I love this photo by the talented Louise Flores. It's on the same street as my studio - you can see where I get some of my painting inspirations from - and we staged it with the red cloth to mimic one of my paintings!
On set photos from my interview on Modern Art Blitz (3/19/17).Read More
Featured artist this week: the phenomenal painter, John McNamara (www.macpainter.com).
John appropriates images and objects to create messages that could only be told with the malleability of paint. His unique and clever use of color has been carefully crafted through practice over the span of 50+ years of painting. As he says, he thinks about painting every day.
Full disclosure: John is both a mentor and a friend. Video made by his son, filmmaker Jeremy McNamara. "Like" McNamara Film on Facebook.
Another artist who's been inspiring me lately - Talavera-Ballon (www.talavera-ballon.com). Originally from Peru and now based in San Francisco, he's a painterly painter. Let me explain: in a region increasingly dominated by tech & design, Talavera-Ballon's paintings are a breath of fresh air - messy, moody, unapologetically full of feeling. Sticking to the basics (oil paint, canvas, brushes) his textured and colorful paintings reminds one of one's humanity, and the innate need for relationships & community across social boundaries.
I also like the playfulness of his wonky architecture, and the aura his colors being to each piece. I feel like his paintings are a celebration of real life - the small moments, the quiet ones, recognizing both moments of work and of leisure as legitimate parts of the human experience.
Visit his Facebook artist page to find out where you can see him and his work at various events this fall, including a live painting demo TONIGHT at the De Young Museum! I also really enjoyed reading more about Talavera-Ballon's inspiration and his message in this article: Read Between the Strokes - Surviving as an Artist in San Francisco.
I've been slacking, I admit it - I'm behind on my new feature of posting work by other artists I like. Getting back on it, this week: Bosnian painter Safet Zec.
He is a painter after my own heart - I love his textures, his subtle use of color, and how he creates the sense of objects being worn down, whether it's a chair or a wall.
A friend of mine pointed me to his work after seeing my Windows series; she saw the similarities in his Façades series, which is just beautiful. Safet is a transient artist, working between Bosnia, Italy & France, so perhaps he, like me, finds respite from a nomadic lifestyle in architecture. All of his work is fantastic and worth checking out.
OK - new blog feature: I'm going to start sharing other artists I like with you. I'm also sharing these on my Facebook page, but wanted to keep track on my website too.
I'm starting off with Shannon Amidon (www.shannonamidon.com). Her work reminds me to appreciate my connection with not only nature, but also with human connection and imagination.
I'm drawn to Shannon's work because the materials and colors often have a nostalgic air to them, like something coming from the past. Yet her work is also innovative as she often combines old materials with new techniques and technology. For example, using laser-cutting to create images on old book covers. I love this celebration of nature and books and other precious objects at a time (and place - I too make art in Silicon Valley) when technology reigns. Can't wait to see this latest show!
Shannon has an opening TONIGHT in San Jose at the SJ Tech Shop (location 17 on the South First Fridays Art Walk), where she is currently the artist-in-residence. "Like" her Facebook page to get more details and sneak previews of her work.
I dread it when I tell people that I am an artist and they ask me who my favorite artist is. I don't have many favorites in life -- I'm either too enamored by multiple things or too indecisive -- and I certainly could never have just one favorite artist. That's like having one favorite band or one favorite food - impossible! But I do have artists who influence my work. One of these is Chilean artist Roberto Matta Echaurren (most commonly known by his first two names only), who was an artist prominent in the 1940s and '50s. When I first saw one of his paintings in the San Francisco MOMA back in 2006, I immediately fell in love. I didn't know anything about him or his work, but that painting, Invasion of the Night, was enough: Invasion of the Night, 1941
I was taken with the colors, with the depth, the creation of this whole world that seemed somewhat familiar yet so alien. It seemed amazing that someone would be making something this weird and abstracted in 1941, yet it felt so contemporary. Above all that the technique is what really got me. I couldn't figure out how he had created the thin, wash-like yet cloudy layers of paint that make the shapes more bulbous, add shadow and depth, or make something appear see-through. So I did some research and found out that at least one of his techniques was to wipe away the paint (subtractive glazing, if you will). I have experimented with this and it is fun and sometimes effective, but also more difficult then it looks!
Unfortunately Matta's work is surprisingly difficult to find - it's hard to find good reproductions of more than just a handful of his work, which is such a shame because having bought a book with plates of his work I feel like everyone who does a Google search of his work is missing out on some gems. I feel like this is indicative of how overlooked Matta has been, despite his work being so influential and important for both Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism. I am particularly drawn to his work from the 1940s, when he was hanging out in New York with a bunch of other Surrealists exiled from Europe, including one of my favorites, Yves Tanguy. Matta's work differed in that while they created landscape-based pieces, he was creating what he described as "inscapes". In other words, he used "'psychological morphology,' a fusion of the psychic and the physical that refers to the idea of interior landscape" (from an essay by Elizabeth A.T. Smith and Collette Dartnall in Matta in America).
The artist himself puts it nicely: "Painting has one foot in architecture, one foot in the dream." That is certainly something I am interested in exploring in my own work, albeit in a stylistically different way. Being inspired by an artist doesn't mean that my work has to look like his/hers; rather, as Max Ernst says, "Art is not made by one artist but by several. It is to a great degree the product of their exchange of ideas with one another."