Paintings by Justine Otto.

Paintings by Justine Otto.
DREAMERS 180 x 260 cm, oil on linen, 2018
An Interview with Justine Otto.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Justine Otto, I was born in Poland and came with nine years to Germany, where I‘ve studied art at the smallest public art academy in Germany called Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.

What brought you to Art?

As a child I was always collecting small notebooks because I loved the paper as a drawing material. We had a lot of art books at home and there were some special miniature art books available in Poland. My mother collected them and I felt really in love with them and carried them everywhere in my little suitcase. Later one in school I started to paint on bedsheet as I had no proper canvas.

What is your driving force?

I love painting. I love the process of creating something very individual. In particular, painting is a medium which, like no other, is able to save time. It fascinates me that you can see so many steps of the artist in one painting.In addition, as a child I loved studios or working places of artists with everything that went with them. I cannot imagine a life without a studio with all the colors and utensils and the special atmosphere.

What kind of work you do and why?

I am mainly a painter, but I also make sculptures with epoxy resin and other found materials.My recent ”Heroes” series, which was inspired by old black-and-white photos of public officials and generals, is about breaking up and deconstructing these traditional ’archetypes’, literally, in painting.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I find it particularly exciting to explore the border between figuration and abstraction. My most recent works include figurative elements in addition to completely abstract passages. I like the contrast between complete detachment, where painting is completely free, unrestricted by the limitation of a (signifying) form – and figuration, in which ratio is predominant. I try to achieve this by varying the density of different techniques. Over the years I have developed a wide range of techniques from which I can now draw: there is spraying, wet-on-wet painting, taping, scraping, leveling out, dissolving all, stamping, working with various tools. I like it when dissimilar techniques come together and the entire object merges into a resonant image. There are no taboos. Being courageous and challenging oneself is part of what painting is for me. Over and over I experiment with a variety of different image carriers and materials. I have to arouse my curiosity again and again, this being very important to me for my painting process. Learning processes, as hard as they sometimes may be, are part of the venture for me. Often, the best paintings emerge from allegedly failed episodes, paths are then revealed, which might otherwise have remained closed. I also spend a lot of time in the studio simply gazing thoughtfully. Especially in regards to the largerformats, I always need to look at the respectiveimage for a long time from a certain distance. This observing is then replaced by a process of adding and in turn removing detail, if something seems too decorative to me.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

It's a little hard to limit yourself to one artist, but I appreciate William Kentridge so much. I like his open political approach and his animated films, which he creates from his drawings.

Portrait Paintings by Mario Henrique from Portugal.

Portrait Paintings by Mario Henrique from Portugal.
Somnium No. 9 Series III
An Interview with Mario Henrique.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Mario Henrique, i’m a painter based in Cascais, Portugal.

What brought you to Art?

I’ve always been curious and interested in art, even as child. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel quite a bit growing up, and living in Europe, it is relatively easy to move between different countries and experience distinct realities and cultures. My family always encouraged me to do so - I was exposed to museums, art galleries and exhibitions at a young age, and that was certainly a fundamental influence in my upbringing and visual culture.

What is your driving force?

Although I try not to rely to much on it - as it is more important to be self aware and mindful of your surroundings - one can draw inspiration from almost anything. A movie that I saw, a music that’s playing in the background, some old photos I revisit on my phone… the simplest things can trigger me into painting. Having said that, I’m more drawn to the human figure and facial expressions - that’s what I paint almost exclusively. But I can be driven or motivated to paint a face by being exposed to a completely different subject, like an abstract painting from another artist that may evoke an emotion that I relate to and then try to convey in my own work.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint people. I find it to be the most interesting subject. I’m always intrigued by the subtleties and the double meanings of people’s body language, expressions, and looks… Whether I’m painting something more realistic, like the portrait collections, or something that leans more toward the abstract, like my “Ballerina Series,” I’m always fascinated by the unpredictability of the human behavior, the sudden movements, the brief glances, the impermanence of facial expressions.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I always paint with images and photos as reference. I donʼt like using live models, that gives me a sense of urgency and self-awareness. I prefer to use photographs, which I proceed to hang in my studio walls. I print the same image in colour, in black and white, with more or less contrast, more or less zoom. Then I select the colours that Iʼm going to use. Iʼm colour blind, so I have a short palette and paint directly out of the tubes and bottles, I donʼt tend to mix paints. I start by throwing paint at the canvas, without much thought. I have my photos as reference, but this process is inevitably random and chaotic. I use large spatulas to spread the paint on the canvas and when Iʼm happy with the result, I start to “dig out” the subject using dark and light colours to convey depth and emulate shadows or bright areas. Basically, where the paint falls on the canvas is where the figure will emerge, so my process is very much based on chance and spontaneity.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

William Stoher creates incredibly deep portrait paintings, I really enjoy the texture, complexity and intensity of the expressions and the scale of the pieces. We are both represented by the same gallery in Atlanta, GA (USA) - the Bill Lowe Gallery - although I have never met him in person.

Inflorescence by Soey Milk - Her New Exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery.

Inflorescence by Soey Milk - Her New Exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery.
Soey Milk_‘Sādhanā’ (oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches).
On Saturday, September 8, artist Soey Milk will premiere her second solo show with Corey Helford GalleryInflorescence. In over 20 new paintings and drawings, Milk captures the most significant moments and eras from the timeline of her life, embodying them as vibrant portraits of some of her friends. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Royston Langdon, formerly of Spacehog, will perform under his solo moniker LEEDS at the opening reception.

inflorescence
in·flo·res·cence   \ ˌin-flə-ˈre-sᵊn(t)s \


a : the mode of development and arrangement of flowers on an axis
b : a floral axis with its appendages;  also : a flower cluster
c : the budding and unfolding of blossoms : flowering

Since embarking on her career as a visual artist, Milk’s works have served as markers in the timeline of her life, with her ability to summon memories of all the major (and small) events happening, at the time she was creating them. In Inflorescence, the history of her work and the word’s various meanings collide with the pieces of art unfurling as chapters from the floral axis of her life, embodied as a bouquet of ethereal portraits that anchors her narrative as she created this new body of work.

