Chinese born, California based artist Vincent Xeus paints his portraits with a sensitive treatment of light and shading to an almost haunting effect. Though his work shares elements of 17th-century Dutch masters and contemporaries like Gerhard Richter, Odd Nerdrum, Francis Bacon, and Antonio López Garcia, Xeus has created an entirely new approach. Previously featured on our blog, he has said that his intent is to reveal that which is beneath what we think we see. This involves smudging the paint until the subject’s face is hardly recognizable or appears blurry and more impressionistic. His latest body of work, “Hue is Full / A Thousand Faces”, which opened Friday at Gallery 1261 in Colorado, takes his unconventional style to a new level where he wipes and scrapes away at his subjects.
German painter Alpay Efe portrays a contemporary beauty in his works, but he isn’t interested in perfection. His paintings of still life, nudes, and modern figures focus instead on the ever so slight smile or the way light touches a form as he sees it. Influenced by Zeitgeist art and pop culture, he paints figuratively and realistically, using primarily oil paint on wood panel. The background in many of Efe’s paintings shows his art studio in Oberhausen, Germany. His studio is what you might expect- towels on the easel, cups of coffee and half-eaten doughnuts, and there is a certain attitude and specificity to the way he captures it.
American artist Jamie Adams paints the human form with the expertise of an European Old Master. His rendering of musculature and gradation of skin tone is exacting and hyperrealistic. However, there is something askew in the way the necks of his figures sometimes turn too far — as if snapped by an unknown force — and stomachs appear to bulge and contract to unnatural degrees. The distortions to which Adam subjects his characters, and their simultaneously alluring and repelling effects, are similar to the ways in which John Currin manipulates his female figures. The uncanny resemblance is likely no accident, as Adams and Currin are contemporaries of one another. Born within one year of each other, Adams and Currin are both BFA graduates of Carnegie Mellon University.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby uses a mix of collage, drawing and painting to create large-scale artworks with an emotive punch. The artist draws viewers into her works through details within acetone-transfer prints of small photographs takes from the internet and Crosby’s own photographs, in addition to magazines and advertisements. The layers, patterns, and their varying degrees of transparency create dreamlike images that move in and out of reality. In this way, the works hint at the complexities of fantasy and actuality in everyday domestic life.
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.
Acrobatic bodies, dismembered heads and elongated limbs stack, twist, and slide among one another to create complex human compositions. The new paintings by Richard Colman are now on display in his solo exhibition, “Faces, Figures, Places, and Things,” as the inaugural exhibition for San Francisco’s Chandran Gallery. The colorful artworks apply both subtle and obvious, real and fantastical instances of human behavior to explore the intricacies and curiosities of human relations. Coleman’s use of minimalist forms and color blocking guide one to focus on the content of his paintings as opposed to their surface aesthetics.