Though Iva Troj’s paintings share the sensibility and feminine grace present in Renaissance era art, her work is informed by her modern point of view. Growing up in the outskirts of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the now UK-based artist was faced early on with male dominance in a communist country. She often expresses admiration for women artists like Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, whose mere existence was seen as problematic, while men at the time were painting women to look like dolls. “I so wanted to just go in there and change them all,” she says.
Rebecca Leveille’s vibrant new body of work may come has a surprise to fans of the soft, dream-like quality of her previous pieces, featured here on our blog. “You can probably see my love of Lautrec, Japanese prints and Gerda Wegner in the new body”, she explains. For her upcoming solo show “Savage Garden”, opening at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles on March 26th, her subjects’ previous sensuality is brought to an elegant and refined shape.
Originally hailing from New Mexico and now based in Los Angeles, Drew Merritt got his creative start in the urban Graffiti scene. His work blurs a line between the looseness of his street art and rich detail and sensitivity of classical painting. There is often an unfinished quality about his paintings as drips of paint fall off his subjects, laid against white backdrops tagged by spray paint. Usually, his paintings feature “pretty girls,” a description that Merritt hopes to shake.
San Francisco based artist Casey Cripe describes himself as an “artist-scientist”, and his multimedia works as maps of the infinite landscapes of self, life, and the universe. The title of his current exhibition “One is All is One” at Mirus Gallery in San Francisco centers around a universal concept: while the world is big and vast, little things like people and animals are what keep it going. With death, comes life, and when we die, the world continues on and moves forward in this continuous cycle.
New York based artist Craig LaRotonda creates multimedia works in a unique style reminiscent of Renaissance and Byzantine art. His detailed and layered paintings have a darkness that is matched by his sculptural pieces that look like religious relics. Opening September 4th, he will exhibit a new series of paintings and sculptures in “A Consortium of Lost Souls” at Stranger Factory in New Mexico.
In a fantastical style, Julie Heffernan injects the landscapes of her imagination with modern and classical allegory. For her third solo exhibition at Mark Moore Gallery, opening May 7th, she will debut a new series of self-portraits that combine personal with political themes. “Pre-Occupations” continues her previous exhibition (covered here) in both mood and visual lushness, evoking thoughts of the Renaissance but set in the future. Heffernan’s use of the word self-portrait is metaphorical here. Rather, traces of her can be found in her maidens’ surreal surroundings.