Benon Lutaaya

Benon Lutaaya is a collage artist centered in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a fairly young artist, only about 25 years old and, is just getting his feet off the ground when it comes to his work. His most recent exhibition took place at the Bayimba Festival of the Arts in Uganda. He is a painter at heart however, due to his lack of materials he chose the most inexpensice media he could find to work with which at the time was collage. By walking through his town and picking up old posters, and magazines he was able to turn his paintings into something more unique. He is truly obsessed with art. Unlike most of the artists I’ve researched he did not have the proper art school training that most artists recieve. He didn’t grow up visiting hundreds of galleries, and museums learning about different artists, movements, and technical skills, instead, his interest in art was first sparked by his older brothers drawings. Enamored with what his brother could create Lutaaya decided to challenge himself.

   In 2007, he made one of his toughest life deicisions yet. He could follow the path of his major and get a typical job university students recieve out of college or, pursue his passion for art. With no money, and no support he began his work and, to this day he says it’s one of the best decisions he ever made. His work focuses on the concept of survival, and the importance and fragility of one’s life. He uses younger subjects in his works, and shows great depth in emotion, and conveys messages sometimes through the text in the background. He does an amazing job with color, using tiny pieces of paper to build up large gradiations throughout the figures skin.

  I have a lot of respect for Benon Lutaaya. He was not given many oppurtunities in life when it came to pursuing his art career however, he made his dream a reality anyways. I am looking forward to see what Benon creates in the future, and seeing his career take off.

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Russ Mills

   Russ Mills received his B.A in Graphic Design  from Leeds Met University. He first began his work by tapping into some film work and animation however, he realized his true calling was to work with more simple media such as pen, paper, and his computer. He uses the least amount of layers as possible when it comes to manipulating his images so that his raw experimentation can stay in tact. He also refuses to use filters on his images to keep the photography, and technical drawing as realistic as possible. He typically gathers various source material to scan in and, then draws the image he photographs and scans that in as well. By combining all of his source materials he is able to create a very striking image.

  The funniest thing is I keep convincing myself I’ve found my favorite work of his however, the more I browse through his gallery, the more I realize I can’t pick just one. His style is so consistent throughout all of his figures that they all work as one cohesive unit. He uses a limited color palette and typicall uses high contrast throughout his portraits to enhance the features on the figures face. The wonderful thing about his work through computers is that he can create mass amounts of his artworks in very little time. This allows for more creativity, experimentation, and progress.

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Erin Fostel

     Similar in a sense to Brian Boner, Erin Fostel draws on memories, experiences, and, events from her childhood to inspire her current work. She says the thing that creates her successful pieces of art is her childlike imagination which she has kept in tact for nearly three decades. Her media of choice is charcoal on paper, or fabric.  She does a fantastic job of creating portraits with charcoal mastering it in a way so that it almost comes off as graphite. She usese high contrast creating shadows, and highlights on the figures to emphasize certain features on them.

Fostel received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in both Art and Art History from the Maryland Insitute of College of Art. She divides her work in to three categories consisting of, her narratives, figuratives, and portraits. Even though, her Art touches on childhood experiences, unlike Boner she attributes these childhood experiences to adult subjects. From riding through a whirlwind of fighter pilots,  playing dress up as snow white, to climbing a mountain that’s really a bookcase her figures reenact these typical childhood scenarios in their own adult world.

   The lighting techniques she uses to illuminate her figures are simply stunning. Her figurative works that focus solely on the figure itself, instead of the story behind them, are actually my favorites. Her figures have a mystery about them, and a sense of beauty that seems unnatainable in the real world.

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Frank Gonzales

Birds, Birds, Birds! Haha many of my posts this summer have been about figurative artists, with a few landscpae artists strewn throughout my blog. However, I rarely have investigated an artist who focuses on one type of animal throughout all of his works. The second I saw Frank Gonzale’s work I knew I had to review his work. He is a very skilled photo realist when it comes to his bird paintings. However, he combines his photo realism with abstration as he removes geometric shapes from the birds bodies and places these chunks of colors throughout the painting.

  Gonzales method to his work is taking subjects in nature and fragmenting them to creating a dynamic composition. He recieved his degree frmo a University in Southern California, and later moved to Queens, New York where he works today. The thing I love most about his website is his full fleged blog he updates regularly. In this blog he posts inspirations, and photos of his current in progress works. To me, it’s very intruiging to see how exactly he plans things out and, the process he uses to complete his paintings.

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Olga Gouskova

Olga Gouskova is a Russian artist who currently works and lives in Bruges. She mainly focuses her work around female figures, and the concept of their delicacy, and mystery. She portrays these figures as though they are independent women, with a sort of charm about them. The skintones of her models are typically dulled while the rest of the painting is surrounded in color, throughout the background, and hair of the figures. Her paintings latch on to female dreams, emotions, and aspirations. Her works all highlight individual figures while, at the same time work cohesively as a unit, portraying the ultimate beauty of the female form.

