The billowed rugs and other objects in Antonio Santin’s ghostly oil paintings are rendered with unsettling realism. The Madrid native works in “elaborate still-lifes,” as he alters his subjects to create new realities. The artist taps into the tradition of Spanish Tenebrism and a sculptural background to dream up and execute these works on canvas. When photographed from a distance, the work still turns heads, with the viewer attempting to understand what he or she is seeing. He was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 18 and was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
In painting nature, artist David Kroll evokes a classical sense of beauty and fragility. He combines elements of naturalist painting and still life in his portrayal of animals like elegant egrets and koi which perch and swim around delicate objects. Though remarkably detailed and inspired by early landscape painting, Kroll has said that he wants to paint a version of the wild that is romantic, and not necessarily realistic. “I paint refuges, places to go to for solace. I want my paintings to be destinations of quiet and calm,” he says. “However, this world is fragile.”
Jonny Green’s oil paintings of haphazardly-made sculptures are part portrait, part still life. The UK based painter, who lives and works in London, describes his work as a combination of the “carefree and painstaking”, images of crudely built subjects made of a strange selection of items- modelling clay, office tape, flowers, Christmas lights, and whatever else is immediately available to him- which he then renders in incredibly meticulous detail.
Chicago based artist Maria Tomasula creates highly realistic oil paintings that add a touch of magic to still lifes and the human figure. Influenced by the bright palette and painting of her Mexican heritage, her arrangements of fruits, flowers, skulls and floating bodies that shimmer like jewels are exceptionally colorful, sensual, and even dark at times, while touching upon subjects like religion, life and death, and the beauty of nature. Most describe Tomasula’s works as Magical Realism, for her portrayal of enchanted elements in an otherwise believable environment.
Montreal, Canada based visual artist Katherine Melançon brings a new energy to the classic still life in her trippy photographic works. Though her mesmerizing images may look it, they are not entirely digital; they are created using a variety of processes and techniques achieved with digital tools and camera-less photography such as photograms. As in her “Nature Morte” series, subjects like flowers, fruits, chicken, and other inanimate subjects are moved while she is scanning them, creating an ephemeral effect with smoky smudges. Images like these exist at a cross-section between traditional art making and a more contemporary practice that uses machines, as well as figurative and abstraction.
Hailing from New York, painter Tony Curanaj carefully arranges objects in his studio and with a sensitive eye, renders them in the spirit of classical realism. Interested in recreating the living moment and atmosphere in which they were painted, he prefers to mix his own oil colors, which allows him to evoke the desired light source, mood and effects. Though his still lifes are mostly inanimate objects, there are hints of life in them throughout as in the daylight coming in through the studio windows, reflecting off of glazed pottery and vintage gumball machines, or in the cautious eye of a golden finch, who acknowledges the painter with his head cocked to one side.