HIGH VANTAGE POINT PAINTINGS BY KIRSTEN BEETS

by Ariadna Zierold

Kirsten beets, South Africa, Cape Town, oil, paint, nature, recreational, high vantage point, people, places, objects, upper playground

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.

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VIBRANT PHOTOGRAPHY BY AIDA MULUNEH

by Ariadna Zierold

aida muluneh, ethiopia, ethiopian, addis ababa, photographer, photography, body painting, vibrant, colorful, people, portraiture, traditional, upper playground

Aïda Muluneh is an Ethiopian artist based in Addis Ababa. In 2000 she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in film, radio and television from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Muluneh is the 2007 recipient of the European Union Prize in the Rencontres Africanines de la Photographie in Bamako, Mali, as well as the 2010 winner of the CRAF International Award of Photography in Spilimbergo, Italy.

aida muluneh, ethiopia, ethiopian, addis ababa, photographer, photography, body painting, vibrant, colorful, people, portraiture, traditional, upper playground

Muluneh’s work on body painting is inspired by traditional body art from across the African continent. “Each work is a reflection of conscious and sub-conscious manifestations of time and space,” she writes.

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SYMBOLIC PORTRAITS BY VALENTIN FISCHER

by Ariadna Zierold

valentin fischer, painting, paintings, portrait, portraiture, faces, people, germany, upper playground

German painter Valentin Fischer creates digital artworks featuring portraits of various people with hints of geometry and symbolism. He is pretty much self-taught, learning from the web and the influences of other artists such as James Jean and Sam Weber. He has worked in a number of capacities as a freelance illustrator but gave that up a while ago to become an Interface Designer.

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AMERICAN REALISM BY BO BARTLETT

by Ariadna Zierold

bo bartlett, realism, painting, narrative, people, scenes, american, modernism, realist, upper playground

Bo Bartlett is an American realist with a modernist vision. His paintings are well within the tradition of American realism. Bartlett looks at America’s heart—its land and its people—and describes the beauty he finds in everyday life. His paintings celebrate the underlying epic nature of the commonplace and the personal significance of the extraordinary.

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IDENTITIES BY AMY SHERALD

by Ariadna Zierold

amy sherald, painting, paintings, portrait, portraiture, people, faces, baltimore, upper playground

Baltimore based Amy Sherald was born in Columbus, Ga. in 1973. She attended Clark- Atlanta University where she earned a Bachelor’s of the Arts in painting in 1997. Sherald was chosen as Jurors Pick of the New American Paintings Edition 88. Her work was mostly recently acquired by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian Museum of African American Art in Washington, D.C. Through her portraits, Amy Sherald explores the ways people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations.

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BIZARRE AWKWARDNESS BY POLINA TERESHINA

by Ariadna Zierold

polina tereshina, illustration, people, bearded, awkward, bizarre, minimalist, pastel, watercolor, russia, upper playground

Russian-born painter Polina Tereshina interprets her feeling of being between cultures, neither purely Russian nor American—a little of both. An abstract sense of statelessness is reflected in characters that move and interact within a fantastical geometric playground that is detailed yet vague.

polina tereshina, illustration, people, bearded, awkward, bizarre, minimalist, pastel, watercolor, russia, upper playground

She has a love for the awkward and bizarre aspects of our daily lives, so much so that she interprets them through her abstract, figurative paintings. Using acrylic, ink, and watercolor, she disassembles the body to arrive at a newly resolved aspect, one which speaks more clearly to the reality of our movements.

polina tereshina, illustration, people, bearded, awkward, bizarre, minimalist, pastel, watercolor, russia, upper playground

The rigid lines of the geometric and lined backgrounds add a sense of control to the piece, one which the subject interacts around. This brings balance, along with the idea of limits and structure. Through this we can relate to the modified human. By simplifying the body to the elemental aspects of the figure, often just a silhouette, she draws the viewer into the exaggerated trait.

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QUIRKY MOMENTS BY ALEJANDRINA HERRERA

by Ariadna Zierold

alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground

Mexican artist Alejandrina Herrera’s illustrations capture quirky moments in the life of people and animals. The minimal approach to different life situations using a mix of watercolor, drawings, and mixed media, is quite fun. Also, the soft palette combined with the dark, intricate details of the drawings are spot on.

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AMERICAN MYTHOLOGIES BY ROBIN F WILLIAMS

by Ariadna Zierold

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

Robin F Williams is a painter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her figurative paintings explore pervasive American narratives about childhood, identity and gender. Her figurative work explores closely held American mythologies about gender, privilege, and the American Dream. She uses the fictional nature of the painted image to examine the fictions we tell each other as a culture.

robin f williams, painting, narrative, people, mythologies, surreal, portrait, portraiture, childhood, identity, gender, figurative, brooklyn, upper playground

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MOVEMENT SCULPTURES BY RACHEL KNEEBONE

by Ariadna Zierold

rachel kneebone, sculpture, ceramics, porcelain, movement, intricate, narrative, people, upper playground

Rachel Kneebone’s intricate works address and question the human condition: renewal, transformation, life cycles and the experience of inhabiting the body. Kneebone’s sculptures operate in a near-subliminal space, oscillating and blurring the boundaries between the conscious and the subconscious, the real and the imagined, everything and nothing.

rachel kneebone, sculpture, ceramics, porcelain, movement, intricate, narrative, people, upper playground

Working in porcelain, the material properties of her work further heighten and convey an awareness of opposing states, appearing to be not only heavy, solid and strong but also light, fragmentary and soft. This fluid movement between states is reflective of the wide range of art historical and literary sources that inform the artist’s practice.

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