Matching the look of flesh has always been and is still considered one of the most demanding tasks for any artist. It is notoriously difficult for many reasons, making it a subject of intrigue throughout history. Brooklyn based sculptor Russel Cameron is a self taught artist who has made recreating flesh the primary focus of his work. His ongoing series “Flesh and Bone” explores the subtleties between skin tones, wrinkled and smooth parts, soft and rough textures, using materials like clay, paint, wood, and metal. While he sees skin and its nuances as a thing of beauty, he presents it in unsettling ways.
With the rise of technology, experiencing the natural world in modern society has become almost completely irrelevant. New Jersey based painter Angela Gram portrays this tension between nature and humanity in her paintings of dispersed animals. As animals become less relevant to our every day or apparent needs, we lose our connection to them entirely, to the point where they become like figments of our imaginations. She represents this idea by deconstructing the animal body. Tropical birds, black panthers, and river dolphins are just a few of the exotic species that she distorts as if their forms were disappearing into thin air.
To the world, Salvador Dalí was an eccentric Surrealist and animation pioneer Walt Disney was a notorious dreamer. But to each other, they were fierce friends and collaborators. Although the unlikely pair grew up worlds apart, they found one another through their art, and their work together has endured long after their lifetime. The history of this remarkable friendship between two icons is explored in a new exhibition titled “Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination” at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
American artist Jamie Adams paints the human form with the expertise of an European Old Master. His rendering of musculature and gradation of skin tone is exacting and hyperrealistic. However, there is something askew in the way the necks of his figures sometimes turn too far — as if snapped by an unknown force — and stomachs appear to bulge and contract to unnatural degrees. The distortions to which Adam subjects his characters, and their simultaneously alluring and repelling effects, are similar to the ways in which John Currin manipulates his female figures. The uncanny resemblance is likely no accident, as Adams and Currin are contemporaries of one another. Born within one year of each other, Adams and Currin are both BFA graduates of Carnegie Mellon University.
The women that populate Martine Johanna‘s world are pensive warriors who occupy a place of tension between powerful command and fragile insecurity; and between upstanding morality and dark cruelty. In many ways, the figural subjects of Johanna’s paintings are conflate the complex binaries between which people battle and waver, settle and compromise. While each subject is shown as unique in appearance and mood, they are all united by a distant, thoughtful gaze − a metaphor for the wandering, worrying human mind.
Berlin-based artist Yusk Imai creates fragmented monochromatic figures that draw upon a variety of artistic styles. Previously featured on our blog, Imai’s work channels themes found in Art Nouveau, as in his ornate detailing, or Surrealism, in more bizarre renderings, to modern day comic books. Often, these themes address the idea of an uncontrollable world all around us, whether through psychology, symbolism, or the supernatural. In his most recent works, Imai tries to understand the psychology behind feelings like forgetfulness and distraction. These explorations often take him “elsewhere”, to some strange other-world within his subconscious that is governed by dark characters.