ALDO LIRA Strange Gifts
www.slowart.com hard copies available at: www.slowart.com/subscribe.htm
Geomatic is a recently spread neologism which concerns the various disciplines of territory and environment study and underlines the crucial role assumed today by information technology in the development of related activities. It is about the systemic integrated multi-disciplinary approach used to select the proper tools and techniques in order to continuously acquire, integrate, process, analyze, archive and distribute georeferenced spatial data in a digital format.
op029sm11, Geomatic Art InterMedia performance, Stefano Mitrione | Virtualgeo
Genome: Virtual > Real > Geolocalized
Forgive Oil on canvas 2012 40” x 30”
Brandon Kuehn www.brandonkuehn.com
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Monk Encaustic and mixed media 11” X 14” cradled board
Face of soulful desperation Older than any other soul Blue as old ice Tears of gold Marylou MacBride
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Blue Honey Oil on panel 20” x 16”
Tim French www.tim-french.com
Fata Oil on canvas 30” x 25”
KUSTURA www.ivankustura.com 4 Direct Art / Volume 20
Painted wood sizes: up to 10” x 21”
Natalie and Vlad Danilov Direct Art
Hard copies available at: www.slowart.com/subscribe.htm
FEATURED ARTISTS 13 25 48
ALDO LIRA Strange Gifts
Randomness and Control 64
CARA DeANGELIS The Tragic and the Infantile
SHAUN WHITESIDE The Metaphysical Realm JOSEPH CRONE Cinematic Narratives ERIC PHAGAN Things I Can’t Fathom
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Editor: Paul Winslow / Art and Design: Trevor Pryce / Technical Assistant: Terell Stanley All artwork and images in this publication are under the exclusive copyright of the artists. Reprinting or reproducing these images by any means in any form is prohibited. President / Director / CEA: Tim Slowinski
SlowArt Productions, 123 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534, www.slowart.com Produced 2013 in Hudson, New York
Printed in The Peoples Republic of China www.directart.org
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Hell of Industry Actual size Acrylic on canvas
www.slowart.com/slow As a teeager in the 1970s, I was exposed to all kinds of toxins. The environment was full of them, DDT, Dioxin, you name it. Rivers were used as sewers by industry more concerned with profits than life itself. Environmental activists fought against it and many regulations were passed, like the clean air and water acts. These laws are still under constant assault by the heads of industry, who would like to go back to the good old days of dumping toxic waste into our rivers, oceans and air. Needless to say, this had a great influence on my psyche and is a constant, recurring theme in my work.
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Industrial Worker 60” x 54” Acrylic on canvas
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The pig, poor maligned creature, has been used for centuries as a symbol of human greed. Today it has a double meaning, as both a symbol of greed and the victim of it. Genetic engineering, medical intervention and experimentation, among other things, have transformed the pig and other beasts into hulking masses of globular flesh, greatly increasing profitability. This misuse and abuse of other life forms, as the human figures in the painting below attest, could indicate a reduced cranial capacity. And what of Gumby? The childs rubber toy, an innocent plaything manufactured from petrochemicals. He has assumed the clowns role of farm proctologist.
Maligned Pig with Gumby 12â&#x20AC;? x 24â&#x20AC;? Acrylic on canvas
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Eat Meat 3 30â&#x20AC;? x 42â&#x20AC;? Acrylic on canvas
The great triad of the food industry, pigs, chickens and cows, ride together on mechanical food processing vehicles. The processors shield us from the harsh reality of their mass suffering and death, and present us instead with neatly packaged, plastic wrapped and smartly colored products. The daily reality of the creatures lives, imprisoned, injected, amputated and deformed, is shielded from view by friendly, industrial farmers.
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Above: Will I See You There? Collage 2013
At right: With the Bones of Our Own Collage 2011
stefanvolatilewood.tumblr.com I am a product of my environment. I primarily view my art as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;visual remixingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: bringing disparate and unrelated images together to create unexpected new wholes that reveal something new about each element. I am just as interested in how harmoniously foreign elements can come together as I am in creating jarring and anachronistic juxtapositions. I believe that the simpler art is, the more universal it is able to become. I appreciate the infinite possibilities that are born from ambiguity. I am not interested in having my art stand on a pedestal and tell a story; I want a conversation. So tell me, what do you see?
