Hunt Slonem was born in 1951 in Kittery, York County Maine. He is a renowned American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. Slonem is best known for his abstract depictions of animals, specifically Birds, Butterflies, and Bunnies. His whimsicality has captured the hearts of many across the globe, enchanting us all with a phenomenal power to elevate and inspire effortlessly. His works can best be described as monumental and uplifting as these forces certainly are the cornerstones of his inspiration. His pieces draw upon a spiritual connection celebrating nature, animals, and history. This bond stems from a love of exotic birds, as he has over 90 of them in his studio, painting them from life almost every day. His travels around the world since a young age has brought much passion for landscapes, as his father was in the Navy, living in Hawaii, Nicaragua to Mexico. And lastly, his unique joy in preserving historic homes has brought him to collect over 8 historic properties in the US, realizing too many of the country’s architectural gems have fallen into disrepair, bringing them back to their original beauty while decorating them with genuine antiques and his own creations.
Hunt possesses a unique gift, a gift that stretches far beyond his creations in art. Stepping inside his studio is an experience to behold. It is like stepping into a magical world, where you feel anything is possible; similar to the feelings you get when gazing at one of his enchanting paintings. The music of birds echoes and creates the soundtrack while enjoying other treasures placed perfectly in the design of his studio. You can find a family of harps positioned in a centered arrangement, a forest of tropical plants in another, objects and vases situated and resituated, as Slonem is inspired by the decorations arranged almost daily with-in this seemingly endless stretch of space. And that’s not all, there is a collection of antique top hats rested on top of a 19th Century French table, a dining table set with gorgeous china wear ready for a dinner party at any moment, marble inlaid tables and busts, Gothic furniture with his own fabric designs, and his incredible birds that have the freedom to fly where they desire.
These collections surely fuel his creativity as Slonem finds that collecting gives an exciting element to his artistic process, as placing objects and arranging the rooms with in his studio acts as a cathartic experience. Most of his paintings are housed in a wonderful antique frame that is sourced from all around the world, some of which date back to the Rococo period as far as the 17th Century. His pieces exhibit a true ethereal quality, which is no wonder why they go together so effortlessly. And this is just a small glimpse into the phenomenal reality of this prolific artist's studio.
Recently Slonem has been shown at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. In 2017 and 2018, he will be featured by the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Gallery in Bulgaria, and Slonem’s works can be found in the permanent collections of 250 museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Whitney, the Miro Foundation and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Lee Ok Nam's work is calming the world's howl to a quiet sleep by using newspapers paired with traditional Korean paper to form the most basic fundamental shape- A Circle. She has created a movement of reflection. Accumulated from the layers of time, thus telling the story of us all - A wave of calm and strong mind through history and time.
In the works of Lee Ok-nam, the will of differentiation between form and content is what creates a juxtaposition of abstract and concrete. The content is the form and the concrete substance forms abstracts images. There is no symbol and analogy and narration in the image created by her, but at the same time, there are overlapping realities, formed from the subject of her materials, newspapers.
Cut newspaper lengthwise in a certain width while allowing many to stick to each end of the strips, create certain overlapping designed in a wave-like pattern. The newspaper strips essentially become endless. And a concentric circle is rolled with the strips. The rolling of the newspaper goes on and on in repletion. So the thickness of the diameter of the disc gets bigger and bigger. The circular plane of the disc is formed with the thickness of every over-lapping newspaper. It forms an eccentric wave in the color of the ink of the newspaper only. But there is no analogy and explanation to the newspaper material and it only shows a certain state of the newspaper. Therefore the material of the newspaper is exposed as it is, raw and never ending, just as in life and in real time. Lee ok-nam aims to create timeless pieces reflecting the world in all of us, inviting us to perpetuate the feelings in her work with the emotions we feel with the world around us.
Logan Ledford's abstract paintings display a unique design with wonderful attention to detail, utilizing minimal compositions with acrylic paint, liquid gold leaf, acrylic sheets, and vinyl. Simple natural beauty and elements of nature are the starting point for her work, filtering through emotions in their sporadic color and organic form with grid-like or centered circle compositions. Sensations of a particular moment in their purest element drawn from everyday objects, like a pallet of makeup from a woman's purse, the plastic of a Barbie doll, or clothing from a crowd of people, are the inspirations of this series.
The splashes of a raindrop or flickering lights through the busy city remind us of these colorful canvases. The works combine strong contrasts of cleverly placed paint, creating a highly decorative and engaging pattern, having the viewer jump from spot to spot taking in the boldly luminescent geometry and the lovely blocks of variant color.
Logan's passion for schematically designing each canvas depicting geometric shapes over and over again, mimicking simple, recognizable forms is a joy to discover. Each canvas is repetitive, but each individual and unique with its own theme. Standing in front of her paintings is like journeying into a very strong world of color, where the senses are completely motivated, exciting us to discover Logan's unique patterns seamlessly with the imagination.
