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Painting

Jennifer Packer

Jennifer packerJennifer Packer creates portraits, interior scenes, and still lifes that suggest a casual intimacy. Packer views her works as the result of an authentic encounter and exchange. The models for her portraits—commonly friends or family members—are relaxed and seemingly unaware of the artist’s or viewer’s gaze.
 
Packer’s paintings are rendered in loose line and brush stroke using a limited color palette, often to the extent that her subject merges with or retreats into the background. Suggesting an emotional and psychological depth, her work is enigmatic, avoiding a straightforward reading. “I think about images that resist, that attempt to retain their secrets or maintain their composure, that put you to work,” she explains. “I hope to make works that suggest how dynamic and complex our lives and relationships really are.”
 
Born in 1984 in Philadelphia, Jennifer Packer received her BFA from the Tyler University School of Art at Temple University in 2007, and her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. She was the 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and a Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, from 2014-2016. Her most recent solo show, Tenderheaded, exhibited at the Renaissance Society, Chicago in the fall of 2017 before travelling to the Rose Museum at Brandeis University in March of 2018. Packer currently lives and works in New York and is an assistant professor in the painting department at RISD.


Mitchell Johnson

Artist-cityscape-web-1200x800In a 2004 review published in Artnews Magazine, the writer Susan Emerling, describes Mitchell Johnson as "a devoted colorist able to extract visual tension from the world around him". Mitchell Johnson (b.1964) moved to California from New York City in 1990 to work for the artist, Sam Francis. In New York, Johnson studied at Parsons School of Design with many former students of Hans Hofmann: Jane Freilicher, Leland Bell, Nell Blaine, Paul Resika, Larry Rivers and Robert De Niro, Sr. Johnson adopted their reverence for art history and their emphasis on drawing and painting from life as the source of a personal direction.

Johnson’s work draws on a vastness of experience and a persistent desire to make paintings that explain the world through color and shape. He has always moved seamlessly between abstraction and representation and the art historian Peter Selz described Johnson as an artist who makes “realist paintings that are basically abstract paintings and abstract paintings that are figurative.”

Beginning in the 1990s Johnson embarked on long painting expeditions to Italy, France and New Mexico with rolls of canvas packed in a golf bag like a modern day Corot. Wading through unfamiliar landscapes, often on foot, he worked to understand the ever complex geometry of land and sky. He prevailed not to capture some ideal sense of place, but to see better and to go deeper into painting.

Moments of revelation accumulated. A more personal direction became apparent in Johnson’s work in the 2000s as there was less reporting on what he was encountering and more emphasis on the mysteries of appearances. A watershed moment occurred in 2005 when Johnson stumbled on an Albers/Morandi exhibit. As Brenda Danilowitz from the Albers Foundation has commented:

“About halfway into Mitchell Johnson’s 2014 monograph, Color as Content, there’s a portfolio of Josef Albers and Giorgio Morandi paintings juxtaposed one to a page – looking at each other, so to speak. The images are not accompanied by words, but they speak eloquently of Johnson’s admiration of and debt to these two quiet yet lofty twentieth century masters. Albers shows his mastery of color, space, and form. Morandi answers with form, space and color. No words needed. In 2005 Johnson had come across an Albers exhibition in Morandi’s eponymous museum in Bologna and recognized that something remarkable occurred when these two unlikely comrades in art faced one another. The upshot resonates in Mitchell Johnson’s work of the past two decades: precisely and meticulously arranged color and form play off each other in

startling and lambent ways.”

In the 2000s Johnson began making regular trips to New England and Asia, in particular painting trips to Truro, Massachusetts. His paintings have been exhibited at various galleries in New York (Tatistcheff Gallery), Los Angeles (Terrence Rogers Fine Art), San Diego (Thomas Babeor Gallery), Santa Fe (Munson Gallery & Mitchell-Brown Fine Art)Richmond (Reynolds Gallery), Denver (Robischon Gallery), San Francisco (Hackett-Freedman and Campbell-Thiebaud), Chatham, Scottsdale (Cline Fine Art), Portland (Augen Gallery), Provincetown (Schoolhouse Gallery and DNA) and St. Helena (I Wolk Gallery) as well as numerous museums as referenced in his CV.

