The New Contemporary Art Magazine

Tag: Renaissance

The multimedia work of New York based artist Craig LaRotonda depicts a world infused with macabre imagery and surreal characters, featured here on our blog. Though his work is highly stylized, featuring modern cyborgs and other iconoclastic creatures drawn in the iconic style of Renaissance and Byzantine Art, the artist pulls his inspiration from somewhere familiar to him. Often, his ideas come from his own psyche and our human existence, such as birth, growth, emotions, conflict, and mortality.
It has been said that the Renaissance witnessed the rediscovery of the individual and is considered the first great age of portraiture. Inspired by master artists like Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and Hans Holbein, Moscow based photographer Alexei Sovertkov creates magnificent portrayals of the people around him. In his series titled "Digiclassicism", Sovertkov presents himself and his close friends in digital portraits that remix historical depictions.
Philadelphia-born artist Lisa Yuskavage has become known for her fantasized images of women in stages of undress, and not without controversy. Scantily clad, her subjects' sexuality plays an important role in her art where men have largely been ignored. In her new series of paintings and pastels, currently on view at David Zwirner Gallery in New York alongside Yayoi Kusama (covered here), Yuskavage finally tackles the opposite sex. Called "Hippies," her male and female cast is only loosely inspired by the free-spirited sub-culture. Yuskavage's also possess an otherworldly feel with seductive and religious undertones.
Christian Rex van Minnen's paintings (featured in HF Vol. 25) are painstakingly laborious. The artist uses the techniques of the Northern Renaissance masters to paint tripped-out portraits and still lifes where his subjects devolve into bulbous, tumor-like lumps of flesh and organic matter. While Van Minnen's work is commonly interpreted as being about deformity, when we visited the artist's studio in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, he discussed the conceptual underpinnings of his creative process. Take a look at our photos from Van Minnen's studio after the jump.
New Jersey based artist Mikel Glass began painting his bizarre rubber glove florals over ten years ago. Since then, they've continued to pop up in his various works, slowly building out a series of 30 paintings. He paints them in a variety of blooms and palettes from bright rainbow colors to romantic pastels. The gloves are not Glass' only subject. He's also an accomplished painter of portraits and still life, for which he sculpts unusual sets made of toys, rubber balls, and pumpkins that turn into self-consuming fruit baskets. Unlike these inanimate objects, the gloves take on a personality of their own as something meant to be worn by a living person.
Mary Waters' portraits of Renaissance identical twins are intriguing, almost haunting. It is said that during the Renaissance, twins were thought to be the product of sexual promiscuity and therefore evil (The Shining anyone?). Most likely, we don't see portraits of twins because they could not survive rudimentary birth. Waters clearly prefers working in Romanticism and Renaissance styles and mediums; acrylic, tempera, alkyd, and oil painted with a satiny sheen. However, she is set apart from the masters who inspire her.
When we last caught up with Shaun Berke, he was busily preparing for his previous showing at La Luz de Jesus gallery, " Sisters of the Inquisition." Berke returns to La Luz on November 7th with an inspired take on Impressionism and 17th century Dutch painting, in "Sacrosanct". His new pieces exhibit his learned classical compositions mixing religious iconography, as in his nun subjects, with some recognizable faces. Some of his models have included fellow local artists Soey Milk and Christine Wu. The work is also modern looking in its minimalism, focusing on the figures placed in subdued, apocalyptic environments. Berke also appreciates a minimal lifestyle in Los Angeles, where we went behind the scenes of his show.

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