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Strange Gifts II Oil on linen 20” x 24”
This painting is the second in the Strange Gifts series. In this painting I wanted to give a sense of someone under the control of a force outside of themselves, unable to resist but somehow beyond fear and resigned to their situation.
Transformation II Oil on linen 36” x 27”
This painting was based on the idea that two dimensions or worlds may share the same physical space and their respective inhabitants may interact or influence one another on some level without being consciously aware of it. The two figures in this painting coexist in the same space but neither is aware of the other’s existence, although each may be influenced by the actions of the other. The differing colors of the glowing orbs on the left reflect the theory that the shifting colors characteristic of unexplained aerial phenomena are due to their transitioning between dimensions. This painting references art history, as do some of my other works, because I feel that referring to clothing and other elements from earlier periods shows that the contact phenomenon has a very long history.
My paintings are narratives that depict encounters between the everyday world of human existence and that of the numinous or spiritual world that intersects with it. The imagery found in my paintings has been drawn from a number of sources: descriptions of encounters with celestial beings found in mythology, folklore and those found within the context of spiritual/religious experiences, as well as more contemporary accounts of near-death experiences and encounters with supposed alien intelligences. I have also sought out theoretical aspects of contemporary biophysics and quantum physics that seem to offer some possible explanations for these phenomena.
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I am sometimes asked what has drawn me to this subject matter and have speculated that the formative years that I spent in a rural environment near a large air force base in the northeastern United States, watching glowing lights move through the cloudy night-time skies, may have had something to do with it. However my paintings do not have much to do with the stereotypical contemporary idea of alien craft visiting our planet from outer space, as I feel that this view of the phenomenon only mirrors our current preoccupation with technology. My work reflects the way that contemporary accounts of these experiences are paralleled in the writings and in the art of previous centuries, stretching back into antiquity. During earlier times these phenomena and the experiences associated with them— glowing lights, life-altering experiences, and luminous entities— were described as encounters with angelic beings or with gods or goddesses, while contemporary accounts refer to them as encounters with extraterrestrial or interdimensional beings. The content is essentially the same, however. 14 Direct Art / Volume 20
Strange Gifts I Oil on linen 20” x 24”
This painting is a depiction of the reaction of fear and the (often futile) attempt to resist that is caused by some contact experiences. Animal abductions are also a characteristic feature of contact accounts, both ancient and modern.
Strange Gifts III Oil on linen 20â&#x20AC;? x 24â&#x20AC;?
This painting is the third in the Strange Gifts series. I wanted to give a sense of someone beyond fear and resignation, accepting of and even drawn to the reality of contact with another world or dimension.
Due to my interest in the historical record of these occurrences, many of my paintings do not reference contemporary accounts of the contact phenomenon, and feature clothing and locales that are historically ambiguous. My paintings also reflect my fascination with the way that these accounts through the ages seem to reflect the idea of an ancient conflict between forces that we would term Good and Evil, or Light and Dark, with our world as the battleground. Some of these experiences have induced terror and seem to have had a destructive effect on the people involved in them, while others have reportedly altered lives in a positive way, curing illnesses or injuries for example.
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Ultimately, it seems to me that the history of these contacts has been connected with our spiritual evolution, and that there is one category of entity that would hold back our development while another is attempting to help us advance. I feel that the increase in these phenomena during the present time is an indicator of a profound evolutionary shift for humanity that is now in its early stages. Although I think that this shift may involve a certain amount of turmoil and that some will initially regard it as negative, I feel that our future is ultimately a positive one, perhaps beyond anything we can now imagine. Regarding the medium: I have been drawn to painting since childhood, especially narrative painting. What intrigues me most about painting in a conceptual sense is the way that it enables me to depict imagined spaces and scenarios, and to merge multiple realities within the same image. Although these things could be achieved using other media, for example film or even low relief sculpture, I feel that there is something unique about the way that the flat surface of a painting and the illusion of three dimensional space contained within it engages the viewer. There is also the visceral satisfaction of handling paint, and the fascination of watching bits of colored pigment slowly form into an image before one’s eyes. In terms of the pictorial idiom that I work in, my painting has been most strongly influenced by two sources: through exposure during my formative years to the vivid and saturated color schemes of comic book cover art, animated cartoons and anime, and secondly by the works of the 17th Century Baroque Spanish and Neapolitan master painters. I am drawn to the intense spirituality found in these earlier paintings, often expressed through spiraling, swirling patterns of energy. The theatricality these two sources have in common is also very appealing to me. Visually, my paintings are a synthesis of these varied influences. Technically speaking, I paint using a semi-traditional oil-painting process that involves the building-up of an image through successive layers of varying degrees of transparency. I use the term “semitraditional” because the materials and color palette used in my process have been significantly modified from the formulae usually provided for this approach to oil painting, although structurally the process is very close to more traditional methods. My process is a time-consuming one but it enables me to achieve a luminosity and depth of color that would otherwise be impossible. In addition, since I am concerned with issues of toxicity, since 2003 I have painted using a traditional solvent-free, pre-industrial process.
