Direct Art Volume 21, 2014

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Direct Art



Following The Dream

Untitled Deer Study 2013 polyurethane resin and cold-cast bronze 84” x 24” x 48”

Throughout the ages, every civilization has developed a concept of beauty, an objective ideal. This ideal lacks the depth of poetry that emerges through tragedy and suffering. All flesh is corrupted ultimately by death.

Jesse Berlin

Jesse Berlin Phocomelic Child With Prosthetic Limb Aparatus Mixed media 84” x 24” x 24”

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Charred Dancers (selected figures detail below) 2011 Acrylic on canvas cut-outs, approx. 72”h, width variable

James Allen www.jallenartcom

The well-conceived-and-executed work of art is both a sensual pleasure and a revelation. It engages our senses and our mind, provoking emotions, questions and, possibly, understandings, some of which may long survive in memory. The artistic pursuit of potent works of art is both a joy and a burden, and I find myself marching to the studio each day in hopes of finding that occasional bit of success.

Foes Of Our Fierce Fathers (selected units) 2013 Acrylic on plaster and muslin, in wooden box with thorns, each unit 60” x 17.5” x 6.75”

Speaking broadly, my interest is in how human beings confront reality. I am drawn to explore the confrontations and decisions that shape our state of mind and color our understanding of all that exists outside ourselves. And I find it all very complicated. It seems quite impossible to really understand some of what happens and I must question if I have even perceived a situation in sufficient clarity and depth. It is obvious, then, that as an artist I am in no position to provide analysis or answers. More simply, I invite you to consider my questions and fascinations and to share a few interesting connections between things that have impressed my imagination. A few words are in order about the art on these pages. “Charred Dancers” is a meditation on how our passions—our lust, our loves, our very lives—are transient and can be abruptly and tragically extinguished at any time. (Think about those ashen figures from Pompeii.) “Foes Of Our Fierce Fathers” finds irony in how the lives of our most reviled enemies arc from soft-handed, bright-eyed infancy to chilling bogeyman, only to end as deceased and de-fanged icons, ripe for reconstruction by scholars and artists. (These works call for sober reflection, a sardonic laugh, and maybe a catcall.)

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Eric Phagan Standing Woman- Detail

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Clay, mixed media 56” x 13” x 12”

Eric Phagan Head Study 1 Acrylic on canvas, ink 16” x 20”

Direct Art


AOF Smith Following the Dream


Michael Reedy About Feeling Everything


James Wille Faust Fossil Fuel Series


Sebastian Garcia-Huidobro Thermo-forming Politics


Clifton Harvey The Digital Realm


Sangmi Son Layers of Colors

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Editor: Paul Winslow Assistant Editor: Monique Ragland Technology and Design: Trevor Pryce / Creative Director: Danaya Oliver Technical Directors: Adonis Oliver and Terell Stanley All artwork and images in this publication are under the exclusive copyright of the artists. President / Director / CEA: Tim Slowinski

SlowArt Productions, 123 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534, Produced 2014 in Hudson, New York


Printed in The USA

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Frank Oriti This body of work examines the culture of blue-collar, middle-class 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? 6 Direct Art / Volume 21

Breather 30” x 24” Oil and acrylic on canvas

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.

Flying With Waxed Wings 40” H x 45”L x 13”D Ceramic

Christine Golden

I create figurative sculptures that explore the momentum of our daily lives and the accumulation of events that become the anatomy of our existence. I am interested in how this momentum is affected by certain social, religious, and environmental topics.

I frequently incorporate concepts dealing with the contemplation of life and our own mortality. Because of the exploration of these themes each sculpture becomes a psychological portrait.

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Big Businessman in Harlem Acrylic on canvas 66” x 54”

Slowinski I have explored the subject of the businessman many times over the years. Of course there are good and responsible businessmen, however, in these paintings the subject is used symbolically as an icon of greed and gluttony. The Big Businessman in Harlem was created in the mid 1980s, while Portrait of Mr. McGready is a recent work, from 2014.

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Portrait of Mr. McGready Acrylic on canvas 56” x 44”

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Jesus Saves Acrylic on canvas 18” x 14”

Slowinski A road traveled can be symbolic of the passage through life, culture and history. Capital Oats is a drive through American history, from origin through industrialization towards the idealized suburban dream, while Jesus Saves explores the spiritual roots. All supervised by Gumby, a rubberized petrochemical man disguised as innocence.

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Capital Oats Acrylic on canvas 68” x 44”

Devoted to Democracy Oil on canvas 39” x 47”

AOF Smith Looking back many years ago, I and my art did not appear to the world and I do right now. I began to strive for an art career when I saw what followed after capitalism. Many peoples values focused on materialism, to compete and exploit each other. I then searched for my identity and questioned myself on what I needed to do and what my standpoint should be. Being an artist is what I choose to reflect myself. Even though there is no pattern on how to become a successful artist and there are no proper plans and support for art students in my country, I believe in the old and traditional way of hard work and always believing in yourself and always looking for opportunity for yourself and your art. Following the dream in this art lane isn’t going to be easy or smooth, you have to trade it with all the 12 Direct Art / Volume 21

secure feelings in life and have to go over the present with the belief that arts will take you everywhere. In return is freedom­­ —freedom in lifestyle out of the limitation of society and freedom in creating to reveal imaginary visions that are brought to life on different sizes of canvas. Although I have to face a lot of unpleasant time striving to make this life work out, I still feel I am a lucky man to have such support and understanding from my family and my love as if I am also carrying their dreams. I really have to thank the Norwegian lawyer who was one of the first persons to confirm my career and build up my confidence to continue and keep on working. I detached two paintings from the frame after my Thesis Exhibition, rolled it up in blue pipe, delivered it to him in a very inconvenient way and was handed back and envelope full of USD100

