The sixth installment of the podcast with Alex Diamond is out today. More frank conversations about the art world. For this new episode, they decided to focus on one topic, and keep it short and sweet. They speak about the pricing of artwork because that is a question that comes up very often.
Tune in and take a listen!
iTunes / Apple Podcast
Originally from New York City Martin studied at New York University under John Kacere, Sherrie Levine, Louise Lawler and Peter Campus. She was self-employed after graduation painting murals and working as a scenic artist for film and photography. She journeyed to Berlin, Germany in 1991 and currently resides in Frankfort am Main. Martin is a brilliant fine artist with an independent spirit.
“I grew up in a family of artists and have received a relatively formal education in the visual arts. My painting techniques are usually described as classic. The people in my paintings are certainly distant relatives of the salon. Rather, they indulge in the midst of our contemporary culture: We have the impression that they rather block and disturb the view of the landscape than they peacefully coexist with nature as they did then in the forest of Fountainebleau. As I try to maintain a romantic landscape, they fall into this landscape as individuals who have to cope with the ever-increasing virtual reality. They bring their dogs with them, the best friends of man and their only remaining connection to nature.”
NP: How would you describe the creative process from an idea to application of that idea to canvas? I am asking how does your mind work from inception through to the completion?
Martin: I would say that there are several phases in the process. First, I have a rough idea of what I want to communicate. This sometimes comes along with a very clear image in my mind which I then have to apply to a real life model and environment. Naturally, my idea will go through many transformations on its´ way from thought to finished painting. Once I have found a model or models who are willing to work with me, a good deal of thought and preparation goes into my photo shoot with them. I will give my models, who are usually friends, rough instructions of what I am looking for but then I let them take my idea and play with it. The interesting part is seeing what they do with it. I take thousands of photos in every photo shooting and then pour over them for years to come. Essentially I am inspiring my models to interact with their environment in very individual and personal ways and they in turn inspire me to paint about their experiences. Then begins the slow process of building a composition centered around my model or models, the landscape and sometimes animals as well. Once I have my composition worked out in the form of a collage, I begin to draw this composition on to the primed canvas. After securing my drawing with acrylic line I begin the process of oil painting. Usually I mask off the figures and work the background up to a point where I feel that It is done except for minor adjustments. Then I begin to paint the figures, jumping back to the landscape while layers of paint dry on the figures. It goes on for many layers and many weeks before I reach the level that I am satisfied with.
NP: When and how did you know your artistic talent and vision? How do you define figurative realism? Is it something that evolves within your brain and heart? Is it always evolving?
Martin: For me, contemporary figurative realism has a great deal to do with looking at the world through the camera lens. How the camera records reality has as much influence on our concept of reality now as how the human eye sees physical reality. I always allow my photographic perspective to show through, I do not try to romanticize nor do I often work directly from life. The emotional experience which has taken place for me, together with my models, out in natures is recorded in my photographic work. The process of painting is a means by which my emotional experience of my subject is transferred through my mind hand communication to the canvas. A painting is never merely about what the subject precisely looks like, it is much more about how we feel about the subject.
NP: Does art help shape our connections with the world around us? If so is our response more deterministic than say free will in that our environment determines our response and expressed through various abilities?
Martin: I absolutely believe that art helps us to connect with the world around us. It is very important to stop and consider not only what event just happened or what we observed but to acknowledge how that experience felt internally and how it has influenced us, how it has changed us. We are constantly changing and expanding our view of the world. The more time we spend examining these changes, through art, the more profound and meaningful they will be for us. In other words, art helps us to grow by giving us the time and space to carefully explore our interior and its deep connection to all living matter.
NP: As a figurative realist have you been confronted with censorship issues either officially or unofficially? What are the challenges people face that you have experienced or viewed with concerning human nudity as opposed to readily accepting images of violence? Do you see figurate realism as a cultural, political and sociological statement along with an artistic comment?
