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    Balloons, Plants, and Bubble Wrap Become Powerful Subversive Symbols in Alicia Brown’s Portraits

    
    Art
    #balloons
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #plants
    #portraitsJanuary 31, 2022Grace Ebert“Love notes from my father in a foreign land when the apple trees blossom” (2021), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches. All photos by Daniel Perales Studio, © Alicia Brown, shared with permissionIn her new body of work What About the Men?, Jamaica-born, Sarasota-based artist Alicia Brown extracts and reenvisions elements of traditional portraiture. She recasts objects of cultural and social status, like the elaborate gowns and thick ruffled collars worn by wealthy aristocrats throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, by instead rendering her subjects in casual clothing like shorts and rubber flipflops with colorful latex balloons, plants, and plastic bubble wrap coiled around their necks.Contemporary and subversive, Brown’s oil paintings are rooted in history and a reinvented use of symbols interpreted as power, control, celebration, adaptation, and survival. She explains:As an artist from the Caribbean, Jamaica, which was colonized by Europe, presently there is still that system of classism that has its origin during slavery and colonialism in Jamaica that the natives have to navigate in order to fit into society. I have referenced the collar as an object that is European and replaced it with objects such as spoons, cotton swaps, shells, balloons, bubble wrap, and recently elements of nature. These collars adorned the neck of the models who are regular people and who are constantly going through a performance of creating an identity to gain acceptance.Derived from a photograph of a friend, family member, or neighbor, each intimate portrait is set against a lush backdrop of foliage or in domestic scenes with encroaching plant and animal life. “Through my work, I hope to convey to the viewer to look beyond their eyes and to see themselves as the person represented in the painting, to share their world, and to come to the awareness that we share so much in common, we are all connected as beings,” the artist shares.If you’re in Rochester, you can see What About the Men? through March 6 at UUU Art Collective. Otherwise, visit Brown’s site and Instagram.“The Duke of Portmore-dad’s legacy” (2022), 48 x 36 inches“The queen’s coronation” (2020), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches“Male bird of paradise” (2021), oil on canvas, 64 x 42 inches“You look just like your father” (2021), oil on canvas“There is a race of men who do not fit in” (2021), oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches“Portrait of lady Cameal from Alva” (2020), oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches
    #balloons
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #plants
    #portraitsDo stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now! Share this story  More

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    Teeming with Leaves and Grasses, Oil Paintings Cloaked in Lush Foliage Evoke the Forest Floor

    
    Art
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #plantsJanuary 14, 2022Grace EbertAll images © JA Paunkovic, shared with permissionThick foliage in shades of green sprout from every inch of JA Paunkovic’s canvases. The Serbian husband-and-wife duo of Jelena and Aleksandar render luxuriant scenes brimming with realistic plant life. Patches of verdant grasses, shrubs, and flowering specimens sprawl across the oil-based works, which mimic the lush patches of vegetation that the pair encounters while hiking.  “Visiting (a) new environment becomes material that will later serve us in the studio as a sketch for a new painting,” Jelena shares. “We have found a way to bring nature to a home or gallery and hang it on the wall to serve as a reminder that we need to think more about how our modern lifestyle affects the environment.”In addition to working on a few commissions, the artists currently are building a new studio, and you can follow their progress on Instagram. Find limited-edition prints and originals in their shop.
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #plantsDo stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now! Share this story  More

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    Human Anatomy and Decomposing Flora Unveil a Surreal Mix of Dreams and Feelings in Rafael Silveira’s Portraits

    
    Art
    #anatomy
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #plants
    #portraits
    #surrealDecember 29, 2021Grace EbertAll images © Rafael Silveira, shared with permissionIn Rafael Silveira’s Unportraits, magenta curls and slick, turquoise coifs frame the bizarre scenarios unfolding in a subject’s mind. The Brazilian artist, who gravitates towards oil paints in shades of pink and blue, translates a character’s psyche through wilting flowers, gashes in the earth’s surface, and parrots with feathers that drip like wet paint. Anatomical elements like singular eyes, hearts sprouting veins, and twisting brain matter bolster the unearthly qualities of each work, which meld flora and fauna into a surreal mishmash. “From inside, we are a strange mix of dreams, thoughts, feelings, and human meat,” Silveira tells Colossal. “I think these portraits are not persons but moods.”Peculiar situations surround the subjects as their sweaters melt like ice cream and spiders spin webs from the parched ground supplanting their necks, a visual that evokes thick wrinkles associated with aging. These fleeting actions are part of the artist’s reference to paper ephemera and the ways thoughts and feelings decompose over time. “This rich mental energy is like an invisible raw element, part of the immaterial alchemy of my works,” he says. “We can’t control what life brings us, but we can decide how to react. We make these small decisions all the time. These characters evoke the power of reaction.”Silveira is based in Curitiba, Brazil, and has his work slated for a January group exhibition at London’s Dorothy Circus Gallery and in March in an immersive solo show at Farol Santander in São Paulo. Until then, pick up a print and keep an eye on his Instagram for new additions to his portrait series, which will be on view in July at Choque Cultural Gallery.
    #anatomy
    #oil painting
    #painting
    #plants
    #portraits
    #surrealDo stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now! Share this story  More

