For years, I’ve been a huge fan of Andrea Wan’s work. And, with her latest series Fakelore, it’s no exception.
What draws me in is the subject matter. Andrea’s paintings are surreal. They are eerie. They are devoid of environment, giving us little context for work that is very narrative. She plays with scale, turning the tables on who/what is large and small.
I am fairly certain I’ve talked about Balthus before on this blog, but at this point, it is probably years since I have done so. But, last weekend I saw the movie Stoker and found the visual similarities between Balthus’ paintings and the visuals of the film striking. (Later, I found an interview with one of the actresses, Mia Wasikowska. She said that did indeed look at Balthus’ work to prepare for their roles.)
Balthus is a Polish-French painter who preferred to be seen and not heard. Coinicentally, there is little writing about him, so the emphasis of course is on looking at his works. Balthus preferred the figure, and his most famous paintings depicted young girls in an often erotic context. They were and still are controversial because of this, although the artist insists that this is not his intention.
Two above images via.
Above two images via.
Some stills from Stoker. Not a ton of them out there yet, but hopefully you get the idea. I would definitely recommend seeing the film! It also takes cues from Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt. So, if you are a Hitchcock fan like me, you’ll probably really enjoy this.
My week will no doubt be insane because I am installing my thesis exhibition at MICA’s Studio Center. My project (and newest endeavor), eyra, will be translated from the web to a physical space. I will have more details about the opening for you later.
Okay! Enough about that. These paintings are by Aleksandra Waliszewska and make me stop in my tracks to examine how both mysterious and disturbing they are. I can’t turn away despite feeling uneasy about their grotesque beauty and blood and death-ridden scenes. I’m very intrigued.
Zach Storm’s studio is located in a tree-line neighborhood at the edge of Baltimore City. It seems to be a peaceful setting, full of detached single-family homes. Here, in a large shed (with no heat!) is where Zach keeps his studio. Personally, I’m jealous; his space has amazing natural light, airy, away from distraction. It really feels like a place to escape.
I first wrote about Zach’s work after I saw these paintings in a show at MICA. They are vibrant and glitter-full (Literally. He used glitter spray paint in these works on paper.):
Looking at his work then (2012) to now (2013), I still see the same artist’s hand, but with his new series of works, they are more refined. Zach said he has a tendency to overwork things, and the paintings currently in his studio are a result of the systems of he’s created when working. This guards against this inclination. The paintings are worked on simultaneously and sequentially in an orderly fashion, and give Zach the freedom to move from piece to piece if he’s frustrated or feeling stuck.
Currently, these paintings are on aluminum, using automotive primer, pigment and urethane. Despite my initial assumption that Zach knew a lot about materials, he said he didn’t! The process of learning and reacting to the material reactions with each other is very much apart of these works. At times, he calls the reaction between materials “unnerving,” such as the way the pigment slides or resists primer, but ultimately an important to the painting’s development.
As someone studying illustration, I loved that reference. I would have never thought of that when looking at his work, but it makes perfect sense.
Zach has his first solo show, Solitare, opening soon at the Johannes Vogt Gallery in New York City. If you live in the area, head to his opening on Thursday, March 28, from 6PM — 8PM. More details on Facebook.
Nothing is too precious. You can always peel it off, sand it again, and start over!
Marlene Steyn is a student at the Royal College of Art in London, where she is obtaining her degree in Painting. Originally from South Africa, her work is a patchwork of faces, styles, and media that use both additive and subtractive qualities to build her compositions.
Marlene depicts fantastical worlds, inner turmoil, and conflict in her paintings. With the way she handles media, it makes for a beautiful grotesqueness in her work.
All images via her Tumblr.
He’s an American folk artist who worked as a custodian in Chicago, Illinois. Darger became famous after his death, when a 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story were discovered.
In the Realms of the Unreal (shortened title) is the story of the 7 daughters of Robert Vivian who are aid in a rebellion in the nation of Abbieannia, working against the evil regime of child slavery imposed by John Manley and the Glandelinians. Children go to war, fighting, and are often killed in battle or captured and tortured.
Above and below, some images from Darger’s opus. All images via the American Folk Art Museum website.