Tag Archives: Contemporary

Artist ETHAN DIEHL interviewed by Silver Brush Limited

28 May

 

FEATURED ARTIST – ETHAN DIEHL

Brush Lady | May 20, 2019

We recently interviewed artist Ethan Diehl after meeting him at the 2019 Portrait Society of America show in Atlanta, Georgia. Ethan has an astounding talent for photo-realistic oil paintings. In fact, his paintings are so realistic that he even has a disclaimer at the top of his website that says, “Yes, these are paintings.” See for yourself!

SBL:  When did you start painting and what inspired you to pick up a paintbrush?
Ethan: I started painting almost before I could walk. Granted, it wasn’t in oil (closer to Gerber’s baby food), but it was the starting point.  My mother babysat a bunch of kids, and she converted our basement into an art room.  A half dozen young artists, mastering our watercolor craft.  I didn’t start painting in acrylics until junior high, and oils didn’t come on the scene until college. I don’t know why I picked up a paintbrush. I’ve always liked the visual world. The stars at night.  Storms on the horizon.  Movies.  Paintings. All of it.  Being able to capture images that lived in my head, and in front of me, always seemed special to me.   Like my superhero power.

“Train of Thought”

SBL: Do you have any formal training or instruction?
Ethan: I went to Stanford to study rocket science. Literally.  However, after a year of not enjoying my classes, I started to take studio art classes.  One of them, a drawing class, was taught by Nathan Olivera.  Nate was an incredible person.  We hit it off in his class, I completely changed the direction of my studies, and he became my art mentor.  More than simply learning the technical side of making art, Nate taught me how to pay much closer attention to what was right in front of me in the visual world.

SBL: Before you became a full-time artist, what did you do?
Ethan: The concept of full-time artist makes me chuckle. I knew very early on that it would be nearly impossible to make a living by just selling art.  So, I got a job, which I still have, as a software developer. I’ve been doing that for 21 years. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t put in a fulltime amount of work each week in the studio.  I do.  I’ve been doing 40+ hour “work” weeks + 40+ hour “art work” weeks for almost 15 years.

“Tenacity”

SBL: What is your favorite subject to paint and why?
Ethan: People are my favorite subject.  Primarily women.  This isn’t exactly an original concept in the art world.  Haha.  I like spending my time focusing on the beauty that only women bring to the world. Within the subject of women, I only paint women I know.  It’s important for me to have a personal connection to my subjects, because it takes SO long for me to complete my paintings.  I really don’t want to spend months on end staring at a strange face in my studio.

SBL: How long have you been usingSilver Brushesand why do you like using them?
Ethan: I have been using Silver Brushes, and only Silver Brushes, since 2004.  That was the year that I started my professional art career.  I only use 1 particular brush: the Silver Bristlon® Flat size 0. My paintings are made of tens of thousands of squares of oil paint.  Each square is 1/6 in by 1/6 inch.  The Flat 0 is the perfect width for that size square.  The way that the bristles are constructed works well for me, too.  I like the flex of the bristles as I’m working on the squares.  Once I found this one brush, I was hooked.

“Constellation” painting process

SBL: Can you explain your painting process further?
Ethan: I use a pencil and ruler to turn my canvas into the equivalent of a super-sized piece of graph paper.  Then, I spend months looking back and forth between my computer monitor (which has a pixelated image), and the canvas, and painting tiny squares.  My Silver Brushes are never the same afterwards.  I normally use 1 single brush per painting, and then the brush is “retired”.  This process is not recommended for anyone else.  It works for me, but it’s painful.

SBL: Have any artists influenced or inspired your work?
Ethan: Chuck Close specifically influenced the way that I paint, from a technical aspect. I’m inspired by living artists like Jenny Saville, Mark Tansey and Banksy.

SBL: Is your artwork on display anywhere?
Ethan: My art is shown at three galleries:
• Julie Zener Gallery in Mill Valley, CA
• Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC
•  Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

SBL: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Ethan: Work hard. Be nice. Enjoy the process. Fight envy with all of your strength.

