Our goal from inception was always to be an artist collective and serve as a platform for great contemporary artists and their artwork. We are now a mobile collective and will feature shows, pop-ups, open studios, community events and more all around NYC. This allows us to go where our collectors and fans are. Some of our favorite neighborhoods are the Lower East Side in Manhattan, and Bushwick, Gowanus, Red Hook and DUMBO in Brooklyn. These areas are the heart of artists, galleries and studios. With support from sponsors, private collectors and artists we can do more. We are currently producing an art magazine, several monographs, various shows and other events! Get your friends and colleagues involved and support us if you like. creativebloch.com/contribute. Thanks! -Joe Bloch, Creative Director, CREATIVEBLOCH
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jonathan LeVine at Mana Contemporary and discussing his move to NJ, his philosophy regarding being a curator/gallerist and to learn about his future plans.
Jonathan started out as an art major, but soon realized his passion was in organizing and curating shows of other artists. His mom said it must be the Jewish merchant in him that gave him his entrepreneurial spirit. He had a knack for organizing and promoting.
His first gig was working as a gallerist at CBGB 313 in the East Village. Here he met up with some now renowned artists such as Ron English and Shepard Fairey. Jonathan quickly became known within the ultra-contemporary low-brow art market, and is, in a sense, a founder of the movement. Jonathan found artists that were otherwise snobbed away by formal galleries, taking in street artists, art brut creators and what is now coined pop-surrealists.
After ventures in New Hope and Philadelphia as a gallery owner, Jonathan knew he had to get back to NYC. Taking a huge leap of faith, he opened his gallery in Chelsea on 20th Street in 2005. Apparently Ron English swayed him away from Brooklyn, as that was where the lookers were. But the buyers lived in Manhattan.
Jonathan found a renewed interest in representing the niche world of these fringe artists and so did his buyers. Jonathan has curated shows from such names as English, NYCHOS, Fairey and others.
I asked Jonathan about moving to Jersey, and he said quite frankly his rent in Chelsea just became too high. He also felt Chelsea was no longer the hip area of the art world, and in some ways has become the upper east side representing mostly blue chip artists now.
Jonathan never felt this was about money; he felt an obligation to support and represent unknown and lesser known artists that he could introduce to his collectors.
Jonathan is quite a down to earth guy, with strong roots in Jersey and his blue collar upringing. Quite a difference from the typical cash cow gallerists with a trust fund or ties to investment banking. His story is inspiring to those who came from similar places and to artists that need support and representation.
Of course the challenge these days is that art buying has gone mostly online, often times with buyers never coming to the gallery. Up to 90% of the visitors to his galleries are not buyers, but rather fans or other artists. We asked Jonathan what is his “special sauce” to make things work. We interview many gallerists and hear how the art market is down, people are buying less art, and don’t even have time to go to the galleries.
Jonathan said there are no shortcuts. It has taken him more than 17 years to build his name and brand. Now collectors trust him even if they make a purchase from the other side of the world without ever setting foot into his gallery.
We were also curious how Jonathan finds artists. He said there are 1000 artists for every gallery, so the process of selection is tricky. He doesn’t recommend artists walk into a gallery and ask to be shown. Jonathan suggests artists should have a solid Instagram page with great images that show consistency and give a sense of reliability and self-promotion skills. These days it’s not on the gallerist to do all the work, he said. He often selects artists that already have a good following, a solid website, and have shown at various galleries to prove they have a track record.
“Artwork does not have the sort of cachet that having a nice watch does, or driving a nice car like a Mercedes or something. You can’t wear this. It’s in your house, the only way that people are going to see it is if you bring them in there, then they have to be impressed by it.”
Jonathan mentioned how he might need to invest a considerable amount of time and resources to represent an artist. Sometimes he produces several shows with a lower amount of sales than expected. He says, “You can never really know how an artist will sell. Just because they have 100K followers on instagram, it doesn’t guarantee anything.”
