Archives for category: Painting

Fine artist Jemima Kirke is best known for her roles in Tiny Furniture and the HBO series Girls, both created by friend Lena Dunham.  In the second season of Girls, Jemima’s character Jessa paints a portrait of her then-husband, a scene which miffed Kirke, “I was a little pissed at the moment, when I saw that painting as a prop…It’s just a little close to home.  And only because I have been been very vocal about the fact that I make artwork, so I don’t want this to be seen as mine.  Not that there was anything wrong with it; it just wasn’t me.”  Kirke’s paintings are influenced by the work of Edouard Mamet and Lucian Freud and one can sense a bit of Francesco Clemente in her portraits.  As her website describes the work, “By turns both heart-breakingly intimate and ultimately entirely distant, Kirke flees from obvious representations of her subject matter to focus on underlying darkness and the interplay of pathology that exists between artist and the person studied.  Her practice highlights the uncanny moment of fusion between the sitter’s projected identity and the internal character that the artist imposes upon her subject.”  She is currently signed on to portray Jessa in season three of Girls.  For more information regarding Kirke’s fine art, please click here.

Untitled by Jemima Kirke, 2006

Untitled by Jemima Kirke, 2006

Noah by Jemima Kirke, 2012

Noah by Jemima Kirke, 2012

Lola by Jemima Kirke, 2005

Lola by Jemima Kirke, 2005

Untitled by Jemima Kirke, 2006

Untitled by Jemima Kirke, 2006

Heather and Emma by Jemima Kirke, 2011

Heather and Emma by Jemima Kirke, 2011

-Jayme Catalano

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Before the golden age of photo manipulation, extreme breast augmentation,  Penthouse and Victoria’s Secret, randy men the world over turned to pin-up art for a thrill.  The artwork reflected the rampant consumerism of the mid-century, offering sexuality as a product: processed, packaged, and sold.  Mostly anonymous, the women in the paintings are coy, sexual confections in fantastical settings.  The images reflect a bright, sanitized, and Caucasian reality where feminism has no place.  Gil Elvgren was the best pin-up artist the world has ever known, at least according to his own website.  Like his contemporary Norman Rockwell, Elvgren also worked from staged photographs, changing facial features, expressions, and atmosphere at will in the final painting.  And like many of Rockwell’s illustrations, the paintings present an idealized vision of American life.  Click here to read more about Elvgren.

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Myrna Hansen poses for a painting by Gil Elvgren.

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Janet Rae poses for a painting by Gil Elvgren.

Janet Rae poses for a painting by Gil Elvgren.

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Pin_Up_before_after_72

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren

-Jayme Catalano

San Francisco artist Dave Young V explores a militarized, anarchist, post-apocalyptic future in his large format paintings, drawings, and three dimensional works.  In addition to the graphic pen and ink drawings he is known for, he re-appropriates elements for the three-dimensional works including automatic rifles, helmets, a fully-functional flame thrower, ammo boxes and even a full-size automobile (a collaboration with artist Eddie Colla).  Young V says that the name of his upcoming exhibition, “The New Race,” is “more of an implication to allow the viewer’s mind to wander into the possibilities of not only where we may be going as a society or culture but also as a species.  My work as always worked on the loose premise of a ‘post-apocalyptic’ world.  Each installment thus far has been an exploration of people, languages and aesthetic of that world.  ‘The New Race’ will continue in that vein, only stepping further into the implications of genetic engineering, cloning, human reproduction, the biological fusion of technology as a natural part of our evolution, and question notions of racial and cultural identity in this new hypothetical world.”  The exhibition opens at the White Walls Gallery in San Francisco on Saturday, January 12th and continues through February 2nd.  You can find more information about the artist here and at the gallery website.

