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Artists T-Z

Rob Zeller

Rob zellerRob Zeller paints classically beautiful art that transports the viewer to a different time.

He says, "I create post-modern Renaissance paintings. They are inquiries into truth, exploring dialectical concepts and the personal perceptions that undergird them. "Where there is perception, there is deception" is a quote attributed to Buddha. My own work is often an effort to uncover my own deceptions. The figures I paint are symbols for ideas and conceptions of morality and spirituality that are larger than they are as individuals. This happened in Mannerism during the High Renaissance, yet my own version is post-modern in that there are multiple visible layers of unresolved meaning. The image, and the construction of the image, becomes a space in which to deconstruct contemporary definitions of painting and my own perceptions of the link between the feminine, masculine and the spiritual."

 

Originally from New Orleans, Rob Zeller lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to maintaining a full time studio practice in painting and drawing, Zeller is presently writing a book on the Figure for Monacelli Press, due out in Fall 2016.

He founded The Teaching Studios of Art in 2009, a school devoted to teaching traditional techniques to artists of all levels of ability. In six years, the school has employed over 30 artists as teachers and helped instruct over 1100 students, via classes and workshops, from all over the United Stated and abroad. Zeller teaches portrait and figure drawing and painting, as well as functions as Director.

 

 


Lulu Yee

Lulu yeeLulu Yee is a ceramic artist whose whimsical work both charms and compels.

Her "studio at 1717 Troutman, in Bushwick Brooklyn, its walls painted bold colors and every available surface inhabited by her sweet, strange, and ornate ceramic sculptures of crowns and humanoid figures, felt like an enticing test run for a much more ambitious and elaborate installation. I sincerely hope a gallery gives her a chance to create a total environment for her intricately painted ceramic objects." —Benjamin Sutton


Thor Wickstrom

Thor WickstromThor Wickstrom is an artist who lives and works in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. He enjoys painting in the great American landscape tradition; on site, out-of-doors, and in all kinds of weather. His most fascinating work captures life in the Bronx in the form of streetscapes. 

Thor studied painting and drawing at the Art Student's League of New York with American masters Robert Philipp, Julien Levy and Joseph Hirsch, among others. He later followed anatomical courses in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In addition to his studio training, Thor copied from the masters at the Metropolitan and Louvre museums.

He currently works from his studio/loft in Western Massachusetts, where he is a full time painter and illustrator. Thor's original oils and figure drawings can be found at etsy.com/shop/wickstromstudio, and at studio21south, a fine art gallery in North Adams, Massachusetts.


Cristina Vergano

Vergano-LawsofAttractionXXIIIArtist Cristina Vergano depicts wildlife locked in evolutionary struggles for primacy and reproduction. She freely mixes techniques that span from oil painting to collage, and often paints on unexpected found objects. Classical Latin quotes float through her paintings, shedding further meaning and lending a graphic, very contemporary dimension to this new body of work. The result is strong and original, sui generis.

Cristina Vergano explains her unforgettable animal imagery as the metaphor for life:

“...Struggle, fascination, aggression and longing are present, in different combinations, in each painting's entanglement or standstill...

Aggression and sex drive, the cornerstones of evolutionary survival, often blend together.

...In addition to this Darwinian/Freudian dimension, "The Laws of Attraction” touches on a more existential note: each one of us is a warrior, each is a hero, struggling against the forces that confront us. In this sense, this cycle of paintings is my very personal interpretation of the early Romantic concept of ‘Sturm und Drang’: life as a turbulent, heroic struggle against the forces that confront us.

The fight is a vital expression of passion, the essence of life itself.”

 

Cristina Vergano (1960) is a fine artist born and raised in Italy, presently living and working in New York City. Her classical, academic painting style offsets the highly imaginative content of her work. A playful, surreal vein runs through the artist’s work, along with a subtle feminist concern and a wink to Pop art. Vergano’s paintings are populated with human-animal hybrid creatures, Muslim women in lingerie, flying saucers, word games, and amused references to Ingres, Picasso, Lichtenstein, and other masters, both old and modern.


Hans Vangso

Hans VangsoAt first glance, the work of the Danish ceramist Hans Vangsø (born in 1950) shows an immediate Asian influence—both in its form and in its glaze. However, take a closer look, and one immediately senses the strong and deep underlying personal feel of the North.

A former student of and assistant to the world-renowned Danish ceramist Gutte Eriksen (1918-2008), he represents an understated—but at the same time—rich and balanced tradition of color and tone, inspired by Nordic nature and the natural minimalism of Danish culture.

