"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.
The dark and insanely detailed drawings of Laurie Lipton mix elements from different eras of art and time, including her own surreal version of reality. When asked her to describe her meticulous, cross-hatching in one word, she answered, "sick" (with a grin). She has exhibited and lived all over the world from Holland, Germany, France, and recently London, where she spent time with the likes of Terry Gilliam, one of her favorite creatives. She will exhibit the art discussed here at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles next year.
Setting soft and supple nudes against graphic patterns and textures, Brooklyn-based painter Sharon Sprung utilizes the tension between abstraction and realism to appease her own inner dichotomies and create art that expresses emotional complexities. But unlike many artists who muddle the polarities of figuration and abstraction into ambiguity, Sprung leaves them distinct, engendering a contrast that intensifies the impact of each.
When we visited Karen Hsiao and Dan Quintana in their Los Angeles studio last month, they were hard at work on their collaborative show, “Perverse Foil”. It is a project that have been brainstorming about since 2009. On Saturday, they finally celebrated the opening at Marcas Contemporary Art in Santa Ana. At the event, attendees were treated to a live reenactment of their collaboration through a photoshoot by Hsiao in front of a backdrop by Quintana. She compliments Quintana’s surreal world with new black and white photographs and notably, her first figurative oil paintings and graphite.
When we first posted elusive Queensland artist Lisa Adams, nobody had seen a painting from her in a year because she was quietly collecting new inspiration. She is now putting the finishing touches on her upcoming exhibition at Philip Bacon Galleries, opening November 25th. Adams treats her paintings as a memoir, created chronologically, where making memories is part of the process. Her story is vested in her images. In anticipation of her next show, we take a look back at her work over the years.
Like Adams and Eves freshly banished from the Garden of Eden, Susannah Martin's characters wander through lush, wild landscapes wide-eyed and bewildered at their surroundings. Martin is an American-born artist who has been based in Berlin since 1991. She sees painting nude figures as a continuation of a long lineage of artists who have used the human body to signify what she refers to as man in his purest state.
A Medium is an individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits. In art, medium refers to a mode of artistic expression or communication. For Australian artist Lucy Hardie, whose elaborate drawings explore spirituality and duality of nature, they are one and the same. Hardie is the great granddaughter of a Medium. A story that has been passed down is that her grandmother once walked into a séance and saw a person levitating. Inspired by her own history and personal experience, Hardie then combines symbols of life after death and awakening to capture that which connects us.
At the top of Mexican born artist Ana Teresa Fernandez’s Facebook page is a quote by Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda: “Pinned by the sun between solstice… And equinox, drowsy and tangled together… We drifted for months and woke… With the bitter taste of land on our lips.” It aptly describes her hyper-real paintings where anonymous figures drift through a vast ‘ocean’ that is their surroundings. Fernandez creates impressions of the female body based on real-life performances of her own design. In her recent exhibition, “Foreign Bodies”, she painted tanned arms, legs, and horses gliding through a sink hole in the Yucatan Peninsula jungle. Their bodies are unrecognizable through the light refractions in the water, referring to society’s distorted ideals.
Do you dream about flying? Brooklyn artist Leah Yerpe draws what she dreams- highly detailed, lifesize floating forms that seem to fly off the paper. Some of her artworks are over ten feet high. In contrast to their impressive scale, Yerpe’s choice of materials are simple; black charcoal for her larger works, and a single mechanical pencil for smaller studies. “I enjoy using the human figure in my work because we cannot help but project on and relate to it,” she shares at her website. Yerpe’s passion for dance is evident in the ornate shapes she creates with twisting arms and legs, and intertwined torsos placed against a white background. In dance, abstract emotional expressions have different movement characteristics. Yerpe is also conveying a range of emotions through her compositions. See more after the jump!