www.aldolira.com Visitation II Oil on linen 36” x 30”
This painting is a description of an abduction experience that also illustrates the slippages in time and space that are often characteristic of the contact phenomenon. The ambiguous figures in the lower left were meant to suggest that some occurrences of the phenomenon may have been staged for the purpose of having a calculated effect on a person or community. Who has staged them and why are open to speculation.
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Corruption 2011 Acrylic 48” x 60”
My work explores the metaphysical realm of emotionality through a painting and drawing process that employs physical forces. I depict emotional energies such as grief, despair, isolation, and wrath by utilizing physical energies such as gravity, water erosion, and sedimentation. By incorporating natural forces into my process, I am simultaneously exalting natural order while decrying the iniquities created by human order. My creative process acts as a metaphor for the themes of powerlessness that inspire my work. I combine this process with selected geometric shapes to create a spatial frame of reference, as well as tension in the juxtaposition of the natural with the artificial.
Fall 2013 Acrylic 48” x 36”
Both the emotions I depict and the process I use are rooted in natural energies; therefore I refer to my work as a New Naturalism. Rather than using ‘naturalism’ in the traditional aesthetic sense, in reference to a precise duplication of nature’s outward appearance, I explore a concept of naturalism that involves obedience to natural forces. In the words of Robert Motherwell, “one might say that the true way to ‘imitate’ nature is to employ its own processes.”
Shaun C. Whiteside
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Redato the Lumplander Oil on wood
56” x 48” 2011
The LUMPLANDERS are a society forming & devolving simultaneously. A mangled & mutated lot. Some in search of power and control, others trying to survive, and the hopefuls…they are looking for escape(perhaps to the sea). Various theories have been posed by scientists, religious figures, and the medical community concerning their origin and their possible contagiousness. The LUMPLANDERS as a society are in the early stages of formation. Only time will reveal their final outcome - hopefully, not a dismal repeat of past societies and civilizations throughout history.
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Fashion Oil on canvas 69” x 57” 2010
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With or Without? Oil and acrylic on canvas 43” x 49”
www.frankoritijr.com This body of work examines the culture of blue-collar, middleclass individuals returning to the hometowns and neighborhoods that they originally attempted to escape. Each portrait reveals the connect and disconnect between suburban landscapes and their residents, while also presenting questions such as “What has my life become?” and “What will everyone think of me now?“
Summer Help Oil and acrylic on canvas 48” x 36”
Conveying portraiture against the repetitive quality of the cookie-cutter houses that surrounded this social group is my effort to present the faded memories and faded ideals that are so common with this cyclical experience. The sentiments about this homecoming are represented by facial expressions that mirror a psychological state of “settling;” an acceptance that they have come back to a place that they will possibly never leave again.
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Man in the Middle 2006 98”x 80” Mixed media on panels
Police State 2012 72”x 72” Oil on panel
IRA UPIN Art needs to have meaning, to be done as if it’s existence can change the world.
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It’s about that randomness. Things happen, anything can happen and we want somehow to control it. But in the end we really can’t.
Reality Check 2007 80”x 32” Oil on panel
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Hot and Cold 2007 72”x 112” Mixed media on panel
It’s about insecurity and confidence at the same time. Confidence comes in isolation, knowing how to make an image the way I want it to be. Insecurity comes with trying to put what I do in the context of it’s relevance outside of my sanctum.
