Dallas, Texas based artist Michael Reeder paints eclectic portraits that explore ideas about identity. Reeder is fascinated by the various characteristics that define us, and his works mix those elements both stylistically and conceptually. While his main interest is modern identity, the figures he portrays often have a classical quality. He renders their faces as if he were chiseling away at marble, redefined with abstract and exaggerated features with blank eyes (ancient statue eyes were painted or inlaid.) His portraits aren’t meant to be accurate representations. Rather, he considers portraiture to be more like a reinvention of his subjects, which takes place at their simplest form.
Quebec, Cananda based artist Mathieu Laca often plays with shape and form in his oil paintings. His latest series increases his usual level of distortion in warped portraits of historical figures. These include famous icons, especially writers, like Virgina Woolf, Charles Baudelaire, and Henry David Thoreau. Throwing all visual conventions out the window, Laca contorts and smudges their faces with spots of intense colors, some beyond recognition.
Mixed media artist Lauren Brevner paints eclectic and fantastic portraits of women ornamented with a collage of Japanese motifs. Born of mixed heritage in Vancouver, she recently moved to Osaka to get in touch with her Japanese ancestry. Life in Japan has had a major influence on the self taught artist since. Not long after her move in 2009, she apprenticed under Japanese fashion designer Sin Nakayamal. The inspiration of his luxurious prints resonates in the the way Brevner dresses her subjects.
Denmark based artist Rune Christensen tells stories in the tattoos and printed clothing of his decorated figures. As a self taught painter with a graffiti background, Christensen is well traveled and has collected his visual inspiration from all over the world. He sources his motifs from the iconography and textiles of cultures including Asian, South American, North African and Native American. Christensen’s portraits of women, men and children are simple in composition and palette, yet complex is the depiction of their symbolism which has layered meaning.
Growing up in rural Colorado, Oregon based artist David Rice forged a special connection with his environment, which he develops in his colorful illustrations. His works focus on themes of nature through figurative portrayals of animals. Rice forges a link between the natural world and what is man-made in his current exhibit, “Two Creeks” at Antler Gallery, which is showing alongside Syd Bee’s “In My Bones”. In a new series of nine acrylic on wood panel paintings, Rice portrays wild animals with unnatural elements. A recurring element is fabric, which appears as clothing fashioned as cloaks that the animals wear, draped over their backs like blankets, or in more subtle forms.
Annapolis based multimedia artist Jeff Huntington make connections between seemingly opposing images using patterns and emotion. It was his father, the subject of his painting series “Plaques and Tangles” (2010), who first introduced him to oil painting at the age of eight. That particular series was a turning point in the artist’s career, when multiple perspectives began creeping into his works. Since then, Huntington has made increasingly layered portrayals of the human condition.