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Erik Parker combines surrealism, comic book art, pop, hip hop, heavy and psychedelia, with a touch of Matisse and Rauschenberg, to create innovative work that is in demand in the U.S, Europe and Asia.

 

Parker moved to New York in 1996 and had his work exhibited at a few group shows. He was invited to paint a mural at Gavin Brown’s gallery, which was fronted by the Passerby Bar, the center of the underground art world in the late ’90s. In exchange for the painting, Parker received a free lifetime tab  at the Passerby. His work at the Passerby caught the attention of Laura Hoptman, who was a curator at the Museum of Modern Art at that time. She included Parker’s work in the first Greater New York show at P.S. 1 in 2001, which led to his first solo show at the Leo Koenig Gallery.

Parker’s career quickly took off after the Greater New York show. He began to exhibit in Europe and Japan and produced enough work to have three or four shows a year. In 2001, Parker married screenwriter Brook Dunn. The couple has two daughters. Parker lives and works in Brooklyn. His work is in the permanent collection of MoMA and other fine museums and galleries around the world.

Ted Diamond was an artist who spent much of his life, obsessed with suicide, eventually taking his own life at forty-seven years of age. 

Although Diamond briefly studied at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, he did not enjoy a conventional education nor a career as a trained artist. Most of the work was created while he was living in a public psychiatric hospital in the Boston area; even under these harsh conditions he found precious moments to paint.

A group of his intimate paintings in gouache mounted on black paper and housed in several notebooks were found in his room after his death by a supporter and friend who kept them safe for nearly 30 years.  The energy of these tempera paintings and their deft handling results in a powerful scale beyond their humble size. They function to present emotional, neurotic content, elevated to fine art by coloristic and painterly mastery. These are either self-portraits or renderings of other patients encountered on the psych ward in his hospital stays. These remarkable works, an “Outsider’s’” vision in the deepest sense, have never been seen publicly until now.

JUAN FERNANDO BASTOS

 

Over the past 30 years, Los Angeles-based portrait artist, Juan F. Bastos, has executed several hundred portrait commissions on three continents. These oil paintings and pastel drawings hang in private homes, corporate offices, government buildings, embassies, libraries, churches, schools, and universities.

 

Bastos’ work is also represented in several public collections, including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the City of Baltimore, the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, the Inter-American Development Bank (Washington, D.C.), the Marlborough School (Los Angeles), the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, Good Samaritan Hospital (Los Angeles), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles), the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, Viterbi School of Engineering, Price School of Public Policy, and Gould School of Law, George Washington University, and Harvard University.

 

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1958, Mr. Bastos and his family returned to Bolivia, their homeland, eleven years later. Surrounded by relatives who were painters, Mr. Bastos grew up in an artistic environment. After studying fine arts and architecture at the University of San Andres in La Paz, he came to the United States where he enrolled at Georgetown University in 1979. He later obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Cum Laude, and a Masters of Painting from Towson State University.

 

Mr. Bastos has traveled extensively throughout Europe, South America, Central America, and the United States and, as a result, has exhibited widely. He has had one-man shows in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Lima, and La Paz. In addition, he has been included in group shows in New York, Paris, Madrid, Los Angeles, Essex, England, and a biennial in Cairo, Egypt. His works have been widely reviewed by the press. Mr. Bastos is often invited to give lectures and demonstrations at universities, colleges, and art institutions. He has also been featured in numerous television appearances throughout the Americas. Along with several other well-known artists, Mr. Bastos was highlighted in a 1999 New York Times, Sunday Style Section feature article about the reemergence of high-end portraiture. Mr. Bastos has lived in Los Angeles since 1996.

 

Art collectors who commissioned portraits by Juan include Philip Niarchos, Eugenio Lopez, and Pamela Joyner. Commissioning institutions include the University of Southern California, Good Samaritan Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, George Washington University, and Harvard University.

 

“The live pose is amazing. When people pose for me, I engage them in conversation. I enjoy talking to people; I approach them that way, so I can catch something special. Every portrait is a challenge. I have to create the illusion of life on a two dimensional surface. That’s where I get the kick, trying to capture something in the portrait. As a student, I loved doing that, and as my technique improves, so does my ability to capture that kind of life. That’s why I’ve kept obsessing. I’ve had sitters who are very guarded. I have to find a way to get them to open up. Because I tend to have a good deal of time with each sitter and to talk with them, I become something of a confidante; then I have to be discreet. It’s almost like therapy for some people.