An obsessive sketcher and doodler, for the first time ever, Milk will be showcasing the initial seedling drawings and ideas that would later blossom into some of her best-known paintings.

“Usually I will start with an idea and an image, then I spend a good amount of time creating a drawing of it,” says Milk. “These studies often serve as blueprints for my paintings. I work in many layers and glazes, and often on three or four paintings simultaneously. Usually my process will slow down significantly near finishing, then the tweaking hour comes where paintings are revisited and fine tuned until we are all happy.”

Inflorescence will also continue experimentation with embedded objects as a medium in her work, with painted-over wallpapers and fabrics comprising the background of some of her paintings, pulled from the rooms they were created in. In one piece, a feather from her chicken spontaneously made its way onto the canvas and was sealed in place by a layer of paint.

Soey Milk is one of the young artists who has already made a name for herself not only in the United States but in the international art world. A graduate of Art Center in Pasadena, CA, Milk has carefully developed her inimitable style over the years becoming known for her portraits of truly alluring and beautiful women. Drawing a lot of inspiration from her South Korean heritage, she creates refined paintings and drawings which have the great balance between the sharp focus of the charming subjects and the vivid chaos of the background.

Since embarking on her career as a visual artist, Milk’s works have served as markers in the timeline of her life, with her ability to summon memories of all the major (and small) events happening at the time she was creating them. In Inflorescence, the history of her work and the word’s various meanings collide with the pieces of art unfurling as chapters from the floral axis of her life, embodied as a bouquet of ethereal portraits that anchors her narrative as she created this new body of work.

Soey Milk’s Inflorescence will open Saturday, September 8 with an opening reception from 7pm - 11pm in the Main Gallery. The reception is open to the public and the exhibit will be on view through October 13. The space is open Tuesday - Saturday, 12pm - 6pm. Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033.

Paintings by Scott Hutchison.

Paintings by Scott Hutchison.
Her Echo - Her Shadow.
An Interview with Scott Hutchison.

Who and from where are you from?

My name is Scott Hutchison. I am a painting and drawing professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  I have been painting professionally for over 20 years and currently paint out of my home studio in Arlington Virginia. (A few photos attached) 

How you got into this?

My work has evolved a lot over the years. My current body of paintings are a culmination of years of creating. Essentially, one pieces leads to another, and so on, so it's difficult to fully describe how I came to do what I do now. However, I will say that the model is my main source of inspiration. I work from a model's pose and begin expanding or subtracting from there. Think of the model a song's melody.  I try to compose around that melody; manipulating it, repeating it and changing its tone and colors. The pose I choose is wholly based on my gut instinct. I look for that initial personality or inner life within the pose or gaze.  

What is your driving force?

My paintings and drawings are comprised of overlapping figures stitched together in one composition. They are multifaceted, abstracted, and meant to evoke the idea that our identity is in flux. Though we are singular beings, our psyche is not. We are molded in part by time and our life experiences. 

The subjects in my paintings personify the strength and frailty of consciousness and the depths to which we experience the human condition. The figures are displaced, out of sync and created from a multitude of people, like ghosts or layered memories, both timeless and self-aware.

All of my work can be seen as a journal entry, the manifestation of a deep concern for place and purpose in this world. I reassign faces and body parts through a mixture of trial and error, coupled with random chance and the need to create something from nothing.  During this process, I am fully aware that I am seeking answers to a larger question: Who or what defines us as an individual? Are we here by accident, or is there an invisible hand at play? Why are we here? Is there a purpose, or are we just a product of our culture and our experiences? My art is meant to tug at the viewer and suggest that there is more to the material world.

What kind of work you do and why?

As I mentioned before, my painting style has evolved a great deal over my career. I am particularly proud of the fact that my work has changed and my styles altered to reflect my personal and artistic concerns.Timeline The techniques I use today best reflect what I am trying to say about the ideas of self. The real vs the unreal, or the physical vs the psychological. For example, the dark backgrounds isolate the figure and allow me to create a greater amount of illusory realistic depth. However, I also use synthetic colors to evoke a psychological conflict within the work.

So what are your future plans? 

I am currently doing small to mid-sized portraits focused pieces, but I see myself moving toward larger multi-figurative paintings in the near future. I would also like to expand my subject matter by incorporating the background and possibly changing the shape of my canvases to enhance the broken and reassembled themes within the picture plane.  I have no gallery openings currently planned, but I am excited to be showing my work at a new contemporary art fair called Superfine DC early November 2018. 

Please share with us the artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I am inspired by artists that use light and contrast by deploying a technique called chiaroscuro:
A few artists I follow that also use this technique extremely well: Caravaggio:  and Vincent Desiderio .

Figurative Stories by Lupo Sol.

Figurative Stories by Lupo Sol.
The_kite_of_the_grandpa.
An Interview with Lupo Sol.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Pedro, although my friends call me Kepa. I use Lupo Sol as a stage name, so as you can see, there are already too many names! You can call me Lupo simply.

I was born in Euskadi, north of Spain, but I have lived in Alicante for five years.

What brought you to Art?

Although I always drew, I did comics and things like that, I did not start painting seriously until 2015. After being a web designer and developer in Madrid, I moved to Alicante to be with my girlfriend and, yes, to try to change course in my life.

One day, she, my wife, gave me a box of acrylic paints and I began little by little to resume my hobby, until I came to think of art as the liberator of my ruin, ha ha, but I am still in ruins and also crazy. So, I subsist as I can and I try to continue learning, you know.

I do not know if this answer will be romantic enough, but that's the way things are.

What is your driving force?

I imagine you are referring to my main motivation when it comes to painting ... I always liked to draw characters, faces, in everyday scenes of life, but I can not deny that painting for me is a therapy, an exorcism, that helps me to express my doubts, confusions and paradoxes, and if possible, to denounce the falsity of this absurd society.

That's what I would really like, to say what I think without metaphysics, without excessive symbology ... I do not try to climb to the clouds and tell you fantastic stories about "my art"; what you see is what you get.

Sometimes I try to make fun of the mass, of those empty beings that roam the streets, of all that is conventional.

