Tag Archive: painting


Jesse Reno

“From Nothing”: There’s something to be said about particularly prolific artists, especially when they have produced over 1,500 works that are equally engaging. And Portland, OR mixed-media artist Jesse Reno is not only flush with ideas and talent, but self-taught as well. His work – often featuring figural subjects, graffiti-like scrawling and a technicolor blend of hues – is reminiscent of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Discover more on his website: www.jessereno.com

“Portrait of a Singer”: The enchanting oil paintings of German artist and former art teacher Michael Sowa (born 1945) feature a varied cast of whimsical animals, who seem to share a secret with their human companions, keepers and owners. If Sowa’s style seems familiar, you may have seen two of his creations brought to animated life over the headboard of the title character in the 2001 film Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain: the two portraits conspire about Amelie’s love life while she dreams.

Kent Williams

“Studio Arrangement in Blue and Rose” (2010): Kent Williams is an oil-painter from Los Angeles whose studio studies evoke both a decisive moment and a kind of voyeurism. The bodies in his arrangements are imbued with their own subjective narratives, which speaks to Williams’ use of his favorite models, friends and the artist himself engaging in the process. Then there’s that playful clumping and smearing of paint on the canvas – abstract compositions harmoniously sharing space with the realism of his subjects. Williams has also delved into the world of graphic novels: his 2006 collaboration with film director Darren Aronofsky on The Fountain has been well-received. Peruse his online gallery here: www.kentwilliams.com/

Gene Guynn

“Leeloo” (2010): Gene Guynn is not just a super skilled painter working in California (honing his skills at the Academy of Art University in SF and now working in LA), but also a fellow lover of filmmaker Luc Besson’s cult characters. On his oil-and-wood works, Guynn’s visceral and broad brushstrokes harmonize with those signature multicolored lines and shapes; elsewhere finely-rendered faces stand out on flaming, dripping backgrounds. The horned creations that Guynn chooses to frame his paintings with are art in themselves. Enjoy his gallery online: http://geneguynn.com

Jeremy Geddes

“The White Cosmonaut” (2009): The oil-on-board paintings by Melbourn-based (New Zealand-born) painter Jeremy Geddes send a veritable chill up my spine. The eerie images of dangling astronauts – fallen angels in bubble-top helmets, their stories and vital signs unknown – suggest ever-increasing alienation. Geddes is methodical in his preparation of these large-scale paintings, going through many drafts before beginning a grisaille underpainting. Grisaille (French for ‘grey’) works are entirely monochrome, and then layers of colors are may be added. After attending art school, Geddes worked in video game development and has been painting full time since 2003. See more seriously stunning imagery on his website: http://jeremygeddesart.com/paintings.html

Victor Rodriguez

“16 Eyes”: Victor Rodriguez (b. 1970 in Mexico City) is an especially sophisticated oil painter living and working in New York City. Recurring themes in Rodriguez’s work include eyes, Rubik’s cubes, and naked women stretched lithely across the canvas (he also pays homage to Edouard Manet’s ‘Olympia’ painting, that historically tantalizing subject). I am impressed with Rodriguez’s skin tones, interesting compositions and indisputable skill with a paintbrush. For more see his site: http://web.mac.com/victor.rodriguez/

Wayne White

“Poon”: Step into the absurd text-and-image landscapes of painter, puppeteer and production designer Wayne White, whose lauded Word Paintings are known for their satiric and irreverent messages. Bold typography dominates reproductions of banal, vintage-looking landscapes, creating a juxtaposition that triggers a comedic or thought-provoking response. “Poon” is a fairly straight-forward example of White’s project, but other phrases jostle the landscape for space, often bending to his whim or disappearing into the horizon lines of the tepid nature scenes. These are the kind of images hanging on grandparents’ walls, and the kind of half-baked quips you hear in passing conversation. The combination of the two is wonderfully unexpected, and all in the name of poking fun. White writes, “I’m often as frustrated at the world as most people are. But I think frustration is hilarious. One of my missions is to bring humor into fine art. It’s sacred.” Wayne White is also known for his work as a set designer on Pee Wee’s Playhouse and his direction of music videos. Don’t take anything too seriously as you peruse his website: http://www.waynewhiteart.com/

