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The Devil’s in the brushstroke: Lurid paintings of monsters, nightmares & demons for Mexican pulps
05.14.2018
08:42 am
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We have their paintings, their names, and that’s about it. Araujo, Dorantes, Fzavala, Marin, Pérez, Luna, and Ortiz. Many more just disappeared or have been forgotten leaving only an unsigned canvas as evidence of their careers.

These were the artists who produced work for Mexican comic books and pulp magazines during the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Most were treated like casual laborers hired to churn out work on a daily basis to meet the massive demand for comic books. To get an idea of scale: it’s estimated that some 56 million comic books were produced every month in Mexico during the mid-seventies. This was when Mexico’s population was around the 65 million mark—that’s one helluva lot of comics and one helluva lot of paintings.

Mexican comics had first taken their lead from the influx of US comic books during the 1940s. By the late 1950s, they were producing new and original stories and characters specifically for the Mexican market. Titles such as Los Supersabios, Los Supermachos, Los Agachados, Las Aventuras del Santo, Tinieblas, Blue Demon, El Tío Porfírio, Burrerías, Smog, Don Leocadio, Zor y los Invencibles, Las Aventuras de Capulina, Las Aventuras de Cepillín, and El Monje Loco all became best-sellers. Unlike US comics which were by then bound by a comic’s code, Mexican comic books and pulp magazines were able to publish work uncensored. This led to the rise of more salacious, brutal, and extreme storylines and artwork.

In 2007, Feral House issued a book celebrating the best of these pulp and comic book paintings called Mexican Pulp Art. In her introduction, Maria Cristina Tavera explained that these paintings reflected “The fantasy elements reflect Mexican attitudes about life, death, mysticism, and the supernatural.” Interest grew in the subject and in 2015, a selection of some of these original works was exhibited under the title Pulp Drunk. While there are still many gaps to filled in over the who’s and when’s and what’s, there is still a massive archive of brilliant, brash, and dazzling artworks to be enjoyed and thrilled over.
 
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More lurid pulp paintings, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.14.2018
08:42 am
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Bernie Wrightson’s wild artwork for ‘The Edgar Allan Poe Portfolio’ 1976
04.17.2018
10:02 am
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In 1976, legendary comic book artist Bernie Wrightson produced a series of paintings for a limited edition set of prints featuring key scenes from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. The portfolio consisted of eight prints and was limited to an edition of 2000. Most of these prints were signed by Wrightson, who was then still using the first name “Berni” so as not to be confused with the Olympic gold medalist diver Bernie Wrightson.

For the series, Wrightson produced eight paintings. However, the first painting for “The Pit and the Pendulum” (above) proved to be too bright and could not be used by the printers as the thick impasto paint caused considerable glare. Wrightson replaced the image with a darker far more atmospheric picture. It is noticeable that the prints have a slightly darker less vibrant appearance than their original paintings.

Also, unlike some artists who have elaborately illustrated Poe’s classic tales in dark, gothic, monochromatic tones, Wrightson’s work has a dynamic, comic book style that brings Poe’s characters and their actions alive. Best known as the co-creator of Swamp Thing, Wrightson produced an enviable catalog of work during his life, including a series of rare and much sought after illustrations for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the suitably-thrilling artwork for Stephen King’s The Cycle of the Werewolf.
 
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‘The Pit and the Pendulum’: ‘I saw clearly the doom which had been prepared for me…’
 
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‘Murders In The Rue Morgue’: ‘As the sailor looked in, the gigantic animal had seized Madame L’Espanaye by the hair…’
 
More classic Wrightson artwork for Edgar Allan Poe, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.17.2018
10:02 am
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Like Francis Bacon painted something Walt Disney puked-up: Gregory Jacobsen’s ugly beautiful art
01.31.2018
11:18 am
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‘Ms. Chlorine.’
 