Johnson has been a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome, Borgo Finocchieto, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and Castle Hill in Truro, MA. In addition to attending Parsons, Johnson studied painting and drawing at Staten Island Academy, Randolph-Macon College, The Washington Studio School, The Santa Fe Institute of Fine Arts and The New York Studio School. His paintings are in the permanent collections of 29 museums and over 700 private collections. Johnson is the subject of three monographs: Mitchell Johnson (2004, Terrence Rogers Fine art), Doppio Binario (2007, Musei Senesi) and Color as Content (2014 Bakersfield Museum of Art). A catalog for the 2021 Castle Hill exhibit is available at Amazon.com.

Johnson's paintings have appeared in numerous feature films, mostly Nancy Meyers projects, including The Holiday (2006), Crazy Stupid Love (2011), and It's Complicated (2009).

 

LA2

LA2-paintingBorn and raised in the Lower East Side, Angel Ortiz (also known as LA2), like so many other kids would write on his desks and chairs in school. When his mother put him in the NYC Boys Club, which he loved because of the access to a swimming pool. His friends at the Boys Club were already tagging up in the streets, buses and sanitation trucks when asked him to join them in using the streets as their canvas. After that, Ortiz was tagging non-stop. He became the King of the buses and sanitation trucks. His tags were everywhere, At the age of 14, Ortiz met Keith Haring, an artist from Reading ,PA. Haring was attending The School of Visual Arts and had a studio in the Lower East Side (The Rat Studio). Of all the tags he saw around the city, the "The LA2 tag" stood out to him. He asked around to see if anyone knew whose tag it was and looked for Angel for months before they were finally introduced at Junior High School 22. Here, Haring and other graffiti artists were creating a mural. He asked if anyone knew LA2, to which SOE, Angel's friend responded and said, "I can get him for you." He went to Angel 's house, told him there is a guy with funny shorts and glasses asking for him. When he skeptically went over to the school, Haring could not believe Angel was a kid! They got along right away and loved learning from each other. Ortiz showed Haring some markers tricks- Keith did not know too much about markers, but he was the King with the brushes. It was as if they had always known each other.

Their first collaboration was that first day on a taxi hood in The Rat Studio. LA2 added his tags and crew names and asked Keith if he could add squiggly lines to add energy.  Two weeks later, Haring called Ortiz and told him he had sold the piece and he wanted to collaborate with him.  Tony Shafrazi gave him his first show with their collaborations in the Fluorescent Room.  Keith Haring then asked his mother's permission to take Angel traveling. He wrote a letter to his teacher and at the age of 15 he was exhibiting in Europe. Through Haring, Ortiz met art icons like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton. They exhibited for almost seven years, but continued collaborating till Keith's passing in 1991. 

 

Angel Ortiz lives in NYC and is still creating and exhibiting world wide.  LA2 HAS done work for various museums and programs, such as the Children's Museum of Arts, the Children's Museum of East End, Apple Village Arts and the Renaissance Charter School.  

 

He believes meeting Keith Haring was a blessing for both.  Humbled to this day that it was his tag that caught Keith's eye.


Jean Smith

Jean smithOnce an inspiration to a generation of would-be Riot Grrls, the Vancouver-based painter Jean Smith is now carrying a torch for every artist who dreamt of quitting their day job and making a difference through their work.

Since 2016, Smith has been creating a series of enigmatic portraits that are selling like hotcakes on her Facebook page. So far she has sold more than 1,500 canvas works that get snapped up within minutes.

The haunting portraits of women with angular faces, expressive dark eyes and plump red lips—differentiated by their accessories—are selling fast thanks to their US$100 price point.

The artist—half of the seminal 1980s punk rock duo Mecca Normal and precursor to the underground feminist movement known as Riot Grrrls—was inspired by the tradition of bands like the DIY style, anti-establishment Fugazi, who performed $5 gigs to increase accessibility. Her success has allowed Smith—who is also a novelist—to quit her day job at a Vancouver garden centre and work full time as an artist.

