Don’t miss the opportunity to enter artwork for ArtGemini Prize 2018. The ArtGemini Prize is a celebration to promote international contemporary art for emerging and established artists around the world. It is an independent competition, open to all artists from anywhere in the world. Applicants must be aged 18 or over. The winners will be announced at an exhibition of the finalists’ works in London.
This is an excellent opportunity to apply for a chance to win £5000 cash prizes and exhibit work in the finalists’ exhibition in the Menier Gallery in London.
In Brazil, art seems to be everywhere. There are amazing museums and galleries, art fairs, events and a vibrant street art scene. I’ve picked out some of my favourite artworks from a recent visit.
These two massive paintings by Candido Portinari stopped me dead in my tracks while visiting the São Paulo Museum of Art. The bleakness and suffering in these pictures is overpowering. They depict migrants from the Northeast of Brazil fleeing drought and famine. I was struck by the artist’s technique, use of contrasts and dark earthy colours to heighten the emotion of the scene.
There is a recurring theme of European influence on Brazilian art in most of the large fine art museums. There are a lot of derivative landscape paintings by Italian and Portuguese painters. Most of them are pretty dull and boring but they do exposes the colonial attitude of visiting European artists.
‘Bananal (Banana Grove)’ was the first modern painting to enter a national collection of Brazilian art. It is a very striking painting. It is easy to get lost in the beautiful green tones of the lush landscape until the elongated head of an unhappy figure protrudes into the foreground. The confrontational gaze of the sitter shatters the illusion of a tropical paradise with the realities of conditions for colonial subjects.
Street art has taken over many of the countries city centre shop fronts, buildings and public spaces. The variety and quality of these spray-painted murals is incredible. They are often large-scale, illustrational and socially critical. I discovered that rather than prohibiting street art the government has encouraged it as long as a certain ‘standard’ is met. The authorities are against tagging and graffiti but favour a certain style of street art realism and narrative. I thought this was an interesting system by which content is controlled by the approval of the state. In this way, the state acts as an arbiter of taste or the ultimate street art curator.
José Roberto Aguilar experimented with spray paint to produce his ‘Série do Futebol‘. They look messy and naive. This style and technique were used deliberately to undermine the stability of the Brazilian football team as renowned visual symbols of national identity. Aguilar directly protested against the governing military regime’s use of the Brazilian football team for propaganda.
Regina Silveira’s work is concerned with looking at themes of reproducibility, power, bureaucracy, art and its systems. In ‘Álbum Middle Class & Co‘ Silveira imprisons the image of the middle classes into small geometric forms, shapes and letters. The work is simultaneously critical of our social, linguistic and visual systems and modes of understanding.
As spring threatens to start I’m looking back at a visit I made last year to King’s Wood in Challock, Kent.
King’s Wood is a 1500-acre forest in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Challock, Kent. It is managed by Forest Enterprise for conservation, recreation and timber production.
The forest is an ancient woodland site with both broad-leaved trees and conifers: species include sweet chestnut, beech, Corsican pine and Douglas fir. It is home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna, including fallow deer, adders, nightjars, green woodpeckers, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, foxgloves, bluebells and woodspurges. Since 1994, Stour Valley Arts has commissioned artists to make sculptures within the forest and also other kinds of artworks. Artists who are particularly responsive to the nature of this working forest are invited to spend long periods here. As a consequence of their close and sympathetic involvement with the forest, they often use natural materials found in the immediate area, and engage with seasonal and growing cycles.
Sculptures that have been built using natural materials gradually change, even though, for some, the process will be longer than for others. All will eventually become part of the natural forest cycle of decay and regeneration. Day to day, they are transformed by light, weather and seasonal occurrences. Colours and surfaces are alternately dulled and brightened by rain, sun, frost, etc. Weather also affects the visability audio qualities of particular works. As well as sculptures marked on the map, visitors may see the ‘ghosts’ of previous sculptures now being reclaimed by nature. You might also spot experimental pieces made during SVA’s education workshops.
Stour Valley Arts work in partnership with artists and arts organisations, scientists and health professionals, environmental organisations and stakeholders to create high quality art that engages the public in the natural environment.
