Through simple means artist Mark Powell tells a story that, in a way, unfolds over decades. Often wielding only a basic ball point pen, Powell draws extremely detailed portraits, attempting to capture what his statement calls “a certain beauty that is a step away from the image of beauty fed to society.” His subjects are frequently older men and women, pensive, hinting at a long life story. Appropriately, Powell’s portraits are executed on vintage maps, old documents and other ephemera of a time long past. Together, they suggest the unfolding story that led to the present moment, a context perhaps easily taken for granted. See more of Mark Powell’s portraits after the jump.
111 Minna Gallery in downtown San Francisco is currently presenting a show of new work by locals D Young V, Eddie Colla and Hugh Leeman. All three artists are well known within the Bay Area’s graffiti art scene and the vitality and effort at public engagement from their street art can be strongly felt in these gallery pieces. The show includes both collaborations between the artists, as well as individual works. Read more after the jump.
The ladies exposing themselves in Lilli Hill’s paintings are mostly big and almost always brash, posing nude in the evacuated context of a formal portrait. Hill paints the great, creamy rolls of her fleshy women with impressive detail, and the expressions and postures are poised to convey a hearty defiance and flirtatiousness — whether embracing a minotaur, decapitating roosters, or channeling Rubens. That defiant gaze makes the ladies’ portraits both difficult to look away from and a lighthearted study of disgust and curiosity. Some of the later portraits follow a more surreal tone, incorporating illusions and costume, but the playfulness (and the fleshiness) remains. Hill’s paintings will be on display March 13-16 at KK Galerie’s booth for the art fair Karlsruhe 2014 in Rheinstetten, Germany.
Italian artist Noumeda Carbone works in fields as diverse as fashion, street art, illustration and painting. Her sculptures retain a certain colorful vividness that characterizes much of her work. However, their material is quite interesting: pills (or more accurately empty pill capsules.) Carbone assembles the pill capsules into undulating three dimensional shapes. While the shapes are vaguely organic, reminiscent of cellular or molecular structures, the colors emphasize their synthetic nature. These sculptures along with her Wearable Pills series playfully blur the line between fashion, art and biology. See more images of Noumeda Carbone’s sculptures after the jump.
Artist Federico Pietrella is perhaps best known for his peculiar acrylic paintings. For this work Pietrella foregoes a traditional brush for a rubber date stamp. Thousands of carefully placed stamps come together to form a highly realistic scene, like Pointillism, becoming clearer as you back away from the piece. While creating his work Pietrella uses the current date to stamp his painting into creation. These pieces can often take several months to create. Thus, the painting not only is a depiction of his chosen subject but also a documentation of the time that elapsed in its creation. See more of his paintings after the jump.
Erik Jones (Hi-Fructose Vol. 27) and Tran Nguyen (Hi-Fructose Vol. 30), one based in New York and the other in Georgia, create aesthetically complementary work that balances figuration (primarily, seductive, mysterious women in various states of undress) with a focus on abstraction. The two artists will be shown side-by-side in “New Works,” opening at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City on March 1. Known for her portraits of shy, contemplative ladies reposed over disproportionately small landscapes, Nguyen created a new series of mixed-media works that demonstrate an evolution of subject matter. Her new characters are much more abrasive than the former, passive, supine ones, donning theatrical grimaces that reveal pain behind their laughter.