Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Gaetanne Lavoie is a Canadian born artist who has studied fine art at York University, San Francisco Academy of Art University, and  New York Academy of Art. She currently resides in New York. Her work focuses primarily on figures and their environment. Many of her works depict daily habits that people do with out thinking of what it is that they are doing, like walking across a street in a busy city or staring off into space while sitting on your bed.

"Girl on Bed" 26"x 26", Oil.

"Place St. Henri" 24"x48", Oil.

A common thread that holds of her works together is the fact that they seen to be painted as if they are just still frames from a film. This is clearly evident in the painting above titled "Place to St. Henri," the face of the man sitting in the middle is blurry as if this 'snpashot' was taken just as he was turning his head. Her works also have a tense atmosphere around them, as if somthing will happen if you just wait and see. This could also be tyed to the concept that the paintings are just still frames from an ongoing movie that you, the viewer have yet to watch.

"Thai Train" 20"x40", Oil.

Another concept that Lavoie likes to portray in her works are those little fleeting personal moments that happen everyday within the hussel and bussel of a busy city. One way that he captures this is by painting a subject alone and isolated, not only are these figures physically isolated from the crowds on the streets but the are also mentally alone; lost in their own thoughts. This idea of visually showing this precious moments that have happened to everyone is what makes her work so easily understandable and relatable.

"Polk Street" 18"x28", Oil.

"Happy Pills" 40"x60", Oil.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Hidden Meanings

Meghan Howland

Meghan Howland is an American artist who is based in Portland, Maine. She specializes in figure paintings that carry a weight of something that is slightly more distant. In many of her works the subjects faces are obscured by something often by birds. There also happens to be a question looming around the subjects of whether something is safe or dangerous. With this question the image tends to be snapshot like of a person going through interpersonal turmoil, this turmoil is usually expressed by the obscuring of the face. All of the these aptitudes happen while conveying a situation or mood that is slightly ambiguous. This ambiguous nature makes the issues to be up to the viewer to resolve what is happening, creating an unending range of emotions and possibilities.


"Vapors" 20 x 24, Oil on Canvas

"Ennui" 30 x 34, Oil On Canvas

"Wake Up" 40 x 302, Oil on Canvas

"Tony" 30 x 40, Oil On Canvas


Macobe in the Ordinary

The Art of Julia Randall

Julia Randall attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999 and received her M.F.A. from Rutgers University, and her B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. She lives and works in New York City and in Connecticut. Her main media that she works with was pastel but is now colored pencil, which she found she was able to make sharper images with. Her work is a mixture of beauty and repulsion that are simultaneously erotic and humorous. Randall uses observation-based drawing and hyper realistic technique to create images that are surreal and suggestive. In her collection called "Blown," exhibited at the Garvey Simon Art Access, the subject matter is chewing gum.

colored pencil on paper
24” x 18”

At first glace her works are slightly erotic but grotesque do to the fact that they resemble internal organs. But this confusion is the premise of why the works are so powerful. She uses the chewing gum as an allegory to ageing and the change from care free youth to adulthood and eventually old age. Randall says, "Bubblegum initially connotes innocent, cheeky pleasure, yet the fragile skin of gum also points to the susceptibility of the body, and the dreaded passage of time." Her use of chewing gum also plays with her oral infatuation. In many of her pieces, she attempts to relate them to the realistic act of sex. This is typically done by the use of lush hues of pinks and flesh tones and the depiction of fluids covering and dripping off of the subject matter. She mentions this in a interview with Hi-Fructose magazine in this year. Her other works have also attempted to show the realities of sex through the depiction of mouths on various thinks like birds, flowers, and just mouths themselves. In Randall's interview she states, " these images are not glossy or idealized, but is visceral and vulnerable, sex is similar; real erotic experience can be squishy, humorous, gross; and makes one feel quite vulnerable...and this is what I have showed through 'Blown.' The physicality of erotic experience, and what it feels living in a sexual body."

Wild Berry
colored pencil on paper
26” x 33”

These works from Randall's collection called "Decoys" shows another elegantly done mix of humor and eroticism by combining flowers with meats. Her she creates a dynamic of the two by incorporating other senses like smell and taste by showing food and flowers. Yet these flowers are met with a strangeness around them that makes them both morbid and desired.