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Dave Young V

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Untitled 11 by Dave Young V

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Dave Young V

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WP1 by Dave Young V

mml4_m

MML-4 by Dave Young V

-Jayme Catalano

Dennis Wojtkiewicz defies the destructive nature of time passing in his large scale, photo realistic paintings of fruit and flowers.  Using a technique perfected by Vermeer and other Northern European masters, he captures and enhances the transitory nature of his subject matter.  “Each painting is constructed by beginning with a monochrome under painting in the complement of the featured subject.  Subsequent layers of semi-opague through to transparent colors follow with up to ten passes before the end result is achieved.”  In explaining the meditative qualities of the work, Wotjkiewicz says, “There are a number of elements in the visual undertow which function as a metaphor or representation of themes such as spirituality, relationships (or lack thereof), reproduction and, generally speaking, the transitory nature of most stuff.  When I go into the studio, it is with the intent of imbuing the paintings with a living spirit and to realize something that will connect with the viewer on a sensual if not metaphysical plane.”  His work is currently on exhibit at the Castle Gallery.

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

Dennis J. Wojtkiewicz

-Jayme Catalano

I was so honored to be a guest on the What is Art? Blog Talk Radio show recently.  Our topics of conversation included public relations for artists in the digital age, the rise of social media and visual marketing, branding, and advice on raising your profile among galleries, buyers, and the press.  Take half an hour to listen.

-Jayme Catalano

Barcelona based artist Guim Tio Zarraluki distills the complex curves of the human figure into basic, single plane geometry.  His subjects are clown-like, comical yet strangely haunting figures with obscured eyes and lifelike lips against matte backgrounds.  He often paints over magazine editorials and one can see the ghostly outline of  fashion models and text.  He recently released a video illustrating his technique using an image of Paul Newman.  Click here to learn more about the artist.

Guun Tui Zarraluki

Guim Tio Zarraluki

Guim Tio Zarraluki

Guim Tio Zarraluki

-Jayme Catalano

The Art WithOut Labels retail gallery is a hip space filled with the artwork of emerging local and international artists.  Created by artists and designers with developmental and related disabilities, much of the work is slightly irreverent and endearingly whimsical.  Started by the non-profit group Alchemia, AWOL empowers artists and provides an opportunity for the community to recognize and support their astounding talent.  The mission of AWOL is “to create a public venue where the intersection of people, media, and invention help to create a more open and inviting community for all.”  AWOL’s artists are talented and unique and their artwork is a reminder that artistry transcends limitations.

If you would like to inquire about purchasing artwork or donating funds to the non-profit organization, please contact Susan Boyle at (415) 320-2126 or email susan[at]alchemia.org.  You can visit the website here.

Bird on Branch, courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Courtesy of the AWOL Gallery

Painter Michelle Armas lasted one year in the stressful world of corporate branding in New York before she decamped back to Atlanta to pursue a career in abstract painting.  Her large scale acrylics are vibrant, bold, and youthful, the hipster offspring of  Richard Diebenkorn and Jackson Pollock.  In a recent posting on her blog about a commission she is completing for a very symmetrical bedroom, she describes her creative process in endearingly straightforward terms:  “I think there should be big shapes, lots of layering but chunky and scribbly to balance the linear-ness all over the place.”  Visit her blog to see the result.  Click here to visit her online gallery.

Fly By, Michelle Armas

Apple, Michelle Armas

Secret umbrellas, Michelle Armas

-Jayme Catalano

It is ironic that artist Vanessa Cooper shares her name with an adult film star because her charming paintings are the embodiment of innocence.  Hampshire born, raised and based, her often idyllic works feature scenes from life in the English countryside painted in a style reminiscent of folk art.  Bold colors and humorous compositions bring to mind naive painters Maud Lewis, Seraphine Louis, and John Kane.  Coooper accepts commissions and more of her work is available on her website.

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

Vanessa Cooper

-Jayme Catalano

In his Map Works series, Dallas-based artist Matthew Cusick has created intricate collages out of maps and acrylic paint.  Echoing traditional Japanese woodcuts in some and Lucian Freud in others, the images depict people and the natural world through the harsh lines and bold colors of maps.  It is almost as though humanity’s attempts to capture and illustrate the complexity of Earth with a series of spheres, borders, and grids is being reflected back as a truly futile mission.  For more information on the artist, please visit his website.

Bonnie, 2004 by Matthew Cusick

The Rachel’s Wave, 2011 by Matthew Cusick

Shauna, 2011 by Matthew Cusick

Fiona’s Wave, 2005 by Matthew Cusick

-Jayme Catalano