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Kloosterboer on Painting the Figure Now 2019

The PoetsArtists publication and exhibition project, entitled Painting the Figure Now, seeks to highlight skill-based painting that investigates the many ways contemporary artists see the human figure in all genres, such as portraiture, narrative, nudes, and any and all visualizations focusing on the human form in life, action, play, work, and repose. The human body is an inexhaustible subject within the arts, potentially allowing us to see humanity in fresh, relevant, and innovative ways.

Chief curator for Painting the Figure Now 2019 is Didi Menendez, and guest curators include John Dalton, Victoria Selbach, Barry Blinderman, Jay Menendez, Daniel Maidman, and I. All work will be published in PoetsArtists Magazine, and a selection will be exhibited at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, Illinois, and/or the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in Wausau, Wisconsin.

My goal, as guest curator of the PoetsArtistsPainting the Figure Now 2019, was to select artists who paint the human body by means of exceptional pictorial skills as well as having a distinctly individual look to their work. I invited figure painters Amanda Grieve, Daryl Zang, Natalie Holland, and Laura Tan to submit.

Amanda Grieve - The State in Which

Amanda Grieve –The State in Which

Wypych’s Imaginative Philosophy

Anna Wypych is a figure painter based in Gdynia, Poland, who relies on traditional oil painting methods to achieve a smooth yet painterly realism that also embraces hyperrealistic, surrealist, and expressionist elements. Through her work, Wypych examines life and the universal human condition, basing compositions on her thoughts, emotions, and experiences as well as concepts such as beauty, honesty, inner strength, and justice

While she doesn’t want to influence the viewer’s personal perception of her work, she feels a need to translate her personal thoughts into words in order to clarify the deeper meaning behind each piece. Even when some belong within a series, each painting is a separate project with a specific subject which she often accompanies with texts and sometimes poetry. She states, “I take inspiration from what I see around me, but my personal thoughts are always the starting point.”

Currently she’s working on a series about freedom, simply called Boson. The word pertains to the Higgs Boson, a particle in the Standard Model of physics that is thought to be responsible for all physical forces. From an artist’s point of view, Wypych relates the Boson particle to the potential within every human being and the interactions between them—the creative energy of all the possibilities within and around us. She emphasizes the interconnection and interrelatedness between ourselves and the world around us while trying to let go of individualistic notions of herself, seeking to feel connected to both animate and inanimate matter.

Regarding the Boson series, she says, “Molecules each have their own weight, and are what they are, the point is the variety of molecules. For me Boson is something what makes people different from each other, makes people who they are—that is freedom. Boson is freedom.” This series deals with her search to understand what freedom means, how it shapes us, and the ways in which freedom affects us.

David Eichenberg wins the MEAM’s 9º Concurso de Pintura Figurativas 2017

Art Review

Eichenberg’s Inquiries into The Self

David Eichenberg is a figure painter who redefines contemporary portraiture by expertly capturing physical likeness and distinct textures, imbuing them with emotional energy. Balancing minute three-dimensional detail with flat nondescript backdrops, he plays with light and color depicting everyday people. Following in the footsteps of Diego Velázquez, Eichenberg prefers to paint those who traditionally would not have been considered appropriate subjects for portraiture—yet unlike Velázquez he avoids accepting portrait commissions. 

David Eichenberg
David Eichenberg, Aimee in Hoodie III, Oil on Aluminum Panel, 40 x 30 inches or 101 ½ x 76 ¼ cm

As a father of two young daughters, inevitably Eichenberg paints them on occasion but most of his subjects are artists and performers. Eichenberg’s focus is on people who are not afraid to express themselves. He’s inspired by individuals who show compassion for others, people who know and understand the meaning of integrity. He’s captivated by piercings, tattoos, and eccentric hair coloring—especially natural redheads—and people who, as he puts it, “wear themselves on the outside.”

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