Category Archives: Art

Juxtapoz Magazine – Review: Everything is Boldness with Emilio Villalba @ Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco

San Francisco based painter Emilio Villalba exhibits a series of twenty-five new paintings (oil on canvas works dated 2023) at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, along with a series of acrylic paintings primarily on canvas paper. Many of the works feature his wife Michelle Fernandez Villalba (a recurring subject for the artist), and various associates including his close friend Jason Crase, along with self portraits in various poses, often holding a cigarette in his hand. Sensuous qualities of thick paint characterize the body of work, revealing an artist looking for new ways to convey the human experience and its varied emotions. Many of the pictures include vernacular settings, filled with elements of domesticity and immersed with familiarity. Ordinary objects like a coffee mug, toothbrush, fixed-line telephone, and bowl of fruit are among the many things depicted.

Although painted thickly, the resulting colorful pictures explore how to render the human figure with bold gestures and deceptively simple brush work. There is an acceptance, near synthesis, of the language of abstraction, specifically Expressionism, as Villalba alternates between thick swathes of impasto and carefully considered figural and spatial design. Evincing a sense of acute presence and awareness, viewers can imagine themselves in dialogue with the various personages depicted; life-size and bold renderings are the exhibitions’ hallmark. The gestural qualities of these paintings, comprising headshots, nudes, and semi-abstract faces and torsos, is apparent. Though applied abundantly, the economy of broad brush strokes interplays with unusual perspective and lines highlighting Villalba’s painterly intentionality. The exhibition at Dolby Chadwick invokes, and is in dialogue with, the work of other artists versed in this terrain, especially David Park and Joan Brown, who both utilized impasto to make brash and confident paintings. 

Source: Juxtapoz Magazine – Review: Everything is Boldness with Emilio Villalba @ Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco

Artist George Condo on What Drives Him to Create Beguiling Portraits

George Condo, The Runaway, 2022. /©George Condo/Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
If I sat there and said, “I’m going to make the most beautiful painting I’ve ever painted in my life,” it’s going to be horrible. I did a lecture at the Frick in 2019 and somebody asked me: “How do you make a distinction between what’s a good painting or a bad painting.” For me, it’s like the desert question: If you had to take one painting with you to a desert island, which one would it be? But it’s not a question of what you can live with. When it comes to art: it’s what can you die with? What’s the last thing you want to see before you go?

Lee Bontacou–RIP at age 91

Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1966, welded steel, canvas, epoxy, leather, and wire and light, © MCA Chicago, © Lee Bontecou

I fell in love with Bontacou’s work in 2004 when I saw a retrospective at MOMA. She died yesterday at age 91. What a life she had. Some quotes from a couple of nice articles about her below.

And though, Bontecou’s art may have directly referenced the world as she saw it around her, she never wanted to strictly define what it was about. That was up to the viewer. As she told the Chicago Reader when asked, “Do people ever ask you, ‘What does this mean?’ What do you say?”, she coolly replied, “I don’t answer at all. It’s what you see in it. What I see in it is something else. I don’t get caught up in that.”
Although Bontecou generally avoided discussing the meaning of her images, in a rare statement for the catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Americans 1963,” she suggested that her goal was to “build things that express our relation to this countryto other coun­triesto this world-to other worlds-in terms of myself.”5 The precise meaning of this relationship was explained only years later when Bontecou admitted that the iconography of these early projects was in part political, a response to the menacing specter of war and global destruction that she felt in the early ’60s.6

Some Comics Printing Advice from Chip Zdarsky

My early comics, like Monster Cops, were black & white, which was an easier thing to manage. There was a period where I printed the FCBD books for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which was a nightmare, because they were in full colour and have multiple cartoonists submitting work. But the biggest things I learned were:

  • Lettering should be 100% black, no extra colours or it’ll get fuzzy. You want lettering to be crisp and readable.

  • If the lettering is on top of a colour, make sure the lettering is set to overprint. That means the colour will be laid behind it and the black will be printed on top of it. Otherwise it’ll print the colour with white knocked out where the lettering goes and you run the risk of white halo around the lettering.

  • Your total ink value should never exceed 300%. Like, say I have a rich black colour that’s made up of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. If I make all those values at 100% of those colours, the ink load will be 400% and that’s just gonna soak the paper.

  • Adding Batman will increase your comic’s sales by 65%.

You’ll have to scroll down past all the royals crap, but the relevent stuff is above.

From his newsletter.