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    Meticulous Sculptures by Artist Carol Long Highlight the Curved Lines and Colorful Embellishments Found in Nature

    
    Art
    Craft
    #animals
    #ceramics
    #insects
    #plants
    #potteryNovember 30, 2021Grace EbertAll images © Carol Long, shared with permissionHonoring the humble shape of the vessel is at the center of Carol Long’s practice. From her studio in rural Kansas, the artist throws simple ceramic cylinders that she contorts into supple butterfly wings,  curved chrysalises, or vases with embellished handles.“When it comes off the potter’s wheel, that’s just the beginning,” she tells Colossal. “I usually sit for a second and look at the piece and see which way I can push it out or in.”The resulting forms are evocative of both flora and fauna and traditional pottery, although Long’s sculptures emphasize smooth, sinuous walls and squiggly bases rather than angled edges. She uses slip trailing to add tactile decorative elements to the piece like small spheres, handles, or raised linework. “The relationship between the glazes that are inside the vectors, the shapes made by the slip trailing, are really important in how they’re divided and how they sit next to each other,” she says, noting that the process is particularly meticulous because it involves applying the material to each intricate, ribbed pattern and delicate outline.Whether a vase or wide-mouthed jar, the whimsical sculptures are brimming with color and textured details. “I love the flowing lines, and I love the idea of framing a picture on my pots. A lot of times I have a focal point like an animal or insect and then I’ve framed it with other designs,” the artist says.Long is hosting an annual open house at her studio next month and will show a body of work at Charlie Cummings Gallery in July of 2022. Until then, shop available pieces on Etsy—she also has an update slated for mid-December—and follow her latest pieces on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)
    #animals
    #ceramics
    #insects
    #plants
    #potteryDo stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now! Share this story  More

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    A Verdant Rainforest Lush with Plants and Giant Macaws Blankets Annabel’s Facade in London

    
    Art

    #birds
    #deforestation
    #installation
    #plants

    September 10, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Annabel’s, shared with permission
    Sprawling from sidewalk to roof and lining the entrance to Annabel’s in London is a luxuriant installation teeming with ferns, florals, and a flock of vibrant, oversized birds hovering nearby. Evocative of an abundant rainforest habitat, the staggering piece is part of the club’s inaugural Annabel’s for The Amazon initiative, which launches later this month in collaboration with One Tree Planted and The Caring Family Foundation.
    Together, their goal is to combat deforestation by planting one million trees by March 2023, a number that equals about 600 hectares of forests otherwise lost, and renew biodiversity in the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, which currently consists of patchwork plots destroyed by agriculture, logging, and other devastating projects. With continued restoration efforts, this region is slated to become “the largest nature corridor in the world, connecting the Amazon and Cerrado over a distance of 2,600 kilometers—the same distance from Moscow to London,” a statement says. (via Jo Brooks)

    #birds
    #deforestation
    #installation
    #plants

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    Coral and Plant Life Consume Discarded Objects in Post-Apocalyptic Sculptures by Stéphanie Kilgast