Other times I try to be a good guy and I paint things a little prettier.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint many portraits lately, but they are invented characters and I improvise a lot. When I have some money to buy a canvas, I think more about what I'm going to paint, I draw sketches. I can not afford to waste a canvas and money... yes, it's a bit painful. Anyway, this does not improve the result, unfortunately. So I try to paint as long as possible during the day, which is why I have many more works on paper.

You know, if I had to wait for the inspiration to come ... I could not consider myself a painter.

I am learning many things about color, so my main job is to learn! I can not tell you much more about it.

I use oil to paint on the canvas, and when I paint on paper, I use gouache almost always. Sometimes, acrylic, but I do not like this type of material too much.

And well, with respect to the themes that I paint, I already told you in the previous question. For now I have not been able to focus on painting thematic series and that kind of things that people like to exhibit ... I only got to paint a series of paintings on paper with dark backgrounds that I called Dark Series. For the rest, mine is not more than shooting without aiming.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Until recently, I tried to paint images and memories of my childhood and youth, but for better or for worse, I have less and less memory. I thought I could capture a kind of autobiography in my work, but it is not always possible.

Most of my life I have lived in the north, and that marks you. Now everything has changed, but in my memories the sky was gray and there were small iron particles floating in it that came from the factories. Now I even live in a much sunnier part of the country, but when I paint, my mind flies like those metallic particles and again I am a child drawing in a notebook.

I really do not know if I am answering your questions correctly!

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

You can imagine the amount of interesting artists that never cease to amaze me. Now I mention Ron Throop, a passionate artista and enthusiastic colourist, an activist of the Stuckism movement with whom I identify myself. Great remarkable guy without a doubt: https://www.ronthroop.com

Nor can I fail to mention José Luis Micó, an intimate artist of refined style, full of feeling and great honesty who tries to break through in this strange world of art: https://dibujoslu.blogspot.com

What sometimes happens to us is that we do not know where to go, or when, to have a little recognition at least as artisans. 

Portraits by Clare Trevens.

Portraits by Clare Trevens.
An Interview with Clare Trevens.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Clare Trevens and I am a French artist who lives in Southern France (Provence).

What brought you to Art?

I discovered painting thanks to my grandmother who was a painter as well and who gave me my first paintbrush (in this way initiating the interest I developed afterwards in painting).

What is your driving force?

At this stage the driving force is no longer definable. My interest is to push further into the experiment and the unknown. It's like a will to find whatever you haven't found yet, a personal quest for something you know is there but still invisible at the moment.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint people, portraits, faces. I can't resume myself to represent something else because I'm inexplicably drawn to it. A human being is complex enough in themselves to offer a wide range of emotions, contradictions and subtlety. I sometimes enjoy looking at a landscape painting or a still life, but I wouldn't paint this kind of subject. Human is enough for me.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I start with a vague idea of what I'd like to do, a creative concept I'd like to explore (like painting human puppets for instance). Then I work around this idea. The models are not really important, they are just an excuse to represent emotions. That's why I consider all of the portraits I make as self-portraits. They may not represent me but I know I transfused a bit of myself in them. Painting as a cathartic process is not a novelty.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

My favourite artists of the moment are Otero Carbonell and Henrik Uldalen, two major figurative painters. Their skills are no longer to be demonstrated anymore.

Expressionistic Portraits by William Stoehr.

Expressionistic Portraits by William Stoehr.
Misuzu 3 80x60 in.
An Interview with William Stoehr.

Who and where are you from?

William Stoehr from Boulder, Colorado, USA.

What brought you to Art?

In 1964 I was 16 years old and I wanted to be an artist. Willem de Kooning was my art hero but, the Vietnam War was raging, I couldn’t afford art school and I probably just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I became an engineer and ultimately president of National Geographic’s world-wide mapping businesses. 40 years later in 2004, I retired to become a full-time artist. I could afford to define success in my own way. It took a few years to find my voice – that which differentiates my work and specifies a moral foundation and vision.

What is your driving force?

For me, the essence of art is the exploration of fundamental issues of our time. I explore intolerance, discrimination, addiction and violence with its victims, witnesses and survivors. I believe that my job as an artist is to get you to think and to ask questions.

What kind of work you do and why?

I do large portraits – up to seven feet in height. They could be called expressionistic. Each portrait starts with an ambiguous expression, shared gaze and uncertain context calculated to provoke you into creating the narrative.

Tell us more about your thought process.

I begin with a live model and then work from reference photographs. I suggest certain features and realistically detail others. I use a limited pallet of acrylic paint along with metallic and iridescent colors that produce changing patterns with changes in lighting and view angle.

Working freely, I drip, brush, pour, scrub and scape paint while applying a variety of lines, dots and other adjustments. I often paint multi-views or facial features slightly out of alignment. I frequently paint vaguely different expressions for each side of the face. I look to cause changes in visual perception and emotional response. These variations might make my images appear more real as time, half remembered memories, and prior experiences affect your perception.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

I am a big fan of Marlene Dumas. I like the expressive nature of her work. I like her method of letting the flows and drips guide her to a final image. She frequently employs a shared gaze. She pushes boundaries as she deals with subjects that some would consider controversial or unpleasant. Her art is in-your-face and gutsy.

Portraits by Lo Chan-Peng from Chaiyi, Taiwan.

Portraits by Lo Chan-Peng from Chaiyi, Taiwan.
He said It has been finished, 162X130cm Oil on canvas 2018.
An Interview with Lo Chan-Peng.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Lo Chan-Peng and I’m from Chaiyi, Taiwan.

What brought you to Art?

I don’t actually know what bought me to Art, it has always been an instinct for me.

What is your driving force?

My passion for life. I want to express how I feel toward life though art.

What kind of work you do and why?