Meet Gregory Jacobsen. He likes all those things you hate about yourself. Flab, bingo-wings, over-bite, acne, tombstone teeth, receding chins, unwanted hair, and explosive bodily fluids. He likes to put these things in his paintings. Lurid, grotesque, comic, cartoon-like pictures that make passing reference to work by artists like Francis Bacon, Picasso, Henry Darger, Bosch, and Arcimboldo. Add in some Ren and Stimpy, a splash of Joe Coleman, a twist of Walt Disney, serve over some crushed Charles Burns, with the merest hint of a Catholic upbringing then you can imbibe fully on the deliciously weird majesty of Jacobsen’s art.

Then there’s the content. Sex, murder, androgyny, and strange unnameable rituals all gleefully tied together by a wicked sense of fun.

Jacobsen was born in Middlesex, New Jersey, in 1976, a kinda industrial borough where “they manufactured nuclear bomb parts” and then “had to remove all this radioactive dirt from the site, which they buried in a junkyard two blocks behind [his] house and covered with tarp and tires.” In between exploding factories and industrial waste poisoning the fish and ducks in the rivers and ponds, Jacobsen was the fat kid, the average student with average prospects until he shifted some beef and was told go to art school because they “will take any old idiot” there. Off he traveled west to the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, where he graduated with a BFA in 1998.

At art school, Jacobsen mainly focussed on sound and performance as the painting department wasn’t too supportive in helping him develop his talent and ideas—though there were a couple of good tutors. He listened to the Fall, the Residents, the Contortions, and Captain Beefheart. He also dug “old, goofy, novelty songs from the 1950s and ‘60s, and old 78s.” This provided him with an inspirational soundtrack while he painted more and more strange, powerful and original work.

Since the turn of the century, Jacobsen’s been exhibiting his grotesque and vibrant paintings mainly thru the Zg Gallery, Chicago. His work has also been shown across country in New York and California and over the seas to Berlin and Paris. When not painting, Jacobsen makes videos and is lead singer with Lovely Little Girls an avant-garde, art-rock, prog rock, performance group who wear masks that look like the people in his paintings. See more of Gregory Jacobsen’s work here or have a swatch at his brilliant NSFW pictures below.
 
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‘Majorette.’
 
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‘Glamour Face.’
 
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‘Ritual and Ceremony—No Longer Sanitary.’
 
More of Jacobsen’s grotesque art, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.31.2018
11:18 am
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American Gothic: The magical realism of Andrea Kowch
01.05.2018
01:05 pm
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‘An Invitation.’
 
Andrea Kowch is a multi-award-winning artist who was listed as among the world’s 100 greatest emerging artists at Scope, NYC, in 2012. A highly impressive (and deserved) accolade for an artist who was primarily self-taught. Kowch paints magical realist pictures of women in rural landscapes. Her work has been described as like a cross between Andrew Wyeth and Alfred Hitchcock. Like both these gentlemen, Kowch is a storyteller whose paintings are filled with a compelling tension and drama and a great unsettling beauty. Few artists exhibit the technical skill, quirky eye for detail, and powerful imagination as Andrea Kowch.

She begins each painting with an idea, or perhaps a memory, or an image of say a curtain turning in the breeze or a field (a past) slowly vanquished by fire. She then imagines what events may have occurred around this first image and slowly a story evolves. Kowch embeds each picture with its own symbolism—butterflies promise hope; wind and storms inevitable change. She works in acrylic. Her landscape is the American Midwest—the place she was born and raised and taken on weekend trips by her parents. Her models are friends who capture something of the attitude, emotion and thought she wants to express in her paintings. Her inspiration comes from “life’s emotions and experiences,” which results in her painting “narrative, allegorical imagery that illustrates the parallels between human experience and the mysteries of the natural world.” Her paintings may seem dreamlike but Kowch states her pictures “serve as metaphors for the human condition, all retaining a sense of vagueness because I wish to encourage viewers to form their own conclusions, despite the fact that my main idea will always be present.”

