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June 2012

Zach Schoenbaum

Zach SchoenbaumEpic journeys come to mind when viewing the imaginative paintings of Zach Schoenbaum. Often venturing beyond the realm of reality, he creates magical characters that inhabit distant worlds of fantasy and wonder but with convincing realism.


Zach Schoenbaum was diagnosed with over-imaginative strangeness at a young age. Born to a Japanese-American, nomadic mystic and a musician-turned-strongman shortly before the breakdown of their relationship; he spent the first years of his life in a series of cheap housing along the North American Pacific Coast, pondering the difference between animals and humanity.

After a four-year-long coming of age ritual in a Hawaiian compound, Zach returned to the mainland to live with his father and study art. The next few years of exploring the Los Angelean jungles and a short stint in the land of his mother's ancestry prepared him to finally start his rigorous training at Otis College of Art and Design. Once the dust had settled, the flames were doused, and the blood was mopped away, he emerged with a degree clutched in shaky hands, and set out into the world.

It is said that he now roams the digital plains, hunting freelance gigs and occasionally encountering online communities of others who share his overactive imagination and talent for embellishing the mundane.


Jason Bard Yarmosky

Yarmosky_sound_smJason Bard Yarmosky  is a painter whose work draws the viewer into an unusual and slightly disconcerting space. In his recent Elder Kinder series he pays homage to the idea that age is not a deterrent to living fully, but rather a springboard for exploration.

"My paintings examine the relationship between the limitations of social norms and the freedom to explore, particularly the juxtaposition between the young and old. The carefree nature that is associated with youth often gives way to borders and boundaries placed on adult behavior. As we transition from adult to elderly, these raw freedoms often reemerge. As a child you learn to walk; later in life we learn to unwalk, literally and metaphorically. However, the dreams of the young, often sublimated by the years, never really disappear.

I choose to explore this theme with two people very close to me, my eighty-four year old grandparents. The process of aging has always intrigued me. The lack of permanence in life and the inevitability of aging has always been on my mind growing up. I am also interested in how people, in both mind and body, respond to the passage of time. As Madeleine L'Engle 
said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.”

The resulting paintings capture the intersection of the battered body and the vibrant soul. The images in this series can be seen as either humiliating or empowering. The pessimist sees the images through the lens of shame and vulnerability, weighed down by social convention. The optimist sees a sense of liberation, where an adolescent's playfulness and the freedom to dream complement the wisdom of old age."

George Hugnet

George-HugnetGeorge Hugnet was awriter but might be best known for his hauntngly beautiful and erotic photomontage. Hugnet was a French graphic artist but was also active as a poet, writer, art historian, graphic artist, bookbinding designer, critic and film director. Hugnet was a figure in the Dada movement and Surrealism.

A series of works collected under the title, he Love Life of the Spumifers, or La Vie Amoureuse des Spumifères, combines Surrealist poetry's fascination with l'amour and Dada's tendency towards deliberate grammatical spontaneity and absurdity. Words like bowoodling, friskadoodling and labamaraminating are concocted by Hugnet to describe the seductive strategies of his imaginary creatures. Each text is dedicated to a different creature, describing how it woos, teases, gropes and molests its intended love conquest. Each Spumifer is illustrated by a gouache "beast," which is added to an early Twentieth Century vintage "French" photo postcard. The mellifluously painted monsters slyly slither around the bare flesh of the pictured "mademoiselle," nibbling and tickling, arousing her sexual desire. Hugnet's illustrations seduce the viewer, parodying the human pursuit of love and lovemaking through these adorable grotesques.

Richard Denny

Richard DennyRichard Denny is an artist who experiments with a range of materials His "portraiture" work called The Visitors takes a journey. The Visitors arrive from all directions – along pathways, alleyways and major arteries, through mountain passes, across seas, arid deserts, fertile pastures, the sky, through doors and sometimes the mind.  Employing a layered mixed media approach, he has combined enamel, acrylics and irregularly shaped pieces of painted cut canvas with detailed regional maps from around world. These dynamic works are stapled and fixed onto paper, wood and old doors.

Denny is a Melbourne-based artist whose dynamic work contains mixed media including detailed vintage maps from around the world, gleaned and collected on his numerous travels and habitations. Since his departure from photography as his primary chosen medium in 2008, his work has been exhibited in London, Barcelona, Sydney, The Gold Coast and Melbourne.