Scary Night Oil on canvas 68 x 61”

notes. The feelings from that day still reminds me as I ensure myself that I am not going to back down on what I’m doing. From my earlier series I work on the concept of a

neon night life and abnormal behavior of human beings, introducing creatures that reflect life, love and desire for materialism. I Illustrate this vision through multiple characters in a dreamscape like atmosphere. Most of the

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Girl with Temptation Oil on canvas 63” x 103”

Matter Factor Oil on canvas 24” x 20”

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time I share my arts with foreign friends that live across the world through social media, I received a surprising feedback and comments like in the painting Nightmare. I was told that the painting also reflects his real nightmare. All of us have the memories in our subconscious. I want to reveal the mysterious part of our mind and soul, invite my audience to go deep down into their emotions to the world of desire of our conscious. It cannot be identified just an imaginary, because l also bring in my true emotions and feelings and expand it to the painting. I want to travel as far as possible and take people with me to accompany me in my own paintings. For all the past years my life diaries have been put into my paintings. All the stories and visions are real feelings that affect my soul. Although I want to escape from material world and all its temptations, I also accept that it is fascinating. And even as I experience the sentimental emotions of love, I know that it could fade away one day. These conflicts between my feelings lead me to my first solo exhibition, Tempting Passion, Vanishing Emotion. The result from this exhibition was successful in terms of introducing myself to the art society in Thailand. I did not take much pride as I knew this was just the start and there was much more to come. The gallery management here is not going to help your success, it all depends on yourself that how far you want your art to go and in what level you reach your satisfaction. I did not stop searching for opportunities for my arts to be notice and be known by larger audiences. I think I was lucky that the network now brings us so close, I know many artist friends from all

Monker Honker Oil on canvas 59” x 59”

over the world and we talk the same art language. Seeing all people with the same vision. After the exhibition, I faced a very stressful moment in life that brought me to sorrow, problems and responsibilities that I couldn’t figure out how to resolve. I continued with my painting, but it’s colorless. Emphasizing the emotions that are felt through sorrows eyes and the breeze that is blown in the air. When tears are real it reflects through the girl’s red eyes that holds all the sorrow and pain. I passed through that life time by trying to understand and living life less stressfully, leting go of

those things that I couldn’t hold onto and remembering the intention to take this path of life. On the day I first decided I knew that life was not going to be smooth, but when it’s time to feel it, it takes a lot of strenght and tears to pass through and continue to be confident with my first intention. And I still cannot assure myself when I will reach these feelings again. In 2013, not allowing my life to be overcome by all the sadness, I started to put more attention on other subjects rather than myself. I observe and keep up with society and planned to put all the effects I felt from it

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Once in Dream Oil on canvas 63” x 103”

into my creativity. It never changed, the world I knew and was quite familiar with was way more creepy now. Religions and people’s beliefs have been taken advantage of by cunning, bald headed men. I saw corruption in every single scale of life. People acting abnormal or am I abnormal in a normal world I couldn’t figure. Maybe all said it’s just me that’s strange and finding difficulty living in the normal world. I am sensitive and these questions pass through me in a way that the art I create now is content on my daily life and surroundings. The great escape I find is at my studio that is cozy and clean, with soft classical music playing, like a door that opens up all the freedom in creation. One song that I keep repeating is Vincent by Don Mclean, telling us about the life of Vincent Van Gogh and how he strove in his life for his beliefs. He was one of my spiritual art inspirations. Scary Night. reflects the beautiful scenery through the great artist’s eyes, the world on its own is beautiful and peaceful but the human mind are things we should fear. The painting merged all the chaos of my imaginary characters set into one of the most beautiful scenes, if it was real, Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The other pieces shown in the same exhibition like Monker Honker, shows some sarcasm expressed to a group of maverick monks in my country, people couldn’t find any different between a monk and a clown, and Pig Vuitton resembles the greed in ourself. Other paintings are also content on corruption and a contrast in what we think is right but is not, like Are you Nuts!?, When I grow up and Happy Meal. 16 Direct Art / Volume 21

Take Down Oil on canvas 90” x 70”

Blade Oil on canvas 12” x 12”

After now I still have more to reveal to the world. My target is to get old and look back what I have left to this world. I have full intentions to move on and continue to bring visions of the subconscious and imaginary onto canvases. I am sincere with my feeling and I work seriously to reach my expectation. I decided to stay on as an artist. I’m sure there are bigger spaces for me to keep my art.

AOF Smith

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Expulsion (e.) 42” x 42” Mixed media on paper

Michael Reedy

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I recently watched City Lights by Charlie Chaplin and was simply amazed at how perfect it was. It seems like each time I watch one of his films is becomes my new favorite. Even thought his films are largely considered comedies, they are always a mixture of funny, painful, heartfelt, silly, cruel, and sad. Their ability to hit such a broad range of notes is beyond compare. City Lights had the most perfect ending - so beautiful and so sad – that I found myself choking back tears when “The End” hit the screen. In short, I wish I could make drawings like Charlie Chaplin movies. It is not just about feeling one thing – it is about feeling everything.