For more information about Ethan and his artwork, please visit these links:
www.ethandiehl.com
Facebook
Instagram

Please contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by painter ETHAN DIEHL.
Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787
mortonfineart@gmail.com

OSI AUDU : DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART, Woodstock NY

26 Sep
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OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait with Egungun Hairstyle, 2018. Graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 31 inches

 

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock NY

Solo exhibition opens Friday October 19th and is open through Sunday, December 2.  The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment.

Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00pm and the public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 on Saturday.
OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being—the self in portraits.” The title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the AfricaAfrica exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.

SelfPortraitAgbogoMmwoMask_web

OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait, after Agbogo Mmwo Mask, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 58 inches

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.

— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum; Board President, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation)

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For additional information about artist OSI AUDU please contact Morton Fine Art at mortonfineart@gmail.com -or- (202) 628-2787.  Follow the highlighted link to view all available artwork by OSI AUDU on our website www.mortonfineart.com.

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All 2018 Byrdcliffe arts programming is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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VICTOR EKPUK book signing event Saturday, Sept 1, 2018 from 2-4pm at Morton Fine Art

26 Aug
Please join us for VICTOR EKPUK’s book signing party this Saturday, September 1st from 2pm-4pm. We will be celebrating the near 500 page, mid career retrospective titled “Victor Ekpuk : Connecting Lines Across Space and Time”, Edited by Toyin Falola. This incredible book includes fascinating writings by 13 scholars and countless images of Victor’s brilliant creations.

 

 

KESHA BRUCE’s “Sacred Liberation” at Waaw Residency, Saint-Louis, Senegal

18 May

Enjoy these photos of KESHA BRUCE’s opening reception for “Sacred Liberation” during her Waaw Residency in Senegal in May 2018. Among many new sources of inspiration, Kesha’s fascination with the baobab tree became magically obsessive. The artist describes:

The Baobab is the national tree of Senegal. I’d never heard of it until @kasiazudou sent me a picture of one that’s been carbon dated to be more than 6000 years old. I saw my first Baobab on my drive to Saint-Louis. They are absolutely eerie and otherworldly. I later found out they’re both feared and venerated for their magical abilities. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Almost every tribe has a legend about the Baobab. In ancient times elders and community leaders would hold meetings under the baobabs so that the ancestors and spirits who live in the Baobab would guide them to make wise decisions.
And until recently, Griots, living historians who are keepers of historical records across generations, were buried inside Baobab trees.”

NATE LEWIS in ‘6 Artists Pushing the Limits of Paper’ by Ariela Gittlen

24 Apr
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NATE LEWIS, 2018, Palpable Memories II, hand-sculpted photo paper print

At first glance, Nate Lewis’s work looks like it’s been adorned with embroidery, rather than paper and ink. His tender portraits and images of protesters gathering in the streets are sliced, scored, and punctured in such dense and precise patterns that their surfaces resemble beadwork.

“Latent Tensions,” a recent series based on photographs taken during the the 2017 presidential inauguration, shows protesters filling the streets. In one image, Lewis has almost entirely obscured the faces of three young men wearing “Fuck Trump” baseball caps, giving the protesters total anonymity and lending the scene an added layer of psychological weight. Like a tattoo, these marks read as both wound and decoration, reminders of the body’s beauty as well as its vulnerability.

Trained as a registered nurse, Lewis approaches the medium with empathy. “It’s about assessing the paper, responding to it, and giving it what it needs,” he explains. “My approach is to treat paper like a complex organism with a dynamic, hidden life.”

Lewis is currently using a residency at Dieu Donné (a paper-making studio and gallery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard) to continue his exploration into paper’s staggering variety, as well as its expressive potential. “It’s just a simple material,” he says, “but at that same time, the variability within the many kinds of paper is nuanced and vast.”