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Fat Cat 2010 36â&#x20AC;?x 36â&#x20AC;? Oil on panel
Fashion is ephemeral, so I never concern myself with what is fashionable, which in the end puts me in and out of fashion depending in what decade my work is being considered.
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Legacy 2011 36â&#x20AC;?x 36â&#x20AC;? Oil on panel
Life itself, if you stop and think, is essentially something we do to keep ourselves busy between birth and death. The inbetween is the variable from one person to the next. Are you decent, are you compassionate, do you seek truth and a clear understanding of reality? Those are the questions I ponder to justify my life and what I do with my time.
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The Oracle of Orion 35.5â&#x20AC;? x 35.5â&#x20AC;? Acrylic, mirrors, artificial gem stones, glitter, dried paint and hologram cut
Sabine Blodorn My main objective is reflection, however in more than one way. I like to integrate the past, the here and now and the unknown in relation to future, space or time. In my series Intergalactic Treasure Hunt I attempt to visually reflect and connect mythology, science fiction, astrophysics with some of my own memories. The Oracle of Orion is an integral part of this series, depicting visions of unproven realities and symbolizes the hunt for an unknown future, the truth or what might be out there or not.
www.bluecanvas.com/SabineBlodorn 30 Direct Art / Volume 20
Blueboy Acrylic on panel 15.5” x 24”
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The Demonization Of Black Girls And Women “Unlike M.C. Esher’s piece, there are no angels or demons here. However, if we see a negative image repeated over time we’re in danger of believing it.”
crutecomics.com eroticyvette.blogspot.com 32 Direct Art / Volume 20
What’s For Dinner? Acrylic on canvas 40” x 40”
“What’s For Dinner?” It is part of a series of paintings where I play with the question of what would happen if animals could get back at humans for what we do to them. What if they raised humans for meat? What if animals took our babies away from us so they could use our breast milk for their own species? What would happen if the tables were turned and animals had the power instead of us?
With over 7 billion humans on the planet, the question of how to feed that many humans is a dire one. Most grain is fed to farmed animals while millions of people in third world countries starve, making animal agriculture incredibly inefficient for feeding our ever-growing human population. Not to mention the fact that animal agriculture is the biggest single contributor to global warming, per the United Nations.
We slaughter approximately 10.2 billion land animals for food in the U.S. alone each year. These animals have lives and families that are important to them, yet most of us consume meat and animal products without thinking about who they are eating, and about the suffering that farmed animals endure.
“What’s For Dinner?” is my attempt to nudge the viewer to ponder the darker realities of how we get our food, realities which our society mostly sweeps under the rug.
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Last Call 2013 Colored pencil on Dura-Lar film 8.5” x 12”
Joseph Crone My intention is to explore, through hyperrealistic drawing, the cinematic narratives and defining visual styles associated with classic Film Noir. Putting an emphasis on low-key lighting, plot and mood, each suspended moment is then uniquely scripted and captured through the camera’s eye. From here I render the previously filmed still by using colored pencil on frosted Dura-Lar film, a lithographic technique that I have adapted and fine-tuned over the past few years. The smooth, semi-transparent quality of the Dura-Lar enables the colored pencil to achieve not only a wide range of textural detail, but also higher levels of contrast and saturation often seen in early cinema. Combining these elements of technique along with the genre’s ability to engage the audience helps to compose my vision of a cinematic nostalgia, which I plan to further develop and capture with each subsequent work.
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Salut 2012 Colored pencil on Dura-Lar film 12” x 9”
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Joseph Crone Decaying Consciousness 2010 Colored pencil on Dura-Lar film 14” x 25.5”
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Andrea Kowch Knoll’s Edge was inspired by the nocturnal symphony of sounds heard coming from the small swamp that lies near my family’s summer dwelling in East Tawas, Michigan. It is there, within the magic stillness of wooded marshes and damp earth, where many of my imaginative musings spring from. It is the mystical silence, punctured by the ebb and flow of sounds coming from unseen creatures—frogs, waterfowl, and insects, shielded from view by thick clusters of trees and vegetation—that led me to focus on recreating the mood of that hidden world. It’s Nature’s softer side speaking, whispering and revealing its secrets if we listen. The women’s positioning, nymph-like appearance, partially garbed attire, and contrasting expressions are reflective of dreaming and waking, expressing the dual spiritual and physical sides of human nature, and our innate, unspoken yearning to merge the two. I want viewers to go beyond the surface, feel the environment, and look deeper into the aspects of life when they look at this painting.
