Cinga Samson

Paintings by Cinga Samson

Educated in a shared art studio of South African painters in his early twenties, soon after deciding to dedicate his life to art, Cinga Samson has recently established himself as an important new voice in contemporary painting. His oil works on canvas manifest echoes of what he describes as the superstitions and spirituality integral to his upbringing in the town of Ethembeni and its surrounding countryside.

Desire, aspiration, and celebration of identity drive much of Samson’s work, for which he draws inspiration from fashion, heritage, and the works of Paul Gauguin and Andrew Wyeth, among others. Samson’s process incorporates the use of sketches and photo shoots; he carefully selects elements within a composition to be replaced with others in order to achieve a sensual equilibrium between the real, the imagined, and the accentuated.

The recipient of the 2017 Tollman Award for the Visual Arts, Cinga Samson  exhibited at the Armory Show, New York, in 2018.

Parva Scaena (Brief Scenes)

Parva Scaena (Brief Scenes); Set Thirty-Four

“Is the beauty of the Whole really enhanced by our agony? And is the Whole really beautiful? And what is beauty? Throughout all his existence man has been striving to hear the music of the spheres, and has seemed to himself once and again to catch some phrase of it, or even a hint of the whole form of it. Yet he can never be sure that he has truly heard it, nor even that there is any such perfect music at all to be heard. Inevitably so, for if it exists, it is not for him in his littleness.

But one thing is certain. Man himself, at the very least, is music, a brave theme that makes music also of its vast accompaniment, its matrix of storms and stars. Man himself in his degree is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. It is very good to have been man. And so we may go forward together with laughter in our hearts, and peace, thankful for the past, and for our own courage. For we shall make after all a fair conclusion to this brief music that is man.”
Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men


Buckhead 1111, “Colaboration with Paul Cadmus”, Digital Art Photography

Buckhead1111, born Steve Douglas, is an artist and designer living on Maui, Hawaii. He is a multi-media artist who has produced work in a wide range of media including theater set design, jewelry, sculpture and painting. He is currently working in digital art using multiple apps on his iPad. Buckhead1111 weaves textures that he digitally creates into photographs that he has processed, frequently collaborating with other artists on their work.

Image reblogged with thanks to the artist:

Andre Serfontein

Andre Serfontein, “The Crossing”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 115 x 154 cm.

Andre Serfontein lives and works in Cape Town. After graduating with a National Diploma in Graphic Design from Cape Technikon in 1983, he worked in adverting agencies as a designer and illustrator.

Serfontein’s intention isn’t to capture an ideal or present the pinnacle of beauty. He distorts and exaggerates certain physical features to capture, amplify and accentuate the essence of his subjects. He look for interesting faces, for details that can be interpreted, for ways to heighten what he sees. Serfontein is drawn to a bold, resilient beauty that’s imperfect and asymmetrical… the rare magnetism of men and women who are truly comfortable in their skin.

“I think its important to work from life and gain a better understanding of the human figure, to develop my observational skills and regularly draw and paint live models. Even if one distorts a figure the distortion has to make some anatomical sense. When I paint from life I am fascinated how direct and indirect light moulds the planes and curves on a face or body . The more you look the more you see all kinds of colour and tonal subtleties which you tend to loose in photographs. But ultimately I think I enjoy the process of changing and distorting the figures into my own versions and characters.” -Andre Serfontein


Beguiling the Senses. . .

His Butt: Beguiling the Senses and Enchanting the Mind: Photo Set Thirty

“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.”
Jack London, The Call of the Wild


Eteri Chkadua-Tuite

Eteri Chkadua-Tuite, “Requiem”, 1993, Oil on Linen, 30 x 40 Inches

Eteri Chkadua-Tuite is a painter from Tbilisi, Georgia. She divides her time between Chicago with her husband, Kevin Tuite, and her hometown of Tbilisi. At the age of sixteen, Chkadua studied at the Tbilisi Art Academy, one of five applicants admitted out of several hundred.

Her artwork is concerned with the expressions of people. Her paintings are usually full of groups of people engaged in activity, sometimes praying, hunting, or marching. Her palette tends to be sepias, greenish browns or pale yellows.  Comparisons have been made to the Flemish and Dutch paintings of the 1500s with their round faces and bodies.

