Kirsten Beets was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. She works predominantly with oil paint on paper. Her main subjects and themes are how people interact with nature in a recreational way, usually observing things from a high vantage point and neatly rendering them in minute detail. Observations of people, places and objects (and sometimes the imaginative thoughts that were produced by them) thus recorded, transfer a fleeting moment into a physical object; elevating their significance and making them touchstones of memory.
Erik Thor Sandberg produces oil-on-canvas paintings centered on the expressive, allegorical power of the nude, harkening back to the origins of naturalism in painting and attuned to the history of his medium. Sandberg explores the intimate, uncanny connection between oil paint and human flesh and considers the figure to be painting’s most natural subject matter. Through it, he unflinchingly conveys the complexity of human nature.
Both beautiful and grotesque, the nude men and women populating Sandberg’s compositions are shown in dreamlike states, often suspended in the midst of impending actions: a woman wrestles with a bow-and-arrow; in an allegory for the sin of anger, a man readies a meat cleaver to rid himself of a fly at the risk of chopping off his own foot. These visceral allegories psychologically represent us we are: full of flaws and folly, hope and determination.
Ghent, Belgium based Michaël Borremans juxtaposes -in his figurative drawings and paintings- somber figures, jarring close-ups, and unsettling still lifes that are at once nostalgic, darkly comic, disturbing, and grotesque.
His seductive works contain timeless images of inner drive and external force, of the latent pressure involved in being human. Behind a veil of stylistic perfection, the artist simulates common rituals of interpretation and meaning. His intensely atmospheric images are puzzles involving political and psychological patterns of perceiving the world, which oscillate in a camouflaging, fragile way between inexorable realism and nebulous distance.
Jana Brike was born in Riga, Latvia, a small country in the North-East of Europe, which was at that time under Soviet occupation. She studied academical painting in the Art Academy of Latvia and received M.A. degree in year 2005. Brike has exhibited her work internationally in professional venues since 1996 while beeing still a young teenager, and has had 11 solo exhibitions and nearly 100 other projects and group exhibitions all over the world.
Her main interest is visual art with a strong narrative and depiction of a figure, mostly using the traditional medium of oil painting on canvas, but also drawing, animation, mixed media sculpture, installation and digital art.
London-based Rebecca Chitticks is a contemporary figurative artist working in oil on canvas. Her work is informed by the creeping influence of the digital realm. Rebecca wants to incite emotion through her art and she insists on painting primarily male subjects.
Ukranian artist and designer Alexey Kondakov merges figures from classical oil paintings with photographic scenes of modern Naples. The figures effortless merge with their present day surroundings, two women looking perfectly bored flipping through comic books in the back of a dusty book store, while a different woman takes a nap beside a latte and half-eaten sandwich. See more amusing juxtapositions from “Art History in Contemporary Life” here.
The paintings of Irish artist Genieve Figgis are possessed of a wicked, unmistakably Irish sense of humor. They ironize our attitudes to conspicuous wealth, land ownership, and social hierarchies by reimagining canonical paintings—commissioned to preserve the glory of their subjects—as nightmarish scenes, suggestive almost of depravity.
Her scenes depicting bourgeois homes, traditional portraits, or landscapes are often haunted by spectral figures and leering creatures with canes and top hats. A sense of the charmingly macabre emerges from Figgis’ combination of an apparent pictorial banality with dreamlike qualities.
Los Angeles based artist Chyrum Lambert uses ink, dye, stain, acrylic, wax, epoxy, and oil to create the pieces of his artwork, which he cuts up and layers into these fantastic pieces. Some of the artwork is more abstract while others have a semblance of figures or plant-life, familiar shapes slowly appearing.
North Haven, Connecticut based Maurice Sapiro is an artist that grew up in America from Highlands, New Jersey. You get a great sense of fluidity to the dreamy presentation of Maurice’s work, evident in his technique ranging from his oil paintings, to sculptures, to his basic hand drawn sketches.
Some of his most dream-like works comes from his “Pour Paintings”, where he uses a technique of “Viscosity Printing”, a technique developed by the late Stanley William Hayter, which uses oil paints of different viscosities which repel each other, rather than blending together.