Knoll’s Edge 30” x 30” Acrylic on canvas (2011)
An Invitation embodies various states of mind: surprise and bewilderment, certainty and uncertainty, passivity and wisdom. The figure gazing at us quietly rises above the disarray, revealing a calm knowingness and acceptance of change that is afoot. Upon viewing this painting, one may automatically be led to believe that the main idea lies within the swirling active scenario directly before them. This impression exemplifies the superficial nature of our instant, conditioned judgments and reactions to things. The main subject is in fact the horse, serving as an emblem of the soul, wild and free of any reins, leading us pure and unrestrained to our ultimate destination. Its placement as a distant element tells how we often refrain from fully following our hearts out of fear and confusion, emotions we allow to take center stage, as the immediate, chaotic foreground implies here. Compositionally, the goal is to grab viewers’ attention at first glance, then slowly lead them far deeper into the work—and into themselves.
www.andreakowch.com Represented by RJD Gallery -- www.rjdgallery.com
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An Invitation 60” x 48” Acrylic on canvas (2013)
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Number 4, Arkadeuce 2012 Water colour on paper 26” x 40”
Number 6, Phalora
2012 Graphite on paper 22” x 26”
Number 5, Orcalia 2012 Graphite on paper 22” x 26”
Joe Adams 40 Direct Art / Volume 20
Number 28 2013 Oil on canvas 48” x 60”
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Michael Reedy The human figure has been central in my paintings and drawings for the last twenty years. My most recent works explore themes of life, death, and the human condition. I’m interested in the physical limits of the body, and its ultimate failing (both outwardly and inwardly). I’ve paired this with depictions of the body that fall outside the canon of art history (medical imaging and cartooning). I reference anatomical illustration, and its benign approach to depicting pain and death, and cartooning to both underscore the comedic tragedy of physical existence and the frailties that increasingly define our sense of self as we age. In each instance, the unsettling presence of the open body presents complex questions of gender, pleasure, pain, interpretation, and reception, and results in works infused with a sense of scientific aura, moral lesson, and morbid entertainment.
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Mixed media on paper
24” x 50”
Secret Life Collection of Jeff VanderMeer Acrylic and collage on panel 37” x 26”
Scott Eagle The painting Secret Life was created for the cover of an amazing collection of stories by Jeff VanderMeer. Jeff sent me the text for Secret Life and told me to do whatever I wanted. I tried to capture the essence of his conceptually visual and visceral writing style. In general, my artwork is about the exploration and expression of personal spirituality and psychology through the use of imagery derived from my environment, dreams, mythology and artistic masterworks. Through the creative process, each individual work becomes a tangible response to life itself. I have used metaphor, allegory, free association, collaboration and procrastination to incorporate such disparate source materials and mediums as magazines, old books, yardsticks, acrylic and oil paint, digital printing processes, graphite, doodles, trash, ashes, and blood. Anything that enters my life may enter my work. I find talking and writing quite frustrating and usually painful for those who have to suffer through it. My words and thoughts are like a box full of puppies. While they are in my head they are easy to manage and relatively
ordered. But as they spill playfully and enthusiastically out my mouth they go off in directions I had not intended or desired and quite often they grow up to be great big mean dogs that come back to bite me on the ass. So instead of condemning you to share Tantalus’ fate, I will use a quote that far more eloquently describes my intentions: James Joyce early understood that unless we transcended every limitation of individual, national, racial, and hemispherical prejudice, our minds and hearts will not be opened to the full stature of Man Everlasting…. Beneath our constricting coats and vests we are Man the Hero, triumphant over the snares of life and over the sting of death, sublime behind the tailorings, the petty harryings, marryings, and buryings of the endless round in this valley of tears and joy. -Campbell and Robinson, Skeleton Key, p. 362.
