Painted PortraitsMarch 30th - May 18th, 2014
Curated by Charlotte Mouquin
334 Grand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Open to the public Sundays 12-6 and by appointment
Rush Arts is pleased to present a group exhibition of contemporary portraits. Taha Clayton, Kate Fauvell, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Jas Knight, and Sylvia Maier are contemporary portrait painters working in Brooklyn, NY. These works range in subject and size but create painted portraits of people around us in our everyday lives.
The genre of portrait painting has a rich and deep history. Often portraits were commissioned by rich patrons to remember historical moments or to capture a likeness of an esteemed individual. With a bourgeois history, oil painted portraits were a classic way for artists to have careers, and for the wealthy to be comemerated through a timeless medium. In Painted Portraits at Corridor Gallery the contemporary portrait is examined and celebrated, of every day people that are commemorated for being in the lives of the artists.
Taha Clayton is a self taught artist residing in Brooklyn raised in Toronto, ON and born in Houston, TX. His highly rendered portraits are not only detailed portraits of people in his life and community, but a statement about our community as a city. He brings together social and political issues, spiritual virtues and above all the portraits are painted with a universal love that is seen through his technical abilities and poetic compositions. The portrait of the artist’s pregnant wife titled “Womb Man” exudes his love as a husband and a father, capturing her in glorified confidence.
Kate Fauvell, born and raised in Queens, NY and currently living and working in Brooklyn paints from the heart as she says “about the heart of NYC, the greatest, roughest, most caring and careless city in the world.” For the past several years Fauvell has been a mentor for an intimate group of urban youth. She has re-experienced childhood with the group feeling the “fear, challenges, loss, inequalities, racism, fun, friendships, love, hate, violence, temptations, reality, jokes, and the search for self.” Her large group portraits are of the young people she mentors. Painted with an expressionist sensibility the paintings are raw portraits of being a contemporary urban youth.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is an African-American and Iranian artist originally from Oklahoma. She has recently been acclaimed for her project Stop Telling Women To Smile which has had a national presence. Her paintings are heartfelt portraits both of herself and people in relaxed situation in her life. The painting of “James” seems mid thought in intense conversation. Fazlalizadeh’s self portraits capture her strength as a woman which is also what sparked the Stop Telling Women to Smile project.
Jas Knight, from Bloomfield, CT and now also living in Brooklyn, NY, received his BFA at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. Knight strives to be as honest in his paintings as possible, which lead him to detailed rendering to be as universal as possible through the visual aesthetic language. His contemporary portrait Inbox 1 could be a window into any person checking their email, the gold gilded frame elevates the message by nodding to traditional portrait painting and saying hello from 21st C Brooklyn.
Sylvia Maier, a native New Yorker who lives and paints in Brooklyn, paints life size figurative works in urban settings. Inspired by cultural identities, ceremonies, tolerance, and her bi-racial heritage Maier brings universal messages to her large group portrait paintings and intimate embraces of couples. Her inspirational models include; an urban African Priest, Afro-punk musicians, hand drummers in parks, and the many friends and family members that make Brooklyn’s unique tapestry. Her ongoing project Currency was recently highlighted at the Corridor Gallery Project Space in 2013.