For Toronto based artist Brian Donnelly, featured here, painting is a risky business. At first beautifully rendered in oil, he then sprays his subjects with turpentine and hand sanitizer until their faces are distorted beyond recognition, to a more limited expression. Donnelly’s work is all about embracing limitations: “I ask a lot of questions about art and how we define it,” he says. “How far away from the original state can we go before we stop calling something art? In the process, I end up drawing a parallel between the fragile nature of artwork and the human condition.”
“I believe that artists should speak about the most desperate and desirable issues for humanity,” says Korean painter Kwon Kyung-Yup. Though known for her realistic portraits of melancholy subjects, first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 24, Kwon describes herself as a happy person whose paintings are about recalling memories. Her works find an emotional balance between her artistic inspirations, citing the beauty in Klimt’s paintings which she pairs with tragedy, as found in the works of Caravaggio.
During the last seven years, Ontario based artist Kit King has struggled with agoraphobia which is clinical anxiety in response to open spaces. As she explains, she lives her life “behind the same walls day in and day out” and worries she may never see her art outside the studio. Her emotions and relationship to spaces inform her works, featured here on our blog, and while highly technical, they represent the artist’s study of identity in the context of space.
Afarin Sajedi’s portraits of women are rarely pretty in the conventional sense or pleasant to look at. One might even call them deformed or strange, appearing almost alien-esque with their large heads and round eyes. Previously featured on our blog, the Iranian artist once described her work as “a little bit science fiction, a little bit realism”, mainly working from her imagination to create her emotive characters.
Casey Weldon’s paintings have always combined beauty with a dark sense of humor to convey a distorted version of reality. Featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 32 and on our blog over the years, the Seattle based artist’s palette has gradually developed a neon-colored luminosity, where his subjects appear to be glowing and bio-luminescent. Moments of darkness and reflecting colors of electric lights are used to convey emotion and spark intrigue in the viewer.
The vivid oil paintings of Jenny Morgan capture an honesty about her subjects, drawn in a candid moment in the nude when they are at their most vulnerable. The Brooklyn based artist’s electrifying figurative work, gracing the cover of Hi-Fructose Vol. 39, balances abstraction and realism, combining beautiful design aesthetics with her subject’s unique complexion and emotion. Morgan herself has described her work as “psychological portraits”, focused on presenting the sitter’s psychological state.