Lavish: In the Depth of Winter - About the Artists
Michael Santana Alvarado.
B. 1997. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Self-taught, inspired by the transversal interpretation where the abstract and the figurative converge to conceive an art beyond the nihilistic point of view. I try to give birth to a new reality where the conscious and the subconscious find peace.
Jack Eyram Azor
My name is Jack Eyram Azor. Originally from Ghana, and currently working as an artist in Oberhausen, Germany. I had my first Bachelor's degree in Communication Design (Multimedia production) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology at Kumasi, Ghana. I moved to Belgium, where I pursued another bachelor's and a master's degree in Fine art (Painting). Currently, I am working as a Ph.D. research student at the LUCA School of Art affiliated with the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Through the medium of painting, I research the concept of reverse perspective, which has been the pivotal visual schema for the arts of the Byzantine era, the Middle Ages and can also be seen in the Iconography of the Orthodox Church of Russia. In doing so, I am finding ways to reflect this system of perception and imaging, which has mainly been used in religious context on society.
My question here is how can I, through painting, visually represent society as I want it to be via this schema? It is chiefly a way of creating a totally new language of imaging and perception. Reflecting on and assimilating from my own Ghanaian cultural background while focusing on the issue at hand has been the pivot of these artistic endeavours. I do this by rethinking the concept of Sankofa of the Akan tribe of Ghana while reflecting its philosophy on my immediate environment here in Europe and the Ewe tribe of the Volta Region of Ghana, of which I am a part.
Sankofa is basically a socio-psychological concept symbolically represented with a bird heading forward with its head turning backward to pick its own egg left behind. This conceptual, symbolic image carries a philosophy which is verbally expressed in the Akan language as "Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi" or "Sankofa w'onkyir" which translates in the English language as "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten." This socio-philosophical concept promotes referencing and researching the past for future development. Reversing the perspective becomes essential to this ideology.
Among the Ewes, this concept is called "Megbe Kporpkor." Meanwhile, among the Ewes, the principle is included in the rituals performed during the initiation of a newborn child. It is part of the practices that allow the parents and entire society to know the ancestor's spirit who has returned as a new embodiment. It involves the consultation of the deities, and by doing so, the entire society is informed about the newborns' talents and abilities even before they can start crawling. This allows for the unity of the past, present and the future of the self.
My task here as an artist is to find a way through painting to formally transmit and communicate these ideologies. And that I do through painting by reflecting images and researching their assimilative nature to produce a new and authentic formal visual language. Why do I deem assimilation paramount to this endeavour? It is a fact that so far, the Ghanaian culture can be seen as one which has been impacted and influenced by other cultures, especially that of the west, regarding colonialism and its aftermath. There is no way and no need to disintegrate this phenomenon. In contemporary terms, the world has become a global village where entities are assimilating and learning from each other and are ready to ever do so. For that matter, in my paintings, this current trend in societies across the globe and its psychological impact on perception and people's perspectives is paramount. In conclusion, I consider assimilating from my own backgrounds/self and personal experiences as promoted by the principle of Sankofa vital. This is exactly what I want to express through my paintings.
Tyler Curth is a queer poet and artist from Lousiville, Kentucky. He completed his MFA in Poetry from North Carolina State University in 2018, at which point he began drawing and painting, while still making poems all in the pursuit of finding the most symbiotic and universal language for the expression of the mundane inherent in all of our human experiences across time, space, and cultures. This language, he thought, should include both text and image. By experimenting with his own creative processes, specifically by using visual art processes such as collaging or image-association, and applying them to poetry-making, and then vice versa, applying creative writing processes to visual art, he has come to a deep belief in the creative process as a way to reach self-awareness, self-expression, story-telling, meaning-making, even spirituality. These works are all a product of such experiments and processes.
Terry Dugger is an artist residing in Waco, TX. Her painterly, whimsical paintings are inspired by her love for nature and flowers. She finds herself moving in and out of abstraction and back to figurative florals. She has taken acrylic painting classes and studied on her own. She is inspired by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. Her desire is to bring out the joyful and whimsical aspects of nature in her florals.