Smith has now raised more than $150,000 for her pet project, the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change. She plans to purchase a suitable property for the residency, which will house her as well as visiting international artists. With Vancouver real-estate prices some of the highest in North America, edging out the city’s creative class, Smith is looking beyond the metropolitan area, although she says she is “open to sponsorship, partnership, collaboration and philanthropy” in order to secure a more centrally located property.

Inspired by photographs, Smith’s paintings (larger works are available at US$650) bear a certain resemblance to the artist. Divided into themes that include Pioneer of Aviation (one work offers a bemused fusion of Smith and Amelia Earhart) Skier, Nurse, Hat and No Hat, the works play with both female stereotypes and aspirations—such as the Affirmative series of mainly black women astronauts—in a way that is fittingly performative.

“There is an intention for emotions and injustices surrounding these images to be visible and understood,” says Smith.

The ArtNewspaper


Philip Guston

Philip gustonPhilip Guston ('ust' pronounced like "rust"), born Phillip Goldstein (June 27, 1913 – June 7, 1980), was a Canadian American painter, printmaker, muralist and draughtsman. Early in his five decade career, muralist David Siquieros described him as one of "the most promising painters in either the US or Mexico,"[1] in reference to his antifascist fresco The Struggle Against Terror, which "includes the hooded figures that became a lifelong symbol of bigotry for the artist."[2] "Guston worked in a number of artistic modes, from Renaissance-inspired figuration to formally accomplished abstraction,"[3] and is now regarded one of the "most important, powerful, and influential American painters of the last 100 years."[4] He also frequently depicted racism, antisemitism, fascism and American identity, as well as, especially in his later most cartoonish and mocking work, the banality of evil. In 2013, Guston's painting To Fellini set an auction record at Christie's when it sold for $25.8 million.[5]


Judith Gale

Judith GaleJudith Gale’s artistic drive is inspired by nature, particularly marine life. Her fascination with the complex intricacies and the plethora of shapes and colors found in living things generate her paintings. By enlarging these unique elements of nature on canvas, she aspires to capture peoples’ awareness and appreciation of these spectacular wonders. She hopes her artwork helps to draw the tranquility of the ocean to the world above.

Judith has been actively working with the Molluscan Science Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Maryland focused on the study of mollusks and the preservation of coral reefs. She has been involved in distributing educational material to school aged children all over the world. She hopes that by introducing seashells to children, they will grow to love and value our oceans and help protect them.

This work with seashells shaped her art and influenced the themes of her paintings and photography. A portion of her proceeds are donated to this foundation. Judith Gale grew up in Maryland and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC.


Valerie Meotti

Valerie MeottiWorking in a range of disciplines, Valerie Meotti strives to give her art immediacy and understandability.

She explained, "Painting and creating visual art has been my passion for most of my life. My motives are not to send a message but to be felt. What one takes from my imagery is yours alone. I have a difficult time explaining why I create but I can tell you how. I have never felt I was a catalyst trying to reveal a profound message. 

I am not a singular artist in that I can not settle on one technique of expression. I enjoy having the versatility and knowledge to explore and experiment.  Watercolors are my base of operations, the one thing I rely on most. My unique digital transfer technique utilizes my graphic capability but lets me develop it freely like a painting, using both my major influences.  With this I cross over into collage components developing most of my mixed media works. Oil painting, I am new to but I love the color and luminescence that can be achieved.  I will continue my learning. Ceramics are mainly for the quirky characters I developed called Pistachio People and I still illustrate the little guys. I believe they can be in a successful mass market someday.  Someday I will achieve the independence to sustain my art. Just looking for some glimpse of encouragement."

 

Felix Vallotton

Felix vallottonAccording to the New York Times, Swiss painter and printmaker Félix Vallotton was an intriguing, talented but slippery artist. You often don’t quite know what to expect next in terms of style or subject, even within the same year.

Vallotton, who wrote criticism for a newspaper in Lausanne, Switzerland (where he was born in 1865), gave Rousseau an early laudatory review.

Although Vallotton ignored most of modernism, he influenced such surrealists as Dalí and Magritte, and also the Neue Sachlichkeit (new realism) painters of Weimar Germany.

In addition to painting, Vallotton created a series of groundbreaking woodblock prints in the 1890s, which made him famous, provided entry into the Parisian avant-garde and made his place in modernist art history. Their daring black and white compositions depict some of the pleasures, but more often skewer the hypocrisies and inequities of Parisian life. Vallotton did not see life as full of happy endings.

