Interpretations of Lyon based Eric Lacombe’s mixed media works and paintings have been varied and extreme: monstrous, melancholy, horrific, and even beautiful. Describing his art as “caricatures of the soul”, the self-taught artist’s images exaggerate and distort his characters’ faces into haunting portrayals. Their faces look almost like masks, some painted without mouths or eyes, or given bird-like beaks, and yet their transfiguration is the most revealing thing about them. Each is a sort of reflection of the artist’s own feelings, who likens his subjects’ appearance to a deconstruction of their torment.
Often times, the paths we take in life are unexpected. Brooklyn based artist Hanna Jaeun first studied apparel design and it wasn’t until she spent two years in a corporate job that she realized it wasn’t the life she wanted. She decided to start over, picked up a paint brush and taught herself how to paint. Over time her art ventured into a dark place where hybrid figures and animals journey into the unknown, similar to the uncertain path Jaeun chose for herself. “The people in my paintings are either physically part-animal or longing to be animal… My animals bring to life my desire to tell a story,” she says.
Czech artist Jan Uldrych questions reality in his fleshy and atmospheric paintings. Though the artist hesitates to provide any specific meaning for his work, we can find some clues in his titles; paintings like “Anatomy of memories” and “Mild decomposition landscapes” point to Uldrych’s interests in the visceral and anatomical, which he abstracts into Rorschach test-like images.
The intricate abstract works of Miertje Skidmore internalize and transform the environmental extremes of the Australian landscape. Her paintings suggest the otherworldly- each abstraction could be a birds-eye-view of a multicolored planet. Her palette makes use of mineral and elemental colors that wouldn’t be out of place in some of the most rare enclaves of nature.
Gregory Thielker creates paintings which combine realism and aspects of abstraction by obscuring the views of his surroundings. After studying Art History at Williams College in Massachusetts and getting his MFA in Painting at Washington University in St. Louis, he embarked on cross-country road trips and working outdoors. This is when he began his series “Under the unminding sky”, which captures his trip’s sights through the perspective of a rainy car windshield. Intrigued by the way rain accented and veiled the scenery in front of him, it became the model for his paintings, transforming the driver’s environments in a realistic way.
“All people- and nature itself- have distinctive layers,” says Pittsburgh based painter Mara Light. Teetering between a classical sense of realism and abstraction, her textured oil paintings aim to explore the layers of ourselves that we show and the others we hide within. Her subject matter is almost always women, whose emotions permeate the surface of her work’s repetitive layering, scrapes, tears and drips of turpentine over certain areas, a process she enjoys for its unpredictable nature. For her current series, titled “Beneath the Surface,” she sees her artistic explorations as more than a way to add visual interest to her work, but also as a metaphor for her personal experiences.