ArtisSpectrum vol.38

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ARTisSpectrum Volume 38

The Chelsea Perspective

The Eternal Circus of Michael Dolen pg. 26

African Perspectives pg. 40

The Garden Party pg. 46

Is Technology Upending Traditional Art pg. 60

1 ARTisSpectrum P r o f i| Volume l e 38s| of Contemporary Art and Artists




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28 Sept. 2018 24 Feb. 2019 PRESENTING SPONSOR


EDWARD BURTYNSKY Coal Mine #1, North Rhine, Westphalia, Germany (detail), 2015. Photo © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto


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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 |

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THROUGH JUNE 2019 Fifteen artists convey vibrant narratives on leadership, faith, labor, and community across global boundaries.

Saint Woman (detail), 2015, Amy Sherald, American, b. 1973, oil on canvas, 54 x 43 in., Private collection, photo courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

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ARTisSpectrum Publisher Agora Gallery Editor-in-Chief Angela Di Bello Managing Editor Sabrina Gilbertson Editorial Assistants Sabrina Gilbertson Sophia Pisana Layout Roanna Cada

Contents 6 About the Cover 7 Profile Directory

15 Art Matters - Why We Collect Art 18 ARTbeat

26 The Eternal Circus of Michael Dolen Jeffrey Grunthaner

40 African Perspectives

Dra. Marta Campomar

46 The Garden Party Angela Di Bello

54 The Humanitarian

60 Is Technology Upending Traditional Art William Ingham

66 The Lure of Contemporary Art: How To Build an Art Collection Angela Di Bello

Staff Writers Jeffrey Grunthaner Simone Armer Steven Briggs Maria Doubravskaia ARTisSpectrum provides a forum for artists and art professionals. Articles express the opinion and knowledge of the authors and not necessarily that of the magazine’s management. Artist profiles are written by staff writers or the artists unless otherwise noted. © All copyrights are reserved by the authors. The copyrights of all published artwork are retained by the artists. Reproduction of any published material is prohibited without the written permission of the magazine’s publisher. Suggestions for future articles are welcome. Any topic submitted in writing by an artist, art professional or professionals in the service of the art community will be considered for publication.

Contributing Writers Jennifer Morrow Sergey Klychkov Dra. Marta Campomar Di Taylor William Ingham Printed by The CPC

ARTisSpectrum Magazine 530 West 25th Street New York, NY 10001 212.226.4151


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26 40


60 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


About the Cover

by Angela Di Bello

We are pleased to present volume 38 of ARTisSpectrum Magazine. Our objective continues to be: bringing attention to the exceptional artists whose talent and passion is acknowledged, and grace the pages of this exciting issue. One of these exceptional artists is Michael Dolen who we are proud to feature on our cover. I first met Michael in March of 2017 and took an immediate liking to him. His formidable demeaner is that of a dedicated artist whose astute sensibility is overshadowed only by his humanity. Mr. Dolen’s body of work is an outpouring of an active and passionate mind - the mind of an artist who relishes the exploration of abstract space. His captivating and exuberant expression results in magical narratives that delight us with a sense of profound emotional engagement. Michael’s strength and ability to create enigma by crafting tension between reality and illusion will enliven your senses. We hope that you will enjoy volume 38 of ARTisSpectrum Magazine as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you!


ARTisSpectrum Volume 38

The Chelsea Perspective

The Eternal Circus of Michael Dolen pg. 26

African Perspectives pg. 40

The Garden Party pg. 46

Is Technology Upending Traditional Art pg. 60

Volume 38

Profiles of Contemporary Art and Artists


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Artist Profiles The artist profiles in this issue showcase the work, inspirations and motivations of today’s talented emerging and established artists. You will find these throughout the magazine, or you can turn directly to a certain artist’s profile by finding their name and corresponding page number below.

page 64 37 56 45 51 8 44 38 9 11 11 21 36 22 10 25 23 21 16 16

Ana Ingham Attila Mata Benjamin L.M. Bo Song Charles Henderson Christine Stettner Cynthia Chace Gray Cyntia Caballero Gabriele Pellerone Gordana Tomic Gottfried Roemer Greenberg Henrik Sjöström (El Bastardo) Howard Harris Jacqueline Agentis James Chisholm Jayne Rolinson Jerry Anderson Jonathan James Hydro Kingetsu Ishii (石井 琴月)

25 57 53 71 44 12 65 8 52 23 14 13 53 24 52 43 17 42 43 58

Lucretia Ursu Marek Slavík Marlene Kurland Michael F. Kin Miguel A. Chavez Monika Gloviczki Nicola Watson Nora Pineda Osvaldo Bacman Patricia Queiruga Pierre Oeuvray Richard Ostroff Rody Svetlana Nelson Terry Firkins toNI Altenstrasser Winie Sørensen YoungHee Woo Yu He Yuriy Danich

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Christine Stettner


he works of Christine Stettner center on the figure, but then work their way outwards toward the margins of a picture frame. Her paintings, which are often rendered in acrylic, seem to capture the process of seeing figures emerge from the act of painting, only to foreground them against an endlessly receding backdrop. Within this dream-like setting, startling associations—between person and person, or person and objects—occur that lead viewers to question the objectivity stability of the realities they encounter everyday. A frame is no longer a frame in Stettner’s work, but a portal leading the viewer into secret vistas of past and future time. In Stettner’s movement away from the figure, different painterly materials, textured surfaces, and fluid variations of shape wrap her subjects in a psychedelic sheen. Her works feel symbolic—even if they depict dreams or are informed by memories. This air of symbolism is made possible by the familiarity of her figures, whose faces are often left blank, as though mirroring the subjectivity of a viewer who might feel equally accosted by the surreal landscapes which environ Stettner’s figures.

Scope of the Movement, 2016 Acrylic on Canvas 39.5” x 31.5”

Nora Pineda


eramics lie at the crux of Nora Pineda’s artistic practice. Taking inspiration from her Mexican heritage, she creates stories that wend around the physical dimensions of her pieces, rendered in vibrant colors and with a careful attentiveness to pigment and shape. Often involving folkloric themes, Pineda’s stories often speak to a feminist vision of the world, abstractly depicting scenes and narratives that can be communicated directly via color, texture, and shape—or tactically, in the scale, dimensions, and contours of the physical object she shapes. The shape and tactile quality of Pineda‘s ceramic works could be said to recreate the physical tactilty of the female body itself. Rather than reducing embodiment to a correlate of the male gaze, Pineda works from within, recreating the experience of femininity without having to depict a feminine body overtly. Nonetheless, without being fetishistic eyes, lips, and fingernails are recurrent themes in her work. Indeed, this thematic consistency could be said to be recursive, as Pineda’s ceramic form oftens extend the shape of these features into three-dimensional works that toy with the cleavage between femininity and the feminine body. 8

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Red Lips, 2002 Ceramic 9” x 11” x 6”

Gabriele Pellerone


he work of Italian artist Gabriele Pellerone has defined himself as a visionary in contemporary art after inventing and introducing the artistic concept of tattoo painting. A tattoo artist by trade, Pellerone developed the unique technique while experimenting with his everyday tools. Using silicone rubber and synthetic leather as his canvas, Pellerone tattoos his art in a style that is both realism and fantasy, inspired by Renaissance culture and pop. Born in a suburb of Reggio Calabria, in the south of Italy, Pellerone discovered his passion for drawing at an early age, writing on everything from the walls to his clothes. After finishing school, he started looking for a job in Barcelona along with a dear friend who suggested he embark on a tattooing career. Through international conventions and seminars, Pellerone quickly began to gain credibility as one to watch in the tattoo industry, but it wasn’t until 2016 that he was introduced to the contemporary art world. His unprecedented work caught the attention of the curator of the Armenian Pavilion, Professor Giorgio Grasso, who invited him to exhibit at the 57th Venice Biennale. He inaugurated his first solo exhibition in Bologna in early 2018.

Gabriele in his studio

Tattooed Girl, 2018 Sculpture 14” x 14” x 4”

Ink Bhudda, 2017 Latex 28” x 20”

Pellerone uses special needles, made of surgical steel, to perforate the synthetic leather and inject his pigments; preferring monochrome compositions to color. The latter is reserved for highlighting specific details in his work, which he encourages viewers to touch when on exhibition. Pellerone also produces sculptures, and recently developed a fauxleather handbag collection. The limited-edition run, featuring Pellerone’s unique tattoo designs, will begin January 2019.

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Jacqueline Agentis


hen award-winning international photographer Jacqueline Agentis was a child, she often wondered why it took her mother so long to take pictures. Her mother had always been a camera enthusiast, even selling them in a shop in Germany years before. It was how she met Agentis’ father, who was an American GI. Years later, when Agentis was gifted her first camera, a Canon AE-1, she finally understood: all those extra seconds her mother spent while her and her siblings fidgeted and moaned made all the difference between a nice, simple snapshot and the kind of photograph still talked about to this day. When she was introduced to the exquisite light and detail of Ansel Adams’ work, she realised she could achieve with photography what she was trying to do with drawing.

Crossing Greene St, 2014 Digital Photography 42” x 28”

Agentis attended Kutztown University where she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography. During her studies, she fell in love with the street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, and Dorothea Lange, finding inspiration in how they managed to capture the extraordinary in the ordinary. Intrigued by the the history of her subjects, a chair in a cafe or a quiet street, Agentis is compelled to convey that sense of time using color, abstract, architectural elements and texture. She captures not only what is happening with her subjects, but also the character and personality of the space around them – who and what came before. Agentis has been shooting for over 30 years. Her work has appeared in local, national and international publications, including the New York Times, and has shown in several solo and group exhibitions. She is also the recipient of numerous photography awards. Agentis works from her studio in Pennsylvania where she has resided since 1972.

Shop on Greene, 2014 Digital Photography 28” x 18”


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Gordana Tomic


hysics, poetry, emotions and modern life – this is what inspires Gordana Tomic, an abstract expressionist painter based in Belgrade, Serbia. In the last three years, she has had 10 solo exhibitions in Serbia, Montenegro, and the USA. Her work also belongs to both private and public collections across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It’s no small feat for an artist who only recently appeared on the contemporary art scene; Tomic spent a decade in IT and management before realizing her true calling as an artist. She was born in Montenegro and grew up the second-youngest of four children. Her father and uncle were both seamen, providing her with a cosmopolitan view of the world. In her painting, Tomic attempts to reconcile both Abysmal Beauty, 2017 Acrylic on Canvas 53.5” x 83” contemporary and modern aspects with the traditions of her Montenegrin roots. Characterised by monochrome palettes, her works are large-scale and abstract. She adores working on diptychs with mediums oil and acrylic, and sometimes incorporates mixed media materials like volcano lava sand. “For me, a great artwork threatens time, space and mind, while retaining its beauty,” she explains. “Creativity is an intelligent form of entertainment, and in its most refined and significant form, it becomes art.”