I want my art to improve with the history of men, adopting different techniques and aspects for my art.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Creating is like a passion to seek for the absolute truth. Even though it is not possible to find the answer via creating, yet we still learn from the process. The absolute truth is invisible, thus we cannot prove its existence. However, it is in our nature to seek for it, and the desire for knowledge is unpreventable. 
Aristotle has stated that everything in the universe follows the motion of nature,reiterating over and over again. The power that stimulates the movement is also what all creatures seek for in life. 
This is why we create. Creating may be the only truth among illusions. Just like the way men create life, it is a miracle but it is an absolute truth too.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Yu Siuan from Taiwan.
His works are full of inner strength, which this world lacks. They remind me of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. 

Paintings by Vito Stramaglia from Puglia, Italy.

Paintings by Vito Stramaglia from Puglia, Italy.
An Interview with Vito Stramaglia.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Vito Stramaglia, I was born and I live in Puglia, Italy

What brought you to Art?

In my life there has always been an inner voice that has brought me, since I was a child, to the complex world of art.

What is your driving force?

My driving force is the desire to put life in a canvas. life with its vibrations and its inexplicable simplicity

What kind of work you do and why?

My painting is very material and you can caress and feel almost a skin. I try to get to the beauty from all directions, using harmony but also vehemence, bright colors but also darker blacks. metaphor of life.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Good question. In my painting there is no thought and no rationality. everything comes from an idea while I'm far from the canvas and the colors. I sketch something on a small sheet and when I go to my studio I remain in silence and eyes closed in front of the canvas. when I hear the beating of my heart, I open my eyes and without thinking start painting.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

This is difficult for me. there are so many good artists and I can not say if one is more effective than another. my advice is to see all the art of the world without reading the names of the artists. art belongs to the universe, has no ego, and serves all of us to enter a dream.

Shan Fannin Realist Vehicle Painter.

Shan Fannin Realist Vehicle Painter.
An Interview with Shan Fannin.

Who and where are you from?

Shannon “Shan” Fannin (I go by Shan) Born in Long Beach, CA Living in Austin, TX.

What brought you to Art?

Art was a way for me to escape as a kid from a broken home. Even when life wasn’t cheerful, I could turn to art to get make it happier. In school, earned a college scholarship to become a special needs drawing teacher. I never finished a semester due to marriage, career in Marketing, and children. I took off 25yrs for career and family before I came back to art. Creating has always been a part of whom I am. I just had to wait for the right time in life to really make it important.

What is your driving force?

That almost sounds like a pun with what I create. LOL! Seriously, I think for me it is to break the stereotypes. The fact that I didn’t start on an art career until I was 44yo. That I’m a middle aged mom and woman that is creating paintings machines. Being a vehicle artist often puzzles people. I will often here “I thought you were a man” or “Have you thought of painting flowers, children, or landscapes?” I believe that women are finding their voice stronger than ever in the art world today. We are taking on issues that are political, social, economical, and non-conventional. When most people think of an artist, they usually think someone like Van Gogh, Warhol, or Michaelangelo. They don’t automatically think female. The same is true with vehicle artists. We think male. I want to change that. I want to prove that a female artist can love vehicles and depict them in a bold, interesting way. 

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles on canvas with acrylics. My work has been categorized as Realism, but I see my work a little differently. I greatly enjoy painting with the palm of my hands or fingers. I paint with them for my backgrounds and some areas of reflections. That is why I like to work on large canvases. It allows me to paint with my hands. With my backgrounds abstract, I can bring out the brushes and create a realistic vehicle. I think that abstract background gives the eye a place to rest before taking in the complexity of a realistic vehicle. I consider my work 90% realism and 10% abstraction. 

As for why I paint vehicles for subjects, it is to share their beauty. To make us aware of what we take for granted. Most of us just see a tool that gets us to work, school, grocery shopping, or our kid’s soccer game. However, someone designed that headlight, fender, or bumper. A team of people created that engine. No matter if created to take the checkered flag at LeMans or take the dog to the vet, vehicles are important to us. They aren’t just appliances to me. They give a glimpse of whom we are. We put some of our personality into our vehicles. Fast, economical, flashy, vintage, modified, rusty, pinstriped, lowered, expensive, and more. They all tell the world a bit about ourselves. I like to capture that onto canvas. I want my collectors and viewers to enjoy these vehicles not only in their driveway, but on their walls. 

Tell us more about your thought process.

I don’t usually have a set vehicle in mind for my references. My husband and I attend car and motorcycle shows. WE go to F1 and dirt track races. We’ve been to England and Italy to photograph for future paintings. When I need to create a new piece, I will look through hundreds, if not thousands of photos for what I’m inspired by. 

Every now and then, I will see a car or motorcycle in our travels that I feel I NEED to paint. Something about the vehicle clicks with me and I know this will be a good painting. I love when that happens. It happens maybe 1-2x a year. When it happens, I feel like the painting almost paints itself. I’m just the observer holding the brush. It has happened with my Indian Scout, Mercedes AMG aka Red Pig, and my 1959 Cadillac Coupe deVille. 

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

Wow! This is a hard question. First of all, I don’t follow other vehicle artists. Although I GREATLY admire so many, I don’t follow them on social media or their sites. I find that when I do, I start to question my own style and approach to work. I don’t want to copy someone else, but do my own thing. Instead, I follow a lot of figurative, landscape, still life, botanical, and abstract 2D artists. Each style has its own challenges, and I love to see how those artists tackle them. 

That being said, I enjoy when artists have a bit of an unexpected humor in their paintings. Life is so serious, and I admire tongue-in-cheek humor in art work. Honestly, I can’t narrow it down to one artist. However, I can give you four male artists that I absolutely adore with this style currently: Scott Listfield (Astronaut in a landscape series), Matthew Grabelsky (Animals on a subway series), Eric Joyner (Robots and donuts), and Robert C. Jackson (Balloons, toys, and food). Each of these artists has a quirky approach that makes me smile. 

As for female artists, I lean towards figurative artists that portray strong women in their works. I am not a figurative painter, and just love what these women create. Artists like: Erin Anderson, Andrea Kowch, Suzy Smith, Susannah Martin, and Mary Jane Ansell. These and many more women artists are setting an example for where the art world is going in the future. A world full of bold confidence and progressive thinking. It is an exciting time to be a creative.

Portraits by Alexandra Dillon.