He made his first woodblock prints in 1891, inspired by the innovations of Japanese artists, eliminating their rich colors while exploiting their practice of cutting with rather than against the grain. It facilitated the curving shapes and lines basic to his formal wit.

Within a year Vallotton had a thriving, if not highly remunerative career. His terse exercises in dark and light appeared in periodicals, illustrated books and portfolios in Paris, then London and as far as Chicago. They were nearly instantly understood as radical, and by the mid-90s Vallotton was a regular illustrator for Le Cri de Paris, a left-wing magazine and the like-minded journal La Revue Blanche, which also covered culture (and was founded by Alexandre and Thadée Natanson). The woodblocks have the compression and legibility of cartoons and news photos, the formal daring of abstract art and the literary punch of modern short stories.

 


Adam Neate

Adam neateAdam Neate's art career started in the early 2000s painting as a graffiti artist. He went on to a term he calls free art, where he would paint on found pieces of cardboard and leave them around the streets of London for people to find and take home. Over the years he left thousands of individually painted works and was one of the early pioneers of the movement that is now called Street Art. In 2006 he was given the opportunity to show his paintings in a more traditional gallery setting at Elms Lesters, showing alongside established names like Futura and Phil Frost. Since then he has been featured in prominent solo and group exhibitions worldwide to great critical acclaim.

Adam Neate (born 1977) is a British painter, conceptual artist and described by The Telegraph in 2008 as "one of the world's best-known street artists". He specialised in painting urban art on recycled cardboard, and has left thousands of works in the street for anyone to collect. He is a contributor from the movement in transferring street art into galleries. Neate's street art has garnered global interest, having been documented on CNN reports and European television. Major collectors and celebrities are fighting for his original works and international critics have lauded the artist's work. Since 2011 Neate has been mastering his own language of 'Dimensional Painting'. Elms Lesters publish a range of Adam Neate's Dimensional Editions and Multiples


Mickael Broth

Street artist, muralist, night owl, ex-vandal, skateboarder, writer- those are just a few words to describe well-known Richmond artist Mickael Broth. The 32-year-old literally made his mark in Richmond painting large scale art forms all over this town, from inside and outside of Mellow Mushroom, to 15 bike ramps for this year’s Dominion Riverrock, to a Richmond Kickers mural, even gracing RVA Magazine’s 10th anniversary cover with his colorful, trippy artwork.

Mickael Broth, also known as The Night Owl, is a Richmond, Virginia-based artist, muralist, sculptor, and writer. Mickael moved to Richmond in 2001 with the intention of painting as much graffiti as possible. His involvement in vandalism was halted abruptly with his arrest in 2004 and subsequent ten-month jail term for his crimes. Since that time, he has gone on to pursue an active (and legal) career in the arts. He was awarded a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in 2008 for his studio work and has shown widely around the United States; from museums and galleries to alternative spaces and abandoned buildings. His work is held in numerous private and corporate collections. He has painted over two hundred public murals throughout Richmond, the United States and Europe since 2012, in addition to helping curate multiple public art festivals. Through his public art work, Mickael has been commissioned by all manner of clients, from small local businesses and nonprofits to municipal governments, museums, and Fortune 500 corporations. He has been an active member of the community, working with youth groups, as well as leading volunteer groups in the creation of collaborative public art projects. Mickael serves on the board of directors for the RVA Street Art Festival and has been instrumental in the curatorial direction of the organization since its formation in 2012. In 2013, he published Gated Community: Graffiti and Incarceration, a memoir detailing his experiences with vandalism and jail. In 2017, he was awarded a commission by the City of Richmond for the creation of an 15’ tall welded aluminum sculpture installed in front of the Hull Street Library in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood. Mickael’s second published book, Murals of Richmond, which documents Richmond’s public art explosion, was published in November 2018 by Chop Suey Books and quickly sold out of the first printing. Mickael continues to live and work in Richmond, along with his wife and educational activist Brionna Nomi, their son Maverick Rosedale, and their shelter-dog Lil’ Nilla Bean.

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