He says art becomes sort of like fetish items–very expensive fetish items. “I know lots of wealthy people, doctors and lawyers and you know they live in my town, but like that’s just not where their interest is, they’d rather go on vacation and have season tickets to see the Giants.”
“I have a friend, Dylan, and he collects watches and so you know he’s got the standard watch everybody knows which is a Rolex, it’s like you have a Rolex, it must be expensive. That’s actually not the case. You can buy a less expensive watch. But he also has this other watch and I can never remember what it is called. Even more expensive but if you’re wearing it nobody has any clue except for this super duper nerdy watch collector who has a lot of money, so I think the art market’s kind of like that too. It’s also like if you have a lot of money trying to show off and you’re in that next level which is a lot of what our world is you know.”
Jonathan’s content being a blue collar Jersey guy; he drives a Honda, and is extremely down to earth and approachable. How many art dealers can say that? He’s done with NYC, and is home in Jersey City. He’s happy to have his own business and swears its passion, not money that gets him up every day. We have to agree with him. Without passion, nothing is really worth doing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Three Man Show 'Another Christmas' at Van der Plas Gallery featuring the works of Konstantin Bokov, Joe Bloch and Alejandro Caiazza, Opening Friday, December 15, 2017 6-8 PM on view through December 31st. 156 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, NYC Open 12-6 daily.
New York, NY December 14, 2017 --Van der Plas Gallery presents, Another Christmas , a three man show featuring contemporary local artists Konstantin Bokov, Joe Bloch, and Alejandro Caiazza, displaying works that respond to the changing forces of the New Year. These artists’ works center on the idea of how to cope with and document the rapidly changing landscape of New York City on both a physical and cultural level. Neighborhoods that were once cultural icons have been replaced with ubiquitous coffee shops and boutiques hawking overpriced dungarees. The rapid succession of changes that caused them to collapse into sameness has become nearly impossible to track.
In the paintings and sculpture of Bokov, he fastidiously dates each image and writes its location, so as to keep a record of his observations. Christmas and New Years images are featured strongly in his oeuvre, marking the change into another Christmas, with another tree. These Christmas scenes feature symbols of each year. The 2017 Christmas tree quite presciently features a bed and a clock, perhaps suggesting that we wake up and come to our senses.
Meanwhile, Bloch and Caiazza, who work together in the CreativeBloch collective, feature a more brazen approach to the changes of city life, taking on an imagined and gritty character in their respective works. Bloch features a bad santa amongst his characters in the Sticky City. Meanwhile, Caiazza features a miserly Grinch and his reindeer. These works make us laugh but perhaps also urge compassion, as no one really wants to live amongst the oddball denizens of Sticky City.
About Konstantin Bokov
Konstantin Bokov (1940- ), is a New York-based outsider artist who was born in Ukraine and expelled by the Soviet Union in 1975. Encouraged by the liberal atmosphere in New York City, the artist never puts limits on his art. Instead, he draws inspiration from his cultural background and the energetic local art scene, and keeps exploring different styles and materials. Beginning with paper works and city landscape painting, his sensitivity to the nature of beauty soon led him to his signature style. From the mid 90s, Bokov has developed a unique creation method, picking up and recycling objects discarded by others as trash, and then transforming them into the outstanding artwork. His collage and sculptural works are the product of keen observation, wild imagination, and bold construction and drawing skills.
About Joe Bloch
Joe is the founder and creator of CREATIVEBLOCH and has over 25 years experience as an artist, illustrator and Creative Director. He graduated RIT with a BFA in medical illustration and illustrated countless books, journals and magazine covers for various clients. Joe's highly textured acrylic paintings are known for their bold, expressive style. He created CREATIVEBLOCH art magazine, a publication for emerging and established contemporary artists. He is also the illustrator and author of "STICKY CITY" a new graphic novel created entirely on the iPad Pro. Joe's work has been shown at CREATIVEBLOCH Gallery, Van Der Plas Gallery, Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, Fillin Global, Studio Milo, and the Brooklyn Waterfrot Artists Coalition. He has been active in showing through ARTINDUMBO events such as the DUMBO Open Studios, the DUMBO Arts Festival and First Thursday Gallery Walks.