Portrait Paintings on unlikely objects by Alexandra Dillon from Los Angeles, California.
Artist Statement
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a portrait is worth a thousand stories. My characters come to me the way a novelist's characters do: they form themselves through the creative process and tell me who they are. I strive to make each face unique and convey the life that that person has lived, solely through their look and expression.

In my current work, I paint on worn paintbrushes, many which have been donated by other artists. The faces are inspired by Roman mummy portraits, Old Master paintings, and any other source that speaks to me. Each face is unique and not a copy. These fun little paintings have the charm of hand mirrors, reflecting back our deepest selves.

Painting soft faces on the hard tools, like axes and cleavers, underscores our humanity. The intended purpose of each tool, juxtaposed with the portrait, alludes to inner motivations and social roles. The "old souls" on shovels, remind us of mortality and resurrection. Each of my personae has a set of dreams, disappointments, psychology and baggage. In other words, they are us.

An Interview with Alexandra Dillon.


Who and where are you from? 

I am Alexandra Dillon and I was born in Los Angeles, California.

What brought you to Art?

I started making art as a little girl and I never stopped!

How did you come up with the idea to do portraits on paintbrushes?

When a fire consumed the studio of a fellow artist, other artists were invited to make art from the burned remnants for a show. I took the burned paintbrushes. As soon as I painted a portrait on one brush, I knew I had created something special.

Where do you find your objects to paint on?

I comb through flea markets for old tools and other objects. The dresses come from the local thrift stores. Most of the paint brushes have either come from my own studio or have been donated by other artists.

How do come up with the portraits you create on paintbrushes?

I am a classically trained artist, and I can do actual portraits, but I prefer to let my imagination take the lead. My imagined portraits probably resemble people who have lived, now or sometime in the past. My characters come to me the way a novelist's do: they show up and tell me who they are. I don't begin with a fixed idea. As I work on each face, a personality emerges, and I try to imagine what kind of life they lead. They are all strong people who have resolve. I have always been interested in painting the human drama and I strive to make faces that convey a sense of the intelligence, desires and personality of that person. When the piece is done, they tell me their name.

What is your driving force? 

I  just have a need to create everyday.  Otherwise I would be bored.

What techniques do you use to make the art? 

I work in both oils and acrylics, sometimes both depending on my mood.

You call your style “psychological realism” What does that mean?

The psychology I refer to is both the psychology of the viewer and that of the characters I create. The intense gaze of the paintbrush portraits is engaging, and their shape is reminiscent of a hand-mirror. In that way, they become a reflection on self-hood. The tools, as I said are about hidden emotions.

What do you hope your audience will take away from your work?

I hope that people find my work to be provocative, amusing, beautiful and life-affirming. I like taking something that has already had one life and giving it a new one. All the rust, old paint, and other signs of its use, are like the scars we all bear, both psychologically and physically. They show a life that has been well-lived.

Tell us more about your thought process. 

I don't start with a fixed idea, I just start painting and the characters come to me.

What art inspires you?

I love art from all ages, especially the Roman-Egyptian mummy paintings, Baroque portraits, Renaissance and 19th century works. Aside from just loving the style of those paintings, old portraits show us that human beings are essentially the same as they have been for centuries. I like that continuity. And I adore very ancient art. One of my most cherished memories was visiting the cave paintings in Southern France. I am also inspired by outsider and folk art, which comes from such a pure place in the human soul.

Your work on axes, cleavers, locks, and other tools is beguiling. Can you tell us more about that?

AD: I think the juxtaposition of the face on the metal tools points to the unseen motivations of those personalities. Sometimes a pretty face is really hiding a sharp and aggressive emotion, or an eye reveals the feeling of being locked in relationship. It’s the combination of the tool’s intended purpose, plus the portrait that creates the meaning. I'm continuing to explore this area of my work.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why? 

There are so many incredible artists!!! I hate to choose. I like the paintings of  Ryan Mosley They are full of character.

Agnieszka Nienartowicz from Poland.

Portrait Paintings by Agnieszka Nienartowicz from Poland.
Adoration
An Interview with Agnieszka Nienartowicz.

Who and where are you from?

I am Agnieszka Nienartowicz and I'm from Poland.

What brought you to Art?

I have always had the need to speak. Painting turned out to be the best mean of expression for me. I am always amazed how many emotions, thoughts and feelings a painting can hide in itself and how strong can it speak to our soul, spirit and heart.  

What is your driving force?

I just have a need of painting. 

What kind of work you do and why?

My main interest is the human. All human beings, possessing physical and spiritual characteristics, are the living entities, in contrast to places and things, which are lifeless. This vibrating life, soul and spirit hidden in a flesh, pulls me in and makes a reason to penetrate their existence and nature. There is a duality in the human beings, that stretches between body and soul, physicality and psyche, life and death. I try to catch the self-mystery and intimacy in simple situations, gestures and glances, which all causes and specify us as the human beings. Often, I use attributes: objects, sceneries, paintings from the past centuries, which appear for me strange and peculiar in compelling and captivating way. I attempt to go deeply into the mind, to explore human's consciousness and what is happening internally. Intrigued by the moment of boundary between the real life and the painting, in realism I find the way to look at the world in detail and to exploration of perfectionism, clashing with myself and to contemplate in silence, detail after the detai, the complex painting tissue. 

Tell us more about your thought process.

My paintings are a result of my thoughts and reflections. I wonder how to translate a thought into an image. Then, I make drawings and invite a model to my studio to make a photosession. After this, I make projects - at this stage everything changes and very often it turns out, that my final project is completely different than primary one. And I start painting.

Portraits by Roman Gulman.

Portraits by Roman Gulman.
An Interview with Roman Gulman.

Who and where are you from?
My name is Roman Gulman. I’m originally from Kiev, Ukraine and I moved to Israel when I was 17.

What brought you to Art?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My mom is an architecture engineer and my dad is an art enthusiast and both have always supported my passion for art. By the time I turned 13, my dad had noticed I am not interested in anything but art and has somehow managed to buy a book collection of all the major museums worldwide (Louvre, Versailles, Hermitage, Metropolitan, etc.) – an impossible achievement in the Soviet Union of that time. Shortly after, I started collecting stamps with famous art works of museums, renowned painters, art periods and movements. I would research, ask and trade my stamps with others, in order to complete my collection and as a result, my fascination with art has grown stronger. The images I saw in those stamps inspired me to learn more and continue drawing. In Israel, I enlisted to the “Ascola” High School of Design.