Logan Ledford was born in Baton Rouge and received her Bachelor of Interior Design from Louisiana State University. She studied at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts and now lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ledford has exhibited in many places in Louisiana and her work have been reviewed by numerous prestigious newspaper and websites such as Garden & Gun, LSU Art & Design College Press, The Scout Guide, and The English Room Blog. This year she will continue to show her work at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.
Gillie and Marc
‘The world depends on contemporary artists to challenge life as we know it. We, the contemporary artist pull apart the world, so it can be put back together as something different.’ As husband and wife, Gillie and Marc are Australian contemporary artists who collaborate to create art as one, applying the iconic imagery of the dog/human hybrid to celebrate the powerful spiritual relationship that exists between man and animal. Gillie and Marc reference their own remarkable love story in their works, perpetuating a pursuit of happiness and encouraging us to challenge the status quo and the perceived safety of societal convention. Gillie and Marc’s unparalleled love is the cornerstone of what they are and of what they create.
Gillie and Marc first met in Hong Kong. She was a nurse from England and he was a boy from the ‘burbs’ of Melbourne. Instantly they realised they’d found their soulmate, someone to start a journey encompassing their mutual love for art and adventure. Seven days later they were married in the foothills of Mount Everest. They not only share an unsurpassed dedication to their art but also love for their two children, whom Gillie describes as their ‘best friends’ — along with their fur baby Indie, of course.
With a 20 year history of collaboration, Gillie and Marc’s works (paintings and sculptures) have received acclaim worldwide and are held in collections both nationally and internationally. 'We are two people working as one, with a single vision — something no one else is doing in art’. Initially, Gillie and Marc painted and designed, but have now become very interested in sculpture, creating commissioned works for venues such as: Australia Zoo; Sydney Children’s Hospital; Australian Red Cross Blood Service; Hilton Hotel Singapore; McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters in Singapore; and the Ying Ren Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing. The artists produce sculptures in a variety of mediums including bronze, brass, steel, wood, fibreglass and polyresin. Awards and accolades are numerous for the Schattners. In 2006 they were Archibald Prize finalists. The painting 'He’ll never be famous but he doesn’t give a damn, he’s a musician,' earned them first prize at the 2009 Chianciano Biennale in Tuscany, Italy.
Their life-like fibreglass sculptural piece, Bondi Coffee Dog, appeared in the Florence Biennale in the same year. Stretching controversy further is their work, If Jesus was alive today he would be a skateboarder, which featured in the inaugural 2009 Blake Prize Director’s Cut, an online exhibition. Gillie and Marc has also featured work in the 2012, 2015 and 2016 Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi Beach where they won the People’s Choice and Kids Choice Awards in 2016, for Shandu, Buried Rhino. With over 20 years of collaboration, Gillie and Marc’s works have received acclaim worldwide and are held in collections both nationally and internationally.
John Stango is America’s artist, born and raised in working-class Philadelphia in 1958. Today, John stands as the Frontier of Modern American Pop Art, best known for his distinctive imagery and multifaceted mosh up style paintings. Using methods of both silk-screen done by hand in studio, and freehand painting, we are drawn to his use of bright colors, and animated characters leaving us in a dizzying yet profound world of his own.
John carries the pop art movement into the 21st Century with his powerful play on iconic trends and household names. He builds this upon 1950’s tradition, infusing it with a new, vibrant, colorful, and masculine approach. Musicians, art collectors, politicians, actors, and professional athletes alike prize his work and can be found in stadiums, corporate offices, and galleries across the country.
Frances Elaine Rockwell, John’s mother, was an extremely talented painter with her family’s heritage tracing back to famed American artist Norman Rockwell. Early in life, John’s teachers noticed his unique artistic talent and although he defied his family’s wishes by attending Tyler School of Art at Temple University, John quickly began to hone his gift and stood out among his class. One professor noted that he was one artist everyone noticed.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Graphic Design, John drew the attention of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department stores who hired him as a visual merchandiser and display artist. John soon began to create original silk-screened t-shirts that his former employers chose to carry in their stores and as his reputation in the region continued to grow, he turned his attention and energy to painting full time. For the past 30 years John has been working actively out of a large backwoods warehouse in Philadelphia.
Today, John draws artistic inspiration from retro advertising, pop icons, B-movies, mid-century modernism, magazines, noir films, vintage signage and all things pop-culture. Forming a unique combination of both silk-screening and hand painting, John creates pieces that are all at once nostalgic and modern. He is defined by intense brush strokes, painting with his body using explosions of color, aggressive textures, jarring contrasts and intense highlights. His subjects usually consist of iconic bombshell women, designer logos, sports heroes, stewardesses, Americana images, all while competing with and complementing one another, yielding exceptional compositions we are instantly drawn to. Batman, Elvis, Audrey Hepburn, Lucky Strike, Mickey Mouse, and Heineken all find themselves reborn in John’s paintings time and time again, all while using an element of surprise.
