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 28, 2013


Teatro (theater) Marinoni, Venice 2012

Yespray graffiti Jam, Settimo Torinese, November 2012

Bosnia and Herzogovina, Graffiti Jam, September 2012

Paris, March 2013
Early on in the history of abstract art, painters gave up the illusion of depth and embraced the limitations of two dimensions. At the time it was an innovation, an acknowledgment of truth in art, but it also led eventually to a whole slew of painters who filled entire large canvases with a single undifferentiated shade of a single color. I won't even name names. But the illusion of three dimensions on a flat surface is just too appealing. It's a trick. Of course it is. Sometimes it can seem like magic, akin to a woman floating weightlessly over a table upon a stage. The artist here, Manuel Di Rita, from Italy, goes by the name Peeta. He started off as a graffiti artist, and though he also produces works on canvas for galleries along the same lines, it's the graffiti that appeals to me the most. Perhaps it's because of the context, in which the illusion, the trick, is augmented by the immediate and undeniable fact of the the flatness of the wall it's painted on. The dichotomy creates an almost immediate and visceral sense of delight. The work is fun. It needs no explanation. A child can appreciate it as easily as an adult and I mean that in the best possible way.
To see more go to his website: www.peeta.net or to his flickr page.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Matthew Picton

"Dresden - burnt"

"Dresden" - detail


"Dallas" - detail


"Venice" - detail
I love maps. I love art. And so of course I love art maps and map art. Matthew Picton's work has involved maps for quite some time and his most recent pieces are beautiful sculptures that also incorporate text and sometimes imagery. These city maps portray some cultural or historical aspect of the particular place that will no doubt be familiar to most viewers. Dresden was notoriously fire-bombed in World War II resulting in horrific civilian casualties, and the artist recreates the scene meticulously scorching his model to reflect the scale of the damage. In Dallas John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The artist lines the route of the ill-fated motorcade through the city with images from that very day. His portrait of Venice uses pages from Thomas Mann's class novel "A Death in Venice" as well as the musical score for an opera based on the book by Benjamin Britten. Each piece is carefully layered with meaning, often referencing painstaking research. These details enrich the work without being required for immediate appreciation. There is something incredibly enticing about the three dimensionality of the maps that would no doubt make one want shift about over them, casting back and forth for different angles that subtly change one's perspective, and possibly to peer into the narrow roads and alleyways to get glimpses of fragmented words or images. It makes me glad that he provides at least one detail shot of each piece and usually more. There is plenty more of these maps on his website as well as many other bodies of work all worth looking at on his website: matthewpicton.com

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


"Jacqueline and the Dragonfly"  oil on panel  24" x 38"  2012

"Alex and the Pill Bug"  oil on panel  36" x 24"  2012

"Alex and the Pill Bug"  detail

"Preparation for a Demonstration of a Pick-Axe"  oil on panel  13" x 19"  2013

"Ghost no. 1" oil on panel  24" x 36"  2012

Bijijoo is the presumed pseudonym of an artist in Portland, OR who is apparently obsessed with giant insects, decapitated celebrity heads, and people holding hams, just for starters. Not all of these obsessions are represented here - you'll just have to look through the rest of his work yourself. He is also, it turns out, a Ph.D. chemist (trained as a biophysicist), and quite possibly a satanist. Oh and a clown and a collector of broken dolls too. This is all as a way of pointing out that his art goes beyond the paintings and strays into areas of conceptualism and avant-garde humor. Have you ever heard of the giant goose that some claim haunts old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest? No? Well you can read all about it here. Did you know an episodes of the TV show "30 Rock" featured characters holding hams, and that the entire concept behind this was unfairly stolen from the mind of bijijoo? No? Well you can follow the course of his litigation here. The world of Bijijoo is a complex cascade of satyrical humor, where nothing is quite what it seems, or perhaps it is but also something more. But in the end it is the paintings, various series that operate around conceptual premises (Presidents holding hams, still lives with celebrity heads, etc.,) that are at the center of his creative enterprise. And the paintings have steadily matured over time allowing his dark humor to haunt the viewer with disturbing realism
visit his website: bijijoo.com.,
And for plenty more go to www.flickr.com/photos/bijijoo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Joana Garrido