The Fall (woman) 28" x 59" Mixed media on paper

The work presented here is my attempt to hit a comparable range of notes – albeit, with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek! To me, the drawings are beautiful, ugly, absurd, comical, dark, painful, and romantic (at least about death). Loosely based on the Fall of Man and Expulsion narratives, the work revolves around the beauty of human frailty and the absurdity of everyday angst. They represent my attempt to connect with viewers at the most base level about our collective fear of disease, reproduction, and death - and

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our general simplemindedness – which thankfully permits endless distraction from those fears. I think as you push 40 and beyond you really start to see time in the mirror – in your skin. Until then, you are perpetually young it seems! It made me want to draw skin more. If you are childless at 40, you also feel the pressure of time (and from society at large) to have children. You worry is it “too late”, or fear you will have unhealthy offspring or pass on undesirable traits – it made me what to draw toddlers and babies (and to think – I use to tell

students all the time you could never make good art about babies – live and learn, ha)! When you hit 40 you also start to think in terms of the time in front of you and the time behind you – which made me want to draw death more. However, things wouldn’t be beautiful if they lasted forever. That is the comedy, the conflict, and the romance wrapped in one. Realizing it wont last forever taps in to our fundamental fears. Poking a stick at those fears, covering them in glitter, that permits distraction. I think the work I am making now speaks more

truthfully about who I am and how I navigate the world in this body – fragile, beautiful, and full of death. There is more celebration in that awareness than sadness for me…at least that is what I tell myself, but honestly it is all probably just a foil! However, I am not interested in art that is singularly oppressive or that languishes in the negative. Each time I start a new drawing I hope it is capable of hitting all the notes (ugly, funny, painful, romantic, cruel). I want it to acknowledge death – but be beautiful doing it.

Cluster 1 66” x 25” Mixed media on paper

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The Fall (child) (Detail) Mixed media on paper

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Michael Reedy

The Fall (child) 27” x 52” Mixed media on paper

Fossil Fuel Express Archival pigmented print 10.5” x 12”

James Wille Faust Fossil Fuel Series

These seven drawing-like photomontage prints: FOSSIL FUEL EXPRESS, LITTLE BOY, HIROSHIMA, FRACKING USA, GLOBAL WARMER, MR. FOWL and CALAMITY are from my continuing “Fossil Fuel” Series. I created these images purely as a satirical social commentary on the 21st Century American landscape. What we have endured, and what we are facing. This art represents our lack of concern for the environment and the potential for disasters, whether they be natural or man-made. These images are warning signs, if you will, to encourage change and conservation. They are from a body of over one hundred works that began immediately after, and during the financial collapse of the global economy in September of 2008.

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Little Boy Archival pigmented print 8” x 8”

Hiroshima Archival pigmented print 7.25” x 9”

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Fracking USA Archival pigmented print 8” x 14.5”

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Global Warmer Archival pigmented print 8” x 10”

Mr Fowl Archival pigmented print 8” x 10”

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Calamity Archival pigmented print 8” x 8”

All of the beauty that we experience in Nature is at risk, as we continue on our mindless path of exhausting the Earth’s fossil fuels. The evidence surrounds us. The beauty that is Earth must be protected. This is what my art attempts to encompass. The greed for money and power through fossil fuel consumption has created environmental devastation, worldwide. As we poison and destroy our home planet, Earth, it poisons and destroys us. That is the real cost.

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He doesn’t like obama or that flake the dali lama/ Islam has too much drama – osama/He much prefers the trauma of his sweaty christi palma/ In the pants of the pajama of all those little brady’s/Like a bat outta hades/He does not like the ladies when they want their equal share/He likes ‘em even less they wanna make a pair/Doesn’t like to hear their voices when their comin’up for air/From the bottom of the barrel where he says that all is fair/Reproductive freedom he really doesn’t care/Fuck sinead o’conner and her total lack of hair/Stick ‘er in a rocker – dick ‘er with a prayer/Denigrate ‘n dock ‘er – cock ‘er like a mare/ Knock‘er up and sock ‘er – shock ‘er/Just like betty crocker – show ‘em that you care/ Show ‘em you’re the vicker-about to expire sticker/In dirty underwear / He likes ‘em when they’re showin’ a little bit o’ tit / He likes ‘em they’re sowin’ a sexy little knit /He likes ‘em when they’re glowin’ in candle wax and lit / He likes ‘em when they’re blowin’on his little conduit / He likes ‘em when their towin’ / He likes ‘em when still growin’ - rowin ‘n flowin’ /In his reservoir of shit / and he likes ‘em/When they’re knowin’ – that he’ no hypocrite/ He’s the vicar of christ and he’s bringin’ his rues/He’s the vicar of christ and he’s singin’ the blues/

Kevin O’Neill The Pope Is a Pedophile. Have you heard the news/He’s the fairy of all fairies/Fly by night from buenos aires/Francis prances in fru frus and he’s paid his dues/All men are his equal he doesn’t pick’n choose/But he doesn’t like negros zulus or jews /Doesn’t like the buddhists or the bearded gurus/Doesn’t like the fellas when they’re stand ‘in twos/Spreadin’ that virus from the six o’clock news/Earthly things he’s sworn to refuse/Power and wealth he condems and eshews/Arms emblazoned with sacred tattoos/A humble pilgrim with nothing to lose/ With more fucking money than a howard hughes/ Refrain…… He’s the vicor of Christ and he’s bringin’ his rues/He’s the vicar of christ and he’s singin’ the blues He likes young girls when they shimmy’n cruise/ Bustiaires and little see- thru’s/Fishnet stockings and high heeled shoes/ He’s the vicar of christ and he’s singin’the blues./He likes young boys at a certain age/They look like little toys at a certain stage/Ripe for little ploys and a gilded cage/Ripe for little joys ‘n little sautés/With a little bit of mustard and a little mayonnaise/A smorgasbord for the pedophile sage Refrain……

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K.O. neo “pre posthumous”

Self-portrait during wartime (low)II

Oil on streched canvas on panel

24’’ x 36”

Stephen Koharian

My work based on a war that has no beginning and is endless. My mind and body have been tormented by over a decade of slaughter, denial and deceit. I am haunted by the faces of our “leaders” during this time in history. The paintings serve as my coping mechanism.