Gee Gee Collins
Gee Gee Collins was born 1973 and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She studied painting under Michael Phillips at the College of Charleston and received a bachelor's degree in Fine Art from the University of Georgia. She also traveled and studied at Lamar Dodd School of Art in Cortona, Italy. From the start of her career, she has been captivated by bright colors and the essence of minimalism. Her bold brush strokes and colorful palette combine to create layers of paint that give each piece a history and an ethereal quality. She approaches the canvas with ease and spontaneity, resulting in paintings filled with energy and movement.
Gee Gee is best known for her abstract paintings exploring unique pallets with line and texture. She is heavily influenced by Joan Mitchell, Franz Kline, and Matisse. After intensely studying the ever-changing world of fashion and eccentric colors used in mixed media, Gee Gee has blossomed her style into an array of extravagant design. She follows forms which evoke organic lines and whimsy, triggering a sense of fun and elegance within each work. Using the theme of fashion but also playing with the theme of femininity, Gee Gee creates pieces which exhibit a strong sense of lust and beauty, while effortlessly depicting her subjects with the use of shape and color. Her pattern creates abstract paintings that explore an environment ever changing, shaped by pigmentation and a balance struck between beauty and chaos.
Today Gee Gee lives in Minneapolis with her family and creates in her studio at home. She balances painting with motherhood, and a lot of her style is influenced by family and her children. Her mother is a Fine artist, and for her growing up, she was constantly surrounded by art and fashion, as her mother also owned a chain of woman’s clothing stores. Gee Gee was constantly exposed to new trends and exciting colors in textile and design; where a lot of this exposure has transcended into her body of work today. As a mother, she is nurturing this lineage of art to her kids, allowing them to grow freely into their own.
Gee Gee is also heavily influenced by her studies under Michael Phillips. At the age of 18, she was able to capture her style freely, as Phillips techniques emphasize the theory of “no rules;” a completely liberating experience for Gee Gee, as she was able to thoroughly express herself with no boundaries. She was also introduced to artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Mother Well, and Cy Twombly, who guided her in her exploration as a young artist. This was a truly exciting time for her because at such a young age she didn’t feel the pressure of restriction in art. And today, we can feel this heavily in her execution. Collins’s works are featured in "100 Artists of the Midwest", a prominent book which takes a fresh look at 100 living artists from the Midwest, their personal stories, and inspirations, along with several examples of their works.
Born in Narbonne in 1987, Aiiroh is a French pop/street artist. At a young age, he started as a graffiti artist in train stations in several cities. Soon after, he was introduced to stencil work which made it possible to create art faster on the street. With a guidance of a friend, he eventually discovered the work of the “affichistes” such as Raymond Hains, Villeglé, Dufrêne and Rotella. The latter became a real obsession for the artist. "I take great inspiration from this movement which has a great poetic dimension for me. I sometimes spend whole nights wandering to find and snatch the poster that I like. I think I add a touch of optimism and color and do not like to politicize my work, but now more than ever, my artistic practice of “affichiste” finds an echo to the exhibition of 1961 of Hains which moved me a lot, "France in shreds.”
In some of his works, Aiiroh incorporates brands to remind us of current trends and how they may influence our daily lives. The anarchy of dripping, the turbulence of the compositions come to stand in contrast with the pure lines of the graphics of the brand logo, but also of the famous LOVE of the American artist Indiana. Does the graphic strength of these logos also have an effect on our collective unconscious as well as on our aesthetic codes? The artist ponders. For several years, he has been exhibited in some twenty galleries in France as well as internationally (Switzerland, Italy, UK, Greece, Israel, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan). His latest accomplishments have been commissions from large brands such as Ferrari.
"Thanks to Banksy and before him Blek le Rat, young street artists like me can have a visibility they would never have before. The works that were intended before to some passers-by in a dark alley, can today be seen by more people. Social networks, especially Instagram, play a big part in the rise and the explosion of street art. I define myself as street artist but also a pop artist, in the original sense of "popular", which brings to life the culture of the street. I like the irony and to play with the references and icons that touch and unite my generation. I most often try to keep a spirit of love and optimism."
Gieler was born in 1982 in the Netherlands. In the late 90’s he began experimenting with graffiti in Amsterdam. For years, he remained active with spraying letters on walls and as he got older, graffiti evolved in street-art and he also started to experiment on canvas. The street influences can still be recognized and by using hand torn collected street posters, he is able to compose unique images on canvas captivating the viewer with the voice of the people and his own. Blending urban elements in a highly intricate way, he creates beautiful compositions that differentiate him from his counterparts. Since 2014 he has been diligently creating this body of work by replicating the captivating beauty of pop icons with his own style. As an emerging artist from The Netherlands, his collage works are always being provided with posters he collects from walls out of the streets; he has developed a technique of ”Sustainable art" which gives a living and edgy character to his paintings. He also uses other old materials, like damaged brushes, blunt stanleyknives or other older and sometimes broken tools. Since by working with these tools and materials the result is always more surprising and exciting.
