Robyn Day | Chicago, IL Marc Dessauvage | New York, NY Jasmin Edelbrunner | Vienna, Austria Maxwell Emcays | Chicago, IL Colleen Fitzgerald | Memphis, TN Clay Jordan | Miledgeville, GA Axelle Kieffer | Savannah, GA Byungkwan Kim | Seoul, Korea Justin Levesque | Portland, ME Stratton McCrady | Saco, ME Melonie Mulkey | Champaign, IL Christopher Owen Nelson | Santa Fe, NM Christopher Parrott | Huntington, NY Jack Rosenberg | New York, NY Aniko Safran |Harrisonburg, VA Evan Schwartz | Brooklyn, NY Shawn Shepherd | Victoria, Canada Sarupa Sidaarth | Belvedere Tiburon, CA Mark Liam Smith | Toronto, Canada Herwig Maria Stark | Vienna, Austria Nina Sumarac | Limassol, Cyprus Amber Tourlentes | Somerville, MA Roman Traexler | Vienna, Austria Zachary Williams | Chicago, IL Neven Zoricic | Milano, Italy
The annual summer group show FRESH! returns to JanKossen Contemporary, featuring works by 25 artists who reveal their interpretation on contemporary portraiture. Artists were invited to demonstrate their artistic approach and interpretation of how the portrait offers an intimate view of the depicted subject; the exploration of their character, sentiment, and identity.
A diverse group of international emerging and established artists were selected, offering the viewers a range of distinct methods, media, materials and techniques.
Taking photos of their subjects in full-body pose, artists Robyn Day, Justin Levesque, Amber Tourlentes and Clay Jordan reveal their distinct styles to depict personal, social, institutional or political concerns. While these artists’ subjects were taken from a distance, we are given a more intimate perspective by artists Aniko Safran, Stratton McCrady and Melonie Mulkey. Here images of almost uncomfortable proximity are displayed; an intimacy that through the manipulation of the subject’s surrounding seizes an exact moment.
Where photography gives us a real depiction of the subject, artists Byungkwan Kim, Jack Rosenberg and Roman Traexler chose painting to re-interpret, re-invent and distort what we are seeing. Almost demonstrating destructive qualities while still leaving parts of the portrait recognizable, these artists aim to introduce a sense of strangeness into a subject the viewer feels familiar with, ultimately leading to the discovery of something new or unusual within the habitual.
Collage and mixed-media has a strong presence in this show. The artists Evan Schwartz, Zachary Williams, Shawn Shepherd, Axelle Kieffer, Nina Sumarac, Christopher Owen Nelson and Maxwell Emcays use complex and intricate techniques in their works with deep conceptual meaning. Using works on paper or canvas, these artists explore personal, institutional, and social struggles in a community and setting. The relationship between the human form within their environment.
Using unconventional processes or materials, the portraits by artists Jasmin Edelbrunner, Colleen Fitzgerald and Sarupa Sidaarth show a fragmented subject as the fluidity of self; the polarity between destruction and creation. A common tie between the works among this group of artists is not only the aesthetic presentation, but the atypical elements of the work.
When speaking of the portrait, the classical, realistic styles automatically come to mind. Using the traditional with a twist, artists Neven Zoricic, Herwig Maria Stark, Mark Liam Smith, Marc Dessauvage and Christopher Parrott have purposefully integrated a subtle yet impactful component in their work separated from the ordinary realm. Incorporated color; a particular style; a narrative fiction or adopting a particular medium, these artists have successfully demonstrated their individual style and vision.
“FRESH!” runs from July 7th to August 17th, 2016 with a closing finissage on Thursday August 11th.