“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.
There’s always something going on in the art world. Every Sunday, Agora starts the new week by looking back at what happened the week before. Here are our top art news stories from June 26th – July 2nd, 2016.
This week we saw Vincent Desiderio’s work “Sleep” inspire a Kanye West’s “Famous” music video and we learned that Sky Art will be hanging fake artworks in numerous British galleries to test their guests.
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°31’10.5″N 81°22’36.5″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.
There’s always something going on in the art world. Every Sunday, Agora starts the new week by looking back at what happened the week before. Here are our top art news stories from June 19th – June 25th, 2016.
Photo courtesy of The Spectator UK
This past week, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. Read on about how this decision will affect the global art market, learn more about Christo’s ‘Floating Piers’ closing for maintenance, and take a look at a $91M model of Noah’s Ark.
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.
In Thai, the name “Banjerd” means creativity, and “Lekkong” means durable metal. “I believe I was born to be an artist who creates “Lekkong” art,” says sculptor Banjerd Lekkong. He was born in the Phimai district, Nakhon Ratchasima, which is where the Ramayana sculpture is located, chosen by UNESCO as an archaeological world heritage site. These sculptures, the rocks of Phimai historical park, Thai architecture, Thai art and so on have all influenced the artist since he was young. His first artisan teacher was his father, who taught Lekkong, since he was eight years old, about steel and the different methods in steel-making, such as steel-turning and metal welding. When Lekkong grew up, he used this knowledge and his creative abilities as an inspiration for his creations.
“I would like to create artwork that extends beyond the imagination, and also reflects unexpected inverse feelings,” he says. “I aim to transform this solid material into something lively and emotional with wavering proportion and posture.” All of Lekkong’s ideas are new but based on Asian tradition and culture. His artworks reflect his identity. Using whatever materials he has available, his sculptures are meant to present his ideas in ways that are unexpected and imaginative; each sculpture is one of a kind.
Each work shows emotion and feeling through posture and expression of the eyes. Using solid metal to make something beautiful soft, and tender, Lekkong creates many things: an exclusive piece of art, a unique creation, and a piece of sensation. We went to the depths of the artist’s mind to learn more about these masterpieces eternal from the hands Banjerd Lekkong.
“An object dies when the gaze that lights on it has disappeared.” – Chris Marker
Branko Miskovic, “Light in my Heart,” Steel, 65″ x 37″ x 30″
Sculpture is one of the oldest art forms. This three-dimensional representation has filled many roles in human life before becoming an aesthetic mode of expression. Throughout history, sculptures have been used as vessels of prayer, representations of the ideal man and woman, and monuments to historical figures. Even Pablo Picasso, known primarily for his Cubist painting, turned to sculpture as an artistic form when he wanted the ability to communicate in a three-dimensional medium what is limited on a two-dimensional canvas. Through the use of different materials and styles, artists turn mere objects into art dense with meaning and therefore immortal.
In honor of International Sculpture Day (April 24th; in its second year), we are proud to present some of Agora Gallery’s exceptional sculptors.