The objects, in the shapes of jars, vessels, and bowls of all sizes, give equal importance to form and to glaze. The form is quite simple through a disciplined ‘schooling’ with his handling of the clay (a mixture of red clay from Denmark and German stoneware clay). He achieves his extraordinarily expressive glaze through high temperature wood kiln firing (1250-1300 ºC) resulting in an eruptive, lava-like spontaneity.

Hans Vangsø studied at the Art academy of Jutland (Denmark) from 1972 to 1976 and has had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries throughout Europe and the United States since 1990.


Petro Wodkins

Petro wodkinsSome artists are also provocateurs. Some add performance to their static art. Petro Wodkins is one of there artists.

He says, "Many people ask themselves what 'art' is. Lately the definition seem to be that art is what an educated artist creates. That's a funny definition. Compare it to 'shoes is whatever a shoemaker creates'. In truth, art has grown into a small club of people repeating what people did 40 years ago. Thereby art has almost lost it's place in society. But the evolution is dangerous. In a free thinking society art is one of the most important parts. Art's role has always been to provoke and force people into seeing new perspectives. Therefore art must be anarchistic. Art must question power and money. Art must oxide by it's own rules. Only it's own rules."

Q&A with the artist:

Who are you?

I'm an artist and a performer. I look best on stage, especially from my left side.

What is your background?

Since I was born I have mainly been occupied with my dog and revolutionizing the global art-scene. Before that I was a sort of businessman.

Why are you questioning the established art scene?

To be an artist today is more about the right cultural middle-class background than about telling stories from the world. It's more about excluding and less about inviting. Or to put it another way: most artist cannot dance.

What are your plans for the future?

I will be very surprised if you don't find out.

You also sing, is that a part of your art?

You could as well ask if my art is part of my singing. The music always comes first.

Could you tell us about your sources of inspiration?

God has always been a great source of inspiration. And of course my own looks. Apart from that I like Petro Wodkins, the russian artist from early 20th century, and some of George Bush's art, even though his work got sloppy towards the end.

Marcelino Vicente

Mexican potteryIn the rural Mexican state of Michoacán, devils, mermaids, saints, sun gods, and drunks can all be found mixing it up and having a great time. Each of these characters, and many more, inhabit the strange universe depicted in sculptures produced in the tiny town of Ocumicho.

These bizarre pottery tableaux feature hybrid scenes from everyday life, religious allegories, and native folklore, all borne from the mind of a unique young man named Marcelino Vicente. Resembling Hieronymus Bosch’s nightmarish landscapes from the 1500s, but with a Catholic-folk art twist, these ceramic fantasies are found nowhere else. Yet during the 1960s, Vicente’s eccentric lifestyle was perceived as a threat to the town’s social hierarchy, which ultimately destroyed him for being different.

Don Lewis, an artist and collector of Mexican folk art, says the strangeness of Ocumicho pottery first caught his eye in a Santa Fe antiques shop nearly 20 years ago. “Just the life in it, the colors, the craziness of it,” says Lewis. Before he knew it, Lewis was purchasing Ocumicho pieces to decorate his home.

“The first one I ever bought was very simple, nothing too weird about it. It was just two people—a woman and a man—out in an agave field, picking agave to make tequila. The second one was like a man in the moon, but it’s more of a sun face with really sharp teeth. Then another one came along, and I started noticing the devils.” These miniature devil figures, or diablitos, are a particularly striking element of Ocumicho sculptures.

 


TJ Volonis

VolonisTJ Volonis' intricate sculptures and objects deal with the physical and intangible interconnectivity of the world we live in. His work focuses on the dependent relationship between the whole and the segment and the fragile balance between order and disorder. In particular he work with patterns and structures--portraying them simply and in their entirety, or through the prism of a larger pattern. In this way he can focus on specific elements of dependency within the pattern that produces a seemingly chaotic effect. For example, a piece that appears to have a stable logic will also expose the chaos that binds it together. Conversely, in other pieces which are more deliberately chaotic, the underlying order that renders it viable is exposed.

Email Volonis for information on all of his openings - such as the Nov 1, 2012 solo show in Gowanus Brooklyn.  advolonis@yahoo.com


Gavin Worth

Gavin Worth, is a self-taught sculptor from San Francisco, CA now living in Cairo, Egypt. He makes sculptures out of steel wire by bending them into what are essentially freestanding line drawings.  They are fluid, engaging and often emblematic.

Images of the work are located here: http://www.gavinworth.com/herback.html  In 2012, he made his first large scale work in the same vein as the wire sculptures in a town near Cognac, France. Here is a short video showing his process and the final product:

 


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."