The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Tag: AFA Gallery

AFA Gallery is pleased to announce that AFA has become the exclusive representative for Colin Christian’s popular Lipsex sculptures. Colin Christian has created a collection of never-before-seen unique large scale sculptures for AFA.
"Pandora's Box" features the art of Jean Pierre Arboleda, Anne Bachelier, Bill Carman, Colin and Sas Christian, Dorian Vallejo, Jennybird Alcantara, Jessica Joslin, Kirk Reinert, Lin Esser, Marie Larkin, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Ray Caesar, Rebecca Dautremer, Stan Manoukian, William Basso, Kathie Olivas, and Yoko d’Hobachie. The artists of "Pandora’s Box" manifest their own characters within their own unique universe.
Last week, we brought to you a glimpse of "Haute Debutantes", the latest solo exhibition by HF Vol. 7 artist Kukula. We recently caught up with the Connecticut based artist to learn more about her process behind the show, who is celebrating with a reception tonight at AFA Gallery in New York. Kukula admittedly applies herself to excessive research in preparation of a new series. For "Haute Debutantes", she poured over images of couture fashion designs and researched 18th century paintings of high class society.
We first featured Connecticut based Nataly "Kukula" Abramovitch in Hi-Fructose Vol. 7, who paints fashion obsessed pale-skinned beauties that transform into ornate objects. For her next solo exhibition "Haute Debutantes" at AFA Gallery in New York, opening September 5th, Kukula continues to explore this idea of transformation and female beauty. Her definition of a debutante, a high-class girl entering into fashionable society, is not what you might expect.
The word "escapism" can have a negative meaning, suggesting that escapists are unhappy and unable to connect with the world around them. It sounds like a surreal concept, but in our every day lives, on social media for example, we find ways to divert from reality.  Daniel Merriam's recent exhibition at AFA Gallery challenges the notion that escapism is fundamentally negative. "It's not a sin, it's not a crime, it's not a disease... You think of escapism as being denial. So a little bit of escapism is considered good - too much is not," he shares. "Now You See Me: The Art of Escapism" is Merriam's reflection on this idea.
If Daniel Merriam's watercolors were books, they would be fairytales once upon a time in a far away European dreamland. The painter, who is currently exhibiting at AFA Gallery (covered here), compares his process to a writer's. In our recent interview, Merriam told us about the influence of 17th and 18th century Baroque architecture on his works which he draws from memory.  Although imaginary, his elaborate structures must be believable in their world, and he builds them out carefully as a point of reference. In this sense, one could also call him an architect.
It might surprise some that watercolorist Daniel Merriam, known for his stylized, fantastic paintings, grew up in a sleepy summer resort town. There were none of the castles or glorious architectural forms found in his works - their foundation and beauty lies purely in his imagination. He finds such beauty in the world around him, whether it be a building, a landscape, or a creature. All of these things create a place he "escapes" to in his current exhibition, "Now You See Me: The Art of Escapism" at AFA Gallery in New York.
Jennybird Alcantara (HF Vol. 14 featured artist) has been working on a magical new series of oil paintings inspired by all things unknown. She will reveal them on June 13th at AFA Gallery in Soho, New York in her solo exhibition titled, "Charming the Wilds". At her blog, Jennybird writes, "To have the ability to Charm takes a different kind of power, it is still strong but soft and alluring at the same time, it ‘conjures’ images of hypnotized ladies being led through the woods by beasts or the ability to charm the fairy voice out of a flower and bring it to a new level of life, the ability to communicate with animals, it also can feel mischievous but not too dark."
One could say that Surrealism as a movement is a way for artists to seek distraction from the mundane and engage in fantasy. On his current exhibition at AFA Gallery, painter Daniel Merriam shares, “Although I may be guilty of a little denial, it’s enabled me to go to the edge and back, which is kind of where people expect an artist to go." Spanning over 20 new watercolor paintings, titled "Now You See Me: The Art of Escapism", he allows himself to overcome the limitations of reality in this latest series.
"Their world was soft like melancholy. The conversation was silent. Their faces were small and round, incapable of invoking fear. Once the door was open, nothing could be unseen." This is how Kathie Olivas describes the childlike subjects of her latest exhibition at AFA gallery, "Safe from Tomorrow". The show boasts a series of 20 new paintings and 16 sculptures inspired by early Americana portraiture. The nostalgia felt by her palette and inspiration is constrasted with a concept set in the future.

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