About Alejandro Caiazza
Born in Santa Fé Argentina in 1972, Alejandro Caiazza has Italian roots and was raised in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. He was trained in architecture and fine arts at the Jose Maria Vargas University in Caracas Venezuela. His first one-man art-gallery exhibition as a fine artist was on April 1999 in the “Sala de Arte de Sidor” in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela. In 2000, Caiazza moved to Paris, France where he lived and worked for 10 years. Caiazza started his abstract paintings mainly with black, white, and grey, giving him a vehicle to express his interior anguish. The black in his work symbolized emotions, the white was the rationalization and essential for the existence of black, while the grey brought balance. In 2010 he developed a universal language by mixing various traces, signs, figures, and colors, communicating feelings and sensations known to all. By the end of the year, he exhibited at the Lavatoio Contumatiale in Rome, Italy. Caiazza currently works and resides in New York City. He continues creating extraordinary pieces that reflect the artist’s emotions. In his most recent work he demonstrates a strong passion for American pop culture, embracing traditional forms expressed in primary colors, and sometimes adopting a ‘naive’ technique. Alejandro creates whimsical and delightful paintings at first glance, but often there is a deeper, darker side to his work. He creates elementary and childish figures, often cruel, inspired by the drawings of children, which often include criminals, skulls, clowns, and madmen.
Written by: Nicole Lania
The work is based on a Locksmith shop in Kaohsiung in Taiwan created for a group exhibition with Arcade Art Gallery in Kaohsiung called When the Sun Goes Down opening on November 10 at Arcade Art Gallery, Jianjun Road/Shangyong, MRT Weiwuying exit 5.
Joshua Smith is a full time miniaturist who has been creating miniature sculptures of the Urban Environment. His work has been showcased at the VOLTA Art Fair in New York City, Urban Art Fair in Paris, San Francisco Art Fair as well as exhibitions in London, Berlin, Houston, Sydney and Melbourne. He has upcoming exhibitions in Taiwan and Palo Alto in California in January.
Artist: Joshua Smith
Instagram: @Joshua_Smith_Street_ Artist
Photographer: Ben Neale
I am an artist and love to create art, and sometimes hope to sell some. But what I've discovered is the happiness and energy I get from buying art. I've recently purchased and acquired art from many different artists that I work with. Every day I wake up and look at the art, and feel proud to know such talented artists and share something in common. It makes me a better artist and gives me a boost to my day, knowing someone went through a lot of thought and creativity to make it. Art isn't about money, it's about creating something others can enjoy. When I look at a painting a friend made, I think of him and all the great times we had together. Another artist might give me a new idea, or something to try or inspire a happy accident. The amount I gain back is ten-fold from the original purchase. So, instead of buying some IKEA art, why not buy something from a real living artist. Support the arts. -Joe Bloch creativebloch.com
I usually try to incorporate some type of signage or typography into my work. My interest in type goes way back to when I was a kid. I used to paint logos on my bedroom walls, and create mix tapes on my Atari 800 computer. That was pre real fonts and desktop publishing. I remember hacking into early computers to create my own fonts before people called them fonts. Also remember ordering type from type houses and doing real cut and paste-up. Kids today will never understand the complexity of layout using old-school tools and being high on rubber cement thinner all day.
When I created the CREATIVEBLOCH brand, I wanted something that would represent a bit of an edgy look, not formal, with a bit of heavy metal thrown in. After researching countless fonts, I settled on DekapotMasss. A great grungy, umlaut based, teutonic styled face. Its imperfection was perfect for the look I was going for. Things like kerning, leading, baselines, were thrown out the window for a more artful look.