  Olga attended the Byelorussian Academy of the Arts during the early 1990’s and, produced work within their design department. She defenitly has come up with her own method to her paintings over the years. Olga begins by creating a soft skintone for her figures by using a sepia pencil, after that she embellishes the rest of the work with paint, or pen, and ink to create small details, and add a sense of life to the work. The softening of the figures actually body adds to the concept of female fragility. While, their hair may be fiery, and the background loud, the female herself is always seen in her works as a calm , and delicate figure.

  One of my favorite works of hers is the piece below entitled “Red Currant”. The thing that immediately caught my eye was the brialliant color scheme she used in this work. The figure is very relaxed, and has a very curious look about her, as though she is trying to tempt the viewer. The red berries play off the color from the figures ribbon tying together the figures, hair, body, and background seamlessly.

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Andrew Salgado

  Andrew Salgado is a  Canadian painter who recieved his degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He now has recieved an M.F.A  from the London Chelsea College of Art. He has particpated in many exhibtions all over the world, and recently recieved the Courvoirsier  Future 500 Award  from the Saatchi Gallery. His concept reflects the ideas of the masculine form of figures and how he can portray that idea with paint. Salgado is one of the few artists I’ve found that focuses his work around male subjects. 

  His paintings use very bold, expressive line work, along with bright expressive coloration to really bring his male figures to life. He uses colors that would not typically be used in the shadows and highlights of the face. He really loves to find color within color. In a simple skintone Salgado can find ten or more colors. He is very skilled at painting faces, and finding the ideal place to put his loud, and bright colors.

  In some ways I feel that I paint in a similar style as Salgado. He uses blocks, or strokes of various colors to make up what would normally be seen as a dull or one toned subject.

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Will Cotton

   Will Cotton was born in Melrose, Massachusetts and, currently resides in New York City. His paintings are all based around the concept of a select few of the seven deadly sins including indulgence, gluttony, and lust/temptation. He has had many solo exhibitions, and a fair number of group exhibitions as well. He recieved a B.F.A from the New York Academy of Art back in 1988.

  Many of Will’s earlier paintings represented the typical candyland fantasy world that one would immediately conjure up at the thought of gluttony. As his paintings progressed he began to incorporate more figures into these candyland worlds. In his most recent works he depicts female (sometimes nude) idealized figures in an amazing world full of beautiful clouds. The soft abckground, and pastel colors make his women seem very fragile and, dainty, putting them on a pedestal. He created a few paintings of Katy Perry in her candy wonderland that was exhibited in some of her music videos.

  He is an amazingly skilled painter, and a true photorealist when it comes to his figures. While looking through his drawings it becomes apparent how carefully he plans out each of his works, grasping each detail in a drawing before he transfers it to canvas. What I find to be the most intruiging about his work is how he is able to make the fantasy worlds transform into a reality with his skill of creating photo realistic paintings.

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Michael Boshart

   Originally from Southern California Michael Boshart is somewhat a photo realist figure painter. His media of choice typically tends to be oils on canvas. He does twist his figurative works in a way that evokes an emotion through his use of color, and space. His belief in art is that a person must first have the technical skills to draw before they can ever begin painting. His works usually include females, and enjoys painting nudes. He believes that by painting a naked figure it shows the true raw emotion that is hidden beneath our clothes.

  His figures are typically painted with harmonious hues, and in a very subdude space. His backgrounds typically consist of beautiful line works and drips down wall board that creates a dynamic composition. He really does not zoom in too much on his figures, or approach them from many angles which is something I think oculd drrastically improve his work. He is very technically skilled, and creates a nice balance between keeping his works both intruiging but, not overly choatic. One thing I find very interesting is the size of his works. Even though one would expect his figures to be lifesize his canvases are usually no bigger than 16X20.

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Elizabeth Winnel

   Centered in Canada, Elizabeth Winnel is both an illustrator and, a painter. She recieved her degree while in London from a school called Fanshawe College. It wasn’t until she attended the Savannah School of Art and Design that she recieved a degree in Art.

  When I stumbled upon Winnel’s work the thing that drew me to her was her explanation of her figurative work. She plays with the idea of bringing what people keep on the inside outside to their exterior. This reminded me of my own concept I am investigating. Her ideas are very similar to mine in that we both share the belief that people hide things and try to bring them out in our works.

  Many of her works are actually self-portraits however, the way she depicts herself and the colors she uses make it seem as though she has a whole new identity within each piece. She portrays her figures emotions through her brushstrokes, and color usage throughout the paintings. It’s easy to tell what emotion she is trying to evoke from the viewer be that of anger, sadness, or vulnerability. All of her works are of female figures and, many of them seem distraught. I have a feeling Winnel creates these works to deal with the own stress in her life. Bringing her own stress from within in her out onto a canvas. She will defenitly be one of the ten artists I look into to go more in depth. Her style is something I can take a lot from, and has really inspired me in my own work.

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David Dalla

A venetian surrealist artist I just found on artist a day. I’ll defenitly look into him soon.

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