With the new Tim Burton movie right around the corner, the quirky, spooky paintings of San Francisco artist Michael Page are just the right fix to hold me over. With a muted woodsy world inhabited by puppet-like figures, and the endearing monsters that terrorize them, ‘ll most likely be dropping by for a Page fix even long after I get my fill of Coraline next week.
San Francisco illustrator Caitlin Kuhwald’s cleanly rendered paintings really hit the figurative spot. It’s so refreshing to come across an illustrator who still gets kicks from beautifully rendering a face, every strand of hair, every wrinkle in their clothing, and then turn around and subvert it all with a big bag of creative tricks.
Described as being ‘familiar, yet horribly unique and fresh’, San Francisco-based artist Matthew Palladino creates portraits of American life that are inspired by current media events. The often raw and violent subject matter is diffused by a flat drawing style that draws upon folk references and early mission school artists.
Artist Liz Hickok has created stunning representations of San Francisco entirely out of Jello-O. ‘I make the landscapes by constructing scale models of the architectural elements which I use to make molds’, she says. ‘I then cast the buildings in Jell-O. Similar to making a movie set, I add backdrops, which I often paint, and elements such as mountains or trees, and then I dramatically light the scenes from the back or underneath. The Jell-O sculptures quickly decay, leaving the photographs and video as the remains’.
Well, it seems I’ve been in a vacuum of art since the spring. And now, its just a week or so out from the upcoming Young Blood exhibit, which features my paintings and opens at the Opera Gallery in New York. I find myself feeling both excited and nervous at the thought that this show is just around the corner. These past few months have seemed like one of the great feats of my lifetime. I have been working for five months on these two upcoming shows, immersed deeply in the studio, being on a complete mission to create what will be my debut show in Manhattan alongside a handful of other rising international artists. I would wake at once at 4:30 in the morning, to a strict regimen of coffee by five, and paint through the sunny summer days into late in the evening to complete these works.
San Francisco artist Matthew Palladino’s work is on my obsessive website viewing rotation. His colourful, clean, folksy images have got me, though I must say that I’m not as drawn to some of his more overt examples of political subject matter as I am to his more personal, introverted images. Regardless, Palladino implements the most beautiful patterns and shapes with his watercolors. And I just can’t get enough.