JM Robert was born and raised in Macon, a small country town in the French region of Burgundy in 1987. JM Robert started painting at a very young age before getting an Art and decoration degree at the Beaux-Arts School in Paris. He studied graphic design and décor at the Métiers d'Art in Paris where he learned and refined his technique, in particular, that of trompe l'oeil. Today he strives to create paintings that draw from his experiences from a young age, expanding into impressive and powerful canvases. His work is characterized by a pictorial act in two phases. He first uses different techniques such as graffiti, scratching and scraping with knives and trowels to mimic the effects of patina, dirt, and degradation. Following the fluidity of this first layer, a face begins to appear in the eyes of the artist before he begins to paint his muse. He then hand-draws this face in black to simulate stencil work.
Scarcely evoked, the facial features are already vanishing. It seems that the faces were sketched, but did not have time to be completely formed. It is also a trace of an anonymous passage, a presence that is fragile, precarious, and always feminine. His abstract backgrounds of bright and flashy colors contrast with the black graphic by which he captures characteristic expressions of female faces. On his canvases, colors burst into a myriad of fragments that no longer manage to find their meaning to take shape. The use of vivid colors often help to classify his work in the category of pop art but he crosses the boundaries of style to create pieces which exude a timeless emotion, bridging classical and contemporary, creating a completely unique style of his own.
Ruins and damaged walls of big cities full of rough-cast, bits of tags and old posters fascinate him and became the source of his inspiration. What is the passage of time? What is left of our presence in a place? What trace do we leave of our passage on earth? These are the questions that artist JM Robert raises in his works. There are sad, joyful, sometimes distant looks. But these faces are always in the hope of something, a trace of life in a chaotic setting as in Pompeii or Hiroshima, Robert wants to represent the shadow of these figures. He picks up these feminine faces from everyday life, in his opinion, they bear witness of our time.
He exhibits in France, Hong-Kong and has done many live performances in street art festivals and collage around the world. Lilac Gallery is proud to be presenting his first solo exhibition in America.
Cindy Shaoul was born in 1987 in New York. She is a visual listed American artist best known for 3 distinct styles, "Dripping Dots, Stepping Out, and Old Hollywood." With a Hungarian-Persian background that comes from a lineage of artists, Shaoul has matured unique expressions with her own voice and story to tell. She is the granddaughter and pupil of late world-renowned Hungarian artist Albert Sz. Nemethy, whose paintings can be found in the White House, the Kremlin in Russia, and Museums in the U.S. and Hungary. After completing her professional education at Emerson College in Boston, Shaoul later moved to Israel and Hungary to study culture and science while absorbing the energy of these new cities. In Budapest, she attended the Budai Art Institute from 2007-2009, later returning to New York City to continue her artistic education at the Art Students League, where she worked under the tutelage of Joseph Peller, Gregg Kreutz, and Tom Torak. In 2010 she met renowned street artist LA II (Angel Ortiz) who previously worked with Keith Haring in the late 1980’s. LA II strongly influenced her style with the powerful impact of 1980s hip-hop and graffiti. They began collaborating on a collection of exciting street art which later exhibited in Europe.
Having built a diverse body of work since her early career ranging from portraits to colorful abstract paintings, Cindy is constantly reinventing her style working on a range of collections from Pop Culture to City Street Scenes. She is identified prominently for her colorful "Dripping Dots" series that is focused on a pointillistic style, achieving simplicity of beauty in the moment, creating a translucent but very rich pallet evoking a result which is clean, fresh and modern. Her "Stepping Out" series focuses on women in New York, capturing moments that are ever fleeting on the go, busy and determined. And lastly, her "Old Hollywood" collection that goes back in time with an Ashcan school approach depicting street scenes from the early 20th Century evoking a moody tone with thick use of paint, and a more subdued color pallet.
Her whimsicality is precious, leaving much room for nostalgia in her works. For more than a decade her pieces have been a part of several important Exhibitions throughout New York City. Her paintings are part of private collections including ‘Dr. Issac Shohar’ and ‘Zion Yakabov’ in Tel Aviv, Israel, and ‘Alex Acevedo’ on Madison Ave., New York.
Corinne Natel is a London based contemporary artist mostly known for her circular fluid mixed media paintings. She was born in 1978 and holds a BA Honors Degree in Multimedia from The University of Bedfordshire.
By exploring form and color, Corinne creates works inspired by nature, her travels around the world and fashion. Wanting to explore the multi-levels of space and texture, she is able to capture the movement of paint effortlessly with the use of gravity, science, and math. The outcome is a splendid design with the right amount of heaviness, balanced seamlessly with negative space. These forms take on almost graphite, Carrara like effect leaving us with an endless discovery of color, movement, and vibrance. Using mostly acrylic paint with mixed media, the blank white contrasts take on new forms through the expression of energy and begins to develop a life of its own. A new entity is expressed beautifully on the canvas, as Corinne aims to create bursts of emotive works that allude to a transcendental theme.
