‘Style’ a burden or an inevitability?

The Wasteland (1) Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

The Wasteland (1)

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

World renowned artist and holder of the Asian Artist Fellowship Award, USA (2010 – 2011); Juror’s Choice for the Philip Morris Singapore-ASEAN Art Award (2003) and the Platinum Award, UOB Competition (2009), Boo Sze Yang, contests the idea of style. “Rather than a holy grail, the pursuit of a defining style can hinder artistic development.” Boo Sze Yang ruminates that when it comes to art, a ‘style’ can become a burden for an artist, constraining and prohibiting ones art to evolve. Instead, style should come naturally as something that is developed and changed as the artist and their thinking changes over time. Accordingly Sze Yang believes art should be spontaneous and expressive, rather than over-thought. He feels a constant compulsion to experiment in order to merge technique and thought in harmony. 

 

The Wasteland (2) Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

The Wasteland (2)

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

This said, it is hard not to identify a distinctive style within Sze Yang’s work; with dripping paint, loose brush strokes, and a subdued palette. Sze Yang uses oil paint, however not in the conventional application of the medium. His manner is looser and fluid, the paintwork is thinner with turpentine washes, reminiscent of a technique based on watercolour painting, leaving the white of the canvas untouched. His fluid and eclectic brushwork and watercolour-like treatment of oil paint, create an ambiance of light and space, which is compelling and invites contemplation. His technique does convey a spontaneity of painting, which is ultimately gestural; a result of the movement of hand and body, coinciding with his belief.

His subject matter often focusses on mundane spaces; disparaging crash-scenes, derelict interiors, and deserted shopping mall chambers. Depicting unstable spaces on the verge of collapse and in ruins, he explores space as concept and space as symbol. He treats such scenes and spaces as metaphors for the human condition, transforming these into a symbol of contemporary life through his fluid technique and use of a restrained and watered-down palette, emphasizing the materiality of paint. His artworks express observations of absurdity, and enter into a critical and intellectual discussion on the future vision and direction of the human condition.

The Wasteland (3) Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

The Wasteland (3)

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

The Wasteland 1, 2, and 3 allude to derelict space, with grid-like, architectural elements peering through, and a sense of depth created in the reserved brown palette, by lashes of heavier oil paint contrasting against the water-colour like strokes, very much creating an ambiance of light and space characteristic to his work. In coherence with the title, Sze Yang has succeeded in making the mundane into something beautiful through a fluid, gestural style.

Boo Sze Yang’s Wasteland 1,2, and 3 are on sale at CultureLabel  with 50 editions available. All of proceeds going to The Hepatitis C Trust.

 

The Aesthetics of Suicide

Suicide is a reoccurring subject matter within the drawings and figurative paintings of Rachel Howard, whose body of work is directly concerned with exploring the intricacies of what it means to be human, considering our capacity to feel, think, question, hurt, breakdown, worship, sin, rebel or conform. Howard is a painter of life, exploring the subjectivity of perception and the complexity of our emotional spectrum. Suicide evolved as a theme in her artwork as a result of personal experience and emotions after a friend committed suicide. Particularly the kneeling, almost prayer-like pose in which her friend was found appears to have haunted her most, emanated through her art.

Murder or Suicide   Available as a run of 50 limited edition 6x4 prints

Murder or Suicide   Available as a run of 50 limited edition 6x4 prints

Howard investigates the aesthetics of suicide, through faceless figures, the body and the symbolic, lone ‘Black Dog’ abstracted from their contexts. The subjects stand alone, almost silhouette-like, imposed against a bleak background. Rapidly executed line drawings form the basis of her paintings, which often exploit the fluid movement of paint combined with gravity as her paintbrush. The black lines and shapes of figures appear to be dragged or dripping downwards or into the canvas, as if on the verge of disappearing completely, dangerously close to ceasing to exist even as an image, slipping away from the painted representation, leaving an almost immaterial macabre trace of a body. A juxtaposition between violence and beauty, the intimate and the distant is created. Howard’s strikingly sombre yet compelling images are undoubtedly emotionally charged through the state of mind and body inscribed through her expressionist application of paint/ink.  

Black Dog  Available as a run of 50 limited edition 6x4 prints

The creation of these pieces formulate a psychological and physical battle, which demonstrates a necessity for emotionally articulate art with something significant to say about the poignancy and tragedy of the human condition.

Censorship and and Visual Statements - Katherine Stewart chats to Shuby

Shuby is an artist comfortable working on the streets of Barcelona, Berlin, London, and beyond alongside gallery shows and commercial spaces, as well as the Venice Biennale. Her street art began with work inspired by singer and dancer Josephine Baker and the Busby Berkeley film ‘The Gang’s all Here’. She has since embarked on a journey evolving a range of found images inspired by the iconography of 50’s and 60’s film posters, retro advertising and pop images that are deconstructed, reworked and punctuated with her banana and bunny motif. 

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

I really like your work. It's funny and actually feels oddly empowering to me as a woman, maybe because you've reclaimed these images initially created for the male gaze under your own aesthetic. When did you first develop a passion for your chosen field?