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Victoria Crown Acrylic on Linen 40” x 30”

“Victoria Crown” belongs to my series of paintings “Fabulous Feathers”. In it I explore contradictions of conventional beauty by juxtaposing and integrating birds with manmade artifacts. I show male birds as the subjects of art while enhancing their beauty with human adornments, specifically and singularly intended for women. Nature has reversed the gender of beauty in the human and animal worlds. Women may go to great lengths, including absurd expenses, 32 Direct Art / Volume 21

discomfort, pain, even health hazards, in order to conform to beauty expectations dictated by society. The paradox in nature is that excessive and colorful plumage of male birds gives them mating advantages but impedes their escape from predators. Both worlds are subject to the peacock’s vanity.

Vlasta Smola

Progressive Starvation of Madness 54” x 60” Graphite/Paper From the series of work entitled “The Asylum Works”

“An artist stands as a bridge between the physical and metaphysical realms — a mediator. Someone in the middle ground of conscious and subconscious perceptions — I am a man in the middle.”

James Jahrsdoerfer

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Politic #1 22’’x26’’ Digital Print on sterinne plastic, thermoforming, glossy and mate finish

Politic #2 22’’x26’’ Digital Print on sterinne plastic, thermoforming, glossy and mate finish

Sebastian Garcia-Huidobro I have recently been working on a series of political portraits. My first step is to find the images online which I then digitally print on thermo-forming plastic. This material allows me to manipulate and expand the image into three dimensional objects/portraits through the use of heat. I then make a 3-D collage of different found materials, such as bottles, cans, brushes, sponges etc. These are used as a sort of mold that I use under the 2-d digital print. I work quickly and spontaneously with heat, which in turn, creates the 3-D sculptural digital portrait. By working in such a quick manner, my work is often left to chance happenings and unpredictability—which is an important part of these works. I am interested in deforming the face, and making a connection between the object and portrait—

the end product are portraits that have lost their original identity. My work continues to be influenced by the process of reworking materials by using experimental & nontraditional techniques. This series reflects the breakage of traditional print making practices by exploring the possibilities of reworking digital prints in contemporary art. My work utilizes the mainstream ‘print’ of magazine advertisements, billboards, and the internet and literally transforms these everyday images into distorted prints which are commentaries on our systems of life. I came to working in this technique after a long series of works that I completed which were political campaign portraits from my home country of Chile. This series was political, digital banners that I stole from the streets of Santiago.

Right: Tiffany 24’’x36’’ 2013 Inkjet print on Frabriano paper

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Untitled#11 2014 Receipts 9” x 9” x 1”

Currently, I work with receipts as my primary medium. Receipts, collected daily, can be transformed from their function as trademarks and everyday detritus to something that captures and stops a specific moment. Texts and images and any other remaining part become formative elements of composing my work. These works become an abstract version of a still life or landscape through which the viewers can see a particular moment in their own lives. In my work, what I saw is not exactly what you see. But what you see is exactly what I made.

Soyeon Shin

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Not Part of Sale Photography (Archival Inkjet on fabric) 90” x 120”

The dead are silent. Once they are gone, they can only tell stories with what they leave behind. Their homes become collections of these stories and I take pictures that ask viewers to imagine what they are saying. We can see the trace of past times through a mark, a stain, a track in the carpet and so on. I see these marks as expressing the personality and mood of the subject. My photographs ask viewers to try to see the unseen.

Minjin Kang (MJ)

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Clowns On Velvet

Acrylic on canvas 20” x 24”

My work provides a window into how I interpret the world around me, perceived through the filter of Asberger’s syndrome. A hallmark of my condition is a profound inability to communicate verbally. I communicate through my art. My work is macabre or whimsical, horrible or beautiful, good, bad or ugly. With Asberger’s, I see it all, I remember it all. And there are hidden meanings to my pieces that perhaps only others with autism will pick up on.

James R. Whiteside 38 Direct Art / Volume 21

The Eagle and The Mouse Acrylic on wood 10” x 8”

“The Eagle and the Mouse” is part of a series of paintings which are my reaction to the ubiquitous fundamentalist religion in America, as well as the idea put forth by most organized religions that animals have no souls.

Michelle Waters

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Lonesome Life Oil on canvas 20” x 16”

I find it fascinating to communicate through art. My process begins with the simple intent of filling the empty space in front of me. As I progress, meaning and interpretations develop. By the time I am finished with a piece, I have attached many stories, emotions and life experiences to the canvas, filling it with layers of meaning, sometimes both, literally and figuratively. As an Expressive Therapist, I am genuinely intrigued by humans and of the worldly interactions we all have with one another. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to explore existential meaning in the world alongside others who look to find deeper meaning within their own lives as well. Painting is an ingrained passion to me and I hope others can benefit from my sharing of this passion.

