For Toronto based artist Brian Donnelly, featured here, painting is a risky business. At first beautifully rendered in oil, he then sprays his subjects with turpentine and hand sanitizer until their faces are distorted beyond recognition, to a more limited expression. Donnelly’s work is all about embracing limitations: “I ask a lot of questions about art and how we define it,” he says. “How far away from the original state can we go before we stop calling something art? In the process, I end up drawing a parallel between the fragile nature of artwork and the human condition.”
Rainbow waterfalls spill from the faces of Brian Donnelly’s men and women. The Toronto-based painter describes himself as a portrait painter, yet he distorts and erodes his subjects to sometimes unrecognizable ends. Donnelly’s paints from real life, selecting his subjects based on interesting features such as piercing eyes or characteristic facial hair. He then paints them on canvas before using a combination of turpentine and hand sanitizer to make the colors run.
The work of Brian Donnelly is at firstsomething near electric shock, a volt that causes one to stand erectand gaze with mouth open in wonderment at the strange beasts thatappear before them. For what are these creatures? Human bodies withanimal’s heads that are dripping with… glue? These questions thatarise allow Donnelly a strong hold on his viewers and allow him toexplore many themes and metaphors through his attachments onto nude,human bodies. Donnelly wants you to wonder “why?” as that’s where thefun lies, as with trying to answer these questions Donnelly’s arttakes root visually. Work such as this is hard to shake. – Zach Tutor
An artist who’s work we’ve been following for quite some time now, Brian Donnelly has announced a cool contest on his Facebook page recently and knowing how many of our readers are artists themselves, we figured ya’ll might be interested! For the contest, Brian has invited his fans to create their own works in a style reminiscent of his figures and nudes. All mediums are acceptable and the contest has already received it’s fair share of quality submissions (like the one above by Nimit Malavia.)
The grand prize you ask? An original painting, yet to be created, by Brian Donnelly himself. It’s a cool contest, a great prize and a fun way to get the art of his fans out there. Read all the rules and regulations here, contest ends on Monday, February 14th. Get a look at some of our favorite submissions after the jump.
On January 10th, “Feral Creatures” curator Stefanie Chefas will bring a new crop of artists to Modern Eden Gallery with “Platinum Blend”. The title refers to each artist’s ability to ‘blend’ different styles in a way that feels consistent throughout their careers, and amongst eachother. This includes artists Mel Kadel, Jana Brike, Deedee Cheriel, Brian Donnelly, Christine Wu, Zoë Williams, and Henrik Aa. Uldalen, featured here.
Gauntlet Gallery in San Francisco recently debuted their third annual 12 x 12 group show, in which each artist was given an identical surface to create the work of their choice. With over fifty artists in the show, the exhibition featured a wide variety of works in different media. From David Cooley’s kaleidoscopic, highly textured works to Dan-Ah Kim’s sunset-hued illustrations, the show offers a large range of aesthetics. Check out some of the works below, or see the show in person through April 18.