Gottfried Roemer


ottfried Roemer creates dynamic compositions that he calls Painto: a synthesis of the words and processes of painting and photo. After five years spent developing and refining the technique, Roemer is able to manipulate his camera, using movement during the exposure process to create impressionistic photographs. Architectural images, seascapes, and nude portraits are all captured in the artist’s signature style, resulting in pictures that shift the forms of reality, thrusting structures and contours into a state of dissolution. The artist renounces straight depictions, instead choosing to interpret certain diverse locations, such as New York, Cape Cod, Berlin, Hamburg, Rome, and Venice through his highly subjective process of painting with light. Key in Roemer’s Painto-Photography is the perception of the viewer, who is actively encouraged to use their own imagination to further deconstruct or reassemble the images at hand. The pictures are shaped and seen based on perception, and thus entirely contingent upon the sense of sight and process of being seen. A strong tension between reality and imagination materializes, imbuing the viewer with agency and control to make their own image and create their own freedoms. In this highly individual process, the boundaries between seeing and being become blurred. New York Times Square Light, 2018 Photograph on Aluminum 26.5” x 39.5” ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


Monika Gloviczki

Perspective, 2018 Oil on Canvas 48” x 72”

Nirvana, 2018 Oil on Canvas 48” x 72”


oland-born artist Monika Gloviczki paints landscapes and cityscapes using bright facets of textured paint to convey subtle changes in light. Forests, water lilies, and farmhouses are abstracted into blocks of tonal color to create harmonious compositions in which everyday subjects are rendered with extraordinary care and attention. In these meticulous works, the artist layers color to create rich, tonal synchronizations that embrace the effective possibilities of light. Currently living in Rochester, Minnesota, Gloviczki was born in Warsaw and immigrated to Paris after the declaration by the Communist Polish Government of martial law was enforced, in an effort to destroy the anti-Communist Solidarity Movement. In Paris, where she spent most of her life, Gloviczki attended medical school and earned MD and PhD degrees. She worked as a medical researcher of vascular diseases before eventually moving to the United States, where she decided to pursue painting full time. Gloviczki’s years in Paris influenced her practice and are immortalized in her radiant paintings. Drawing from the visual language of French Impressionism, the artist paints the ways in which light affects form. The resulting images represent a transient moment in time, the quick broken palette knife strokes capturing the feeling of an elusive instant. Indeed, Gloviczki’s strong use of color and light evoke the tradition of plein air painting, and her works conjure feelings and experiences of nature. Gloviczki’s paintings call into question the banalities of everyday life. She finds beauty in the moments and Monika in her studio gestures often taken for granted. Her ordinary subjects are imbued with a luminous sense of transcendence as the world is re-envisioned with fresh eyes. Combining painterly strokes and fluid pools of pigment, the artist represents ephemeral, universal subjects and themes in her melodic paintings, but the surfaces feel eternal and visceral.


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Richard Ostroff

Richard in his studio


ichard Ostroff uses oil paint to capture scenes and objects from everyday life with awareness and precision. Sunglasses, cups of coffee, faucets, and nail clippers are all rendered with care in his paintings that often utilize the trompe-l’oeil technique to create imagery that appears to be three dimensional. Focusing on banal scenes and everyday items, the artist paints on a large scale in order to imbue his pictures with a sense of power not typically associated with the quotidian subjects. At this monumental scale, dust pans and cutlery are transformed from household detritus into authoritative objects. Before he turned to painting full time, Ostroff had a successful Chrome Faucet, 2017 Oil on Canvas 72” x 45.5” thirty year career in advertising, art direction, and creative direction. He taught conceptual advertising at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and garnered a number of industry awards before transitioning exclusively to painting in 2015. And indeed, the artist’s large oil on canvas paintings often give everyday objects the iconic presence associated with product advertisement. His luscious surfaces and isolated objects infuse the mundane subjects with an importance that is commonly seen in ads. While Ostroff often focuses his attention on singular objects, he also paints scenes of construction and infrastructure – the wires and coils of a transformer, a deserted highway, and a network of pipe joints are all painted precisely, with significant attention given to the play of light on the cold scenes. A feeling of low-grade melancholy permeates these tableaux that are always devoid of human interaction. Cropped, isolated, and sterile, these images could be celebrations of industrial design and engineering or somber images of the chasm between nature and the manmade world. Immigration Road, 2018 Oil on Canvas 44” x 72” ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


Pierre Oeuvray

Bietschhorn - Wallis up close

Bietschhorn - Wallis, 2017 Oil on Canvas 53.5” x 29.5”


Le jet d’eau Geneva Fountain, 2008 Oil on Canvas 31.5” x 53.5”

fter touring Nigeria for a year with an Afro-beat music group, Swiss musician Pierre Oeuvray returned home with canvases of African art. When he later began to retouch and refresh the paintings, he discovered a need to paint. He hasn’t stopped since, producing about 70 artworks ranging from medium to large in size. Oeuvray paints with oils on canvas using brushes and a knife, always beginning with the latter to produce fine strokes of movement and color. Inspired by nature, he rarely paints people or crowds, instead filling his canvases with landscapes, flowers and other natural elements. “Life and birth is an explosion,” Oeuvray explains of his subject choice. “As prisoners of time, we are unable to distinguish this explosions and to recognize its form. Yet every creature bears the mark – a flower, a leaf, the radiation of a star. I would like to be the first man walking on the moon when I see a landscape.” Anything that impresses him strongly, Oeuvray paints. When the subject appears too difficult, he analyzes it like a musical study. “As in classical music,” he explains, “Some studies become great works of art, like the 12 Studies of Villa Lobos.” Oeuvray was born in Geneva, Switzerland where he studied plant biology and music. After working in private banking for a while, he became a music teacher. Now retired, Oeuvray splits his time between his students and his art. His paintings have been exhibited and sold throughout Geneva. 14 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 |

Art Matters - why we collect art When you came to the gallery, you decided you had to have Monica Adams’ beautiful painting Miss Lace. You even shared a photo of her on display in what seemed like the perfect place for it in your home, and the gallery staff absolutely loved it! Why were you attracted to this particular artwork? Thank you! The palette and texture was perfect for the space we had in mind. Once it was delivered and hung up, the painting is even more spectacular to our eyes. Monica Adams’s artistic style provokes a curiousness to what “Miss Lace” may be thinking and we love art that can be interpreted without limitations. Where did you first see the artwork - online, through an ad or postcard, or in-person at the gallery? In-person at the gallery. How did the style, color, size and price influence your selection? Having been through many galleries, especially in the city, Agora featured a diversity of styles, sizes, and colors which expressively influenced our selection of Monica Adams’s art. While price is influential when selecting art, of course, when shopping for art in the city we didn’t feel the “sticker shock” that is typical for a first-time art collector. Did you have a particular space in mind for the artwork before you purchased it? Yes, the setting we chose can be seen from different rooms and transitions nicely in our open floor plan environment. The style of the piece beautifully contrasts the contemporary feel of the particular space we chose. Is there anything else about your experience with Agora Gallery and your decision to add this piece to your collection that you might like to share?

Collector: Kristen and Ralph Giordano Artwork: Miss Lace by Monica Adams Yes - from the second we walked in to Agora Gallery we were pleasantly greeted with a perfect balance of inquiries and genuine conversation. It was a refreshing buyer’s experience! Any words of advice for first-time art collectors? Wikipedia defines art as a “diverse range of human activity….intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” That very definition is open to interpretation. My advice is to collect art that you define as beautiful and emotive and you will never be disappointed as a collector.

Collector Anne Young knew the artist, Abigail Custis, and purchased Cast Yourself on Every Wave at Agora Gallery in April 2018. Her words of advice for first-time art collectors?

“Don’t buy for investment. Buy what you love and will want to have in your collection for a long time.”

Collector: Anne Young Artwork: Cast Yourself on Every Wave by Abigail Custis ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38| 15

Kingetsu Ishii (石井 琴月)


n her rhythmic calligraphy paintings, artist Kingetsu Ishii captures the formal beauty of ancient Japanese characters. These spare, streamlined ink on paper drawings feature a variety of large and expressive marks that are often accompanied by small, intricate, red seals. The natural toned paper and fluid, black ink create a dynamic tension between negative and positive space in these works that are simultaneously decorative, personal, and sacred. Ishii’s bold, gestural compositions are reflective of her own personality. Indeed, in East Asian cultures, one’s handwriting is considered indicative of their level of education, cultural refinement, and aesthetic sensibilities. The artist manipulates the form of the characters through speed and pressure, the overall appearance of the symbols conveying the artist’s state of mind.

Mother and Child, 2009 Ink on Paper 20” x 27.5”

Historically, calligraphy writing was an art form elevated above all others in East Asia. The status of the artist was reified by the power of the written word, and the formal properties of characters were considered an exemplar of the kinesthetic energy of the human body and the vitality of nature. Evaluated on balance, proportion, and rhythm, each mark is a careful combination of control and dynamism. Ishii’s brush writing surpasses the Western notion of calligraphy, a word derived from Greek meaning “beautiful handwriting.” Instead, these characters, painted with soft, animal-hair brushes, are completely distinctive and meant to embody beauty, even above legibility. An ancient practice communicating the status and learnedness of the writer, the East Asian calligraphic tradition is utilized by the artist as a way to fuse past and present, cosmic and worldly. The expressive and gestural strokes are a means to consider the connectedness of all creatures across time and space, a way to expand one’s worldview and link the mind and body.

Jonathan James Hydro


ussian artist Jonathan James Hydro plays by his own rules when it comes to his work. He begins each piece by drawing the main elements of the future picture, often hieroglyphs, then immediately washes them off. He paints new elements over the old paint, repeating this process until his image begins to take shape. Where the picture is complex, his work takes a long time, he diligently applies the paint layer by later. He does not rest until he feels that he is on the right path, sure that there is a composition in the painting.

Magic of the Pink, 2015 Gouache 12” x 16.5”


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Living in Russia, Hydro works as a doctor. He began painting at the age of 14, first landscapes and still lifes until he discovered his passion for abstract work, which he continues to this day. It always takes him in two directions of theme; mystical‒ where he gives his paintings meaning and being.

Winie Sørensen


n 2008, self-taught Danish artist Winie Sørensen visited Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, as well as Montana. Captivated by the smoky, colorful landscape – a landscape unlike any landscape to be found in Denmark – Sørensen walked around taking pictures of the boiling and bubbling ‘watering holes’ where the chemicals in the earth’s core mixed the most incredible and unreal color combinations. This experience inspired her to develop a new style of painting where she combined many painting techniques, resulting in a unique expression that was both lean and yet also textural. It is a slow painting process with many layers of structural mass and paint. In her figurative and abstract paintings, acrylic is Sørensen’s medium of choice, believing that it suits her temperament best. She paints it onto either linen or cotton canvas, incorporating different kinds of materials. Sørensen regards painting as a spiritual Inside Out, 2018 Acrylic on Canvas 20” x 24” process and one that she cannot resist. She is in tune with all her inner emotions when she paints, leaving her heart in the core of each of her artworks. The heart, she argues, contains everything and is the centre of one’s own consciousness, the home of one’s soul, one’s DNA and one’s truth. It is, and can do, many things and therefore is nature’s greatest work of art. Sørensen discovered her passion for drawing and painting as a young child and, in 1990, began taking painting lessons from the award-winning artist Håkan Nyström, who remains a mentor and influence to this day. She has also participated in a variety of drawing and painting courses, including at the Royal Academy of Drawing & Design and the Danish Royal Theater. She has been selling paintings and exhibiting throughout Denmark since 2009.

Winie in her studio

Sort Lava, 2013 Acrylic on Canvas 20” x 27.5” ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


ARTbeat ARTbeat Agora Gallery is proud to represent talented artists from all over the world, many of whom are inspired by their surroundings. Each location is different and possesses a unique atmosphere. Naturally, the art in each place also varies, imparting a particular feeling to the art scene and influencing artists in certain ways. In this issue, Jennifer Morrow and Sergey Klychkov explain what they think is most characteristic and special about the art scene in the cities where they live.


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Belfast: More Than Boats and Bombs By Jennifer Morrow


or many years Belfast, located in Northern Ireland, the birthplace of the Titanic, has been dubbed a red zone due to the political and religious turmoil. This discourse is now being challenged and changed by a contemporary artistic movement within region. Belfast is a hive for artists, musicians and poets to come together, develop and celebrate creative potential. The proximity of studios, pop up workshops and galleries with international repute makes late night art night (first Thursday of each month) a particular favorite. Many art studios open to the public give a greater understanding for the passion, determination and skill of artists practicing today. The Mac became the first Northern Irish gallery to exhibit Andy Warhol’s works along with many artists such as Gilbert and George, Peter Doig, Kara Walker and Peter Liversidge. Showing that the world of art is gradually encompassing the country. The gallery will shortly be launching its first MAC International, a biennial exhibition displaying contemporary sculpture, painting, photography, film, performance art and audio works by artists from around the world. One of my favorite galleries is The Hallows Gallery Belfast. It is a progressive space that has just finished a significant show featuring 50 Female Northern Irish Artists. Titled An Untold Story, the paintings, drawings and sculpture reflect women’s preoccupations, sorrows, joys, exuberance and style. Challenging the perspectives of the viewer and questioning the expectations, understanding and Hallows Gallery opening evening developmental approach of all aspects of art the show highlighted the complexities facing each artist within contemporary art. Of which a number of works remain in the gallery for viewers to attend. Contemporary Northern Irish Painters is a collective of amateur and established artists from all over Northern Ireland. This fascinating group shares and critiques work to grow as individual artists and develop the art movements currently circulating in the N.I art world. Exciting projects, developments and studio based learning flow from this group as they are continually pushing the world to take notice. Passionate about all locations they incorporate, influence and represent Bangor, Lisburn and Londonderry/Derry. Film production and Moving Image Art has blossomed in the past few years with the creation of “Game of Thrones”. Northern Ireland being named one of the best regions to visit 2018 highlights how beautiful the landscape is and attracts numerous artists for inspiration. The whole of the region is a wealth of interesting, innovate and progressive thinking as we welcome people to our shores and have the support from the arts council to follow our dreams.