She also often explores the theme of seasons and nature, further expanding how she is inspired by color. Thus learning how this relationship can grow and multiply with the use of texture and design, to then create new and wonderful environments in her paintings.
Rudi Sgarbi was born in 1975 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rudi Sgarbi is a versatile artist in search for a language that overcomes technical frontiers. The difference between his work and that of experimental and performance artists is that he always tries to associate art to well-being.
His creative production is a libel in favor of democratization of Fine Arts and leads us to believe that every work of art can indeed be in perfect harmony with the environment in which it is placed. His root in desing and decoration makes him tirelessly seeking the discovery of a large and multifaceted language in an attempt to prove that regardless of the complexity of a work it can fit any space.
His referrals are the most diverse possible. From classical artists he inherits the meticulous and complex labor of those who study biases of all artistic possibilities; from contemporary ones, the courage to expose and to recreate himself, and the attempt to achieve a multifaceted work that bears his signature .
Noting the influences of the past and the everyday, Rudi Sgarbi is always looking for new materials and new techniques of implementation. This search recreates and gives new meaning to his own versatility, making him not restricted to just one style or a certain material, enabling his own process to be a symbolic/artistic interaction, where intuition is always in the first place.
Sona Mirzaei is a contemporary artist from Los Angeles, California. She is a self-taught artist, ambitious and talented, building a well-regarded art practice that has blossomed into a wonderful world of its own. Her sole mission is to follow interests in life and capture anything that evokes cognitive activity, emotion, creativity and inspiration for her audience and inevitably herself. Sona's approach to art is culturally rich, bold, daring, while evoking a gentleness. She achieves great depth and contrast with use of aggressive motion in her brush work, creating paintings with great layers and texture, manifesting dimensions, liveliness and joy. She is currently working in abstract expressionism, pop art, sculpture, street art, mixed media, conceptual, 3dimensional, and public art.
Sona's interests extend to public art as she believes that people should be able to experience art anywhere and place. This notion of working outdoors opened a great opportunity for her to have experienced a Sotheby's auction with her elephant Triumph of Unity in Singapore which was sponsored by Air France in 2012. The last several years have brought more awareness to Sona's career in the form of public art, exhibitions and these experiences have also allowed for her first museum exhibition at the Asian Civilization of Art Museum, following the Milton Museum in Massachusetts.
Sona has become a vibrant force in the International art community and has exhibited her works in London, Singapore, Copenhagen, Chicago, Las Vegas, Toronto, Paris, Miami, Hong Kong, New York City, Dubai, San Francisco, and numerous venues and galleries all over Southern California. She has a genuine artistic goal of continuing to evolve and create magic thorough the lens of the visual medium which she believes has the power to transform and transcend virtually any space.
Daniel Fiorda was born in 1963 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Of Italian ancestry, his lineage includes a grandfather highly respected as a wood craftsman, also is father was a craftsman in addition to being a musician and poet. Because a privileged life was not his, there was no university for Fiorda. In the Old World tradition of passing on knowledge from parent to child, he learned about machinery form his father, who recognized his son's talent and encouraged it. With some private tutoring he began sculpting in high school using found objects.
The press reviews of his first exhibit, at age 20, stated that Fiorda had a definite “poetic feeling”. With this encouragement, he continued to pursue his art. After leaving Argentina, he arrived in Miami Beach via a circuitous route and set up his studio in the South Florida Art Center. He has exhibited widely throughout the US including the OK Harris Gallery, Allan Stone Gallery in New York as well as the Heriard Cimino Gallery in New Orleans, Lélia Mordoch Gallery in Paris France and Lilac Gallery in New York City. Daniel was one of the winners in the 7th Annual Sculptures Competition (2003) held at Washburn University in Topeka , Kansas.
Selected on the inaugural 2006 Palm Beach International Sculpture Biennale, and exhibited for a 3rd time in Sculpture Key West. He is an alumni Artist of ArtCenter/South Florida. Two Pieces from his “Convertible Couch projects” were selected by Art in Public Places in Orlando (2002-2003) and was on display for one year in the entrance to the Orlando Science center. The Highlands Museum of the Arts in Sebring Florida, has acquired for their permanent collection the “Red Hunter”, one of the heavy toys “Series 2008” sculpture, which has been installed in front of the Museum's Garden. The MOLAA, Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles, has incorporated one of Fiorda's “Square Series 2008” in their permanent collection, and was the recipient of “Auction 08: Contemporary ,Honorary Award”.
Fiorda links past and present, old and new, with a subtle irony and criticism. The works become a critical mirror for our post-Industrial society and its polluting daily activity. Fiorda’s works have found a key place in the great currents of Contemporary sculpture. Daniel Fiorda’s sculpture breaks up the logic of representation characterized by traditional Western-Art sculptures. His works are made with discarded metals assembled in a complex and busy structure that recalls a Neo-Baroque approach to art. The sculpture's material becomes a morphological generator of its figurative shape. As an archeologist, Fiorda captures the “presence” and the elusive meaning of each work of art, most lately with discarded remnants of the industrial world. Fiorda currently lives and works in Miami Florida.
