Mia Brownell, a Chicago-based artist and daughter of a sculptor and biophysicist, has a new body of work that she says “simultaneously draw on scientific images of platelets (tiny blood cells shaped like plates) and the history of the painted food still life.” The new series is called “Plate to Platelets: and other things that travel and bind,” and it features several new palette paintings. Brownell is featured in the Hi-Fructose Collected 4 Boxset.
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.