Late night art night, Belfast - fellow artists ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


Art in Moscow By Sergey Klychkov


oscow is a huge city with millions of people coming and going, congested streets, international shopping, its own nightlife, and numerous museums and galleries. Some of Moscow’s museums are internationally recognized, boasting huge collections of international art as well artworks by Russian artists of all periods. State Tretyakov Gallery has the largest world-wide known collection of Russian painting dating ХVII-XX centuries as well as a huge collection of early Greek and Russian icons. With so many paintings on the walls in the Tretyakov, it could take days to walk through; all of the best classical pieces are together in one space. Another prominent collection of art is the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. It has the largest selection of French impressionism and earlier European paintings and sculpture in Moscow; there is modern art as well. Smaller-scale galleries in Moscow are usually one-artistmuseums like Shilov’s gallery or Tseretelli’s gallery. New, upand-coming coming contemporary art galleries are mainly represented by VINZAVOD, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and The Central House of Artisis. This short overview does not touch the majority of galleries found in the city, as there are mainly small and private galleries aplenty in Moscow. I have lived in the heart of Moscow all my life. As a little boy, my father took me by the hand and we wandered for hours in the Pushkin Museum among statues, mummies, armory, and of course paintings. I loved it, and we visited quite often on weekends. Other places like Tretyakov Gallery also influenced my young imagination, which resulted in my young experiments with paint and brushes. Later on I joined the art studio of Alexander Schwartz and studied there for few years. Moscow is an ancient place dating back about 900 years with a lot of historical sites and buildings and that would inevitably influence my young soul.


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reenberg is an American artist whose paintings and drawings capture a sense of loneliness, isolation, and despair. Using the visual language of figurative expressionism, his rich oil on canvas paintings derive from his memories of childhood, and speak for those who have suffered in silence. He paints emotionally tortured ghosts and shells that scream, wince, and howl. His figures inhabit dark, cave-like settings or infinite voids that echo the physical and psychic seclusion of their inhabitants. Greenberg used a limited palette of greys and browns in the past, but his paintings are frequently punctuated by pops of bold, rich color— inky blues, brick reds, and lemon yellows. Despite the addition of bright, almost pure, pigments, the mood of his works remains somber. Notions of apathy and human cruelty bubble to the surface of Greenberg’s works; he depicts a world in which pain and sadness are ignored. The artist, on the other hand, “listens” to the subjects in his paintings, allowing the works to speak to him and dictate their own concept and structure. Using painting to constructively and creatively express his frustrations with the nihilism and indifference that permeate contemporary society, the artist’s hollow figures function as characters from a world in tumult. Opus 447, 2018 Oil on Canvas 20” x 16”

Jerry Anderson


otivated by dreams, sensations and the unknown, California based artist Jerry Anderson creates abstract work that oscillate between figuration and landscape painting. These works are highly subjective and unique interpretations of the visible world, using vibrant color and sinuous lines to convey the connectedness of all. Diverse studies in religion, philosophy, psychology, shamanism, dance, music and architecture influence his art, which he uses as a vehicle to access the collective unconscious that has driven human creativity across time and space.

Sundance, 2017 Acrylic on Canvas 36” x 36”

Anderson’s early life in the rugged and expansive terrain of the southwestern United States informs his sensuous and imaginative forms. His compositions are brimming with unexpected elements amid the everyday. For example, a cobblestone street might conceal a face; a cave reveals itself as a voluptuous body; or the center of a flower transforms into a desert moonscape. New surprises and unusual connections are formed in these paintings that strive to tap into a universal vitality. Each composition is a precarious balance of dynamic energies, ultimately revealing both the ties that wed humans and nature and the divinity of the Earth’s landscape. ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


Howard Harris

Mindscape 7, 2016 Digital Print on Aluminum 30” x 36”

Mindscape 4, 2016 Digital Print on Aluminum 30” x 36”


n his carefully altered digital prints, American-born photographer Howard Harris takes on what is perhaps the most American of themes: the interrelationship of perception and technology. For Harris, this problematic doesn’t reduce itself to merely studying the effects of mediating devices on how an object or landscape is perceived. Rather, Harris’s artistry explores how the whole emotional complex underlying one’s personality integrates into the structural logic of architecture and design. As Harris himself frames it, “my aim [is to] to skillfully combine technology and aesthetics in a way that expands the viewer’s experience of photographic art.” Harris’s compositions are less abstraction from anything and more a showcasing of the conditions that render perception possible. Architectural themes pervade his works in the guise of sentient, dynamic constructions. Ordinary objects, such as buildings and birds, are contextualized in relation to how they appear to the viewer’s eye, from a specific angle or point of view. From there, they are further distilled into purely repetitive patterns, yielding the essence of how consciousness might structure an object without reference to any particular object of phenomenon. Howard in his studio

While Harris is known to engage in figurative depictions not unlike traditional representations of landscapes, his work authentically takes off on its own when he turns away from looking at or depicting anything, and instead bodies forth the perceptual conditions in relation to which the awareness of a concrete gestalt (whether perceived in a photograph or in direct perception) is clearly and distinctly constructed. Using his camera as an instrument towards obtaining the essence of what underlies the consciousness of objects, he brings to light the universal forms that are quietly implicit in the quotidian structures of everyday life. 22 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 |

Jayne Rolinson


ustralian painter Jayne Rolinson depicts her native landscape as a whimsical site of abundance - using a vibrant, tonal palette of pool blue, electric orange, and deep red acrylic paints. The artist paints from memory, capturing the dual beauty and severity of the harsh Outback terrain with imagination and discernable passion. Energy, texture, and depth emanate from her canvases, which are layered with local histories and personal remembrances. Painting intuitively, Rolinson conveys her reverence for nature while also capturing the moods and changing seasons of the Australian landscape. As evidenced in her paintings, Rolinson feels a raw and lasting connection to the natural world. Using a complex and symbolic collection of signifiers, the artist compresses the picture plane and eliminates the notion of illusionistic space. After creating gestural, painterly strokes of bold pigments in acrylic, Rolinson then layers oil on top to create textured surfaces that are endless in their possibilities. Spontaneously painted in rapid strokes, her bright, cheerful, abstracted compositions are deeply emotional responses to her surroundings. The artist’s unbridled imagination reveals the innate beauty and hidden secrets of the rugged, Australian landscape and the people who inhabit it.

Boat Race in the Bay, 2017 Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 36” x 36”

Patricia Queiruga


rgentina based artist Patricia Queiruga creates textured, painterly, mixed media abstractions on canvas. Her works often feature bold, primary colors and wall down geometric elements, but Queiruga does not limit herself to a particular style, opting to paint freely and without imposing ridged limitations on her practice. Spontaneous and innovative, the artist chooses to view painting as an opportunity to evolve intuitively, and she allows her works to be guided and informed by music Though Queiruga’s works are almost entirely abstract, they also have layers of embedded and dense conceptual meaning. Throughout her oeuvre, the artist has represented her life conditions, notions of difference, coexistence, harmony, happiness, joys, and energy. In order to express such diverse subjects, Queiruga employs a variety of techniques including acrylic and oil paints, and mixed media. Indeed, her free use of color and materials allow her to create works like a chameleon-adapting, and responding to the stimuli around her with ease.

Tango Pasión (serie de 4), 2018 Mixed Media on Canvas 59.5” x 47.5” ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


Svetlana Nelson


vetlana Nelson never made a painting before her 62nd year of life, but what she has made since confirms that she is an artist overbrimming with natural talent. At a time when most paintings tend to engage the monumental or the political, Nelson has opted to focus on the personal, the quietly perceptive and philosophical. Reminiscent more of Forrest Bess than Henri Rousseau, Nelson’s artistry most certainly falls within the visionary tradition. Religiosity; the depth of subjective, unrepresentable feelings ; the cycle of birth and death—all of these discover a place in her works, portrayed in lavish colors that reveal a unique eye for contrast and texture. Nelson works in a figurative mode, which gives her compositions a readily understandable subject-matter. Yet this simplicity is offset by preference for utilizing oil on canvas. The slowSvetlana in her studio drying medium of oil paint allows Nelson to insert subtle gestures, minute layers of detail, in what might otherwise be conventionally representational landscapes. Her depictions of clouds and water, for example, feel furtively animate, as though they were moved not only by an unseen wind, but by the telos of some universal consciousness.

The Mood (part 1), 2018 Oil on Canvas 24” x 30”

Mountain of the Wealth. Fuji, 2018 Oil on Canvas 24” x 30”

The objects depicted in Nelson’s paintings seem arranged to reveal a secret insight. The comparative isolation of a single structure, such as a church seen from afar, can come to compose a calming, tranquil symbol. In other works, an isolated landscape can feel vaguely threatening, as though embodying the entropy specific to the life cycle. This balancing act between tragedy and joy, anxiety and insight, is beautifully rendered with a palette that clearly evinces a unique, painterly eye. Using color as her communicative tool, Nelson comments on themes like death and rebirth without falling into the trap of cliché that mars the early works of most artists. 24

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James Chisholm


he works of James Chisholm are dramatizations of the act of seeing. While painting is generally a visual medium, the paintings of James Chisholm in particular make an issue of carefully leaving out certain elements, creating visual gaps that viewers have to fill in. In Chisholm’s paintings of densely wooded areas, the relationship that obtains between the objects he paints take on a metaphorical quality. The colors of flowers leap from the canvas, saturated with the same hues as, say, the bark of a tree. Such attention to details implies a poetic relationship between the two objects, making Chisholm’s painting equally realistic and fantastic. This mingling of the representational and the poetic, the real and the imagined, is the hallmark of Chisholm’s meditative depictions of forestry, and ties in with his paintings of landscapes generally. Often painting en plein air, Chisholm highlights not only the artist’s point of view regarding a landscape, but captures the artist’s psychology by painting into his works certain discontinuities. His most energetic landscapes allow the white color of the canvas to show through, as though the scene depicted captured not only an existing landscape, but subtle, leafy movements that are visible only by memory.

Lucretia Ursu

East View, Ipswich River, Topsfield, 2017 Watercolor on Paper 29” x 21”


he genteel, ethereal paintings of Romanianborn artist Lucretia Ursu are a melting pot of shapes and colors that capture the essence of beautiful, transient moments. She uses several mediums – watercolors, oils and acrylics – to experiment with different techniques of expression. Her style is forever evolving. Through her work, Ursu hopes to bring excitement and joy to the viewer’s life, and for her paintings to act as a source of therapy and beauty inside the collector’s home. Born in a village near Iasi City, Ursu remembers scratching everywhere she found a space as a child, eventually taking up art in the 5th grade. She continued to study it throughout school and graduated from Al. I Cuza University with an art teaching degree. This was her profession for Light and Shadows in the Mountains Oil on Canvas 18” x 18” almost 30 years before moving to New York City in 2001. After furthering her studies in New York, Ursu began working as the Learning Center Coordinator at the alma mater, but she never gave up her artistic side. She’s had seven art shows there, with the hopes of encouraging other students. Her paintings have also been displayed in solo and group exhibitions in Romania and Moldova, and was shown as part of the Women Artists Group exhibition at Dacia Gallery in New York earlier this year. Many of her artworks are part of private collections in Italy, Belgium, Romania and the U.S.