When you are doing a portrait, you sort of put yourself in the position of an actor. You have to make a connection. In all of my portraits, there is something about me. So if a woman poses for me, there has to be a common denominator in my essence, my spirit. I grew up surrounded by strong women, my sisters, my mother, my grandmothers. When I do a portrait of a woman, I like to reinforce their strength. When I was a student drawing the figure, our teacher would tell us to first assume the pose ourselves. If the model’s arm was up in the air, we would put our arms up. We could feel the pressure, the stress of the pose–that was necessary in order to paint the picture. When you do a portrait, you put yourself in the sitter’s situation.”

 

Juan Bastos

 

 

Sinuhe Vega Negrin: ARTIST STATEMENT

The central theme of my work is the still life. It has always been about the relationship between the object or subject and me. From the time of learning, to the time of exploring, to the time of a defined line of work, the constant was the still subject. This continues whether I was dealing with Identity, migration, or the human condition. It was all done through the still life.

Still life has always been considered a minor genre, the stepchild of high art, despite its great tradition and such practitioners as Caravaggio, Chardin, and Cezanne. But what really is the difference between a still life and portrait? The subject, that’s all. Yet fruits on a table are dismissed for their lack of heroism. We revere the human, but not the earth. The fruit on the table is there for us, not us for them. This is the genesis of the work, and so I embark in the study of the disclaimed, the marginalized. To search in the opposite direction, against the current, one also ends up analyzing human beliefs and their implications. Our perception of nature manifests in our behavior; it resounds in our actions. And so I enter this natural world to observe this life form that lives in still—nature’s trees, fruits and flowers all in their static, statuesque, wise existence.

Venezuela is a land dependent on its oil fields.  It is one of the largest exporters of oil and has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Oil has determined its history, its economy, its social and political existence for hundreds of years, long before 20th century oil rigs began to mark the landscape.  Tony Vazquez-Figueroa has explored the substance of crude oil and its many manifestations with the intention of using his artistic skills and vision to try and understand what happened to one of the richest countries that forced him and thousands of others to forsake their homeland and flee their homeland.  Using crude oil as a key material in the creation of works that include drawings, photography, oil-ink blots, three-dimensional objects and prints made from his specially created oil ink, he has produced a personal archive of the products that form his country’s and his own collective memory and patrimony… an inventory of his own contrived archive, both real and imagined, available and no longer existent and all dependent on oil and made of oil or its products.

Excerpt from Crude Archive, essay written by
Carol Damian, Ph.D.
Curator

Trek6 has created a vast and unique body of work that spans over three decades, a diversity of mediums, and a multitude of cities and cultures.

Trek’s works are an experiment with resonance through the use of color, line, and rhythm that examine historic, indigenous and regionally relevant iconography. Portraits clash against lines that get smashed by color patterns and fragmented by shapes creating dynamic and vibrant compositions. The duality between being traditionally schooled in art, versus his graffiti writer upbringing allows for a variety of techniques and styles to converge in his work. Drifting from acrylic to aerosol and even including soundscape compositions and installations.

“I’ve created this cosmic slop where mysticism, Afro/Puerto Rican culture and urban life can sit together in unison. Giving me the space to explore everything, from my ancestors, to growing up in Miami (80s and 90s) during its most violent times to graffiti and abstract concepts in a cohesive but loose language that’s visually interesting but not restricted to any thematic or aesthetic other than my own artistic thumbprint.”

His works have been featured in numerous movies and videos, and in shows such as; MTV VMA 2011, the Showtime network mini-series “The Franchise” (in the opening scene for the season that covered the MIAMI MARLINS), and commercials for companies including Samsung (featuring LeBron James) and ESPN.

Trek has traveled the world participating in many street art and neighborhood beautification projects like Hawaii’s POW WOW and Puerto Rico’s Santurce Es Ley project. He has received coverage from media sources worldwide such as MIAMI HERALD, Huffington Post, USA Today and various art blogs. In 2013, he was awarded Street Artist of the Year and Mural of the Year by the Miami NEWTIMES. In 2014, Trek6 inaugurated an exhibit entitled “Messenger”, at the History Miami Museum, in conjunction with the city of Miami and the Bob Marley Family. In 2015, he became the first live painter and street artist to be featured in NYC Fashion week alongside designers, Naeem Khan and Christian Louboutin. That same year, his work was selected for the Blue Moon Brew label commemorating their 20th anniversary.

“Real Bboys move in silence” (Krs-one), is a fitting way to describe Trek6, who has successfully inched forward little by little over the years, collecting a resume of works and projects that have stayed ahead of their time.