“This series of paintings are mostly monotone figurative scenes that have a glimpse of the brutal reality of mortal existence. Each subject reflects a modern decedent lifestyle where reality differs to the surface and the ambience of the environment is interjected by an underlying melancholy.
The inspiration for the exhibition draws on my formative years growing up in Latvia where fleeting moments of extravagance and opulence were rapidly replaced with feelings of loss and betrayal. Consequently, my art reflects my own inner conflict; whilst I have an appreciation of beauty and perfection, my work is often tainted with cynicism and darkness.
I have a fascination with exploring the temporal and believe that all materials have an uncontrollable cycle from creation, growth and maturity through to decay, decline and mortality. At every stage, there is beauty. It just has to be seen”
‘Perspectives on the Human Conditions’ continues to Saturday the 28th of April.
PhotoX Awards aims to discover and showcase international contemporary photography by artists worldwide.
You can enter work across three categories for a chance to win over £3,000 worth of prizes, and have your work shown in two curated exhibitions in London.
PhotoX is produced by the ArtGeminiPrize a global art prize promoting international contemporary art by emerging and established artists worldwide. For the past 5 years, they have been organsing art competitions with huge success. The 2017 edition attracted over 1200 entries from 39 countries worldwide.
Be part of this prestigious photography prize by applying here.
Francisco paints dynamic portraits and makes sensual life studies which present the human form in an open and entrancing way. The works seem to hover between realism and expressionism in the way that Francisco has been able to capture a human quality in each picture while remaining playful with the application of paint. These works have been built up from layers of energetically applied paint and careful observation. As we encounter each painting we are invited to consider the relationship between the illusion of recognizable form and the play of paint on the canvas surface. I think that this push and pull between what we find familiar and what is unknown is the great skill of the artist to manipulate our senses.
Francisco was born in 1987 in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. He attended Complutense University in Madrid where he became absorbed by the great world of painting and in particular the beauty of the human body in art; the nude. Francisco was influenced by the rich artistic scene in Madrid and began to find his artistic style by experimenting with different mediums and materials. A significant turning point in the development of his work was attending an exhibition by artist Antoni Tàpies. Seeing the work of Tàpies allowed Francisco the freedom to experiment with applying different textures and materials to canvas.
Francisco later moved to London and found new artistic influence in the work of painter Lucian Freud. He has continued to develop his style and vision of the human form. Francisco has had a number of solo exhibitions including at the Nolias Gallery and the Menier Gallery. Most recently Francisco was selected to exhibit at ´The Other Art Fair´ presented by Saatchi Art in London. He also has works in private collections in Hong Kong, Germany and London.
To see more work by Francisco please click here. Francisco will be exhibiting at;
The Return: an exhibition of recent work by six London painters
Riverside Studios is delighted to present The Return: an exhibition of recent work by six London painters, featuring work by Bruno Déroulède, Stephen Feather, Bill McCombe, Fred Mugford, Jon Ridge and Mick Sales.
The Return: an exhibition of recent work by six London painters presents a diverse selection of work brought together by a shared concern in evoking the human form and landscape in art. Depicting anything from bulbous balloon bodies, fragmented figures and isolated individuals to obliterated landscapes, fractured scenes and desolate locations, these works capture forms caught between states of being. Often approaching and receding, reforming and deconstructing simultaneously as if in some primordial soup, these forms move within the picture plane of images exploring the metamorphic relationship between representation and abstraction.
In response to his controversial stylistic transition, between abstraction and representation, the painter Philip Guston said;*’The appearance may change, that’s why the comments about style sound strange to me, you know, you work in this style or that style as if you had a choice in the matter. What you’re doing is trying to stay alive and continue, not die. Therefore it’s circular….’ Despite a hostile reaction from the art establishment, Guston continued to pursue his personal vision and produce work like; The Return, 1956 – 58, now on display in Tate Modern, which is symbolic of his philosophy and approach to painting. It is in this spirit and homage to The Return, that this show marks the return of contemporary art by local painters to the Riverside Studios Gallery. By presenting a visually dynamic selection of painting, the display aims to stretch viewers’ perception of everyday appearance.