Luciana Fabiilli is an Italian-Canadian figurative artist who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors Degree from York University. Luciana's paintings reveal characters of Inner Beauty, Intelligence and Strength in the femininity of what Fabiilli calls Renaissance of the New Woman. These vibrant portraits are muses of inspiration that flow from intuitive creative energy.
Luciana's mission is to paint a brighter world. To Inspire.
Sarah Landau has been working with collage for five years. She is currently taking rest at her family home in upstate New York while healing from chronic illness. As so many times before, collage is now her therapy, as well as a ritual for creating some small bit of order from life's beautiful, swirling chaos.
Líath Murdiff is a Fine Art Paint student in the National College of Art and Design based in Dublin, Ireland. Although she is a fine artist, Murdiff loves to bring her ideas and paintings into a graphic and digital light. Her work typically starts from found ephemeral objects and imagery, and organically flows into themes such as childhood and cartoons with satire and whimsical ideations. Murdiff also enjoys lino and screenprinting from her time abroad in New York. Her current work focuses on coincidences in day to day life and using muscle memory to create movements that shape the works naturally. Murdiff has a fascination with bright and fluorescent colours which compulsively include in all recent works.
Henni Pfeiffer is a self-taught 35 years old, German visual artist born in Romania and currently lives and works in Germany. Her educational background is in entrepreneurship, having studied at business school Alpenland in Bad Aibling, and she now works as a Chief Financial Officer for a wholesale textile company. Yet, a love of art has accompanied her all of her life, encouraged and nurtured by her creative parents. In her late twenties, she decided to follow the strong calling to paint and pursue her dream of becoming a full-time artist.
Jing Qiu (1998, China) is an independent artist living and working in Shenzhen, Guangdong. His artistic creations include painting, photography, video, installation art, sculpture and experimental art. His works have been exhibited in China, London (UK), the USA, Louvre (France), Milan (Italy), Canada, Spain, Athens (Greece), Ukraine and other countries and regions.
Occasionality, unknownness, directness, and emotion are the essence of my paintings. There is fragility, doubt, fading, destruction, struggle, contemplation, breakthrough and rebirth. In matter and spirit, symbol and metaphor, truth and lies, complexity and simplicity, square and circle, line and surface, the borders of space are blurred through the interweaving of elements, and the spiritual world of the self is explored.
What I saw and felt are all turned into a part of the work and flowed and presented to the audience. It is a dialogue with the audience as well as with yourself. Everything is created in the unknown, unconsciously and with the subconscious of my own creation, have fun.
The sculpture series 'Desolation' extends my 2020 installation project 'Hunger.' The work is inspired by the food waste I see and produce from my daily cooking. I looked at the wasted food and thought about how many people in this world, both at home and abroad, are still unable to feed themselves. I began to reflect on myself and focused my attention on the hungry.
In my research, I discovered that in some difficult times of famine throughout history, there had been acts of cannibalism. I pondered what kind of hunger would be that which can make people eat people. There is no way to empathize with people, so to simulate a state of extreme hunger, I thought I needed to have experienced it myself to understand the suffering and hardship of a hungry group. So I took the next step forward. Without harming my body too much, I designed a seven-day starvation experiment to allow myself to feel hunger first-hand. I also visualized and recorded my physical and psychological state. The final presentation is in the form of a sculpture. The intention is to make the viewer think, be aware of the hungry, and be grateful for the life of the present.
Cindy Ruskin is an oil painter and mixed media artist based in the USA. She received a BA in Fine Arts (Art History) from Harvard in 1981 and worked as an illustrator, animator, set designer, greeting card designer, storyboard instructor, teaching artist, reporter, and writer before becoming a full-time artist in 2020. Cindy has exhibited her work in New York, Connecticut and California.
There's a magical moment each time I paint that happens when I surrender to the process and start listening to the painting itself, excavating the stories hidden inside. When I paint intuitively from my unconscious mind, I find myself going deeper and deeper into an imaginary world – an imagined world full of hope, humor, beauty, possibility, and peace.
I am a multidisciplinary artist and recent graduate from Central Michigan University. My work primarily consists of printmaking, painting, and sculpture; but I also work with collage, jewelry design, fiber arts, and digital design. Most of my inspiration comes from nature, human relationships, and my own personal journey through life.