Born in New York 1980 and raised in Ireland, Derick Smith initially began a career in design before moving on to chemical photography which resulted in his first solo exhibition in New York, 2006. Later, he began to experiment with sculpture and painting after graduating from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin 2012, and has since exhibited nationally and internationally.
Within his practice materials are tools with a view to honoring their integral essence and of not losing sight of their primitive nature. The paint is treated primarily as paint; it is employed as a means towards exploring the possibility of the existence of 'pure vision'. Through the interaction of the paint with itself and, in so far as possible, the least intervention, one can bear witness to the unfolding of what may appear to be microcosms. The dripping and shifting textures, like water in nature, seeks the paths of least resistance and the lowest points of rest. Gravity is the primary inescapable force which touches everything and these snapshots seem stolen from the timeline of an otherwise downward demise.
Within any piece one may be drawn into certain microcosmic 'universes', the echoes of happenings, which invite closer inspection. While stepping back a more distant view allows for an overall comprehension of the macrocosm. Aesthetically and technically, a balance is sought between this overall view and the density and depth of the echoes within. Somewhere between these viewing planes a form or image may be distinguished which pulls away from the paint.
It can absorb the attention for a moment before the illusion fades and the awareness of the physicality of the paint as an object takes over. It is this dialogue, this toggling back and forth between form and object, the momentary suspension or interruption which is most readily pursued in Derick's pieces.
Kim Jae Il
Kim Jae Il was born in 1969 in Seoul, Korea. Kim Jae Il's process of expression is hiding and burrowing to make the image and appearance visible. His forms differ with every work displaying themselves by perspective and sculpturesque convention. He believes in expressing the objects and ideas farther dynamically, assuring the works cannot be plane figures; existing somewhere between cubic and plane concepts by containing flat structures. Creating 3-dimension sculptural expressions and 2-dimension pictorial expressions, in one screen, is how Kim Jae Il's work is best described. Forming a unique process of intaglio, materializing several traces of our surroundings. It is his own language to engrave his vestige, unwilling to lose this in his works.
Kim Jae Il earned his B.F.A and M.F.A at Hong Ik University in Seoul Korea. He has had numerous solo and Group Exhibitions through out Europe, Asia, and the US including, Korea, Hong Kong, New York, and Miami. His works have been a part of many important collections through out the world and he has received Awards from the Seoul Museum of Art, the National Museum of Contemporary art in Korea, and a Contemporary Sculpture award in Seoul Gallery. He is a member of Hongik Sculptor's Association, the Korean Sculptor's Association and the Korean Fine Arts Association.
Looking at the works of Roh Jae-soon, we can feel many stories being told through just one simple element: the mouth. Roh refuses to let daily life slide by, incorporating elements of sympathy into his paintings. If the sentence inscribed in the wall becomes a sentence, the lips on the canvas will tell stories as if they had become a reporter. We can hear the cry of the times through Roh Jae-soon’s canvases, embracing the stories of the world. The lips drawn on the canvas are about to tell a story. Roh's drawing's are not simply the lips, but the ‘expression’ of the lips.
Roh Jae-soon began to draw from the early days. Sometimes he drew the whole body, but mostly focused on eyes and faces. This collection of the lip work has its significance in telling the story of the world. The moment the artist commits the photographed lips to the canvas, the atmosphere and message of the art work are determined. For instance, tight lips express the absence of communication, and open lips the carpe-diem kind of gaiety. Depending on the expression of the lips, some lips suggest hope for the future, and only the lips are highlighted. Roh expresses the lips in various ways.
Yannick Hamon was born and raised in Toulouse, France. From a young age, Hamon had a keen sense of creativity that was against the norm of the typical paint and canvas. Making experimentation one of the most important facets of his artistic practice. Hamon loves using female imagery, incorporating his own graphic design, and calligraphy background to develop paintings with acrylic, spray paint, and resins. Using bold, neon palettes of colors, highlighting a black and white composition of a beautiful female face, his paintings take on the appearance of a newspaper, media headline or pop-culture imagery, which aligns us with the quickly-moving and a rapidly changing world.
Hamon's education in multi-media art at the Scriptorium de Toulouse, a school that specializes in typography and calligraphy, helped him reach a greater success with his individualized style of art expression. His desire to create on a universal level has helped him grow his business within fashion and customization work for skateboards, interior designers, furniture, and snowboards.
What is inspiring and allows Hamon to create pieces, is the basic human emotion of everything we see around us daily. He is not political in art expression at all. Instead, Hamon prefers to exhibit what is beautiful around us using vibrant, erotic and feminine imagery.