Parts and Pieces: Photo Set Twenty-One

Parts and Pieces: Photo Set Twenty-One

“In our opinion, it is analytically correct, although—to use Hans Castorp’s phrase—“terribly gauche” and downright life-denying, to make a “tidy” distinction between sanctity and passion in matters of love. What’s this about “tidy”? What’s this about gentle irresolution and ambiguity? Isn’t it grand, isn’t it good, that language has only one word for everything we associate with love – from utter sanctity to the most fleshly lust? The result is perfect clarity in ambiguity, for love cannot be disembodied even in its most sanctified forms, nor is it without sanctity even at its most fleshly. Love is always simply itself, both as a subtle affirmation of life and as the highest passion; love is our sympathy with organic life, the touchingly lustful embrace of what is destined to decay – caritas is assuredly found in the most admirable and most depraved passions. Irresolute? But in God’s good name, leave the meaning of love unresolved! Unresolved – that is life and humanity, and it would betray a dreary lack of subtlety to worry about it.”
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain


Alberto Helios Gagliardo

Alberto Helios Gagliardo, “The War”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas

Alberto Helios Gagliardo was an Italian painter and engraver who was born in 1893. He attended the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts in Genoa. In 1925 Gagliardo exhibited his work at the International Exhibition of the Grand Palais in Paris.

Since 1931, when he participated in the exhibition in Athens, Gagliardo was present in numerous and important exhibitions abroad: Riga, Lima, Caracas, Guatemala City, Shged, Vittoria, Budapest, Stockholm, and in Buenos Aires, where he exhibited at the First Exhibition of Contemporary Ligurian Painters and Sculptors in Argentina.

Gagliardo was close to the Ligurian engraving group of the “Tarasca” and was a holder of the Chair of Engraving at the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts, and was also listed among  the “Engravers of Italy”. He was also a follower of the Symbolist and Neo-Impressionist painter Goetano Previati, later joining the Theosophical Society in Genova, Italy.

Gagliardo’s work is linked between 1919 and 1921 to Symbolism and is reminiscent of the dreamlike atmospheres and the soft brushstrokes of the Pre-Raphaelites and French Puvis De Chavannes movements. In later works, his focus was on social themes, translated into harder and more essential forms with strong tonal and luministic contrasts.


Jordi Chicletol, “Jonatan Oliva”

Jordi Chicletol, “Jonatan Oliva”, Photo Shoot for Kaltblut Magazine

Barcelona nightlife connaisseur and radio program journalist, photographer and event promoter, Jordi Chicletol is audiovisual content creator and expert in contemporary phenomena and its manifestations. He is a collaborator of the In-Edit or Moritz Feed Dog festivals and responsible for the Chicletol Curated Sessions at the Apolo Club and other venues in Barcelona. Curator of youFonic performances and its panel discussions, Chicletol will also be teaching, with model and agitator Jon Gómez de la Peña, the visual communication workshop.

Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis, “Bredford Street Gang”, 1935, Drypoint and Sandpaper Ground Printed in Black Ink on Wove Paper, Plate Size: 22.5 x 36.2 cm, Detroit Instute of Arts

Martin Lewis is considered one of the greatest American printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century.  He used his superb sense of composition and his technical skill as a master printmaker to create images of New York City and rural Connecticut that are as captivating today as they were in the late 1920’s when he was first recognized as an important artist.

Lewis, a maker of archetypal American art, was an immigrant, born and educated in Australia, who came to this country in 1900. He had become by 1915 a skilled printmaker who shared his knowledge of etching with his friend, Edward Hopper. Lewis was one of the first printmakers to sell out an edition of a print during an exhibition, and many of his etchings and drypoints sold out in a few months. After the artist’s death in 1962, print collectors continued to appreciate his sensuous works of art, which have remained relatively unknown to the general public.

Martin Lewis spent most of his life living in New York City after arriving from Australia.  However, he did travel to Europe and lived briefly in Japan and rural Connecticut. After the artist’s death in 1962, print collectors continued to appreciate his sensuous works of art, which have remained relatively unknown to the general public.




Parva Scaena (Brief Scenes)

Parva Scaena (Brief Scenes): Set Thirty Three

“Consciousness of self was an inherent function of matter once it was organized as life, and if that function was enhanced it turned against the organism that bore it, strove to fathom and explain the very phenomenon that produced it, a hope-filled and hopeless striving of life to comprehend itself, as if nature were rummaging to find itself in itself – ultimately to no avail, since nature cannot be reduced to comprehension, nor in the end can life listen to itself.”
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Danny Ferrell

Paintings by Danny Ferrell

Danny Ferrell is an artist living and working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2014 he received a BFA from Penn State University in drawing and painting, and an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016. Ferrell is represented by the Marinaro Gallery in New York City and Galerie Pact in Paris. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches drawing and painting. Ferrell has exhibited in New York City, Pittsburgh and the New England area.