I also wanted a font that I could recreate with paint for signage, posters and merchandise. I started this painting with a sketch, roughly following the look and feel of the original digital face, with a more painterly casual appeal. I use alot of skulls in my work, for the graphic quality and anatomy. I was trained as a medical artist and spent hundreds of hours drawing skulls.
As usual, I begin to block out dark areas with black paint, gradually building up layers. At this point I carefully balance the amount of contrast and "boldness", as this stage sets the tone for the entire piece.
For this image I decided to keep it mostly black, white and silver with limited use of color. I usually try to incorporate silver into my work, as this adds a nice "fine art" feature, that only those who see the original can appreciate.
Next I try to balance out the cool with warms shades of gold, yellow ochre and naples yellow. This also adds additional contrast to the piece. Textures are built up layer by layer over a period of weeks.
I added a few more accent colors, and added some more texture using various tools and layering techniques. Hope you enjoyed this article, and try to incorporate some typography into your art in the future!
I've been using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for many months now and am really enjoying it. It has definitely exceeded my expectations. I've spent my career going back and forth between traditional and digital media. My early commercial work was all traditional, airbrush, pen & ink, watercolor, gouache etc. I started using illustrator and photoshop in the early nineties for my medical illustration work. Around 2005, I started to paint again using acrylics for fine art purposes. Now, I do everything, depending on the project.Read More
I read an article about mixing alcohol with acrylic paints a few months ago and was intrigued. It makes sense that the alcohol would cause the acrylic paint to separate and create interesting effects. Since my paintings are so textured, I've been experimenting to see what kind of results I could create. We usually have a few different beverages around the studio, so I started to mix a bit of vodka and whiskey into the paint to see what happens. Well sure enough, I was getting some pretty cool results and was able to enjoy a cocktail at the same time. (Don't drink the alcohol that's mixed with the paint, that is a bad a idea!)Read More
I sat down with Jonathan Logan and Claudia Rivera from the School of Visual Arts in NYC regarding the Art Squad and their upcoming exhibition at the CREATIVEBLOCH gallery.
Joe: Tell me about what it's like to be an art student these days. It's been a long while for me when I graduated back from RIT in the nineties.
Jon: "The path of an art-student is unique and personal. It usually starts with painting on the floor in your dorm room with some mediocre brand of paint because it was the cheapest in the store, to eventually blossoming into an artist who has an individualized process."Read More
CREATIVEBLOCH is excited to have TRINA MERRY join our fall show ECLECTRICITY* for its encore on Nov 3. Trina's work has appeared in JUXTAPOZ, TIME, NY Times and many other publications. Her work is known for its exquisite detail and almost camouflage appearance. Come see her at the show https://www.facebook.com/events/448129688644493/
“Painting on the body creates a special connection to a person that other visual art forms have trouble accomplishing; it’s a distinctly human experience.”
Bodypaint is an ancient art form and the use of ochre on the skin dates back 425,000 years and has a deeper part in all of our cultures than people tend to realize. Painting on the body is a distinctly human experience; it creates a special connection to a person that other visual art forms have trouble accomplishing. This work has a heartbeat and a breath— it is dynamically alive. The ephemeral nature of bodypaint forces focus and reflects on the reality of existence, which is an incredible thought that I find myself reflecting on frequently while working. I also love the freedom of working in multiple mediums to express myself.
Learn more about Trina and her work at trinamerryartist.com
Creativebloch (www.creativebloch.com) is pleased to announce our first issue of CREATIVEBLOCH MAGAZINE! The magazine was released as part of our Fall Group Art Show, ECLECTRICITY. The first edition includes 17 amazing NYC artists, and is available to order exclusively though our website at creativebloch.com/publications/magazine
The artists are featured in our gallery show through November 6 in DUMBO. Come celebrate the show and the magazine!