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Eternal Circus of

Michael Dolen By Jeffrey Grunthaner


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ichael Dolen’s works are studies in masks. When exploring the importance masks hold within the subculture of circuses, his work delves into folklore as much as personal experience. The various connotations of the word “circus” are felt everywhere in these pieces. The latent eroticism of circus performances are brought to the fore. Their elemental gestures are rendered in a static manner. I’m referring in particular to a moment at the top of one of his sculptural works—Circus Gala 2—where two orbs are locked together, surrounded by wires that suggest an atomic dance. Just below this, another design pattern, differing in coloration and tonality, also suggests dynamism in repose. What stands out across these two moments, and which continues throughout this body of Dolen’s work, is how different elements, media, and materials come into confluence.

Two Circus Figures And Friend 123A, 2017 Mixed Media on Paper 24” x 36”


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Circus Gala 2, 2018 Wire, Wood, Plastic, Grout, Foam Board, Mixed Media 55” x 16”

For Dolen, the circus is less a source of entertainment, fecklessly consumed by the middle-classes, and more a window onto what remains the most authentic about modern society. The monetization of the body, and how it conflicts with the nomadic lifestyle of circus performers, also reveals the origins of a kind of schizophrenia in Dolen’s figures. Just as the site of circuses is a meeting place for different classes and forms of experience, there’s a decided conflict in the way the performers in the circus relate to the spectators. In effect, the participants in a circus (on the side of the worker, the performer selling his or her labor) are generally expected to conform to the interests of the paying observers. As evidenced in Dolen’s works, this situation could fracture the integrity of performance, introducing an added distance between the masked performers, and the communication they are trying to realize by way of performance. However, Dolen’s circus series is not merely about the failure of authentic communication. Quite the contrary, he positions viewers on the side of the performers, detailing a psychological nexus that might be all but unknown were one to examine the phenomenon of the circus with disinterested objectivity (with, say, the eye of a sociologist). Permitting his imagination to take flight, Dolen has created a fanciful world peopled by types rather than personalities. The Circus Performer with a Cat 238S, 2017 Mixed Media on Paper 36” x 24” types he frames—clowns, harlequins, seem, comes from a different world. So many other dancers, and the like—take on a richly elements in the picture come from different worlds as symbolic import. As though bodying forth archetypes well, such as varying artistic traditions. The eye takes of the collective unconscious, the clothing, postures, everything in immediately; but the intellect dissevers and crystallized movements of the figures informing his each part one by one. pantheon take on a dream-like universality. The scenes and figures he depicts possess such an expansive breadth The artist’s use of various materials, which allow the because they’re designed in a way that allows the artist multiple sections of the work to reveal themselves. to incorporate different materials as well as art-historical Concretizes the diversity inherent in the mythic idea techniques. of the circus: a kind of realm of pure play, of athletic adventure, and novel forms of intersectionality. The In the work titled, Circus Performer with Cat, an array of blending of Cubism with more a figurative mode comes artistic styles come into play that emphasize the strangely into relief against an allusion to draftsmanship (tucked ironic presence of the seated figure. Generally, irony is away behind the chair the circus performer is seated difficult to capture in visual terms: a sense of absence, on), and masonry, evident in the wall that forms the of frustrated expectation, can usually only be rendered picture’s backdrop. These mingled elements of art and conceptually. In Dolen’s painting of the Circus Performer, design would be all but impossible to join, if not for the however, an initial glimmer of irony is apparent in the deliberate way in which the picture cuts itself in half. The rendering of the cat, which looks more toy-like and picture sets itself up for allowances regarding what can Cubist than the primary, seated figure. This cat, it would ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


be inserted into it, like a montage, and how different media will vie with each other, destabilizing the linear expectations of the eye. What stands out as an essential part of Dolen’s artistry is the representation of the face. Typically, we think “face to face” encounters are somehow more real than communications that are mediated. The philosopher Levinas has gone so far as to say that the human face “orders and ordains” us, embodying an ethical imperative that says nothing less than “thou shalt not kill.” In Dolen’s work, however, faces are often masked, or torn asunder. On one level, this could be interpreted as a kind of Cubist distortion but Cubism is generally understood as making simultaneous what the eye typically takes in sequentially. Dolen, by contrast, is carefully tracing a a symbology of the face, lips and eyes; becoming metonyms, revealing the expressive personality generally found in someone’s face as a whole. This leads back to what we discussed earlier. The tragedy of the carnival performer is not that he or she must wear a mask, but that his or her labor is effectively owned by the spectator. The labor of the acrobat, is a specific style of performance, which becomes property of the audience. There would seem to be little room in this dichotomous relationship for authentic self-possession, but this is where the deliberate strangeness of Dolen’s artistry could be said to palliate an otherwise dissatisfying situation. In Circus Performer with Cat, the seated figure seems to look both towards and away from the viewer. His face partakes in the same ambiguity suggested by the cat he holds on his lap. In the double meaning of gazing toward and away from the viewer there is a duplicity that suggests two lives: one lived on the stage for an audience, and one lived in the interiority of consciousness. The inner world, the realm of conscience, is animating the outer world, the realm of performance and spectacle. This infuses Dolen’s figure with a sense of quiet mystery; hence, the air of intensity the work has, while also being somewhat humorous. While Dolen might not shirk from depicting the tragic dimensions of the circus, he’s also mindful of its funny side. Yet even here, pleasure is exploded, fragmented. The only way it can endure is if somehow the performer can reclaim himself from the audience or spectator. The art of concealment, thus, becomes essential for authentic joy to emerge. In visual art, concealment is always openly displayed. In Dolen’s work, what’s “hidden” is simply that which withdraws from representational obviousness. In other words, it’s abstraction. Within the context of his works dealing with circuses, Dolen’s use of abstraction signals a kind of return to cosmic origins. In the piece titled Circus Gala 1, it’s quite evident that abstraction, the draughtsman-like 30

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Circus Gala 1, 2018 Wood, Grout, Mixed Media, Foam Board 58” x 20”

lineations inserted into the composition, anticipates in outline the figurative fullness of the harlequin, the chicken-faced clown, and the eye whose lashes seems to stream outward into a shadow landscape. What abstraction also accomplishes is the creation of a new environment for these figures. They’re steeped in a metaphysical circus of ethics and conscience, instead of the counterpart of a base level physical manner. Dolen’s work seems to speak to the utility of masks, of concealment, as something that portends a more authentic reality. The image of the circus becomes a phenomenal surface. The imbricated social relationships that a circus connotates—the hierarchies it establishes, and the world it makes its appeal to—all of this collapses before the agency of the performers who give it life. In this way, the circus is still carnivalesque—it retains its value as a site toto genere different from the ordinary world of work and routine. As Dolen portrays it, the circus is something quite different from the image it gives off to the world. Underlying the kind of festivity circuses are designed for, there is a world of primeval forces swelling with unbridled dynamism, out of which the reality of the circus emerges into the light of day. The fragmentation inherent in Dolen’s figures—the horizontal line that cuts in half the seated Circus Performer, the tessellated expression of a mosaic of dissevered faces—is less the effect of an objectifying gaze that reduces performance to the status of a commodity, and more an expression of how the theater of humanity might look from the perspective of eternity. Similar to Cubism, Dolen abstracts from the sequential logic of time; yet he also makes the necessity for this kind of abstraction evident. Pursuing the theme of performativity and games, it’s not inaccurate to say that Dolen’s artistry is like that of a card player who delights in showing his winning hand. Representing what can only be imagined, the society of the circus provides all the tools necessary to express the inexpressible—to say what can be said only indirectly, through visual symbols rather than Jeffrey Grunthaner is a writer verbal signifiers. In this way, Dolen’s circus series based in New York. You can find is less the private musings of an artist reflecting his work in BOMB, artnet News, The on the circus, and more the living realization of a Clauduis App, Archinect, Imperial carnivalesque utopia. Matters, Folder, Hyperallergic, and

elsewhere. His chapbook THE TTTROUBLE WWITH SUUNDAAYS was published by Louffa Press in 2014. He curates a reading series on contemporary poetics at Hauser & Wirth, West 22nd Street.

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“Dolen’s work seems to speak to the utility of masks, of concealment, as something that portends a more authentic reality.”

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I Remember You, I Know this Place

© Lynde, Electric, 2015, Giclee Print on Canvas, 36” x 24

November 10 – December 1, 2018 Reception: Thursday, November 15, 2018 6-8 PM Fariba Baghi D. L. Brabander Israel Feldmann Garese Monika Gloviczki Ana Ingham Karen Kanas Lynde Tammy Phillips Rody Jayne Rolinson Pablo Serrano Kingetsu Ishii (石井 琴月)

530 West 25th Street New York, NY

November 10 – December 1, 2018 Reception: Thursday, November 15, 2018 6-8 PM Lliam Greguez Danny Johananoff Stephanie Pitoy Takuya Yamamoto

530 West 25th Street New York, NY © Danny Johananoff, Horse Game, 2018, Photograph on Plexiglass, 28” x 49.5”

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Henrik Sjöström (El Bastardo)


he Swedish-born Henrik Sjöström (El Bastardo) is known for creating works that bring a wilding energy into the otherwise staid confines of a square canvas, piece of paper, or white cube gallery. Informed by graffiti and street art, El Bastardo’s work often has a mosaic quality about it—as through colors and lines were words conjoined to represent complex statements. This mosaic quality equally pervades his abstract and figurative works. Different planes, different areas of energy come into confluence, in such a manner that a painting’s details never overwhelms the gestalt of its overarching unity. Working mainly with fast-drying acrylics enables El Bastardo to make quick decisions, and to make them count for all they’re worth. This preference is supplemented by the use of other mediums, such as spray paint and pen-ink—all of which invoke an affinity for writing. The written, streetwise aspect of El Bastardo’s work lends his images an ideogrammatic import. Rather than simply displaying something, they also comment on what they portray. If the subject is the illicit pleasure of graffiti art in the context of war-torn Afghanistan, then El Bastardo renders one of Afghanistan’s most accomplished street artists as a porous, shadowy figure, foregrounded against a wall stained with poppy-colored blood. The crux of El Bastardo’s practice lies in the way he can deftly maneuver between the representational and the non-representational, street art and fine art, doing so in such a manner that each mode is informed by the other. El Bastardo’s more neutralized, abstract compositions are fleshed out with a layered urgency, alluding to from the speed with which graffiti works must be made. Similarly, his more figurative pieces have an iconographic quality, informed by the art-historical tradition of portraiture as much as by the layered lettering specific to graffiti.

Shamsia Hassani, 2017 Acrylic & Spraypaint on Canvas 20” x 39.5”

Incandescence, 2018 Acrylic & Spraypaint on Canvas 39.5” x 31.5”


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Attila Mata


orking with a variety of materials—including wood, bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, acrystal resin and paint—the sculptures of Hungarian-born Attila Mata manifest striking spatial complexities that experientially extend the often mythic themes his artistry is geared to exploring. One might say that Cubism informs Mata’s artistry, as much as a Duchampian or Francis Picabia-styled modernism. Despite their deceptively simple titles (e.g., “Woman with Hat,” “Painter,” “Head”), his sculptures seem to construct a sense of space both bundled and discontinuous. The subjects Mata focuses on are generally archetypal. Love, death, the complexity of the human figure, as well as deities and characters drawn from literature and mythology, are just a few of the themes his works touch on. Yet Mata takes these universal, almost folkloric subjects, and transforms them by way of the imbricated plasticity of space and form. In this way, his work intrinsically comments on the classical influences that inform his ultra-modernist sense of design. Even without referring to a particular work’s title, one immediately sees in a Mata sculpture an overt strangeness that derives less from what it’s called, than how the materials the artist utilizes seem at odds with the spatial dimensions they conform to. Stainless steel appears soft in Matta’s hands, while aluminum takes on a bulkiness that would normally be reserved for stone or concrete.

White and Metal, 2014 Acrystal, Stainless Steel 37.5” x 20” x 17”

Giving off the impression of objects in space fluidly interpenetrating, the materials he uses can only do this because they’re disabused of their common, utilitarian connotations. When he opts to work in a comparatively more figurative mode, the human form is molded in accordance with classical, art-historical points of reference. In the sculpture modestly titled “Painter,” for example, the classical motif of the Michelangelo’s Pietà comes to occupy the same expressive plane as the work’s overt subject-matter.

