A marker of a great work of art is its timelessness. JoAnne Artman Gallery proudly presents, Yes, Masters: A MANthology, an exhibition of recent works by Danny Galieote, Greg Miller, James Wolanin, and Michael Callas which pays homage to the past by putting a present-day spin on age-old masterpieces. A departure from their typical styles and subjects, each artist created specifically for this exhibition. Daring to assume a different artistic paradigm that combines 20th century attitude with traditional European sensibility, the culmination is a shared dialogue challenging conventional narratives in art with expressive color and a focus on figuration. Playful and satirical, these contemporary adaptations of art history merge the classical with the commodification of art in pop culture and mass media, all while bringing Old Masters into a new world.
Drawn from the term, “Old Masters,” the title refers to such prolific artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt. Derived and abstracted from Old Master paintings and ideologies, Galieote, Miller, Wolanin, and Callas deconstruct pictorial language and artistic agency through investigating the ways in which their masculinity, identity, and individualism are embedded in both the significance and composition of each work. Using art history as a stepping-stone for newfound interpretations through the lens of pop subjectivity, these artists acknowledge the legacies of their predecessors in their modern and spirited anthologies.
A California native, Galieote began his art career in Disney animation studios. A top animator for films such as the Lion King and Tarzan as a character artist, Galieote honed his skill at hand drawing and the human figure. Well versed in art history, his influences include Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo, Rubens, and the Mannerist, Jacopo Pontormo, as well as American realist painter George Bellows and other AshCan artists. Incorporating whimsical elements with modern social concerns, Galieote imbues light-hearted imagery with deeper connotations, illuminating timeless truths of the dualities of human nature.
Seeped in the process of taking all aspects of culture, art, architecture, and images that surround him, Greg Miller combines his paintings with found elements to the surface of his canvases and panels. Addressing art history and the fleeting nature of cultural ephemera and collective memory, his selection of pieces are a foundation of our culture, and with the found collages added to the surface, each piece tells a story of past, present, and future. With these new paintings, Miller redirects his penchant for depicting the human figure towards reimagined classics. Evoking a sense of history, as well as magic, the historical influences of his recent painted works transcend time.
Beneath their glossy, seductive surfaces, James Wolanin’s paintings are brimming with enigmatic simplicity. Rendered in a precise, hard-edged style, using resin as a finish, Wolanin does not simply paint a scene, but constructs a fragment of narrative. Suggesting entire relationships and personalities through a character’s pose or glance, flat planes of color and a nod to minimalist tonal transitions help the works read on an abstract level, creating a deeper resonance between visual elements. Integrating palettes emblematic of various past art movements, Wolanin infuses his portraits with the recognizable colorations of the Old Masters.
Rooted in Pop art, street art, graphic design, and his life in Southern California, Michael Callas’ paintings are done with spray paint and precise stencil work. Intricately produced through a rigorous process of drafting, mapping, and hand-cutting precise templates before being transposed onto canvas with aerosol paints, Callas creates a surface that is uniform and rich in color. Remaining true to his practice, Callas meticulously maps out color planes of saturated hues and gray tones, crafting dimensionality and dramatic light sources on his subjects. Applying his distinct approach of working in aerosols to the traditional oil paintings of the Renaissance, Callas explores the famous character archetypes and narratives throughout art history.
These artists’ work will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you're sure to find the right artistic expression.