I roll my eyes every time I hear about representational art
and realism being "imperiled," because there are so many important
representational artists painting right now. It's almost offensive how people think
legitimacy comes with the passage of time. History can be a great equalizer,
but art that is meaningful will always have--and never lose--its power.
||J.F.H. with Four Doors
by Alex Kanevsky, oil on wood, 36 x 58, 2011.
Established artists who are perpetuating representational
practice abound. Alex Kanevsky, Lisa Yuskavage, Stuart Shils, and Julie
Heffernan all work in highly individualized ways. They have signature styles,
and their work would never be mistaken for anyone else's. What unites them is
that they all have a technically interesting approach and consistently come up
with compelling narratives.
There are plenty of young artists working right now who are
getting significant lifts in their careers as they become known to more people.
Jennifer Presant's figurative realism is complicated by her use of unusual
perspective and object-figure repetition. Ben Fenske doesn't settle for the conventional
in his landscape paintings, I'm absolutely in love with his interiors, and his
brushwork and color sensibility are also worth noting.
|Bedroom II by Ben Fenske, oil painting, 35.4 x 43.
And I have to give a shout out to several amazing artists
showing their work on Artist Daily. Fergus A. Ryan produces a wide range of
work--landscape paintings, portraiture
, still life--and every single piece shows
a unique perspective and subtle color palette. Lee Stockdale's works always deliver
a psychological impact, and her brushwork is visually interesting from a
technical perspective. Mike Barr's cityscapes and seascapes both have an atmospheric
quality that draws the eye, and he's found the perfect balance when it comes to
the level of detail to include in his works.
And it will come as no shock that Daniel Greene contributes
heavily to the reason why I am confident about art-making--and portrait art in
particular--going forward. I was lucky to attend a Daniel Greene demonstration
and workshop, and I was struck again and again by how articulate and quietly
focused the artist is and how his students produce work that is heads and
shoulders above the rest. In his Portrait Painting DVD series, I hope you'll
find all that and more. Enjoy!