Artists G-L

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."

Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter 5305521283_62071efc90_bAlthough Edward Steichen exhibited some of Saul Leiter’s color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, for forty years afterwards they remained virtually unknown to the art world. Leiter moved to New York in 1946 intending to be a painter and through his friendship with the abstract expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart he quickly recognized the creative potential of photography. Though he continued to paint, exhibiting alongside Philip Guston and Willem de Kooning, Leiter’s camera became — like an extension of his arm and mind — an ever-present interpreter of life in the metropolis.

The semi-mythical notion of the ‘New York street photographer’ was born at the same time, in the late-1940s. But Leiter’s sensibility — comparable to the European intimism of Bonnard, a painter he greatly admires — placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein. Instead, for him the camera provided an alternative way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhattan maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances.

None of Leiter’s contemporaries, with the single and partial exception of Helen Levitt, assembled a comparable body of work in color. The lyricism and intensity of his vision come into fullest play in his eloquent handling of color: to the rapid recording of the spontaneous unfolding of life on the street, Leiter adds an unconventional sense of form and a brilliantly improvisational, and frequently almost abstract, use of found colors and tones. Leiter’s visual language of fragmentation, ambiguity and contingency is evoked in Saul Leiter: Early Color by one hundred subtle, painterly images that stretched the boundaries of photography in the second half of the twentieth-century. ( source : steidl )

James Jarvis

 James jarvisJames Jarvis and his American Series of photographs focused on two things.  1)  telling an experience through an image.  2)  Use frames to construct a layered composition that will lead you through said image.

American Aesthetic

For the series ‘American Aesthetic’ I wanted to explore the essence of the U.S. through not only the subjects that fitted my view of a particular locale (check my journal) but also from the nature of the composition themselves.  By subtracting the image into sections I am able to express what is a truly North American urban aesthetic: the rigid grids of urban planning and expression found in all major cities within this nation.   

It is this sense of spatiality that creates the framework for my personal stories and critic which is expressed through paint.  From each subject, I design compositions based on instinct and streamlining the number of canvas’s based on scale.  By using multiple canvases, in irregular positions, the viewer will have the sense of both boldness and detail that comes by taking a closer look at each individual piece. 

It is this aesthetic, the relation of lines and space, which I find to have inspired the drawings of iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright and abstract artist Piet Mondrian whom migrated to New York, the king of this concept in landscape form. 

This is my interpretation of an aesthetic which is strongly associated with the subject of my series, one artwork per city that I visited on my Greyhound bus trip journey.  A nine painting series.  I also take on key features of my own artistic development which relates to two styles that the United States can say they contributed towards the art discourse: photorealistic painting and pop-art.

Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt

Thomas Lanigan-SchmidtA pop-cultural connoisseur with a magpie’s eye for what shimmers and shines, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt has been using plastic wrap, reflective foil, colored beads, pipe cleaners, glitter, staples and photographs for more than 40 years to create shrines to saints, sacred and secular, emblematic of queer identity. He includes himself among the elect in an early collage titled “Twinky as a Prima Ballerina (Self-Portrait),” completed in 1969, the year of the Stonewall Rebellion, in which he participated.

Lanigan-Schmidt began by exhibiting his art in his own apartment; an early major exhibit in 1969 was titled The Sacristy of the Hamptons. Another home exhibit was titled The Summer Palace of Czarina Tatlina.  In these early home exhibits, and also in at least one later recreation of an early exhibit, he guided visitors through the exhibit in drag in character as art collector Ethel Dull.

While Lanigan Schmidt's art is not widely known, he has received critical acclaim.

Reasons for Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt's art not reaching a wider audience totally elude me. This is major, major work, reflecting and augmenting today's dialogue in a unique and commanding voice. Many artists, including a generation of Lanigan-Schmidt's students, have been repeatedly amazed, inspired and guided by its panache, rapier-sharp wit, subversiveness and opulent beauty.

—Robert Kushner, Art in America



Fred Hatt

Fredhatt-2011-awakeningFred Hatt works large and fluidly. His energetic and graceful drawings of the human form are almost abstract in their grace and harmony.  Each piece is a portrait of one model. These are not different bodies sharing a setting, but different moments exposed on the same emulsion.

"When I am drawing, I am close to the large paper and cannot see the overall pattern. I am down in it, exploring whatever passage I have found for the moment. Later, looking at the drawing from a distance, I see it abstractly, as veins of color in a crystal, or as objects in a whirlwind. Then the eye discovers a face or part of a body, and that is an opening into the image, which can be traveled like a path through the woods, or like a strand of thought through the din of the chattering mind."

Viktor Koen

Viktor Koen D.P.Toy-No.23.1.tViktor Koen is a surrealist whose quirky and compelling constructions mezmerize and disturb. Take, for example his "Dark Peculiar Toys" which is an assembly experiment pitting the philosophies of what a toy is and is supposed to do, differ and collide. These collisions deface, brake or de-construct the toys into piles of raw materials, waiting to be re-constructed in alternative ways, without instructions or the memory of their origins and function. Especially without consideration for their original creators intentions. Curiously they brake down not only to their essential parts but to details of character and spirit - if they ever possessed any. They only retain colors, shapes and the scars inflicted by their previous owners. Scars that separate them from their assembly line identical multiples and make them one of the kind.

These tragic action figures are trapped between their new condition and the reality of their past. They link older and contemporary prototypes of heroism or role playing, by combining traditional symbols in unorthodox ways. Their appeal lies solely in the tendency children (of any age) have to cannibalize existing objects in order to fuse their own. These creations come at odds with their carefully planed origins and brake gender and age molds by defying children experts, focus groups and sales projections. The newly assembled toys, though somewhat dramatic and traumatic due to their darkness, evoke our emotions and form a connection with us, by taking a place in our personal memories. Not in a "lost childhood blah, blah, blah" way - but as images that communicate nostalgia and joy, or the nostalgia of joy.