As a people, we share a common thread, and as active participants in an ever-changing modern world, the purpose of my work is to remind viewers of these places that we feel no longer exist, and to recognize and honor them as a part of our history that is worth preserving. Symbolic explorations of the soul and current events concerning our environment are expressed through the incorporation of animals and other elements of the natural world to transform personal ideas into universal metaphors.

Andrea Kowch was born in 1986 in Detroit, the city in which she still resides and works. She studied at the College for Creative Studies where she graduated summa cum laude double majoring in Illustration and Art Education in 2009. Illustration was a starting block for Kowch to develop her remarkable talent as an artist. She went on to exhibit her paintings in group shows which quickly (and understandably) garnered the attention of critics, galleries, and public alike. Then came the first of many awards which started way back when she was seventeen with “seven regional Gold Key awards and two national Gold Medal awards from the prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing Awards” and then in 2005 a “National ARTS in the Visual Arts Award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (now the National Young Arts Foundation), an honor that ranks recipients in the top 2% of American talent.” Kowch is a rare and special talent. Her work invites the viewer to unpick their own narrative from among the many intricate details and unfolding dramas to find something of their own biography as much as the artist’s intention. You can follow Andrea Kowch on Facebook, Twitter, or via her website.

 
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‘High Tide.’
 
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‘Nocturne.’
 
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‘Queen’s Court.’
 
See more of Andrea Kowch’s beautiful paintings, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.05.2018
01:05 pm
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The Peopled Wound: The dark dreams, visions, and fantasies of Alessandro Sicioldr
12.05.2017
10:40 am
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The artist draws and paints pictures inspired by “visions.” These are fleeting visions, “images floating in the stream of consciousnesses,” the kind that everybody experiences. The only difference is this artist fixes his visions on paper and canvas. Maybe not the only difference…

We’re not in Kansas, anymore, but somewhere deep in the imagination of Italian artist Alessandro Sicioldr.

Initially they are just quick impressions and I sketch them in one of my sketchbooks. This is the moment where the image has the greatest power in me. The painting or the drawing is a sacralisation of an idea, but the real idea lies in the sketchbook. I am very jealous of them, they are like a diary of inner exploration.

Sicioldr was born in Tarquinia, he now lives and works in Perugia. Art was not his first choice. He graduated in computer science before taking up a paintbrush. He is self-taught, though his father, also a painter, gave him “some basis” in the craft which influenced his liking for Renaissance artists like Piero Della Francesca. But Sicioldr has never been to an art class in his life. Instead, he taught himself by copying paintings. He’s lucky. He lives in a country that filled with great art.

He has a liking for the Baroque, citing painters like Cagnacci, Cavallino, Stanzione, Ribera, as well a taste for Mannerism and for medieval art. Old art is better.

The quality of colours, the beauty of the composition, the technical capabilities, the concepts and the symbology was way greater in the past. I’m not a nostalgist, I just want to study from the best sources, taking inspiration from the entire history.

Once Sicioldr has sketched his visions on paper, he begins the process of “craftsmanship and improvisation.”

I have no rules for references, often I paint from imagination because it is hard to find models like a giant bird chariot with a strange head inside moving on roots with heads inside and pulled by sacerdotes wearing red capes in an icy landscape.

He has claimed he finds it difficult to talk about his pictures, their meaning, and imagery, “since they speak through a visual language which is ambiguous, sibylline.” Coming from a scientific background, Sicioldr is “careful when talking about mind, spirituality, symbolism and topics involving facts that are impossible to prove with rational means.” He just feels some images have an important meaning and so he paints them.

Rules and boundaries are useless when dealing with metaphysics, so I just let my inner world speak without asking questions. These images are important for me and when I think about them I get a particular feeling. They need to be represented and they follow their strange irrational rules. Why do I put an element there, or use that particular color? It is because it should go there, these are the rules of the painting. I don’t think about symbolism because deliberate and intellectual reasoning can spoil the purity of a composition and the result can easily be fake. I recently discovered that a lot, maybe all of my paintings are composed within the rules of the golden section without knowing, I find this incredible but this is how human minds work.