Painter, 2013 Aluminum, Stainless Steel 30” x 24.5” x 18.5”

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Cyntia Caballero


fter the death of her father, Mexican artist Cyntia Caballero stopped painting. Having struggled for some time as a selftaught artist, trying to advance in her work, this tragic event was the final letdown. It took some time, but inspired by what she calls her “multiversal god”, her father, her mother, her husband and her nephew, Caballero picked up the brush again. “This was, for me, like a reincarnation that evolved me as an artist and a person,” she explains. Caballero has spent the time since creating a magical, magnetic, ideal world filled with spirituality and religious themes. And advance she did: her realistic portraits have evolved from traditional portrayals to works reminiscent of the “Old Masters”. Her current works, composed of mixed media and oils, are introspective, rich and luminous – from vivid colors to dark, brooding scenes; from the astonishing beauty of winged angels to man’s inner soul; and from spiritual beings in splendid garments to nude or exposed figures of noble people, whose souls radiate from within her paintings. Her subjects Harlequín, 2012 Mixed Media on Canvas 39.5” x 39.5”

Cynthia in her studio


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Decretos, 2012 Mixed Media on Canvas 28” x 20”

include Jabamiah, the angel of alchemy and transformation, and Harlequin, the masked and mute jester in traditional pantomime. Through her magical hyperrealism and unique, refreshing ideas, Caballero bares her soul and encourages the viewer to look into their own. Coming full circle, her paintings celebrate life and the existence of humanity. “My whole life is a work of art,” she says. Art is the only thing that Caballero does and loves. “This is why each one of the topics that I deal with in my works are so important.” A native of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, she studied visual arts at the Universidad de Nuevo Leon, the Institute Allende, in San Miguel Allende Guanajuato. Her work has been exhibited in Mexico, the US, Argentina and France, and she has won numerous awards, including two from the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art. Caballero’s also created artwork for the former president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León. Her favorite artists include Dali, Frida Kahlo, Manuel Carbonell and Rembrandt.

Jabamiah, 2012 Mixed Media on Canvas 39.5” x 39.5”

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Cristo de Bonce, Burkina Faso


ince 1920, Hispanic Americans have had to encounter numerous cultural influences on the way to creating a national art they could call their own. Latin American art is still a surprising variety of collective and individual styles, revealing the complex nature of a continental heritage, which includes a synthesis of primitive native mythologies, the routes of African slavery, a Spanish colonial background, and the affluence of European and Asian immigrations. In the crossroads of these interwoven influences, popular imagination expanded beyond the confines of mere European art. In 1923, the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, in the columns of a prestigious liberal newspaper of Buenos Aires, La Nación, stretched the horizons of argentine thought and creativity beyond the boundaries of bourgeois Victorian principles, ruled by positivism and Eurocentric notions of civilization. He focused on a new sensibility, an opening of the European retina towards “arts sauvages.” Ortega, aware that Latin Americans as a whole were anxious to determine their social cultural identity, and in the case of Argentinians considering themselves Europeans, tended in the name of progress to ignore ancient civilizations. He specifically drew the attention of the common reader 40

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towards the new scientific, historic and artistic discoveries undertaken by archeology and anthropology. These branches of science opened up new dimensions of forgotten civilizations evaporated in time or subdued by colonial systems, which lead to an appraisal of western civilization deliberately excluding or minimizing these existences as a regression towards barbarism. The presence of Leo Frobenios in Madrid, invited by Ortega, became an excellent opportunity to open up new cultural perspectives given the fact that Europe was being flooded by African objects inspiring Avant Garde artists living in Paris. The haunting forms of “Art Négre” spread through the main capitals of Europe where exotic primitivism had become fashionable. It helped to provoke a radical change in art forms which became the basis of modern art. Names of the stature of Picasso, Brancussi, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani, Carra, Vlamink, Epstein, Henry Moore, Giacometti, Lipchitz, Leger, Paul Klee, just to mention a few, incorporated into their paintings and sculptures the simple and austere synthesis of the native African objects, dedicated to primary and religious use, within the complex tribal societies of Africa. Hispanic Americans like the

What took place in the early twentieth century still recurs as the world moves into a new millennium. The challenge of African art mesmerizes contemporary artists, architects and industrial designers. Its simple forms, hiding occult mysteries of ancient tribes and a strong aesthetic synthesis, were taken up by an argentine painter, Eduardo Mac Entyre, of Scottish and Belgian descent, founder of the Generative Art in 1960 in Buenos Aires. By Generative Art, this group of artist pursued new forms showing the generative process of those forms, the phenomena which they engender, in the case of Mac Entyre changing in constant circular transformations of light and colours radiating from geometric spheres. Two pictures represent in this article and concept, “Rojos Maasai” and “Fertilidad Marka”. Every artist, however preserves in the creative subconscious, forms of art gathered from grandmasters, or from explosions of primitive strokes engraved in the origins of rock art all over the world. Eduardo turns to these ancestral symbols in his picture “Rock Art” and in his perceptions of Dogon and Eket doors. The circle is forever present in his paintings, showing a particular fascination in the variety of expression he derived from the Bwa Mask, or in the Bateke Mask where he preserves some of the sacred symbolism of tribal dances of the Tsaye sub-groups in the Congo. The elegance of the Tjiwara antelopes, the cutting sharpness of the Nkisi Nkondi, the audacious white strokes of the fertile Bambara Motherhood, the serene symmetry of Christ of Burkina Fasso combining animism and Christianity, murals from South Africa, textile or warrior shields, intermingle with various representations of mask motif, reveal a complex net work of tribal traditions. Mixed techniques and audacious brush strokes, in reds or each colours, meet the challenge of grasping the ancient magic of Africa, which has found its intricate way into the origins of a South American continent and slips in silently, in the imagination of its creators, reclaiming their own mythological forms. Eduardo Mac Entyre, with his African Insights, has incorporated into argentine creativity the transmigration of ancient aesthetics, which forever recycle and stimulate the psychological intuitions of modern artists. In this day and age, when tribal communities are disappear all over the world, and with them, the “know how” of ancient craftsmanship and of secret societies guarding jealously the traditions handed down from generation to generation, modern progress and commercial interest are producing a falsified version of ancient art which degenerate craftsmanship and

EDUARDO MAC ENTYRE - Estudio de “Cristo de la Esperanza, Burkina Faso” Témpera sobre papel - 28 x 18 cm – 2001

Cuban Wilfredo Lamb, Chile’s Matta or the Argentinian Xul Solar, rapidly blended their own European artistic heritage to these fascinating ritualistic expression of African Art, even though the term “art” never came into the realization of these wooden figures, masks, bronzes and textile designs.

techniques, transforming them into contemporary consumerism. Changes are inevitable. Nevertheless, a modern sensibility which accommodates its retina to the old skills and magic of anonymous artist, is a recognition of the debt that modern art still owes to old tribal forms, whether recreated through a computer or in the interior of an art studio. A transversal, globalized world easily incorporates a universal aesthetic language which could range from oriental, American or European imaginations. In fact, several traditions converge in the original and wide ranging interpretations, of perceptions, through which Eduardo Mac Entyre’s paintings have synthesized, for a South American public, the intimate an purest forms of ancient memories, which often retain some of the sacred aura of “la pacha mama”, the fertile ritual towards mother earth, whether it be worshipped in Mali, Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon, South Africa or South America. To make this exiting project available to young people with a keener sensitivity towards oriental or western minimalism, Guillermo Mac Loughlin, a master in the craft of serigraphs, has reproduced a series of works from African Insights, with the intention of spreading the idea that good art is an expression that should transcend markets and formalities, leaving galleries and museums, to enter homes and seduce the eye of ordinary people, of those who are prepared to rediscover the inner energy and beauty of African ancestral art, ever ready to liberate the spirit towards the origins of humanity. ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


YoungHee Woo


he paintings of Korean-born YoungHee Woo are equally nightmarish and entrancing. Often melding archetypal themes (the recursive nature of death within life, the genesis of biological and social forms) with folkloric tropes (such as chess boards, sacred owls, and mirrors as symbols of introspection), Woo’s paintings rarely venture off into the realm of pure abstraction. Rather, her decidedly figurative bent helps to flesh out what she terms “the philosophical sense of life and death” upon which her work is based.

A Weaver, 2018 Oil on Canvas 51.5” x 64”

In Woo’s pictorial universe, fantasy elides with reality, creating imagined vistas where gestures, the placement of objects, and the expressions on faces take on a double-meaning. While carefully rendered in all their features, the eyes of her figures often appear glazed over, as though communicating a sense of fear. These disquieting looks tend to leap out from a composition, centering it thematically if not perspectivally.

Eyes, of course, are windows into the soul of the other, whose subjectivity perpetually withdraws even though his objective body might be physically present. Playing on this everyday, yet an uncanny phenomenon, Woo enwraps her figures in landscapes that seem to twist away from their conceptual grasp of the familiar. Proportion gives way to a dream-like porousness, an ever-shifting instability that surrounds the contours of the figures she so carefully and realistically renders. Woo’s fantastic paintings are deeply indebted to the tradition of portraiture. The main deviation from typical portraiture being that we cannot readily identify the persons depicted. And yet the figures Woo paints, who speak so eloquently through their eyes, are not wholly anonymous. They bear traces of their social class in the manner in which they stand, their attitude towards the fantasia surrounding them, and the garments they wear as they wend through imperious landscapes.

YoungHee in her studio


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Symbiosis, Coexistence, 2018 Oil on Canvas 24” x 24”

toNI Altenstrasser


he works of toNI Altenstrasser manifest a certain rawness, not unlike the works of his great predecessor Jean Dubuffet, who pioneered the school of L’Art brut. Using paints, oil pastels and pencils, Altenstrasser creates compositions that are equally figurative and abstract. His multilayered figures are often just the intimations of figures— sketchy outlines that speak to our own frailty in the face of unknowable circumstances. The aspect of abstraction that informs his work, by contrast, is bold and colorful, and constitutes the real backdrop against which his paintings reveal themselves. True to the tradition of L’Art Brut, a sense of play is communicated through Altenstrasser’s paintings. Sometimes reworking a painting over the course of months, layering new additions, colors, aspects, and details to wonderfully animated canvases, Altenstrasser makes paintings that can be considered both fun and serious. Out of this attitude of play, he creates whimsical characters that feel as real and frail as our own being, restlessly going about their everyday lives, without any guarantee as to the future or the promises it might hold. Shout, 2017 Oil & Pastel on Canvas 27.5” x 20”

Yu He


u He’s paintings capture the complexity of everyday phenomena, framing them in a way where her medium of choice—generally, the quick-drying colorations of acrylic—lends her subject-matter a kind of of plasticity and directness, similar to the actual scenes she takes as her point of inspiration. Continuing the venerable tradition of still-life painting, one sees in Yu He’s works only the essential aspects of what is authentically necessary to contemplate the objects she depicts. Flowers, carafes, and teacups emerge from almost abstract backdrops, allowing the eye to decipher the geometry of space purely by means of color and shape. A notable feature of Yu He’s artistry is the economy of means she puts to use. Not a single brushstroke is wasted—every gesture and application of paint reveals an essential aspect of the subjects depicted. In every stroke, a proportional melding of color and texture takes place. Even when rendering clouds, only a few quick brushstrokes are used to render a complete, experiential sense of depth and form. Ultimately, what viewers see re-created before them is only a heightened consciousness of what they actually perceive in the everyday world around them.