For all exhibition and gallery related enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruno Déroulède,born in 1969, graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2010. My work explores identity, gregariousness and isolation in our contemporary culture. Taking inspiration from traditional portraiture and social realism, I usually paint anonymous individuals or groups, either in clothing that defines them or in a context that unifies them. Clothing in general and uniforms in particular are to me a “tool” used to illustrate the complex relationship between the self and social identity. I use photography as a source for my work but also as a symbol of the public gaze and of our image-driven culture. Underlying my work is the question of painting’s identity in relation to photography’s portrayal of our modern world. I see the figures I paint in their ‘unique uniforms’ as individuals who strive to exist but evolve in a world where the need to be recognized as an individual collides with the need to belong.
Stephen Feather, born in 1983, graduated from Kingston University in 2005 and subsequently attended Heatherley School of Fine Art and Putney School of Art. In my work I am drawn to the form, shape, line and colour in an image, object or visual idea. In exploring these formal qualities with rapid sketching, painterly brushwork and experimentation I try to tease out new meaning and ideas and aim to form new images and works of art. I use anything from fine art reproductions to photographs and from newspapers as source images and starting points for work. My work and style is informed by fine art, video games, television and advertising in that it has been inspired by a bold, direct, synthetic aesthetic. Taking inspiration from Japanese woodblock printing, Japanese Manga and Surrealism, I like to paint large expanses of flat colour, bold forms with clear delineation and bright, vibrant hues in my work. Playing with the picture plane by using perspective and modifying other traditional pictorial devices I intend to provoke sensation and implicate the viewer in the picture, whether this is by positioning the viewer below two giant sword wielding hands or in the vortex of some portal to infinity. Similarly I like the transformative nature of art in relating to everyday reality. For example; using a realistic depiction of my own feet as a starting point for a figure that is being pulled, pushed and contorted is an attempt to break away from the observe and record process of life painting by imaginatively dealing with the human form.
Bill McCombeattended Wimbledon School of Art 1962-4. Graduated City & Guilds School of Art 1972-5. Partner in Art restoration company (Carvers & Gilders) 1975-2004. Occasional lecturer/demonstrator at West Dean College Art in Action, The Indian Crafts Council, Chennai. My work uses both the human figure and landscape as foundations for ongoing experiments in abstraction. The spontaneity and energy created in the composition is partly a result of the process of moving from figurative to abstract, sometimes using collage to deconstruct formal naturalistic motives and allowing accidental and chance marks to suggest new forms. Positive and negative shapes become confused, revised and reassembled. I see paint and cut paper to be totally interchangeable and complementary to each other. This process is applied to my landscapes which are often studies not of a particular view or place but more an impression of a district, or journeys through a district relying on fleeting images memories and colours to evoke the overall atmosphere and character. My work evolves in a circular rather than linear direction – often I will revisit previous sources of interest sometimes refining and often reusing them to initiate new lines of development.
Fred Mugford, born in 1964 in Silverlake, California, and grew up in Los Angeles, Bogota and London. He has worked in the film industry and as an aviation photographer and graphic artist before moving to London to write and paint. His work explores inner states of being, the everyday mundane objects and moments of living. Much of his work is deceptively simple with touches of subtle humour, expressing what he feels about the complexities and absurdities of the human condition.
Jon Ridge, graduated from Chelsea College of Art in 2009. Through construction and erosion of form, and the editing of tiny paint experiments, the different layers of paint contain a trail of possiblities, abandoned in the process as soon as they became too apparent. My work seeks to negotiate a subtle “boundary dispute”, between the abstract and the figurative, echoing the point at which one’s conscious self, meets one’s unconscious self. The work is as much about applying the paint, and the ‘paint as object’, as the gradually evolved and corrupted forms of depiction on it. Particularly in my latter pieces, landscape is a reference point, but a physical landscape is only really alluded to. They are more accurately “landscaping a spirit”; similtaneously referencing natural phenomena, whilst commenting on one’s place amongst it. Influences are absorbed from wildly disparate sources, and sit side by side, making lateral connections and drawing unlikely parallels, across history, genre and discipline.
Michael Sales, born in 1959 is a self taught artist. Colour blindness and dyslexia help me to be more creative. I have always taken an interest in art and a recent medical condition has brought me back to painting again. It’s made me appreciate the pressures of life and I express this in my painting. In my work the viewer has to use their own imagination in order to perceive and interpret what is in front of them. I am influenced by the world changing around me and the changing state of the image on my canvas.