Rebecca Guay is an artist and illustrator whose dreamlike watercolor paintings invite viewers to languish in their sensual imagery. Ornamented with gold leaf, her female protagonists luxuriate on lofty clouds and in cool lagoons. The characters look like goddesses unfettered by mortal woes, at ease in their nudity. Guay’s style of rendering figures with elongated faces and limbs evokes the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the 19th century, though her flat style gives her work a more contemporary look reminiscent of Japanese illustration. Take a look at some of her latest works below.
“Their world was soft like melancholy. The conversation was silent. Their faces were small and round, incapable of invoking fear. Once the door was open, nothing could be unseen.” This is how Kathie Olivas describes the childlike subjects of her latest exhibition at AFA gallery, “Safe from Tomorrow”. The show boasts a series of 20 new paintings and 16 sculptures inspired by early Americana portraiture. The nostalgia felt by her palette and inspiration is constrasted with a concept set in the future.
Praeteritum Nunc Futurum. Translation: Past, present, and future. Tomorrow night, Merry Karnowsky gallery closes out the year with past and new works from their roster, serving as a preview of 2015. References to time can also be found, as in the Victorian subjects in Lezley Saar’s piece, or Nicola Verlato’s sweeping scene starring Kimbra in an old Western gone wrong. Preview after the jump!
Emerging artist Lauren Marx explores the intricate process of decay with her surreal and often grotesque drawings and paintings. Animals become enmeshed in each other’s flesh as tendons and sinew rip apart, exposing their innards. While the subject matter often triggers an initial reaction of repulsion, Marx’s ornate line work and graceful compositions are pleasing to the eye. Take a look at some of her latest work below.
Chicago-based artist and illustrator Jacob van Loon’s watercolor paintings present an otherworldly architecture that explodes with abstract shapes and blotches of color. While watercolor is medium that is notoriously difficult to control, van Loon manipulates it into rigid lines and precise angles. At a certain point in the painting, however, he seems to get bored with structure and begins to dismantle his careful work with expressionistic, unrestrained brushstrokes. Some of his pieces incorporate organic shapes that he renders with intricate textures that evoke cell structures or perhaps an alien plant species.
Two solo exhibitions currently on view at Last Rites Gallery in New York, Kelley Hensing’s “The Animal Within” and N.C. Winters’s “Overgrowth” examine humankind’s darker impulses through folkloric visuals and occult imagery. Winters’s sculptural paintings with hand-crafted float frames depict characters undergoing processes of decay, their faces being consumed by plants and fungi. The artist explores the idea of being overtaken by nature as a metaphor for the voraciousness of an untamed, unruly mind.