Still Life No.592, 2017 Acrylic on Paper 23” x 18”

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Miguel A. Chavez


he themes in Miguel A. Chavez’s paintings range from humble encounters to visionary experiences. Occasionally these two modalities intermingle, which gives his depictions of seemingly ordinary homes (sourced from sites as diverse as Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile) a portentous atmosphere. In the architecture of the buildings Chavez paints, and the way they relate with the people that fill his canvases, one senses not only a record of history, but a recreation of this same history, using existing realties for their foundational cornerstone. The venerable medium of oil on canvas, Chavez’s preferred materials, lends his paintings a classical quality. Layered oil pigments are built up gradually, and the slow-drying nature of the medium bleeds into the contemplative tranquility of the scenes he depicts. In this way, the objects and people that populate his works are rendered with a degree of thoughtfulness and consideration that communicates instantly to the eye of the viewer. This haunting quality is a testament to the level of attentiveness that went into the works, as much as the historical character of the settings Chavez has chosen to paint. Argentinian Gauchos, Dressage, 2003 Oil on Canvas 30” x 24”

Cynthia Chace Gray


ynthia Chace Gray photographs diverse landscapes, capturing unique and transformative moments in time. Never retouched or digitally manipulated, Gray’s images encompass the natural world from a real, faithful, and intentional perspective. Her pictures are whittled to the essentials—light, color, and form are the subjects of her works. Indeed, western sunsets, craggy trees, and luminous bodies of water are depicted as abstracted fields of rich pigment and pared down shape. Completely devoid of any artificial lighting, her images are illuminated from within, lending her landscapes a sense of otherworldly wonder. Born in Japan, Gray lived in New York City before moving to Wyoming, where she currently lives and works, in search of beauty and enlightenment. Living at the base The Earth Exhales Photographic Print on Fine Art Paper 24” x 30” of the Bighorn Mountains, Gray finds motivation and divination in the beautiful landscape that she inhabits. Now, living in locations around the world, the artist turns to nature as an unending wealth of sincere awe. She has been a photographer for over forty years, and at the core of her practice is her earnest pursuit of truth, beauty, and authenticity. Gray’s pictures capture more that just landscape, they translate a specific mood and document an illusive instant never to be experienced in the same way again. A blanket of thick fog, a piercing blue sky, an extraterrestrial sunrise—Gray’s images render visible and material our intangible feelings and experiences associated with nature. Her images reenvision the landscape, casting light on details that might otherwise go unseen or overlooked. Often utilizing unusual vantage points and precarious perspectives, her photographs detail the natural wonders of a world in plain view, but only accessible to those with the patience to seek it out. 44 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 |

Bo Song

Bo Song in her studio


n her bold, colorful oil paintings, Michigan-based artist Bo Song layers colors and shapes in a spontaneous process based on intuition rather than planned sketches or drawings. Landscapes, floral still lifes, and abstract compositions populate Song’s canvases, each work serving as a meditation on an object, moment, or season. Through the act of painting, the artist seeks to clear her mind and reach a state of balance and tranquility, and indeed her imagined scenes and painterly brushwork indicate her ability to make pictures without inhibition, her ability to transcend what is seen and paint what is illusory. Born in Soeul, Korea and coming to the United States by way of New Zealand, Song turned to painting in 2010 after a successful career in corporate marketing. As a Buddhist, notions of karma and zen are present and clearly visible in the artist’s works. She also frequently draws upon the concept of the ancient mandala, a circular symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism, representative of the cosmos. Indeed, the artist often incorporates circles and spheres into her works, signifying the connected nature of past and present. Often painting using bright, rich pools of unmodulated color, Song’s canvases vary in subject matter, but the artist’s lively palette and textured application of paint remains consistent. Her landscapes range from fantastical and otherworldly to hilly forest abstractions. Rivers and mountains are sometimes depicted with truthful tones and recognizable features, and other times the artist transforms a countryside scene into a tapestry of abstract color. In Song’s paintings that favor experimentation over repetition, elements of the unexpected hide just below the surface. Complexity and simplicity exist simultaneously in these works that follow the principle of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.

Red Circle, 2017 Oil on Canvas 28.5” x 39”

Blue Circle, 2017 Oil on Canvas 35” x 45” ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|



Garden 46

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Party By Angela Di Bello

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From left: Michael Victor Ruggiero, Terry Furst, Angela Di Bello, Eleni Cocordas, Carolina Santiago


ICHAEL VICTOR RUGGIERO (MVR) received a master’s in landscape architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA in 1991. He also received certificates in illustration / Architecture Rendering from Parsons / New School of Design in 1995 / 97 as well as figure drawing and portrait painting from the Art Students League in New York City in 2003 / 05. Michael’s passion for landscape architecture and garden design blossomed from 1993–97 when he was the Master Head Gardener at the Bakwin Estate in Ossining, New York. This is where our story begins. On a warm Sunday in July a group of us ventured out of the overcast city skies, by train, to the Bakwin Gardens, in Ossining, NY for an oldfashioned garden party. The invitation and private tour by Michael, our gracious host, included a visit to the Tudor style main house with its 13 bedrooms, a large main hall, a greenhouse, and a guesthouse nestled in the woods. The grounds included many enchanting elements. My favorite was the massive yellow ‘ducky’ floating lazily on the man-made pond with its own boathouse. Behind the boathouse was a magnificent bronze sculpture of a female nude by Michael Stolzer. This lifelike sculpture, bracing against the fieldstone corner exterior of the boathouse, was perhaps lamenting the loss of a lover. Other pieces on the grounds included several stately bronze pieces by the formidable sculpture artist, Antoniucci Volti. Winding our way through the grounds we saw mounds of moss covered earth, Zen garden rock formations, towering and low hanging trees, lush leafy plants of every hue, and flowers in vibrant and muted colors that graced every meandering pathway. Each nook and cranny of the grounds offered up a visceral surprise that filled our senses with unbound pleasurable excesses of discovery. The scent of moss, pine and mountain laurel permeated the air while the chatter of birds and critters rustling in the leaves mingled with our footsteps. Not to be missed was the functional organic vegetable garden and a small orchard of peach, plum and apple trees laden with ripening fruit. The energy was intoxicatingly palpable on a perfect Sunday in July. The photos gracing these pages, my memory of the day, Michael’s brilliant work as a landscape architect and garden designer, and his journey to further develop talent within himself is the inspiration behind this piece. 48

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An Interview With

Michael Victor Ruggiero By Angela Di Bello

The perspectives in your artwork relish the use of ‘lines’ to build strong, lucid compositions. At the same time, your work expresses emotive qualities through color and texture. Do you feel that the natural environment can produce excesses that require structure through planning, design, and use of lines, color and texture? Nature can be very excessive – as when a garden becomes overgrown – the case when I started at the Bakwin Garden (BG). Inhabited landscapes, like buildings, need a designed structure to function best and give us a sense of order. In contrast, landscape structure is not dependent on rigid geometric lines. BG structure is planar – based on a clear foreground, middle ground, and background – but with hardly a straight line found in its makeup. BG fluidity arises from its preeminent rock outcroppings and native forest environment (‘genius loci’).

Michael Victor Ruggiero with Mr. Bakwin

Structure itself can do without color and texture, but without them, environments quickly become static, sterile, and dull. Minimalist works (of any kind) require intelligent thought on color and/or texture to be successful. In time, 20th Century Modernists found that out.

Notably in the 19th Century, color began to play a more important role in garden design through art movements such as Impressionism to Cubism. Which movement influenced your use of color in garden design and how did that in turn contribute to your development as a fine artist? Distinct tasks within garden design are planting design and flower garden design. Best known for the latter was the Englishwoman Gertrude Jekyll. She was herself greatly influenced by the Impressionists in the use of color, prior to her, the garish color of Victorian annual beds ruled. All gardeners since, myself included, are disciples of Jekyll’s teaching on the nuances of flower colors. How to combine them to great effect, and the merit of using native perennial garden plants has been an important guide to gardeners. Her principles also apply to planting design with trees and shrubs as well. For art, Post-Impressionists Cezanne, Seurat, and Van Gogh are more influential in my use of color. ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


How have colors, lines, forms, shapes, patterns and textures, so prominent in garden design, influenced your own works of art? Works in both landscape design and fine art don’t necessarily inform each other, that can be a recipe for confusion and hodgepodge results. On the other hand, simplicity is the hallmark of success in both landscape design and fine art. For landscape painting, color decisions are important at the outset every time. Color schemes and color saturation reflect not only a specific environment or subject, but also the season, time of day, and atmospheric mood.

Chelsea Piers to S.I.T._ Digital Hudson River of Pixels, 2017 Mixed Media Digital Print 31” x 48”

What have been the greatest influences on your current multi-media painting style, the works of which you have branded as ‘PastelsX’? Living in a NYC studio apartment for 10 years made pastel painting a practical sense for a host of reasons. The practice of Digital Landscape Architecture allowed me to master Adobe Photoshop as much as needed to become a digital painter. This level of skill allows me to advance my work. Landscape Architecture Practice also makes me confident in predicting digital print results. Knowledge is a beautiful thing, particularly when knowledge is derived from a rigorous formal education and experience. Michael’s development as a fine artist made use of all the knowledge he had acquired. His achievement as a professional in landscape architecture and garden planning, and as a fine artist is the fusion of two distinct and yet congruent bodies of work. The integration of both into a comprehensive unique manner is laudable. Hudson Palisades & New Tappan Zee Bridge Part 1, 2017 Mixed Media Digital Print 31” x 48”

Photos by: 1 - Luka Baramishvili | 2 - Robert Zash | 3 - Angela di Bello 50

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Charles Henderson


harles Henderson has always been interested in cameras, but it wasn’t until he bought his first professional film camera about 20 years ago that he developed his love for photography. He has since produced an impressive body of work that revolves around his own rule of thumb: shooting locations within 10 miles of home. For Charles, who lives in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, this means taking in the views from atop the Sperrin Mountains, watching the sun rise and set over freshwater lake Lough Neagh, and strolling through the Iniscarn Forest. And although it’s technically outside of his self-imposed radius, Charles admits that the rugged north coast can’t be beaten for photographic opportunities. These natural environments have inspired his work, which mainly comprise landscapes, wildlife, and flower photography. As a civil engineer working in road construction, Charles shoots in his spare time on weekends, nights, early mornings and holidays. To help improve his skills, he has spent a great deal of time poring over photography books and magazines and studying the works of his biggest influencers, Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite and Colin Prior to improve his technique, camera-craft and post-production which are fundamental to the making of high quality photographs. Charles feels strongly, though, that his work never looks like a carbon copy of others. He continues to search for unique locations and methods, always shooting what appeals to him rather than what he thinks might appeal to others. It is the taking of an image itself, Charles believes, that satisfies a craving deep within the photographer, and that the product of feeding that addiction – the final image – has the unexpected power to elicit deep emotions from others. That, he argues, is the beauty of the craft and why people like himself choose to pursue it.

Portstewart - Red Sky, 2009 Color Digital Photography 16” x 24”

Lough Neagh at Ballyronan, N.Ireland - Sunrise 02, 2015 Color Digital Photography 16” x 24”

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Osvaldo Bacman


he paintings of native Argentinian Osvaldo Bacman are colorful geometric expressions of emotion, dressed in the rigorous repetition of a single gesture, pattern, and shape. Working primarily with acrylics, Bacman’s carefully rendered canvases radiate a confidence and precision that belies the quickness with which acrylic paint is generally applied. The plastic nature intrinsic to the medium of acrylic gives Bacman’s paintings an equally plastic feel, lending them an almost tactile quality that complements the mathematical abstraction upon which his compositions are based.

The Mystery of Geometry #14, 2018 Acrylic on Canvas 31.5” x 31.5”

A Bacman canvas is never a thing of stolid, emotionless grandeur. Rarely does his work not depict an inspiring matrix of colors, splayed against a sprawling geometric design. Bacman’s palette helps soften his canvases, making them not only more accessible to the casual viewer, but also delineating complex emotional states that can be appreciated by the connoisseur and scholar alike. Colors intermingle with shading and transparency, and at least part of the emotional depth Bacman’s canvases convey is due to the way his works are rendered so as to feel layered.