What is your driving force?
After school, I worked as art director on many fashion productions with the leading fashion brands in Israel. Collaborating with top fashion photographers and working with fashion sketches, I learned to look for that moment, that pause, when something deep from the model’s character, his/her personality, suddenly emerges and there is this spark that makes him/her look even better than in reality. 

It is that exact expression that I am trying to capture in my paintings today. This is the message I want to deliver.  

What kind of work you do and why?
My work focuses on portraits. On people. When I paint, I sometimes take my glasses off and see spots and blurs rather than nuances, trying to convey a certain feeling, mood or sensation. My goal is to extract that sincere emotion from within the person I’m painting. That’s why I focus on lines, light and shadows – the way they work together and the composition they create. I also usually add design elements in the background to enhance the character in the center.

In terms of style, you could say my work is influenced by Russian and French impressionists in the color pallet and expressive delivery using layers of paint.

Tell us more about your thought process.
I’ve been working in design for 20 years. 

During that time, I’ve accumulated a lot of experiences and memories. My mind is a collection of images, snap shots, frames, colors, faces, flashes and movie clips that constantly flicker in my head as inspiration. Slowly, I focus on a certain group and pick the image I am going to create. The goal is to deliver that image to a new medium of painting adding layers of expression and depth.

I find people to be the most interesting subject. The face. The changes in expression. Those little movements that render the face completely different.

My strength is in color. When I paint, I feel like I enter a state of trance. I sit close to the canvas and focus to feel the perspective, first drawing without glasses and doing the final accurate additions at the end.
When it feels right, my endorphins run wild. I get nervous and excited like a teenager waiting for a date, with butterflies in my stomach. 

The world of canvas is often too polite to fully express what I feel, so I often also use pastels and graffiti spray to convey my emotions.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?
There are a few modern painters who influence my work. I’ll mention these four:

The Austrian impressionist Egon Schiele – and how he grasps lines, distortions, sexuality. How he deforms his characters, drawing “incorrectly” but it feels so right.

Dominik Jasinski from Poland, and the way he captures faces and uses colors.

Ryan Hewett from South Africa and the way he uses stains.

And the Canadian Andrew Salgado and his colorful technique – also placing the person in front.

Portraits by Enes Debran from Istanbul Turkey.

Portraits by Enes Debran from Istanbul Turkey.
An Interview with Enes Debran.

Who and where are you from?
I am Enes Debran from Istanbul Turkey.

What brought you to Art?
Productivity and the urge to create something of my own first set me on a search and i found the answers in art. In this process i wanted to get away from the chaos that life brings and create a world where i set the rules and listen to the voice of my soul and subconscious.

What is your driving force?
Being an introvert and closing my doors to the outer world and the pleasure i take from 
standing next to a piece of art i created and watching it is what drives me to work.

What kind of work you do and why?
I usually work around portraits because i think it is the clearest thing in which mankind gives away emotions and reflects what is inside.

Tell us more about your thought process.
I don’t really think much before painting. It all starts when i am in front of the canvas. When the absolute submission is ensured, process goes by itself naturally. It wouldn’t be wrong to describe myself as an expressionist. I don’t manipulate the process by following the rules. While fulfilling what the painting demands of me i also try to involve my soul and satisfy its needs too. Only then i can crack the wall between me and the painting and create works of arts that represent me wholly and sincerely.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?
Van Gogh deeply interests me. I think there aren’t many artists who can express themselves in a such transparent way.

14 Portraits by Eugen Varzic.

14 Portraits by Eugen Varzic.
An Interview with Eugen Varzic.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Eugen Varzic. I come from south east Europe (based in Croatia) and I am a visual artistand painter.Beside paintings, I work on art education, my art workshops, on illustration and mosaics.

What brought you to Art?

Love for creation, and peace that it gives me. 
Very early on, as a little boy, I defined myself as a painter. Basiclly, I didn’t like matemathic in school, I was a dislexic child lost in the system.The only world I understood was the one of art. In the very beginning, I painted on paper, benches, walls, but in 1999. I graduated in painting. Today I live my boyhood dream, wrapped up in this crazy time in which we live, and on which I did not count on when I was dreaming

Formal education is, by some, being pushed as an imperative, as an alibi. Going to study art, for me meant leaving the rows (yes, I was a soldier in the war) and throwing away the rifle to take the brush.
Art is the zone where I feel safe when thinking, expressing and questioning.

What is your driving force?

Creating, learning, leaving a trace. I want to do something that is rarely done in art. Something that leaves the observer outside their comfort zone when standing in front of my art, and makes them ask if what they’re experiencing is in fact possible. This is where I try to survive and create.

This idea is what keeps me going, although I must admit, it is not easy. Almost every day I ask myself numerous questions, to which there is the only one answer: creation. This everyday ritual gives me a reason to live. A ritual of constant learning, changing, choosing the toughest path, constantly asking questions, with a clear head and faith.

I think that being a painter is a job where you are the loneliest. It’s a job by which I communicate with the world, and it’s easy to get misunderstood, but at the same time, art frees me from that solitude and confusion. Some vicious circle.

I paint in the same way I breathe. I stay the same, yet am in a constant change. This is how I entered the world of art and remained alone on that path. I’m not some” based artist”, as in an artist from Poreč, or from Istria. I do not belong anywhere. At least, that’s the way I feel, and the feeling is perfect. There is no drawer in which I can be shoved.

My paintings are like painted diaries telling me when I was happy, when I was afraid, when I was painting hypnotically … when I was hungry. When I succeed,I will be happy, not only for myself, but because I will show those who believed that I would, and to those who doubted I can.

What kind of work you do and why?