Devon Govoni 40 Direct Art / Volume 21

Peacemaker Oil on canvas 13.25” x 16.25”

I paint as I feel. All of my paintings reflect some aspect of my personality or the way I view the world. Our earth is increasingly becoming a battlefield with all sides stubbornly gearing up to be the winner. There is no middle ground where the home of man can survive. “Peacemaker” shows two sides whose tempers have flared, ratcheting tensions higher and higher. Nose-to-nose, each side holds tightly to differing ideologies, and only the Peacemaker stands between the two temperaments. Where are the Peacemakers in the world?

Philip Catania

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Untitled (The Intimidator)

Charcoal on gesso paper 120” x 120”

My work operates on the line between aggressor and victim, powerful and vulnerable, the same way politically driven ideologies are implemented in western contemporary society. Thus, different means of control such as surveillance over people, controlled media, and propagating fear create social anxieties of isolation, oppression, and division. The metaphorical nature of my work is intended to be a starting point in questioning the social and political structures we live in. These multi-layered charcoal drawings of human-animal mutants have been liberated from their origins and as paper cut outs are placed in a constructed environments. The choice of medium and process allows the work to stay in constant flux. Using expressive mark making in its directness suggests not only a complexity but reveals a discontent and aggression towards coercive transformation committed by those in power. The mutants stare back at the viewers to create a sense of vulnerability, discomfort, and insecurity. I deliberately play with ambiguity and uncertainty to imply power struggles, to obtain emotional response and to raise questions about stability, social pressure, and power relationships.

Ankica Mitrovska

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At right: Untitled (An Ugly & The Subjugated) Charcoal on gesso paper and wall 84” x 60”

Raising a Siren Oil on canvas 28” x 24”

Today’s society is comprised of social and personal environments that are full of individual stories. My work focuses on the stories associated with social interaction juxtaposed with mythology and fantasy. I observe these stories with my own mind and develop dramatized settings with harsh perspectives and overly expressive characters. Even though I listen to the visual communication of social interactions in reality, they are converted through my artwork into fantasy storyboards

composed of human and non-human characters. These narratives concentrate on the figure and its distortion is formed in association with the beauty of mythology. Mysteries are created through a false sense of reality and the distortions of reality become the mythology. By creating these manifestations, whether depicting the inhumanity or humanity of this world, I hope a new source of light and inspiration will occur in the individual.

Justin Lorenzen 44 Direct Art / Volume 21

The Victory of Venus Oil on canvas 59” x 51”

Dr. Theresia (Jia) Peng, graduated from University College London, England, and now works at College of Arts, Chongqing University, China as a researcher and artist. She has sought to offer a personal approach to Tibetan Tantric Buddhist art in order to highlight its potential as a spiritual resource, as demonstrated in her art practice. Her art practice,

in drawing on Tibetan Tantric Buddhist meditational and compositional techniques, seeks to contribute to, and invest in the on-going development of art rooted in Tibetan Buddhism as well as to draw attention to its ongoing dynamism and vitality as it crosses geographical, religious, and cultural boundaries.

Theresia (Jia) Peng

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Four Spot Blue Series Digital imaging 16” x 20”

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Vertical Distortion Acrylic on canvas 36” x 72”

Drain Acrylic on canvas 36” x 60”

My goal with these two paintings and others are focused on the transitory nature on industrial suburbs ephemeral decay. As America continues to leave it’s manufacturing base being replace by large office blocks and empty playgrounds it’s impact have left many bare. Pondering the decrepit roads of life wondering what happen, while still holding onto neglected dreams of any kind drained.

Cecil EciAm Gresham

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The Analyst’s Dream 28” x 48” Oil on canvas

In The Analysts Dream I enter the mind of the therapist who takes measure of human existence inside the fantasy of a dream.

Jan R. Martin

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Passage 44” x 80” Oil on canvas

Passage alludes to America’s history of human bondage and displacement; a ship navigating exclusion and guilt through successive generations, across an ocean of cells.

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Crude 36” x 44” Oil on canvas

Crude is a 21st century moral narrative on money, power, oil and religion, influenced by the 15th century artist, Hieronymus Bosch.

Jan R. Martin

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Anticipation Oil on Canvas 18” x 24”

Doleta Kaminskiene

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Reflections I

Acrylic on panel 28”x 47”

Gerard Huber These images allow me to combine my love of the nude male figure, with decorative objects and tromp l’oeil effects, into an intimate domestic realm wherein the interplay of mirrored images, infused with a sense of another person’s presence -- just out of sight, invites the audience to engage as viewer…voyeur…or participant. Responses to each scenario inform the viewer about their fundamental beliefs and values. My intent is to invite the viewer through the sensuality of my paintings—color, texture, light and illusionistic form—to confront their own beliefs and values about the naked body and to resolve for themselves the question of good and evil regarding nudity in general, and male nudity in particular.

Can you feel, as your fingers dance across my back, the marks of all the men who’ve touched me before you? Lawrence Schimel, Palimpsest

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Conte crayon and prismacolor pencil on charcoal paper, 30”x 24”

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Cocoon - Stages of Development Oil and mixed media on canvas 48” x 72”

Joanna Kapuscienski The development of technology changes our daily lives in every aspect. The 21st century is a time which is undoubtedly ruled by urgency and chaos. The cure for what becomes a monotonous way of life is “cocooning.” Cocooning is a way of partly isolating oneself from the outside world and hiding away in a safe space one creates. It causes detachment from others and induces the feeling of loneliness. Debating social concerns, I use the artistic language. In order to portray them, I use the form of a mannequin-like figure. Every one of us, while assimilating to our surroundings, takes on different forms much like a mannequin takes on poses. From this theory, derive figures of the human body molded into perfect mannequins, deliberately emphasizing their artificiality. These forms posing by any means necessary, as the ideal persona inevitably begin to lose human traits.