Danny Ferrell was born in Flint, Michigan, and spent his formative years in rural Pennsylvania. In this deeply conservative area, most residents placed religion above all other virtues; the result was anyone deviating from religious law was treated as a herald of immorality. Ferrell’s love for other men violated the cultural norms, forcing him to conceal his identity as a gay person from those in the public sphere.

Consequently, his work represents fantasies and fears about the Other in the form of the queer male experience. By creating code homoerotic images of ubiquitous scenes that could appeal to mainstream audiences, the work is both universal and human. Ferrell admires Cadmus and Tooker and follows their lead to bring together the epic and banal in his work.

Lawren Harris

Lawren S Harris, “Billboard (Jazz)”, 1921, Oil on Canvas, 1072 x 1275 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

The first paintings Lawren Harris exhibited in Toronto in 1911 included urban scenes of streets and houses in The Ward, the largely immigrant area west of Toronto’s City Hall. Best known for his landscapes of Ontario’s near north, the Rocky Mountains and Arctic and later abstractions, Harris’s urban scenes played a key role in his exploration of the role of art in the transformations of Canadian society.

Harris exhibited several of his new “Shack Paintings” at the 1921 Group of Seven exhibition in the Art Gallery of Toronto. These paintings dealt with a subject he had been treating for almost ten years- houses in the poorer sections or in the unserviced and uninsurable outskirts of Toronto.

The painting “Jazz”, later retitled “Billboard” was provacative at the time, dealing with modern, urban life, considered by the then puritanical Toronto to be a decadent or immoral lifestyle. Painted with agressive brushwork and fractured text, it shows workers in the foreground and a row of frame houses receding in the background. The almost abstract billboard with its torn posters is the principle subject; this abstraction is carried across the top of the canvas by the torn clouds.

Over the course of his career, Lawren Harris’s painting evolved from Impressionist-influenced, decorative landscapes to stark images of the northern landscape to geometric abstractions. From 1934 to 1937, Harris lived in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he painted his first abstract works, a direction he would continue for the rest of his life.

In 1938 Harris moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico, and helped found the Transcendental Painting Group, an organization of artists who advocated a spiritual form of abstraction. Harris died in Vancouver in 1970, at the age of 84, as a well-known artist. He was buried on the grounds of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where his work is now held.


Bruce Weber, “Ian Mckellen and Friend”

Bruce Weber, “Ian McKellen and Friend (Peter Johnson)”

This image taken by Bruce Weber of Ian McKellen and Peter Johnson is from Weber’s book “The Chop Suey Club”  published by Arena Editions in 1999.

This book presents Bruce Weber’s collection of photographs mostly of Peter Johnson, a young man he met while shooting at a wrestling camp. Taken over a series of years, the photographs evolve in scope and involvement as the subject ages and grows more comfortable with the camera. It is a fascinating study of not only a young man coming of age, but of a photographers relationship with one subject over a period of time. Although an art photography book, the book’s compact size gives it a feel of a private journal rather than a glossy coffee table book. Published in a small edition, copies of the book are rare.

Alireza Shojaian

Alireza Shojaian, “Hamed Sinno et un de ses Frères (Hamed Sinno and One of His Brothers)”, 2018

Alireza Shojaian is an Iranian gay artist, born in 1988 in Tehran. He studied at Islamic Azad University In the Faculty of Art and Architecture center located in Tehran, and obtained his Masters degree in Fine Arts. He now spends time living and working between his birthplace of Tehran and Beirut, Lebanon, a more tolerant country in the Middle East in terms of protection and acceptance for sexually and gender diverse people..

Shojaian’s artwork tries to highlight subjects which society tries to hide from view. His paintings often deal with the intimacy of his characters, sometimes confronting the viewer with a sense of suffering or embarrassment. Shojaian’s Pentagon and Hexagon series deals deeply with the issue of being a gay man in Iran. The two series depicts the final moments in the life of a gay friend, who was brutally murdered in his own home during the final year at the university.

For further information on the life of Alireza Shojaian and his experience within the Iranian culture as a gay artist, I suggest the following article:

Image reblogged with thanks to a great site:

Faces of Man: WP Photo Set Four

Photographers Unknown, Faces of Man: WP Photo Set Four

“The anthropologist Clifford Geertz says that humans are ‘symbolizing, conceptualizing, meaning-seeking’ animals. In our species, he says, ‘the drive to make sense out of our experience, to give it form and order, is evidently as real and as pressing as the more familiar biological needs.’ To Geertz, a human being is an organism ‘which cannot live in a world it is unable to understand.”
Robert Fulford, The Triumph of the Narrative


John Constable

John Constable, “Landscape with Double Rainbow”, 1812, Oil Sketch on Paper on Canvas, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

John Constable was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk. Largely self-taught, he was a probationer in 1799; and in 1800, he became a student at the Royal Academy schools. Constable exhibited from 1802 at the Royal Academy in London, and later at the Paris Salon. He was influenced by Dutch artists such as paitner and etcher Jacob van Ruisdael, generally considered the pre-eminent landscape painter of the Dutch Golden Age. The works of Peter Paul Rubens and Claude Gellée also proved to be influencial to Constable for their color use and composition.