Some of the artists involved are Alejandro Caiazza, Scott Teplin, David Platt, Tiziana Mazziotto, Robert Samartino, Julie Severino, Martha LeDuc, Jade Chan, Gary Schwartz, Chad Martin, Robert Arnow, Jenn Ruff, Cynthia Chatman, Chris Dacs, Kiley Ames, Joanne Borek, Myla Seabrook, Sofya Dudnik, Cleber Martins, Norbert Gonsalves, Alexis Duque, Rob Bebbington, Natchie, Angela EunSung Kim, Julien Zemor, Joe Bloch and Alejandra Wedding.
"The magazine is another way for us to let the world know about great emerging and established artists around NYC. It's kind of like a Juxtapoz for local artists."
Artist Rob Bebbington from the UK produces amazing caricatures using both spray paint and markers. Rob's work made its way into some wonderful events and festivals all over the UK as large murals. His fan page, DOODLESnDRIPS, on Facebook shows a lot of his process and sketches as well as final art.
Rob is recently expanding his work into prints and t-shirts, a great avenue to display his fun characters. Get on board by supporting his Kickstarter project. Rob is determined to produce his goods as a fair trade company, assuring the production is safe and producers receive fair pay, giving back to the community.
Gilles BOENISCH is a PhD in Information Sciences & Communication, an artist, designer, and digital manufacturing expert. He lives and works in Europe (France).
What is the inspiration behind your work?
As children, we examine many objects at length. We wanted to know and learn by having role models that give the impression of knowing everything. Generally they evaded our questions, that it was too complex to understand. We finally took the initiative, and took everything apart, everything we had on hand, all that was around, without the assurance of being able to restore. This required time and attention. Then it was only a representation and fantasy that took shape. After long moments of deconstruction, we finally arrived at the desired object: the main mechanism. Then we quickly forgot, and we moved to the next object to seize passionately about these bits of knowledge.
Tell us about the technique you use and why it represents what you do.
My « Undo » technique, is a way to "rediscover the inside" by "anatomical" investigation. This dissection incorporates the idea of "demolishing, amputating , slicing, dismembering, disarticulating, reverse engineering, and scrutinizing." It is a taboo dissection that is prohibited because it reveals an "emptiness of the inside," a profanation of the device. This secret offers an interior that is not easily discovered by many. So we dismantle the whole, we move from one to the other, we redispatch in a new way. In doing so, defeat is just an opportunity to create an opportunity for dialogue.
Tell us your plans for the future.
I plan to keep searching the imagination of the public by making them laugh or smile. A break such a shock, too, which provokes laughter: the expected and sometimes unexpected detonation. The rise and fall. So this is a good game, "a playful strategy from an 'I' to an "Other" to produce an effect of collusion between its author and to whom it is directed, to suspend the moment of the game, the anxiety of fate of the world. Specifically, my work focuses on collaboration to transmit my knowledge and approach, but also a message against the current stereotypes.
To review more of the work visit http://digitaldefeat.fr
This February Seyhoun Gallery near Beverly Hills had a landmark exhibition: Alexey Klokov’s Los Angeles debut. Klokov has exhibited all over the world from Moscow to London, from Tokyo to Washington. While not his first time showing in the United States, it is his first exhibit on the West Coast.
This was uncharted or at least less frequently travelled waters for the gallery as well. Seyhoun Gallery boasts the largest number of self-identified artists from abroad and patrons of any gallery in the city. Though they do branch out and draw in artists from all walks of life, to exhibit an artist of Klokov’s international renown is a great addition to Seyhoun’s roster.
Within the open, white walls of the Seyhoun Gallery, patrons and art lovers drifted from piece to piece. Their conversations filled the space with the delightful buzz of an exhibition that inspires discussion. An artist like Klokov inspires conversation in every space his work fills, which perhaps shows in his effort to use recognizable subjects in his works, which have been subtlety or unsubtlety abstracted to bring the artist’s audience into discussion with the piece.