Mike Maxwell

“In Expectation of Finding Balance” (2010): Mike Maxwell is a self-taught San Diego artist (born in 1979). In addition to painting his signature blue-faced historical-looking figures on various surfaces (some of my favorites are on smooth, rotund gourds), Maxwell hosts a weekly podcast called Live Free in which he interviews other creative types and talks about the current art scene. From his artist’s statement: “The work has a lot to do with his personal re-education & a desire to learn & understand things that are so prevalent in our society but are often forgotten by the masses”; one can almost see Maxwell working through an American history text and reinterpreting many of the characters, crimes, and triumphs that he discovers there. He has an upcoming solo show at the Subtext Gallery beginning mid-May: http://www.mikemaxwellart.com

Andy Kehoe

“Under the Gaze of the Glorious” (2011): Welcome to the forested dreamscapes of Pittsburgh, PA painter Andy Kehoe, a BFA graduate from the Parsons School of Design in NY. Kehoe’s distinctive palette of autumnal hues color this world of childlike wonder, where bearded dragons have chance encounters, flower-laden trees reign supreme and monsters definitely exist. Gorgeous stuff from an artist to keep an eye on: http://www.andykehoe.net/

Gabe Leonard

“God Forgives, I Don’t”: As a young struggling artist in Los Angeles, painter Gabe Leonard began selling copies of his work on Venice Beach, and has since graduated to art festivals and gallery exhibits. His work revolves around the fringe worlds of the Wild West, pirates, mobsters and famous musicians. Most of the subjects are stoic and armed, hardened by their hard-knock existence and unaware of the cinematic cult following these archetypes inhibit in our world. I especially like the backgrounds of these images: morbid-looking paint drips and ingenious smoke-filled blending. See more at his website: http://www.gabeleonard.com/

Sea Hyun Lee

“Between Red-46” (2008): Sea Hyun Lee is a South Korean artist (b. 1967) whose captivating series Between Red depicts the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. Lee describes being in this area during his military service: “I would wear night vision goggles, which coated everything in red. The forests and trees felt so fantastic and beautiful. It was unrealistic scenery filled with horror and fear, and with no possibility of entering.” Despite the monochrome effect of the red washes on white canvas, these images are incredibly detailed and evocative of a nostalgic Never Never Land on the sea. Enjoy more of the Between Red series here: http://www.union-gallery.com/

Mary Iverson

“Bagley Lake with Containers” (2010): Mary Iverson’s images combine the dreamy, timeless landscapes of travel magazines with a complex system of intersecting lines and planes extending off the edges of cargo boxes. Iverson, another Seattleite, prepares her compositions by studying the shipping manifests from nearby ports and using their measurements, an attention to detail suggestive of a draftsman. These images deal with concepts of accumulation and industry; to get the whole scope of her statement visit her portfolio here: http://maryiverson.com

Sylvia Ji

‎”Red Buffalo” (2010): California native Sylvia Ji (raised in San Francisco, currently living in Los Angeles) paints stunning women, enraptured and exalted beauties in Calavera (Día de los Muertos) facepaint and costume. Although her earlier work used a more diverse palette of colors, Ji now focuses each painting with a dominant hue, especially that incredible red. See her entire collection online here: http://www.sylviaji.com/

Glennray Tutor

‎”Quartet”: Glennray Tutor’s oil-and-canvas works fall under the category of photorealism, but they are so much more than paintings that look like pictures – they are carefully arranged visual interplays, evocative of the division between childhood and adulthood. Particularly impressive is Tutor’s ability to capture light in glass and project the colorful shadows of the marbles on the black-and-white surface of the comic book. For a nostalgic trip to delight the eyes, check out his gallery online: http://www.glennraytutor.com/

Joram Roukes

‎”Salvation Road” (2009): The large-scale collages of Netherland’s Joram Roukes are at once disturbing and familiar, ghastly figures that challenge proportions. They are meticulously composed and yet the paint drips or smudges freely. Roukes’ succinct artist statement alludes to moral dilemmas in Western society, and this elaborate piece is suggestive of America’s economic and cultural influences – a puzzle to decode. See his site here: http://joramroukes.blogspot.com/