Chicago based artist Jonathan Gardner’s figurative-pop works combine an overabundance of 20th century styles. His paintings feature simplified figures in spaces that borrow visual techniques by artists like Pablo Picasso, Rene Magritte, Henri Matisse, and Fernand Léger. Gardner makes otherwise mundane scenes more interesting by enhancing the patterns in things like his subject’s clothing, wallpaper, and tiled floors. Some of his subjects appear more melancholy, others more humored and lively, as in his images of women tanning by the swimming pool and playing tennis.
Hyper-realist painter Maria Teicher, featured here, likens the experience of being an artist to being in high school. As a student, she felt like an outcast who didn’t quite fit in, a “loner” forced into an artificial social dynamic. Teicher explores this theme in per paintings, which portray people in powerless moments, often wrapped in “veils” that distort their faces. Her work almost stops your breath, not only for her impressive use of the oil medium, but because you can feel the moment of constriction. For her latest body of work “Here Together, So Alone” at Arch Enemy Arts in Philadelphia, Teicher observes how we group ourselves together as humans while remaining inexplicably alone.
Filipino surrealist Jon Jaylo creates brilliantly colored and riddled oil paintings inspired by poetry and stories. His paintings have earned him the moniker “The Enigma” for his puzzling depictions of a parallel universe where animals wear clothes, children take on adult personas and gravity ceases to exist. Jaylo has said that he is never completely satisfied with his style, which varies from piece to piece, influenced by a range of artists like Rene Magritte, Paul Delvaux, Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí, and William Bougereau. Opening September 12th, Jaylo will make his US debut with his solo exhibition “As the Moon Draws Water” at Distinction Gallery in California.
Portuguese multimedia artist Gustavo Fernandes portrays a parallel universe in his oil paintings. According to this essay on his work, Fernandes had a difficult childhood and once referred to himself as someone who had lost his roots. Roots are a recurring motif in his more surreal paintings, where grape vines grab hold of mysterious objects, such as spheres, and perform a strange balancing act between earth and water.