Anyone who’s ever played the computer game the Sims knows the strange, God-like feeling of watching miniature people living their lives from above. Brazilian artist San Poggio’s paintings create a similar sensation. Poggio’s works feature flat, fantasy landscapes whose attributes sometimes turn into abstract patterns with outlandish colors. Within them, dozens of minuscule characters carry on with their separate activities, interacting with the bizarre surroundings they find themselves in.
Ben Sack’s drawings posit his viewers above sprawling megalopolises. As we gaze down, thousands of buildings appear to go on for miles: Sack painstakingly renders each detail with pen and ink. Judging by the time lapse videos he posts of his pieces, he seems to draw them freestyle without much pre-planning. The process video of his recent piece, Chronoglyph (pictured above), reveals Sack filling in loosely sketched circles with elaborate line work. With each drawing standing close to human height, Sack’s work invites viewers to get lost in the many nooks and crannies of his fantasy cities.
The people in Carl Beazley’s portraits seem to be fighting internal battles to hold back their grimaces and make straight faces. His oil paintings feature young people wearing multiple expressions at once. Several small faces inhabit their full-sized heads, each one sending a conflicting signal. Some of Beazley’s portraits look like a time lapse of a single gesture, while others are meant to confuse and amuse viewers with their incongruities.
Merry Karnowsky set the mood of the holiday season with their year-end exhibition, “Praeteritum Nunc Futurum” on Saturday. Outside, the weather was crisp and colored lights lit the window, while inside the gallery offered a preview of shows to come. Although wide open in theme, works by artists Craola, Travis Louie, Nicola Verlato, Andrew Hem, Lezley Saar, Todd Carpenter, devNgosha, and more compliment eachother nicely. Take a look at our photos from opening night after the jump!
Zhao Na’s elaborate acrylic and ink paintings explore nature’s splendor. Her recent work, Drunk in Autumn, features a variety of exotic creatures such as red pandas, koalas, and leopards napping peacefully in a plentiful pomegranate tree. Her paintings typically show expansive scenes with many animal characters engaged in a variety of activities at once. Detail shots of her work reveal tight brushstrokes more evocative of drawing than painting. Na’s detail-oriented paintings allow viewers to get lost in the many microcosms within them.
Idealized nude figures are a longstanding tradition in Western art history and, as viewers, we’re accustomed to seeing the female body exposed. But the bodies we see today — not only in art, but in magazines, films, and music videos — adhere to certain constraints in regards to their size, shape, skin tone, and even age. With her large-scale paintings, Brooklyn-based painter Aleah Chapin shows the beauty of realistic physiques not typically shown in our society’s visual culture.