Tag Archive | Portraiture

KwangHo Shin There Is No Title at Unix Gallery

Untitled
Untitled Being (All Photos By Gail)

Unix Gallery is currently hosting a solo exhibition by Korean artist KwangHo Shin –“제목이 없는 존재” — which literally translates to “There is no Title.” Shin’s latest series of work features new oil paintings that challenge the notion of identity and interactivity between people. Painting in the new environment of New York City, Shin features new tones and color combinations that directly reflect the artist’s experience with his new surroundings. The result of this is a seductive enigma, an amalgamation of specificity and obscurity, anxiety and humor; all with Shin’s expressive strokes that articulate the eponymous notion of “제목이 없는 존재,” the devoid identity, the ‘untitled being.’

Untitled Being Laying Down

Evoking themes of Abstract Expressionism, Shin employs intense and vibrant colors to depict the individualistic expression of emotion and a sense of self. He applies charcoal and oils in thick brushstrokes to distort and exaggerate the subject’s facial features. His technique confronts the viewer with an emotional impact, effecting our understanding of the human form. Channeling a more figurative mode with Untitled 16NY09, the artist melds layers of pinks and purples with white to create an explosion of ephemeral flesh. The use of softer pastels leaves a more gentle effect offset by rich siennas and flesh tones.

Installation View

Colorful and faceless paintings brilliantly capture the complexity of human emotions. The subjects range from individual models, noted international celebrities, and self-portraits. Untitled 16NY16 expresses Shin’s natural inclination to represent his subjects’ personalities and innate nature; even his own. “I don’t see anything,” the artist ruminates on his source material, “but it is also a self-portrait. When I am painting I don’t exactly plan what colors I will use to paint.” Here, Shin is able to clear his mind and evoke his full creative psyche.

Painting Surface Texture Detail

“During the painting process I change my ideas and feelings many times. I just focus on that feeling; that moment…I put the totality of my energy into that feeling so that when a work is complete I feel peaceful.” Whether it is the external pose of the subject or the unique color combinations, abstraction or layered texture, the portraiture of KwangHo Shin is able to document the psychological changes and clashes that arise in us all.

KwangHo Shin’s There is No Title will be on Exhibit Through July 30th, 2016 at Unix Gallery, Located at 532 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Untitled Being

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David Datuna Presents Elements at Birnam Wood Galleries

David Datuna Einstein
Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements Diptych (All Photos By Gail)

You can say this much about art exhibits comprised of Portraits of Pop Culture Icons: EVERYBODY DOES IT. Seriously, Ev-Ree-Bah-Dee. What keeps an exhibit of Pop Culture Portraiture from being a total yawnfest is the defining twist that the artist puts on his or her work (see Erik den Breejen’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On at Freight and Volume for an excellent example of what I’m talking about).

So, it’s a huge relief that David Datuna’s Elements – the artist’s eighth solo show at Birnam Wood Galleries – is a portrait-based exhibit with one of the coolest visual spins I’ve ever seen. Although from a distance it appears that each image is mounted behind a layer of marbled glass, on close inspection you can see that Datuna has employed a unique conceptual device of layered optical lenses to focus and diffuse his distinct visual imagery. Talk about Ways of Seeing!

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe Detail
Detail from Above Portrait

According to the exhibit’s press release, the title Elements is taken from the centerpiece of the show, a diptych that pairs Albert Einstein with Euclid’s Elements, the seminal work of mathematics written in the third century BC. Described as the second most widely published book after the Bible, the book’s findings underpin much of logic and modern science. Its influence is immense. Einstein said it kindled his interest in science. Abraham Lincoln insisted it was the most influential book of his life.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

I love the little details Datuna adds, such as printing amd framing Andy Warhol in bright yellow, a color that Warhol used often in his own signature silkscreen portraits of celebrities.

Walt Disney
Walt Disney

David Datuna’s Elements is definitely worth adding to your next Art Crawl. Just make sure you schedule it before June 7th.

