but rather from the ethereal effect she evokes from her materials. Pastel's innate softness gives her images a shimmering unreality that seems on the verge of vanishing. It's as if seeing itself is an ephemeral act. In some of her work she replicates blurred landscapes photographed from a moving vehicle. But in doing so, her aim is not simply to replicate an effect of photography but to get closer to what it means for an artist to translate living vision into a still static image. Somehow she manages to capture in each piece a sense of the transitory and irreducable nature of vision, and in this way conveys a similar metaphor for life itself. It's a touching and haunting world that she depicts. You can see much more work on her website: www.galeantokal.com

Her work was recently featured in New american Paintings 91

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shane Walsh

Channel 70"x 64" oil on canvas 2008

It's been a while since I posted some abstract art. A lot of the artists I've posted take representational imagery and explore it's abstract qualities. The flip-side of this is the abstract painter who mimicks or suggests representation. Understanding the distinction between the two realms of art is to understand that the line between them is a blurry one that's often best ignored. The examples above show a transition in Mr. Walsh's output from atmospheric hints at submerged landscapes and debris, to imaginary three dimensional constructs. Over the course of a relatively short span of time his work has gone through some fairly radical shifts but what's interesting is the consistency of vision and logic that runs throughout. I'll be curious to see where he goes next. He has no proper website but rather a simple blog where new work is posted on a fairly regular basis: shanewalshpaintings.blogspot.com

I'd like to thank visualinventory.blogspot.com where I first saw his work.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cindy Tower

"Passage", 2010  72 x 68 inches, oil on canvas

"Maintenance Walk", 60 x 60 inches, 2010 oil on canvas

"Seam", 2009  84 x 71 inches, oil on canvas

Tommy Knocker  2007   Oil on silk  68 x 43 inches
Painted in Federal Mill #3, Leadington, MO

Site Painting Photo by Malcolm Gay
Tower painting "Big Wheel" (above) inside a "borrowed" studio- (trespassing) in East Saint Louis
 Cindy Tower's large scale paintings of abandoned factories and similar sites, capture the romance of decay. Post-industrial America (and Europe, and Russia) has become a kind of 'pilgrimagic' destination for recorders of a lost civilization; like those 18th century artists painting the great monuments of antiquity rising from bases of rubble and dripping with vines. Only here the lost age is a much more recent past. And it's not as though the technology has vanished. Much of it has merely moved to developing countries where all the same stuff is still shiny and new. The scale and scope of the abandonment has captured the imagination of quite a few artists, especially photographers who share their documents on group sites like Flickr and LiveJournal. While photographers have the advantage of being able to get in and out of these sites relatively quickly (almost without exception such sites are legally off limits), Ms. Tower's work, done on location, intensifies the experience in a way that a photograph cannot. Her painting is a kind of post industrial impressionism. The chaos and the detritus are enhanced in loving layers of marks and colors allowing the more legally minded viewer to get a real visceral sense of what these locations are like, and more importantly, what they mean.

She does much more work than what I've shown here, including installations and landscape paintings, but her almost fussy brushwork lends itself exquisitely to this particular subject matter.
There is so much to look at on her website ( www.cindytower.com ) that you may want to bookmark it for a bit and go back several times to see it all.

I'd like to thank River Styx magazine for putting her work on the cover so I could find out about it.