    
    Art

    #clay
    #coral
    #found objects
    #plants
    #sculpture

    September 2, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Coral Royal” (2019), epoxy clay, acrylics on tin can, 14 x 15 x 11 centimeters. All images © Stéphanie Kilgast, shared with permission
    Artist Stéphanie Kilgast (previously) envisions a vibrant, post-apocalyptic world overgrown with coral, fungi, and lush moss. Using cheap devices and disposable containers that tend to outlast their original function as her base, Kilgast creates painted-clay assemblages that are teeming with fantastical colors and texture: mushrooms sprout from an empty paint tube, sea creatures envelop a crushed can, and plant life cloaks a pair of headphones with whimsical botanicals.
    Each of the works contrasts the enduring manufactured object with natural growth, imagining a universe that’s simultaneously devoid of humanity and still marred by its rampant consumption habits. “In that sense my work is joyous. I remove the root of the problem, us, and let all the other species just grow over our mistakes,” she shares. “Nature itself is full of bright colors. It’s inherently beautiful, and my work is an ode to all the living and existing species, (except) for us. Hope dies last, so I still hope my work opens up discussion, thinking, and eventually change.”
    Currently based in Vannes, France, Kilgast has exhibitions at Comoedia in Brest, France, Modern Eden in San Francisco, and three at Melbourne’s Beinart Gallery slated for 2022. She also shares much of her process on YouTube and Instagram.

    “Quinacridone Magenta” (2021), cold porcelain, epoxy clay, acrylics, wire on empty paint tube, 10 x 7 x 13 centimeters
    “Cyltonic” (2018), polymer clay, acrylics, wire, thrifted can of cleaning agent, 17 x 9 x 19 centimeters
    Top left: “Blue Boletus” (2020), polymer clay, acrylics, wire on tin can, 25 x 14 x 10 centimeters. Top right: “Serene” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics, wire on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 25 x 12 x 17 centimeters. Bottom left: “Yellow Exploration (Octopus)” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 32 x 16 x 15 centimeters and “Blue Bottle (Coral Reef)” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 35 x 15 x 11 centimeters. Bottom right: “Mojito” (2019), poxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on tin can, 17 x 17 x 7 centimeters
    “Losing My Song Culture” (2021), epoxy clay, air-dry clay, cold porcelain, paper, watercolor, acrylics, on broken headphones, 28 x 18 x 17 centimeters
    Detail of “Blue Bottle (Coral Reef)” (2020), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics on empty acrylic plastic bottle, 35 x 15 x 11 centimeters
    “Mother (Elephants)” (2019), epoxy clay, polymer clay, acrylics, wire, thrifted plastic canteen, 17 x 14 x 26 centimeters

    #clay
    #coral
    #found objects
    #plants
    #sculpture

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    Lifelike Sculptures by Diana Beltrán Herrera Recreate Flora and Fauna in Intricately Cut Paper

    
    Art
    Design
    Food
    Illustration

    #animals
    #birds
    #flowers
    #fruit
    #paper
    #plants
    #sculpture

    August 12, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Diana Beltrán Herrera, shared with permission
    Colombian artist Diana Beltrán Herrera (previously) adds to her growing collection of intricate paper sculptures with new plant and animal life. From her studio in Bristol, the artist and designer recreates lifelike reproductions of turacos, monarchs, and various species with nearly perfect precision. Innumerable fringed strips become feathers, faint scores mimic delicate creases in petals, and layers of bright paper form brilliantly colored plumes, creating a colorful and diverse ecosystem of wildlife from around the world.
    Prints, jigsaw puzzles, and cards are available in Beltrán Herrera’s shop, and you can see more of her recent commissions and personal projects on Behance and Instagram.

    #animals
    #birds
    #flowers
    #fruit
    #paper
    #plants
    #sculpture

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    Vines and Flowers Intertwine with an Imposing Skeleton in an Elegant Graphite Drawing by Guno Park

    
    Art

    #drawing
    #graphite
    #momento mori
    #plants
    #skeleton

    August 6, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Detail of “Nature of Things,”  graphite/pencil on paper, 85 x 51.5 inches. All images © Guno Park, shared with permission
    Brooklyn-based artist Guno Park evokes the tradition of memento mori with an exquisite new drawing highlighting the precarious line between life and death. Titled “Nature of Things,” the meticulously crosshatched piece rendered in graphite stands at a striking 85 inches, portraying the oversized human figure with botanicals winding around its spinal column and through its chest. “Putting the skeleton together with vine, leaves, and flowers represents for me the power of nature and its inevitability of continuum. I find comfort in nature,” the artist says.
    Park shares that although skulls and bones are common subject matter, he relegated most to his sketchbook until magnifying the concept a few months into the pandemic. “This drawing has been a journey —as many drawings are—that started a little more than a year ago…I think our whole world was reminded of how close death can be, and I had a constant reminder of it on the news and media,” he says.
    In addition to his studio practice, Park teaches drawing at The New York Academy of Art, ArtCenter, and New York Film Academy, and you can see more of his figurative drawings on Instagram.

    #drawing
    #graphite
    #momento mori
    #plants
    #skeleton

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