Martin: The human body as subject matter is always political. There is no way around that. The nude figure is probably the most confrontational subject that an artist can take on. Whether a viewer is open to it or rejects it, the human subject leaves no one cold. We all have intense feelings when looking at our fellow human beings. How we react to an image of the human body has to do with our most intimate personal fears and desires as well as social conditioning and expectations. I have been censored, blocked, banned and harassed many times on social media for painting the nude. It is absurd really, how could looking at another human being and painting a painting of them be seen as criminal or offensive? Everything that I do with paint is done out of love for humanity and the natural world. It is heartbreaking that some people prefer to see people being hurt and abused. Generally I think that it is because there are people who are afraid to show their love of humanity, they are afraid that it makes them look weak. Some believe that violence and aggression makes you appear strong. I disagree.
NP: What is the future of figurative realism?
Martin: Well, I have heard it said so many times that figurative painting is dead or that there is no reason to continue to paint the figure with all of the other media available. But I honestly think that is nonsense. People have been painting people and looking at paintings of people made by people for at least 40,000 years as far as we know. It has a universal human appeal which I do not see coming to an end any time soon. Nothing is more important to a human being than another human being. I don´t believe that there is such a thing as linear progress is art. There are simply thousands and thousands of artists who make art in which ever unique individual way that works for them. Some images may be called realistic, some may be called abstract, some deconstructed and many other titles in between. But I do not believe that representing the figure will ever disappear. It is a uniquely human act.
Link to the Full Article Here
WANDERING LUMINATIONS: THE ART OF TARA MCPHERSON
The chaotic wonders of science, mythology and the power of the feminine form are at the core of this stunning art collection. Wandering Luminations showcases the artist’s most recent and ambitious creations from that solo exhibition, as well as works from her I Know It By Heart and Supernova series of paintings.
If you are wanting a special version of this, please go here for limited edition signings, dedications, doodles, and prints!
This title may sound familiar, as it was the title of Tara’s solo Exhibition back in 2013!
Here’s a link to that show
Our third place 2018 Delusional Art Competition winner and our first online exhibition artist, Susannah Martin, was featured in the recent edition of the HeliumTalk podcast. Take a listen to any of the links below!
Currently at Jonathan Levine Projects, a solo show is on view from Josh Tiessen, first place winner of the inaugural Delusional Art Competition that the gallery held in 2017 (covered). Inspired the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible, Streams in the Wasteland features works painted on irregularly shaped panels centered thematically on depicting wild animals in abandoned spaces. Tiessen further explains – “the symbolic natural imagery offers streams of hope within the post-apocalyptic wasteland, highlighting the God-given mandate of stewardship to care for animals and the environment, which is also a relevant theme for today.”
“Rise Up” is one of twelve paintings in Josh Tiessen’s debut international solo exhibition, Streams in the Wasteland, at Jonathan LeVine Projects (May 4-31, 2019)
Music: “Rarefaction” by Zac Tiessen
Video Edited by Zac Tiessen
Paint Brushes provided by Princeton Artist Brush Co.
Streams in the Wasteland: “Rise Up”
Oil on Braced Baltic Birch • Framed: 58″ x 91″ x 20″ • 2018
“This painting is the sequel to an earlier work “Can These Bones Live?” both of which explore a visual interpretation of the Valley of Dry Bones vision from Ezekiel 37. This ancient book records the prophecies of Ezekiel to his fellow Jewish refugees, who have been taken by King Nebuchadnezzar from their homeland of Judah to Babylon [i]. In the vision are sun-bleached bones and skeletons, symbolic of the Jewish exile, which according to Ezekiel happened as a result of their rebellion against the Creator. God’s spirit breathes life and the bones rattle together, taking on flesh and coming back to life – an image for the hope of national resurrection, the great homecoming [ii]. In the broader context of the Bible, this vision foreshadows the promise of transformed hearts through grace, enabling the people of God to live in a new universe of justice and peace, traditionally referred to as heaven.
Often heaven is visualized as an otherworldly place where nothing much happens [iii] to wispy disembodied spirits on clouds [iv]. This painting is a musing on the resurrection, how bodily death gives rise to bodily life-after-death. Our soul makes up all of who we are, including our unique personality and ethnicity. With the historical propensity in Renaissance art to ‘white-wash’ biblical scenes, I sought to depict racially diverse figures of various ages: a young bi-racial woman, an elderly Caucasian man, and a middle-aged Indonesian lady.