At the moment I am painting a lot, but in the meantimeI work on drawings that will be usedfor a large mosaic project. While painting I am constantly changing, so in the past year I remained in the sphere of realistic painting, many call it hyper-realistic, but for me hyperrealism belongs to the past. The fact is that I have devoted my time to developing a technique that led me to radical change, and this leaves me questioning many things while I stand in front of my paintings.

When people ask me where does the inspiration for my paintingscome from, there is never one answer.Inspiration is a written word. It’s in history, religion, practically in everything. There’s inspiration in my neighbour, who may inspire me to create five new paintings. In the empty streets and deserted cities. Often at night before bed, I make sketches in my head for future ideas and paintings. The images come by themselves, sometimes they turn into dreams, and sometimes they move onto the canvas. Inspiration is in the history of art. In everything and everyone. Faces are like books. The face meets the tide of life, and before it draws back, I record it in paint. Figuration as an inspiration. Traditional painting as a starting point and as a commitment. Models are my friends, virtual and real. I love beauty and harmony with ordinary things and people.

Tell us more about your thought process.

When the slightest little thing,an empty street, the deep void in someone’s eyes, a song or scenery, maybe some wrong movement or light on someone's hands, stimulates creation I start with reflection first. I analyse what could be the meaning for the picture I'm going to paint, what's the message, which way is the way to its realization. What can be universally conveyed . In my art I like to be more emotional than intellectual. I like to be close to man, in all his virtues and disadvantages. I have high technical and emotional assignments; I hope to keep this one up to the end.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

It is difficult to choose one, especially in today's times when all the shared information influences many; but I would like to point out figurative painting in the Spanish region that’s been present recently, particularly, the art scene that I personally met in Madrid. The names that stood out to me were Sebastian Velasco, Jason Butler, Eloy Morales, certainly Antonio Garcia Lopez and finally Andrew Wyeth; a painter of exceptional techniques that displayed the world around him through creating a kind of poetryfrom solitude, so close and necessary to me.

15 Stunning Paintings by Bore Ivanoff from Paris.

 État de transe sur Champs-Élysées, Publicis Drugstore, Paris 8ème, huile sur toile, 61x46cm. 2016.
An Interview with Bore Ivanoff.

Who and where are you from?

At this period of my life I am comfortable to be known as Bore Ivanoff, an artist based in Paris, in France since almost 20 years, I am born somewhere in South-Eastern Europe 50 years ago.


What brought you to Art?

Well, whenever this question, even in quite different forms, comes to mind, or someone else asks me, it always brings a different answer ... Point one, and definitive reason which brought me to art is pretty mystical [...] I admit that one of the main reasons is that, there is nothing else that brings me more self-satisfaction and feeling of achievement than my artistic creation. Or, perhaps because my other dreams and life plans did not work out back in the time, so, Art had become the only option, and the only activity that saved me from the boredom of life, and had gave me the confidence of a value and superiority... a thirst to continue to live.


What is your driving force?

For me Paris it’s the kind of place that offers the right combination of inspiration and pain and suffering to keep me stimulated and painting.

As well I think, or more precisely I feel, that my personal driving force is a kind of explosive coctail which triggers my artistic inspiration, and which can be defined as ; my terifinig horror of boredom in combination of my boldness and my irresistible drive of self-fulfilment, self-observation, self-analize, an advanturism and aspiration, toward the victory over new, and as much more « impossible » and sophisticate challenghes as subject matters, to be translated on the canvas, and shared with the spectators.

What kind of work you do and why?

I always had that dificulty to call my art creation, work, in the pure and trivial sense of the word…
I simply want to experiment how far I can push reality to the other side where the “real” is still recognizable, but becoming totally abstract, building that tension until they are just one and the same. For me personaly, it is more like a kind of pleasure, a kind if drug addiction, a ritual, which makes me feel special and build these amazing bridges with the rest of the world… It, makes me feel so glad that my artworks are touching the souls and the minds of so many people around the world.

Definetely, for me this is an attempting an escape from the banal, conventional view of reality, transforming subjects into spellbounding icons, enchanting the viewer- through a total transcendental perception.

Tell us more about your thought process.

In my recent artworks I am aspiring to create a dialogue steeped in conceptualism and transmitted through realism, turning the perception of reality in on itself ; to a universe where, though the « real » is still recognizable,it manifests as subtle  abstraction.
With technical mastery, with intimate choice of specific subjects, with creative imagination and artistic research, I visibly and subtly « dematerealize » and « de-realitize » everyday scenes, transforming and, recompose them into a fantastic reality.

Which is re-enforced by the joint integration of color, content and iconography, giving to my figurative compositions a larger conceptual aspect, which represents a collection of mesmerising artworks.

All of mine artworks are exclusively executed in the oil on canvas technique, hand made without any technical devices employed in the process of creation.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

For me, one of the living legends of Modern Fine-Art is the great American artist, the magician Don Eddy. I believe that once you see his artistic creation, you will undoubtedly fall under the magic of his art.

Street / Pop Art by Jeremy Wolff.

Street / Pop Art by Jeremy Wolff.
An Interview with Jeremy Wolff.

Who and where are you from?

My name is Jeremy Wolff, I am from New Jersey but reside in Manhattan, New York City. I have always been a city boy.

What brought you to Art?

I have always had a keen eye for art. I was always intrigued by all aspects, whether it was sculpture, classical paintings, glass windows from churches and temples. I was fascinated by the creative process. As a kid, I always signed up for wood shop or pottery as electives at day camp. I loved the feeling of finishing something and people being impressed or blown away that I had done it. That feeling still exists in my work today.

What is your driving force?

Success. I want to be as successful as possible using my skill, what I feel I was meant to do. I look at my art as an opportunity to become a true entrepreneur. To allow me to do things I would have never thought were possible. To meet and talk to people who i otherwise would never be able to talk to if it werent for my art. It is really an awesome and humbling feeling when you really stop and think about it that way as a big picture.

What kind of work you do and why?

I'd say I do a Street/Pop Art that has a contemporary feel to it. I like my paintings to be a collaborative effort with my clients. A lot of the time we speak and work together to create the piece that, for one, they will love, but also, make sure it's still in line with my message and overall feeling of my art.

Tell us more about your thought process.

