Category: Abstract

Busser Howell

Artist Q&A with Busser Howell

Busser Howell is an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor who lives and works in New York City. His painting has undergone a steady and restless evolution, from the exploration of geometrical shapes as a vocabulary for generating harmony and luminosity, to a series of tar paper and mastic aerial-view collages evoking the landscape of night bombing at the beginning of the Iraq war, to a period of more densely-textured works that were both more formal in the rectilinear division of the canvas. Originally from Ohio, Howell attended the Dayton Art Institute, Wright State University, and Boston University School of Fine art.

“Untitled (201025)”, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 72 in | 122 x 183 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

I do not have one favorite artist. The first time I saw the Impressionists, Post Impressionists, and Fauves in Paris, I was blown away with their beauty, the colors, and use of paint. I love Egyptian wall paintings, sculpture, and design, Minoan art, Byzantine wall paintings, murals in Pompeii, Roman mosaic floors, Etruscan sarcophagi, 14th century Italian painting, Dutch painters of the 16th century, Chinese ancestral portraits, Primitive American portraits by itinerate artists, folk art, and children’s paintings. I like Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Kline, Rothko, Klee, and Pollock. Obviously, I have forgotten many, but these all stand out in my mind.

How did you become a professional artist?

I believe the short answer to becoming a professional artist is that I was born that way. There was never a time in my life that I did not know that my being was meant to create. Fortunately, I had a supportive family that gave me the opportunity to study painting with an American impressionist at the age of 13, and I attended the … Click here to read more

Claire McConaughy

Artist Q&A with Claire McConaughy

Claire McConaughy is a painter who lives and works in New York. She earned her MFA in painting from Columbia University and her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her works are a combination of elements that make poetic moments connected to the present and past, and are reactions to the process of painting and the history of landscape. These works continue in the lineage of landscape painting, and also come from her early experiences in rural mountain woods, and life in New York City.

“Redon and the Sun”, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in | 51 x 41 cm, 2019

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

It seems impossible to answer this question because my favorites are in different categories for different reasons, but to try to keep it simple, I’ll put forward several artists who have had impact on me over the years. Martin Johnson Heade is a continual inspiration for me in painting. Even though I only know a few of his paintings firsthand, they feel transcendent. When I look at them, I see all of the represented objects, but I also get a feeling for the invisible elements in the scene like the quiet, warmth, humidity or electricity in the air – somehow, he’s able to create an experience through his painting that goes beyond what is shown. Louise Bourgeois has had a strong effect on me for several decades. Bourgeois’ ability to confront difficult content with imagery that reveals her personal strength and vulnerabilities, is incredibly powerful. Her work never ceases to intrigue me. Finally, Peter Doig’s strange, dreamlike visions captivate me.

How did you become a professional artist?

I always knew that I was an artist. I was encouraged to draw, make music, and write. People responded … Click here to read more

Johan Wahlstrom

Artist Q&A with Johan Wahlstrom

Stockholm-born Johan Wahlstrom is an artist who is making a conscious effort to describe the social and political landscape of our contemporary world. His ironic series Social Life gives a perfect sense both from a conceptual as a formal point of view of this estrangement. He is a magnificent observer of our social lives.

“Turmoil”, urethane and color pigments on canvas, 62 x 54 in | 157 x 137 cm, 2020

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

Leon Golub

How did you become a professional artist?

I am the 5th generation of artists on my mother’s side and you could say it was in my blood from an early age. I have always loved expressing myself through the arts. It started with painting, went into Rock ‘n’ Roll, and then back to painting.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

Today’s society, news, my travels, and people that I meet. I see myself as a journalist portraying what I see and hear through my paintings.

Johan Wahlstrom, self-portrait.

When is a piece finished for you?

That is always a difficult question that I constantly battle with. Normally it is finished when I feel that the painting is talking to me and makes me feel.

What’s different about your current body of work?

Most likely many of my distorted face paintings are less obvious, less in your face, thanks to adding more abstraction. 

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?

Moving to New York five years ago certainly affected my career, as did my two man show “From 1960’s Celebrities To Today’s Social Media, From Warhol To Wahlstrom” with Andy Warhol in 2018.  I have also been part of group shows in Europe … Click here to read more