Born in 1995 in the suburb of Paris, France, Camille finished Fine Art studies (bachelor) first before entering a private special effects make-up school. After playing with different mediums and trying ways to express himself, it became clear that painting and drawing were the main mediums to be used.
He decided to move to Berlin in 2017, where he is now residing and working.
My work is always influenced by the classical and religious paintings of art history. I am working with airbrush, acrylic and metallic painting on canvas. I propose a sarcastic and provocative vision of what was considered appropriate, sacred and beautiful in art history, and create new stories from what has existed. I am mixing a classical style of painting with modern codes and techniques.
This series is called "Ménagerie." Those classical characters are wearing BDSM masks inspired from animals. The BDSM world has always been fascinating me, and is a huge source of inspiration for my work, on an aesthetic and psychological plan. Those women, who are hiding their face, are showing another side of themselves, through a fetish animal, such as power, sexuality, emotions, that are in complete contrast with the first purpose of the classical portrait, which was to show the best façade only. This intends to recontextualise the portrait, to show what is deep inside the human, that had to be hidden before.
A criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles for 45 years, Larry Wolf became an artist about ten years ago, merging his profession with his passion into a collection of abstract works he has chosen to call "A Brush with the Law." His work reflects a never-ending search for new alternatives and solutions to problems both in art and in the courtroom. Larry utilizes an intriguing and unique process whereby he pushes acrylic paint through the back of a silk screen canvas, resulting in strikingly vibrant abstract compositions, layered in eye-catching shapes and textures.
Worlinsky has exhibited with curators from the Huffington Post arts Blog, Chocolate and Art Show LA, Proxy Place Gallery, Jamie Brooks Fine arts, and House of Wren, along with exhibiting nationally in Florida, Virginia, Washington, Missouri and California and internationally in Korea. She has paintings featured in "The Party" movie, directed by Julianna Robinson. She has an upcoming solo show in Malibu, CA, in March 2022.
I like the unpredictability of laying down layers through lots of movement and gesture when painting. The viewer glimpses into the world I want them to see even if only for a second. Sometimes the pieces of artwork that will bury themselves within someone's heart for a lifetime, are only seen for seconds. What happens in that second is a connection on a deeper level. It is a connection of consciousness. My impulses create the world and the viewer is left to make sense of it all bringing their own consciousness to interpreting the painting. When I create, I enjoy making memorable, strong, bold, solid images that have a sense of urgency. My paintings feel fleshy and alive while they explore the relationships between people, lovers, strangers, themselves or objects. There is a sense of belonging that people have to others and an invisible mark they leave on what they've come in contact with. Those on the outside can only pick up on the energy and see the evidence of what was left behind but it is within the individual in that specific moment in which they hold the secret, the moment, the feeling of the specific interaction. This is what is becoming a commodity, and to vicariously live through people and their posts instead of going out and living. People tend to go out with the intention of capturing the moments to keep them, to trap them so that they can be transported, sold or shared but in the process of capturing them, sometimes things can be lost or mistranslated.
Absorbing this in my art, I feel it as expressionism that is taking on a new dimension in light of a millennial generation. There is a collective angst that most are feeling, trying to escape into social media to make up for the social awkwardness that has caused this problem. Specifically in light of the quarantine and stepping into a modern world where masks, social distancing, Zoom meetings without pants, are all our new reality. What would we have done with this quarantine in another time, like one before computers? Becoming a part of an electronic version of a collective consciousness is what we are all moving towards. Our modern lives intertwined with new technologies and how can we maintain our humanity in the process? Maybe a start is through re-establishing and redefining our relationships to other people. By focusing on what is there between people, the non-tangible. People leave a unique mark or imprint behind on objects or people; it is a feeling that people who believe in energy can pick up on. Looking for this quality that can't be named but that can be seen and can be felt is what I am pursuing in my art. I paint the invisible, what brings us together and makes us feel bonded, what it looks like to feel awkward and disjointed; to what it feels like when two lovers get absorbed into being at one with love and the universe feeling a part of something larger than themselves.