LA II (Angel Ortiz)
LA II (Angel Ortiz) was born in 1967 in the Lower East Side of New York, New York. Also known for the artistic names of LA II, LA2 or LA Rock which stands for “Little Angel” are often seen as tags in his artwork. LA II began his career when he met Keith Haring in 1980 at the age of 13. Being one of the most recognizable Graffiti artists from the Lower East Side in the 1980’s Ortiz collaborated side by side with Keith Haring for a number of projects. Having dropped out of High School in Manhattan, New York in 1983, he traveled around the world working with Keith Haring until 1985.
LA II is for Haring what Jean-Michel Basquiat was for Andy Warhol. Today LA II is considered an iconic graffiti artist, being unearthed from the massive power of Keith Haring’s body of work. LA II’s role role in Haring’s artistic development is clearly delineated by the unique and original look of their co-produced works. Fortunately, LA II is still alive, and his career is in its prime. LA II has a very collaborative nature. He seeks out to work with other artists giving characterization of his unique calligraphic patterns and lines to each piece. He has worked with dozens of artists in the art market today. Some of these names include Richard Hamilton, a number of street artists from the LES, Delta 2, Ero, and Cindy Shaoul. LA II's Urban Art style and graffiti heavily influenced Keith Haring’s work. If it is to be found the LA II, LA2 or LA Rock tag within a Haring artwork, then the piece was produced in collaboration effort between Keith Haring and LA II.
LA II complimented Haring’s “empty space” drawings, Angel Ortiz helped fill out Haring’s drawings. Haring said, “All the work [Angel and I did] was about surface and usually covers or transforms the object it is applied to”. Haring and LA II combined their styles to create an overall surface of intermingling lines. They worked on Day-Glo painted plaster sculptures, real objects, or room-sized installations with graffiti writing that mixed with contemporary and ancient symbols that Keith loved so much. They worked on hundreds of works until Keith Haring’s death in 1990. LA II and Haring were constant creative partners for almost six years out of Haring’s decade-long career. Their collaboration produced hundreds of admired, sought-after and valuable pieces, which are exhibited in galleries worldwide, from New York to Tokyo to Europe. This partnership mirrored that of Braque and Picasso, except unlike LA II, Braque was given due recognition for his work. It is also to be noted that in Keith’s own writing, LA II was always mentioned as a part of Keith’s history. It would seem that critics, business people and even art historians have “overlooked”, or perhaps omitted, the crucial role of LA II in the history, development, and impact to Keith Haring’s body of work.
The influence that LA II garnered over Keith Haring by meshing their creativity produced some of the most iconic works of art that exist in the art market today. Among some selected exhibitions on which LA II has participated are: Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City, with Keith Haring in 1982, in 1983 alongside with Keith Haring at the Fun Gallery, New York City, at the Galerie Watari, Tokyo, Japan, at the Robert Fraser Gallery, London, United Kingdom, at the Special Projects Paint Fiorucci, Milan, Italy, in 1990 Future Primeval Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows and Corona Park, New York with Keith Haring, Follin Gallery, New York City in 2001, Clayton Patterson Outlaw Museum, New York City in 2002, LA II & Keith Haring, Due amici a New York in 2003, Scope Art Fair, Los Angeles, California in 2004, and Galleria Leonardo Galerie, Bolzano, Italy in 2005. After his work with Haring ended, LA II continued to make his own artwork fighting to make his past and current work more well-known. In 2008 he was famously caught tagging his name in a restored Haring outdoor mural without permission and in 2011 he went to jail for one month due to graffiti around Manhattan. LA II lives in New York, New York and works to continue creating graffiti art.
Anabel Leiner is a contemporary artist from Hamburg Germany. Her process deals with constantly experimenting with mixed media and colors to find her abstractions. Her experimentation process is one that motivates her and drives her to find new media. Her artwork highlights the catalytic role of materiality and technique in the contemporary quest of abstraction. The result is refreshing with long lines contrasted with soft colors, balancing these features delicately and skillfully. Her use of color evokes elegance as her lines create an innovative touch.
The feeling of Anabel's work comforts the viewer with rich color juxtaposed with aggressive darker tones. In a whirlwind of elements we can feel specks of dust, drops of rain, rays of sunshine; taking you to a landscape bursting with sensations, emotions and most of all, the feeling of a thousand things happening in an instant.
Robert Gregory Phillips
Robert Gregory Phillips was born in 1955 and is a contemporary American artist. He works in a broad range of media including painting, photography, drawing, collage, video and code art. His paintings are in corporate and private collections in the USA, Korea and China. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Painting from Troy University, Alabama. Abstraction, realism, impressionism, minimalism and color field are among the influences of his art.
Robert's work considers the dualities which encompasses an authentic life inspired by the spirit. Deeply connected to poetry and the tranquil essence of nature, Robert discovers unique patterns and colors to reveal his inspiration drawn from people, history and underlying simple, everyday moments. His paintings explore a unique color pallet which is at times soft and vulnerable and at others frivolous and chaotic. Both drawing upon the pureness of the moment which evokes a raw, elegant and modern feel.