Terry Firkins


merican artist Terry Firkins creates oil paintings, watercolors, etchings, drawings and mixed media works that utilize bold gestures and a muted palette. He depicts diverse landscapes, portraits, and literary scenes using a loose hand that borders on abstraction. Idyllic coastal vistas, vivid sunsets, and figurative tableaux from everyday life are each rendered with conviction, and while each subject is depicted in a different style, the works’ similarities lie in their strong marks and compositional restraint. In his nonrepresentational works, the artist conveys his commitment to abstraction as a vehicle to communicate subtle and sophisticated concepts about the realities of human nature. In his oil and acrylic on canvas painting titled The Mystique of Being, Firkins paints an abstract composition in a monochromatic palette of black, white, and grey. The bold The Mystique of Being, 2017 Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 30” brushwork and pared down color lends the work a feeling of tumult, as the fractured lines appear to tumble around the picture plane in erratic bursts. Conveying the psychological or emotional state of the artist, the painting is an attempt to capture the elusive meaning of human existence. The dynamic composition, with its emotive brushwork and complex layering, conveys an unflinching determination to live an examined and intentional life. 52

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orn in Romania and living in Paris, artist Rody paints the romance, charm, beauty, and danger of Belle Époque, France, with both precision and sensitivity. Children, lovers, violent men, and vivacious women populate her works that are rendered in the muted sepia tones associated with antique photographs. Bright pops of vibrant red punctuate these otherwise subdued compositions that depict life in the iconic city as a whimsical adventure. Like beautiful images from a sentimental postcard, Rody’s paintings fuse everyday experience, culture, and history to create a nostalgic but timeless vision of France at the turn of the century. Though sometimes drawing in ink or pencil, Rody primarily employs the traditional process of oil on canvas to create her dreamy scenes. The artist layers tones and textures to render Parisian landmarks with tenderness and care. Indeed, sites such as the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre populate her paintings and are the landscape around which various excitements unfold. The artist develops narratives around her depictions of brawling men and embracing lovers, who bring the quaint streets of Paris to life with their innocence, elegance, and poetic undertones.

Lady with Unicorn, 1997 Oil on Canvas 35” x 26”

Marlene Kurland


ife is a painting for Marlene Kurland. Every day, every scene, each moment she experiences, is framed inside her head. But although she has committed these images to canvas her whole life, no one ever told her she could paint for a career. And so, she did the next best thing: she became a makeup artist. Kurland eventually went on to own her own chain of skin care salons, and then a national makeup artist agency, before devoting herself fulltime to her work. She describes it as “happy art”: a kind of realistic impressionism that depicts her subjects in a free and loose style, enabling the viewer to connect and relate to her paintings while also feeling uplifted by them. Much of her work is commissioned – custom family portraits, beach scenes, homes, or paintings of children and pets inspired by her collectors’ most meaningful photographs. Kurland aims to truly get to the heart of who her subjects are through her process. “I feel like I know them at the end,” she explains.

Bridal Party With Attitude, 2018 Giclee on Canvas 24” x 36”

Kurland also paints for charity. She continually donates works to the Shriners Hospital for Children and the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. She lives and paints every day, dividing her time between Maryland and Florida. ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


The Humanitarian Agora Gallery believes strongly that art can play a crucial role in making the world a better place. ‘The Humanitarian’ focuses on artists represented by Agora who use their art or their artistic knowledge and talent to help others and to bring creativity, confidence and comfort to those who need it. By Di Taylor


ince 2004, my career took a new path into philanthropy. Having nursed my daughter through a severe head injury at the age of seven, I wanted to give back to the amazing institutions and organizations that helped her recover and become a highly functioning adult. Today, she is a gifted and respected music teacher. My journey started with Telethon, a 24-hour television fundraising event in Western Australia (WA) to support the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. After donating a very large painting, In Defense of the Fallen Angel, at the Blue Ribbon Ball, I immediately realized that raising money and awareness through my artwork was something I could do to make a difference in the world. I continued helping Telethon until 2007, then started working directly with the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Over the next four years, I helped to raise funds to build a house as a respite facility for children with Leukemia. 54

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More recently, I have become heavily involved with the Cancer Foundation of Australia and Breast Cancer Care WA, after having been emotionally impacted by the devastating loss of my best friend and fellow artist. This intense experience changed my life forever, and has given me a more spiritual outlook on life’s journey. With my friend’s passing, I started painting angels, calling out and seeking answers from the universe and looking for a deeper meaning to life. I see the angel as an iconic representation of hope and our spiritual beliefs, connecting us more deeply to the universe. I regularly feature my angel artwork in exhibitions that raise funds for various philanthropic causes. In 2010, I was asked to represent Save The Children Australia within remote Indigenous communities in the north west of the state. I ran a number of art workshops that inspired children in these remote schools over a five-year period, and began painting the dramatic landscapes of this region, for which bold colors and dramatic sunsets are now heavy influences in my work. More than half of my career, since 2010, has been dedicated to various noteworthy charities. These life experiences have certainly influenced the diversity of my work, and has enriched my life as well as my artistic career. I am honored to have been given such recognitions as “Guest Artist” for the Rafikki Surgical Mission to Tanzania in East Africa, and continue to support foundations and charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Starlight, Bali Children Foundation and Homeless Connect. I am extremely proud to be connected to Ads-Up in New York City, an organization formed by Australian expatriates living in the U.S. to help the Manus Island refugees resettle in the U.S. Looking forward, I will be undertaking a live art demonstration and donating two paintings to be in auction at a New York event in 2019. Along with exhibiting my artwork in New York City, I am grateful to be offered the wonderful opportunity to continue my work as a philanthropist and humanitarian, hopefully, for many years to come.

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Benjamin L.M.

The Glorious Present, 2003 Oil on Canvas 20.5” x 28”


enjamin L.M. could be considered a painter of landscapes, only this description doesn’t grasp the complexity of the landscapes he creates. Rather than re-create an impersonal perspective—as though anything could be known without a knower—L.M.’s painting are shot through with the warmth and intimacy of embodied sentient life. Even when his landscapes are plenum without any readily identifiable figures within them, they sinuously bend and wrap around themselves, writhing with organic life. As suggested by his painting’s titles, it’s not unfair to call L.M.’s work visionary. One work dated from 2003, The Glorious Present, is Solid Point To The Future, 2013 Acrylic on Canvas 14” x 18” a good example not only of how visionary themes enter into his work, but provide a glimpse into the general methodology underlying his landscape works. At first blush, it might appear that there is no one in the picture. The various marking and objects represented in the work (a rainbow, a horizon, the outlines of a city, etc.) seem entirely bereft of human life, even desolate. And yet, upon reflection, one realizes that these very entities are impossible without the existence of a human perspective. The phenomenal crystallization we know as a rainbow exists only for the spectrum of colors visible to the human eye; similarly, there is no actual point where earth and sky touch—this is a human construct, one with a richly symbolic meaning. As for the outlines of a city, this also has a strictly human significance. But even when L.M. is not painting delineations of cities, his landscapes will have a kind of layered fracturedness about them, with different areas painted in different colors. These differentiated parts then come into a kind of anatomical harmony, as though L.M.’s landscapes were a body continuous with the body of the viewer. 56 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 |

Marek Slavík


zech-painter Marek Slavík is known for his photorealistic paintings of swirling colors. Once abstract and figurative, his work places the female form in a sea of what looks like liquid ooze. Wayward lines fill the frame with depth, bringing these fictional landscapes to life. The viewer’s eye travels around the canvas like a maze, searching for some sense of order in these chaotic puzzles. It’s the tension between the real and the unknown that drives Slavík to paint with such refined detail, drawing the viewer into his vortex of mystery. Slavík begins by creating a model for his paintings. He pours a malleable material into a tank of water as the colors swirl around organically, collecting nearly a thousand photographs in the process. He selects the best photo and begins recreating it on the canvas, carefully documenting every line, shape, and curve with exquisite detail. Only then does the figure emerge, coming into the frame like a fish out of water. His figures become part of the chaos as they get ensnared by these potent tornados of slime. The artist leaves space for the viewer to inject their own interpretation onto the work. What could be a few drops of food coloring evolve into angelic forms, clouds of doom, ghostly apparitions or a tidal wave of chewing gum. Left to their own devices with just a few clues to lead the way, the viewer is free to let their imagination run wild as they try to make sense of these abysses of color and form. Slavík studied classical oil painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in 1982. He currently lives and works in Prague in the Czech Republic.

Recovery, 2018 Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 39.5” x 53.5”

Rebirth, 2016 Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 39.5” x 53.5”

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Yuriy Danich


ainter Yuriy Danich finds inspiration by looking inward. Wrestling with existential questions about the human condition, Danich paints eclectic scenes with religious figures, mutated skulls, and pomegranates that resemble a beating human heart. The artist offers a new take on these classic subjects, bringing them to life with garish features, distorted proportions, and cartoonish faces that laugh and gawk at one another without remorse. Their bleak existence is characterized by a search for meaning and peace in a world of confusion and indifference. Using his experience as a scenic designer for theater and television productions, Danich builds a stage for his characters, filling the frame with specific details like roaming salamanders, stone walls, and blazing cathedrals. The viewer feels as if they’ve been transported to Ancient Rome with its earth browns, bloody reds, and golden yellows. He gives his figures the space to respond to their surroundings as they try to make sense of their place in the world. Crowned with the immortal sun, his protagonists carry the same weight as the religious figures of movements passed, drawing on the themes of Christian Byzantine art and the Renaissance. The work draws the viewer into the glory of faith, but also its mystery. Met with isolation and silence, these characters needs largely go unfulfilled as they’re forced to reckon with spiritual emptiness and a lack of sovereignty. Trapped somewhere between mental health and mental illness, their plight is that of all mankind. Fighting persecution and encroaching insanity, Danich’s heros are left to their own devices as they navigate the tyranny of existence. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Danich studied art at the Saint Petersburg Art and Industry Academy. Fusing oil, acrylic and watercolor, he creates his own style of painting, adhering to and, at the same time, breaking free of the constraints of the religious iconography of the past. Danich reshapes religious painting for the modern world, asking the viewer to look within as they search for meaning in the work and life itself. 58 ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38 |

Judas 2, 2017 Oil on Canvas 96” x 240”

Judas Iscariot 3, 2016 Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 100” x 72”

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Is Technology Upending Traditional Art? By William Ingham


ne topic in the art world is how art, or the definition of Art, is rapidly changing due to the introduction of high technology. Traditional media such as drawing, painting and sculpture could be giving way to powerful new technical means, such as 3-D printing, photo media and video which in the hands of very adept MFA students, is changing the nature of art as we know it. I asked Jamie

Walker, Director of the University of Washington’s School of Art how traditionally trained faculty are adjusting to all these changes and are they catching up or being left behind? How can they advise today’s students in this new world? He told me some UW faculty have transitioned already, citing a drawing and painting teacher learning video and photo media, for example. Years ago, art making was a time consuming and intensive commitment which offered myriad challenges as anyone whose struggled with paints, brushes and canvasses knows well. Professor Walker, a ceramicist himself, spoke of the skill it took to “throw a pot”, a learned skill involving lots of practice. Nowadays, students can access 3-D printers to make a ceramic, or at least a model for one. Does this leave painting and drawing and ceramics disadvantaged as too arduous in this new tech world? Could it be a case where faster and faster feed back loops in our highly connected internet world, encourage a more intense immediacy only video screens can deliver? I asked him if the University had any role in preserving traditional media. He answered me that the UW is a “research university” meaning that it encourages changes, even radical change, because that is what is attracting students from different backgrounds. And, of course, the students are the future. And while clay, stone, paints, metal, wood and other older substances used for art offered their own challenges to be molded by human effort, students today must tussle with the complexities and technical


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difficulties of a completely different kind. So while art changes, it can’t be any easier just because we have computers. It’s just different. But what’s different now, if the work in the 2018 MFA Show is any example, are works which exhibit cerebral calculation, spareness, conceptualness, neatness and a cool perfectionism? Sometimes with little left to change, many are accompanied by explanatory texts which supposedly explain the artist’s intent, usually addressing an artmaking issue of interest. One was a visual presentation of a painting’s stages of development image by image flashing around on a video screen. But don’t we view and judge paintings as statements and finality unto themselves? But that is how art is changing. Its as though recording the artistic process can be a subject for art.

tumultuous time, with anti-Vietnam protests, strong antigovernment feelings, but also high music creativity, such as the Beatles. In this tumultuous scenario, art served a different purpose, and Abstract Expressionism became a vehicle of self-expression. A pantheon of master painter “heros” such as DeKooning, Jackson Pollack, Clifford Still, Sam Francis, and Richard Diebenkorn still dominanated the art world, giving us inspiration and direction. I studied their paintings and drawings and visited museums to see their work. It also was the era where formal values, especially the view that line, form and color far outweighed subject matter in importance. It was the formal values which conveyed artistic meaning, not the subject being portrayed. I was particularly impressed by Rudolf Arnheim’s “Art and Visual Perception” book and his theories on design and color.

