There seems to be a history running through Carmel Seymour’s water colors, but it’s hard to pin down. Somewhere in the hazy but sublime gap between art and illustration, the paintings suspend an alternate reality in the canvas’ mid-air, depicting some hyperreal folklore in a wash of negative space. Seymour’s conceit seems simple enough: she places contemporary figures, such as girls in jeans and sneakers, in some private oasis, perhaps the figures’ dream landscape or perhaps some alien planet. But the landscapes where her figures exist are not so much ‘scapes as objects; entities without a before or after. Her water colors are deployed in highly restrained and linear strokes to focus on details, and then exploded to disrupt the hyperrealism and maximize the medium’s atmospheric emphasis. The paintings have no clear beginning or end, but beg the question: what’s the story here?
Born in Brazil, living in New York City, Marcelo Daldoce gives substance and heft to watercolor portraits.
Los Angeles based artist Edwin Ushiro (featured here) was raised in Maui and we get to relive his tropical childhood in his upcoming solo show “Gathering Whispers”. Opening July 12th at Giant Robot’s GR2 gallery, Ushiro’s new show is a ‘gathering’ of memories that feel familiar even if you didn’t grow up in Hawaii. His dreamy images capture tiny scenes taking place in overwhelming landscapes. Sometimes, they are split in half and a little wavy, as if we’re peering through a fractured mirror. Get a preview courtesy of the artist after the jump.
Surrealist art is often highly cryptic and the odd juxtapositions and ambiguous narratives can sometimes feel unnerving. This is understandable given the contradictory space between the subconscious and reality that surrealist artists navigate in their creative process. In the hands of self-proclaimed surrealist Daniel Merriam, however, the results of this process are entirely different. Merriam draws inspiration from both his fantasies and surrounding reality to create works that are both deeply pleasurable and immediately enticing. His imaginative paintings depict fantastical worlds filled with bubbles, flying fish, instrument-playing animals and tree-house castles, all rendered in dreamy watercolors.
Boston based artist Cai Vail renders her ornate, and sometimes grotesque images with a combination of watercolors and digital touches. The beauty of death is a common theme in her flowing figures and animals in a state of decay. Here, humans and animals morph together into surreal beings. Historically, anthropomorphism in storytelling allowed hunters to sympathize with their hunted animal kin. Seeing them paired together like this, one can’t help but imagine Vail’s victorious huntress and her kills perishing poetically. Take a look at some of Vail’s recent work after the jump.
Detroit based artist Akira Beard has a self-described obsession with the human face and hot color palettes. When we last saw him, he was living in San Francisco and celebrating his ‘American Inconomics” show (featured here). His drippy, surreal watercolors break apart the expressions of iconic faces into studies of anatomy and skin tone. Among these are cult film characters and humanitarian heroes he admires, from Scarface to Jesus. If it weren’t for the handwritten quotes and doctrines painted into the background, some of them might be unrecognizable. Read more after the jump.