Â “The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Nilo, “No Name 6,” Mixed Media on Canvas, 31.5″ x 39.4″
As long as there has been art, there has been portraiture. Portraits were originally reserved only for those who were regardedÂ as important – religious figures, royalty, and nobility –Â and were meant to be in the exact likeness of the sitter. For many of us, these are the types of paintings that comeÂ to mind when someone mentions portraits. However, there is so much more to this personalizedÂ style of art. Whether a photograph, painting, drawing, or sculpture and regardless of artistic style, a portrait is just as much about the inner psyche of the sitter as it is about their physical appearance. That is why in contemporary art, it does not matter if you recognize the face that you are seeing. Instead, it is about relating to the overall essence of the image – the emanating emotion and energy.
Each of these Agora Gallery artists have used portraiture to represent not only a specific face, but a culture, a concept, or an idea.
Using her personal experiences and a social perspective, artist Chris Brandell seeks to “interpret the complexity of the human dynamic” while also expressing her passion for color. Hue, intensity, texture, and composition are all crucial to her artistic practice that she uses to invoke emotion in her audience. From a young age, Chris experienced color differently from those around her. “It’s safe to say that my color awareness is similar to my other senses – it’s tangible. I feel I can literally communicate anÂ experience through color in a way that I cannot through words.” Her technique involves a lot of movement and little use of brushes, favoringÂ the affectsÂ of large knives and trowels instead.
Chris Brandell in her studio
Chris has been working in the business world for many years and is also a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and is housed in several private collections. After climbing the corporate ladder in a male-dominated industry and becoming a partner in her own company, Chris is ready to take on the art world and pursue art as a career.
We had the chance to talk with Chris about her art, her practice, and how her artistic self is affectedÂ by the other aspects of her life. Read on to learn more!
“The craving for color is a natural necessity just as for water and fire. Color is a raw material indispensable to life. At every era of his existence and his history, the human being has associated color with his joys, his actions and his pleasures.”Â – Fernand Leger
Color has been an informative element throughout the history of art. During the Renaissance, the ultramarine pigment was more expensive than gold, and thus was used in paintings to establish social-class. Contemporary art such as the spot series by Damien Hirst, focuses on the relationship between, and the representation of different colors.
There is a scientific reasoning for how color happens, but this information holds no relevance to humans, who attribute color to their lives in more sentimental ways. People claim ownership over colors by declaring their favorite from a young age. Artistâ€™s declare ownership by manipulating the use of color to create meaning. Whether your favorite color is orange or blue, the wavelengths of light reflecting off of these works are sure to captivate and energize you.
Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the art lover in your life? Surprise your special someone this Valentine’s Day with an original piece of fine art. All of these pieces are originals by Agora Gallery’s represented artists, and are all available for purchase on ARTmine.com.
See a piece you like? Click the title or image for more information, or to purchase!
We wrote on January 23rd about a TV film crew that came to Agora Gallery to film an episode of Sinovision Journal. Well, the episode just aired recently on Sinovision, and we’re happy to share it with you today! Check it out:
NATURE AND ZEN: TWO CHINESE ARTISTSâ€™ ABSTRACT WORKS ON DISPLAY AT AGORA GALLERY
From the website:
Chinese artists Michael Lam and Wei Xiong are presenting their works at Chelsea district’s Agora Gallery’s latest group exhibition. “The Substance of Abstraction,” inspired by Chinese calligraphy and Zen respectively, shows how two artists find a way to present Chinese art culture in a universal way. SinoVision Journal reporter Jane Stone brings you the story.
Happy Wednesday, art lovers! We enjoyed a visit from Agora artist Biddy HodgkinsonÂ this afternoon. BiddyÂ just walked down to Chelsea after visitingÂ the Guggenheim – for those of you who aren’t familiar with NYC geography, that’s 40 street blocks and 5 avenues – QUITE the walk!
At the Guggenheim, Biddy had been enjoying the exhibition of V. S. Gaitonde,Â an artist with a style not too dissimilar to herÂ own. Â In fact, the title of the exhibition,Â Painting as Process, Painting as Life, may easily be applied to Biddy’s work, as her subjects deal with such themesÂ as life, nature, andÂ decay. In her pieces, sheÂ applies acids and industrial destructive substances to organic matter, allowing natural processes to occur on canvas.Â The result is a beautiful andÂ colorfulÂ homage to death.
Biddy is currently working on two large-scale pieces with a pretty funny story behind them. When calling up her supplier, Hodgkinson requested two 80″ canvases – or, as it turned out, 280″ canvases, as the supplier would hear it!Â Not complaining, Biddy is going to go with it, and we’re pretty excited to see her new 23+ foot (7+ meter) works!
Congratulations to Kristina Garon, Kenji Inoue, and JungHee Lee-Marles! Artwork by these three fine artists sold yesterday to a local New York couple. We’re sure the works will make a beautiful addition to their home!
JungHee Lee-Marles – When the Wind Blows II, acrylic & mixed media on board, 24 x 40 inches
Born in Korea and benefiting from an international education, JungHee Lee-Marles now lives and works in Ottawa, Canada, where she is actively involved with numerous arts organizations.Â This is JungHee’s first exhibition with Agora Gallery.
Kristina Garon – Thoughts and Feelings 14, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 inches
Kristina Garon has been an Agora Gallery artist since 2009. Pathway to Abstraction marks her seventh exhibition with us. Â â€śWith my paintings,â€ť says Garon, â€śI hope to create more positive energy and joy.â€ťÂ
Kenji Inoue – Set Me Free, oil on canvas, 36 x 23.5 inches
Kenji Inoue has had nine exhibitions with Agora Gallery, having been with us since 2006. This is the second piece he has sold through Agora Gallery this winter – the first being a 72″ diptych calledÂ Hottender.Â Kenji Inoue studied painting and illustration at the Tokyo Communications and Arts Professional School for two years. He currently lives and works in Japan.
All of these artists are participating inÂ Pathway to Abstraction, and their works are currently on view in the gallery. There will be a reception on January 8th, and all are welcome to stop by!
Glimpse the world as captured through the lens of a camera in Altered States of Reality; experience a rich kaleidoscope of color, form and texture in Elements of Abstraction; discover the spirit behind the visuals presented in Portals of Perception.
Altered States of Reality provides a glimpse of the world as captured through the shifting yet focused view of a camera lens, the transformation of technology, and through the artists’ own inner vision. The gifted artists participating in Altered States of Reality offer us a perception of the world as seen through a complex, enigmatic fusion of emotions and technical mastery. The old boundaries have come tumbling down and the new reality has been altered and is forever changing. This exciting exhibition allows us to challenge our ideas, and the parables and perceptions that constitute our own reality.