These emotions also dominated the process of putting them together. I photographed toys and objects that I collected through the years and travels, some of them parts of my personal childhood, and then mixed and matched them for hours. While this was a different form of play, the magic was the same.

Viktor Koen
Viktor Koen holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design in Jerusalem, Israel and an MFA with honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Mr. Koen serves on the faculty of the MFA Illustration program and the BFA Graphic Design Department at SVA.

Margaret Kilgallen

Margaret KilgallenMargaret Kilgallen's paintings and murals reflected a variety of influences, including the dying art of hand-painted signs, elements of American folk art, mural painting, and a variety of formal painting strategies.

At an early age, she was impressed by examples of works by Southwest and Mexican artists, and she employed these artists' use of warm colors in her own painting. Her many works in gouache and acrylic on found paper (often discarded book endpapers) reflect an interest in typographic styles and symbology that can be traced to her work as a book conservator with Dan Flanagan at the San Francisco Public Library in the early to mid-1990s.

In addition to her commissioned mural work, Kilgallen was also a graffiti artist under the tag names "Meta" and "Matokie Slaughter." The latter name, a homage to folk musician Matokie Slaughter, was specifically used for freight train graffiti, a hobo tradition that strongly influenced her work. Kilgallen was an accomplished banjo player and became an avid surfer after moving to California.

Kilgallen was an avid reader and thinker, looking to Appalachian music, signage, letterpress printing, hobo train writing, and religious and decorative arts to inform her work. Her work demonstrates her respect for and engagement with craftsmanship and the stories of everyday peoples' lives. She was especially interested in "the evidence of the maker's hand."

As she explained: I like things that are handmade and I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don't project or use anything mechanical, because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it's human. And I think it's the part that's off that's interesting, that even if I'm doing really big letters and I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line and trying to make it straight, I'll never be able to make it straight. From a distance it might look straight, but when you get close up, you can always see the line waver. And I think that's where the beauty is.

Watch Place on PBS. See more from ART:21.

William Klein

William Klein 3_Club_Allegro_Fortissimo_Paris_1990William Klein (born in New York, New York, USA, on April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's Top 100 Most influential photographers.

Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Klein's work was considered revolutionary for its "ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion", its "uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography" and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur.

Klein tends to be cited in photography books along with Robert Frank as among the fathers of street photography, one of those mixed compliments that classifies a man who is hard to classify. The world of fashion would become the subject for Klein's first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, which, like his other two fiction features, Mr. Freedom and The Model Couple, is a satire. Klein has directed numerous short and feature-length documentaries and has produced over 250 television commercials.



Eric Lindveit

Eric lindveit Eric lindveit"Like odd dream-like artifacts, his pieces create a highly accurate reproduction
that remains entirely implausible." -Robert Egert

The art of Eric Lindveit draws us to the expected - a side of wood, a tree trunk, an organic form - that soons becomes unexpected because it is not what it first appears. As he describes, "These works, built of paint, paper, burlap, pencil, and sawdust, explore the epidermal personification of surface via the petri dish of sylva and evidence my curiosity about the conception of what is real. They are not, however, intended as science. I am informed by observation of New York City street trees, often damaged and diseased, and pre 20th century hand colored medical and natural history books but I have no interest in making simulacrum of a subject one would be better served to see in the round outdoors. Rather, via scale change and invention, I am making greatly exaggerated composite portraits that combine my interests in surface, identity, entropy, and the skin of paint. They belong to the built environment."

The series "Skin Conditions" and "Sylvan Natural History of New York" are part of a growing vocabulary of smaller works that evoke displays of early anatomical wax models. As much dimensional drawing as painting or sculpture, they're inspired by an exhaustive series of hand colored books started in 1842 titled the "Natural History of New York", a thirty volume, fifty two year attempt to depict all things flora and fauna in the state of New York.

The human scaled "Parade Shields" are built on articulated box springs, singles and doubles, and sit on steel mounts 6 to 18 inches from the wall like blown up sylvan potato chips. The title refers to ceremonial objects from the 15th and 16th centuries, like Andrea del Castagno's shield "David with the Head of Goliath", that were carried in pageants, civic processions, and spectacles. Usually made of wood, painted, and even carved in relief, some Parade Shields may have been used as symbolic protection from enemies, while others celebrated noblemen's enthusiasm for classical antiquity and mimicked Ancient Roman triumphae. Art is a parade of ideas, perceptions, and symbols.

Chris Garofalo

Chris garofaloCeramicist Chris Garofalo highlights the exquisite beauty of the natural world. She reinterprets conventional images of plant and animal life, drawing inspiration from underwater creatures, her own garden, and even from under a scientist’s microscope.

Garofalo is intrigued by the vast similarities in the shapes of life forms existing on land, sea, and air, on micro and macro cosmoses and organisms. Her ceramic sculptures are inspired by those forms whether extant or extinct. Each sculpture is unique, non-representational, beautifully crafted, and exquisitely glazed.

Garofalo’s work also explores the unpredictable, the unrepeatable and the accidental potential of form in an emergent evolution. Her exhibits become their own ecology—a “playground of contingency”—presenting a subtle reminder of our responsibilities as the single most dominant species on Earth today.

This artist and longtime Chicago resident renders her original take on evolution and art in delicate sculptures that capture the perpetually evolving nature of nature itself. In fact, Chris herself has evolved from printmaker and graphic designer and has been living in Chicago since 1980.  She has exhibited both locally and internationally, including at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago and the Nouveau Musee National de Monaco, and is currently represented by the Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago.