This is my latest painting. It’s a portrait of my father, Antonio Ledo.
Painting someone that I know is always more interesting than someone from a found image, and painting someone like my father takes the experience to a new level. It was a whole lot of time to contemplate this man who tag-teamed to give me life. I found myself filled with random memories and contemplated what it would be like for myself at his age. Not that I don’t consider my mortality on a daily bases, (whether that is a morbid or buddhist habit I don’t know), but I thought about the stages of life, from what I have already experienced to getting to where my dad is and beyond.
I wanted to make the painting an accurate depiction of him. The photo I worked from was not too different from the painting itself, which has a contemplative tone. The painting is oil on canvas and is 14″ x 18″.
Andre De Dienes is probably best known for his extensive photographic studies of Marilyn Manroe. I am not a very big fan of the sensastionalism and worship of this beauty icon, but De Dienes captured Marilyn at the young age of 19, pre sensational glamour. The photographs are honest and realistic, capturing her natural beauty.
But the photos of Marilyn are not what recently lead me to De Dienes; it’s his surrealist work that got my attention. De Dienes’ series of nudes in desert landscapes and shorelines or before cosmic backdrops captures my imagination. I really enjoy his depictions of the female form, surrounding it with power, magic and mysticism. I adore the compositions, and play of light and shadow. I can imagine these works having been very influential to other artists such as Neil Krug.
Andre De Dienes, 1913 – 1985, was born in what is now know as Romania. De Dienes traveled Europe, lived in Tunisia and studied in Paris. He immigrated to the New York and worked as a fashion photographer before moving to Hollywood to pursue his passion for outdoor photography and nudes. For a look at more of De Dienes’ photography, check out Daniel Azoulay Gallery’s site.
Pop art not dead. Akira Beard is the artist responsible for these wonderful artworks done in watercolor, acrylic, paint marker, ink, and graphite on paper. Beard lays down a lively energy which appear to be taken from the pages of his sketchbook.
What immediately attracted me to Beard’s work was his use of punchy colours, his raw approach to portraiture and his mash ups of pop culture. In other works you can find hop hop Picasso hand signaling the west coast, mother Theresa sporting some bling or Alfred Hitchcock with a hand gun. Beard’s work surrounds pop icons and consumer life in America, or more so a critique of them. His mixed media technique, cultural iconic figures, lettering style, scribbles and poppy colour palette give this work a young, fresh feel that appeals to a whole generation.
Check out more of Akira Beard’s work on his Flickr stream.
Ayden Gallery’s 7 Year Anniversary Exhibtion
I’ll be participating in next week’s exhibition in Vancouver along with a crowd of fantastic artists. The opening is on Friday the 18th of February.
Toms Shoes handed out a pair of their shoes to every artist to paint on which will be part of the exhibition.
Here is my latest painting along with a pair of shoes that I bronze leafed and painted for Ayden Gallery’s 7th year anniversary exhibition, simply called 7.
This painting is a first attempt at some imagery I’ve had hovering in my mind over the past couple of months. When I began, I didn’t know exactly what it would turn out to be. I had an initial sketch for my idea, but once I began working on it, new ideas emerged. The dark form behind the woman took a form of it’s own and it began suggesting a cobra snake. I focussed on not over analyzing or intellectualizing what I was doing, but to be honest there were times when this painting was pretty challenging.
I hope to expand and explore similar ideas in my next paintings, hopefully further develop what it is I am trying to achieve as I still feel I’m in the preliminary stages.
This painting, entitled “Rising,” is 36″ x 24″, acrylic, oil and bronze leaf on wood panel. Ayden’s 7 exhibition is February 18th in Vancouver. If you’re in that part of the world I suggest checkin it out. It’s going to be dope!
At first glance, the photography of Bill Durgin appears to be photo manipulations, but to assume that would be wrong. It’s astonishing to find that these images are of real people, contorting their bodies and photographed at the right angel to appear to be decapitated or missing limbs.
I find myself being attracted to and intrigued by the imagery. The works are beautiful yet grotesque and provoke many questions and reactions. The impact of the images are not only from the subjects in the photos, but also the space in which they occupy and the wonderfully considered lighting and composition. Durgin’s figures seem to go beyond the boundaries of human limitations. His fascination with the human figure and abstraction of reality definitely has captured my imagination.
If you would like to try and figure out more of these human puzzles, you can check out his site. Bill Durgin is a New York based artist.
These shots go a few years back to when I was living in Vancouver. Flowers are not really something I really photograph or paint, but that day in the Pacific Northwest, the warm sunlight was beaming in through the window, hitting these drying lilies so beautifully that I had to capture it.
That was around the time that I began my quest to be full time artist. When I began, it was only possible for me to paint one every six months, then later a period of two or three months at a time. With time I began taking seasons off to paint until I eventually got to the point where I was able to do it all year long. It’s been a challenging five and a half years, but there is nothing else that I would rather be doing with my time. I feel privileged to be in a position where this is even possible. Thank you Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Yahweh, the Great Spirit, Mohammed and the Universe. I’m not sure who worked on what to help me out or whether you did at all, but you’re all cool anyway. Next step, world domination!
If you couldn’t imagine what the dreams and nightmares of the tormented antagonists in Disney movies would be like, allow Victor Castillo to paint you a picture. The evil queen from Snow White would have dreams haunted by masked little girls in pretty dresses. Cinderella’s step mother would be wrestling young princes into submission while the world burns. Aladin’s nemesis, Jafar would have reoccurring nightmares of his masked sisters sucking the teet of their monstrous four legged beast mother. But maybe that’s just my interpretation.
Victor Castillo is a Chilean born artist based out of Los Angelas. His vulgar and tormented paintings use familiar, cartoon and comic book imagery to communicate ideas of over indulgence, greed and other dark sides of people. His figures of young boys and girls are always freakishly masked. Agressive looking animals and monsters, dark shadows and harsh spotlighting set the mood for something to make you feel uncomfortable. He knows what he’s doing and he’s doing it well.
Check out more on Castillo’s site. Sweet dreams.