Thank you! I've always been interested in how imagery affects the male or female viewer right back to when I did photographs of myself with  'Up Yours' written on my underwear for my degree show in 1991.

Your artworks often explore graphics and slogans from the 50s and 60s. Do you find yourself looking back at the era nostalgically? 

With my recent work about film posters it's more a look back at the history of the adult film industry and censorship rather than nostalgia. Because nudity was censored on film there was a loop hole in the laws if the film was a documentary. This led to films like Take Your Clothes Off and Live and World Without Shame being made at nudist camps.

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Your first solo show is on until the 20th of Feb at Lawrence Alkin Gallery. Congratulations! Has the journey been a tough one?

Thanks! Yes its been a bit of a roller coaster but well worth it. I chose a new way of working by silkscreen printing on canvas and mirror which meant learning a new set of skills. Working with Jealous studios was great though. I also met some amazing new contacts along the way which has sparked new ideas and projects for the future.

What does being creative mean to you? And what, if anything, holds you back?

Being creative with art is very important to me as a way of self expression. I'm not a very wordy person so making visual statements is my way of speaking in a way. Not much holds me back if I really want to do something.

What piece of advice would you give to a young female to help them be more fearless? 

My advice would be get out there and have fun with what you enjoy doing.

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints

PLAY, A look at the Active Imagination of David Bray

Chips With Everything

Chips With Everything

PLAY is the core message emphasised through the illustrations and art of David Bray. With a restless soul and an active imagination Bray constantly pushes the boundaries of his artwork in order to prevent repetition and keep his work stimulating for both viewers and himself. Bray therefore continuously challenges himself by experimenting with new mediums and mark making techniques, however his preferred mediums are the basic tools of pen and pencil on paper, which allow for the chance of ‘happy accidents’.

Animals and girls appear as reoccurring subject matter in his intricate yet clean drawings, through which he explores emotion, utopia, and a world of fantasy. His drawings are uniquely haunting and beautiful, with many being based on personal experience, encapsulating a dark side; feelings of regret, disappointment and missed chances, often alluded to through the title of the piece.

Close To Shore

Close To Shore

Characteristic of his favoured medium, his work focuses on line and the human form, keeping it fluid and feminine. Yet he finds various ways to introduce colour into his drawings.

‘Chips With Everything’ epitomises Bray’s style; playful, yet simple. The painted background uses a bright yet simultaneously soft colour palette against which his fluent pen drawing sits. The piece can be seen to take inspiration from the spirited 40’s and 50’s pin-up posters combined with a slight Matisse playfulness and curvature.  

David Bray’s ‘Chips With Everything’ is on sale at CultureLabel  with 50 editions available and 33% of the proceeds going to The Hepatitis C Trust. 

For those who want to stick to postcard sized art we have a series of David Bray limited edition print runs of 50 

Frites Avec Tout

 

 

 

 

From Architecture to Printmaking, Eliza Southwood.

The artistic style of Eliza Southwood is noticeably derived from her architectural training, demonstrating a technical approach to composition, structure, form and colour, and an acute eye for detail.

Eliza Southwood - Spring Classics

Eliza Southwood - Spring Classics

Cycling is a prominent subject in Eliza’s work, having produced a wide range of cycling themed prints and illustrations, many of which are inspired by bike races, set against backdrops of scenes of local life in the mountains roused by her childhood spent in a remote part of Spain. The mechanical structure of the bicycles with their metal frames and rounded wheels, further provoke an essence of architectural design in her work.

Eliza’s cycling themed artwork has acquired significant popularity in recent years with an abundance of commissions ranging from; London Transport Museum, The Tweed Run, Epic Magazine, to ‘Cono Sur’, the official wine of the Tour de France. Consequently it would be surprising if you haven’t set eyes on her artwork before in all its colourful, compositional glory.

Specialising in painting, illustration and particularly printmaking, Eliza’s preferred drawn out, technical hand-made printing process of silk screen printing, adds detail and colours layer by layer. Eliza applies contrasting colour themes, frequently paring oranges and blues, creating vivid and animated images. Moreover, her hand-made process adds individuality with each print varying slightly from the other. Her favoured method of screen printing produces an interesting juxtaposition to her architectural influence. The flat, layered colour blocks characteristic of screen printing contrast with the dimensions and perspectives typical to architectural design.

Eliza Southwood.jpg

Although in fact an acrylic painting, this untitled piece remains in the style of Eliza’s silk screen prints, with defined lines, solid shapes and block colours reminiscent of screen printing aesthetics. A rare painting amongst Eliza’s prints makes this special edition piece all the more unique. Eliza Southwood’s cycling painting is on sale at CultureLabel  with 50 editions available and 33% of the proceeds going to The Hepatitis C Trust.

For those of you who want to stick to postcard size art we have also have A6 versions of the above cyclists and Eliza's contribution to last years years Secret Auction pictured below, Two Riders

Two Riders - Available as a run of 50 limited limited edition 6x4 prints