The title for this painting came from the song “Still Rolling Stones” by Lauren Daigle, which also reflects the themes expressed in this work. The painting is a metaphor for transcending all that is evil in our present world, including greed, self-absorption, and racism. It expresses the longing for a world set right, where harmony will reign between the Creator, humans, and animals. Species like these Monarch Butterflies, fifteen to represent the model’s age, will flourish once again.”
[i] 597-571 BC in Tel Abib near the Kebar River (modern-day Iraq)
[ii] The Hebrew word ruah, can be translated as spirit, breath, or wind
[iii] Nathan Coley’s illuminated text sculpture
4 — 31 May 2019 at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Jersey City, United States
Jonathan LeVine Projects is pleased to present Streams in the Wasteland, a solo exhibition by artist Josh Tiessen, first place winner of the inaugural Delusional Art Competition in 2017.
This new series was inspired by the Hebrew Bible, which Josh Tiessen became interested in because of its employment of semiotic imagination as a conduit for illuminating deep spiritual truths. Tiessen believes that “the symbolic natural imagery offers streams of hope within the post-apocalyptic wasteland, highlighting the God-given mandate of stewardship to care for animals and the environment, which is also a relevant theme for today.”
Comprising over four years of painting, this series explores the theme of wild animals in abandoned spaces. These creatures (owls, hyenas, jackals) having dominion over these deserted cities was a springboard to create alternative realities depicting animals from various geographical regions juxtaposed into abandoned human civilizations.
The choice to paint on shaped non-quadrilateral panels was an intuitive decision to break from tradition, as Tiessen found rectangles and squares non-conducive to his subject matter. He allows the subject to dictate the shape of his braced Baltic birch panels, such as the gothic arch of “Harbinger” and the Greek temple of “The Republic.” Painting in detail around 2” sides gives a three-dimensional effect. Each painting takes 400 to 1200 hours to complete.
A new episode of Heliumtalk with my buddy Jonathan LeVine is available now! And it’s really more like a radio show this time, with music and jingles, a trip down memory lane to our early gallery days and a lot of hardcore brutal honest talk about the art world by two men who got nothing to lose!
It’s part of human nature to seek out patterns, and to revel in the skillful play of colour and beautiful forms, especially those that are informed by nature. Perhaps the most complex pattern-play can be found in Islamic art, which features an impressive visual lexicon of nature-inspired geometries that overlap and interlace to create stunning works of art and architecture.
These patterns are not anything new, but with the help of modern technologies that can effortlessly iterate these forms, artists are indeed having plenty of fun with them — and pushing some boundaries too. Building upon traditions found in Islamic geometry, embroidery, enamel work, United Emirates-based artist Julia Ibbini synthesizes them all into these incredible laser-cut artworks that seem to pulse with a living harmony of form and colour.
As Ibbini explains, much of her work is not only centred on the “language of pattern and ornament,” teasing stories out of each curve, but it also questions that arise from her multicultural background — a dual Jordanian-British national who lives in UAE:
My work plays on combinations and contrasts. Complex digital design using computer algorithms and a contemporary aesthetic juxtaposed against traditional ornament and craftsmanship resulting in works of extreme intricacy articulating themes of identity, place and belonging.
Each of Ibbini’s works starts as a single line and circle, which then evolve using a variety of digital tools to create larger and larger forms. These digital drawings are then laser-cut, layer by layer, using paper and mylar, on a customized laser-cutting machine.
Each work can take months to complete, from drawing to cutting, and each work can have hundreds of pieces that need to be glued together. Inks are then added to the mylar pieces to give gorgeous pops of vibrancy.
The intense bursts of colour found in Ibbini’s art seem to belie the inherent delicacy of these paper-based works — reminding us that even the most seemingly complex and defined relationships are, in reality, ephemeral and fleeting at their foundation, but nevertheless must be given expression. To see more, visit Julia Ibbini, Facebook and Instagram.