I received my MFA degree in 1972, a vastly different time. There weren’t any computers, cellphones, iPads, etc. It was all traditional media. The late 1960s and early 70s were a

In 1969, the University of Washington’s School of Art encouraged me to enter its graduate school which I did and learned quickly that it wasn’t how well you painted or ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


a chosen style of work that mattered, it was how strongly you pushed yourself into new areas, to achieve results far beyond what you could have imagined. And indeed that was the mandate. I continued painting figuratively, with loose expressionist interpretations of landscapes and the figures, modelled out of Diebenkorn and James McGarrell, finding new ways to fuse landscape elements into overall compositions, as in this painting “Landscape Open” from 1970. But it wasn’t until 2 years later that I created my “breakthrough” painting, “With Alizarin“ 87” by 82“, stirred by a trip to Spain and seeing the works of Goya at the Prado Museum. Here all real world references are subordinated to a highly energized paint handling, trowelling and large swaths of oil paint which had the figure almost completely disappearing! After graduate school, I continued painting more along the lines of Color Field which began to replace Abstract Expressionism, with looser paint handling such as pouring, spattering, and splashing paint creating new imagery, and new experimental paths to explore. Not that I abandoned figurative work completely, I was too “sculptural” to do that. But without any conscious design approach, or pre-determined plan, the imagery came from these spontaneous paint gestures suggesting new combinations I was relishing to explore. My life as a hiker, sailor and skier in the Pacific Northwest imbued me with natural imagery, which I indirectly referenced, as in this painting “Tango” from the early 80’s, all created as the canvas lay prone on the floor. I mixed up a batch of teal and ultramarine blue spreading it around with a large hardware store brush and lots of medium. Because I was working in a smaller studio, I had to leave it for a couple of days to dry. I then returned and “splashed in” the lower white area, reminiscent of roiling surf breaking on the beach. As long as I painted faster than the conscious mind trying to make sense of it, good things seemed to happen. One can easily see the “bi-coastal” influences in my work: the New York Abstract Expressionist element, and the Bay 62

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Area figurative works of Diebenkorn, Park and Clifford Still. The nature references are entirely Northwest and are uniquely my own. But what about drawing, and those classical, formal aspects , that long tradition? Would there be a merging of the two? As you can see in this drawing entitled “Wind In Cedars” erasures, smudges, redraws and twisting fronds agitate the trees in a turbulent flux. Here the technique suits the subject mimicing the action of the wind through the branches. This has been the course of my work over the last decade or so. I have done a number of tree paintings which meld the drawing and structural aspect with the loose expressionist paint handling. It would be useful to mention that one new area was my snow paintings which are entirely original. This particular work shows how I combine the expressionist painting with realistic touches of snow into a swirling entanglement of a tree branches.

So how exactly do I go about doing this? Isn’t a lot left to chance? I have no trade secrets, but often compare painting to a type of struggle, mind over matter, taming the bull, conquering the mountain, a challenge demanding all I have. Every painting worth the effort has gone through at least one crisis in its making, if not many. It is the beginning which is exceedingly critical, which I can describe this way: I put enormous emphasis on bold technique to push the painting forward, whipping a loaded paint brush in arcs and swirls, lines and curves to get it “off the ground” disregarding sentiment and looks. This bold initiation sets up clashes and conflicts, just what I want. Working out from black, colors splash in adding to the mix, but as I achieve a critical mass. The painting, contorted and confounding to the eye suggests to me a way forward, which may mean editing and directing lines of forces towards consolidation. The painting’s energy level at this point is high, and I must keep it high if it’s going to succeed. The price of throwing caution to the winds is chaotic, but the trick is to bring the painting back from the edge of chaos, without losing its energy. Then I can add touches of snow, touches of love to the branches, softening it, cooling it down to the right solution. Paintings tend to grow away from you as they develop, they begin to have their own personality. They may say “more” or “enough” to me in their own way. They are a lot like children, some are a breeze to raise, and others, well, every parent knows what I mean. I’m often asked “when do you know the painting’s finished?” That’s difficult and requires putting it away for awhile so I can take it out with fresh eyes and decide then and there; if there’s no point in embellishing it or continuing, I let it go. The answer lies in my belief that when one looks at an artwork, one should feel a “lift”, you should sense its energy. That is the important thing. The highest value in art is originality, and that is what I’ve striven to do; sometimes falling short, but always believing, as Mark Rothko once wrote that paintings should be miraculous, and that it’s the artist’s highest calling, through years of studio practice, to “perform miracles when they are needed”.

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Ana Ingham

The English Summer, 2000 Oil & Collage on Board 35.5” x 55.5”

London in Summer, 2000 Oil & Collage on Wood 43.5” x 35.5”


na Ingham’s works are both playful and poetic. Her compositions tend to be simple, which allow the greatest interplay of coloration and texture. Considering her works abstract, there is a strong figurative bent in her work, which often hinges on her use of collage. The continual mingling of different materials, colors, textures, and shapes forms the hallmark of Ingham’s artistry. Yet all of this is consolidated within an attentiveness to objective detail reminiscent of classical landscape paintings. The crux of Ingham’s memorized landscapes is by association. This is apparent in the way language forms a kind of tapestry in her works, signifying while also having a symbolic, structural function. While responding to secular themes in her collage paintings—urbanity, celebrity, sexuality, etc—language is stripped of its denotative function and instead comes to embody realities in its own right. In this way, Ingham’s painting can be considered a kind of timeline, condensed into the unified image of a pictorial moment. Rather than imitate the Cubists, who took the still-life tradition as their point of inspiration, Ingham takes a cue from poetry, and how poems can visually map out emotionally impactful events without being bound to the temporal logic of chronology. The primary motivation underlying Ana in her studio Ingham’s works is memorialization. This represents significant moments within an almost diagrammatic space. She creates a kind of spatial symbology where the placement of a color, word, figure, and collaged element suggests a moral and political evaluation. Ingham’s works typically feel as if they have been thought out beforehand, which is due less to her knowing the overall appearance of a piece before she starts, and more because of her prior in-depth reflections upon the subject matter being represented in the art. 64

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Nicola Watson


icola Watson uses space as her medium. Yet with temporalized titles such as Imminent or Fallen, it’s obvious that she’s also an artist fascinated by the quickening influence of time. Representing the twain dimensions of space and time, Watson’s graphite on paper works ameliorate our understanding of time and the experience of spatial fullness by representing huge clouds of dust. These clouds are often portentous. A work titled “imminent,” for instance, will naturally be about something that is about to occur. But when depicting a dust cloud, as though in a nebulous state, the work might also take on a dangerous meaning. Situated at the bottom of the page, the negative space which surrounds the dust cloud is utilized to foreground an event that could spell disaster. The cloud itself is drawn in such a way that it seems to originate from the sky. This lends the work a symbolic potency that counterbalances Watson’s tendency toward hyperrealism. For such a realistic manner with graphite and paper, Watson’s images are decidedly things that can be read into. Nonetheless, Her work “fallen,” however open-ended, will crystallize into different things for different viewers. As indicated by the title, a kind of religiosity underlies the image. The drawing could depict an angel, or a bird in flight. In either case, the sensation of flight is unmistakable. Once more, the negative space surrounding the image lends it a kind of alienated majesty. The materiality of the graphite allows the image to feel open-ended: the medium itself staining the paper like a storm. But more essentially, space come to congeal around Watson’s chosen subject-matter: space understood as something porous yet seemingly dense, suggestive of an ambiguous portent. Nicola in her studio

Imminent, 2016 Graphite on Paper 39.5” x 27.5”

Fallen, 2015 Graphite on Paper 39.5” x 31.5” ARTisSpectrum | Volume 38|


The Lure of Contemporary Art:

How To Build an Art Collection By Angela Di Bello


hen considering what to hang on your walls, which can be anything from Tibetan rugs, African motif masks, Photography, or Paintings – the holy grail of wall art – take your time making a decision. Establish a relationship with a gallerist or an artist who shares your aesthetic values and understands your design sensibilities and your emotional connections to the art work. This individual should be someone with whom you feel comfortable and will work with you without pressure to help you achieve your vision of an integrated living environment for you, your family and your guests. 66

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Photography by Keith Butler

Joel Feliciano, his wife Diane Fernandez and their two young children Ian and Ava Feliciano visited Agora Gallery on a warm September afternoon after browsing on our website to inquire about a number of paintings that they were considering for their stunning new downtown co-op. Both Joel and Diane are seasoned art enthusiasts. Mr. Feliciano is a born and bred New Yorker, and an attorney and partner in CGH, which operates and manages several high-end restaurants in Manhattan, including The Lion, Crown, Bill’s Food & Drink, Il Principe at Hotel Hugo, and Windsor Sports Lounges. The Lion and Crown have art galleries that feature an impressive collection of original artworks.

Rear Window Acrylic and Mixed Media on canvas Melanie WĂźbbelmann ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |


Every decision behind the selected paintings for their new home had a story, a raison d’être. We have all experienced poignant moments and own visual memories and impressions that have become part of our very identity, our imprint and stories we tell ourselves, tales that define who we are. One of Joel’s memories was of playing on a red fire escape when he was a child of twelve or so; when he saw New York 1, an acrylic painting on canvas by Anna Narday, not only was he transported back to his childhood experience, but he also clearly understood the mystery that captivated his imagination. The skewed perspective,

as if looking up through time, became for him the necessary connection to a treasured past experience. New York 1 hangs on a wall between two windows that overlook a fire escape. Rear Window, an acrylic and mixed media painting on canvas by Melanie Wübbelmann, conjures visions of Grace Kelly elegance, a moment’s reflection. It is beautiful, serene and simply ideal for a bedroom space; the painting is perfectly positioned there between two windows. Gossip, an oil on canvas painting by FrédériqueK was our vision for the main wall which delineates the dining area

Every decision behind the selected paintings for their new home had a story, a raison d’être


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from the living room, and is the focal point of the collection. The composition was inspired by Ancient Greek and Italian Renaissance paintings and eludes to a highly poignant conversation between three women, likely goddesses who determine the fate of mere humans. Mr. Feliciano and Diane also visited neighborhood artistrun galleries where they discovered other works of art that they fell in love with. Each piece was methodically and yet emotionally selected and integrated into the space with care and attention to detail. The acquisition of the works

of art took close to a year to complete; the experience was pleasurable, educational and enlightening, resulting in one of the most magnificent personal collections that anyone could hope for.

Left: New York 1 Acrylic on canvas Anna Narday Below: Skellig Morning Triptych Oil on canvas Michael Madigan

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The skewed perspective, as if looking up through time... New York 1, Acyrlic on Canvas, Anna Narday


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Michael F. Kin


ichael Kin’s sculptures command attention. Their instantly recognizable style is as playful as it is monumental, and as provocative as it is refined. Kin blends elements of design and architecture to create deeply original pieces that leave the viewer intrigued and inspired. The artist describes himself as an intransigent nonconformist who embarked upon the path of adventure as soon as he graduated from high school, and never looked back. Rather than pursue a conventional lifestyle, Kin, in his own words, “discovered the alchemist” within and became an artist. Since for him, art is a magical process of “creating something out of nothing,” what others would consider garbage easily becomes his artistic medium. Kin often works with found materials. Over Ménage à Trois, 2016 the years he has experimented with tires, sandbags, Metal Frame, Epoxy Clay, Acrylic with Clear 60” x 120” x 156” straw bales, adobe mud, etc. Yet he has also created high-end furniture, carved stone and giant epoxy sculpture. All his works contain the image of the spiral, painted, carved or simply implied in the composition of the piece. Kin states that this “logo” refers to a profound spiritual experience he had as a young man. Kin’s work invites the viewer on an irresistible journey of adventure and mischief.

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