César Trasobares is an artist, curator and author based in Miami. Over the past 40 years he has worked in various media and has engaged a broad scope of subjects in his work. He has been included in most of the major national and international exhibitions featuring Cuban-American artists. His sculptures, constructions and drawings are in numerous museums and private collections.

“I have worked with paper currency for more than twenty years, transforming actual billetes into various objects and poetic sculptural constructions. Overprinting dollar bills with images of iconic artworks questioned the fluidity of economic value in contemporary art and the evolving repositories of wealth. Shredding, cutting, staining and converting paper money into landscapes, rings, flowers and myriad enigmatic objects have been directions driving my practice. The transformation and mutability of materials, the formulation of post-institution creative expression and the urgent need to embrace new cultural and ideological hierarchies continue to inspire my intentions.”

Trasobares emigrated from his native Cuba with his family to the United States in 1965 as a teenager. He attended American universities and received a liberal arts training focusing on art and art history. He worked as an education administrator and in art management as the Director of Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program. He is currently retired from full-time public service. He continues his advocacy for artists’ rights and cultural literacy.

William Osorio is a Cuban born, Miami based artist. Born in 1989, Osorio began his artistic journey at a young age while in grade school. An artist who initiated his studies at the School of Fine Arts in his city of Holguin, he then decided to chase his dreams by emigrating to the US. In the states, Osorio chose to become a self-taught artist, which led to the key factor of the spontaneity in his work. While in the US, the artist has participated in over 20 art exhibitions and group shows.

His work falls within a style of renewed Expressionism. Osorio’s oeuvre is categorized by a gestural looseness of unrestrained paint, taking inspiration from Contemporary greats such as Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Eric Fischl, Jenny Saville, and Adrian Ghenie.

William Osorio is currently producing a series entitled Inside Out. This series touches on the search for identity. In part, a study of Sigmund Freud’s theory of the human psyche and the structure of the Id, Ego & Super Ego, while primarily aiming to examine the complexities of human behavior. As the artist has explained, “Human behavior and the social cultural issues that surround me, influence my work”.

Osorio’s imagery captures the viewer both with subject matter and application of paint. His canvases are characterized by a distinct use of large areas of impasto, adding layers of texture that transform his two dimensional planes into near-sculptural pieces.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I always felt as though I was at odds with the way humans interacted with our world. I felt as though its bountiful resources were taken for granted, its organic freedom replaced by manipulated barriers and calculated angles. With our dependence on technology, I felt our connection with nature waning even more. But then I opened my eyes and chose to see the beauty in the contrast, the intention of progress fueling our actions and my faith returned, optimistic for a day of true symbiosis and positive evolution.

My work celebrates this contrast of Earth and man, natural and synthetic, adolescence and adulthood. My medium, acrylic (Lucite), represents a blank slate, as clear as water, as close to nothing as possible; upon a closer look, this clear plastic has the ability to turn intangible transparency into a tactile substance. Its translucent colors cast shadows and reflections that transcend its physical presence. The potential in this material allows me to explore my fantastical world of neon plastic flowers and butterflies made of glitter, manifested in form and frozen in time so that unity could not only be experienced but be a presence we can see and touch.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I evaluate my city in terms of its economy, geography, industry, residence, salvage and temperament. Through my absorption of these characteristics I salvage what I can from my soundings to refine feelings and conceptual references down to essential forms and contours. Creating a universal connection and conversation between object, material, nature and human.

I think about people, in the context of man-made environments and how I fit within it. How by living my life my mind constantly gathers reference material, emotion, and sensory memories which are constantly projected on any new experience I may have. By exploring how objects, situations and interactions can affect one’s subconscious and how one reacts to emotions such as nostalgia, anxiety, euphoria, pleasure, or disdain, I construct ambiguous environments or autonomous objects that provoke conversation with the viewer an inch outside of their normal memory patterns. The works are just there to exist as a neutral place for the viewer- a place where the familiar and unfamiliar exist simultaneously. Much inspiration is drawn from the individual’s take on his or her surroundings; the home, the walk to work, the comfort zones, how these familiarities are absorbed and taken for granted. By using common materials re-purposed and re-contextualized, the subconscious recognition of that material or shape based in the memory creates a common experience between an audience and the work. Humans learn and grow through trial and error as they weave together a life and memory bank full of patterns, materials, light senses, physical reactions, impressions and intuitive feelings. One can harness these reactions and create a new collective memory for all viewers. By recalling memories, emotions, and facts through imagery, material, installation and performance, the work inspires the necessity to digest, cope with, and confront these reactions.