This month, we are delighted to welcome a talented roster of new artists to UGallery. These artists work in a range of styles and mediums and join us from around the globe. Meet our newest artists:
INTRODUCING: RANDOLPH FRITZ
Randolph, or Randy as he prefers to be called, began his passion for photography using analog film and a darkroom. It was a fluke tragedy that pushed him to go digital. “When our house burned down, taking all the film cameras and accessories to the landfill with it, I didn't do any photography for about five years,” he says. “This happened to coincide with the perfecting of digital sensors in SLR cameras. My first digital camera was a revelation for me.” Randy, who had always preferred the action of capturing a photograph rather than the process of developing it, found digital photography to be an exciting change. Now that his children are adults, he can dedicate more time to taking photographs.
INTRODUCING: PETER CLOUSE
Peter’s woven wall sculptures are layered with thematic meanings ranging from gender roles to sustainability to traditional forms of labor. Growing up, Peter was exposed to craftsmanship and labor in many contexts, from his mother’s knitting to his father’s work in Michigan’s automotive and steel industries. He learned that different types of labor could be considered “feminine” or “masculine.” Peter’s work challenges the idea that labor is gendered. “My current chosen medium of electrical wires may feel masculine but the smallest braids in my weavings resonate with the friendship bracelets young girls braid,” says Peter. “I see feminism as all women and men being equal; therefore, just as women can do masculine work, a man may create feminine work.” The artist’s use of discarded electrical cords also speaks to the concept of sustainability. He explains, “I see potential and beauty in materials that others have discarded… I am passionate about consumption in this country and how it leads to the disposal of goods. It is now my responsibility to put these materials back into production.”
INTRODUCING: JENNIFER YOUNG
Jennifer’s early work focused mostly on the human figure, though she eventually gravitated toward landscape painting after studying the Impressionist masters. She enjoys gathering her own reference material in the field, both through plein air painting and sketching as well as taking photographs. “From my field studies, I gain an understanding of the light and a visceral feeling of time and place,” says Jennifer. “All of my paintings are places I have visited myself and explored in depth.” When she’s not painting, Jennifer enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her family.
INTRODUCING: ANDREA DOSS
Andrea Doss discovered that there were stories hiding in her paintbrush, and has been bringing them to life with her art ever since. Her paintings capture the essence of children’s books and lullabies. Andrea’s love for fairytales and storytelling is evident in her personification of animal friendships and activities. Adventurous, sweet, and whimsical are appropriate words to describe the artist’s fanciful characters. Andrea lives in Texas and works from her home, always closely supervised by her opinionated one-eyed cat named Poe.
INTRODUCING: MICHAEL FISCHERKELLER
Michael’s work focuses on issues of social justice and the environment. He selects a subject through contemplative meditation and begins researching the topic. Then Michael sources imagery, digitally manipulates it, and creates stencils. The artist uses spray paint to bring his scenes to life, employing heavy symbolism to illustrate his ideas. Each element of a composition holds meaning. Stylistically, Michael’s figures are inspired by 18th and 19th Century art history yet treated with a street-art makeover.
INTRODUCING: MELISSA GANNON
Melissa is passionate about color. She finds it to be the most significant form of inspiration to paint. Speaking on influences in her work, Melissa says, “Sometimes it’s an idea that I can’t get out of my head, or a color that I just MUST paint!” She particularly enjoys painting leaves, and the changing colors of Oregon foliage are visible in her work. In 2001, Melissa began teaching art classes, which has allowed her to view her own artwork in a new way. “The information that flows in a class is awesome,” she says. Melissa is constantly learning from the students in her classes, and is more conscious of what it means to be an artistic role model.
INTRODUCING: RON FORTIER
Ron refuses to submit to the cliche romanticism imposed upon art and artists. “I paint sang-froid (‘cold blooded’) without any happy, sad, or mad emotions driving me or the imagery,” says Ron. “I believe what I do is actually primal. In prehistoric times, painters were the shamans and high priests; in touch with the unseen.” Ron approaches each painting as a task in which he will create a composition of interest that comes to him naturally. He argues that it is not an emotional experience, but that he is channeling what already exists somewhere in the spiritual universe. Ron takes a very Zen approach to his art, viewing his paintbrush as a vessel rather than a great creator.
INTRODUCING: SERGE SERUM
Serge Serum is a young emerging artist from the Los Angeles area. His oeuvre is a combination of expressionistic painting and photography, both of which are focused on portraiture. Simultaneously through two discrete mediums, Serge creates a narrative that speaks to youth, anxiety, and otherness. He paints emotionally. Using chaotic brushwork to convey anxiety and excitement, Serge translates feelings from his own subconscious into his subjects. “My process includes playing dress up with my subjects and creating obscure scenes that tell a story,” he says. Serge’s subjects are nearly always people he knows or have met; he is inspired by club kids, the queer nightlife scene, and his own friends.
INTRODUCING: ORCE NINESKI
Based in Macedonia, Orce finds inspiration for his abstract paintings in the colors of his country’s rich history dating back to antiquity. He is most interested in Byzantine frescoes, some of which still survive in his city of Skopje. The warm browns, rich oranges, and golden yellows seen in Byzantine art are visible in his work. When it comes to form, however, Orce looks to his modern surroundings. “My art is inspired by the urban surroundings… the architecture, street art, traffic, etc.,” he says. Orce describes his work as being drawn from Byzantine antiquity yet recounted in a contemporary language. The past and present merge in the artist’s abstract paintings.