Read the rest of the article by Ariela Gittlen here on ARTSY.net

All AVAILABLE ARTWORK by NATE LEWIS can be viewed here on MFA’s website

OSI AUDU at SUNY New Paltz’s Dorsky Museum

18 Jan

ART BEAT: Exhibition of work by African artists opens Jan. 24 at SUNY New Paltz’s Dorsky museum

“Rooted” by Nenna Okore.
“Rooted” by Nenna Okore. 

This exhibition shows how contemporary African artists are using abstraction to create works that are thematically or conceptually connected to the continent, and as a way of engaging in a broader conversation about art. Curated by Osi Audu, an artist and independent curator, “Abstract-Minded” will be on view in the museum’s Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery.

The exhibition does more than look for the African in African art; it asks questions about what contemporary African art is, and what it does, in an increasingly global socio-cultural landscape. The artits whose works are featured are Osi Adu, Nicholas Hlobo, Serge Alian Nitegeka, Odili Donald Odita. Nnenna Okore and Elias Simé. For the artists, all born and/or raised in countries in Africa, aesthetic engagement with form is as important as their works’ symbolic, historical, political or conceptual significance.

Audu’s work, described by R.C. Baker as “shape-shifting … space-warping geometric abstraction,” examines complex issues of self-identity and the relationship between the dual aspects of the self (the tangible and intangible), by referencing the Yoruba thought that the human head has both a spiritual dimension (the “inner Head”) and a physical one (the “outer head”).

Hlobo uses stitching and color on paper and other materials, producing abstract forms that could be interpreted as an unconscious attempt to stitch together his divided South Africa. His repetitive process of “suturing” appears to seek the healing of deep wounds; a portrait of a nation at once frightening and beautiful.

Nitegeka, born in Burundi, is inspired by his love of the industrial infrastructure he finds in his home city of Johannesburg, South Africa. His work describes “the long and broad highways, complex flyovers, elaborate use of cast concrete on roads and skyscrapers, and the grid layout of the city centre.”

Odita uses color and pattern to produce visually captivating paintings as a metaphor for his personal experiences and travels, expressing a “desire to speak positively about Africa, and its rich culture.”

Okore’s creative process, informed by the technical practices (weaving, rolling, waxing, twisting, dyeing and sewing) she learned from villagers in her native Nigeria, repurposes discarded materials to create entrancing webs of lines and colors that critique the culture of consumption she observes in her homeland.

Elias Simé draws inspiration from the Addis Mercato, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, widely considered the largest and most vibrant open-air marketplace in Africa. He uses discarded electrical equipment and detritus to produce a patchwork of images and experiences described by Quinn Latimer as “the feverish fusion of a multivalent society.”

“Abstract-Minded” runs through Sunday, April 15. An opening reception will take place Saturday, Feb. 10.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, It is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, holidays and intersessions.

Call (845) 257-3844 or visit newpaltz.edu/museum for more information.

Click HERE to view the article in full.

VIEW AVAILABLE ARTWORK BY OSI AUDU.

Or contact Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 for artwork by internationally renowned Nigerian artist, OSI AUDU. (202) 628-2787, mortonfineart@gmail.com, http://www.mortonfineart.com

AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

8 Jun

The Mosaic Project: Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

The 9th annual Mosaic Project:

Amber Robles Gordon and Nathaniel Lewis

Oct 2ndDec 8th

First Friday receptions October 6, Nov 3 and Dec 1

Amber Robles Gordon

“My artwork is a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my gender, ethnicity, cultural, and social experiences. I impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity and tranquility with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found in the creative process and within us all. It is my belief that colors have both feminine and masculine energies and each color represents a specific aspect of nature.”

Amber Robles-Gordon, is a mixed media visual artist.  She primarily works and is known for her use of found objects and textile to create assemblages, large-scale sculptures and installations.  Her work is representational of her experiences and the paradoxes within the female experience.

Robles-Gordon has over fifteen years of exhibiting, art education, and exhibition coordinating experience.  She completed her Masters of Fine Arts from Howard University in November 2011, where she has received annual awards and accolades for her artwork. Since, her exhibitions and artwork has been reviewed and/or featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Washington Informer, Examiner, WAMU American University Radio, WPFW 89.3, MSNBC the grio, Hyperallergeric, Ebony.com, the Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Bmore Art Magazine, and Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora.