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Pink Slime Oil on canvas 16” x 20”
Foul Mouth Acrylic on canvas 16” x 20”
Judson King Smith www.judsonkingsmith.com
Day Break Photography Various media and dimensions
Richard Montemurro Man on the Verge of Total Fragmentation Cast Concrete & Scrap Metal 9’x4’x8’
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Brian Somerville The Darkness is Lighter Four Feet From a Spider Ceramic 24”x 22”x 22”
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Come Here Charcoal 40” x 60”
Don Luper I can’t say there is an underlying theme to my work as a whole. Every model brings new and interesting elements to the table. Come Here forces you to engage her ending in a private dialog between her and the viewer.
www.donluper.com 46 Direct Art / Volume 20
Neck of Beauty 14” x 22” Diptych Watercolor and graphite on paper
Gina Altadonna In the past, I wanted to believe that my art was entirely an outward expression of my inner thoughts and feelings, uninfluenced by outside pressures to conform. Now, feeling more deeply the effects of society on the individual, my perception of not only my work, but also my self has been greatly altered. Every one of my negative emotions, perceived flaws and vulnerabilities were not born purely out of my inner soul, but were planted there by the restrictions of imagined normality, which grew and festered within my supposedly strong and confident façade. I no longer want my art to simply relieve the internal struggle in my own life, but to speak to the issues many others also face.
I decided to use my own narrative, in a series of watercolor diptychs, to parody the impact “gender policing” and the “girlie-girl” culture has on the individual. What is our place in this world, not only as artists, but also as people? I find myself asking whether it is important to be accepted, for others to know who you are and like what they see, or if it is all just an illusion.
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Big Bird with Roadkill II Oil on linen 32â&#x20AC;?x 40â&#x20AC;?
Cara DeAngelis The two central themes of my work are the Tragic and the Infantile. These themes are embodied in my series on roadkill, which is presented through the rich and historically-loaded language of Still Life. My process involves finding the remains of animals that have been hit on the road and bringing them home to paint. I set them up in compositions that pay homage to, and satirize, 17th century Hunting Still Lifes. The still lifes explore the long-standing confrontations between the domestic and the wild, and the changing role of wildlife in increasingly industrialized societies.
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Dolls and Roadkill III Oil on canvas 32” x 40”
Before the 20th century, Still Life was always considered a feminine and “less worthy” subject to paint in the hierarchy of genres, and in order to get around the prejudice, Flemish masters would paint very masculinized still lifes; of game animals, worldly goods, beer, guns, and large feasts. In contrast, I emphasize the relationship between wildlife, women, and the Domestic Space, using the dolls as a representation of Nostalgia and the Infantile. In addition to constructing my own allegories with the interactions between the dolls and the roadkill, it also creates a powerful disparity between the two worlds (Domestic and Wild) forced together in an absurd union. The dolls also serve as a means of finding some humor in tragedy.
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Another World: subway train Digital C print of germs from the wall of New York City subway N train, newsprint paper, soil, trypticase soy agar 16” x 20”
Torng-Lin (Taffy) Chen
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Another World: rain-boots Digital C print of germs from the Hunter rain-boots size 6, shower curtain liner, blueberry jam, trypticase soy agar 16” x 20”
As a visual artist, aiming for aesthetically pleasing images seems to be indispensable, however, with a clothing design background, I value the hand-making process more than the end result. In fact, my works are both photographic and sculptural based. I consider setting up the scenes or making objects for my images as a sculptural practice. Making photographs is the method for me to preserve what I’ve created in the studio and bring it to the world. I am greatly inspired by the following quote from Alexander McQueen: “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” I seek for beauty in the little things that most people would not enjoy, such as germs.
In Another World Series, I used germs collected from different places in New York City, as my pigments to paint on the different surfaces of objects and create abstract images presented as both disgusting and beautiful. I collected the germs and grew them on Petri dishes with the chemical protein: trypticase soy agar (TSA). During the growing time, I added dyes that I made from fruits to give the image a richer presentation. Except for the TSA, the dye and germs are both from nature. Once the bacteria had grown, I used them as pigments to paint on different canvases, such as newsprint and shower curtain liners. Since I believe that nature creates the best abstraction works, I gave them time to form their own shapes after I painted the bacteria on the canvases. I then made photographs out of them as the final work.
