With oil on canvas Marlene Kurland reflects on what it is to be human. Her images observe people in everyday situations, meeting with friends and family or on a day out at the beach. Cellphones often appear in her work, emblems of the modern experience of the social placed amidst more traditional imagery. Kurland’s loose style, which she deems realistic impressionism, and attention to social gatherings mingle to create works that are loose, joyful, and sometimes witty. Her newest cellphone series comments on the captivation many feel with their smart phones, both by observing modern gatherings dotted with people glued to their phones and by inserting the imagery into classic films and artworks. With vibrant colors and attention to light, Kurland establishes the shimmering atmosphere of a beach at mid-day or the cosy essence of an evening meal, and the figures who inhabit each.
Working in her home studios, dividing her time between Maryland and Florida, Kurland loves to create on large canvases, using broad brush strokes, as she paints the colors of human emotions and loving relationships. Kurland has a bachelors' degree in Art and Psychology from the Notre Dame of Maryland University and is also often commissioned for family paintings, ordered by collectors from all over the world and inspired by their favorite photos. Her colors come from life; she paints them brightly and startlingly intense. Kurland uses her oils to layer on spirit and depth, as she gets to the souls of her subjects. Often her work stems from personal experiences, and she is invariably drawn to the complexity of human subjects.