See more of Alessandro Sicioldr’s here.
 
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More strange visions, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.05.2017
10:40 am
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Big hair, animal hybrids and fleshy creatures: The surreal world of José Luis López Galván
11.22.2017
09:30 am
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Artist Jose Luis Lopez Galván describes his strange, surreal paintings of human-animal hybrids as taking place within “a different dimension” but “not in a dream.” He blends together every kind of element, whether animal, human, or object, to create “a collage that, in its integration, represents a portrait, not of the aspect of things, but of their essence.” Though their meanings are very personal, Galván’s pictures are intended to bring the viewer into a conversation about what is happening within the frame.

They are paintings to be seen not by the artist, but by the spectator, looking for a communication, so somehow the observer is surprised by the different, but feeling familiarity, feeling that behind it there is something that concerns him.

To encourage this interaction between viewer and painting, Galván has explained some of the symbolic meaning he has assigned to certain figures and objects:

When the rabbit appears I refer to innocence; when the mask of Zorro, hypocrisy; machines are cold and human characters live together without problems in a contradictory world of nightmare, that represents the real world without the wrappings that make it more digestible.

Galván was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He originally trained as a graphic artist but gave it up to become a painter. He cites his lack of formal training in painting as allowing him develop “a more honest voice”—one that was not conditioned by the strictures of an art school. His main influences come from Rembrandt, Picasso, Goya and the Baroque period.

Galván’s weird and unsettling paintings have garnered considerable interest. He has exhibited his work since 2004. Last year, his work was included in the highly accalimed BeinArt Surreal Art Show, at the CoproGallery. Santa Monica. His paintings have also caused a frenzy of interest on the internet with some commentators describing Galván as “set to become one of the greatest artists of his generation.” Recently, his work featured on the cover of Swedish prog rock band Soen’s album Tellurian. You can see more José Luis López Galván’s work here or buy one of his paintings at the Macabre Gallery.
 
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More from the surreal and eerie world of Jose Luis Lopez Galván, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.22.2017
09:30 am
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Strangely beautiful (but oddly disturbing) paintings of Scary Mutants and Super Beasts
09.25.2017
08:46 am
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Meet Dusty Ray. A painting contractor by day, an artist by night.

Ray paints pictures of strangely alluring dreamlike creatures and fantastic animals that sneak into his imagination while his mind’s busy working on other things. Ray describes himself as a “purveyor of surreal illustrations and dark art for the strange but discerning customer who enjoys a touch of weird in their life.”

“The strange mutants I paint come from my perception of the animals around me and the way my mind interprets their sacred, extra-sensory position in the natural world”

His paintings give me the sensation of an artist transcribing some deeply important message from a dream or nightmare, the meaning of which has become opaque on waking and only a sense of fear (threat) remains.

Ray is also a musician and a writer who graduated in English Lit. from Colorado State University. He filters some of his literary ideas into his paintings which he produces with watercolor, gouache, India ink, micron, and acrylic. His work ranges from dissected animal heads to strange unnameable figures lurking, moving, shape-shifting, out of the wooded landscape around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Ray’s work is on sale here or you can follow and see more on Instagram and Facebook.
 
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See more of Dusty Ray’s strange work, after the jump…
&Nbsp;

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.25.2017
08:46 am
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Uncanny worlds and bad dreams: The strange, surreal, and macabre paintings of Jolene Lai
07.19.2017
10:12 am
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Jolene Lai was working as a designer for an advertising company when a conversation with an artist friend made her realize her true vocation:

I had a moment of ‘epiphany’. I realized I missed the feel of a paintbrush, the smell of oils and turps, and the excitement of creating short stories through them. But trying to take a detour at 30 seemed more challenging, even in my own perspective. I had to work on building enough courage and confidence to convince not just myself, but the people around me that a career as an artist is really what I am meant for.

Lots of significant events happened from then that would shape the route to where I am today. But the root of it all was that conversation with my friend that changed my pathway and helped me discover what I really wanted to do in life.

