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Artists G-L

Brenda Goodman

Brenda Goodman Brenda Goodman has been steadily doing her thing for decades, moving from early success within the Cass Corridor movement in her native Detroit, to a varied career in New York City, and finally to her current retreat in the relative sanctity of the Catskills. Her “thing” is a little bit difficult to sum up, perhaps, because over the course of this long and productive career, her creative output has vacillated between painting and drawing (with forays into three-dimensional constructions); smooth surfaces and chaotic buildup on canvas; and intimate small-scale works and jaw-dropping large paintings that grab your eye from across the room. But all these works come from a place of deep personal perspective and wildly messy emotion, and, as a newcomer to Goodman’s works, this strikes me as relevant to a contemporary conversation about women artists and female identity writ large.

Goodman’s oeuvre includes two intense self-portrait series that were a means for her to deal with personal struggles around her weight and physical appearance. Anyone who has battled with weight or issues of self-image will instantly recognize the selected self-portraits included in the second, painting-focused career retrospective, Brenda Goodman: Selected Works 1961–2015 at CCS’s Center Galleries, as mirrors of despair and self-loathing. “Self Portrait 4,” from Goodman’s first paintings about body dysmorphia, depicts a bald and chalky-white figure, vaguely female inasmuch as her nude form indicates labial folds and the suggestion of breasts, but more ghoul than girl. Eyes stare vacantly at the viewer, as she crams substances into her mouth with both hands. The image is appropriately manifested by the intense building up of material on the surface of the canvas; viewed at very close range, the figure’s hands and the food seem little more than piles of oil paint. Despite the density and chaos of this creation, and the desperation of the figure, Goodman’s skill as a painter salvages beauty from this horror.

Ten years later, following the loss and eventual regaining of nearly 70 pounds, Goodman launched a second self-portrait series, featuring a more naturalistic figure — still chalky-white with body parts hanging in folds like a plucked chicken. To combat the vulnerability of presenting a more literal image of herself, Goodman painted several of the figures in this series with their faces hooded. But the most aching iteration of these portraits is the one that depicts Goodman in her studio leaning against the wall in contemplation of the very portraits that she constructed out of her own self-loathing a decade hence. There could not be a more potent poster image for the demoralizing experience of body dysmorphia, and to put that kind of personal struggle on display in a world as aesthetic and unforgiving as that of contemporary art is an act of courage and self-revelation.

 


Matt Lipps

Matt_Lipps_Themes0Matt Lipps’ work combines elements of collage, constructed still life, and appropriated imagery, into a wholly new and original form.

His recent work “Library” is based on images from Time-Life’s 1970s seventeen volume set of books called “Library of Photography”, Lipps cuts out and assembles selected images into groups that echo the themes of the different volumes – Photographing Children, The Camera, Travel Photography, Special Problems, etc.. Mounted and arranged on shelves in front of vivid color backgrounds, the figures become players in a story that is both a tribute to the heyday of analog photography and an accomplished vision of the possibilities that the digital age has opened up to artists.

The colorful backgrounds of the series come from 35mm photographs taken by Lipps when he was a student and their warm emotional color and abstract feeling contrasts dramatically with the coolly objective black and white figures and forms selected by Lipps from the “Library” books.

Combining authored and appropriated photographs Lipps sets up a tension between the subjective and objective uses of the medium offering both an intriguing and fresh perspective on the history of the medium and history itself.

Matt Lipps received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Most recently his work has been shown at the Saatchi Gallery, FOAM (Foto Museum of Amsterdam), and is currently on view at Pier 24 in San Francisco. His work is in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Pilara Foundation/Pier 24. He is Assistant Professor of Art at San Francisco State University. Lipp's work can currently also be seen at Art in General and in the group show "Under Construction - New Positions in American Photography" at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn.


Donald Lokuta

Donald LokutaDonald Lokuta is a photographer who captures the essence of human behavior.

 

In his latest series he explores the costumed sea creatures of Coney Island's Mermaid Parade. He says, "Coney Island is in the southern part of Brooklyn, New York. It is on the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its amusement park, wide sandy beach and its boardwalk. At an annual summer event, marchers dress as mermaids, fish, lobsters, pirates, sailors, jellyfish, and various other sea creatures- and in a variety of other costumes- sometimes unrelated to the theme of the sea. This series of photographs were made before the start of the procession that winds through the streets and down the boardwalk of Coney Island.

 

The event gives the participants an opportunity to design their own costumes, dress-up and show off their creations. The diversity of bright and colorful costumes adds to the Mardi Gras atmosphere and in many cases offers an opportunity to display a side of one’s self that is seldom seen. Some marchers are masked as they assume another identity.