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Eating People number 3 Oil on canvas 89” x 52”
Eating People number 12 Oil on canvas
57” x 38”
Ip Pang My artworks do not only reflect the impact of world finance crisis on our lives, but also explore the meaning of life. My paintings are inspired by Universe, life experiences, art, people, emotions and the creative process. I never stop probing impressions and contrasts of life, while introspecting and dreaming. The new modernist (painting and art) movement in China, since the 1990’s, have been giving me such a great shock and inspiration.
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Fever of Unknown Origin Gouache and ink on panel 12” x 6”
Emmy Mikelson The current series of paintings, collectively titled “Fever of Unknown Origin,” is a darkly humorous and empathic study on the subject of fevers. Influenced by a number references including, Bosch’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony, historical accounts of the disease known to 15th century Europe as Saint Anthony’s Fire or ignis sacer (which resulted in the dropping off of gangrenous limbs), and medicine’s evolving dispute on fevers as beneficial or malignant, has led to the development of a series of pathetic and afflicted figures.
The work is a fusion of this research with references to medieval iconography and explores the degree to which what seems all too familiar and safely regulated by medicine and science is in fact still an enigma. These images propose a viewpoint from that of the fever itself – a metaphoric, strange embodied instance of a set of symptoms, events, and signifiers. Here they operate in a suspended void, which could either be a non-space or the specific interior of an infected body. They are familiar and estranged, resident and alien.
emmymikelson.com 54 Direct Art / Volume 20
Big Eye Oil on panel 48â&#x20AC;? x 36â&#x20AC;? 2012
AJ Nafziger A mystery is anything, which once beheld, cannot be immediately comprehended or understood. As conceptions of the mind that are formed by an artist to be decoded by a viewer, paintings are inherently psychological and mysterious. In my work I embrace and capitalize on this aspect of painting by combining ambiguous, undefined forms with vague symbols of broad interpretive potential. The resulting images explore mysteries and questions from life with a mystic imaginative quality, appearing both absurd and philosophical at the same time.
In Big Eye, four figures congregate below a giant, half-formed eye. What role do the figures and eye play concerning one another? Of the strange forms floating in this blank setting, what has yet to develop? The answers to the questions are intentionally unclear and the revelation required to understand them is left to the imagination or the viewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique interpretations and projections. The picture is vague, and in its ambiguity can symbolize many things.
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Gray 24â&#x20AC;? x 36â&#x20AC;? Acrylic, paint stick
I totally rely on my pure instinct during the creative process and my images depend on my ability to surrender to that moment of inspiration whenever it strikes.
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When I allow my thoughts to take over, my art seems to travel a path of its own and my eyes see that which is not premeditated. This is how I create my work.
Dead Man Walking 24” x 36” Acrylic and oil
Cecil Eci’Am Gresham eciam.com
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Lady with a Lollipop Acrylic on masonite 24”x 30”
Bacon Wreath with Bees and Figs Watercolors on paper 32” x 33”
Just Makin’ Sure 20 3/8” x 16 9/16” x 3 1/4” Pine/Acrylic/Burned
www.russbitner.com 58 Direct Art / Volume 20
Medicine Oil on canvas 30” x 24”
On view at the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 show at Mall Galleries, London
Sarah Soward sarahsoward.com
Degollada Oil on canvas 14” x 14”
Catherine Meehan email@example.com
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The World of Women
Oil on canvas 31.5” x 35.5”
Svetlana Malakhova www.newmasterartist.com/artist/svetlana-malakhova Music of Night City oil on canvas 35.5” x 30”
Andrew K. Currey www.andrewkcurrey.com
Rook Pencil on paper 72” x 31”
Cafe Terrace at Night Acrylic on canvas 12” x 12”
I consider myself a folk artist, an artist of the people, an ordinary person. I paint everyday things and experiences the way that I perceive them. My paintings can be enjoyed by people no matter where they fall on the economic spectrum. Success for me is creating something and having someone else fall in love with it.
www.bethcornell.com A Little Blue Acrylic on canvas 12” x 12” www.directart.org
Volume 20 / Direct Art 61
Manifestation no. 1 Concrete, graphite, rope 12” x 24” x 180”
www.danyasmith.com Thread Experiment #1 Oil on wood, string 12” x 12” x 3”
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Self-Perception Powdered graphite, graphite pencil and charcoal pencil 42â&#x20AC;? x 840â&#x20AC;?