Finding what we really want to do with our lives and then doing it, is one of the great blessings of existence. Most of us never get that far. Jolene Lai has worked damned hard to ensure she makes a success of her chosen career. She keeps to an intensive schedule that sees her clock-on early morning, and clock-off late every night. Jolene’s discipline and hard work have paid off. She has produced a sizeable catalog of quite awesome artworks which have been exhibited in LA and in Singapore to considerable acclaim.

Lai paints beautifully detailed canvases in oil and watercolor of strange, unsettling, and often grotesque scenes culled from childhood memory, Chinese myth, and lots of imagination. Sometimes she ties-in her latest topics of interest—anime, Edward Hopper, interior design, or maybe food. The results are like beautifully composed stills from some strange dream movie from which we can recognize certain details as true but are left unsure as to their meaning. The beauty and intricacy of the paintings often belie their bizarre and disquieting content, which ultimately serves to compel the viewer to look again.

See more work here, or follow Jolene Lai on Instagram and Facebook.
 
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More of Jolene Lai’s strange and beautiful paintings, after the jump….
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.19.2017
10:12 am
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Bieber cums, Oprah shits & the Cockmuncher gobbles in Joe Becker’s bizarre pop culture paintings
07.13.2017
11:36 am
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‘Justin Bieber says “I love you so much I fucking cum hearts”.’
 
Joe Becker is a Canadian artist who paints big bold canvases filled with the rich detritus of pop culture. Hellbound TV hosts, masturbating pop icons, cadaverous singers, cretinous comic book superheroes, ravenous cuddly toys, and deranged cartoon characters jostle for attention. His cast of Bosch-like figures can be seen performing strange, perverse, and often comic rituals which may once have had some sacred meaning but are now just empty responses against an ever-encroaching chaos. Others are full frame portraits of lovable furry creatures who look half-bemused by the attention they’re receiving as though such vanity was solely reserved for humans.

But Becker isn’t being cynical in his use of pop culture iconography from the ‘80s and ‘90s. These are characters to which he has a “generally honest and sincere” connection.

There is a sincere affection for some of the pop characters I paint. As a kid I was a weird little shit, I once individually drew every character from He-man, I then coloured them and then cut them out and placed each one in a heart shaped box, I still have it. Some people think that my paintings are fucked up or weird but I think the stuff I did as a kid is truly bizarre.

Oddly, some people find his work offensive. In particular, his paintings aimed at the cult of celebrity—Bieber cumming love hearts, Oprah taking a shit, Cobain after his suicide. These paintings may be “cheap shots” but Becker is serious in his “loathing” for the vacuous adulation of such “celebrities.”

I highly doubt frenzied 13 or 14 year old Biebettes or dippy North American white suburban woman who worship Lord Oprah are into emerging contemporary Canadian painters, so those two demographics will likely not be exposed to my work, but if they ever were and they were enraged by my work then fuck them. I have never received hate mail yet, and if I did I would print it out and frame it. What kind of an asshole gets mad at a static, silent work of art anyway?

Becker’s powerful, complex, and darkly comic canvases have been exhibited all across the globe with a selection of respected collectors snapping up his work as soon as its on the market. Understandable, as Becker is mining a rich seam of pop culture icons to create his challenging, beautiful, and subversive art.
 
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‘Kurt Cobain.’
 
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‘Cockmuncher.’
 
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‘Oprah.’
 
More brilliantly rude paintings by Joe Becker, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.13.2017
11:36 am
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More darkly f*cked up comicstrip paintings from Joan Cornellà
06.30.2017
09:28 am
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Like Joan Cornellà? Check. Got the book? Check. Got the t-shirt? Check. Wanna see his latest solo show? Double check.

Well then, now you can.

Joan Cornellà has a series of solos shows exhibiting his hilariously dark, twisted, yet utterly brilliant comicstrip paintings planned for across the globe.

