In the exhibition Emerging Visions, artists from across the world draw from their life experiences and cultural influences to create a diverse display of aesthetic adventures. The works in this show range from the abstract to the figurative, touching upon surrealism, futurism, cubism, and just about everything in between. No matter what their subject or preferred methods, each artist speaks of fascinating and unavoidable truths. With a diversity sure to speak to any art lover, this exhibition is not to be missed.
Some artists focus on representing the natural world around them. “I have never felt that an artist could improve on nature”, says Donna Shaffer, “but I have always tried to interpret, through my work, how nature presents itself to me”. Artist Sloane Merrick uses paint, yarn, dirt, gold leaf, and an array of other elements to create compositions that play with textures and patterns and also create larger subjects from geometric honeycombs to animals and more. Lars Rasmussen's floral subjects are not only alluring and iconic, but they also contain many elements that connect symbolically to human themes. Their life cycle from bud to bloom to decay echoes the lives of humans, representing our connection to nature and the ephemerality of existence.
Others focus on the human figure’s movement. In his current series, Raul Mariaca Dalence seeks to capture the energy and music of dancing and circus life, particularly in those moments when dancers are suspended in the air. Tiziana Fejzullaj tells her stories through the positioning of the body, the lines used to depict it, and backgrounds that range from dense patterns of drips and energetic brushstrokes to fields of solid color. Artist Olivia Kapoor refers to her work as “Inter Dimensional Art”, and in it she explores the relationship between various forms in space, bringing out the chaotic energy that their combinations set off.
Artists like Rozsa Dajka use color palettes and materials to emphasize their subject. Her palette is rooted in deep reds, with an emphasis on the natural glows of sunlight and firelight, while Eli Cantini’s sentiments of strength, harmony, and self-discovery manifest in the bold pigments and careful composition of incredibly varied earthen colors and textures which interact like patchwork and divide the canvas into rough geometric segments. “From the very beginning”, sculptor Patricia Olguín says, “I was extremely fascinated by wood. It seduces me with its smells, its colors, the quality of its surfaces”. That sensual essence is apparent in all of Olguín’s works.
Other artists are influenced by famous artists and movements of the past. Enthralled by the work of Cubists and Italian Futurist painters, Ilgar Talibov considers his work to be a hybrid form he terms “Futuristic Cubism”. Swedish artist Lars Korse refers to his style of art as Teorealism, or “God Reality”, because he strives to show “both the visible and the invisible, thus the whole reality”. His paintings are wonderful amalgams of folk art and cubism, with occasional traces of influence from Klimt and Kandinsky. Seppo Kari has been influenced by Italian art and the Renaissance, although his work stands out in how he is able to visually bridge this distant era with the present, juxtaposing classical elements with distinctly modernist forms to create something entirely new. Joe Dugan’s paintings are evocative of the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Dugan describes his work as a “new iconography that discusses politics, government, economy, war, disaster, morality, ethics, etc.”. Drawing from Postmodern and Pop Art, Fonsek focuses on iconographic people who have left positive examples to humanity. With a love of American culture and decades of the past since childhood, Peruvian artist Antonio Zegarra also spins pop culture figures into distinct portraits.
Kuniko Anan Bartlett draws from different esoteric artistic traditions, including calligraphy, sumi-e ink wash painting, and silk painting, to create expressions of harmony and tension. An immigrant from China, Zequn Wu sees the goal of his ink-on-paper paintings as increasing “the understanding, appreciation, and acceptance of Chinese painting” by a Western audience. Norwegian painter Kari Rindahl Endresen captures the harshness and beauty of the northern regions of the Arctic Circle in large, expressive watercolors. She builds a narrative, providing open spaces for viewers to insert themselves into the scene and feel the bite of wind, weather, and light as if through osmosis.