Dariusz Labuzek’s primitive style paintings are inherently figurative, yet their naive imagery is predominantly design orientated, has an illustrative quality that is founded on an abstract painterly aesthetic. This juxtaposition of abstraction and design is what makes his pictures so compelling, his figures created as vessels to be filled by textures, colors, and ideas, beautiful compositions that conspire to feed our desire for aesthetically beautiful objects.
Feeding of a very sculptural sensibility – possibly informed by his training as an architect and film maker – Labuzek repeats the same motifs in his paintings, yet each picture is utterly different, his starting point the relationship between painterly concepts such as texture, color, line, and form; this play on ideas gives him space to explore how we see a painting, the depth and nuance of material as well as the potential it has to manipulate how we view the picture plane. Some of his figures look like copper or collage-like cut outs, the rest more illustrative in nature.
This freedom of expression, of looking to articulate the emotional and poetic quality of an image through painterly concepts, is a subject that has preoccupied many artists throughout the 20th century, some of whom have laid the foundation for Labuzek’s own creative journey, such as Pablo Picasso, Antonio Tapies, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Agusti Puig, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Artur Nacht-Samborski, Cy Twombly, Zdzisław Beksinski, Jacek Göttel, Richard Diebenkorn, Jackson Pollock as well as Zhou Brothers, Roger Ballen, and Gerhard Richter. Labuzek continues in the tradition of these great artists, as a painter who is in love with his medium, in the possibilities that lie in brush and paint, in the potential that an abstract world of strange humanoid figures can lead us into a world that lightens up our own imagination.
Dariusz was born in Poland and studied architecture at the Institute of Technology in Cracow. He immigrated to the United States in 1990 and attended a film and theater program at Humboldt State University in California. In 1992 he moved to Chicago where he continued painting and developing his unique style of figurative expression. Saatchi Art featured Darius as an exceptional emerging artist in 2015. In 2016 he relocated to San Francisco Bay Area. Dariusz has been exhibiting for several years in variety exhibitions. His work is collected nation wide and across the world extensively.
Sandra Speidel is known for her figurative and abstract paintings, which reveal a rich and complex surface quality and ambiguous interpretation of the subjects. Though her paintings are anchored in classic painting and drawing, they suggest a broader story through the exploration of abstract elements.
Sandra attended Duke University in North Carolina as an English and art major. She later received a degree in journalism and came to California to work as a writer for Women Sports Magazine.
She soon returned to art, studying at the San Francisco Academy of Art University. Before turning to fine art painting in 2000, she enjoyed a very successful career as an illustrator. Among her clients were Apple Computers, FTD Florists, the US Postal Service, and Warner Books. She illustrated 19 books for children, including three for Maria Shriver. Throughout her career, Sandra has continued to study painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and with local painters Chester Arnold, Jamie Brunson, Michael Azgour, and Nicholas Wilton.
Sandra has taught figure drawing and painting at the San Francisco Academy of Art University for over 20 years. In addition, she teaches ongoing painting workshops from her studio in Petaluma and is frequently asked to judge shows and mentor other artists.
Her work has been exhibited in national shows and in galleries throughout the Bay Area. She is influenced by the figurative work of Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Romare Beardon, Egon Schiele, and Milton Avery among many others.