Decoy # 4
colored pencil on paper
41” x 29”

Decoy # 7
colored pencil on paper
29” x 41”

What draws me towards these works is their brilliant precision and craft, but also the morbid grotesqueness that intertwines them. It is the mixture of marvel and repulsion that draws the audience to look closer and truly think about what it is that they are really looking at. And maybe even attempt to relate to the emotions and experiences that Julia Randall is trying to get her audiences to feel.


A Gilded Painter

Brad Kunkle, is an American born painter who grew up in rural Pennsylvania, and now resides in New York. He has recently been dubbed as one of the greatest American artist of all time by American Artist magazine this year. The media that he works in is oil on panel or canvas and he also incorporates gold and silver leaf into his works. The use of gold and other precious metals in in painting or as a paint like media is called grisaille. The artist learn of this technique while in school working on his degree. He also uses a limited colour palette which he learned from his professor George Sorrels. This limited palette is similar to how great artist in the past worked like Jan van Eyck and Robert Campin.

The Gilded Wilderness Oil, gold, and silver leaf on linen.  42 x 80 inches
The Gilded Wilderness Oil, gold, and silver leaf on linen. 42 x 80 inches

His worlds like one above are mostly focused on figures but he incorporates nature into just about everything. Majority of the figures tend to be female and he does this on purpose because he wants to explore the strong "Feminine energy" that all women possess. In his work he tries to show the mystique of both women and nature. In "The Gilded Wilderness" above he mixes the urban industrialized world in with the peaceful natural world. This is done by the use of the gears in the back ground and the men in suits signing papers next to them. That is in great contrast to the youthful men and women who are bathing in the golden leaves on the floor beneath the suited men. Also he paints himself into this work, he is the figure looking up at the suited men form the upper right hand corner.

Kunkle like the use of the precious metals because it add to the atmosphere of the work and helps make the audience feel like they are part of it. This happens because the viewer sees the work that the artist wants them to to see and then the Gold or silver leafing create another layer of detail that changes as the viewer moves around the work. Kunkle calls this a dance between the two that is choreographed by the viewer. He also states that the metals help reflect his relation to the cities. By having them as large swathes in the background it is reminiscent of the glass covered building.

Bird of Paradise Oil and silver leaf on wood.  30 x 40 inches
Bird of Paradise Oil and silver leaf on wood. 30 x 40 inches

In these two works it illustrates the use of the large metallic backgrounds but gives two different feels. In the painting above titled "Bird of Paradise" the silver background is more like a wall in a room, which would more likely be found in a city. While the second work titled " The Bee Healer" the silver background is more like a dreary autumnal day, emphasizing the country.

 The Bee Healer Oil, gold and silver leaf on wood.  25 x 44 inches

 The Bee Healer Oil, gold and silver leaf on wood. 25 x 44 inches


Friday, November 30, 2012

Hidden Histories

Holly Hardin Clabaugh, is an American artist who is based in Indiana and her work typically is composed of photography with a nostalgic touch. But in her most resent works published in the thirteenth edition of Blue Canvas she has cast off the the cosy nostalgia and decided to show the horror of human nature.

The main theme of the works that are shown in Blue Canvas are of the life of children that was left in tatters due to the Second World War. In some of these works she artistically joins vintage photographs from the holocaust and joins them with photographs of commonly found things like scissors, a pin cushion, and whithered branches. The pictures that she uses from the Holocaust are from the atrocious experiments that Dr. Mengele did to the prisoners of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. At first glance the pieces that she has done are beautiful and perplexing and a little eerie, yet the full intensity does not sink in until the summary of the work is read. Additional knowledge and research also helps solidify the gravety of the subject matter.

 In one work titled "Sterilization Experiment of Dr. Mengele" it shows a woman's torso who has been subjected to a mastectomy and below that a picture of a died birds nest with two broken eggs. There is an immense power in just the fractured bird eggs that illustrate how desperate that women must feel after being experimented on. There are also two works with children, one with a pin cushion acting as the brain with pins in it and the other a little child gasping for a breath and having withered twigs as a set of lungs. When theses works are taking into account along with the actual experimentation that was practiced the full breadth of emotion can be felt by the viewer.

The premise of her work focuses on the heartache war causes and is viewed through the eyes of a child. One of the things that makes these works so strong and compelling in the fact that this has happened no more than 70 years ago. The way that she has also executed the work is very elegent and seems to look at the lives that have had to deal with these curelties through reverance and abmoreation.

