April's New Artist Round Up

New UGallery artist  Fabio Sozza  taking a photograph

New UGallery artist Fabio Sozza taking a photograph

In this monthly installment, we welcome this month's newest artists to UGallery. These artists work in a range of styles and mediums and join us from around the globe. We are excited to introduced the following artists:


Fabio’s aesthetic is reminiscent of fairy tales, dreams, and the surreal. The concept of time is significant across Fabio’s series of work. “I am fascinated by the idea of Time and all that man was able to build around it, together with how this all affected our perception of life, our experience in this world,” says the photographer. “I believe if we accepted the idea that Time does not exist as such, our entire perception of life would change, opening our eyes to new ways of seeing what surrounds us.” Fabio’s conceptual photographs deal with ideas such as beauty and childhood, both fleeting in the face of a ticking clock.


Amy Fleming examines the issue of ageism in her hand-colored screen prints by combining portraits of individuals aged 60 or older with images of found objects and tools of skilled labor. “Ageism is a byproduct of a hyper-consumerist mindset,” says Amy. “The disposability of mass produced goods, the replacement of ‘old’ with ‘new’ without regard to quality or continued usefulness feeds into this attitude.” Through creatively crafted imagery, Amy brings mass-produced objects out of the junkyard and into the world of art and fashion. “Impossible robes and royal collars [are] made from pump valves and vacuum tubes, pull tab rings reappear as chainmail, soda bottles form crowns and halos that adorn images of elder members of my community.” The work is clever, detailed, and finely executed.


Marianne is a self-taught artist and illustrator based in southern Louisiana near New Orleans. Her colorfully bold work is influenced by 15 years of living abroad in West Africa, Asia, Central America, and Europe. “My inspiration is drawn from world culture, ethnic textiles, and the harmonious colors reflected from nature,” says Marianne. “I’m interested in cultural diversity, rituals, symbolism, language, and the ever-changing symbiosis of communities and nature.” The work, which flows between abstract and representational, is marked by a consistent use of vibrant color palettes, novel shapes, and dancing patterns. Guided by Buddhist philosophy, Marianne strives to evoke kindness and compassion in her imagery.


Aurora enjoys the freeing process of creating abstract work. She uses color and intuitive mark-making to create rhythmic patterns that are reminiscent of bohemian textiles. “My hope is to bring viewers into a thoughtful and open-ended narrative space in their mind, using patterns and colors, to have them spin their own story of a place and time where they feel interested in exploring,” says Aurora. The artist is also an herbalist and spends much of her time outdoors either painting or exploring.


After receiving his BFA from Utah State University, Justin and his classmates continued to meet monthly to critique one another’s work. Now, ten years later, the group is still going strong. “We have even taken turns curating shows that have been accepted to museums across the state,” says Justin. He attributes much of his creative success to the support from his fellow artists. The process is reminiscent of many historical artist groups that critiqued and exhibited artwork together. In terms of aesthetic, Justin’s houses and barns lean toward a hard-edge contemporary look while retaining painterly qualities. The artist utilizes many layers of paint to achieve thick, opaque colors. He adds, “It can also be a metaphor for the history of what has taken place in any given home.”


Artist Victor Onyshchenko paints most of his scenes outdoors en plein air. His paintings are impressionistic interpretations of the landscape and architecture of his city, the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, and surrounding areas. Victor’s color palette features highly pigmented, dense hues. The subject matter ranges from bucolic to industrial, and often resides somewhere in between. Victor paints from a small studio in his Kiev home.


Czech artist Nata Zaikina’s paintings are inspired by her 1970s childhood. As she walks the streets in Prague, she is inspired by anything that triggers a memory of her youth--an old movie, a song on the radio, or a conversation overheard on the street. Her paintings of children’s games emit warmth and joy. The viewer can’t help but smile and reminisce upon their own days as an exuberant child. Nata is especially interested in capturing her figures in movement, particularly while jumping. “I try to show the hidden dynamics inside the static figure,” she says. The artist works from an attic studio in Prague, where she looks out over the red tiled roofs of the city while she paints.


Go Naked  (39.37" x 27.55") by Daniel Malta, mixed media artwork

Go Naked (39.37" x 27.55") by Daniel Malta, mixed media artwork

Daniel’s work draws on a contemporary naive aesthetic reminiscent of the great Jean-Michel Basquiat. Inspired by street art and neo-expressionism, Daniel deliberately strives for a childlike quality in his figures and shapes. He sketches drafts of his paintings first on an iPad. “Then I go to the canvas or cardboard, a material that I like a lot,” Daniel says. “I love the texture it gives to the work.” Through the use of everyday materials including flattened cardboard boxes, barcodes from old labels, and masking tape, the work is given an assembled quality made popular by contemporary American artists in the 1960s.


“My work is a bridge between the present and the past,” says abstract artist Karen Fitzgerald. “I'm using gilding processes that come down to us from the Renaissance. I'm also responding to a broad range of artwork from a wide range of time and cultures.” Karen’s roundels also have a celestial quality, glowing like the sun or shimmering like the moon. The reflective nature of her gilded work makes light an important part of the viewing experience. The work is inspired by emotion but executed with fine precision. It is perhaps this dichotomy that provides a feeling of balance to the viewer.


Safae Mounsif was born in Casablanca, Morocco and studied architecture in France. For Safae, an interest in architecture has led to a fixation with the modern urban environment, which is the primary focus in her contemporary paintings. She selects subjects that are unglamorous and perhaps don’t easily fit into society–prostitutes, loners, blue collar workers, city kids. Safae’s depictions of these individuals are vivid and emotional. By tightly cropping her compositions, the viewer is compelled to interact with characters and situations that one might normally avoid. The result is a series of engaging portraits that bring life to urban characters and encourages the viewer to consider the individual’s circumstances.