Details: Self-Perception Panels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Details: Self-Perception Panels 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Details: Self-Perception Panels 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Rather than sheer objectification, I am interested in the investigation of patterns and textures that are often overlooked and ignored. By creating work that focuses on small sections of my own body, I attempt to push my work into something relatable and universal, although not immediately identifiable. By creating work that focuses on small segments of my body, I am slowly coming to accept what makes me a person as a whole.
Angela Young angelayoungart.com
Volume 20 / Direct Art 63
Dancing While Asleep Clay, mixed media 76” x 26” x 24”
Eric Phagan www.ericphaganart.com
64 Direct Art / Volume 20
Biting the Hand that Feeds You
Clay, underglazes, glaze, fork, fired cone 6 12” x 9” x 6”
As a child, I remember being interested by the things I couldn’t fathom. I created my own stories by creating images to help me understand and remember the way things were as I saw them. I have always been interested in the unusualness of the objects that surrounded me, an unusualness that is not commonly seen as beauty. People (as objects), places, dreams, and memories, grow in beauty as they develop characteristics of time or age, and this progress captures my imagination. To convey this, I strive to create pieces that reveal my own fascinations. I create narratives by exposing the uneasy struggle between this world and the other, somehow similar world of my childhood imaginings, still keeping the aspect of time integral. Expressive forms of raw textures and torn surfaces create a timeworn, fatigued appearance that make an offering of the validations of age. Surface drawings record my own mental impressions of the form. By working in both two and three dimensions simultaneously, I meld the dimensions and create work that exposes everything that I know I am.
Volume 20 / Direct Art 65
Facing page: Blue Head Mixed media on paper 40” x 32”
Bad Hand Clay, underglaze, glaze, fired cone 2 12” x 6” x 4”
Eric Phagan www.ericphaganart.com
66 Direct Art / Volume 20
Untitled, but not without content Oil on aluminum 48â&#x20AC;? x 60â&#x20AC;? 2011
Jack Rosenberg www.jackrosenberg.com
68 Direct Art / Volume 20
History of Killing Collage 8.7”x 13”
Željko Brguljan This work (in technique of collage) shows a critique of modern society in which human life often has no value. It also points to the fact that the human history is really the history of wars and killings that are nowadays even more cruel and incomprehensible to the human mind.
Volume 20 / Direct Art 69
De Humani Corporis Fabrica charcoal & pastel on paper 24” x 19”
“De Humani Corporis Fabrica” is based of off Andreas Vesalius who was the first surgeon to work on human remains. He wrote a book entitled On the Fabric of the human body which is the title of my drawing. In the 16th century the inner workings of the body were a mystery, and it was greatly frowned upon to cut open a human body. He took great risk in doing something so socially unacceptable, he took a gamble and ultimately helped the medical profession to become more scientific rather than superstitious. The bees hold two meanings. One refers to the superstitious beliefs about how the body worked and outrageous medical practices such as blood letting and making people drink mercury. The other refers to Andreas Vesalius himself, who by initiating something thought to be unacceptable was kicking the proverbial hornets nets.
www.kierstinyoung.com 70 Direct Art / Volume 20
Open-Hearted Charcoal- ink- acrylic on panel 24â&#x20AC;? x 24â&#x20AC;?
Because I believe in the existence of the soul, I explore the relationship between the mechanical, the biological, and the spiritual. Through intricate and labor-intensive artistic processes, I try to deduce the existence of the spirit by juxtaposing mechanical and artistic repetition.
Tatiana Klacsmann www.tatianaklacsmann.com
Volume 20 / Direct Art 71
NEOBAGA1 F. WIFE
NEOBAGA2 F. HUSBAND
NEOBAGA3 F. DAUGHTER OF THOSE
BAGACYCLIST AFTER THE ACCIDENT
72 Direct Art / Volume 20
IRA UPIN www.iraupin.com hard copies available at: www.slowart.com/subscribe.htm