This is perhaps the first time I’ve shown the work of a commercial photographer but Stéphane Coutelle is much more than that. His personal pictures from ‘Insomnies’ are both sensual, emotive and technically accomplished, his aesthetic drawn from his work as a painter, an artist who seeks to find a deep empathetic connection with his subjects, get beneath the skin of his beautiful models.
James Hosking’s photographs from ‘Aunt Charlie’s’ take us into a small windowless lounge in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and the last remaining gay bar in the area. Home to a long running drag show and a number of ageing drag queens who still perform there.
Filomena Booth‘s paintings are vibrant pictures, her strong textural compositions and bold use of colour create a warm glow, an energetic spirit that has its roots in the elements. In the opposing forces of the natural world.
Sam Harris‘ photographs from ‘The Middle of Somewhere’ are a continuation of his previous award winning series ‘Postcards from Home’, an ongoing diary that revolves around the lives of his two daughters living in a remote part of Western Australia.
Lisa Sorgini‘s photographs from ‘Toska – Reimagining Memories’ are an exorcism of sorts, an attempt by the artist to reinvent the past, to remould the pictures of a loving memory into an alternative world devoid of pain and love lost.
Vigintas Stankus abstract paintings are rich, heavily textured and spontaneous pictures that rejoice in colour and rhythm, his ‘City’ series taking us on a musical journey through the streets of a bright urbanscape, his compositions suggesting a busy world of fast moving people and lives running without breath.
Madison Dinelle‘s photographs are simply remarkable. Utterly beguiling pictures born out of a unique vision of the world and a discerning eye that sees magic in the ordinary, each image revealing a formal organisation in the chaos of nature and a humour in the banal.
I don’t often post up portraits but Samantha Ylva Beasley‘s photographs are sublime. There is an enigmatic quality to her pictures, her lens drawing out a mystery we can’t untangle, a knot of human emotions that remain out of reach.
Beasley has a passion for 19th and early 20th Century photographic techniques and uses 4 x 5 and 8 x 10 vintage cameras and expired film to make these pictures, each one developed by hand, the colour sensitive, the men and women in her photographs peering out at us through a diffused light, each of them wallowing in a story without words. Her approach could be considered poetic in the sense that she’s looking to express the essence of humanity through a familiar visual language, bringing us beyond the picture, giving us a face, a mirror into which we can see the reflection of our own soul.
They are beautiful photographs made by a young artist who has a long journey ahead of her and I wish her all the best. Here’s what she has to say about her work:
Deeply inspired by the art of portraiture, she seeks to understand and draw out the subject’s raw emotion and sense of self in a way that is both ambiguous and highly personal.
Borg De Nobel‘s paintings echo the works of Jean Michel Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly and George Baselitz, her Neo-Expressionist aesthetic a riff off the modern world, a series of signposts that lead us into her fervent imagination, her dreams and her wanderings.
Yigit Uygur‘s photographs are only part of his artistic journey, his digital pictures drawn from both a passion for photography and a deep understanding of philosophy, sociology, literature, music and art. His pictures a visual marker of an all encompassing desire to seek knowledge and to understand the essence of humanity behind the prosaic reality of life.
There is a mythic quality to these photographs, a yearning for a more romantic, intensely emotional life that’s bound inextricably with the natural world. A mystic connection that goes beyond the intellect and into intuition, a fleeting moment that all artists seek to capture forever in paint, in words, in an image.
And while his pictures echo the work of young fashion pioneering photographers such as Shae Detar, Amanda Charchian and Claire Oring they remain very much an articulation of his own personal vision, an aesthetic that’s rooted in the classical past while being wholly intertwined with contemporary writing, music and poetry.
I have been able to find out very little about Uygur except that he’s a Turkish artist and has spent his life playing and scoring music, writing poetry, publishing articles on philosophy and sociology while working as a radio director, news reader, columnist and editor for several newspapers and magazines.
His portfolio is a beautiful evocation of times past, his images intensely romantic and passionate, each picture giving you the space to wander off into the dreamscapes of your imagination.
Sanjin Hadzalic‘s photographs from ‘Snapshots After the War’ are a visual document that seek peace of mind, are the attempt of a young artist to rekindle long lost memories, evoke his childhood self, a moment in his life before the darkness of war descended on his family and his country. Before everything changed irrevocably.
Jacquie Gouveia‘s abstract paintings take us into a pristine landscape in which the colours of the earth, sky and water reflect a divine space of stillness and quiet, a universe of peace that asks us to contemplate the world around us.
Nick Turpin‘s street photography reveals much about him and his sense of humour – light hearted and tinged with satire – his eye focussing on the incongruity of daily life, the madness of urban routine, the interaction between people on the street and the ironic truth that we both conform to stereotypes while remaining individualistic, idiosyncratic and mad in all its glory.
Lorena Ros photographs from ‘Heroin Russia’ highlight one of the largest social issues in Russia today namely the growing problem of drug abuse with the numbers of users ranging from 3 – 6 million people. Most of them young. A whole generation victim to an addiction that is not being dealt with by the government who in turn refuse to allow users to be treated with methadone.
Neo Rauch’s idiosyncratic paintings seem out of step in our brave new world of corporate art, rather they hark back to social realism and in particular an East German aesthetic. His pictures full of heroic and romantic characters, Northern European landscapes, propaganda posters, a subdued colour palette, nostalgic colour schemes and clean design elements, all of which combine to engender a strange surrealism, a vision of a political entity that no longer exists but is interwoven into the psyche of German consciousness.