i have trouble finding many contemporary painters i really like. i'm not sure why. maybe it's because the internet allows every painting they've done to be displayed, whereas in the previous generations we only saw their top work, for the most part. hard to say.
christopher nolasco, titled danielle #2. some of his paintings seem too commercial - as if while he was painting it he was thinking about who he's trying to mass market it to. he has a whole string of musicians and athletes and world leaders. but apart from his subjects and intent, there are some really beautiful moments. i love how this one stays messy, transparent, but still has fully developed shadows. it's hard to leave unfinished edges right next to crisp lines without it being too overworked.
kent bellows did remarkably accurate drawings and paintings. honestly, they look like photographs, but with more life to them. this is danuda sitting, graphite on paper. i would have sworn it was a photograph.
below, his self-portrait titled gluttony, is a masterpiece. it reminds me of the paintings done in from the renaissance on as a way to show off a painters' skill - all sorts of colors and textures thrown together. and bellows met the challenge of sending us realistic grapes, pearls, and pumpkins, all in front of his own face, challenging us to approach him. his references, as i see them, lean towards the dark humor side of things - he's tying together all sorts of academic painting types - still life (with fruit, nonetheless), a stormy seascape, a religious painting, and a portrait. go big or go home, i guess.
also shown at the forum gallery alongside bellows are other fantastic realism artists like jeffrey gold, jane lund, and alan magee.
|jeffrey gold, seated model with zebra skin|
|jane lund, chinese dog, mexican squash|
|alan magee, chronicles|
|ramón, descanso de la diva|
ah, one day my painting might catch up to my drawing. but at the present i have a very long way to go before i understand colors like these artists do.