She has exhibited nationally and in Germany, Italy, Malaysia, London, and Spain. In 2010, Robles-Gordon was granted apprenticeship to create a public art installation with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, D.C. Creates Public Arts Program. Robles-Gordon was also commissioned to create temporary and permanent public art installations for numerous art fairs and agencies such as the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DCCAH, Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA), Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., Howard University, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Washington Projects for the Arts.

Throughout her career, she serves as an advocate for the Washington, DC area arts community. As of November 2004 through July 2012, Robles-Gordon has been an active member of the Black Artists DC, (BADC) serving as exhibitions coordinator, Vice President and President. Robles-Gordon is also the Co-Founder of Delusions of Grandeur Artist Collective. In 2012, Robles-Gordon was selected to present for the Under the Influence competition as part of the 30 Americans Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Additionally, she has been commissioned by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, Luther College, WETA Television, Al Jazeera, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Howard University, David C. Driskell Center, the Phillips Collection, the African American Museum in Philadelphia  and Mc Daniel College  to teach workshops, give commentary, and or present about her artwork. Most recently, Robles-Gordon has been selected for the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano, Back the Roots, Teaching Residency in Limon, Costa Rica.

 

Nate Lewis

“As a critical care registered nurse I desired to become emotionally porous. I sought for the impersonal experiences of patients and families to become personal and intimate. This resulted in distilling untested qualities of my character and further illuminating areas of my identity. I aim for this work to show the power of freedom within boundaries, and to question to what lengths are we willing to lay aside our pride, comfort, and fear to make room for empathy, within intimate and larger social contexts.”

Born and raised outside of Pittsburgh in the town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Nate Lewis is currently living and working in Washington, DC.

Lewis began his working career as a critical care registered nurse, he received a BS in nursing in 2008 and has since worked in a medical-surgical intensive care unit, a stroke unit, and spent most of his time in a neuroscience-surgical intensive care unit. He has been working as a critical care registered nurse for six years. He began pursuing the arts in 2008, first it was music, violin. He then started pursuing the visual arts in 2010. A self-taught artist, drawing inspiration from anatomy, physiology, disease processes and his nursing experience as a care taker of patients and their family members he creates stunning, intricate 2-3d sculptures out of  single sheets of paper that visually combines the aesthetics of drawing, sculpture, etching,  embroidery, and textiles. His approach to his work is often instinctive and free while at the same time surgically precise. Lewis’s work pushes the idea of freedom within boundaries, and seeks to confront perceptions of vulnerability, tragedy, and time.

He has exhibited his work more than 30 times in the past 5 years, most recently at the  Morton Fine Art, Washington DC, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD, 2016 Biological Tapestries 1st Movement, Morton Fine Art, Washington DC,  Art on the Vine, Marthas Vineyard, MA,  GalleryNine5, New York, NY, Joan Hisoka Gallery, Washington, DC, Cordesa Fine Art, San Francisco, Ca, and Brilliant Champions Gallery, Brooklyn NY. His work has been covered in the Houston Chronicle , Strictly Paper   and Scrub Magazine.  He has been a recipient three times of the DC Commission of the Arts & Humanities Visual Artist Fellowship Grant, Artist in Residence by Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY, and Regional Winner of Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Washington DC.

The Mosaic Project: The significance of art in the lives of our youth cannot be underestimated. Yet, just when research is finally emerging that supports this, budget cuts and curricular demands are threatening the foundation of creativity in our public schools. In order to fill that gap as well as enrich the community, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design developed The Mosaic Project, a multicultural exhibition and education program for students and families in Lancaster County.

 

– See more at: http://pcad.edu/gallery-exhibit/the-mosaic-project-amber-robles-gordon-and-nathaniel-lewis/#sthash.Yzma5SLf.dpuf

Click HERE to view available artwork by AMBER ROBLES GORDON and NATE LEWIS.