As an artist, he states that when he does art, he prays and waits, he waits for something to come, not so much a direction, but a feeling or maybe better, a knowing. As he explains that it is not an “all-at-once thing”, he usually needs to make a mark, or choose a color before he can know the next thing to do. Then, for him, one mark leads to the next, one color to the next. He would only consider his art as complete until a certain aesthetic is reached, and he never knows how long is going to take.
Sometimes he will stop after a few minutes and re-start it again on the next day. Some other times he will work in this process of 'art aesthetic' for months or even years until the piece is finished. Film, music, poetry, philosophy, theology, nature, science and technology have certainly a deep influence on his artwork, but the dominant element is relationships. Relationships with friends and family but also, as he defines, with the ever-present influence from the author of creation, always having a deep yearning of his soul. Phillips lives near Austin, Texas with his wife and family.
Bassmi Ibrahim has chosen a life in abstract painting to give access to a space beyond words. Rather than representing the outer shape of the world, these paintings express the fluid dynamism of all life. His work is a dance in between the artist and the medium allowing both intuitive fluidity and disciplined control.
In the studio the white canvas is contemplated in meditative silence, enabling Bassmi to enter into a special plateau of his inner being. The image shows itself like a light unfolding over the surface of the canvas. Each work is totally spontaneous and usually made in a single session of several hours and then revisited numerous times to add layers of depth and tonal value. He uses diluted oils and synthetic varnishes to create moving forms in translucent layers of color. The painting is totally alive during its creation, combining freedom of movement with an innate sense of aesthetic balance. The beauty and subtlety of what takes shape can only come from deeper layers of the inner self.
Bassmi's work is concerned with the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual self. All exposed with nothing held back. The viewers are invited to enter into a different area of their awareness, where the intellectual mind is silenced and the simplicity of the inner self is opened to lead them into the paintings.
As an Egyptian artist born in 1941 growing up in Alexandria, he got to know the Mediterranean of myth and legend. The sea, its ebb and flow and the waves themselves found as a constant in both, the life of the planet and in Bassmi's career. From the early phase of Bassmi's art career, he refused to paint in the traditional realistic style, and when he arrived in New York he was able to start working as an art restorer while allowing for adapting to the avant-garde art world of the 1960s. He started creating abstract paintings and after meeting with Mark Rothko whom he considers a spiritual and artistic mentor as a touchstone and constant inspiration. Bassmi certainly might share some of Rothko's darker moods but he doesn't show it, what he shares is the ability to make a striking and decisive composition.
Bassmi's stain painting is distinguished by its physical clarity filled up with air and light, with some water flow like sensations in every composition. Always inspired by nature, something apart from the self, and nature is Bassmi's constant source, he now lives on the gulf coast of Florida, which provides plenty of this watery sensations, resulting in a creation of beautiful pieces where you can appreciate and feel a fluid exuberance in Bassmi's art.
Wolfgang Leidhold is a prominent contemporary German painter, drawing upon mythological, religious, and historical themes to depict his whimsical vision of the world. Through his use of traditional Renaissance painting techniques, Leidhold incorporates archetypal images into his work, unifying the past and present.
Leidhold was born in 1950 in Dortmund, Germany. He studied painting from 1972 to 1975 under the mentorship of Hans-Jürgen Schlieker (1924 - 2005), a leading figure of the German Art Informel at the Arts Center of the University of Bochum, Germany. In 1982, Leidhold received his PhD in Social Sciences, with minors in Chinese Studies and Philosophy. As a research fellow, he studied at Stanford University in 1976 and Georgetown University in 1986. Since 1992, Leidhold has been a professor of Political Science at the University of Cologne, Germany, with a focus on History of Ideas and Political Theory. He is the author of numerous books and articles.
In addition to his distinguished scholarly career, Leidhold has gained extensive recognition as an artist; his works have been widely exhibited in Germany. Some of his most notable exhibitions include: Galerie Freiraum in Cologne, Germany in 2004 and 2006, Autoren Galerie No. 1 in Munich, Germany from 2005 to the present, and Jörg Heitsch Galerie in Munich, Germany in 2008. Leidhold participated in the Art Fair 21 in Cologne in 2009 and most recently, his work was shown in the project room of the Curatorial Partners at the Art Karlsruhe in 2010.
Richard Shaoul was born in 1985 in New York City. He is a self-taught American artist. His mostly fictional works contain both natural and supernatural dream-like elements inspired from his own deep imagination. Richard defines what it means to be an artist without limits or guidelines. His paintings exhibit that endless possibilities are indeed fathomable. His extreme precision and attention to detail distinguishes him from his counterparts.
His works, typically in charcoal, portray surreal scenes with rich textures and depth, intense contrasts and eccentric exaggerations; regardless of the subject. His works, both magnificent and endearing, provide a glimpse into his ever-so abstract mind.
Richard produced his best pieces following extended reclusive periods in hiding, out of reach from the public. The gallery is pleased to be representing a private collection of his most recent works.