Aaron Johnson has created two distinctive and wildly innovative approaches to painting: his well-known “reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel” paintings and his sock paintings. The two bodies of work exist in counterpoint; meticulously layered Indian-miniaturesque details in his reverse-paintings starkly juxtapose the swashbuckling brushstrokes created by a clunky impasto of flung socks in his sock paintings.
Uniting his two modes of work is Johnsonʼs inimitable style, a painterly madness flowing forward from his influences of Goya, Peter Saul, Picasso, Ensor, Llyn Foulkes, and the Hairy Who. Johnson’s paintings are a delight of a seductive surface, garish color, and entangled flesh.
“In my paintings, I construct absurdist allegories featuring comic grotesque characters. Technically I believe in an experimental approach to painting that evolves the historical medium into a contemporary adaptation. I have developed two main modes of making paintings: reverse-painted acrylic polymer-peel paintings and sock paintings. The methods involve reverse-painting, meticulously detailed layers, and polymer peel transfer; or the opposite: building up a chunky impasto of old socks. My spectrum of interests ranges from socio-political critique on one end to existential human questions on the other; each individual painting will fall somewhere between those two poles.” Aaron Johnson
Brooklyn-based painter Torey Thornton creates abstract, crudely rendered forms to explore the picture plane as both a spatial field and a medium for conjuring images and sensibilities. Thornton rejects the canvas, instead preferring the textural possibilities of paper, found wood, and slatted panels, all of which serve as the grounds for spray and acrylic paint, as well as collaged objects. His paintings exhibit various influences, from color field and monochrome painting to biomorphic abstractions. Certain elements suggest recognizable forms—cars, the sun—while others are more cryptic, such as the repeated appearance of perpendicular lines.
Rodolfo Edwards paintings of abstracted cityscapes deal with city narratives and bring together his background in architecture, urban planning and painting. Still young, he has quickly garnered a great deal of success with his dramatic re-interpretations of the urban landscape which he describes as a mixture of Neo-Expressionism, Cubism, and Map Art.
He uses a number of techniques in his compositions including dripping acrylic paint, gridding his canvases with ink pencil and pen and collaging images found in art, photography and fashion magazines.
Jim Buckels is a delightful anomaly: An artist more driven by his inner visions than by fashions and trends. Yet, his work possesses an innate sophistication that places it prominently within the post-modern mainstream. In fact, Buckels is a Neo-Surrealist of a peculiarly American Breed: a creator of dream-like images, rendered in a meticulous, modern airbrush technique with the crystalline clarity of a Colonial limner. In his lithographs and serigraphs, as well as in his acrylic paintings, Buckels limns a seamless realm of fantasy that has won him a major reputation in a remarkably short span of time.
Henry Taylor is an American artist and painter who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Taylor is most well known for his acrylic paintings, mixed media sculptures, and installations. Taylor paints quick, loose portraits of his relatives, friends, celebrities, and athletes on large and small canvases, as well as creating evocative sculptures and assemblages of found materials.
Drawing on the folk art and modernism present in a strain of African American painting that traces back to Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, Taylor has painted monumental canvases based on WPA photographs of black farm workers.
Santa Rosa, CA based Justin Margitich works with watercolor, colored pencil, and acrylic on paper. Margitich draws from anthropology, taxonomy, geology, and alchemy creating abstract paintings that offer special depth and opposing textures that force the viewer to be engaged.
In each work, brightly hued, organically flowing gradients are arranged in seemingly impossible configurations. Upon close observation, the inorganic plastic qualities of the artists’ materials become apparent to the viewer. Throughout the exhibition, these fluctuations between organic and inorganic are subtle reminders of where we find meaning in the order of our contemporary culture.
Sean Mahan is a social realist figurative painter who works with graphite and acrylic washes on wood to depict a sense of wonder about the innate warmth of the human character and its conflict with structures of power and control.
Los Angeles based Joshua Dildine is a painter that repurposes family photographs, using them as armatures for abstract painting. Three different steps in his work are construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction. Construction involves selection of the photography and setting up the emotional context that the image possess. Deconstruction is actually defacement of photography so he could create something new. During this step that last only a few moments Dildine works very quickly to harmonize the photo with paint. Last stage is the reconstruction of the context. Using acrylic, spray paint, oil and UV coated ink, he defaces the image into works of art.
Walter Sutin grew up in Pennsylvania and studied at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Sutin makes drawings that refer to contemporary realities but he connects them to divine experiences. He makes acrylic and gouache snapshots drawn with quill pen from both fantasy and real life events.
Geneva, New York based Jacc Shutter is an aspiring independent artist that has been drawing since he was 2 years old. Jacc mostly uses brush tip prismacolor markers for his pieces and sometimes acrylic paint. He draws most of his inspiration from artists such as Salvador Dali, Keith Haring, and M.C. Escher but also from music by artists like David Bowie or Arctic Monkeys.