David Datuna Elements Signage

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Exhibit at RH Gallery

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Exhibit
All Photos By Gail Except Where Noted

If you think that an artist would be creatively limited by being restricted to use of a canvas that’s only the size of a NYC Transit Metrocard, you’d be surprised! In an open call for artists, Single Fare 3 (the third in a series of semi-annual art exhibits whose only guideline is that the art must incorporate a Metrocard), Single Fare curators Jean-Pierre Roy and Michael Kagan were flooded with thousands of submissions for this year’s show at RH Gallery in Tribeca. The art ranges widely from classic portraiture, cartoons, sculpture, interactive pieces, famous people, pop culture references, Metrocards re-purposed as utilitarian objects, lots of nudes and even an old fashioned rotoscope device!

I was lucky to arrive early and be one of the first dozen people admitted to the gallery, when it looked like this:

Single Fare Sparse Crowd

But within half an hour the place looked more like this:

Single Fare 3  Heavy Crowd
Photo by Cojo of ArtSucks.com

Here are photos of some of my favorite art from the show!
Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art

Click on any image to enlarge for detail.

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art
These tiny paintings have the look of classic oil portraits.

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art
Little Monsters!

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art
A little Neon Bling!

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Titanic
Various Scenes from the film Titanic

Single Fare 3 Metrocard Art Van Halen Lemmy Madonna
Eddie Van Halen, Lemmy, Madonna

Metrocard Art The Shining
Characters from The Shining

Metrocard Art 3D Sculptures
3D Metrocard Sculptures

Metrocard Art Nightlights
Metrocards Transformed Into Nightlights

Metrocard Art Eric Richardson
One of Two Pieces in the Show by Eric Richardson

Metrocard Art Kinetic Taxi Sculpture
Kinetic Taxi Sculpture

Metrocard Art Kinetic Pin Up Calendars
A Year of ’70s Pin Up Calendar Pages

Metrocard Art Flamingo
Flamingo

Metrocard Art Ouija Board
Ouija Board

Metrocard Art Subway Train
Subway Train!

Metrocard Art Various Shoes
Shoes!

Metrocard Art Monsters
More Little Monsters!

Metrocard Art With Pink Yarn Fringe
Metrocard With Pink Yarn Fringe

See more great photos of the show at Art Sucks Dot Com!

Single Fare 3 is On Exhibit Only Through February 22nd at RH Gallery, Located at 137 Duane Street in Tribeca, NYC (Just East of West Broadway. Take the 2 or 3 Trains to Chambers Street and Walk Uptown Two Blocks). Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 AM –7:00 PM.

Last Rites Gallery Presents Lilith by Sarah Joncas

Towards the end of what had been a nearly-perfect day, filled with sunny weather, gallery hopping and parties of every sort, Geoffrey and I continued our revelry with a later-than-usual pit stop at one of our very favorite art spots, Last Rites Gallery, which was hosting an opening bash for their current exhibit by Toronto-based artist Sarah Joncas. While I was not familiar with Sarah’s body of work prior to attending the opening on Saturday night, I was blown away by the talent of this beautiful and highly prolific 24 year old painter. Entitled Lilith, the series of oil on canvas portraiture on view at Last Rites might strike some as a gothic/horror take on traditional Romance Novel cover Heroines, and that’s certainly a suitable point of departure. But Sarah’s work, I think, goes a bit deeper. Sarah explains a bit about the show and her inspiration behind the new series below.

“Given the opportunity to go darker with this show, I chose to go full force in celebrating the original femme fatale, Lilith – not necessarily as a direct allegorical reference, but more so for what she represents. According to Jewish Mythology, Lilith is considered to be the true 1st wife of Adam, though her unwillingness to submit caused her to rebel from Eden in search of her own dark path. As such, she’s been written as the temptress, the mysterious and the devil. Taking from fairytale and folklore inspirations, much of my work for this show borders on the fantastical, indulging and sometimes turning other mythological females into similar demoniac beings. Though working with a relatively more aggressive theme than usual, I’ve kept the melancholic and pensive tone that my work is most well known for.”

Geoffrey and I got to meet Sarah at the party and she was super cool and signed cards for us. She is obviously a gifted artist with a long and exciting career ahead of her. Check out the show while you can!

See more pictures from the show at According 2 G Dot Com.

Sarah Joncas’ Lilith Runs through June 5, 2011 at Last Rites Gallery, Located at 511 West 33rd Street, 3rd Floor (West of 11th Ave) in NYC. Gallery Hours are Tues-Sat 2-9 PM and Sun 2-6 PM.