For a student trained in the British Royal Academy at the turn of the 18th century, landscape was lower in the hierarchy of genres than biblical and historical subjects. John Constable was drawn to local landscapes rather than classic Mediterranean ones, and rather than transforming these into grand mythologies or allegories, he painted them using scientific methods of observation drawn from new fields like meteorology. Constable’s sketches were the firt ever done in oils directly from the subject in the open air.

John Constable used oil sketches to record the subtle effects of light and changes in the weather. This approach of his would later influence artists like those of the emerging French Impressionists. Sketches Constable did in Hamstead, England, which at that time was just a rural village outside of London, show storm clouds gathering or light piercing the atmosphere. His painting “Landscape with a Double Rainbow”, seen above, is dominatied by a deep blue sky and shows an unusual atmospheric event not fully understood by early 19th century science.

When compared to the varnished paintings of the predominant academic style, John Constable’s  canvases, composed of quick, broken brush strokes, were considered by comtemporary critics and most viewers to be “unfinished”. Constable’s 1821 completed painting “The Hay Wain” was shown at the Royal Academy and did not attract much attention. However, “The Hay Wain”, when shown with his other works, at the Paris Salon of 1824 earned a gold medal. The French Impressionists at that time, such as Delacroix and Géricault, were just beginning to gain prominence and challenge the early 19th century critics.

El Greco

El Greco, “Opening of the Fifth Seal (The Vision of Saint John the Divine)”, Oil on Canvas, 1610, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The painting, unfinished at El Greco’s death and listed in a postmortem inventory, depicts a passage in Revelation (6:9–11) describing the opening of the Fifth Seal and the distribution of white robes to “those who had been slain for the work of God and for the witness they had borne.” It is cut down from a large altarpiece commissioned in 1608 for the church of the hospital of Saint John the Baptist in Toledo. The missing upper part may have shown the Sacrificial Lamb opening the Fifth Seal.

Toshiyuki Enoki

Toshiyuki Enoki, “The Wings of Sleep”, 2012, Self-Portrait

Toshiyuki Enoki, born in Japan in 1961, is a contemporary artist who works in lacquer, oil and acrylic paints, and watercolor. He has participated in the 2014 Kan-Hikari Expo in Kyoto and has installed his works at international heritage sites such as the Jochi Temple, the Nijo Castle, and the Senyu Temple. Toshiyuki Enoki participated from 2010 to 2012 in the 21st Century Exhibition of Japanese Art which covers the contemporary Japanese art scene from 1980 to the present.

Enoki’s works are a combination of reality, myths, and fantasy with an emphasis on the human consciousness. Using particularly worn brushes, Enoki cyclically paints, erases and transfers images for his works to create a unique atmosphere. The detailed brush-strokes and overall reflective surface is reminiscent of lacquer works which served as an inspiration for the artist. Enoki uses a selected warm colour palette and uses scattered gold leaf across his canvas to create an overall magical and tranquil depiction.


Parts and Pieces: Photo Set Twenty

Parts and Pieces: Photo Set Twenty (Blacks and Whites)

“If man made himself the first object of study, he would see how incapable he is of going further. How can a part know the whole? But he may perhaps aspire to know at least the parts to which he bears some proportion. But the parts of the world are all so related and linked to one another, that I believe it impossible to know one without the other and without the whole.

Man, for instance, is related to all he knows. He needs a place wherein to abide, time through which to live, motion in order to live, elements to compose him, warmth and food to nourish him, air to breathe. He sees light; he feels bodies; in short, he is in a dependant alliance with everything. To know man, then, it is necessary to know how it happens that he needs air to live, and, to know the air, we must know how it is thus related to the life of man, etc. Flame cannot exist without air; therefore to understand the one, we must understand the other.

Since everything then is cause and effect, dependant and supporting, mediate and immediate, and all is held together by a natural though imperceptible chain, which binds together things most distant and most different, I hold it equally impossible to know the parts without knowing the whole, and to know the whole without knowing the parts in detail.”
Blaise Pascal