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Burst Fluid acrylic 40” x 30”

Stephanie Holznecht

My abstract work takes many twists and turns, but my medium of choice is fluid acrylic. I work primarily from my emotions and reactions to my daily life. These images are transmitted through my paintings, bringing out the happiness, depression, mania or anxiousness that build up inside of me. I am forever finding ways to create new aspects of my craft. Working both large and very small, I manipulate the paint into forever changing discoveries and designs. My objective is to induce in the observer the desire to look deeper in to my paintings, and create their own emotional reactions to them. Always leave the viewer with something in which to be enthralled.

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Amelia and Irene 17” x 12” Lithography

Matthew J. Egan I find traditional hand-pulled prints to be a democratic process conducive of a social, political and cultural dialogue. The process of drawing, making plates and printing allows the activity of layering images to develop a sort of plausible arbitrary connection. I have become increasingly interested in developing a narrative quality, gathering many mental images to develop the composition. “Amelia and Irene” celebrates the birth of my second niece days prior to experiencing a destructive hurricane hover over our house for more than twelve hours. The timing of the 56 Direct Art / Volume 21

events related to making the print and influenced the content. These ideas are not without contemplated playful metaphors. There is also evidence of an arbitrary stream of consciousness within the drawings. “Silicone Valley” is a reminder of the delicate balance between progress and destruction. I find myself living in between the east coast and the Middle East, lured by opportunities of the rapid growth and concerned for the impact on culture and the environment. Prints, in general are a means to contemplate such issues and disseminate images and metaphors.

Silicone Valley 17” x 12” Lithography

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All Eyes Are On You 36” x 86” x 4” Pencil on birch plywood, with aged oak trim, and polyurethane coating

Brandon Lutterman

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This work of art was done through out a course of a couple of years, little by little, small stints of work and large stints of work. I am a father of three children, finding time is rather complicated. There are many reasons I decided to create this work. One is too impress my children, “My Dad made that,” is one of my favorites! Secondly I wanted to bring awareness to how important it is that we the people take seriously, that we are the stewards of the earth. Without these most majestic creatures, what would we have? All the eyes are facing out to make eye contact with the viewer, in hopes to help make this point. We need to preserve nature for our generations to come. “Realism for Reality.”

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Collage V Hand-cut paper 9.75” x 3.75”

Collage VII Hand-cut paper 9.75” x 3.75”

Axelle Kieffer I grew up and spent most of my life in France. Since moving to the U.S, I found myself loving to wander around flea markets. In fact, this is how I began to buy vintage cabinet photos and old illustration books. I’m very sensitive to the expression, the shape of the face, the body position and if the photo is damaged by time. If the photo establishes a connection with me, I take it. I am an artist painter. My artwork is focused on the human figures. My goal is to make the body talk. The flesh is a good vehicle of what’s happening inside, how we feel in our body and how we live with it. I was struggling with a painting when I had the idea to use the vintage 60 Direct Art / Volume 21

photos for my purpose. What if I hand-cut paper from medical books and paste them directly on the photos to show what is inside outside? I choose the pieces carefully paying attention to the scale, the shape and the color before putting everything together. The scalpel cut pieces cover the image and thus reveal a new meaning at the manner of a palimpsest. Covering, hiding, assembling the pieces create new combinations. The collage breaks our vision of a known body. The principle is the same for the bestiary series. The making of these grotesque hybrids open new possibilities.

Untitled IX Hand-cut paper on vintage photo 4.5” x 6.5”

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Barnstormer Ceramic, foam, epoxy, wood and metal 76.5”x 84”x 35”

Brian Somerville

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Hoarder Polymer clay, found taxidermied deer mount, mixed media 26”h x 16”w x 26”d

Trish Igo and Jill O’Brien

We found what was once an ideal trophy mount deteriorating on the floor of a junk shop. Its busted seams, exposed stuffing, and torn, ragged ears evoked a similar level of pity in us as would finding a neglected pet. We were motivated to save this discarded animal in such a way to evoke pity, horror, and beauty in a viewer as it had been stirred in us. We had differing visions of how to use the broken seams on the hide: one of us saw the seams busting with puffed pink foam while the other planned to fill the gaps with eggs and decay. Our collaboration resulted in an ugly-beautiful aesthetic that communicates our concept better than either idea alone.

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Beauty of Spring 14.5” x 40” Ink, Watercolor on Rice Paper

Thanksgiving 27” x 17.5” Ink, Watercolor on Rice Paper

Elegance of the Lotus Looking from Heaven 12” x 38” Ink, Watercolor on Rice Paper

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I had been creating art works by not only researching ancient masterpieces, but also inspired by nature and daily life. My painting philosophy is that a piece of artwork should be based on daily life; and also extend the vision of daily life. I love to appreciate nature from different perspectives.

