Russian-Canadian artist Ivan Alifan’s provocative figurative paintings are intended to inspire varying reactions from viewers. Yet, the artist says his portraits aren’t supposed to “render physical characteristics but rather create a language of underlying sexual subtexts.” His recent work has taken a decidedly more dessert-inspired approach, further exploring the ideas of pleasure and ecstasy.
Inches away, the works of artist Chris Dorosz appear as what they are: paint drops on clear, acrylic rods. Yet, a few steps back, the sculptures form into everyday scenes among figures and other absorbing imagery. The narratives seem to float in the air, offering both visceral and delicate views of human interaction.
Artist Emma Hopkins describes her work as painting “people from the inside out.” This idea seems to work on both physical and emotional levels, as her arresting portraits and meditations are teeming with vulnerability. Her subjects are often unclothed, and even when she focuses on isolated body parts or strips off their skin, humanity is present.
After visiting the Chinese village where generations of his family had lived, sculptor Warren King decided on an ambitious, new body of work: One individual at a time, he would recreate the residents of his grandparents’ community using just cardboard and glue. The life-sized figures help the artist connect with his cultural and ancestral heritages, each its own emotion and moment in time. The backs of the figures are exposed, allowing the viewer to see their interworkings and hinting at the unfinished nature of history.
The female subjects of Sasha Ira’s drawings are at varying stages of life, symbolically encountering strings that bind them or a surrounding growth of flora. The artist’s knack for subtle expression offer varying impressions of control in how these women grapple with what’s enveloping them. In her current show at Haven Gallery in Northport, New York, “Devenir,” Ira’s graphite renderings are mixed with acrylics, colored pencil, and other mediums for pops of vibrancy. The show runs through Sept. 11.
Though viewers may not know the narratives of Karla Ortiz’s painted and drawn figures, her absorbing pieces inspire conjecture. Outside of her fine art work, Ortiz is a concept artist for Marvel Film Studios, and in the past, Industrial Light & Magic and Ubisoft. She’s also illustrated products for Wizards of the Coast and Tor Books. All speak to Ortiz’s talent for storytelling, even when the subjects are unfamiliar to the viewer.