The exhibit featured 10 works by Klokov drawn together from all around the world. There was something for everyone from lovers of the representational to devotees to abstraction. Featured prominently was Autobiography, a delightful splash of Roman and Cyrillic characters across a red field that inspires the viewer’s own contemplation of the meaning of the Self, and each of our own life stories. Delicate linework atop a creamy, rich background of red and blacks draws the indecipherable writing into sharp focus.
Among the other works exhibited were Inevitable, Urban Romance, and Spring Solo, each from wildly different series. The show itself was an exploration of the artist’s entire oeuvre. By gathering the diasporic artworks together, Seyhoun Gallery transported the viewer into Klokov’s studio, in a way. For nowhere else would you be able to walk such a short distance but be transported into a completely different world.
Though the show is now over, Klokov’s work may be viewed online at http://alexklokov.com or at an upcoming exhibition in Canada. Seyhoun Gallery is located at 9007 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood.
Artist Norbert Gonsalves’s work reflects a distinctly diasporic consciousness. Having moved to North America at age 29, his vivid, large-scale, mixed media works on canvas are still very much anchored to his Indian homeland and tribe. The rich, cross-cultural philosophy that shines through in his work is layered and ridden with moral and philosophical tensions. East and West, tradition and modernity, the material and the spiritual straddle twin poles in his dynamic compositions.
Indian aesthetic sensibility – its rich heritage spanning folk and classical art – lingers in his painterly rhythm. His work offers a conflation of painting and drawing, realism and abstraction, with found objects such as fabric incorporated for texture and density. Determined to meander in and out of two culture systems of variably conflicting values, in his work Gonsalves applies a visual language to the disparate perspectives latent in his practice and process.
Keen to make sense of the violence against women, the sheer brutality occurring in his homeland that he now must witness from a virtual distance, his works often play with motifs one can liken to creation and destruction. Shifting with ease between abstract and representational registers, his works throw fire and slip across borderlands. Scorching flames, smoke, tears, spills and splashes crowd his canvases like psychological scars. Images are forced into grids, chopped and cut, trimmed and yanked as if the artist were enacting a type of symbolic violence with his subject matter.
Meanwhile, longing and tender nostalgia for his home operate at a deeper level. The homesickness, horror and hope the artist faces each day bleeds through like a shining jewel of truth. In the his latest series, Dowry Dreams, Gonsalves goes to the heart of a disconcerting practice in India to expose the underlying threads of abuse against women it entails.
“Dowry Deaths,” is a common practice in India whereby young brides are set aflame and killed with kerosene in order to extract additional dowry money from the bride’s family. In this gripping series, Gonsalves literally scorches and burns women’s traditional sarees, bangles and chains to fashion misshapen forms that allude to the legacy of these victims of male patriarchal violence. Layered with his critique of this dark social phenomenon is the artist’s exposition of global cultural materialism. Gonsalves terms an over-valuation of the material “a sacrifice of love.” His passionate work addresses doubly the sexism, greed and quest for status that motivates these and other crimes against humanity.
Norbert Gonsalves has a background in Graphic Design and studied at the JJ Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai India. He has been making art since a very young age under the influence of his artist father J W Gonsalves.
For more information about Norbert and his work please visit www.norbertg.com
We had the opportunity to interview Sydney based artist, Shereen Yap, about her work. Her art is beautiful and playful yet intense and powerful. She is both an artist and writer.
What inspires you to create?
It can be anything! Conversations, observations! I often incorporate a recurring theme of beauty within the midst of chaos. One of my favorite subjects are bears. When I was a child, I used to visit the zoo and Grizzly bears all the time. I found it interesting to watch them in their environment, often with their backs to the viewer. This comes through in a lot of my work. Their emotions are often concealed in their face.
What techniques do you use to create your work?
I prefer not to be bound by any technique. I incorporate mixed media such as acrylics, ink, collage into my works. I also paint, sculpt, collage and write poems that incorporate my artwork.
What are your plans for the future?
I'm finishing up my first book of poems soon to be released called "C H A R L I E". I'm also continuing to explore new mediums and colors and finding new ways to express myself.