Shaoqiang Chen

The Food Fairy Collage on board 17” x 21”

I was born and raised in Bulgaria. After graduating from The National School for Fine Arts in Sofia , I painted mainly portraits in a realistic - impressionistic style. The cinema and the theater became my passion, I studied at The National Academy for Theater and Film Art in Bulgaria and made my debut as a director with Ibsen’s play “Hedda Gabler“. I moved to the USA with cinematic dreams and projects. My experience in California and New York inspired me to experiment with mixed media. The collage became my favorite genre, some kind of a bridge between the fine art and the filmmaking.

To create a collage is like working on a movie without a screenplay, based only on a character or an image haunting the mind. The found material leads me to the idea and the process is a game with twists and turns. Very often I incorporate my own face into the collage, becoming a main character and a storyteller. I am an eclectic artist inspired by fairy tales, urban legends, historical personalities, Shakespeare and Scandinavian authors.

Zlatina Cholakova-Avolifa

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The Times Oil on canvas 44” x 60”

Yasuaki Okamoto

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Birds and Beaks Oil on canvas 16” x 24”

Sheryl Hughes

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Novo Sol Oil on canvas with internal light 48” x 51”

Jason Boyd I began exploring the concept of illuminated oil paintings in the spring of 2008 after moving to the scenic mountains of upstate New York. Inspired by the surrounding nature, dramatic skies and images of light reflecting on water or through space I began to make studies in my studio and try various light sources as the backlight for the canvases. I have always had a deep connection to the medium of light both practically and spiritually. I feel that the nature of light is that of an invisible dimension. My work reflects the various aspects of light and shadow and how they exist in our world and the invisible world. They often have the feeling of unknown nebulas, abstracted seas or heavenly realms of the sky. The process I use is not traditional. The canvases are coated with a water-based polyurethane that allows the oil paint to affix while allowing for the canvas to remain translucent. The paint and the lighting are developed simultaneously 68 Direct Art / Volume 21

throughout the process, shifting back and forth by turning the lights on and off, observing and adjusting the painting to get the exact effect. Sometimes days are spent just moving lights around inside the piece to achieve the desired result. Applying the paint is an extremely physical experience using my entire body, involving brushes, sticks, and sometimes even pouring the medium directly on to the canvas and using gravity, or air through a straw to guide the direction of the medium. Building these layers and luminosities and using elements such as air (breath), earth (gravity and pigment), and fire (light) creates an organic, elemental depth to the work. Each piece stands on it’s own as a painting without the lights, but throughout the day as the sun begins to go down the paintings will transform, slowly revealing their inner glow. At night, viewed in total darkness, the illuminated paintings take on a completely different look and energy.

Number 36 Graphite on hot press water colour paper, 84” x 52” Mounted to 1/16th inch steel, 90” x 60”

Joe Adams

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The Human Fly Digital painting 36” x 50”

In my digital paintings I seek to create novel and compelling imagery by fusing original contemporary subjects with a traditional painterly treatment. This is my reinterpretation of the vintage Human Fly. The scientist here is the victim and apotheosis of his own visionary experiment. Despite his monstrous appearance, he is a present-day human – working indoors, using computers, multitasking, consuming junk food, and living the life of the mind. It’s easy to relate to his search for the transcendent unknown, and thus to mourn the tragic outcome. I intended the work to be comically gross, existentially challenging, the realization of an imaginary realm, and seductively beautiful.

Eric Wayne 70 Direct Art / Volume 21

Ruptured Vessels Oil on canvas 48” x 36”

Adrian Cox

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Evidence of Advanced Ethos (left) Composite photo illustration 27.5” x 14 1/4” I created this piece for a themed group exhibit called First Contact. I imagined first contact occurring in the distant future; long after humanity has disappeared from the planet. I thought about the perspective of the extraterrestrial and considered what proof would it need that advanced life ever existed on Earth? What would the visitor’s search reveal about itself? These questions helped establish an identity for my creature, which I thought of as a transcendent relative to prehistoric man; both primitive and advanced. The fun was in identifying objects I thought were notable markers of our civilization and arranging them in a way that suggests a hierarchy in these human endeavors. Crisis with the Starclops (right) Composite photo illustration 26” x 17 1/4” This piece depicts an imaginary conflict between products and an over-stimulated consumer. I designed the plush star creatures with a fixed, open embrace. I felt there was a real vulnerability in never being able to change this gesture, especially while being pursued by a creature specifically designed to consume them. The creature in pursuit is what I came to call the Starclops. There’s something fascinating to me about a predator with a lack of vision and it’s particularly meaningful that the Starclops would attempt to force these small stars through a void where its eyes should be. In many ways, this image signifies my feelings about the ravenous visual consumption in which society partakes on a daily basis.

Working in the digital realm, I blend art and technology to form surreal worlds inhabited by a host of my illustrated creations. Drawing inspiration from my childhood memories and nostalgia, these digital assemblages are also deeply personal narratives that explore themes of hope, despair, and the search for wholeness. The subsequent work is a culmination of my interests, influences, and technique.

Clifton Harvey

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Last Call (left) Composite photo illustration 26” x 18” The parking lot pictured here was located behind the Woodville Mall in Northwood, Ohio, which I photographed several years prior to the mall’s demolition in March of 2014. This area always evoked a strange sensation of nostalgia for me. Growing up, it was a place my family and I visited often. Watching the property fall into disrepair over the years reminded me of all the things I’ve had to say goodbye to or let go of as I’ve grown older. These feelings are central to my Castaways series, and Last Call represents a send-off to a place that is entwined in so many of my childhood memories. Pictured here is a large, gloppy-eyed creature drinking dish detergent, toasting upwards; echoing my recognition that with every grand opening, a closing follows. In the Gilded Garden (right) Composite photo illustration 23.75” x 18” This is one of the more personally challenging works from my Castaways series due to the introspective and spiritual narrative I was attempting to express. Oftentimes, I feel that I’m stuck in a rut created by the anticipation of an “answer.” Should I blindly deviate from a path to search for guidance, or patiently stay the present course? Will I be able to process the message when it’s finally received? With this image, I set out to create something that would represent the arrival of that long-awaited reply while also expressing the lingering doubt that exists in interpreting such messages.