Most recently, one of Joan’s solo shows opened in Shanghai. Next month another opens at the Galerie Arts Factory, Paris, from July 1st-August 26th. This will be followed by one at the Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York, from July 14th-30th. Then in September, there’s another at the Hoxton Arches, London from September 15th-October 1st. Joan will be present at all of these shows doing the book-signing and hand-shaking and probably head-nodding to your many questions.

If you really like Joan and one of his solo shows is a-comin’ near you—then you’d be a goddam fool to miss it.

Of course, if you’re nowhere near any of these prized metropolises, then you’ll just have to make do with this small yet beautifully formed selection of Joan’s recent and not so recent work. Enjoy!
 
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More surreal black comedy, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.30.2017
09:28 am
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‘Fixed It’: Portraits without a face
05.19.2017
10:12 am
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When we look at portrait paintings, we tend to look first at the face to find a connection with the subject and glean some understanding of their life experience. Portraits were once a symbol of status and class. Nowadays, while there is still some status attached to such paintings they are more often portraiture which reflects the vision of the artist rather than just a record of the subject’s importance.

New Zealand artist Henrietta Harris paints portraits that make the viewer question the essence of what they are looking at. Her work ranges from the more traditional portraits to ones where the face is distorted by color and line or obscured by mist. These paintings suggest the world that is usually beyond the artist’s ken—the interior life of the subject, their flickering thoughts, and daydreams. In a way, they remind me of Francis Bacon who distorted his portraits to present “the brutality of fact”—a more authentic representation of the subject.

A graduate of the Auckland University of Technology, Henrietta’s most recent series of paintings Fix It present well-crafted portraits finished with a slather of pink or gold paint sprayed across the subject’s face. This small but telling act of vandalism inspires the questions: Who are we looking at? Is it important that we see their face? What can we understand from their position, their clothes, or even their hair? Why was this painting made? What do we learn from it?

There is also a bit fun going on here. The term “Fixed It” is reminiscent of some words used by Doña Cecilia Giménez, the woman who famously decided to fix Elias Garcia Martinez’s 19th-century fresco of Jesus Christ, Ecce Homo, by painting a new face onto the wall. The resulting portrait looked more like Fozzie Bear or a deranged Bob Ross than the “Son of God.” Henrietta’s splash of vandalism asks what is the value of portraiture?

I’ve been drawn back time and again to Harris’ paintings over the past few days as I try to answer some of these questions.

Henrietta Harris has produced paintings for album covers, poster designs, and a whole catalog of commercial work, all of which you can see here.
 
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More of Henrietta Harris’ portraits, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.19.2017
10:12 am
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Beautiful paintings of witches, myths and devilish temptation
12.22.2016
10:45 am
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‘Witch and Cat’ (1893).
 
Let’s dig the scene.

It’s the late 1800s—the fin de siecle. Art is all Symbolism and Decadence. You’re an artist. You hang with your buddies. They’re artists too. You all think art is something more than just sex and illustration or mere surface and image. You think art is a form of magic. Artists can change reality with colors. You create pictures that express something of your experience—something from your soul.

You and your buddies have your own little club. It’s a secret brotherhood. You call yourselves Les Nabis—a Hebrew word for “prophet” or “seer.” You think of yourselves as magicians. You dabble in magic and theosophy. You talk about ideas and seek a shared philosophy—some common purpose. You create your own Nabi language and practice arcane rituals. You carry a sceptre made from the snake of wisdom and a pentagram for the occult. You kick off your secret get togethers with a neat little mantra:

Sounds, colors, and words have a miraculously expressive power beyond all representation and even beyond the literal meaning of the words.

That’s your scene.

You are Paul Ranson (1864-1909)—a French artist who takes his lead from Paul Gauguin, mysticism, the occult and spirituality. Les Nabis—the artists you hang with include Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis and the group’s founder Paul Sérusier. You’re a bunch of hipsters—pretentious hipsters—but you don’t care. You have this shared belief that a picture only has meaning:

...when it possessed style.That is to say when the artist had succeeded in changing the shape of the objects he was looking at and imposing on them contours or a color that expressed his own personality.

