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June 18, 2015

Amliv Sotomayor: Women with Eyes Closed

Amliv is living and working among us here in Miami. The Cuban artist (who, according to her bio "eats her rice and beans regularly") creates delicate and ethereal imagery - it's hard to place the images within a city so much the opposite. Not only do I admire Amliv for her skill with graphite, but the imaginative nature of her images is also to be revered. As someone who at times relies heavily on source photographs, I'm in awe of the emotion and precision portrayed in these fantastical scenes.

I see Amliv's images and wonder about the story behind the characters and their interactions. What relationship does the artist see between these women and beasts? Almost all of Amliv's drawings of women show them with their eyes closed. I feel as if these women are completely engulfed in their personal experience, whether it be transformation, grandeur, dream, or sleep. It’s a beautiful and strange effect, and it is executed with such grace.

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June 6, 2015

James Roper: Double Exposure

James Roper has done a magnificent job in executing his goal in these graphite drawings. The description likens these portraits to headshots, "a must-have for any aspiring Hollywood actor" but the aim is to show the emotional depth of someone pursuing an acting career. Some may view this career path as a choice made by the vapid, the unrealistic, the dramatic and ridiculous. But my interpretation is that Roper shows how inaccurate this generalization can be by suggesting the form of a headshot with an unidentifiable pattern teeming beneath it, creating a double exposure effect.

Furthermore, this double exposure effect has beautiful results. The viewer is distracted by the intricacy and beauty of the pattern that they do not at first realize that the pattern is of nothing in particular. It has traces of architectural themes, feather-like line patterns, folds that could be fabric. We as viewers stare at the pattern, trying to find something that is, in fact, not there. It is ephemeral; it escapes us. It’s a reminder for us to stand back and enjoy the bigger picture.

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May 29, 2015

Ola Szpunar: Summer Sunlight

I recently returned from a trip to Texas where the days were unexpectedly filled with clouds, rain, and chilly temperatures. When I saw Ola Szpunar's "Summer" series, the images matched what I had thought my trip would look like: scenes of warm, sun-drenched indoor and outdoor settings. You cannot feel any other season besides summer when observing these pictures, not only from the sunny glow emanating from each scene. I see myself as the girl standing near the sink in a bikini top and black pants, coming in from the pool to take a break from the sun.

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May 22, 2015

Elena Chetverik: Hide and Seek

I have to let my emotions get the better of me on this post: I LOVE this series. I don’t understand everything that is going on in this game of hide and seek, I don’t know what happens when each character is found. Why are they wearing animal masks? In what kind of world does this take place? The viewer is left to either answer these questions, or leave them unanswered.

There’s a balance between beautifully illustrating a scene and telling a story. This series by Elena Chetverik allows the two to meet in the middle. The story exists but is not defined. The people are over-large, awkwardly positioned, the setting rough and unfinished and yet both have more character than had they been drawn down to the last detail. Elena’s style is so much her own: her shading haphazard, her lines imperfect. I love it all.

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May 8, 2015

I Tried to Draw You Last Night

Brandon Vosika's series "I Tried to Draw You Last Night" feels like a tribute to friendship. He's caught his friends in natural poses; the drawings feeling as easy and sincere as a friendship should be. It's not a simple task to draw people who are close to you – you want them to see the thought and care you put into making something just for them.

Brandon's technique and use of materials is another aspect of these pieces that caught my eye. He's painting with watercolor but not on watercolor paper, hence the uneven wrinkling of the paper. Brandon's rejection of "proper" materials enhances the casual nature of the pieces. I love his varying line weight in each of the drawings. Shapes and forms are suggested, lines trail off into nothing - these are truly sketches, but as personal pieces and as a body of work, they feel like more than an afterthought dashed off on a scrap piece of paper.

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February 28, 2015

Drawing Across Used Journal Pages

A little bird told me about an upcoming exhibition in London featuring Fran Giffard's body of work that layers the wild over the domestic. After she filled up her personal moleskine journal with writing, Giffard did some repurposing and began to paint birds over all of its used pages with aquarelle, gouache, and graphite pencil. The result is a vivid safari adventure through an unexpectedly personal landscape.

While birdwatching, I caught sight of wedding dates, grocery lists, vacation plans, even diary entries. Weirdly intimate information about a stranger, which makes me feel like I’m flipping through something I know I shouldn’t be looking at. Sometimes the birds are painted alongside the text, carefully leaving the words unobscured. Other times, their plumage covers entire chunks of writing and I realize how nosy I am being trying to read someone else's journal. That's something you're not supposed to do, isn't it? Too bad, because I can't look away.

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September 5, 2014

Drawn Faces Under Construction

Looking at the lines of a tree can tell you a lot about its life, and the same could go for people. David Cristobal is a Spanish artist whose highly detailed wood people are worth checking out. These portraits are drawn realistically, yet the texture of the wood that they are built from makes it become a surreal experience. I almost want to stick my face right up close to their cracks and peak into what's on their inside. Is that creepy?

Found via our Facebook page. Thanks friends and followers for sharing your work!



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