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Clifton Harvey

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Falling, Acrylic on Canvas, 6x8 inches

Sangmi Son My paintings are composed of layers of contrasting colors, geometric shapes, and brushstrokes, which fall down from the top of the canvas. I attempt to put my emotions, thoughts, feelings and energy into each brushstroke. Also, each stroke has different natural movements, which are related to gravity, which allows it to find its own way by dripping down the canvas. Even though the brushstrokes look similar between each section, they are a metaphor for the time and space within each individual moment that occurs in the sequence. The paint from one brushstroke merges with the other brushstrokes on each section of the canvas, which makes a new path. This indicates the way moments in space become connected over time. Also, the strokes make the absence of color accessible. The lightening of the tones in each stroke expresses feelings through the transformation of positive and negative space. It represents the higher temperatures that surround fascinating and seductive activities. The colors make layers, which consist of intensely saturated colors, low--key colors and primary colors on

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Fall and Stay Acrylic on Canvas 24” x 24”

the canvas. They illuminate the space and fill up the atmosphere. The contrast between painting colors and the dripping of the saturated colors on the canvas are primitive, unforced and at the same time provide natural sensations and phenomena. The colors are derived from the energy field that is created from the activity of painting. I experiment with new creations through the active comprehension and engagement of every color. Simply put, the paintings look like they are indicating four seasons, which evokes a fantasy world because of their dramatic, attractive and fascinating colors, which are usually not found in nature. Timing is the most important element and medium used to create my body of work. The brushstrokes and the layers depend on the timing of the work process. Radical and speedy brushstrokes embrace the chance and spontaneity of the present moment and creation, which is cohesive with natural phenomenon. The wet and rich layers are the constitutive element of each canvas; in addition they make the space and fill the atmosphere with the emotion.

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Untitled Oil on canvas 15.4” x 23.6”

Ferdinando Di Maso

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Edge of Reason (series 2) no.3 Oil on linen 90x130cm, oil on linen

Simao Huang My most recent work entitled “Edge of Reason” is a series of paintings based on people I have observed around me in society. Since the economic opening up of China, people have tried to satisfy themselves with the pleasures of life. And yet they are blind. They are empty. Many have lost everything. Their money, their wives, their families. People have been unable to adapt to the changes going on. They are balanced on the edge of reason, about to lose everything, blind to the risks they are taking.

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Big Sad Wolf Ink and Prismacolor 16” x 20”

Insanetta and Ralph Ink and Prismacolor 16” x 20”

Polabie and Chickie Ink and Prismacolor 16” x 20”

Vacation Pictures From Wambootie Ink and Prismacolor 16” x 20”

Tom McKee

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Sleepers Oil on canvas 96” x 120” (diptych)

This is the first finished section of a very large painting in progress called Sleepwalking through The Apocalypse.

Kathryn Jacobi

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Elephant Nest Charcoal on paper 52” x 70”

Kelly Blevins 82 Direct Art / Volume 21

The Snoot Silicone 30” x 24”

Trent Taft

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Portrait of Marc Acrylic on canvas 48” x 48”

Julio Sanchez

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African Pieta Photography 50” x 50”

Clecio Lira

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My Melancholy Headdress for Suburban Decline Cast concrete, scrap metal, plastic and electronics 40” x 19” x 9”

Judson King Smith I am drawn to the idea & aesthetic of decay. The fact that, whether we like it or not everything is changing, breaking down; this is the law of entropy. Entropy is time’s arrow in the physical world. I am consequently fascinated with archaeology, particularly the archaeology of tomorrow, or what I like to call “Fantasy Archeology” or “Our future’s past”. My entire life I have imagined how our creations, our physical made world will decay over time, over thousands of years. I’m imagining what appears to be so permanent, so reliably stable to us, in the scenario of its disintegration. This inspires the making of objects, of sculptures. Often combined with my material of choice, concrete, all sorts of detritus make their way into the process: castings of matchbox cars, life casts of people, deer bones, toy airplanes, old spy detective novels, antique guns, religious icons, scrap metal, gears, cogwheels, car parts, native pottery and arrowheads. The found objects themselves form a language through which I express these ideas. 86 Direct Art / Volume 21

My work has evolved from a childhood fascination with urban ruins, graveyards of technology, industrial archaeology, obsolete machinery, abandoned buildings, ghost towns & shipwrecks. These influences are tempered by my recent years of living in the woods, which have introduced organic elements of the cycle of life & death, natural, human & animal forms. I approach art making with a desire to provide a visceral experience of the impermanence of technology & the gradual & inevitable breaking down of our synthetic world by natural forces. I am particularly interested in exploring our identity as humans through history & evolution: with the influence of nature, technology, culture & religion. Working with industrial & natural materials I transform what I see into objects & environments of aesthetic & raw expression.

Later Day Saint II 44” X 62”

Oil on paper

Frank Lupo

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Michael Reedy

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