 

One of the women that I photographed for this series wrote in an email, “I was a mermaid! Her name is Katrina, Queen of the Waves. It’s my inner mermaid persona.” What we portray in our everyday life is also not likely real and the masks and costumes we put on during parades and other rituals, are an attempt to escape from one unreality to another- if only for a short time.

 

Anthropologist Barbara Babcock calls these dressing up opportunities, “symbolic inversion.” During these rituals, we are more likely to dress up in costumes that are the polar opposite of the person everyone knows. Events like parades make it socially acceptable for a person to escape into another reality.

 

These inversion rituals give us an opportunity to make our hidden fantasies real, even if they go against long held social norms. We can overturn social conventions in a socially acceptably way, and we don't have to do it alone. Our fantasies are supported by other participants and cheering spectators. Participants can wear normally “unacceptable,” sensational or even sexy costumes. And participation in many events is very democratic; you don’t have to be a movie star, great athlete, a political figure, or anything like that. You can often be a participant simply if you want to be.

 

For me, this is another window into how we see ourselves as a society and as individuals."


Kent Monkman

Kent monkmanAccording to Hyperallergic, Kent Monkman’s art commingles art history with cultural mythology in a passion play about masculinity and belonging. His paintings and diorama use just enough camp to make the works feel self-aware, like the moment in a dream where you realize where you are, wake up, and reflect on the madness.

By his overt references to paintings of nearly every art historical period, from the caves of Lascaux to Veronese to Francis Bacon, Monkman asserts himself as both a traditionalist and an iconoclast.  He raises his voice for native populations transcending the devastation of colonialism, while depicting their struggles in the language of European painting.  In doing so he stakes new ground and claims a territory for himself as both an artist and a descendant of those originally displaced.

Kent Monkman is an artist of Cree ancestry who works in a variety of media including painting, film/video, performance and installation. Monkman has exhibited widely within Canada, and is well represented in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He is represented by Sargent's Daughters in New York, Trepanier Baer Gallery in Calgary, and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal.

 

 


Steven Gorman

GormanSL.299144130_stdSteven Gorman creates biomorphic hybridized forms constructed from white earthenware ceramics, airbrushed acrylics and occasionally an added mixed media element. Having a strong interest in the Surrealist movement, particularly the works of Hans Arp and the contemporary ceramic work of Ken Price, Ron Nagle, and Kathy Butterly, he strives to continue making work within this tradition of the finish fetish object.

He says, 'Through the use of flowing organic bulbous forms, color and pattern choices, I hope to create works which are stunning, alluring, mysterious, sensuous and layered with deeper meanings. Ambiguity of form united with an interesting surface treatment has been the hallmark of my work since 1993. Often there is an underlying veiled contemporary issue reflected within the work. Viewers have used the words; otherworldly, animated, whimsical and cartoony to describe my work. The word illusion has also been mentioned, when they state, how can something so hard appear to look so soft?

Every object starts out as a drawing, is then slab built, smoothed, carved, refined through a three step laborious sanding process, fired, post fire sanded again, cleaned, airbrushed, signed and then sealed. One of my goals has been the merger of painting and sculpting as one united whole, at the same time expressing ideas and concepts pertaining to life in general. My goal is to play a part as contemporary ceramics continues to metamorphosis from the genre of Fine Craft to Fine Art."

 

 

 


Maria Lassnig

1945_Selbstportraet ExpressivMaria Lassnig (Austrian, b. 1919) is one of the most important contemporary painters and can be seen as a pioneer in many areas of art today. Emphatically refusing to make “pictures,” she has long focused on ways of representing her internal world. Using the term “body awareness,” Lassnig has regularly tried to paint the way her body feels to her from the inside, rather than attempting to depict it from without.

Throughout a remarkable career that has spanned more than 70 years, she has continued to create work that vulnerably explores the way she comes into contact with the world, often placing particular emphasis upon the disjunctions between her own self-image and the way she is seen by others—as a woman, as a painter, and as a person living through the dramatic technological and cultural developments that have marked the century of her lifetime. Bravely exposing personal traumas, fantasies, and nightmares, Lassnig’s art offers instruction for courageous living in a time of increasingly spectacularized social interaction.

 


Lou Krueger

Lou KreugerLou Krueger's  goal is to create  magic with his artwork, be an engine of inspiration in the lives of his students, and find grace with his life.

 

"I’ve been making art for forty years, and teaching for thirty-four. I’m one of the fortunate ones, I love what I do  and I  believe that my best work is still in front of me." LK

 

Lou Krueger received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northern Illinois University, with a BFA in Metals, 1970, and his MFA in Photography, 1976. During the past thirty years he has taught photography at NIU, Elgin Community College, Syracuse University, and currently Bowling Green State University. He was one of the co-founders of the Syracuse University art photography program, served as the Chair of Art Media Studies (SU), as an Assistant Dean of Visual and Performing Arts (SU), and most recently as the Director of the School of Art at Bowling Green State University.

