There is a magical quality to Brad Kunkle’s paintings that is difficult to capture online and in print alone. The Brooklyn based painter combines oil painting with gold and silver leaf to create ethereal visions of women, often in a state of transcendence or as if they are on some spiritual quest. We first featured Brad Kunkle in Hi-Fructose Vol 25, who seeks to go beyond the limits of the ordinary human experience. Looking at his art requires a deepening of our perceptions, and to filmmaker Brennan Stasiewicz, it holds a humanizing power.
Having only recently shifted her focus from sculpture to oil painting, Austin based painter Kati Williams will be a new name to most of our readers. Her dramatically lit images of mythological figures are heavily influenced by Baroque painting and the old masters of Romanticism, and a visit to her instagram will catch her admiring contemporary artists like Roberto Ferri and Brad Kunkle (featured in HF Vol. 25), who are also applying antiquated techniques. Though the difference between three-dimensional sculpture and two-dimensional painting is substantial, Williams likens the process of painting to building a sculpture, where she meticulously layers colors and glazes until eventually, light forms out of utter darkness.
Painter Brad Kunkle (featured in HF Vol. 25) delves further into his exploration of spirituality and ritual with his latest solo show, “The Belonging,” opening at Arcadia Contemporary in New York on December 11. The artist combines oil paint with gold and silver leaf to create ethereal visions of women traversing windy fields. They seem to be on spiritual quests. We see them being lifted off the ground, their expressions knowing yet still enraptured, as glistening gusts of leaves and feathers sweep them away into the heavens.