San Francisco-based artist Jessica Hess is a hyperreal landscape painter. Her depictions of the urban environment both celebrate and validate the art of graffiti through a fine art lens of oil paintings on canvas and gouache on paper.
A graduate of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), Hess is a recipient of the Trent Burleson Painting Prize, the Faber Birren National Color Award and the Stamford Art Association Award for Excellence. Hess has been exhibiting nationally since 2002.
Sarah Emerson is an artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her paintings and installations present viewers with highly stylized versions of nature that combine geometric patterns and mythic archetypes to examine contemporary landscape. She uses the camouflage of beautiful colors combined with a deliberate composition to explore themes that reflect on the fragility of life, the futility of earthly pleasures, and the disintegration of our natural landscape.
Daniel Rich translates photographs into paintings that call attention to implicit political and social narratives transcribed in the built environment. The architectural image is represented in his work to introduce a dialogue about changing political power structures, failed utopias, the impacts of ideological struggles, war and natural upheavals. He is interested in the highly symbolic role architecture plays in politics and its power to function as an icon of our lived experience, a portrait of an existential phenomenology whose features manifest where society is at one particular moment in history.
Rich’s paintings point to the shifting of the significance and meaning in both images of places and the places themselves. His interest in the potential divergence and duality of images and the media’s role in covering and presenting issues to the public is closely tied to a pictorial architecture, and its ability to act as an icon for political, religious and social systems and beliefs. He collects and appropriates photographs he finds on the Internet and in newspapers, in response to radio and television broadcasts, and through research and reading. The mediated image is painted in order to invest the picture with the capability to function as a signifier and to evoke meaning and discourse.
Kayla Buium is a young emerging artist from Toronto, Canada. She grew up in North York where her grandparents introduced her to the world of fine arts. Art was always her passion but being raised in a creative family inspired her to take it more seriously. In her teenage years she attended Earl Haig S.S. and majored in visual arts where she was inspired by the world of modern art.
Her art style is heavily influenced by the works of Alex Pardee and Doctor Seuss. She explores a variety of media from sculpture, acrylic and even street signs.
Kristin Farr is an artist and journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Kristin is inspired by humor, nostalgia, color psychology, rainbows and magic. She is exploring a legacy of folk art through her color-crazy geometric paintings, and is interested in good vibes and human-made objects that contain mystical powers.
Irving Norman‘s art evolved out of American Expressionism and though he understood and admired what his contemporaries were accomplishing, Irving followed the song of a different muse. He said at one time: “The path I followed chose me, not me it, I was led to painting by experiencing life, it’s contemplation and a desperate need to give it expression. I find spiritual strength in the artists of the remotest past to the immediate present.”
Although influenced by the Social Realists of his time, Norman’s style of figuration was set apart by a predilection for caricature – a realism inflamed by the fantastic rather than the natural. The horror and futility of war as experienced by the artist in Spain certainly equipped him with an apocalyptic vision. Norman was creating meticulously detailed realistic paintings and making use of “cartoon” aesthetics decades before the advent of Photorealism or the current “low-brow” fad.
Queens, NY based Greg Burak (previously featured here) makes figurative paintings. He was born in the Hudson Valley Region of New York in 1986. He received his Associates Degree from the Delaware College of Art and Design in 2005, his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007, and an MFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2015.
Burak’s strange and unnerving paintings often “set” in the late 1970s or early 1980s (by his use of clothing and interior style), immediately recall coming-of-age movies of that era.
Christopher Kuhn approaches his paintings backwards, meaning his compositions are often built in such a way that what appears to have been added last is often in fact the first layer. Looping gestural line work switches from positive to negative and back, revealing itself to be graphic. What appears to be thin multicolored graphic lines turn out to be silhouettes of gestural marks that were meticulously covered over, save for the edges. Kuhn asks the viewer to piece together the puzzle of his paintings and, in doing so, reassess how they perceive the world of images around us.