 

Conceptually his creative work, narrative fantasy, masquerades as reality with an emphasis on the existentially absurd; technically his research agenda focuses on issues of photographic illusion, experimental color photography, and alternative/pinhole cameras. His photographs, drawings and paintings have been exhibited nationally.


Ewelina Koszykowska

We Are Lost_eweJames Buxton writes "Ewelina Koszykowska’s work is nothing short of mesmerizing. She peels away layers of consciousness, imbuing her paintings with an ethereal quality that transports viewers into a spirit world populated by human forms of ghostly delicacy. It is rare to find paintings so rich in detail, yet so minimal in subject matter. The hauntingly beautiful nudes in her paintings linger long in the memory. Below, the New York City–based artist explains, in her own words, the inspirations and experiences which have steered her creative path." 

Ewelina Koszykowska explains her process - The first painting I ever did was a rendition, The Virgin Mary with Babe in the Manger. I won a watch for it in kindergarten. I knew then it was time to become an artist. Initially, I painted images which were heavily fantastical and which explored my childhood. As the work progressed, the intention of chronicling this spiritual life became evident. I also became intrigued with Eastern philosophies. Now with greater refinement, I have returned to where I started: realism and the veil.

For me there is no separation between the spirit and the state of being. The veil is either a mystery or a nonmystery. Through painting nudes under the veil, I wish to bridge the gap between the material and nonmaterial. Many of my paintings include a linear element. The linear element is about connection, paths, planes, borders, boundaries, dualities and direction. Layers are pivotal in my approach to painting veils, which is exactly what they represent to me—layers of the human conscious. As for the evolution into future exhibitions, I’m mostly curious about negative-space at this time. You can follow me on www.ewelinak.com, where I have my blog and other links

 


Stephanie Hirsch

Stephanie HirschThrough her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Stephanie Hirsch's canvases are literally 'illuminated' with phrases of enlightenment and hope. Continuing her personal investigations into individual development through text, Hirsch ups the ante by removing the "easy access" of familiar graphic elements inspired by iconic punk-rock album covers and adding a recognizable figurative element. The use of the figurative element humanizes her compositions and is based upon self-portraits driven by her fascination on the whole social media "selfie" craze.  Wanting to delve deeper into how "selfies" create an image of how we want to be portrayed in the world rather than who we actually are, she shot her "selfies" while saying and feeling the emotional content in the compositions.  Hirsch states, "I was also inspired by Cindy Sherman's work titled 'Aging Socialite.' Sherman perfectly executed the daunting look in the eyes that spoke of insecurity and fear of a life no longer lived.  My fear of just existing while living promoted my 'selfie' study as well.  I am also profoundly influenced by Barbara Kruger whose text based work questions autonomy and desire, which I yearn and struggle for within myself."

 

The journey of how Hirsch struggles with her external and internal self creates a unique entry point for the artwork.  The viewer can identify and reflect upon their own personal experiences by simply reading the words and connecting with the visage.  This simple, yet profound shift creates the intimate and introspective underpinning to the work allowing the viewer to oscillate between the beauty of the materials and the message implied. Using insights like "I'd Rather Die on My Feet than Live on My Knees," "I Was Not Built to Break," "We All Find Our Way," and "It's Never Too Late," Hirsch weaves a story of overcoming one's personal adversity and building an inner spirituality that hopefully filters out into the world.

 

Stephanie Hirsch has shown in exhibitions in New York, the Hamptons, Miami and San Francisco. She was a featured artist in Miami Design District's Art Walk (2012) and showcased in the Mercedes Benz VIP lounge at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week (2012).  Hirsch was among 30 artists commissioned to create a unique commemorative crown for display in Harrods (London) in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (2012). Hirsch is the founder of Inca resort wear and author of "Mother Nurture," published by William Morrow (2008).  She lives and works in New York City.

Nikko Hurtado

Nikko HurtadoArtist Nikko Hurtado uses both canvas and skin for his paintings. Both a lowbrow painter and tattoo artist, his medium of choice is almost irrelevant. What is important is the result - fine and compelling portraits, intricate and beautiful still lifes and raw subject matters. The work intrigues. And much of the results are, interestingly, rather classical. This so despite the backstory.

He describes himself as "I'm a tattoo artist/artist. I've been doing art pretty much my whole life. I specialize in portaits, and I like to do what are called alla prima painting its a style of painting thats its a on sitting painting of someone start to finish. I would really like to find some models that would like to sit for me, and it would help me grow in my skills of painting."