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.
Canadian-born artist Andrew Salgado borrows a variety of influences from art history and popular culture, to paint portraits of deconstructed identities. The people Salgado chooses to portray are complex personalities. Salgado acknowledges this, but does not strive to paint the person’s whole identity. Instead, Salgado uses a variety of abstract elements to underline the now-ness during which his subjects were painted.
Artist duo Muntean / Rosenblum use traditional Christian iconography and Baroque modes of seeing to create mystique around contemporary life. Typically set in landscapes distinctive to the 21st century, such as nuclear plants and graffiti-ed railroad tracks, the paintings appear as documentary film stills or snapshots of our current reality. However, by contorting perspectives in a dramatic Caravaggio-esque manner and devising moments where pain or discomfort appear as main subjects, Muntean / Rosenblum cultivate the same aura of the unknown that is so captivating in paintings centuries old.
“I think my aesthetic is kind of a mash-up: realism, graffiti, stencil art, and some moves inspired at times by abstract expressionism,” shares Tim Okamura on his latest solo, “Love Strength and Soul”. Now on view at Yeelen Gallery in Miami, his show is an exploration of the figure over the past 5 years. Previously featured here, Okamura’s New York city women are a mix of traditional portraiture upgraded by personal symbolism and experiences.