To view her works please follow the link   http://www.bluecanvas.com/hollyhclabaugh

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Drew Young

Drew Young

A young up and coming artist from Vancouver Canada. his work is typically a collaboration of figurative painting and collage. He recently has shown work in London at the rook and raven art gallery, and other galleries in and around Vancouver and New york. He has recently become the youngest instructor of the federation of  Canadian artist, and instruction affiliate at the Barnabe and North Shore Guild teaching classes about oil painting. His art is internationally recognized  and he has been working on a project called Snag, which ids to get highly sought after works and exhibit them in one venue.

His work has a running narrative about lost and found adolescence, and moments where we, youth, act on impulses, often finding ourselves demonstrating irreverent, self-gratifying exploits. in his works he try to render these ideas. Majority of his works are rather large ranging from 24x24 to a whole wall instillation.

The Usual Lengthy Visit  40'x42' oil and collage on mahogany panel.

 Painting titled Skeptic by Drew Young
 Skeptic 28'x29' oil on mahogany.

Anderw Young Painting titled Isabelle
Isabelle 6"x9" collage and pencil on berch ply.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Science and Art

Bioart and Ecoart

Scientist and artist are teaming up to help in aiding the expansive research of Multispecies Ethnography, a way in which they helped get more scientist artist and the public was through the Mulitspecies Salon held in 2008. The Multispecies Salon art exhibit in the PLAySPACEGallery of the California College of Arts—alongside the 2008 AAA Annual Meeting—explored how artists
might be allies in thinking about biological beings and becomings in anthropology. Several Artist/ Scientist like Marina Johnston, Caitlin Berrigan, Frederic Landmans and Patrica Piccinini joined together to mix paintings, sculptures, performance art and animal art in order to promote the Multispecies Salon.

    This poster illustrates one of the many creatures that have been created to help be a "spokes person" for endangered animals. This bizarre humanoid creature on the poster was created by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini. His purpose is to help protect the critically endangered Golden Helmeted Honeyeater. Johnston says, "He will protect [the honeyeater] from exotic predators, and he has powerful jaws that allow him to bite into trees, to provide the birds with sap.” So not only do the artist create wonderful spokes creatures but they also give it purposeful morphologies.

     Other artist aim at the anthropological view point and include things that have or could be affected by human actions that both hurt people and other organisms with in an ecosystem. Artist Marina Johnston created a sculpture adequately named "Twins." in this sculpture, there are two ceramic grubs with prematurely developed wings. this wings are meant to be an allegory of premature human development. Specifically early breast development in young girls due to the use of hormones in animal product like beef. The underlying theme is why does the body develop it, in this case wings, before the animal can walk. Thus putting it in to another perplexing situation.

For the performance art aspect of the Salon, Caitlin Berrigan used her own blood to feed a dandelion. This may not seem that significant and only just a little peculiar, but it was to show that her own blood is able to help another living organism; in this case a plant. Her work is powerful because she is infected with Hepatitis C which makes her blood poison to other humans and harmful to other mammals. But in the case of the Dandelion it acts a fertilizer because it is rich in nitrogen, which the plant needs in order to grow. ( Exscript from Cultural Anthropology Journal)

"Noting that the recipient of her nurturing gesture is regarded as a “weed,”
Berrigan worked to give the dandelion biographical and political life (bios), elevating
it from the realm of bare life. “The dandelion actually has a lot to offer us even
though they grow everywhere, and are killed with herbicides,” she later told us
(see also Berrigan 2009). Berrigan’s art and personal medical regimen might be
understood as a “microbiopolitical” intervention, calling attention to how living
with microorganisms (in this case, a pathogenic virus) is caught up in discourses
about how humans ought live with one another."

The other form of art that was exhibited in many different ways between just using insects live in a cage to grab an audience, like butterflies, or bacteria growing in a petri dish. Scientist Frederic Landmans used Drosophila flies in a container to show their culturally shaped patterns. He also illuminated the Wahlbacia bacteria to show how it lives everywhere and is found in every living animals digestive tract.


Other animal exhibits shown were mice that have had their pigment cells mixed with that of jellyfish causing the to glow in UV light, this has also been done with rats, fish, pigs and other test animals. this portion of the Salon was under genetically modified animals which also had a few plants.


<a href="http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=54397635&site=ehost-live">THE EMERGENCE OF MULTISPECIES ETHNOGRAPHY.</a>

Cultural Anthropology; Nov2010, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p545-576, 32p, 4 Black and White Photographs