After hearing of Lemmy’s death, I felt what better way to show a tribute then paint a portrait of this rock icon. There are few authentic characters these days, and if there was one rocker that lived the “Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll” mantra, it was Lemmy. He and his band stayed true to what they wanted to create, never selling out to the record companies. His disdain for bullshit and politics, made him brutally honest. I can’t think of a man that defined Rock and Roll more than Lemmy.
I started listening to Motörhead in the 80’s along with other NWBHM bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon. I still listen to these same bands today, never really settling on anything except classic metal.
I started out with a sketch on canvas using a sharpie marker. This allowed me to focus on the bold lines that I wanted to get across. For this portrait I wanted to capture the attitude, charisma and rawness of Lemmy’s personality. I decided to integrate a wider color palette than usual. I added some metallics gold, silver and copper to add more “metal” to it.
I built up the layers over several days, increasing the colors and textures. I went back and reworked his face about 10 times, referencing photos from earlier days up through the present. I decided to put a bold, typographic treatment with his name, LEMMY, using an umlaut over the E as a nod to the teutonic origin for power as many metal bands have done. As Lemmy once said, "I only put it in there to look mean."
Not many people know that Vincent Van Gogh was influenced by Japanese artists and had an appreciation for the aesthetic. He wrote his brother Theo, "I envy the Japanese artists for the incredible neat clarity which all their works have. It is never boring and you never get the impression that they work in a hurry. It is as simple as breathing; they draw a figure with a couple of strokes with such an unfailing easiness as if it were as easy as buttoning one's waist-coat."
When living in Paris, he copied Japanese wood block prints and developed his own style. He was known to have many Japanese prints in his studio.
For this painting, I decided to combine my interest in Japan, especially Kyoto, and Van Gogh's impressionistic texture with a modern twist incorporating my own style.
I started with a white pencil sketch on a black canvas.
I gradually built up "chunks" of color, at this point the painting reminded me of some kind of "fruit cake" on a canvas.
Referencing Van Gogh's interesting use of perspective in such paintings as "The Night Cafe", and the "Bedroom in Arles," I tried to capture a more dramatic vanishing point based on my memories and photos of Kyoto during my trip to Japan in 2014.
My style tends to a bit bolder and more graphic so I added some additional drama and contrast to make it my own.
The final piece contains many layers of acrylic that were built up over a period of weeks.
I spent the week working on a painting I should have completed back in 2008, when I was living in Bushwick. It was far from a trendy area back then, with very little street art or murals. I lived close to the El Pollo Mas Bueno shop right on the edge of Brooklyn and Queens. I decided to recreate the painting based on the original appearance mixed with some new signage. It always impressed me that one could buy live chickens in Brooklyn. The shop has this great bold look, and artists have continued to embellish its appearance over the years.
I started with a white charcoal pencil sketch on a black canvas to capture the basic shapes and typography.
I built up the layers and textures with silver, yellow and red. Started to block out the type.
After a few more days of adding paint with sticks, palette knives and other random objects, I decided to add more accent colors. Just hints of green, purple and orange on top of the primary palette I had started with. Some additional metallics such as gold and silver were applied. Learn more, download our ebook today!
Just adding some finishing touches to this painting. This was inspired by a visit to St. Lucia a few months ago. The inspiring Petit Piton overlooking the Caribbean was such a beautiful and jaw dropping view, I had to pay it homage in a transformative way.
Was there a way to incorporate the beauty of a natural scene compromised by industrialization and urbanization? Could the two live together? Did a symbol of a skull need to be inherently toxic or could it symbolize a greater entity keeping an eye on the landscape?
This painting has many layers carefully built up over a period of weeks. Paint was added and scraped off. Tools dabbed paint on, and sticks scratched it off. Yellows, Blues and Metallics were layered to enhance the appearance in different lighting conditions. Bold, graphic black lines hold the major forms together and add contrast.
To learn more, download our ebook today!