Emerging artist Lauren Marx explores the intricate process of decay with her surreal and often grotesque drawings and paintings. Animals become enmeshed in each other’s flesh as tendons and sinew rip apart, exposing their innards. While the subject matter often triggers an initial reaction of repulsion, Marx’s ornate line work and graceful compositions are pleasing to the eye. Take a look at some of her latest work below.
Chicago-based artist and illustrator Jacob van Loon’s watercolor paintings present an otherworldly architecture that explodes with abstract shapes and blotches of color. While watercolor is medium that is notoriously difficult to control, van Loon manipulates it into rigid lines and precise angles. At a certain point in the painting, however, he seems to get bored with structure and begins to dismantle his careful work with expressionistic, unrestrained brushstrokes. Some of his pieces incorporate organic shapes that he renders with intricate textures that evoke cell structures or perhaps an alien plant species.
The dramas and battles we imagined our toys engaging in as kids come to life in Robert C. Jackson’s oil paintings. His work is populated by balloon dogs and apples that appear to be staging epic wars amid a landscape of colorful vegetable crates.
Daniel Nevins creates acrylic paintings on wood with a sense of movement. Voluminous abstract forms billow like fabrics in the wind or appear to float as if submerged in water. Nevins’s color choices are bright and triumphant. In some paintings, rods of color emerge like streamers or confetti, adding to the celebratory ambiance. Nevins explained that he is inspired by the natural world. His work appropriates the organic forms he observes in nature to create this floating, psychedelic universe. The Asheville, NC-based artist will have a piece in the upcoming juried exhibition, “Contemporary South,” opening at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC on January 2.
Italian-born, Japan-based artist Philip Giordano paints humorous animal characters with textured, impressionistic brushstrokes — an unusual juxtaposition of traditional techniques and a cartoon-like style. Giordano is a children’s book illustrator by trade and his personal work retains similarly whimsical qualities. His latest series of paintings depicts a gigantic cat in a place that could either be in the thick of the forest or underwater. Sea creatures float in mid air while the cat examines a variety of surreal characters and object that seem to be its playthings. One wouldn’t necessarily describe the narratives in Giordano’s paintings as adventures because his fictional world seems neatly arranged and unmoving, almost like a still life. Take a look at Giordano’s latest work below.
Opening this evening at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, John Brophy’s solo show “The Saddest Heart on the Holy Mountain” features a new, surreal series of oil paintings on mounted paper that explore the continuity between European art history and the digital age. Though hand painted, Brophy’s figures are based on 3D-modeling software and have a computerized look that stands in contrast to the many pre-internet art historical allusions in his work. One piece features a floating urinal as a shout out to Marcel Duchamp while another work includes a lollipop with an icon-like portrait of Jesus holding a credit card. Brophy’s accumulations of discordant imagery alludes to the “anything goes” mentality of today’s art world and posits science and capitalism as the religions of Western society today.