¬†“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 regarded¬†as important – religious figures, royalty, and nobility –¬†and were meant to be in the exact likeness of the sitter. For many of us, these are the types of paintings that come¬†to mind when someone mentions portraits. However, there is so much more to this personalized¬†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.
Some artists find a blank white canvas to be daunting. With limitless possibilities to be explored, how can you know if what you’re doing is the best thing?¬†Bimbi Larraburu sees her canvas not as a challenge, but as an open space to express her inner self through color, line, and shape. Bimbi’s works give way to a chaotic visual effect, one that simultaneously excites and soothes any viewer. The colors are vibrant and¬†the composition is random, and yet everything works together to create perfectly balanced abstract pieces.
Bimbi has lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for her whole life, and continues to work there today. She was always interested in the arts from a very young age, but was encouraged to pursue a traditional university career, causing her to study Architecture and Advertising, elements of which she continues to bring into her art. Bimbi also studied under the Argentinian abstract painter Heriberto Zorrilla and learned the ways of the “Esencialismo” movement. In addition to her art, Bimbi loves to travel and manages a family real estate business in Argentina and the US.
Bimbi Larraburu painting in her studio in Buenos Aires
Being from Argentina, Bimbi answered some questions we had for her in her native Spanish language as well as in English. We have transcribed the interview in both languages here for all to enjoy! Read on to learn more about Bimbi’s story, as well as her techniques and inspiration.
With a passion for art from a very young age, Oliwia Biela has always found a way to express herself through her paintings. She feels the impulse to put all her positive feelings on canvas without thinking, to¬†just express her emotions in the moment. She continues to paint spontaneous and emotion-filled abstract paintings using a variety of materials and techniques, choosing whatever method works¬†best with her mood at the time.
Oliwia Biela in her studio
Outside of her artwork, Oliwia loves ballet, jazz music, and traveling. She is interested in learning all that she can about the world and loves all that is alive.
The Fourth of July – a day filled with friends and family and most importantly, pride for the United States of America. In honor of this day, we are featuring the works of various Agora artists who have been inspired by the same symbols that represented the US: freedom, prosperity, progress, and perseverance. So, please enjoy these beautiful works of art and Happy Fourth of July!
It has been nearly 3 weeks since the horrific events at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando took place. In the aftermath of the shooting, friends, family members and sympathisers held memorials and showed their support for the victims¬†and¬†the entire LGBT community. In the wake of this terrible tragedy, artists are also showing their love and support. Two days ago, Agora Artist Irina Goryunova¬†completed a painting entitled “28¬į31’10.5″N 81¬į22’36.5″W,” which are the geographical coordinates of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL. Irina would like to dedicate¬†this painting to the victims of this tragedy, and all of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the victims’ families.
¬† ¬† If you’re interested in purchasing this artwork, please contact Agora Gallery directly.
Irina is originally from Moscow, Russia and worked in finance and business before dedicating her career to art. Seeing how much people depended on money for happiness made her sad, and she wanted to leave something on this world that was more than just her signature on a document, something she created with her hands. This is what drew her to art. A self-taught painter, Irina creates one-of-a-kind works straight from the heart. She strives to display her knowledge and experiences in life in her works, inspiring emotions and questions in her viewers, hoping that they will have a desire to learn more about what it is she is depicting.
Fanny Horowitz‘s figurative paintings focus on the social persona that women take on in their¬†every day lives. Using technical skills and a love of color, Fanny creates intimate and mysterious worlds in which the viewer can take part.
Leaving the context for her subjects vague, Fanny invites us all to interpret each piece in our own way. While one person might see a woman checking herself out in a mirror, another person may see someone with insecurities, making sure that her makeup or clothes are perfectly in place. “For me, painting is setting out on an adventure. I choose to paint simple and unassuming motifs from the world around me,” says the artist.
Fanny Horowitz in her studio
Fanny draws inspiration from the Impressionist movement and the intense colors of Fauvism. Her works are drenched with color, with subtle but firm depictions of light and shadow. She uses vivid oil colors and mixes endless shades and sub-shades for each piece. These methods generate a sense of mystery, prompting the viewer’s imagination to form a unique, individual experience.
Those moments of grace that she creates are an escape from a noisy, outside world to a place that is tranquil, allowing the viewer to dive into the depths until they lose¬†their sense of external time and place, entering and observing inner emotional worlds and landscapes, and¬†searching for a lock that opens a door to spiritual sustenance.
We had the chance to sit down with Fanny and discuss her work and process, and we were far from disappointed. Read on to learn more about this fascinating artist!
‚ÄúIn photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.‚ÄĚ –¬†Alfred Stieglitz
Fine art photography is different from¬†rivaling art forms in terms of the fact that unlike other¬†mediums, which have been practiced and developed since the beginning of human time, it’s a¬†very recent new art development. ¬†Every two minutes, the amount of photos taken around the world is the same as the amount of photos produced during the entire 19th century. Introducing photography as a new medium¬†transcended the art world and brought countless new possibilities and new criteria to classify and critique artwork. Throughout the past century, photography¬†has been developed and expanded to incorporate the elements it has today. Each of these Agora Gallery artists goes beyond photography’s boundaries, exploring the medium and breaking tradition.
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 an¬†experience through color in a way that I cannot through words.” Her technique involves a lot of movement and little use of brushes, favoring¬†the affects¬†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 affected¬†by the other aspects of her life. Read on to learn more!
No, this isn’t an art history term you don’t know. This is something entirely new.
Conceptivism is a new style of art that was coined by artist Sergey Kir. The style utilizes several different ideas and techniques taken from art history and recent technological advancements and creates a bridge between the old and the new. Incorporating computer digital design techniques, features of financial modeling, and a love for vivid color and art history, Conceptivism is the realization that contemporary art is changing.
Here, Sergey gives us insight into this monumental new art form.
Sergey Kir, “Dream of Las Vegas 2,” Digital Print on Canvas, 28″ x 40″
A Manhattan CEO-turned-artist is not something you hear about very often, but that is the story¬†of Kelley Millet. After working in the business community for over 30 years, Millet discovered his passion for art as a way to express himself and the emotions he has held onto throughout his life, such as anger, joy, regret, passion, denial, and hope. His contrasting techniques¬†stem from this variety of emotions, inspiring him to create in a wide range of styles and¬†mediums. Millet uses his art to show¬†the world that he is more than just a suit, but a man with emotions, a husband, a father, a musician, and an artist. He proves that what you do does not define who you are, something that many people can relate to.
Millet graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts with a degree in Economics, though he often found himself at art museums and taking frequent trips to NYC to visit the Met, MoMA, and different art¬†galleries. Difficult family obstacles¬†in his youth, such as the early death of his mother, not only brought him closer to his two older brothers, with whom he remains close to this day¬†but also helped fuel the emotions that inspire him to create.
Beyond his art career, Millet is on the Board of Directors for the New York Red Cross and is a Co-Chair for the Grace Outreach Program, which works to get women out of the South Bronx and get their GED to prepare them for work or college. These experiences humble and inspire him to pursue his art and create beautiful, abstract pieces.