My thought process for most things I do are in terms of whether or not this will advance my career or not. At first I was always a yes man, yes to everything. I had to get my name out there. But now I have been way more selective in terms of the projects I take on.


What do you have planned for the near future.

Art Basel is right around the corner. I have A LOT planned and hope I meet as many people as possible. I have my own solo show booth at Spectrum Art Fair- Booth S1105. I will also be painting a Lamborghini which will be around for everyone to see and take pictures with during Basel week.
Also, I have my first Solo Show Exhibition scheduled for Thursday, March 1st at Contra Galleries, in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York CIty.

Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

A Couple Modern Artist that I look up to are guys like @Kaws and Jeff Koons. Both of these guys are on the global spectrum of art and it various mediums. They are really people that inspire me to never be satisfied with where I am at right now. Still so much to accomplish.

Paintings by Pedro Covo.

Paintings by Pedro Covo.

From the Brush of Artist Pedro Covo.


I am from a city by the Caribbean coast of Colombia called Cartagena de Indias, my mother is a teacher and my father is a Neurologist. My love for art started when I was a little kid, around 4 years old, I was amused at that time by my older brother ``paintings``, he used to do draw this cardboard characters, from superman to Sigurd the famous hero from Nordic mythology, and put them to fight in front of me to keep me busy while my parents were not at home.

At the age of 10, my mother was named headmistress of the University of fine arts in Cartagena, so I got to spend most of my evenings after school running around those classrooms. But actually I didn't wanted to study arts until I was 16 years old and I faced the hard question of what do you want to do the rest of your life. It was not an easy choice but my parents and all my family where very supportive.

I studied visual arts at the Javeriana university, to do animation, but soon enough realized that I wanted to focus on drawing and painting, and I was really lucky to had amazing teachers such as Felipe Machado, Nicolas Uribe and Justiniano Duran.

Coming from an illustration background I developed a very specific method for image making, to be very methodical really helped me with hard deadlines. So I applied this same method to my personal work, but instead of using someone else’s text I provide my own, from my quotidian experiences. That's how my swimmer serie started, basically from texts and drawings from my sketchbook.

I became obsessed by the idea of telling the story that only I could tell, to contribute with something exclusively personal, providing my vision of the world without falling in the most obvious visual solutions or clichés. That's what I attempted to do with the swimmers.
Obviously Cartagena is a city full of problems and contrast, but that was not my reality, I was just trying to be honest to who I am and where I come from, and I took the work of artist like Alejandro Obregon and Pierre Daguet who lived and painted in Cartagena as my main references.

I usually know all the subjects I paint, this is extremely important for me because I believe that if I paint my mother, there is no other artist in the world that can paint her the way I do, and this is something I want to believed is reflected in the final result,and could be appreciated by the spectator.

That is why you would notice most of my nude paintings, wich are all live digital paintings had no faces. This is in order to be able to share this images in social media without creating gossip and pre judgment, something typical in Cartagena`s society.

After finishing my university undergraduate in 2011 I got a job at the French Canadian illustration agency colagene, where I learned a lot about the illustration and advertisement business and did several jobs for important magazines and tv channels. My last job with them was to illustrate Margriet Ruus beautiful children`s book  ``The elephant keeper`` which is going to be publish by Kids can press in Ontario Canada this October. This has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my editorial career because of the audience and the story itself.  
A tale of an African Child that after saving an elephant from drowning, becomes an elephant keeper in an orphanage. A good portion of the royalties of the book are going to the Lilaya elephants Orphanage.

But after finishing the book I found myself unhappy with the result of most of my editorial work and enjoying more and more the work I produced In my spare time, so I decided to try to pursuit career on painting.

That is how I won a full scholarship in the Savannah colleague of art and design in Georgia United States, to do a 2 year MFA on painting. 
I decided to study visual arts 11 years ago to be able to do what I enjoy the most as a job for the rest of my life, and my ambitions have not change since then.

Paintings by Czech Miguel Barragán from Mexico.

Paintings by Czech Miguel Barragán from Mexico.
An Interview with Czech Miguel Barragán.

Who and where are you from?

I'm from Mexico.

What brought you to Art?

Since I was a little kid I love to make art, it was my way to feel alive and to stop the time. later in my life, i keep doing it for the same reason. The differences are that I am much better doing it.

What is your driving force?

The ability to stop the time and be free, so I want to pass this experience to other people and to give them the opportunity to feel alive.

What kind of work you do and why?

I paint, why because I love it 

Tell us more about your thought process.

I look for the things that move me, that provokes me. the things I feel that they need to be free and to be shared with the world 


Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting and why?

His Name is Cesar Biojo and Why because he is not just another painter he is an inspiration for another artist, he invites them to keep doing what they are doing.

Surreal Paintings by Boris Indrikov.

Surreal Paintings by Boris Indrikov.
THE PREMONITION 
An Interview with Boris Indrikov.

Who and where are you from?

I’m a surrealist artist from Russia. My mother gave drawing lessons while working at school, so I was familiar with art since my childhood. Then I decided to become an engineer and then I studied at the National University of Science and Technology (MISiS). In 1990, I left the university and decided to become an artist. This idea had been slowly crystallizing while I studied. And one day I asked myself: “what do you want, man”? And the answer was to become an artist. And now I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to.

How you got into this?

I attended the courses at the different art studios taught by professional artists. But my principal teachers are the masters of the European Renaissance of XIV-XVII centuries.

What is your driving force?

I guess this is constant asking myself about who I am. In my opinion, an artist is a creator of parallel universes and going through them is a kind of ritual. For me working with a painting is like a meditation. A language of art is the language in which we talk to God.

What kind of work you do and why?

Taking about the format of my works, I prefer large canvases. Further I'm going to do some sculptures and some kind of fabric design.

Tell us more about your thought process.

Can you remember Michelangelo’s words? «Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it».My method of making a painting is a bit similar with the only distinction: the extraction of the image takes its place from the texture that I create on a canvas.


Please share with us the one modern artist whose work you find Interesting?

Alexander Sigov, Vladislav Erko, Olga Dugina and Andrej Dugin.