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:
INTRODUCING: STEPHEN CAPOGNA
In a striking example of hyperrealism, Stephen Capogna’s body of work manages to capture the essence of macro photography in highly detailed acrylic paintings. Stephen’s inspiration initially came from golf courses near his home. The work focuses on the minute details of sporting goods, from the lightly scratched dimples on a golf ball to the individual fibers on a tennis ball. He works exclusively from his own photographs using an innovative airbrushing technique. Stephen utilizes a large spray gun at the beginning of a painting for color application in large areas. He then wields a small airbrush for the finer details, using templates hand-cut from mylar to create edges and shapes. “One of the biggest defining moments for me was incorporating the airbrush into my process of painting,” Stephen says. “Because I am limited somewhat with studio time, the airbrush allowed me to move much quicker.
INTRODUCING: LAURA BROWNING
Based on her portfolio, it comes as no surprise that Laura Browning is inspired by the water. “I am most inspired by being submerged in water, watching the movement of the light refraction,” she says. “I want to capture the feeling of water.” Each painting utilizes a slightly different palette of blue, turquoise, and gray to convey different aquatic settings. The viewer sees that although there is little change in the behavior of water, the color of bays, pools, and oceans have intriguing variability. Laura creates her underwater scenes with many layers of transparent oil glazes and rhythmic blending of color.
INTRODUCING: BEATRIZ AGUIRRE
Beatriz’s paintings are finely executed depictions of the bizarre. Hovering between the categories of outsider art and surrealism, the work is simultaneously eerie and humorous. Beatriz draws on science fiction and horror films such Star Wars and The Shining as inspiration for her eccentric subjects. “There’s usually some scenario going on that tells some kind of story,” says the artist of her compositions. Beatriz recently chose to devote her full attention to pursuing her artistic career, and she aims to continue developing her uniquely unconventional style.
INTRODUCING: DANA ALDIS
“I am, what one model once quipped, an overly educated artist,” jokes artist Dana Aldis. Her creative practice is grounded in a strong foundation in academic arts. Dana’s training is apparent in the very fine execution of detail seen in her work, plus her consideration of subject matter. “I pay attention to the implied symbolism in the imagery I choose,” Dana says. Moths, which are featured in her “30 September Moths” series, hold symbolic meaning across multiple cultures. Each moth is rendered against a delicately painted background. Dana draws inspiration for her patterns from art books and fabric shops.
INTRODUCING: STEPHEN CLARK
Stephen’s abstract expressionist style is largely inspired by the 1980s neo-expressionist movement in New York that he observed while studying for his MFA at Columbia. “Witnessing, absorbing, attending these openings was gas in my tank for years to come,” says Stephen. “After graduating, I renovated a loft in Brooklyn, drove a cab two nights a week and painted, painted.” He attributes his growth as an artist to this period of 12 years in NYC, working and befriending other artists including Cy Twombly. Today, Stephen’s work is denoted by stream-of-consciousness creation. He also draws inspiration from atomic physics, most specifically in the form of 17th century alchemical prints. Stephen works from his basement, where he most frequently paints at night.
INTRODUCING: LESLIE ANN BUTLER
Abstract painter Leslie Ann Butler has been passionate about making art since she was a child. “In grade school I did a portrait of Robert Frost and sent it to him, and received a nice letter of thanks,” Leslie Ann recalls. Though she still enjoys creating figurative work, Leslie Ann is also intrigued by abstraction. She describes creating abstract work as entering an altered state of consciousness. Often the compositions will come to her during meditation, and she does her best to reproduce the vision in the studio. Leslie Ann works from the top floor of her Portland home, where she gets lots of natural light and a view of the city.
INTRODUCING: JUAN CRUZ ARFARAS
Juan Cruz Arfaras is an architecture student based in Buenos Aires with a passion for photography. He finds his interest in photography to complement his budding career as an architect quite well. Both disciplines require good spatial awareness and a keen understanding of proportion. Juan also loves to pair his photography with his interest in travel. “My studio is my camera, my computer, and anywhere in the world where I can go with them,” he says. For example, Juan’s series of work from the Sahara Desert captures the lines of the landscape with hints of the local people and culture.
INTRODUCING: FRAN MCNAMARA
After receiving her BFA and making art in New York City for many years, Fran moved to Arizona in search of vast open spaces. She finds inspiration in the natural landscape, and her studio overlooks the vibrant red rocks that surround her garden. “I draw from life in the outdoors, then I bring those sketches and ideas, including leaf and wood samples, back to my studio,” says Fran. Her abstract paintings explore the relationships between the environment, animals, and humans. Fran is particularly passionate about saving honey bees, and can be found caring for her extensive flower garden when she’s not painting.
INTRODUCING: THE ARTIST HINES
Self-taught mononymous artist Hines is originally from New York City. He credits institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art with shaping his interest in art at a young age. He found inspiration in abstract expressionism and the New York School, which eventually led to the development of his own style of intuitive painting. “I begin painting my abstracts with no particular goal in mind other than maybe a particular size, color or texture I would like the painting to have,” says Hines. “Then I simply begin painting.” Though his primary body of work is abstract, Hines also enjoys experimenting with figurative painting, sculpting, and photography. He is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.