This is what you think of as magic—personal magic.

In some respects Les Nabis anticipated the Fauves, a little Art Deco and more directly Abstract Expressionism—with its emphasis on the artist’s experience expressed through the abstract. Ranson held the society’s meetings at his studio—which he called The Temple. All this ritual and faux language and holding to strange occult and mystical beliefs was an attempt to big up the group’s reputation. They really didn’t need to as the art was good enough to stand and fall on its own merits. However, the cross pollination of ideas from the occult and the quasi-mystical did inspire Paul Ranson to create some very beautiful paintings of witches, mythic beasts, fauns, devils, and religious allegory—Eve, the temptation of Saint Anthony—which are still as magical today.
 
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‘Witches in Saturnalia’ (1891).
 
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‘Witch in her Circle’ (1892).
 
More of Ranson’s fabulous beasts to be found, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.22.2016
10:45 am
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‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘Aliens’: What’s not to like?
12.22.2016
08:30 am
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Guillem H. Pongiluppi is a thirty-something Spanish artist with a whole bunch of colorful talents to his palette. He’s a painter, illustrator, a matte and concept artist who’s worked on best-selling games, films and TV shows—from David Jones’ Warcraft to international productions for National Geographic and the BBC. He’s a cool guy.

He is also a fan of the movies Star Wars and Aliens. And what better way to share your love of something great than to create a series of fantastic fan art paintings that mash these two movies up into a series called Star Wars vs. Aliens.

Check more of Guillem’s work here.
 
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More Darth Vader vs the Alien Queen, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.22.2016
08:30 am
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Artist gives thrift store paintings a pop culture makeover
10.19.2016
11:01 am
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David Irvine’s whimsical pop culture makeovers of old thrift store paintings seem to have been around forever. His instantly recognizable pictures of Star Wars characters fighting on snowy landscapes, or horror movie villains chainsawing the rose garden, or dinosaurs wreaking havoc in beautiful Alpine villages are probably now more famous than the original artwork they’re painted upon.

Irvine’s iconic pictures are part of his ongoing series Re-Directed Art which gives “potential landfill paintings” a new (and hopefully more fully appreciated) lease of life. It’s a worthy and rather profitable cause as prints of Irvine’s work sell for a couple of hundred bucks apiece and are (understandably) eminently collectible.

New pictures appear weekly and can be seen on his website and Facebook.
 
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More made-over thrift store treasures, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.19.2016
11:01 am
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AR-15s, raw meat, cupcakes and kittens: The luscious, hyper-realistic paintings of Marc Dennis
08.12.2016
10:52 am
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Marc Dennis, Dragonslayer, 2011
 
Painter Marc Dennis has a cheeky meta-style often incorporating famous works of art into his hyper-realistic paintings. He has one that features a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader viewing a Picasso, and another where a museum-goer’s head blocks the vulva in Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World. Dennis also likes iconographic figures like rappers or say, the Incredible Hulk, and his paintings tend to be a blend of modern pop and recognizable art world imagery. It can be a little heavy-handed at times, but the stuff in his Honey Bunny show—which takes its name from a Jeff Koons balloon bunny reproduction trinket featured in some of the paintings—is a bit more subtle and intriguing.

Dennis goes hard for contrast—kittens and guns, a fluffy dog and raw meat—favoring firearms with desserts or cute things to convey strangely masculine still lifes and pet portraiture. Dennis views his work as a sort of statement on paternity, saying in a live gallery interview:

The body of paintings that are represented in this exhibition have to do with one, my being an American male, a husband, a daddy—but most importantly a parent and the whole notion of being the dragon-slayer, the ultimate protector of my family. Hence the guns, the meat, the carcasses, the death, fragility.

The work is pretty macho for sure, but it has a sense of humor about itself, and the paintings themselves have a lushness and mystery that draws the eye.
 

Marc Dennis, Biggy Kitty, 2011
 

Marc Dennis, Divine Love, 2011
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Amber Frost
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08.12.2016
10:52 am
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