untitled, digital,  2012

untitled,  digital,  2012

from a series "Buildings Have Feelings Too",  digital,  2011

"#4 Optiker"  digital,  2010

Sometimes digital art can be dismissed by people like me who still get their hands (and clothes and everything else) dirty with actual paints and brushes. But that's simply unfair. Every medium is it's own thing and new ones have as much to offer as the old. What is sometimes frustrating is how often digital artists try to mimic other media. Joana Garrido never makes that mistake. She loves the very noature of digital manipulation and although the pieces I've selected may not show it (I just grabbed what I ;liked the most) she tries a little bit of everything, pushing boundaries and finding out what kind of effects she can get, what works and what doesn't. In other words, she's an artist. And when her stuff works, as it usually does, it can be fairly breathtaking. These are not just backdrops for fantasy flicks and sci-fiction video games. They're images that stand alone, drawing the viewer into a singular visual experience. Enjoy.
You can go to her website at joanagarrido.com but it will just tell you to go to www.flickr.com/photos/onomatoh/

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Aris Moore

Aris Moore's drawings are a bit like collage and it's no surprise to discover that she does a lot of that as well. Her endless fascination is the face. Each piece is a portrait, although not in the proper sense. These are not real people. They are invented. They are cobbled together from disparate elements; a mouth, eyes, etc.,. The disjointed and disconnected nature of their features lends them a curious vulnerability, and a peculiar kind of life. It's as if they desperately wanted to be real, like Pinocchio. Sometimes the amalgamation of features can take on a shocking aspect, akin to characters in a freak show, which we are drawn toward out of morbid fascination. But even then there is deep sympathy in the portrayal. In Aris Moore's work, that line between real and unreal is a vast twilight zone in which she creates an endless cast of characters that all seem to have their own stories to tell, as rich and complex, as sad and sorrowful, or as full of joy and simple pleasures, as any of our own.

Sometimes the artist will experiment with simple variations. For example, take a head of hair and toss in  the facial features in various combinations and styles and see what happens. Somehow each one begins to speak. Here's a terriffic example below. And this is just the tip of an iceberg. Go visit her blog and just spend some time scrolling back in time through her enormous body of work at peekadoo.blogspot.com

And congratulations to the artist for being included in the latest edition of New American Paintings.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lyla Duey

Bathroom (2011) oil on wood 6" x 8"

Doubleroom (2011) oil on wood 9" x 12"

Kitchen (2011) oil on wood 11" x 14"

A Nice Wall Piece (2012) oil on wood 11" x 14"
Broken Chair (2012) oil on wood 14" x 18"

Lyla Duey's recent work has a tremendously enjoyable premise. She makes simple line drawings of various places and objects in her home. Then she cuts out the objects in the drawings and reconstructs the scene in three dimensional models. The paper models reflect the distortions of perspective in her original drawings. Then she makes a painting of the model. So she starts by looking at three dimensions, re-interprets it in two, then re-interprets that back into three, and finally re-interprets that into two dimensions once more. It is a fairly unique exploration of what the illusion of depth in two dimensional art means, how it communicates to us both accurately and inaccurately about the real world in which we live. But it is an exploration of such ideas without pretension or self-importance, a relieving balm amid innumerable artists trying to make profundities out of inanities. Here we are simply witnessing an enthusiastic meditation on and fascination with the act of observation. She has other work as well which she tackles with the same careful attention to detail and amusing wit. You can look through it all on her website: www.lyladuey.com
Thank you Lyla! And congratulations on being included in 104th issue of New American Paintings.

(just a warning though; her images are hi-resolution files so if you have a slow connection they may take a little time to load).

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hsiao-Ron Cheng

"Weeping" digital painting 2012

"February Afternoon" digital painting 2012

"The Child and the Fox"  digital painting 2013


"Stuck" drawing

Hsiao-Ron Cheng is a Taiwanese artist exploring the world of pop-surrealism. She works primarily digitally, so for once I don't have to fret too much about not being able to see the work in person. This is it, if not at the highest resolution possible. Her themes are focused squarely on childhood and nature, how the two naturally intersect and how they are all too often separated. I think there is longing in all children for a deep connection to the natural world. For those that grow up in dense urban environments, that longing can turn into a bittersweet heartbreak of fantasy and despair. The lost presence of nature "out there" is internalized and comes to represent the sense of isolation and and separateness that most children experience as they near maturity. It is a poignant emotion both universal and intensely personal. Each experience of this sort is likely to make a person ask, "Am I the only one?" The answer of course is no, but sometimes it is only art that really can communicate this truth with any meaning to those who feel on the verge of despair. I suspect that her art has touched more than a few young people out there.
You can see more at her website: hsiaoroncheng.com or on her Flickr page.
thanks to booooooom.com for posting her work before me.