Bonsai, the art of growing miniature trees, has a magic power to transport us to another world, a quality shared by Patrick Bergsma’s “Landscape-Sculptures”. Inspired by these miniature landscapes that have existed in Japanese culture for over a thousand years, the Dutch artist sought to create his own versions of the tiny lands. Many Japanese cultural characteristics, in particular the influence of Zen Buddhism, inform the bonsai tradition in Japan. However, this harmony is disturbed by Bergsma who incorporates mini “marooned people” into post-apocalyptic scenes.
There is a magical simplicity about Brookyn based painter Alyssa Monk’s oil portraits, where looking at her work is like looking into the reflection of a forest pool. Her images portray ghostly figures that take form at the surface, inbetween the reflection of other natural elements like tree branches and the sun shining peeking through their foliage. Her lush depictions are often described as a blend of the figurative and landscape.
Oakland, California based painter Warner Williams has earned his fair share of success since beginning his career in the 1970s, but you won’t find him on any lists of major Pop art players. Williams considers himself as an outsider of the contemporary movement: “I chose a 35,000 year-old tradition of painting as an alternative. I believe in sacred geometry, significant form, and the spirit resonance of color,” he says, applying this philosophy to create brilliantly colored oil paintings that remix California’s landscape.
In his clever photographs of landscapes, Paris based photographer Guillaume Amat visually explores the meaning of continuity. His recent and ongoing series titled “Open Fields” features images of empty scenes occupied by a fixed, centered mirror to give a window into all that is missing or, perhaps, all that is present. Amat’s images are striking and profound, sincere in their depictions of reality yet simultaneously contrived. One gets a sense of seeing more deeply into the moment than a typical photograph can provide.
A master of contrast, Filippo Minelli sets off vibrant, billowing clouds of colored smoke in empty, enigmatic spaces. Initially inspired by the silencing effect of smokebombs on urban protests, Minelli “got the impression that the smoke itself was the silence arriving to the scene.” To convey the impression of silence, he re-contextualized them in landscapes—in a sense, Minelli solidifies silence in smoke.
The intricate abstract works of Miertje Skidmore internalize and transform the environmental extremes of the Australian landscape. Her paintings suggest the otherworldly- each abstraction could be a birds-eye-view of a multicolored planet. Her palette makes use of mineral and elemental colors that wouldn’t be out of place in some of the most rare enclaves of nature.