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.