Seamus Conley’s paintings feature contemplative dreamers staring out into masterfully painted vistas of thick clouds and fog. We catch them at their most private moments of contemplation, alone in the night. While his past work has focused on characters of various ages and genders, the paintings in his latest solo show, “Catch My Fade,” depict mostly young boys escaping into the darkness. The spaces they inhabit are far removed from civilization and more closely resemble the landscapes of dreams than any real-life locales. “Catch My Fade” opens at San Francisco’s Andrea Schwartz Gallery on April 29.
Filipino artist Gromyko Semper paints elaborate scenes with many magical realism elements. His detailed works are flat and often resemble illustrations, evoking a mixture of pre-Raphaelite paintings and Japanese anime. The artist just completed a series of paintings inspired by the philosophical concept of mythopoesis, a term that JRR Tolkein and scholar Joseph Campbell proliferated in the early 20th century. Mythopoesis refers to a work of art that creates its own mythology. With Semper’s paintings, that certainly seems to be the case, as he has developed an elaborate visual language that taps into themes like pleasure, mysticism, and death. Currently, Semper has a two-person show with Gilbert Semillano at Artspace @ Net Quad in Manila.
In her studio in Cardedeu, a small town near Barcelona, Spain, Cinta Vidal Agulló is busy creating complex acrylic paintings on wood panels that reflect how our external realities often do not reflect our internal natures. Vidal Agulló sees her work as a metaphor for the ways in which we shape our world – the impossibility of completely understanding those around us, yet the personal ability to navigate the maze of life that we all inhabit.
Fascinated by the way that water refracts light, Oliver Wilson paints swimmers wading in pools. The familiar sight becomes a graceful dance between light and water, the swimmers’ bodies fracturing into a million pieces that break up into organic yet kaleidoscopic patterns. Complementing this painting series, Wilson also frequently photographs swimmers and considers himself both a painter and a photographer. Painting, however, poses a much greater challenge to him, as he must capture the fluid motion and depth of water and light — a multi-layered process he likens to sculpture.
Adam S. Doyle’s oil paintings of animals and fantasy creatures emphasize the physicality of his medium. He appears to paint entire realistic creatures using just a few pronounced strokes, evoking the intentionality required for writing calligraphy. Doyle’s subjects are often woodland animals like wolves, rabbits, and crows, though he has other series inspired by mythology and folklore. His paintings resemble a dance between paint and brush and simultaneously remind us of his process while whisking away our imaginations with the final result.
Minimal and quiet, Brian Robertson’s artworks seem to be both a homage to cubism and other various abstract art movements, and to our curious obsession with space and the universe. Going against typical physiognomy, the LA-based artist dissembles people and objects with clean acrylic shapes and lines juxtaposed with controlled dashes of spray paint. Looking closer, you’ll also notice that various portals appear in his work — a black hole doorway to a starry universe, a triangular cut-out through which a blue line travels — perhaps a commentary on the loneliness of the human condition and the vast wonder of the universe. On a more humorous level, Robertson names every one of his people or objects with tongue-in-cheek titles such as Mr Pot-Head Worm-Mouth or Mr Yellow-Brick Shit-House.