There is seemingly no element too exotic to inhabit an oil painting by Alan MacDonald, whose works traverse cultures and histories to present something always elegant in execution. At the base of MacDonald’s work seems to be a need for adventure, exploring inspiration and varying perspectives in each work.
At once lush and eerie, Sarah Slappey’s oil paintings offer vague limbs and organs against natural environments. Of her distinct visual language, she’s said “I wanted to build a world from the bottom up.” The South Carolina native, now residing in Brooklyn, New York, has recently shown these scenes at venues in New York City and Switzerland.
Pavel Guliaev describes his paintings as “subject realism,” a world that is wholly his yet invites viewers to conjure their own meanings. Shifting planes, along with figures and objects belonging to no specific time or place, are qualities that seem to exist across all of Guliaev’s work. The result is a scene both dreamlike and visceral.
Justin Fitzpatrick’s oil paintings blend influences from Art Nouveau, illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, anatomical drawings, and elsewhere. The actual subjects in the works likewise move through time, from using the construction workers as visual motif to creatures of the natural world rendered with Victorian flavor.
In Taylor Schultek’s riveting oil paintings, an urban structure is as much a character as his human subjects. The connection between humanity and environment is often at play, with the art of graffiti often in progress. The artist’s own history in graffiti and graphic design seem to converge in building believable backdrops.
Sarah Ball’s oil paintings, subtle in their complexity, are intended for the viewer to encounter the portrait’s subject intimately. The practice of physiognomy, or judging the character of a person just from their facial features or expressions, has long been a subject of fascination for the artist. In efforts like her current Anima Mundi show “Themself,” she culls her subjects from historic photographic archives, social media, and beyond. “These source images become a starting point for a methodical process of understanding, assumption and translation, where the aesthetic ‘mask’ and what lies beneath become the focus of engagement,” the gallery says.